Friday, April 19, 2013

4/20/13-4/21/13—Meeting Success

Weekend Reading: Ring in the House of the Sun from the Tattered Nomad Oracle and the Deck of Lenormand Houses. This weekend you'll get 'er done. This combo speaks about successfully meeting your commitments. But it could also be about forging a successful commitment with someone. So think about the things you've promised to do and the people you've promised to be with and don't let them down. And you can also count on others not letting you down. Hooray!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

4/19/13—Thinking About Happiness

Today's Draw: The Sun in the House of Crossroads in the position of Attitudes and Thoughts from Shaheen Miro's Tattered Nomad Oracle, The Deck of Lenormand Houses and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. What does happiness mean to you? Are you more often happy than not? What wisdom do you have to share about happiness?

My initial instinct on this trio was "Something That Will Change Your Attitudes and Thoughts About Happiness." My second instinct was, "No! Three Things...NO, Five Things to Change Your Attitudes and Thoughts About Happiness." Then my third instinct was, "hmmm, the Sun is more frequently about success. Five Things to Change Your Attitudes and Thoughts About SUCCESS!" Then I decided to go with the happiness thing. 

See how crazy works?

OK. None of these things may change your idea of what happiness is. But then again, I do this in about an hour and have to go with what comes to me. 

1. Happiness Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be. You very well may be happy right now and not even know it. It doesn't necessarily come with a balloon and streamers attached. It's not necessarily something you get in exchange for something good you've done. It's merely a feeling of remarkable wellbeing in body, mind, emotion, and/or soul. And by "remarkable", I'm not talking "rare". I'm talking, "hey, I'm remarking that I'm happy!" (Notice the exclamation point?) So it's not quite bliss (which does come with streamers...and a few extra exclamation points). But it's a nice smile that comes from within. :)

2. Happiness is Not a Destination. It's part of the journey. There's never going to come a day when you're happy. Period. We all have ups and downs. We may be happy in one area of our lives and less than happy in another. It's not a place to land and plant roots. Nor do you want it to be. Because happiness should never become mundane. If it's how you felt all the time, it wouldn't be such a gift. 

3. Happiness is a Choice. In most moments, you can choose to be happy. You can choose to see your situation as a gift. Sure, if the bad guys are chasing you with guns, it's hard to be happy. Unless you like that sort of thing. But most of us lead pretty tame lives. And we can choose to let some inconsiderate person, for example, ruin our day. Or we can choose to focus on the positives, see how good we've got it and let our bodies and minds flow with gratitude. Now, chemicals in our body can make our moods shift. But even those, we can choose to improve through exercise or pharmaceuticals or whatever. But still, we're all human, so there will be times it won't be a choice. But many times it is. And since I already said five...

3a. Gratitude is a Direct Route to Happiness. Want to be happy? Count your blessings. We are all so incredibly blessed and we don't even realize it half the time because we're looking at all the areas where life has fallen short of our expectations. Well what about the vastly larger number of areas in which it has met and exceeded...or at the very least mirrored the effort we put forth?

4. You Can't Know Another Person's Happiness. So stop looking over the fence and thinking that person is happy! C'mon...think about all the times you walk around with a smile on, even though you're less than happy. Well, newsflash. Everyone else is doing that, too. In fact, some people are significantly better at looking happy than you are. The Dalai Lama is probably the happiest person on earth (that I know of, at least) and even his moods modulate. Besides, he's waited on hand and foot, worshipped far and wide and hugely respected. He was literally born to be a leader and a holy leader. But he was a leader in exile most of his life and his people were oppressed...all this happening to a very compassionate man. You want his problems? I didn't think so. So be careful what you're wishing for. 

