Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nine of Wands - Not Organized But Prepared

The Nine of Wands in spite of it's chaotic, turbulent and imminent danger, is a card that symbolizes having a strength in reserve, which helps us to be prepared, and not necessarily organized.

This card reminds us that we can call on the power of the imagination which can supply us with new hope, new ideas, and even a new life, providing strength when we most need it, during our lowest ebb and our energy appears to be used up.

Being willing to try once more is what we need in order to bring to fruition our final goal. This creative power is directly connected to resilience, persistence the need to overcome rough and rocky seas and is a what enables all human achievement.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Star - I Feel Good!

The Star, the card I drew this morning is a very welcomed positive and hopeful card for me this, the first weekend of Summer. It is a card symbolizing the feminine side of nature-feeling, instinct, imagination and intuition. It is the promising Star of Hope.

My past week has been full of delightful, special surprises. Especially rewarding was seeing the fruition of all the work the students created after participating in the PAINTS program over the past three months in our local school. They'd sent out invitations to their parents, family and friends, inviting them to attend their final art exhibit. It was so well received and so wonderful to see how much their confidence soared, and how proud they were in what they accomplished and to now share this with their friends and families was very special. It was a kind of celebration of the power of creativity and imagination. It made me feel very hopeful in my outlook and inspired in so many ways, after having learned so much from this imaginative and creative, great group of insightful kids.

We haven't had a good rain for a few weeks now, and so the gardens are dry. As I was watering my garden early this morning, and was very pleased to see the water I had given the plants last night, which wasn't a whole lot, actually had made a big difference. My tender plants looked perky, like they were almost saying, look at us, we feel good! I'm certain they'd grown more over night because of that small amount of water I'd given them yesterday.

The new young plants in my garden remind me of the children I've worked with, in that, a little bit of encouragement, nurturing, and a hopeful positive attitude is just like watering your garden. A little can go a long way, and can make all the difference.

Similarly I see in this Major Arcana card, The Star that embodies the mythic image of Pandora, who is  looking past all life's negatives toward the light. She sees in spite of the Spites, who have been unleashed by Zeus. She has her focus on Hope.

Some may consider her, The Star naive, seeing the world through rose coloured glasses. I don't see her in this way. She embodies a hopeful, encouraging attitude, full of faith and has an intrinsic trust, that things will work out. The Star represents believing that all shall be well, not about being in denial, but about loving, living and accepting life on life's terms.

Human beings need to know, and strive to be individuals that reflect this kind of attitude toward ourselves, toward others, and wearing the world like a loose garment.

I know speaking personally, I could've never accomplished, achieved or overcome all that I have in my life without having some of this same kind of outlook, that has it's foundation in faith. This positive attitude was imparted to me through the example of other mentors throughout my life, much like Pandora.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Strength - Living In The Springtime of Life

Today, Summer Solstice is the day I got married to late husband Bill in 1980. It's always a kind of bitter sweet day that hurts, and comforts simultaneously. It's also a day of remembering to find strength in my weakness. It also reminds me that... " I will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it." Alcoholics Anonymous, p.83

Of course it's normal to think of those will love who have died. I also know it's unhealthy to dwell on the what ifs and whys of the events that lead to our painful losses and all the other disturbances that accompany life's struggles, tragic happenings, that can be compared to the powerful and savage beast within us.. Today I look at my past but I don't stare. I appreciate the instinctual  animal qualities of Nemean Lion which are creative and vital and give me a sense of inner permanence, which comes from a sense of who I am.

Strength reminds me to continue learning to 'live in the springtime of life'.

The Red Road - Catherine Meyers

Drawing the Strength card this morning is a welcome card fo me.

Friday, June 17, 2016

King of Cups - Emotional Balance Versus Desperation

The King of Cups, a perfect card for me to draw this morning, as it's caused me to reflect on emotional balance and the way I behave. In the past, I've been a person who'd panic when it came to certain situations. Don't get me wrong, this can still be my default, and I really hate that feeling.

Physiologically everything I feel can seem like it's speeding up and about to implode. My heart races, blood pressure goes up, breathing becomes shallow, I can't think straight and simultaneously, everything is in a kind of painful slow motion.

 I think my mind's try's to slow down in order to think, but the monkey brain seems to be more powerful. The fight or flight instinct takes over. I still can find myself reacting this way, but with experience comes wisdom and new skills in order to handle seemingly crisis situations with less muddled thought and more clarity and peace of mind.

