Friday, May 31, 2013

6/1/13-6/2/13—Slaying Dragons

Weekend Reading: Knight of Pentacles from the Victorian Romantic. Focus your efforts on home and security this weekend. You may find yourself single minded at times, but you'll get the job done. And you'll put yourself in a good position for next weekend when you can lay back. But this weekend, slay one dragon after another until the job's complete.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

5/31/13—Finding Your Way Home

Today's Draw Classic*: Shaman of Coils from the Ironwing Tarot. Do you feel like a piece of you is missing? What experiences or moments feel like "home" to you? What has drawn you away from those parts of you that feel most genuine?

The Ironwing is a non-traditional deck and often the messages are hidden deep within the book that comes with it. It's not an intuitive deck for me, but the book always gives me something deep to contemplate. 

The Shaman of Coils is about finding your way home. The book talks about how sea turtles have tiny magnetite crystals in their brains that help them navigate earth's magnetic fields and find their way home. I doubted this, so I googled it and it seems to be true. Similarly, the Shaman of Coils has her own Pole Star that guides her home from spirit worlds and netherlands. 

This got me thinking about the way I felt this weekend. I felt like I was back in a place where I had plenty of time to not only get my crap in order, but to also enjoy it. For a very long time now, I've had something or another going on that has made it so that each weekend feels like catch up, just so I can get up and do it all again on Monday. And it's been going on so long that I'd forgotten what it was like to have a Sunday with nothing to do but wake up late, thumb through the paper and do whatever. Without guilt.

I came about this in a roundabout way. I've been sick all week. And ended up canceling all my social plans because I'm still coughing a lot and just not up to hanging out. My house was already clean enough because I had company last weekend. So really all I had to do was tidy up and vacuum, leaving me time to do other stuff I never get around to. So by the time I went to bed last night, I had nothing left to do. Nothing to feel guilty about not doing today. And in the absence of that, I realized all the stuff I allow to hang over my head and limit my ability to enjoy down times. 

So anyway, as I sat here quietly enjoying my coffee with no agenda in mind and with a baby curled up next to me, I felt like I was "home". For the first time in a long time. I don't know where I went off course or when. It feels like many months since I'd felt free that way. Maybe even years? It just felt so far away.

The interesting thing is that I had recently thought to myself, "whatever happened to my wonderful weekends?" Then circumstances arranged themselves to bring me back. And maybe that's all it takes to find your way step out of what crazes you long enough to remember there even *is* a home. Then ask to be guided there.

We all have more than one thing that feels like "home". It's that comfortable experience that makes everything else you do worth the trouble. Most days I snuggle in front of the window with my dogs. That's one of those moments. Meditating in silence outside is another. Those are things I never lose sight of. But the one I experienced yesterday was one I had almost forgotten about. And now I'm wondering what other ones have I forgotten? The zone I go into when I'm being crafty? The peace and profound stillness I experience when I sit by the river? What else? Simply by remembering those feelings, I'm drawn to carve time to experience them again. 

But it goes beyond just experiences. Maybe it's a part of ourselves that we'd forgotten about or left behind. I stopped going to bars years ago because I don't like the noise and crowds. But last weekend I was in a hot bar with ceiling fans and found myself crawling on top of chairs to reach the ceiling fans and turn them up throughout the room. Whatever that is inside me that would defy management and propriety to do that was reawakened and it was like connecting with an old friend within me.

Over time we lose pieces of ourselves and pieces of our lives. Sometimes it's intentional and for our better good. But sometimes, a piece of our spirit goes along with it. And we may want to find our way home to that bit. What's a "home" you haven't seen in a while? And what do you think it would take to get you there?

*Adapted from a post originally written on 8/8/11.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5/30/13—Uncovering the Secret to Happiness

Today's Draw: Ten of Cups from Tarot Illuminati in the Attitudes and Thoughts position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Where do you fit in at this stage of your life where happiness is concerned? When you look at the picture on this card, do you think "what's their secret?" Or do you think, "hey, they look just like me?"

