C Finds Her Mantra

I don’t write about my daughter here very often. I usually sort of casually mention her existence but don’t go into details.

There’s been something happening lately that’s been really amazing to watch, though.

She was a pretty confident little girl.

However, when she got to be about 13, doubt started creeping in, as it often does in our society when girls hit puberty.

For a few years, we dealt with I-don’t-know-how-many-nights of tears and anger and frustration. She would cry and rock back and forth and say, “I’m so stupid!” over relatively minor issues or social hiccups.

Her sophomore year in high school was probably the worst. She had been given a position of authority in an after-school activity, but had no back up from the adult in charge. In fact, rather than backing up C’s decisions, the adult in charge completely undermined them and supported a different student.

This was so frustrating to watch and try to help her deal with.

It affected her grades, it affected her relationships with friends. It affected her primary extra-curricular activity.

She questioned EVERYTHING about herself.

No amount of telling her that she was beautiful and smart and talented and good at something helped anything, because of course, it was her (biased) mother saying so.

But over the last year, things have changed, and it’s really been clear for the last couple of months.

It started with her grades. In 7th-10th grade, I had to constantly ride her about homework. In 11th grade, I just had to check in every now and then. But her senior year? I didn’t even have to pay attention. She was totally on everything. Now, maybe she could have gotten a couple more As, but she was balancing things really well socially and with her extra-curriculars, so a couple of Bs weren’t that big a deal, especially in Honors and/or AP classes. A few reminders here and there about college apps, but she was totally on about taking her placement exams and everything. I barely had to pay attention.

In taekwondo, when she first started teaching, she HATED it. She hated being grouped with the little kids to teach them, she hated being in front of people and talking even if it was a small class.

Over the last year, she’s come home talking about “her kids” and brimming with confidence over the classes that she teaches, as well as her own secretarial skills running the office.

And in the last couple of months, she come home practically screaming her new mantra:

I’m fucking AWESOME!

Negative comments from adults will now piss her off instead of making her internalize the comments and beat herself up. She knows she’s good at what she does and she knows she’s smart and learns quickly.

There is no particular single point where this happened; it happened slowly over the last year.

This is the thing I am most proud of with her. Somehow, she’s finally internalized what those of us who love her have been saying all along: She IS fucking awesome!

That Gratitude Thing (Again)

This is only my 4th post on the 7th day of the blogging challenge.

It’s difficult to come up with something to write every day. 😛

I have been thinking about gratitude again this last week, as I spent almost a week crashing at other people’s homes while there was a heatwave going on and my a/c was broken (again? still? WTF?).

I have realized that I often talk about negative things. It seems that I want to write more when I’m trying to work through something negative than I do when I’m feeling good.

I guess when I’m feeling good or happy or content (or somewhat manic, even) I am DOING things rather than writing about them.

From Pixabay

But I know that expressing gratitude and good emotions is also important to keep on an even keel.

So, today, I am most grateful for my BFF and the fact that even though we haven’t hung out together as much in the last 3 years or so (and sometimes things have been strained), that she is still there for me, and she let me use her place while she was out of town for the last 4 nights.

I’m also grateful for another friend that put me up for a couple of nights last week.

From Pixabay

I’m grateful for internet service (especially since I may be losing it soon. . . .). Being able to connect on the internet is a really big deal for me. There have been points in the past where I was unable to speak to people in real life or to pick up a phone, but I was able to communicate online. Sometimes it was through using libraries/free services and sometimes from my home, but the ability to communicate instantly in writing has been critical to me at various points. There are so many internet communities and mini-communities that have become important, no VITAL, to me.

I am grateful that I have an apartment. The period from Sept 2006-March 2008 was not a comfortable one. I complain about this place a lot, but it is so much better than sleeping on a friend’s floor and/or renting a room in someone else’s house.

I am grateful that my daughter has grown up to be a fantastic person despite having me as a mom.

I am grateful for my resilience.

What are you grateful for right now?

Oracle Cards: Week of April 28 – May 4

Since I am now selling Tarot readings, I thought I’d give you guys a peek into some stuff I do for myself.

I will say that a lot of the time I was depressed (so much of the last 10 years), I did not have a consistent spiritual practice, and that includes not using cards for a long time.

But lately, I have been more consistent. I’m reopening myself to the spiritual, being in tune with myself again.