5. Happiness Shouldn't Necessarily Be Your Goal. Contentment should. See, the ultimate goal in life is supposed to be balance, right? Well, happiness is weighted to one side of the spectrum. It's not in the center. And the things beyond center are harder to maintain. Not only that, but in order to have balance, things that are weighted to one end eventually have to be mirrored by things weighted at the other end. But contentment is at the center. It's satisfaction. It's upturned lips and a relaxed brow, but not quite a full on smile. There may be things in your life that are less than hunky dory with contentment, but you'll take it. Because it's pretty good overall...pretty good for a Friday. It's the wellbeing without the exclamation point. And it feels really nice. And, with the right mindset, you can maintain it longer. 

So that's my list. What realizations about happiness have you made?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4/18/13—Choosing Chillaxin Instead

Today's Draw: Chillaxin from the Snowland Deck in the How to Positively Influence the Outcome position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Are you stressing out over something right now? Is worry dominating your mind? What benefit comes from getting all worked up over something?

I wanted to try another card from the Snowland Deck tonight because the image on the one I drew the other day really stuck in my mind. If you're interested in this deck, but sort of on the fence so far, I recommend giving it a second look. Each time I've drawn from this deck, I've seen something deeper in the art that's made me think. 

Anyway, today's draw made me smile, partly because this is the one card in the deck drawn by the creators' son, Noah. And partly because it's so true. 

I spent much of my day today worrying about a work situation and fighting my fears about worst case scenarios. I don't usually let my mind go "there", but lately I haven't felt fully in command of my mind...haha. So it went there without me. And today's draw brought me right back around. 

Worrying has never improved any situation. Worrying puts out negative vibes that reverberate back to you. Worrying. Drags. You. Down. And if an opportunity were to present itself while you were worrying, you might not see it through all the worry. 

So just chillax. What's going to happen is going to happen. So let it. From a place of "chill", you'll be better able to respond to whatever happens. And you won't have put your body through stress. In short, you'll be in a much better position to positively affect the outcome. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4/17/13—Defining Your Mission in Life

Today's Draw Classic*: The Nine of Pentacles from the Crystal Visions Tarot. How much of what/who you are today was visualized long ago? How much of what you are came as a surprise development? And how does it all come together to help define your mission in life?

The Nine of Pentacles usually pictures a woman and speaks of someone who is self-sufficient and appreciates the finer things in life. The lwb for this deck says she has tamed the wild part of her (thus, the tiger) and has built the life she visualized for herself. 

This got me thinking about what I've visualized for myself over the years. Even as a little girl, I never wanted to be married. And I always wanted to be around dogs. At first I wanted to be a veterinarian, but as a grew older and my talents made themselves known, my desires moved more toward a career in the arts, first as an actress, then as an advertising copywriter. 

So today, I'm a single doggie mom who writes advertising for a living. I remember when I was young, passions and interests would come and go. The same is true of me as an adult. I cook, sew, do stained glass, craft, create and pursue all manner of artistic endeavors. But only writing has stuck with me as an ongoing passion that permeates my life. I can't imagine doing anything else. I believe I would be terribly unhappy earning a living any other way. In fact I was so unhappy the first three years of my professional life doing other things in advertising agencies, that I found a way to freelance and build a portfolio in my off hours. 

But as I was thinking about all the stuff I visualized that came true in my writing, the dogs, the singledom...I also thought about stuff that happened in my life that I never saw coming. 

For example, I never saw myself being self-employed, though my early foray into freelancing (along with my rabid independence) should have been a clue. And I also NEVER saw myself becoming a spiritual writer or a tarotist. And now those things are essential parts of my life. Heck, growing up I was not only "shielded" from religion, I considered myself an atheist. Now I embrace all gods. And I didn't even know what tarot was growing up. 

In retrospect, of course, I can see how it makes sense...introspective, day-dreamy girl and all. But the whole spirituality thing wasn't something I ever visualized for myself. It just happened. And the "just happening" part of it has entirely reshaped my life and everything in it. I could still be a copywriter and doggie mommy without it, but it has opened a new path for visualization that I know will serve the second half of my professional life well. 