As a SCUBA diver I know and understand panic is what kills people. Similarly, the same can be said for most, if not all crisis scenarios. For instance getting a call from an intimidating, rude and threatening bill collector might not cause your imminent death, but there are those who suffer from addictions like gambling, that can cause suicidal thoughts or worse because they can't meet their obligations and responsibilities,and might actually act on these thoughts, which is a tragic. They've reached that jumping off point, where they can't live with the addiction, nor live without it. This is the worst kind of desperation.

The King of Cups embodies the kind of individual who is an em-path, who easily demonstrates compassion toward others and is a kind of healer, but doesn't seem to have the ability to help or heal himself. We all have to learn how to help ourselves in order to do this. Most of the time we need to put our false pride aside and reach out for help. Many who are in the helping professions match this kind of personality type, an empathetic counsellor who is the Wounded Healer, with a kind of hole in the soul.

 When we call upon the authority of the King of Cup's, we can calm the turbulent waters of our emotions that carry us away, which leads us to feel like we're out of control, as we're reacting negatively to our panic.

Life experience enable me to reach out for help, to learn how to be proactive in my daily life. After many years, I finally found preventative tools that center me, slow me down, and bring serenity to the core of my being.
Doing a daily reading or meditation, getting enough sleep, exercise, eating well, and generally living a healthy lifestyle all help to draw on that authority of the King of Cups, which can calm the volatile waters of emotion. In turn I can trust life enough to take it's course, and not cheat myself.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Three of Cups - My Tribe

I always get a really good feeling when I look at the Three of Cups, illustrating a celebratory union between Psyche and Eros and the water nymphs propose the toast.

Being a Cups kind of person, and have to say I am somewhat partial to this suit regardless of the card. But I have learned to balance my heart with my head over the years, developing the practice of reminding myself to not exclude one over the other.

Cups represents the emotion. It's also card of communication, friendship and community.
Life is all about relationship with self, others and with the god of our own understanding.

This past week I celebrated 30 years of gathering with life long women friends. It was also my 63rd Birthday and so it was a very special time. It will be a really memorable occasion to me, having celebrated with this special tribe of women.

Some of us have known one another longer than 30 years and have remained in contact and we have seen each other through good and bad times. We are really all like sisters of choice and some of us are actual biological sisters.

We are also all very aware that our group of gals is pretty unusual these days. So as we have aged over the years our gatherings are becoming more significant to us individually, realizing that we have been very blessed to have one another, as a very supportive, loving, and fun loving collective tribe.
 I found the following on a site called The Organic Sister. I think it gives a good explanation of why communication, friendship and community are vital to our happiness.

12 Reasons We Women Need Our Tribes

  1. We are inherently tribal. – We once lived in cultures where the women raised babies together, did laundry together, cooked together, and helped each other laugh through the ups and downs of life. We have evolved to be inter-dependent. It’s only in the last few decades that we’ve held up that Fierce Independence as the epitome of a strong woman. Well, if alone against the world is what makes you a great women, count me out. I’d rather feel great, than only look it.

  2. Your partner can’t be everything. – I used to lean on Justin for everything. It was a real bitch when we had a fight and he was the only person I had to talk to about it. For awhile there I even thought it wasn’t okay to talk to other women about our challenges. And in a way I still find that true; I don’t want a tribe that will help me complain about him. I want a tribe that will help me examine my triggers and overcome any barrier that keeps us from loving one another better. I also came to find that it was simply unfair to him to place every stress on his shoulders. He’s one man, who wants very hard to fix as much as he can to see me smile, and without more support in my life my husband was becoming heavy with the burden of being the only person I would turn to help me meet my deeper needs for connection, growth, fun, or help. That’s not healthy; that’s co-dependent.

  3. Your kids need a break from you. – Oh man, am I serious about this one. Especially because my son is an only child. Without my tribe of conscious mamas, from both local parenting groups with like-minded philosophies on life and parenting, to online tribes, to coaches who have helped me through rough spots, I’m pretty sure my son and I owe our relationship to the support I found in others. Without it I was constantly examining and analyzing every action my son took, worrying that I was doing something wrong (or he was), or just not giving him the space to just breathe, explore independently, or make his own choices without my fear trying to micro-manage, nag, control or stress him out. Having other mamas helped me to put things in perspective, lighten up and be a better mom more capable of responding to his needs with compassion and support.

  4. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. – You want to radically change your life? Surround yourself with examples that it’s possible. You want to live a deeper, more meaningful existence? Engage in deeper, more meaningful conversations with the people talking about deeper, more meaningful things. Don’t let the limitations of what those around you can do become your reality. Seek out possibilities, surround yourself with inspiration, and what seems impossible will soon become the only thing you know.

