Friday, May 10, 2013

5/11/13-5/12/13—Looking Out for Your Sweet Spot

Weekend Reading: Clouds and Sun in the House of the Child from Lenormand Revolution and the Deck of Lenormand Houses. Expect variable weather for your playtime this weekend, whether literally or figuratively. The right conditions will exist, but will you be prepared to greet them? That's the question. So don't waste your sunny sailing weather fixing the upstairs toilet. Don't decide to take a nap when you think you could change that flat tire and THEN take a nap. And don't waste a good mood on something that's a total downer. Using your emotions, timing and energies wisely this weekend could mean you end up getting everything done in perfect conditions. But letting opportunity slip away could just leave you feeling frustrated. So look out for your sweet spots and use them to your advantage, even if it means play comes before work.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

5/10/13—Being the Ripple

Today's Draw Classic*: Kizzie, my handsome boy. Do you know how significant your power is in the world? Do you realize that each and every day you make an impact on the overall vibration of humanity? How will you use your power today?

If you're a regular at the Daily Draw, then you've probably seen this post in some version before. Usually when I do repeat posts, I try to choose one I've never repeated before. But this particular post is different. For one, it's perfect for our week's theme of how much more awesome we are than we know. Second, my Kizzie boy has a hurt toe this week and is limpy, so he needs to be honored. And third, I've rewritten this post a couple of times, so it no longer fully resembles what it was originally. The last time I rewrote it was after my brother died. Anyway, it's one of my favorite posts. And when it calls to me, I repost it. :) So....

The other day I saw something I've seen a million times. Only this time, I saw it in a completely different way. My dogs and I took a trip to the park and my boy, Kizzie, decided to go in the river for a dip. As I saw him standing there, I noticed all the ripples issuing out with him at the center. Each time he moved, a new set of ripples would form. And the ripple effect of each motion would continue out into the river, despite the current. Despite anything. Indefinitely.

His presence was recorded throughout the river that day—through the ripples in the water, the displacement of the air around his ripples, and by his ripples meeting the shore and bouncing back. In the same way, his presence was recorded throughout the universe. Beyond that, on land, the wag of his tail, his body temperature and the sound of his breath had a similar effect in the environment around him, sending forth kinetic, sonic and heat waves from his body.

According to Wikipedia, a wave is a "disturbance (an oscillation) that travels through space and time, accompanied by the transfer of energy." Einstein's famous equation, E=MC2, posits that everything in the universe is energy. So what we see in the water above is Kizzie's energetic body having an effect on the water's energetic body. And since energy is never created or destroyed—only transferred—the effect he has is eternal. Pervasive. Ubiquitous.

Our lives work the same way. You create a kind of ripple when you have children...a ripple that goes on way beyond your lifetime. But even if you don't have children, you create it through everyone you come into contact with...every life you touch. There is nothing about us—no thought, no emotion, no scent, no delicate resting of silk on skin—that doesn't cause a disturbance that travels through space and time. 

So imagine the kind of ripple effect even something as simple as a smile can create. You smile at someone and cause them them to smile and feel a little more part of this world. That changes them, even if ever so slightly in that moment, and that change is passed on to the others they encounter that day. The vibration they spread is just a smidge higher than it would have been. And the people they encounter are similarly raised. And so on. And so on. And it ripples around the world, back past the original smiler, indefinitely. 

Of course the same is true about being a grumpy gus.

But the point I'm making is that no matter how "small and insignificant" we are, the impact of our every breath and thought echoes out into the universe to create the "whole". And that impact continues long after our death. We're still benefiting from the simple work of the men who built the railroads, women who showed their independence and the early men and women who moved out of caves and built humanity's first communities. We're also still affected by the ripple created by those who never spoke up against Hitler, spread the belief that the earth was flat and sailed to Africa to grab people and make them slaves in the New World. 

If you've ever been to an emotionally charged historic site, you can still feel it in the air. Occasionally I drive through the Manassas battlefield where so many lost their lives during our Civil War. The air is different there. It's palpable. Another place that comes to mind is Cape May, NJ, where the ripples of risque ladies in their swim dresses still echoes in the surf. 

