Friday, August 16, 2013

8/17/13-8/18/13—Trying Something New

Weekend Reading: Eight of Pentacles from the Art of Life Tarot. Something unfamiliar crossing your path this weekend?Looks like a good time to tackle it head on. Like Henry James said, you don't know what you can until you've tried. And if nothing new presents itself? Pick up something new. Try a new craft or home repair. You might find a talent you never knew you had!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

8/16/13—Letting God Steer the Justice Ship

Today's Draw Classic*: Justice in the Immediate Future from the Tarot of the Tattoo Age and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Is it about time justice is served? Can you know for certain what that looks like? How does justice get enacted in your life?

Well, well. It looks like we're going to get justice at last! And, for some of us, that will be good news. For others it will most assuredly suck. Which are you? Don't be so sure you know the answer. 

The Justice card is about fairness and truth. In a broader sense, it's about karma, too. Something from your past is going to get weighed and you will receive a sentence. Whether it's good or bad is out of your hands now. It's now up to the objective force of the universe to determine. 

I've talked before on this blog about revenge. I don't go there. And one of the reasons I don't go there is because of karma. It will come back to me. Another reason I don't go there is because the higher power I believe in is so frickin' awesome at exacting justice that it will always do a better job than me. 

A third reason I don't go there is because I don't presume to know enough about what's fair or right to be in command of the justice ship. Because I only know part of the truth. My part. And from my standpoint, I'm right and the other person is wrong. But even if everyone agrees with me, I still only know part of the story. I don't know what drives the other person. And I forget all the crap I've done in the past to deserve the way I was treated. I also don't know if the "bad" thing they did to me is ultimately could end up being a fortunate lesson that keeps me from greater pain in the future.

See, the other person could be an agent of the universe come to settle the score from that time I knocked that girl's books of her desk in the third grade and kept walking because I was embarrassed. To her, it looked like I was being a bully. Or rude. I remember she was really upset about it. And I remember everyone looked at me like I was a monster. But I was embarrassed and didn't know what to do. So I kept walking. I didn't apologize. I didn't do nuffin. Except look like an ass. 

So, seeing as how this current incident could be justice for something I've long since forgotten, I'd pretty much be screwing myself if I sought revenge for it, right? I'd just create more bad karma. Personally I think anytime you presume to do God's work for him you're creating bad karma. So that's why I won't go there. 

But this principle goes beyond revenge. For every "my side of the story out there", there are multiple aspects of the big picture you just do not know. Nor could you ever. So what looks unfair could be fair. A person who annoys you wins the lottery? I'm pretty certain it's fair. First of all, you don't know what wonderful things they may be doing when they're not annoying you. And second, you have no idea what winning that money will do to them. If you watch enough cable TV, you're informed enough to what large sums of money do to people's lives. 

What it all comes down to is that there are many lenses through which to view the truth. But in the end, only one truth matters...the objective truth of the universe. You wanna screw with that? You know better? Go ahead and do what you will. But know that no deed goes unweighed on the scales of justice. And anytime you do something to hurt another person, whether you think it's justified or not, the scales start tipping against you.  

*From 2/26/13

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

8/15/13—Blooming in Your Own Garden

Today's Draw: Ace of Pentacles from the 1969 Tarot in the Hopes and Fears position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Do you feel like you know who you are? Do you think you live the reality of who you are? Could it be time to do some spring cleaning in the house of "you"?

See what I mean about this deck? This Ace of Pentacles is extraordinary. The lwb says "the blue flower of self blooms beautifully in its own garden."

The older I get, the better a job I do of being myself. I think of all the times I did things or acted in certain ways just to fit in or be liked. I have never been fully aware of how far I've strayed from me until after I've course corrected. I couldn't swear that I am me today. But I do think I'm MORE me than ever before.

The hopes and fears part comes in when you consider the cost of being you. For example, the cost of being me might mean that my business is not as successful because I'm not a "yes man". The reward is that the clients that I DO have appreciate and value my input. Another cost of being me is that I'm bound to grow old without children to take care of me. The reward is that I have no children making me old before my time...haha.

