Friday, January 25, 2013

1/26/13-1/27/13—Being a Good Receiver

Weekend Reading: Six of Pentacles from the Victorian Romantic. This weekend is about giving and receiving. Which side of the equation will you be on? It really doesn't matter. Because when you're giving, you're receiving the fulfillment that comes from serving outside of yourself. And when you're receiving, you're giving the other person the gift of serving. The trick is, regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, to do it graciously. Be a good giver. Be a good receiver. And feel the love. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1/25/13—Allowing Others Their Path

Today's Draw: Key in the House of The Book, using Melissa Hill's Postmark Lenormand and my own Deck of Lenormand Houses. If you saw a friend on the verge of making what you thought was a big mistake, what would you do or say? How far would you go to stop them? When do you love someone so much that you set them free?

Today I'm using Lenormand instead of tarot and I'm using my Deck of Lenormand Houses. Right this second, the Deck of Lenormand Houses is sold out, but I'm expecting a new shipment soon, if anyone's interested. They're a good teaching and learning tool, in addition to working the same way with Lenormand that my Deck of 1000 Spreads works with tarot. 

But enough of that. The House of the Book is the house of secrets, knowledge and mystery. And The Key is about solutions, breakthroughs, karmic lessons and destiny. This all conjures up something I've been thinking about for a couple weeks—and something I just discussed with a friend over dinner tonight. If someone needs to learn a lesson, the universe will make them learn it. We don't know why the lesson is being brought to them, but it's for a reason. So let them learn it. 

What I mean by that is that we often want to "save" our friends or children from bad situations. Let's say, for example, your friend has taken up with someone that you know is just using them. Certainly you want to talk to your friend and let them know you're concerned. But there are times we try to insert ourselves further into situations like this....maybe we pray on their behalf that they'll dump the friend. Or maybe we go to the friend and buy them off...haha. I don't know. I'm just making things up. But you get my point. We try to "save" our friend from what we know is going to be certain pain. 

But are we really saving our friend? Are we really doing good? And when we insert ourselves into the fate of another, what kind of energy are we bringing back on ourselves? How much of another's path is our business?

Your friend may be too trusting for her own good. And if you save her, and she's not able to learn her lesson, then what if the next person who comes along is worse than the first? What if they don't just hurt her emotionally, but physically this time? And what if she's now less willing to listen to you because you imposed on her friendship with the other person before?

The way I believe, we all come here to learn certain lessons. And while it may hurt to see our loved ones learn their lessons, their lessons are theirs to learn. We have no dominion over whether or not those lessons get learned. And as you know from your own life, just telling someone that something's bad isn't really going to deter them if they're fixated on it. So we can ground our sons to keep them away from harlots, but the second they're out from under our thumb, they'll be in a harlot's arms...haha. Only now the harlot will be older and more cunning. So were we really doing him a service keeping him from the slightly slutty 16 year old that could have taught him his lesson years ago?

I have a feeling this is going to be a hard one for a lot of people. Because it is hard. When do you insert yourself and when do you allow them their own path? Where do you draw the line? In fact, many people don't even see someone else's life as "their path". They see their loved ones as being their responsibility. But each of has to take command of our own lives and our own lessons. Further, I believe each of us have an agreement with our god in this regard and there's nothing anyone else can do about it. The lessons will get learned. 

But the thing we all have to decide for ourselves is where we draw that line. Every parent has had to face this dilemma at one time or another, I assume. But the same goes for our friends and family members, too. Their lessons aren't ours to derail. And we not only do them a disservice by trying to do that, we also court the teaching of a lesson in our own lives about interference. That may manifest in many ways, including pushing the other person away. 

With me, I'll probably always say something to the person. Something along the lines of "I'm concerned about this person, because I've seen them hurt others before and I don't want the same to happen to you." And then I'll follow with something like, "I'm concerned, but I support whatever choice you make and, if anything does happen, I'll be here for you. In fact, I won't even say I told you so." In the end, that's really all we can do. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1/24/13—Feeling Your Fear

Today's Draw: Nine of Swords in the Action position from the Hello Kitty tarot and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Are you afraid of making a change? Are you waiting for your fear to subside before you do that? Or are you maybe trying to gain control of your fear first?