For better or for worse, everything that has ever happened adds to the ripple of everything that ever will. As will your choices to recycle, eat meat, hate a particular race, reach out to the needy or make myriad other choices. We cannot have the foresight to see the impact of our choices in any given moment, but the energy we put out continues to ripple on indefinitely, even if it dissipates over time and is transferred into something else. 

The beautiful thing about this is that, regardless of what you believe about God and heaven, we live on in this very real way for eternity. We matter. No matter how normal and mundane our contributions. Do you think those railroad men, like my grandfather, felt like the kings of transportation, trade, information sharing, development and connection that they were? My mother was one of those women who paved the path for other women to hold "men's jobs". Look at what has come from that! That's not what she was doing—she just wanted to put her competence to good use—but look at what came of it. 

There is a reason for you being here. Even beyond our deaths, in the memories and minds of those we leave behind, we continue to send out ripples that, even for a moment, change the way our loved ones consider their lives. There is nothing we do, nothing we are, that doesn't have this import in the lives around us and the lives around all those people, etc. 

You are the ripple. Everything you say and do today will be forever felt by the universe. How will you use your infinite power today?

*Today's entry was rewritten from the 4/23/12 version of this post.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5/9/13—Trusting in the Manifestation Process

Today's Draw: Bouquet/Dog/Stork from Le Petit Lenormand Noir by Robyn Tisch Hollister. Are you hitting a roadblock in your manifestation efforts? Do you have a hard time "letting go and letting god"? Is your ego getting in the way of your wishes?

Sometimes I'll pre-order something and forget I bought it. Then I'll get a wonderful surprise in the mail, like I did today with Le Petit Lenormand Noir. There are a couple of different ways I'm tempted to read this trio today. One is that the dog sits between a gift (bouquet) and change or new beginning (stork). So in this case, it's like saying my babies are the agent that spells the difference between something nice to have in my life and something truly transformative. Which is entirely the case in my life. 

Another way of reading the trio is that gratitude (bouquet) and trust (dog) bring transformation or something new (stork). This one fits more into "we are so much more awesome than we know" week, so this is the one I'll go with. However, it's a topic we've discussed many times before and that's manifestation, which is basically the art and skill of creating what you want in your life. 

Most of the time we talk about this in terms of what you should ask for. I always say to ask for an emotion, rather than a thing, because it's the feeling that you really want. You can wish for a million dollars and get it, but it may not make you feel happy...or rich...or powerful...or secure. In fact, it could leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and afraid of thieves. Or you may over-spend, not taking taxes into account. So if you want to feel secure, why not ask to feel secure instead? Then it doesn't matter how much money you have. You feel secure and that's all that matters. 

But I don't talk as much about gratitude and trust, which are equally important factors in the manifestation process. If you believe that what you focus on grows, then gratitude is a powerful tool in your manifestation arsenal. Gratitude says to the universe "yes, please. Give me more of this." But the tricky thing about gratitude is where it intersects with trust. In fact, the duo present the toughest challenge in getting what you want. 

So let's say you want to feel secure. You put that thought out into the universe and a couple of weeks later your credit card bill comes and they've upped your minimum payment. And you naturally think, "gah! This isn't what I wanted, stinkin' universe!" But the universe needs to up your minimum payment so that you pay off your credit card so you'll feel more secure, see? So when you get all piffy about it, it's like saying "forget what I said about feeling secure." And so now what's the universe supposed to do?

Trust requires you to give up control. It requires you to let go of the "how" of how you're going to get what you want. As my favorite manifestation guru, Mike Dooley says, "your job is to say what. The universe's job is the how." And it's so true. 

But, see, we all think we know exactly how things should pan out and just how things should look when we're getting what we want. When we exhibit that kind of control through our thoughts and emotions, though, we're screwing everything up. Because what is the other part of this equation? Gratitude. So, no matter how crappy things look, we have to resist the urge to complain and, instead, say "thank you for upping my bill, universe. I may not see the wisdom in it now, but I trust you're acting in my best interests." What you genuinely think and feel will be mirrored back in your results.

