Friday, October 25, 2013

10/26/13-10/27/13—Acting as Spirit

Weekend Reading: Person, Cross and Arrow from Tierney's Charms. Let your spirituality be your guide this weekend. If you can't decide between two leaf blowers, for example, ask spirit (or God or angels) to guide you to the right choice and listen to what pops in your mind. If you have to have a difficult conversation with someone, ask spirit to help you do that from your highest self. And if you find yourself poised between judgment and compassion...or anger and forgiveness, ask WWSD (what would spirit do). This weekend you will be called upon to act in some situation or another. Do it with your highest beliefs in your heart. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

10/25/13—Awakening Fun

Today's Draw: Dolphins from Tierney's Charms in the Awaken position from a Carrie Paris casting sheet. When was the last time you did something purely to make you giggle? How long has it been since you've had hella fun? What kind of things are fun for you?

Today I drove seven hours (round trip) to attend a one-hour meeting. I wasn't really looking forward to the drive, but I was surprised that I actually enjoyed it. For one thing, it's a beautiful time of year and the scenery was gorgeous. And, second, the drive has many different chunks to it...small towns you go through, fast highway, flat roadway, hilly it's not boring. 

Knowing that I might drive myself crazy with so much driving, I planned some little side trips. Well, one was planned. And the other happened because I got lost. But I found a jewelry store filled with my kind of jewelry, which was a happy surprise. And I drove through the Gettysburg Battlefield (that was the lost part), which was kind of cool. Anyway, my trip back home had these two happy accidents. 

When I was driving, I was thinking of all the drives we went on as kids. My dad was a very purposeful driver. We were lucky if we got potty breaks. We weren't even allowed to have fun in the car. It was all business. Or else. ;)

So when I pulled off to visit a farmer's stand with a big sign that said, "Pie", I thought of how many stops I'd made on the way home. At the mall, where I checked out the new MacBook Pro and found the jewelry store. At the gas station for gas. At BK for some lunch. And at the pie stand for pie. None of these stops took long...maybe an hour total. But they made my trip more pleasant. 

Which brings us to today's reading. Dolphins in the Awaken position are calling us to awaken that spirit of fun and adventure that we often cast aside to be more efficient and purpose driven. And, let's face it, sometimes we just forget that we get to have fun. At least I do. The whole idea of "play"just for the sake of giggles is not at the top of my priority list. Which is exactly the point. I treat play as a time-permitting option. And time never seems to permit. 

Which isn't to say I don't have fun. I have a fun job and fun dogs and all of that. But just screwing off for the sake of screwing off? I don't do much of that. I forget it's even an option. And I suspect some of you are the same way. 

That said, I've been doing more of this lately. I have two friends...I'll call them my "psychic friends". We're all in our 50s and self employed. They are both mediums/psychics/spiritual healers. And the three of us hit the road once a month or so and just goof off. On a "school day", no less. All of us live, eat and breathe our work. And while we love our work, we need to clear the gunk of it out of our heads. 

Synchronistically, between the time I cast today's charm and the time I sat down to write this entry, I confirmed I was all-in for our next adventure. We're going RV shopping. One of us has predicted it may snow. I will most likely suggest that we make up a story, like we're a jug band looking for our touring vehicle. I might put dibs on being the spoons player. It just doesn't get better than shopping for your jug band's RV in the snow! :D

So today's reading is reminding us that fun and play for the sake of fun and play is always an option. And if you can't remember the last time you did something like that, it's been too long. You don't even need a companion to do it. Just point yourself in one direction or another and see what comes!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10/24/13—Seeing More Choices

Today's Draw: Crossroad, Moon and Stork from the Zingdoodle Lenormand by Jera Babylon Rootweaver. Are you at a crossroads in some aspect of your life? Are your choices clear? Is your mind open or closed to other options?

Today I'm reading this three-card combo as "creative choices bring new beginnings." What that made me think of is something I've said here before, but that merits repeating—we always have more choices than we think we do. 