Hooray! Today you get one of the happiest. Cards. Ever. And you know why everyone on this card is so happy? As you'll notice, they have no fence to look over, so they can't compare their life to the lives of others. And they have no satellite dish on their house beaming messages from the advertisers and media about what they should have, what they should look like and who they should be. 

Instead, they just know they love each other. They know they're surrounded by beauty. They know their humble home is enough. They're warm and fed and clean. What's more to want? Chances are you have all those same things. Are you as happy?

Our attitudes and thoughts alone can change our entire world. My own life changed drastically when I stopped seeing myself as single and alone and started seeing myself as the matriarch of a family that included three dogs. My sense of how much love I had in my life changed when I gave myself permission to count dog love and self love as part of my love bucket. 

In fact, most of the time I feel far more fortunate than the standard nuclear family because, let's face it, nobody loves you like a dog loves you. They're never mad at you. Their entire worlds stop when they catch sight of you. See what I'm getting at? Nothing changed outside of me to change the way I felt about my life. What changed was *inside* of me. 

The difference between happy and trying to be happy is all on where you place your attention. Are you focusing on what you need to make yourself happy? Or are you focusing on what you have that makes you happy? If you tend toward the former, you will never be happy. Because your happiness is dependent on some set of circumstances you'll never attain. Because the minute you catch up to one circumstance, another goal comes in sight. All you train your vision on is lack, so lack is all you see. 

If you focus on what you already have that makes you happy, then everything you see is something that brings you joy. And when you show gratitude for those things, more of that stuff enters your life. It really is as simple as "what you focus on grows in your life". Focus on lack and the lack gets bigger. Focus on fulfillment and the fulfillment gets bigger. 

It's hard not to compare yourself to others or to some ideal that doesn't. Our society makes it hard. And people wear masks to appear happy when they're really not. So it seems like others have some secret we don't...they married smarter, work smarter, have better kids...whatever. But here's their secret—either they're not really happy, or they focus on what they have and not what they lack. It's the only secret you need to know. And it's as easy to attain as it is to stop biting your fingernails or break any other habit you may have. The only thing that stands between you and the Ten of Cups 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

5/29/13—Discovering Your Inner Fuzzvoyant

Today's Draw: Clouds and Letter from the Indigo Payne oracle from Beth Seilonen. Are you getting clearer and clearer messages from spirit and don't know what to do about it? Are you getting messages that you're not sure are messages? What "ghost stories" do you have to tell?

It's rare I open up a deck of cards from the mail and am overcome with emotion. In fact, it pretty much never happens. But today I got a Lenormand oracle I had wanted for a while, not because it was hip or cool, but because of the journey it goes on and the story it tells. 

Beth Seilonen is more than just a highly prolific deck creator (upwards of 80 tarot and Lenormand decks, I'm guessing), she's someone I consider a friend. And last February she lost her stepfather, Ron Hatton, a man she considered to be her father. He was an art buddy and friend to her. So she took his loss hard and coped the only way she knew how. Through art. Within the first 24 or 48 hours after his death, she created this deck in his honor. It is dark,  emotional and moving. 

So it arrived today in a velvety pouch, within a glittery pouch, within a gold box with a lily drawn on it. The deck was hugged, held tight and treated specially, just like Ron was. It came with a notecard depicting a winged fairy in pink. Ron drew the card image as part of challenge Beth gave him in the use of watercolor pencils. It is beautiful...more beautiful for having come with the deck. 

I don't say this lightly, because I'm not one of "those" kinds of new-agey people. But the entire package carried such powerful, mournful, beautiful, raw and profound energy. I'm so glad she decided to share this deck with others and I'm proud to be one of her first customers. My deck is #2 of 60. 