So while being yourself is, of course, a hope, it can also be a fear. (Isn't it funny how, in the Ace of Pentacles, there's that odd tentacled thing watching over her as she sleeps? It's like a fear hovering above a hope.) Anytime you choose one thing in your life, there are other things you leave in your wake. Sometimes being you means ending a relationship, changing careers or walking away from comfortable situations. Sometimes being you means going it alone or facing difficult truths. Sometimes being you might even mean that the cost of being you is too much to pay. There is a lot to fear, just as there's much to hope for.

Another thought is the part where she says the flower blooms "in its own garden." I think this is talking about how you don't have to go anywhere or do anything special to find yourself. I remember the woman who wrote Eat. Pray. Love. said that ultimately she didn't need to travel the world to have her awakening. While some may think getting out of your element—out from under the influence of a "not you" life that you're living—is a valuable thing, I can also see how immersing yourself in your environment can provide just as much value.

I remember years ago on Oprah, someone said "describe your home in three words." Among my words would be colorful, warm, comfortable, artsy, cluttery/a lot going on. Then they said "the three words that describe your house, also describe the real you." I'm good with that. I've heard others call my house peaceful and safe. I like those words, too. I'm not a white walls—or even a white ceiling—kind of person. On the other hand, there are some things about this house that haven't changed since the day I moved in because I'm not motivated enough to change them, outdated as they may be. That says something, too.

Ultimately "who we are" is an elusive thing. We grow and evolve so much that if we're still working off the model of who were 10 years ago, or 5 or even a year ago, then we're not living our full truth. Sometimes I find myself talking about things I'm no longer passionate about—things I never pursued in the moment—thinking that they're still my dreams. But in reality, they're not. Likewise, new ideas creep into our heads and capture our imaginations and they're no less relevant just because they didn't occur to us once in the first 50 years of our lives. 

I like that I can still surprise myself. I like that I can still shed skin. But it's relevant to note that we could spend a whole lifetime in pursuit of who we are meant to be without ever being and enjoying who we actually are. The trick is to be like the flower, continually unfolding while also enjoying the fragrance of now. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

8/14/13—Letting Go of Doubt

Today's Draw: Hung Man in the Success position from the 1969 Tarot and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. When you go for something you want, do you have a hard time letting go? Are you fine with whatever outcome may come? Or do you get your hopes up, then are devastated and held back by defeat?

The lwb (the little book that comes with a tarot deck) for this deck portrays the Hung (Hanged) Man as someone who lets all the demons and fears seep out of his head. It's a card of transition, somewhat different from the sacrifice or different perspective we're used to having the Hanged Man represent. 

Coupled with the Success card, it says that success depends on this transition time between laying the groundwork and seeing success. It requires you to let go of fears and over-thinking and just wait. This is something I've learned over the years. I do my part and let go of outcomes. If I don't get what I think I want, I tell myself it's all for the best. So, in other words, all the clients that never hired me for work...I got lucky because they would have been a pain in the arse. Or something like that. That's what I tell myself. I'm grateful for both what I receive and what I don't. 

Back in my agency days, the powers that be used to try extra hard all the time. A proposal was followed by a gift basket with a cutesy theme that basically said, "we want your business". I get the reasoning of trying to stand out. But I also see it as a desperate move that says "we're not good enough on our merits alone. So here's some fruit." It's almost always based on fear and a desire for the money.

If they hire you because you sent a gift basket, they're going to expect you to always be behind in the power differential, running to catch up. You're not approaching them as a partner, so they won't see you as one. If they hire you because you sent a fruit basket, it's because that kind of pandering works on them. If they hire you based on your merits alone, then you've already proven yourself worthy. You meet your client on a more equal footing, which is as it should be.

I would never regret business I lost because I didn't send a fruit basket. And not sending a gift basket is the only way to know if you're being hired on merit alone. One thing I can say for certain is that the clients I've regretted in the past were all ones I took on out of fear, primarily fear over not having enough money.