If you're like me, you tend to just stick to simple choices, like "stay or leave" and "do or don't". And many times we feel clear on what our options are. For example, I've probably been talking about wanting to move to Maine for about 10 years now...haha. To me, my choices are clear...stay in DC or move to Maine. Along with that choice comes another decision involving my career. The choice there is also cut and dried...quit or continue with what I'm doing. But the reality is that there are many more options available to me that I haven't even thought of (until now). 

One thought that just came into my head is that, instead of quitting my job as a copywriter to start a job as an author, is "why can't I write a book about copywriting, collecting tips as I write?" It never occurred to me, but I could. Other options I've considered include writing a book about being self employed, using my spiritual beliefs to guide my decisions. I could easily write a book about that. Or I could become a speaker about marketing, spirituality or the writing life. I could teach. There are many things I'm capable of doing that I would love doing. Things I could do alongside my copywriting or in place of it. And some of them are only now occurring to me. 

I tend to think "either, or" and the truth is that there are so many hybrid and alternative options available to me. And I also tend to think I have few pathways to figuring out the money end of being an author, but I'm sure I'm limiting myself there, too. Also, I don't have to move to Maine to do any of this...haha. For a while, I somehow thought I did. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we tend to create traps for ourselves by coming up with a few options or ideas of what we want and how we want it, then carving it in stone, thereby closing our minds to further thought on the topic. We need to be more fluid...consider more options than just "this or that". 

I was looking for a conversation I had with the creator of today's deck and I can't find it. So I hope I'm not getting this wrong. But she created a number of decks using found art and graphic design skills...great decks. Creative decks. But it took creating maybe four or five of those before it occurred to her that she should just draw a deck on her own. I own all her decks. I love all her decks. But this is by far now my favorite of hers. And it seems to have been a very empowering and inspirational choice for her. She kept her mind open to other possibilities and, by doing so, opened up a whole new avenue for her to pursue with her art and her decks. 

What kind of brilliant solution is laying dormant in you, possibly because you determined your options a while back and haven't reconsidered them? Like anything else, when you put your mind to it, you might just find a few new ideas. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10/23/13—Taking the Path of Least Resistance

Today's Draw: Flower, Star and Butterfly from Tierney's Charms, thrown on Anderson Cooper's face. How would you respond if I said that sometimes it's better just to pretend than be real? In what areas of your life might you be faking it until you make it? Is there some area of your life where you're smiling so much it hurts?

Today we're trying something new. Inspired by Marcia McCord's junk oracle and Carrie Paris' Magpie Oracle, I invested in a bunch of random charms to toss about and use as I please. For lack of a better name, I'm calling it Tierney's Charms. It makes me sound kind of magical, no?

One of my favorite celebrities is Anderson Cooper. He's a respected journalist, poster child for emo-journalism, former reality TV host, heir to the Vanderbilt fortune and really just a fascinating guy. He's not afraid to be real, whether revealing his neurotic eating habits, giggling uncontrollably on air or admitting to some of the dark thoughts that drove his career as a war correspondent. 

Last Saturday one of my clients awarded him the WONK of the Year award. I could have been there and met him. I could have basked in the glow of all that is Andy, Coop and the Silver Fox. I could have become his next Kathy Griffin. But I was uncharacteristically out of town. So, in Anderson's honor, I'm making him my casting sheet for the first throw of my charm oracle. This very well may eclipse the honor of being named WONK of the Year. :D

Since it's my oracle and my rules, I think it's pretty clear that Andy is telling us to proceed with a glint in our eyes, honeydew on our lips and a butterfly on our shoulders. In other words, you catch more flies with honey. Or, alternatively, fake it until you make it. 

Nobody likes to be false. But one of the facts of being human is that sometimes donning a facade will get you farther than being real. We do it at work, at home and in social situations. Sometimes we do it because it's efficient (such as answering, "I'm fine" when someone asks how you are and you really feel like crap) and sometimes we do it to just get by (such as when your stinky boss drops a pile of work on you at 5:25 and you just smile and say yes). It's a tactic we all use and, on superficial levels like I've described, it's not as much false as it is a societal coping tactic. 

The trouble comes when you smile so much it hurts...when you deny the way you're feeling and get yourself further stuck in a situation or relationship that is killing you slowly from the inside. That's when you're doing damage. And, as with everything, there's a thin line between playing along and smothering your soul. 