One of the things I like to do is draw cards for myself from time to time. I’d like to say that I do it daily, but that would be a bit disingenuous. I have the intention of doing it daily, but too often I allow other things to get in the way.

I’m working on practicing more with newer, non-Tarot Oracle decks. There are some really wonderful ones out there. Oracle cards are more modern than Tarot. They may or may not use traditional imagery. I’m really drawn to ones that are pretty new. They usually have between 40-60 cards, as opposed to 78 in a Tarot deck. They are not organized the same way as Tarot. Currently, I’m spending a lot of time with Wisdom of the Hidden Realms by Colette Baron-Reid.

I would like to post a weekly reading, so you can see a bit of what I do. I am still learning this deck, so I do use the book a bit, but I then meditate on what the book says and interpret it by what it means to/for me (or a client). If I used Baron-Reid’s words, I will use quotes.

In this book, for most of the cards, if the card is upright, the spiritual character listed is an Ally. If reversed, s/he is a challenger. Some of you that have already gotten a 3 card reading may realize that this is slightly different from how I do a 3-card with Tarot. Different cards, different way to read. 🙂 But there are always different ways to interpret. The thing is to be clear on what you are doing before you draw the cards.

First Card – Present influence


The first card here, representing a present influence, is The Lady of Lightening, as a Challenger.

She warns of unexpected bad news, but also gives hope in the form of a message to wait out the storm.

I think I know what that is about. I don’t feel like sharing that here and now, though.

Second Card – Suggested Action

The Diamond Dreamer as an Ally.
His keywords, seen on the card, are material wealth, and true prosperity. 
Considering my most recent post, I like that!
Apparently, he helps create coincidences to help you reach your goals. “If you want a house, you’ll be led to it, if your priority is a new job, with the right continual steps, you will achieve this.”
On Friday night, I found a listing on a temp agency’s website for a “Math Content Editor” that seems to fit a lot of my skill-set. The pay is FABULOUS.
But he reminds me that I have to do some work, too. Today, I need to tweak my resume to fit the requirements and get it actually sent! (This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks). They can’t know I’m perfect for the job if I don’t tell them.

Third Card – Probably outcome (based on 2)

The Cosmos – The keywords here are creativity and vastness.

This card is ALWAYS an Ally, even when reversed.

On the creativity side, “Remember. . .  you’re always co-creating with the Divine.”

It talks about how we are all interconnected and when I do things, they affect others, even if I don’t know how. It’s a message to keep creating and changing things – go forward. But there’s also a message to “be mindful of your thoughts and actions: both are influencing your outer world.”

Overall

It’s all well and good to break down each card like that, but what does it mean that they were drawn together, in this order, on this day? This is where the intuition part comes in. 
What I’m getting is that even though I may feel like I’m in a bad place right now (Lady of Lightening), if I keep making an effort towards things I want (both Diamond Dreamer and Cosmos), and I am clear in my intention (Diamond Dreamer), and I allow my creativity to come through (Cosmos), things will start to pull together for me – I will get what I want (both Diamond Dreamer and Cosmos).

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Self-love: 4 Songs That Make Me Smile

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember good things in your life.

Through my last depression, I realized something. When I’m on the way down or depressed, I don’t listen to music as much. I will put NPR on the radio in the car, watch TV shows at home, but rarely turn the radio to a music station or Pandora on the computer.

When I’m feeling better is the time when I go back to music, which means I tend to like upbeat stuff.

I almost titled this: 4 songs to make you smile. But, I don’t know if they’ll make you smile. I can only say that they make ME happy. I do believe that music can help shape our emotions, give us focus, make us feel better (or worse – there are songs that evoke anger and pain, too).

I’m often scared to talk about what I like in music. My tastes are usually a bit behind the times, and all over the musical map. I tend to like quite a bit pop stuff, which used to mean some of my friends would make fun of me when they were into alternative and underground. I eventually developed a taste for a lot of alternative stuff, but usually 3-5 years behind my friends.

Now, I tend to not care too much what others think, but I still sometimes feel like I have to justify my tastes. I know, intellectually, that is ridiculous, but sometimes old feelings creep up on me.

1. Pop  – Pink – Try

When I first started to hear this song on the radio, I would turn it off almost immediately, because the music sounded sad.
A couple months ago, C forced me to watch this video of Pink’s performance at the AMAs. 
First of all, totally love Pink. She’s unapologetically strong and individualistic, but also compassionate and kind: everything I love in a female role model.