The Nine of Swords, adorable as it is in this deck, is a card about worries, fears and nightmares...the kinds of things that keep you awake at night. And yet today, we have it in the "Action" position, meaning it's what the tarot recommends we do. 

Well, this all ties together perfectly with yesterday's reading. Yesterday we talked about having the courage to let go of one rope so you can grab another—to commit to a new way of being without necessarily having a safety net to catch you if you fall. 

What today's duo comes to tell us it something that's very relevant in my life. It's telling us that we have to feel these fears and negative emotions. We're not supposed to ignore them. We're not supposed to drink them away. Or eat them away. Or deny them. Or avoid them in any other way. 

Sometimes I find myself putting negative emotions aside...seeing the bright side or explaining things away. Or I might be sad and turn on the TV to distract me. Or maybe I'll start crying about something and buck myself up. There are a number of ways I know to keep from feeling feelings. I even do it with positive feelings—"ok, enough of that, let's get back to business". 

I think a lot of this came from being made fun of as a kid. I learned to build a callous against hurt feelings. And I was a sensitive girl...dramatic. I remember my father saying, "don't cry, you look ugly when you cry." His intentions weren't to be mean. I guess he thought that logic would keep me from crying. Those are a couple of things that come to mind as to why I do this. 

As a society, when someone's sad we have a tendency to try to cheer them up. When someone's crying we say "don't cry". When someone's feelings are hurt, we say "don't feel that way". But the thing is, we have to. Holding negative feelings inside is toxic. And to think you can just ignore them and push them aside is a fallacy. 

Everything has an energy. And that energy needs to be processed. It's like peas...haha. I hated peas as a kid, so I would hide them under my potato skin. It was an excellent cover. It might fool my mom, but the peas didn't disappear. They were still under the potato skin. And the energy of our feelings doesn't go away—no matter where we hide it—until we process and transform it through our "emotional digestive system."

Lately I've been indulging my emotions more. My brother's illness and death have played a large role in all of that. I remember crying some about my mother dying, but it always bothered me that I really didn't shed any tears for my father. I do, however, remember going numb. That all happened 25-30 years ago and, in between, I can see a series of either non-feeling or focusing on some feelings and ignoring others. 

There's a saying that courage isn't doing something with the absence of fear. It's about doing it despite your fear. So if courage is what we need to transform our lives, then we've got to be honest about it, feel the fear, mourn the past, and go forward regardless. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1/23/13—Grabbing a New Rope

Today's Draw: The Seven of Staffs in the "What to Leave in the Past" position from the Glastonbury Tarot and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Do you wish you could just snap your fingers and have a different life? What do you need to let go of so you can grab ahold of that thing you'd rather have? What keeps you from doing it? 

You'll be seeing me use my Deck of 1000 Spreads here more often, I imagine. When tarot readers do full readings for their clients, they usually have the context of a spread position to help them focus their reading. Most blogs just choose a Card of the Day, as I have for the past two years. But adding the context of a spread positions gives us a bit more information about what the cards are trying to tell us. 

Before I get to today's message, I found a curious package on my front porch today. It was curious because it wasn't the size or shape of anything I was waiting on from anywhere. And it came by FedEx, instead of the mail. Inside was the book that goes with the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Now, I've been pretty cool about this whole thing so far, but seeing my name on a book for the first time...well, that's something special. The other day I was responding to someone in the UK about my deck and I checked the book stores I usually buy from in England and they had it for pre-order. Seeing your idea spread around the world is pretty cool, too. And knowing your British cousins (my mom was from England) can walk into a store and see your product on the 