I have no doubt that, genuine as he is, Anderson Cooper has cheerily gone about tasks he disliked in his career in order to get to the next level. In fact, one of the stories I read about while researching for his WONK of the Year award makes it clear that, at one point in his career, he got so sick of doing mamby pamby assignments for one of his network employers that he quit one of his jobs. Of course, today he's at a place where he really doesn't have to play that game so often anymore. One of the perks of dripping honey in the presence of flies is that, one day, the flies start bringing honey to you. 

Anger, "telling it like is" and "being real" have their place. But if that's the only tool you have in your arsenal, you won't be winning any wars. Think of all the times you did "be real" and spoke your mind and told the assholes off. Was it really worth all the stress drama? Did you end up getting your way? Most of the time I have to admit the answer is no. But there have been times that I knew if I didn't speak my mind, I would be betraying myself. Those times it was worth it, even if I lost ground by doing it. 

It reminds me of a saying that keeps popping into my head lately, "would you rather be happy or would you rather be right?" For most of my life I've wanted to be right. But I've learned being right isn't all it's cracked up to be. And now I just want to be happy. Sometimes the path of least resistance is the smartest way. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

10/22/13—Living Without Regret

Today's Draw: Six of Swords from the Art of Life tarot. Are you experiencing regret over a decision you've made in your life? Are you imagining how different things could be if you had just chosen differently? What is the payoff for you of time spent in regret?

Some days I'm just not up to the challenge of trying to find something wise to say. For those days, there is the Art of Life tarot. I find the quotes very inspiring. And today's Ralph Waldo Emerson quote is no exception, "For everything you have missed in life, you have gained something else."

One of the things I do well in this lifetime is that I have no regrets. In fact, regret makes no sense to me. Phrases like "I wish I would have done it differently" or "If I had it to do over again, I'd do it differently" drive me batty. I did it the way I did it because that's what I was capable of in that moment. So if I went back to do it over again, which isn't a possibility in my current understanding of the space/time continuum, I would do it the same anyway. Because I did the best I could do with the information I had at the time. And because I believe everything happens for a reason, then there must be a reason I chose the way I did. So every time I start traveling down the road of regret, I get frustrated by thinking anything could have ever been different. My logical mind won't let me go there. 

I think that's what today's card is addressing...regret over something you missed in life. Literally, my mind goes crazy even thinking about that sentence...haha. Anything you ever missed in life was never yours to claim in the first place. There is no "missing" of anything. But for those who don't see things my way, as the card suggests, had you gotten what you missed, you'd have missed out on getting what you have. 

Now I'm confusing even myself...haha. But that makes sense, right? Let's say you regret not marrying your first love. Nothing that has happened in your life since would have happened. So if you married your second love and had three kids with him, then they go poof. Maybe you would have had kids with the other guy...different kids. Or maybe you wouldn't have. Maybe you would have had a more successful marriage with him than the current guy, or maybe you wouldn't have. But the fact remains that the relationship you have now is the only one you were capable of choosing at the time. And your capability at that time can never change. That ship has long since sailed. 

Many of the lessons and opportunities that you've had—the friends you've met, the house you live in, the lifestyle you lead, the honeymoon you had with this guy, the love you shared before everything fell apart, etc.—none of that would have happened. Some of it might have in similar form. But the other option would not have made you the person you are today. It would have made you different. And maybe you don't like the person you are. But the fact remains, you have no idea what you "missed" when you made the choice not to marry your first love. You have no idea what positive or negative effects your marriage to him might have had on him. Sure, maybe he's a rich stockbroker today, but who knows what may have come of him married to you? He might have been so in love with you that he neglected his career. His lack of success could have made him turn to methamphetamine. He could be homeless and covered in sores with you raising the three hellions you had with him alone. You just have no idea. 

So going down the road of regret and missed opportunity and what might have been is a useless exercise. What you REALLY want is everything you have now that you like having, cast in the light of some ideal you imagine from making a different choice, and devoid any negative repercussions. And that's just not how the recipe works. The stupid choices you made 20 years ago were made because you weren't smart enough to choose different...haha. So you HAD to make the choice you did in order to become smart enough not to make it again. 