The same rule applied to my dating life, though I didn't follow it there. If the man didn't call, I'd tell myself "he must have lost my number. He must be too shy. This is modern times, I should be able to call him confidently and not feel like I'm being too needy." Well, of course that always backfired. Nothing that ever came out of a place of insecurity, fear of rejection or desperation ever resulted in success. 

So this applies to pretty much every area of life. When we become too attached to an outcome, try to force an outcome or get too anxious about a situation, we often screw with our own success. I'm not suggesting you don't try. But I am suggesting that, once you've tried and done your best, don't keep going back to polish and question. The key is knowing what is coming from a place of power and what is coming from a place of insecurity. Second-guessing is almost always coming from a place of insecurity. When you begin to doubt your effort, that's your cue to let go and let god. Then be grateful for whatever outcome comes.

Monday, August 12, 2013

8/13/13—Shifting Perspective

Today's Draw: Temperance and Three of Batons from the Kilted Rubber Chicken Tarot by Beth Seilonen. Are you stuck in the weeds of your life? Are you knocked off kilter by some petty nonsense happening around you? Is it time to readjust your focus in life so you can make progress on your goals?

I had decided that I was going to use the 1969 Tarot all week this week because I really like that deck and wanted to explore it more. But today I received this deck from Beth in the mail. Still, I was going to save it until next week, figuring Beth would understand. Then I opened the package and the deck was wrapped in Kilted Rubber Chicken wrapping paper and it was accompanied by a Kilted Rubber Chicken card and my Grinch's heart grew three sizes. I could not resist. 

So today we feature Beth's newest 78-card deck, the Kilted Rubber Chicken, which blends elements from RWS tarot, Tarot de Marseilles and Lenormand. And I know Beth would like that I'm going to read it like Lenormand, instead of tarot. :)

So today's message is that we find balance in the big-picture perspective. At least that's how I'm reading it today. And here's why that's so wise...

We spend most of our lives in the weeds, sweating over errands, current tasks and everyday issues. It's like trying to walk from here---->X to that building over there------>X looking at your feet the entire time. As long as the building is big and not too far away, we'll probably make it there. But the farther off the building is and the more specific it is, chances are we're going to miss it. Much better to stop being entrenched in every step along the way and, instead, assess the whole picture and make a plan. 

The same is true about our dreams in life. It's hard to get from here to there if we put all our
KRC Swag—lwb, note card, wrapping paper, custom box,
and signed, numbered LE card.
energy into "today's tasks for simple survival" instead of plotting out a big picture plan. With the big picture plan in place, you're in a more strategic position to weed out the things that are wasting your time. If they're not part of the "big dream", then you don't need to be doing them. And you can take that time and focus it on charting and traveling a course that brings you to where you need to go, instead of missing it by a mile. 

The same is true about maintaining our balance. And as an emotional, dramatic person, I need to remind myself of this. If you want to remain balanced, focus on the big picture. The co-worker whose questionable work is dragging down the progress of the project you're working on may be pissing you off and making you work harder right now. But seen through the lens of the picture and your dream to move to Paris and become a painter, the co-worker might actually be a blessing to your plan in that they motivate you to move forward. Imagine them getting promoted and becoming your boss and Paris will be so close you'll be able to smell the pommes frites. 

Balance and efficiency are the gifts of perspective, and each feeds off the other to move you forward. So think about the things drawing on your physical, intellectual and emotional resources today and ask yourself if they're worthy of your effort in the long run. In the example above, doing and keeping your job may be important to your plan for the time being, but sweating your co-worker's bad behavior probably isn't. If you have to clean up after him to suit your short term needs, don't waste your mental energy fighting it. Soon you'll be painting landscapes with some dude named Pierre and you won't even  remember you co-worker's name.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

8/12/13—Pursuing Your Dreams

Today's Draw: The Fool in the Past Life position from the 1969 Tarot by Jane Rades and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. What have you been daydreaming about lately? Is it something you're likely to pursue? What would be the risk if you did? And what would be the risk if you didn't?

As regular readers know, this blog doesn't do tarot deck reviews or even really focus on tarot too often. It's all about personal and spiritual development and the tarot just guides me as to what to talk about from day to day. 