And I don't mean to say that everything we are today had to have been visualized in adolescence or whatever. It's just that I never visualized the spirituality stuff coming into my life—AT ALL. There didn't even seem to be a basis for it the way I was raised. It was a complete surprise development. And now it has sparked a whole new set of visualizations. And it has also changed something so deep in me that I would characterize it as changing my DNA. It feels like, outside of my creativity, intelligence level and sense of humor, I'm almost unrecognizable in relation to who I was when I first started visualizing a life. 

Even my hair color and eye color are different...haha. Honestly. I went from blond as a teen to auburn blond in my 20s/30s and now I'm more brownish. And my eyes changed from blue to green when I was about 30. 

So all of this makes me wonder. I define my mission in life as "healing people with my words" or "moving people with my words". But part of the means to do that came from something I never visualized for myself—the spirituality. And part of it came from something I pretty much always knew was ingrained in me—the writing. If it's why I came here, why didn't I see it sooner? And if a surprise development was the missing link to having/finding purpose in my life, what might still be hiding itself within you?

*Taken from a post on 11/6/12

Monday, April 15, 2013

4/16/13—Fighting the War and Letting the Battles Fight Themselves

Today's Draw:  Conquistador/Vanity of Victory from the Rock and Roll Oracle in the What's Blocking the Heart of the Matter position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Could the battles you fight in your daily life be distracting you from seeing the war? Could fighting those battles actually end up being a losing proposition? If you pulled back and viewed the greater war, might you then uncover what you're really fighting?

Today I had a particular matter in mind when I chose the cards and when you consider that all these cards were chosen at random...well, that's the magic of cartomancy (or fortune telling by cards.)

So the question was about a recurring interpersonal issue that crops up in my life. And I feel like I've given this issue a lot of thought and tried changing a lot of things—the way I view I situation internally, the boundaries I draw with others, the way I enter into the dynamic, etc. And it just keeps happening. I feel there's improvement in the situation, but I think there's something I'm meant to learn that I'm just not learning yet. I feel that if I tighten my boundaries more or make other further adjustments that I'll just be going too far in the other direction from balance and "healthy". 

So I guess I feel I'm a at a point where I've changed my behaviors and attitudes enough. So there's just something I'm not understanding, otherwise these situations would cease to present themselves to me, right? At least that's how I believe spiritually. So having the combo of Blocking or Covering and Heart of the Situation is very appropriate. There's something I'm not seeing past. And this Conquistador card is talking about winning the battle, but losing the war. That's exactly what I feel like is happening!

So getting this card combination has opened up a few more thoughts about the situation to me. The details of the situation don't really matter, because I think the lessons are universal. In my particular recurring "battle"I can see where I'm playing defense...either responding to situations as they present or arranging ways to ensure situations don't present. I'm letting the other team carry the ball, so to speak, and I'm blocking and tackling and whatever else that goes into play defense. But what about my offensive game? 

I suppose you could liken it to the polarity of giving and can't always be giving. And you can't always be taking. You have to know and appreciate both sides. Givers have to allow themselves the pleasure of taking, and to do that, they have to get past the discomfort of taking without giving in return. And takers need to know what it means to give without expecting in return.  We need to learn to play both sides of the field. And then we'll find others who know what we know and dynamics will be more balanced. So "learning to play both sides" is one "front" in the bigger war. 

Another "front" in my particular war is this. You often hear people say, "I don't care what you say, it's what you do that has meaning to me." I understand that logic. But I think we can all use to pull back a little farther and see beyond the battle of say vs. do. There's a whole other level beyond that—motivation. Why is the individual saying and doing what they're saying and doing?

We can't always know the answer to that. But every action in every situation has a motivation behind it. There are many people out there who say and do all the right things just to get what they want. Maybe they were raised in an addictive, unhealthy or "survival" situation and that's the only way they know. In a situation like that, there's a lot of work that person will have to do before they can be any other way. Or maybe they have an actual pathology around it that will never change. 