Watching her do this modern dance interpretation of her song was amazing. I was blown away by her strength and grace and for the first time actually listened to the song.

The chorus really speaks to me.

Where there is desire,
There is gonna be a flame.
Where there is a flame,
Someone’s bound to get burned.
But just because it burns,
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try.

For a long time now, I’ve been able to keep getting up when it has to do with survival needs. But I have pushed a lot of people away.

Lately, a particular person has been reminding me that I need to do this with relationships, too: open myself up again, allow the possibility of being hurt. The song says that even if you are hurt, it won’t be fatal, and then you can try again. And something about the flame mentioned here is reminiscent of a time long ago. 🙂

2. Electronica/goth-rock – The Cruxshadows – Indivisible

Itunes calls this band “electronica” and Pandora classifies it as “goth-rock”. I don’t really care. 🙂 I was looking for new music and someone on FB suggested this band. This was the first song that jumped out at me. My itunes tells me this is the most listened to song on my computer and iPod at the moment. (Their song Valkyrie from the same album is almost as played).

And call it courage, overcoming the fear
to conquer first the demons inside.
That when the madness descends on our dreams
we have the strength to keep them alive
The purpose of one becomes the purpose of all
A phalanx made from what we believe.
A ghost or an angel, a wish or a prayer,
Just open your eyes, your heart, your mind
and BREATHE. 

3. Pop? – Gotye – I Feel Better

Gotye hit the charts this past summer with “Somebody That I used to Know“. I like the song, even though it was way overplayed for a few months. But it is a break up song, with a lot of sadness and bitter-sweetness in it.
But this song, from the same album is even better. It reminds me of some upbeat 70s/early 80s stuff.

I’m having a hard time picking just a snippet of this one; I like almost every lyric, so I’ll just put the first part here; but listen to the whole thing. Something about it kind of reminds me of “I can see clearly now“.

There was a time I was down, down
I didn’t know what to do.
I was just stumbling around, around
Thinking things could not improve.
I couldn’t look on the bright side
Of anything at all.
That’s when you gave me a call!
And I feel better, better, better than before!
I feel better, better!
Now I’m not down anymore!

That sounds like someone who has been depressed and found a way out of it. In some ways I don’t like that it takes another person to get him out of it. But there’s nothing in the song that says this was definitely a romantic attachment that made everything better. It could be a good friend, an old friend, or an estranged family member that helped him find his way back.

4. Chant – Om Gam Ganapatye Namaha

I like chants, all kinds of chants. Somewhere I have a CD of Gregorian chants. I have some tapes and CDs of Pagan chants. And Buddhist and Hindu Chants have always fascinated me.

There’s something .  . .  soothing about repeating syllables in a musical manner. C, on the other hand, can’t stand them. She’s been very frustrated when I listen to 20-30 minutes of “Om Mani Padme Hum”. 🙂

My friend Trudy  reminded me of this one earlier this week.

It calls upon the God Ganesh (or Ganesha).

Ganesh had his head cut off and replaced with an elephant head.

He is known as one who removes obstacles (because an elephant can move anything out of his/her way!), facilitates success (you’ll often see small altars to him in businesses), and is also very playful.

In the brass sculpture here, he is dancing on top of a small mouse – his usual ride! And if the image of a fat guy with an elephant head riding a mouse doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what would. 🙂

From Vishal International

From the website Humanity Healing (click on the link for more info on Ganesh).

Om gam ganapataye namaha!
A very loose translation might be:
Om = Salutations! Everyone wake up!
Gam = The secret power sound of Ganesh. It is his “seed syllable” or bija mantra.
Ganapataye = Another name of Ganesh, the breaker of obstacles.
Namaha = Yo! Ganesh! You da God!

What about you?

What songs never fail to make you smile? What songs speak to what you’re going through right now? I’d love for you to share in the comments or on the Facebook page. 

Tarot Readings

In the last few months, I’ve mentioned Leela Somaya’s Succulent, Savvy, Soul-full Business Revolution. I was looking for inspiration, to try to figure out something I can do to both help other people and help myself at the same time.

I mentioned in a post part-way through the summit that I had some emotional breakthroughs connected with doing something to start helping others with some spiritual work.

I’m still having trouble figuring out exactly what my focus is for that kind of work. But, I won a contest for the SSSBR that included a 30 minute coaching session with Leela.