See, in my experience, the universe actually conspires to give us the deluxe package of those things we ask for. But it can only do that if you give it the leeway. So you can ask for a million dollars and get a million dollars (though it's possible someone might have to die and leave you an inheritance to get it). Or you can ask for "a monetary situation that makes me feel secure." And then the universe will not only give you the money you need to make that happen, but the other tools you need to convert $$$ into true security (aka the "deluxe package"). Get it?

But it may not look like you think it's going to look while you're getting it. Because sometimes the universe has to destroy in order to build on a firmer foundation. And you have to take responsibility for that if you want what you want. And you have to trust in the process. And be grateful for it. Leave out any of those elements (along with detaching from outcomes, believing what you ask for is possible and acting in alignment with your wish) and you'll keep hitting a brick wall with your manifestation efforts.

So gratitude and trust bring the change you seek. It seems so simple from the outside...and it actually is. But it does require some discipline on your part. However once you manage to hit the sweet spot, you'll be shocked at how promptly and generously the universe provides.

If you want to learn more about manifestation, search the keyword "manifestation" on my blog at

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5/8/13—Accessing Your Inner Knowing

Today's Draw: The Four of Swords from the Animalis Os Fortuna deck in the Crossing What is Hidden position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Do you believe you know more than you know? Where do you think this information comes from? How do you access the information locked away within?

There's a theme forming this week and it's about how much higher the potential of our divine self is than we give it credit for. Monday we spoke of pushing farther on spiritual paths. Tuesday was about our ability to define and commune with God. And today is about the sheer breadth of knowledge we hold within. 

This combo literally says that meditation crosses that which is hidden. So in that meditative or subconscious state, we intersect with the things that are hidden from us in our conscious state. The artist has chosen a chicken sitting on its eggs to illustrate the traditional card of rest and meditation. So there's an element of patience in this card, too...of waiting for the right time for the eggs (or answers) to hatch. That's what things are like when we go inside to access our higher self. It's not like the answer is in there with a starburst and flashing lights all around it. Sometimes you have to ease it out. 

First, let's back up a little. I see our "higher selves" as that part of us that's connected to the "all that is". So somewhere inside of us, we have all the answers. That's why we can look within and find god. It's why we get psychic flashes. It's why we "just know" things we have no reason to know. 

So we've got this direct line to the library of all that is and ever will be, but it's not a clear connection. And sometimes calls don't go through. And sometimes there's static on the line. But the connection is there. We're just not adept at using it yet. 

Actually, I sort of suspect there was a time when we were much better at using it, but all of that got smothered out by larger egos. Someone started telling us what to know, so we stopped looking to ourselves. It's like I was talking about yesterday with "who god is". Someone told us a long time ago and we forgot that we're just as capable of finding out for ourselves, so we just follow along like sheep instead. 

So much of what we take for knowledge is habitual repetition of something someone told us a long time ago. And some of it is legitimate. Geography, science, grammar...all great things to learn from others. But science is only the science of things that can be proven. There's still so much out there that hasn't been proven, yet is still real. Like energy medicine, for example. They can't prove we can transmit energy between us, but that doesn't mean it's not real. And grammar...don't even get me started. Proper grammar is a great guideline and should be learned, but it's not the only way to communicate. And who decided it was improper to end a sentence with a preposition, anyway?

Don't. Get. Me. Started. :D

Swinging back to the topic at hand, meditation, rest, patience....all of those are ways to access those things that are hidden from us. For me, showering is also good. It seems like I get in that shower and all sorts of ideas come to me. Driving also works. Doing these automatic or repetitive things is a form of meditation, or at least works the same way. 

One of the techniques I use is the "gut check". I get into a relaxed state and make a statement like "my dogs will be fine while I'm gone from the house". (I'm always worried that they won't be.) Then as I exhale, I make that statement and see how it feels in my gut. If it feels peaceful in my gut, then the dogs will be fine. If there's anxiety in my gut, then I'll probably come home to barf on the carpet or something. I do this will all manner of topics and it usually proves accurate. 