So on to today's reading. This combo speaks of hidden, vague or confusing messages. And that's how our loved ones who pass communicate with us. The letter card, in this case, is literally a letter from Ron to Beth telling her he loves her. You can't see the whole message because the envelope covers it. The influence of the cloud card obscures that message further, keeping us from seeing clearly. The cloud is akin to the veil between the spirit world and our world in my interpretation of this pair...just as a cloud is the barrier between us and the sun/the light, the veil/cloud is the barrier between us and spirit. For some, like Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, the cloud is light and wispy. For most of us, though it can create quite a barrier. 

But see, this veil...the clouds...aren't nearly as thick as we believe them to be. We make them thick in our heads. By not believing. By not trusting. By second-guessing. Theresa Caputo is very talented and she has a undeniable natural gift. But we all have the capability of doing what she does if we work on it. It might always be easier or clearer for someone like her, but this is a capability we all possess and can a muscle you exercise with practice. 

So if you ever wonder about your deceased grandmother or spouse or child, chances are great they've been trying to communicate with you for a long time. But your own doubt forms the clouds that muddy the message. Did you find your deceased mother's necklace in a weird place at some point? Chances are she moved it. Do the lights flicker now that your best friend has passed? It's likely it's them. Do you suddenly smell gardenias in your house sometimes? That's grandma coming for a visit. 

They will come to you through all the five senses, and they're usually responsible for odd happenings around the house. My brother was a smoker who died of lung cancer. Ever since he's gone, my fire alarm has been acting up. My sister's has chirped for no reason, too. Around the time of his death, we were all seeing cardinals, even cardinals doing weird things. My brother was a loyal Cardinals fan. 

For years after my father died, I would suddenly smell cigar smoke in my home. All my siblings report this phenomena. I also had a patch where I kept seeing an MGBGT on the street where I now live...a very rare car from the 60s that he used to drive. I haven't seen once since that that one patch of time when I was buying my house in this neighborhood. I've also heard his voice in my ear, predicting something that eventually came to pass. After my mother died, my sister would literally feel my mother sit next to her on the sofa...the cushion would depress and everything. Other than that, I've "felt" the deceased staring at me, "heard" them like a distant cocktail party, felt them tug on my sheets as I'm in bed, "seen" them in the corner of my eye and even saw a cat ghost once, quite clearly. That's just the beginning of ways they make their presence known. 

Can you explain all of this away? Of course you can. And the more you explain it away, the thicker the cloud cover gets. As into this kind of stuff as I am, I'm a lot more skeptical than you would ever think. I question everything. But I'll say this, if we die and that's the end of things, no one will be more surprised than me. I've just had too many experiences, either personally or through mediums, to think any differently anymore. 

The term for someone who sees spirits and communicates with them well is "clairvoyant". It means clear seeing. I often joke that I'm a fuzzyvoyant (clouds + letter = fuzzyvoyant). I'm not remarkably gifted in this way and I have to work at it. But I'm also kind of lazy and not into it, so I've only gotten as far as fuzzy. Which is fine with me. I have other gifts I'm more "clair" with. 

But there are people who approach me now and again who were born "seeing". And, either because of religious reasons or fear, they shoved it down as best they could. The problem is, you can only do this for so long, because these gifts get stronger with age. So, whereas I need to practice and learn in order to see clearly, those people need to practice and learn so they can control their gift (and so their gift doesn't control them). When that happens, I always refer them to my friend Sheila because she teaches development teleclasses and will work with people individually to develop and control their gifts. On these teleclasses, you can be anonymous and learn more about what's going on in your head. 

Anyway, coming full circle, I think part of today's message is that Ron knew I would get a message to Beth that he's around and sending fuzzy messages...haha. But I also think it came for you. What weirdnesses are you explaining away? And what are your stories from the other side?

Monday, May 27, 2013

5/28/13—Networking the Tierney Way

Today's Draw: Spider from the Breath of Night oracle in the Career position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Are you fairly young in your career? Are you thinking of becoming a consultant? Do you ever wonder why your networks don't work for you?

This combo immediately made me think of two things, career-wise. One is the whole idea of networking. I know some people, and I'm sure you do too, who are all about networking. They hang out with other people who network. They talk a lot about the people in their network. And they judge your value based on who you know and how valuable a member of the network you'll be. 