During the conversation, I mentioned that I’m not consistent with my blog/webpage, and that I don’t market it consistently, even though I know some of the things I “should” do. She stopped the direction of the conversation and said that we needed to explore that, “Why haven’t you been consistent?”

Of course I’ve asked myself that, and not come up with any satisfying answers. But she said, “Maybe you don’t want it bad enough yet.”

That felt like a gut-punch.

Of course I want it! I’ve put off doing it for I don’t know how many years. I’m making so much progress internally. I’ve done all this stuff to get ready for it. I’ve put up more posts and actually taken steps to DO SOMETHING – which is much more than I’ve done, ever.

But I look at that paragraph right now, and it’s a lot of “I”. There’s no “what can I do for others?” there. And that needs to be my focus.

We also talked about the ebook/workbook I’m writing and she thought that I should offer a service instead of a product first. And then create a product around my service.

And I’m still not exactly sure what that service should be.

But what I *can* do, right now, is give Tarot readings.

I’ve been interested in Tarot since I was a teenager, and began giving readings for fun in my 20s.

I’ve only rarely charged money for it, and usually much less than the going rate for that kind of thing.

In my bad money times, I thought about doing readings in a local metaphysical store, but never got up the nerve to ask how to get started in the store that used to be near me, and now that store is closed.

I used to think that I had to do the readings in person, because it’s simple to connect with a person that way, and read their body language and energy during the reading.


But last month, I had a reading done online by Jess Carlson. I was astonished at how good it was (and if you don’t trust me because I’m just getting started online, buy from her. Seriously. She’s good. And I’m not an affiliate for her. If she had an affiliate program, I would be). She’s a Wild Sister, so I contacted her and asked a few questions. My style is completely different from hers, but she provided some good guidance.

I took a chance, and decided to do this.

I offered a few people test readings to get used to the format, and get some feedback on how the readings went.

I was nervous at first, scared that it wouldn’t go well, that I couldn’t do it in this format. But the response has been amazing.

So far, each reading I’ve done has seemed to help the people I’ve read for.

I remember when I first started tutoring and I’d come home from my sessions so jazzed that I seemed to be helping those kids. And now, I feel the same way about this.

If I can start here, and help people. . . Well, for one thing then I don’t feel totally useless. 🙂 But I also do want to help people reach clarity about issues in their lives, to help them look within and overcome their own fears and insecurities, to help them be strong.

And this is a beginning to getting there.

If you ever wanted to get a reading, I’m having a sale for the month of April, offering rock-bottom prices. I’d also appreciate it if you could spread the word. Post links on your Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media accounts, please. Tell people you know who may be interested, as well.

Thank you!

Spring – new growth.

First of all, I know there’s still snow in a lot of North America, but where I live, spring has well and truly sprung. Trees are blooming (which is why I’m awake at 3:30 a.m. – allergies!).

I don’t know what kind of tree the ones with the white flowers are, but the pink are from cherry trees, and the purplish flowers with spiky stems are from a rosemary bush.

Ever since we moved here (in 2001! I can’t believe I’ve lived in one place so long!), every spring I’ve said, “I need to get some pics of the cherry trees, because they’re so pretty!”

And I never actually get outside to take the pics before the blooms are gone. But this year, I actually did it! Woo hoo!

I have several partially written posts, but nothing complete enough to post.

I have been doing a lot of things behind the scenes, journaling, getting ready to start with Invincible Summer., and processing stuff I’ve learned through the Succulent, Savvy, Soulful Business Revolution.

Last week, I took a break from all things blog and business while sketching out something I’m working on.
In the meantime, I have been working on some internal stuff. 
I have listened to Jeneth Blackert’s talk on SSBR three times now.

There was so much in her almost 2-hour talk that resonates strongly with me.

In particular, she calls herself a “Change Agent” and says she won’t give people “answers”, she helps them ask questions. And just asking the questions helps people change their energy.

Some of the questions she asks are things like, 

What is it that you know that you’re refusing to know and that if you stopped refusing it now would change everything?”

Think about that one for a minute. You don’t have to have an answer to the question. Just think about the question, and see how asking it makes you feel. A little uncomfortable? A bit excited?

 What dream have you given up long ago where if you chose it now would make your life a total joy?

Today on Facebook, she asked,

What is the most phenomenal thing that could happen now? 