That said, today is a little different because I am digging the 1969 Tarot so much that I have to say some things about it. First of all, the deck was created in San Francisco in 1968-1969 when Rades was in her 20s and the world was in the midst of social revolution. The images reflect the times in that they show an understanding of traditional tarot, but a desire to speak its language in a fresh, unique voice. In 2010, she published her cards in an art book. But it wasn't until now that she's made the deck available as a deck. 

So down with those RWS sheep, man! Open your mind to to this non-traditional and utterly groovy deck! Take a look at some of the images and if you like the style, don't hesitate to buy it. I was so taken by this deck and the way she visually interpreted the images that I had to say something. The lwb, by the way, has odd but evocative interpretations. There's just a lot here to really sink your teeth into if you're someone who likes to see different takes on the tarot, as I do.

OK. Now on to the show. As you can see, this Fool is full of dreams and ideas. The lwb says, "standing on the edge of a dream, it's a long fall down." Which is brilliant. And it also says, "life looms varied and lovely" and "the third eye says hello". 

What I see is a haze of dreams. I know this haze well. I go there often. It's a place where you step out of time and space and go into the realm inside of your head, a beautiful and private place where anything is possible. And yes, it's a long fall back down into reality....if you let it be. But if you escape into this realm knowing it's just a temporary escape, it can just be a pleasant respite. And, without the shuddering thud of reality hitting you on the way down, it might even become something you actually do something about. 

Yesterday was a day like that for me. I've been daydreaming about getting a teardrop camper. They're those tiny, egg-shaped trailers that are basically a insulated metal tent that you cart around to campgrounds. They're small enough to be towed by a motorcycle or pathetically weak car like my PT Cruiser. Anyway, I just have this romantic notion about buying one of those and going to campgrounds with the dogs on weekends just to shake life up a little. 

The fall back down to reality, of course, is would I really use it? Or would I invest a lot of money into something that just looks cute sitting in my driveway? I really won't know until I take that leap from the dream into the reality. And that's what this Fool is all about. 

Fools in tarot are depicted so many ways. There's the guy who consciously leaps trusting the universe will guide him safely on the trip down. There's the guy who is probably going to walk off the side of the cliff unknowingly, despite the dog trying to warn him. He will be thrown into a new life, whether he wants it or not. And the leap in this card, to me, is about leaping out of the dream and into the reality and seeing how it works out. I mean, look at the stuff swirling around in her head. If this card isn't eerily relevant to my dream, I don't know what is. 

As for being in the past life position, it does make me wonder. I have certain urges from time to time that are kind of unlike me and kind of not. For example, I'm obsessed with tiny know, homes that are maybe 400-600 square feet. But I'm also a hoarder who really likes my stuff...haha. So that's a leap that I would only probably make as a vacation home, not as my permanent home. 

The case of the teardrop camper is similar. They're ridiculously small and require me to leave the home...haha. And I'm a sizeable person who is a homebody. But I also love nature. So would I do it for real or not? I don't know. But I'm captivated by thinking about it. So I wonder if this fascination with small...or this wanderlust of coming from something in a past life. I mean, I'm not someone who is really into traveling that much. But it seems more appealing if you put a teardrop trailer into the equation. 

Maybe there's a past-life me that loves to wander and live in small spaces that is begging to be satisfied. Or maybe it's that third eye of mine leading me toward something that would/could change my life (because it really could). Or maybe it's just a dream that comes crashing to earth when the reality sets in that I'll be paying off this camper for years and never use it. Because that could happen, too. Either way I choose, regret could be the outcome. But the only choice that leads to interesting adventures is the one where I get the teardrop trailer...haha. 

Anyway, it's interesting to consider the past life influence on this scenario. From this life, I could see possibly hesitating on personal dreams and then never living them in past lives. I've been good about pursuing my professional dreams in this life, but there are still some personal ones out there I hesitate on. I'm glad for the ones I've pursued, such as buying the house I live in and remaining unencumbered by marriage and children.  But maybe it's time to leap again.