So think about how you can access this place of inner knowing. Is it through formal meditation? Through intentional dreaming? Through divination? Through gut checks? What would work for you? Then start working with it and honing it. The longer you work it, the clearer your connection gets. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

5/7/13—Getting to Know God

Today's Draw: Prince of Coins from the Journey Into Egypt Tarot by Julie Cuccia-Watts in the What To Take From The Past position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. How much of what you know about your higher power was learned from others? How much of what you know comes from a knowing inside your heart, versus a knowing inside your mind? When was the last time you really questioned what you believe?

It's so interesting how this card neatly dovetails with the reading we had yesterday. This card uses the story of Moses to represent Egyptian God of Music, Ihy. It is a story of rebirth and redemption. Ihy has a talent for driving out the fear of others and inspiring them to undertake difficult journeys. 

Every monotheistic religion seems to have someone like this...Christ, Buddha, Mohammed. All at least started out as men who had a higher wisdom that inspired others to be better...who stood as an icon during difficult times.

I tend to follow messages, rather than messengers. So I don't worship anything. I do believe in a higher power, but not one that is separate from us. So since it's not separate than us, we don't have to be told what it is. We get to "know" it from within. And my model is simple. If it's a higher power, then it's wiser, kinder, more magical and more capable than I could ever be on my own. None of this vengeful god crap for me. That's a god that acts like man. Not like a higher power. A higher power, to me, is something that transcends ego and the other trappings of humanity. 

This whole WWJD (What Would Jesus Do, but also Why Would Jesus Do) thing is really smart, if you ask me. That's how you suss out what you believe about the higher power. So you get mugged on the street and encounter your mugger two days later, bleeding in an alley. Would you kick him in his wound repeatedly, glad to finally have power over the bastard? Would you keep walking as if you never saw him? Would you call an ambulance and stay with the mugger, comforting him until the paramedics got there? What would YOU do? And what do you suppose a higher power would do? Turn him into a pillar of salt? Or reach out with a loving heart? And if your higher power does the latter, why wouldn't they just make the person suffer?

Of course it helps to reach a certain level of maturity before you play this game. For example, my god is consistently "better" than me. My higher power does not always "take my side" in a debate. It does not always do what I would would do. It doesn't agree with me that so-and-so is a beyotch. And it never makes mistakes, no matter what things appear like on the surface. That's what I found within. What will you find? Ask yourself some of these questions about YOUR higher power...

Is it wiser than you?
Does it know more of the story of whatever is going on in your life than you do?
Is it more objective than you?
Does it have more grace than you?
Does it love all creatures equally?
Does it make some humans poor...or mean...or disfigured...because it loves them less? And if no, why then?
Does it have a clearer picture of why things happen than you?
Does it guide you through both difficult and smooth waters?
Is it vengeful?
Does it operate out of other places than love?
Does it make mistakes?
Does it ever neglect your best interests?
Did it bring you situation XYZ to punish me?
And do all the answers you've gotten point to something greater than yourself? If not, why?

That's just the tip of the iceberg. The questions go on and on. But the point in asking is to determine WHAT you believe in, rather than WHO you believe in, necessarily. You can call it anything you want, but the name isn't important. What qualities does it have? 

And the point of following WW_D logic in your own life is to connect to that part of yourself that is fortify that part of you that is divine. It's ok if your answers are different than your neighbor's or if they change over time. It's also ok if you don't know all the answers and just trust it's doing something for a good reason.

Just as the baby in the boat reaches up to the divine as if to say "I'm here, guide my journey", many of us do the same in our spiritual quests. Gods of every shape and form were created from the hearts and minds of humans. But they were no more qualified than you to determine who and what the higher power is. You have just as much leverage to talk to God, ask questions and get answers as anyone else. 