And again, you don’t HAVE to answer the questions. Just ask them and see how you feel when asking them. That last one – for me, fear is the first thing that comes up. Why is that a scary thing? To think about something great that could happen? To picture something good happening? Why is that so terrifying? Because I’m not used to it? Because I don’t know how to handle it when good things happen? Why do I limit myself so much?

On Friday last week, Erika Watson talked about partnerships. Listening to her talk reinforced the idea that joining the Wild Sisterhood was a good idea, and so was creating the small mastermind group I’ve been working with. (Check out Esscentual Alchemy – the owner is one of my mastermind peeps!)

But I am still on information overload. There are several talks I haven’t even listened to yet. I’ve barely had time to process the ones I’ve listened to a couple of times and taken notes on. There’s several others I’ve listened to but not taken notes on, and mean to go back and listen to again. I’ve only just scratched the surface of the workbooks and bonus material. It’s so overwhelming.

But I also feel things shifting. Things inside me, things in my life.

It’s strange, because unless something drastic happens soon, next month is going to bring a lot of financial pressure and problems.

And yet, I’m not nearly as nervous about it as I think I should be.

The bills are paid for this month, and for now, that’s all I can do.

Please don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter. I’m trying to not bombard people all the time with stuff. Right now, it’s only going out once or twice a month.

And you can also like us on Facebook. 🙂

If you think someone you know might like some of the things I talk about here, please point them in this direction! Thank you!

Gratitude

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

I remember a few years back gratitude journals were thee big self-help/spirituality fad. Oprah talked about it, even, and it became fairly mainstream.

I’ve been listening to a bunch of interviews with successful people (free content, here and here and here). And the feeling of gratitude is strong, especially in the woman-centered spiritual groups, but really, in most of them. Even in the Amos Winbush interview I referenced yesterday, part of his daily affirmation is “Thank you, LIFE!” and he used it even in his darkest times.

I’ve tried, in thee last few years, I’ve really tried to find things to be grateful for. There was a point, even, where I hand-wrote and sent “Thank you” cards to various people in my life in one of my darkest times.

R, who has been my friend since 6th grade, once sent me a postcard saying, “You suck for never writing to me!” because, well, in our whole friendship, I’ve probably written to her less than a handful of times, even when in the military or separated on summer vacations. When she got hers, she called me to make sure I was ok, since it was so unusual for me to actually mail something.

I tried keeping a gratitude journal, but I’m sporadic about journaling to begin with and it quickly went by the wayside.

This fall, there were a lot of people on Facebook and blogs and stuff doing “30 days of thankfulness” for the entire month of November. I just couldn’t come up with anything to write about.

I can always say that I’m grateful for my daughter, and for N for sticking by me even when I’m a totally selfish shit, and my imaginary intermaweb friends. . .

And that was it.

I couldn’t come up with anything else.

An indication of my depression, maybe?

Suddenly, today, I’m bursting with gratitude for the strangest things. . .

I hated my job at [small company]. I mean enough to make myself a nervous wreck and physically ill at times.

But that job helped me go from renting a room in a toxic person’s house to being in my own place again. It introduced me to the person I bought my car from, which was a very serendipitous event. It introduced me to the woman who helped me come up with a name and logo for my tutoring business. I managed to maintain a good relationship with the company and even got a glowing letter of recommendation from them (and how often does that happen these days?). They sometimes didn’t want to but still ended up being flexible around my school schedule.

And I still have a business relationship with them. It’s not much, but in the last 6 months, the small checks from them have really made a difference. It showed me how much the owner’s attitude and force of will can shape and set the tone for a company.

And it modeled for me some things I would never want to do if I owned my own company – and that, too, is a blessing.

I’m still so, so grateful to R and N for always being there even when I push everyone away.

Modern forms of communication. . .  and even the ability to look up someone from long ago. I’m even grateful to J for looking me up last spring, because it was a huge push I needed to finally stop wallowing in a particular pile of shit and become open for what could happen next.

My imaginary intermaweb friends, who are always so encouraging and protective and helpful, delivering hugs and a kick in the ass as needed. You know, even the grumpy old uncle and the guy living in Pleasantville – as annoying as they can be – have their place in that community [the people who need to know, know]. 🙂 When I was completely unable to connect and communicate in the real world, you guys were there.

And now, my comfort level with electronic communication has me researching all kinds of crazy things.

No idea where it’s going to lead, but I’ve ignored my intuition for a long time, and maybe it’s time to stop doing that. So, I’m riding this thing out and taking copious notes.