My book and deck will be sold in a kit with a box. It seems everything is printed and now it just needs to be assembled and shipped out to sellers. I started on this particular journey about two years ago. And now it's this real, tangible thing that the biggest tarot publisher in the US, Llewellyn, is going to send all around the world. And people will know my contribution to this art/skill that I've dedicated so much of my "hobby" time to 25 years. And one day I hope to do the same with the kind of writings I've been doing for you for the past couple of years. Today I'm quite grateful to the universe. :)

Yeah. I wrote that book. I'm cool. 
So, on to what we should leave in the past. At first glance, you're probably thinking, "huh? Leave courage in the past?" That's what I thought when I first saw it. I thought I was going to have to really spin today's entry...haha. But I don't. Because each of the wands that's burning in the fire is the baggage of the past. The man has transferred the energy of his story, his mistakes, his pains and the other aspects of his psyche that have caused issues in his past and present. And he's thrown them in the fire. No more crutches. No more excuses. No more holding on to outdated versions of who he's supposed to be. 

By doing this, he's cleaned the slate and created a vacuum for new things to rush into. In tarot, there's a popular spread or reading layout called the Celtic Cross. And one of the positions is "Greatest Hopes and Fears". And the cool thing about this position is that the card that appears here is usually something we both hope for AND fear. Life often brings that irony...the thing we most want is the thing that scares us the most. 

This clean slate thing is one of those things we both want and fear. We want something new in our lives, but we don't want to let go of what's familiar and predictable first...we want to keep it in our grasp in case the new thing doesn't work out. Even if we hate the old thing. Letting go of one rope that's keeping you in the safe and familiar, just so you can grab another that's going to swing you god only knows where, takes a lot courage. 

So today's card combo is telling us it's time to let go of that baggage and grab on to the new rope and go where it guides you. I started letting go of the old rope a number of years ago when I started committing myself to teaching, writing this blog and working on my people and leadership skills. And when I reached inside that package that landed on my front porch today and pulled out a book with my name on it, I knew the old rope was gone and I had now grabbed on to the new rope. 

I've been preparing for this all my life, in one way or another. I suppose it's possible this will be the only book I write...the only public "product" I create...but I think I know in my heart that this is just the first crack in a dam that will one day burst forth with something only vaguely resembling the quiet, invisible life I have now. 

So it's time to gather up my staffs and ready more of my past attitudes, limitations and false beliefs for the fire. If I want to do more and serve more with my words—which I do—I have to rise to my ambition. I don't have to be there tomorrow, thank god...haha. But I at least have to light the flame. 

What are you being called to burn away?

Monday, January 21, 2013

1/22/13—Taking Sincerity to Heart

Today's Draw: A Thin Wrapping of Wishes from Illuminate! Life Journey Cards by Linda Clayon. Do you make a conscious effort to be impeccable of word and action? Do you have a practice that keeps you on track? How are you at spotting the insincerity of others and do you suppose others are just as good at spotting it in you?

The book for this deck says this card is about dreams and wishes. But it also included a line I found interesting. It said "Where is the heart?"

It wasn't that long ago that we had a post about how to ask your heart if a certain choice or decision is right for you. We were to "breathe" into that area and see what made the heart feel expansive or what made it contract. And we were to follow expansion. 

But where is the heart when it comes to the things we say and do in our lives? I think a key phase of our emotional and personal evolution is being honest with ourselves in this really understand the intentions beneath our words and actions.

There was a time in my life that I might, say, be manipulative without being aware that's what I was doing. There were times I would play the victim with profound righteousness. Times I might belittle or believe I was superior. Times I might be opportune. And I would do these things unconsciously. I probably still do some of that stuff. Even though I've worked on this a lot, I still sometimes catch myself falling into those traps and I have to wonder what less-than-genuine words or deeds I'm not catching.

There are times you know what you're doing, even as you're doing it. And there are times you realize that and change course or fess up. And then there are times you're unaware or in denial. You can check your heart or gut for these things, too.

To do this, you can pick a time where you KNOW your intentions were pure. Breathe that moment in and see how it feels in your heart. Does it expand it? For me, everything in my whole midsection relaxes. And then ask yourself about a situation where there's issue. Is your heart in the right place? For me, if it's not, I'll get a funny feeling in my gut.