In religion, you follow teachings. In spirituality, you follow your own knowing. If we take anything from our past, it should be that nobody has more or less power than you to determine what higher power lives in their soul. Instead of consulting a book for your answers, consult your heart. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

5/6/13—Turning Yourself Over to the Divine

Today's Draw: Commitment from the Snowland Deck in the Spirit position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. What would you sacrifice to commit to a higher power? Would you be willing to hand over the tightly held reins of your life? Would you be willing to break away from pack thinking and pack action?

I believe there's a place in our spiritual journeys where we reach a personal tipping point—do we stay where we are or do we go for the gold? And by that, I'm talking about reaching a point where you believe in some sort of higher power or great mystery, you've established a connection to this energy, you've become a better version of yourself, you're a pretty "good person", you're pretty good to others....and that's enough. You've gotten further along your path than you imagined and you feel your work is done.

Sometimes reaching that place feels like you're truly done. There's no further to go...or not much further to go. You're definitely in the upper percentiles as far as enlightenment is concerned. You're good. 

And you know what? There really is no need to go farther. However, I'm choosing to venture beyond that and explore what I call "doing the hard things". We talk about them sometimes on this blog.

For example, taking your faith to a place where you can sit solidly in the midst of uncertainty or even foreboding and KNOW nothing ever goes wrong—everything is on your side. Or say someone has done you bad and, instead of following the urge to seek your own justice, you trust that God will sort things out, and you let go of the situation. Or resisting the urge to demonize those who wronged you and, instead, finding genuine forgiveness and compassion for them.

I call these things the hard things, because that's what they are. It's easy to trust God's got your back when things are going ok to well. It's harder when things aren't looking so good. So you turn yourself over to worry and doubt, maybe even pray to God to watch over you (as if he ever stopped.)  Because certainly he wouldn't have put you in such a situation had he been looking over you, right? The "hard thing" is to trust that God put you in whatever situation you're in because he does love you and *is* looking out for you. The hard thing is to never doubt in the first place.

See what I'm saying? It's just a level beyond. It's a level beyond the culturally trained responses...the normal human responses...we have. It's about true release...letting go of control over the aspects of your life and whatever you think others should do or be in order to be "right" in this world. And are you going to be 100% at this? No. But you're going to retrain the way you respond to the stimuli around you. And it's hard because our responses are so deeply ingrained in us....and our urge to steer the ship is also so deeply ingrained.  

So all of this is a long way to saying that today's card combo is about your commitment to your spiritual path. How committed are you? Are you going to take it as far as you can in this lifetime, challenging yourself to change and grow and tackle the hard things until your last earthly breath? Or are you just happy knowing your God and being and being more decent than most?

One of the things I've seen in areas where I've ventured past the tipping point is that a) it's lonely out there and b) you can get vilified for not joining in the witch hunts and shunning that people are wont to do when they don't trust God's divine justice and wisdom—when they're trying to control and contain every little detail around them.

Embracing "the least of us"—or even the uniquely flawed—as part of the community is one of those hard things I was talking about. Rejecting them is pretty much the cause behind every senseless slaughter in our history. It was certainly the spirit behind Nazism...reject what's different, allow only what the few deem acceptable. So if you're going to embrace and forgive and see others as mirrors of yourself...if you're going to see your "enemy" as your teacher...then you are a threat, a scourge that must be dealt with. It sounds ugly. But that's what you're doing if you can't move beyond that particular tipping point and love your enemy as you love yourself. So there are times you'll wonder what you're doing this for.

If you continue your journey past the paved path, you'll come across a number of these "difficult things". There are more societal rewards for those that stay on the pavement. But ultimately there's more clarity, connection, freedom and genuine security for those who do.

You never stop being a fallible human. But you do begin to see things differently when you manage to shed your sheepskin and see through the eyes of your divine self. You sometimes see ugliness where you once saw "right thinking and right action". And you sometimes see beauty where you once saw ugliness. And, just as water seeks its own level, you somehow find others to travel the less trodden path alongside you. But you have to leave the approval of the masses behind when you commit to the hard thing. 

For some, that will be too high a price to pay in this lifetime. For others, it will be just the salvation they came here this time around to seek. Where do you fall in all of this?