I'm guessing we can all look back on a friendship with someone who knew what to say and how to act. And maybe we thought to ourselves at some point, "something's off here, but I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm just paranoid." You have nothing other than your intuition to base your opinion on. Some of it may be that you want to believe otherwise because it suits you. And some of it may be second guessing yourself. And some of it may be the cunning of the other person. Regardless, you put both what you see and hear before what you "know"...or think you know...inside. That's another front in MY personal war. 

And we also have to ask ourselves, "what's MY motivation?" What do I think I'm getting from this person that keeps me tied to them? Why do I stay when I want to go? Do I have a problem saying "no"? Am I afraid they won't like me anymore? Does it keep me trapped in one of my comfortable, but toxic, cycles? Why do I want to believe that what they say and do is true, over my intuition that it's not? 

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that some repeating cycles are harder than others to figure out. And it may be because we're winning battles here and there and not seeing that this recurring cycle and that recurring cycle and the other recurring cycle over there are all part of a much bigger war—a war that's being fought on many different fronts. 

So the very reason for each of these smaller repeating cycles—equity in relationships, trusting my inner voice over appearances, and staying in unhealthy dynamics too long, for example—is to lead you to fighting a much larger war called "making yourself and your needs your top priority" or "standing up for yourself" or whatever your particular thing might be. And maybe if we shift our focus to fighting at the level of "the war", all the smaller battles will fight themselves. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

4/15/13—Being the Magician

Today's Draw Classic*: The Magician from the Infinite Visions tarot by Gloria Jean. Are you aware of your own power? What if you were divinely encoded with capabilities—or even perhaps a mission—and you just don't know it? What if we, as a race, all had that gift but vowed to forget it millennia ago because of the irresponsible way we were using it?

The question I chose for today's draw to answer was "What You Can't Change". See, I wasn't in the mood to be all uplifting tonight and I thought we'd get something...well, I don't know what I thought. But two things happened that I didn't expect. The message we got was TOTALLY uplifting. And the card I chose ended up looking INCREDIBLY STUNNING against the backdrop of the Deck of 1000 Spreads...haha. 

The Magician embodies the spark of creation. He can manifest things in the real world through nothing more than will and desire. Earth, air, fire and water are at hand to do his bidding, and he uses his sharp mind, flowing heart, fiery energy and grounded physical presence to alchemize their forces. 

I was recently listening to a lecture by Gregg Braden entitled Unleashing The Power of The God Code.  I can't tell you all the details's a 4-CD set...haha. But he systematically goes through his proof points...some strong, some hard to tell...of why we're an intentionally created race, encoded with this "Magician" power in our DNA. And by Magician power, I mean this power to access god-like powers of creation. He says we're not god, but part god, part animal, with characteristics of each. 

Some of what I heard on that CD completely aligns with what I feel deep in my soul that we are. Some of it is stuff I'm not on board with. But overall, it was fascinating to me. And somewhere along the line, for some reason or another, our conscious knowledge of the Magician within has become lost or forgotten. And it's no surprise. 

For thousands of years we've been told god is separate from us, a force to be feared. And that anyone who claims to have god-like powers is tainted, an enemy of the lord, and their soul will be struck down for countless eternities. And, for many of those years, if you weren't on board with the plan, you'd be slaughtered by your god-fearing brethren. But what if we started believing god was separate from us because our gifts are so fearsome that we could annihilate each other with a force that would make a nuclear bomb blush? Gregg Braden posits that theory and interprets ancient, pre-Biblical, text in an interesting way that supports it. 

People who practice energy healing, psychic arts, manifestation or other methodologies know human beings are capable of more than science is currently able to prove. It's not a hope or wish or dream. We've seen it work too many times and too consistently to believe anything else. But imagine that even what we know and have witnessed is just the tip of our potential. 

That's the Magician. And it's what today's draw tells us we can't change about ourselves. If Gregg Braden is right and if extrasensory/paranormal/whatever powers are encoded in our DNA, then we're on a collision course with our own divinity and there's nothing we can do about it. Cool, huh?

*Taken from a post on 1/18/13