  5. Girls just wanna have fun. – Life gives us plenty of opportunity for stress, heartache, overwhelm or depression. It’s our job to counter those things with laughter, fun, and connection. Have you ever had a terrible day and called a girlfriend and you both ended up laughing at the utter ridiculousness of it all? Suddenly what you thought was going to do you in is not so bad when our tribe helps us to play and lighten up. And fun is a damn important thing in life. We have enough seriousness. We need more laughter and play.

  6. You need people who won’t let you off the hook. – I didn’t use to see this was true about myself. I’ve always thought I was pretty self-motivated. Until my tribe called me on my bullshit and helped me to see how I was giving up, playing small or rationalizing away my dreams. Because I allowed others to know what my real desires were – what my heart ached for – they were there to call attention to the ways I was neglecting them. It was not a pretty mirror they held up but it was a much needed view that helped me to confront my real barriers and catapult right past them.

  7. You need a safe place to land. – The world can be harsh. Have one terrible day and you could end up on YouTube being bashed by millions of people. Make a mistake and you probably have learned to do the bashing yourself. But the right tribe of women will open up a safe and sacred space for you to bring your cracked and weeping heart. They will wrap you in compassion and stillness and allow you to breathe and vent and process without judgment. They give you the nurturing and the encouragement to heal and grow and move forward again. I can’t tell you how powerful it is to know that a circle of women, some whom you haven’t even met, are waiting with open arms, whether you’re having a horrible day or your life has just been shattered.

  8. You can’t see your own blind spots. – I’ve already mentioned a few times how the tribes of women in my life will call my on my shit. And sometimes it really pisses me off. But without their intuitive ability to hold up that mirror to what I can’t see I would still be spinning my wheels in frustration over the patterns I couldn’t change. With the multiple perspectives and the collective wisdom a tribe of soulful, conscious women can be a catalyst for the most powerful personal growth.

  9. You’re can’t jump over buildings in a single bound. – Or any of the other impossible things we try to do on our own. You’re not Superwoman. You’re not a one woman roadshow. Stop trying to be perfect and infallible and so great that you never need anything. You! Need! Support!: practical, emotional, spiritual support. Whether you’ve just had a baby, or you are struggling with food, or you’re trying to manage a household, love a family, and run a business, for the love of all that is good in the world, ask for support. Trade support. Pay for support. You’re worth the investment.

  10. You’re going to drive yourself batshit crazy unless you do something for you once in awhile. – Nuff’ Said.

  11. You can’t give what you don’t allow yourself to receive. – This was my Aha moment when it came to receiving support. I can NOT give it if I don’t first have it. And it’s no one else’s job to know when I need it, or how I’d like to receive it. It’s my job to seek out the things that will meet my needs in such a way that I feel so filled up with love, energy, connection, passion, and everything else I might need that I am overflowing that back out to my family, my clients and the whole world.

  12. You deserve to receive a lot. – Women tend to have this idea that it’s great for other women to receive, “but oh no, not me.” “I couldn’t possibly take that from you.” “I can’t justify that for myself.” “I’d be selfish.” No. You won’t be selfish. You’re selfish when you continue to try to meet your needs in ways that aren’t effective. It wastes your time, energy, money, and capabilities. And you’re never helping others. But investing well in your own health, well-being, personal growth, mental clarity, stability and ability to do more in the world is anything but selfish. It’s imperative.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Seven of Cups - What's In Your Bank Account?

Psyche is praying to Aphrodite for mercy and for a miracle. She's appealing to the goddess of love to heal her relationship with Eros, to relieve and heal her from her overwhelming emotional burdens.

Often human beings when we find ourselves in desperate circumstances, we end up turning to the God/Goddess of our understanding to zealously plead our case. We can perhaps also expect to be physically healed from illness or relieved from another malady or circumstance.

Miracles come in all kinds of forms. I try to expect them, but much of the time my change in attitude can be just the kind of miracle I really need, though it might not necessarily be what I want, regardless of how unrealistic I am being. I need to understand, and accept what I can or can't change, and figure out the difference between the two.

 Acceptance for me is the key to everything in my life, no matter how difficult the circumstance. That's certainly not to say this is an easy task, not at all, because the things that happen are often very painful, and cause me to be fearful, caused by my lack of faith and trust. At this point I have replaced these with worry, anxiety and unrealistic expectations. It takes a lot of ongoing practice and work, one day at a time, sometimes one minute or second at time to gain faith and spiritual strength.

Realistically, my faith and spiritual strength is contingent on my maintenance of my daily conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I compare it to being rather like a bank account that I make regular deposits to, so I have a resource or emergency fund to rely on when the hard times come.