Instead of having regrets, have gratitude for the choices you did make and what fruit they bore. Because any time spent on regret is not just wasted time, it's a fantasy you're creating in your mind that will just lead to more bad choices because it's not grounded in reality. You have what you have because it's what you need to have. And if you want to change it, you'll just experience more pain hoping to be able to change it through your past with all its attendant "what ifs". The only path to "finding what you missed" exists in grounding yourself in the reality of what is and building upon that with the choices you make in the future. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

10/21/13—Creating Consistent Stability

Today's Draw: Anchor/Dog/Stars from the Haunted Lenormand by Robyn Tisch Hollister. When faced with new predicaments, do you find yourself panicking or having obsessive thoughts? Do you sometimes blurt stuff out that is ill-considered, only to regret it later? Do you ever wish you could be like that woman you know that just seems to handle everything perfectly?

This Lenormand line of three can be read as "faithful, consistent stability or groundedness brings inspiration or insight"....or more succinctly, "balance brings insight". 

What this little nugget of wisdom makes me think about is how, when we're anxious or worked up about something, we obsess over it. And that obsession creates a cycle of manic thought, but no least not any of the kinds of solutions we're looking for.

For me, it comes from a sense of anxiety or panic over the situation at hand. One of the realities of being human is that we're constantly faced with obstacles, situations and dilemmas that are new to us. Let's face it. While others may *appear* to have impeccable social graces or unflappable responses to life's stuff, all of us are just greeting new predicament after new predicament and flying by the seat of our pants. If there's anything different others are doing that makes seem so perfectly agile, it's either that they're much better actors than you...haha...or that they have a learned confidence that you don't. 

Today's cards are coming to us to remind us that grace, agility and resourcefulness come from a place of balance and groundedness, not panic and anxiety. And, for me at least, the panic and anxiety comes from being afraid of making the wrong response, or not responding comes from a lack of confidence in being able to handle whatever may come my way. 

Think about it, what have you ever NOT been able to handle? If you're still alive and breathing, the answer pretty much has to be "nothing". Now, you may wince at the way you handled something, but the situation is over now and it is what it is. You're moving forward despite it. And that's what life is. The people who seem to be handling everything well, probably have that confidence. Or, like I said, they're just really good at masking the panic of flying by the seat of their pants. 

What seems to come so easily to others is often just that they learned a different way of coping. To my knowledge, smooth moves aren't genetic, but they are learned through practice and demonstration. My mother was one of those people who always knew the thing to do. It didn't really rub off on me...haha. But what did rub off on me is the fact that her confidence and grace was something practiced and learned. When you think of it, it takes a lot of bad decisions in a row to "break" a life...haha. Knowing and believing that you can survive and/or repair any bad decision you make today is valuable insight to have. It keeps anxiety at bay. Things are rarely as pivotal as we give them credit for being. 

I also feel like what's important for me to say is that, despite the way people appear, we're all messed up. We all experience fear. We all make bad choices. We all beat ourselves up over things. Despite how things appear. I know a woman who seems to live an impeccable life...she knows what to say and how to impress herself on others. But it's all a facade. Underneath all of that is an insecurity that she never allows others to insecurity that goes deeper than most people's, despite appearances. In fact, the times people have said to me, "you seem to have everything together" have been the least "together" times in my life. The more perfect we appear, the better we are at masking what's beneath. 

So the next time you're faced with something foreign and have to handle it, don't take it inside your head the way you're used to doing. Instead, take a breath and remind yourself that YOU are the calm in the midst of the storm. And if you're not prepared to give an answer or respond right there, say so. That's a perfectly graceful way to handle a situation. "Wow, this has taken me by surprise. Let me absorb this and respond when I have something to add to the conversation." That's reasonable, right? Just because you're being confronted NOW doesn't mean you have to respond now. In situations where you have to respond NOW, like emergencies, you act automatically anyway. 

Find your balance. And let that calm place be a void into which divine guidance flows and allow what happens to happen. AND, realize it's probably not as important as it seems in the moment. Your responses may not end up being any more spectacular than the ones that come from panic, but they will issue forth with a such authority that it really won't matter. :)