We have within us our own built-in lie detectors to suss out the lies we tell ourselves. And there are times for all of us where our heart might not be in the right place, even though we want to think it is. So I think it's a good practice to check in on this regularly so we can truly be the people we like to present ourselves as being. We have these sophisticated brains and personalities we take out into the world everyday and I think we do ourselves and others a disservice if we don't operate them responsibly.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1/21/13—Showing Compassion, Regardless

Today's Draw Classic*: The Fly at the Window from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Do you think compassion is only for the deserving? Who judges what is deserving and what's not? And can you slip into another's streams without getting lost?

Yesterday* we talked about slipping into the stream of spirit, where you connect with the divine intelligence and allow it to guide you. It sounds like something you'd have to study for years to do, but it's really as simple as just stopping the struggle against the flow of your life. Somewhere along the line we were taught that we have to control everything in our worlds and it's just not true. We just have to make steps toward what we want and let the universe do the rest—AND trust in the wisdom of whatever that brings. So that's what "getting in the flow" or "entering the stream" is all about. 

The reason I split this into two entries is the beautiful way the author defined compassion. He says it's "entering the stream of another without getting lost." How amazing is that? Entering into the stream of another without getting lost. 

There are many who think compassion is only for the "deserving". And someone, somewhere along line distinguishes "deserving" from "undeserving", I suppose. But compassion is for everyone. I've been criticized many times in my life for having compassion for "undeserving" people. In a conflict between two sides, for example, I'll be able to see the pain of both sides and have compassion for both. 

People always say they don't expect you to pick sides. But they do. And the side you're supposed to pick is the one deemed more deserving. Compassion should flow only to that side. And if compassion flows to the other, as well, you're a traitor, playing both sides or sitting on the fence. Well, I'm OK with being criticized for thinking that's a big, stinky load of bullshit. Everyone is equally deserving of compassion. We are all children of spirit. We all have pain. We all feel misunderstood. We are all. Worthy. Of compassion. 

When Mark Nepo says compassion is slipping into another's stream without getting lost, that's the same as saying "feel compassion, but don't bend who you are while doing so". Sometimes I see people willfully hurting others in the act of what they call compassion for another...using compassion for one as an excuse to be nasty to another. That's getting lost in another's stream. Unless, of course, being nasty is part of your stream. My guess is it's not. 

There have been a number of times in my life that I've lost friends because I've maintained an integrity—a loyalty—to what I believe. Like it's not nice to be mean to others, under any circumstance. Or you shouldn't tell secrets you've promised to keep. Or you shouldn't tell lies just to save your ass. I can't say I've never done any of those things. We probably all have. When I do that, believing as I do, I lose my integrity. And anyone who would ask or expect me to lose my integrity for them isn't a friend. 

Compassion is not something you have to prove to others. It's not saying "I approve of your actions." Nor is it a weapon you wield by witholding. It's something that comes from the soul part of you. The part of you that recognizes that even those who are considered "evil" are of God and suffering from their separation. It's the part of you that sees their pain and sorrow, even when it's hard to find. And the part wise enough to acknowledge the thin line that separates "good" from "bad" and sane from crazy, and feels bad for someone who can't keep from crossing over that line. Even if we can't empathize or know how they're feeling based on personal experience, we can nonetheless, genuinely say "I'm sorry you're in such pain right now". Regardless of what we think of them as a human being.

We slip into someone's stream without losing ourselves. And I'd go so far as to say that neglecting to find compassion for another *is* losing ourselves. It's losing sight of our common soul, the human struggle and the oneness we share as children of God and the universe. It's saying we're in a position to judge.

So if anyone out there ever wonders where I stand when it comes down to choosing sides, that's where I stand. I may agree with one side more than another. But I have compassion for both sides and will demonstrate compassion for both sides. And I will act in integrity with the way I believe about moving through this world. And if that makes me disloyal in your eyes, I'll take it. Because being any other way is being disloyal to myself.

*Taken from a post on 12/9/11