These people usually snub me...haha. I don't have the right look. I don't lead with my strengths. And because I really don't network, they don't see me as someone who can help them out. The ironic thing is that, in some cases, these are people who I *can* help out. But I never will. Because I would never subject one of my contacts to them. They're too sharky for anyone I know. And to be fair, they wouldn't refer me, either. I don't come off as smart or as capable as I actually am. 

All of this leads to the second thing I'm going to talk about, which is referrals. The people who know me know what I'm capable of. So they refer me. I get all my business from referrals. And while others struggle with their consulting, I'm fairly consistently engaged. I mean, business goes up and down for everyone, but I'm talking over the course of 17 years...the clients I have today are either the same clients I started with (and many of them are) or they were referred to me by those clients. 

But there's another aspect to this which is a valuable nugget to anyone looking for work—reach out to the people you think hate you. Really. There have been a number of times that someone I thought hated me referred me to someone and it was good work. I always tell this to people just starting out. Let everyone you've ever worked with know you're available. 

There are numerous points of logic behind this. One is that everyone, even the people who hate you, like to be the one "in the know". So if someone is looking for a staff accountant, your non-friend may volunteer you as someone who is available, maybe not to come work in her company, but to go somewhere else. It makes her look like a hero. 

Another point of logic behind this is that many of us understand our dislike for someone is separate from how competent they are. Your non-friend may hate the way you whistle through your teeth, but she's always been able to trust your numbers. Another point of logic is that you may THINK this person hates you, but chances are they just really don't think about you at all. 

I recently got a pretty awesome referral from someone I think just really doesn't "get" me. But she knows the people I work with in her company respect me, and someone was looking, so what the heck? She referred me. She'd probably never hire me herself, but I'm good enough for her friend...haha. On the other side of that stick, there is a man from a place I used to consult at and he was very vocal about his dislike of me. Years go by and I come across him again in a different context. And now he's OK with me and wants to hire me for some work. So it's wise to remain open even to people who hate you...haha. 

These networks take some time and care to build. The minute you start making connections for "greedy" reasons, it will be felt and you'll be in that category that turns people off. Connections are best made by being competent or learning from your mistakes or persevering. People respect those things and can generally separate them from lesser character flaws. Connections are also best made by avoiding the larger character flaws, like gossip, tattle telling, complaining and an overall bad attitude. 

Even if you're in a big company, people's eyes are always on you. Someone may not know your name, but they know "people seem to like that woman" or "she seems to know what she's doing." You'd be surprised at who sees you around. And this extends to people who aren't even in your profession—people you know socially.

What it all comes down to is whether you're a consultant or employed, it behooves you to remain neutral as much as possible. Keep your head in your work, don't hang out with the gossipers, show respect to everyone you come across (even if they don't return the favor) and, instead of focusing on being everyone's friend, focus on having redeemable qualities. It's really about being a good, fair, capable person in every aspect of your life. Work too hard at being likable or referrable and people will smell it. Just be a decent person. It's not so hard. Don't try. There's no need to. It will happen naturally.  

And if you're currently looking for work, touch base with all the people you know and let them know you're available. Just that. Don't bug them. Same thing if you're changing careers. 

Things like Linked In and Facebook are great for staying in front of people...not with your desperate pleas for work, but just to remind them you exist by posting updates like "what a beautiful day!"  Never complain about work or clients on Facebook. I've gotten work off Facebook from existing contacts, but Linked In seems to work for me *after* some new contact has found me through their networks. People go there to look at your resume and stuff. And as with everything, refer people when you can to keep that flow going. 

Because I work on a referral basis, I see more of it than someone who isn't a consultant normally would. And I'm constantly amazed at where help does and doesn't come from (some people may actually hesitate to refer you because they don't want you getting so much work you're no longer serving them well). The best advice is not to TRY. Just be competent and have some sort of other redeeming quality. And you'll do fine.