I have used candle flames, bonfires, a bowl of water, a black mirror, Tarot, oracle cards, runes, smoke, palms, tea leaves, candle wax . . .
I have used candle flames, bonfires, a bowl of water, a black mirror, Tarot, oracle cards, runes, smoke, palms, tea leaves, candle wax . . .
This happened to me last week.
See, despite all the problems and failures I’ve had, people think of me as “strong”. And I have to admit that I like that people think that about me.
I think of me as “strong”, even though I know my weaknesses.
This is hard because I want to talk about something without giving too many details, but I’m going to try.
Something was happening last week that felt like an old pattern, something I did not want to deal with.
I started to feel/hear “Walk away, walk away, WALK AWAY!!”
I was already starting to mourn the ending, even though I hadn’t walked away yet. Gathering the strength to do so was in itself a grieving process.
I was certain that my “inner wisdom” or intuition or whatever was telling me this was doomed to be a failure. I mean absolutely, positively certain. I was journaling about it, I was working myself up into an emotional cyclone over it. I was unable to concentrate long enough to do paid-for readings (which is unprofessional as hell).
And then something popped up in my inbox that made me shift gears.
First of all, I’m in complete inbox overwhelm lately. During the telesummit a few months ago, I had signed up for dozens of email lists and haven’t had the energy to trim them down yet. Most days I don’t read any of the emails I get, or I just glance through. Some days one or two jump out at me and say, “Read/watch/listen”, whichever is appropriate.
And one day, Christine Arylo’s Love Letter jumped out at me. I don’t know why. I hadn’t looked at her stuff in months (if you don’t know Christine, she’s built her business and reputation around self-love. She’s a bit quirky and funny. Check her out at Madly In Love With Me!)
Something in there reminded me of one of The Four Agreements – Don’t Assume. [As an aside, remind me to tell you guys about working with Don Miguel Ruiz before he became famous.]
Assuming goes two ways. Assuming you know what someone else is thinking or feeling and assuming that they know what you are thinking and feeling.
And that’s what I had been doing. I had been taking something personally that really didn’t have anything to do with me.
I was also expecting someone else to know – at a distance! – how I was feeling and pursue me to force me to tell him/her how I was feeling.
And that is not fair in so many ways.
The Voice, the one now SCREAMING, “Walk Away, WALK AWAY, WALK AWAY!” was doing all that assuming.
So, I watched Christine’s video again and sat down to compose an email.
I didn’t even know what to say or how to express what I was feeling.
But I did the best I could with it.
It was cathartic; I even cried while writing it.
I felt immensely better for writing and sending it.
I didn’t get an immediate response. I didn’t expect an immediate response.
But the longer I waited for a response, the more the Voice started up again. “See, told ya so!” it was now saying.
I was feeling panicked.
What if. . . .
What if I opened up to the wrong person at the wrong time?
What if I made myself vulnerable and received nothing in return?
Why wasn’t I listening to my intuition?
Could I handle being hurt again?
But, in my best times, I have been able to say, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” Push through the fear, do what you’re scared of. Yes, there’s potential for it to go wrong, to be hurt, to fail, but how do you know if you don’t try?
And then . . . I got a response.
It was appropriate, kind, thoughtful, and genuine.
The fear bubble burst.
The Voice was gone.
That Voice was the voice of fear, NOT my intuition.
But how do you tell the difference? The Voice of fear was so strong – so much stronger than the gentle pull in the opposite direction.
Christine’s video resonated so strongly with me at exactly the right moment – that was intuition guiding me to what I needed to hear.
That voice, that guide is so quiet and gentle most of the time, it’s hard to recognize it at times.
|Photo from Unprofound.com|
Before you act on something, especially if it’s a negative something, or makes you panicked, stop for a moment. Breathe. Ask, “Does this act serve my highest good? Will this help me feel more fulfilled/loved/helpful/relieved or will this just hurt?”
Sometimes you need to cut people out of your life, toxic people, people who only hurt you even if it’s under the guise of helping you. Be clear about why you are doing that if you do. Make sure that it’s not based on a million what-ifs (assumptions) that haven’t even happened yet.
Be kind to yourself – ask for what you need. After all, you can’t get anywhere if you don’t move out of your comfort zone.
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.
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.
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.”
I had a love/hate relationship with being a technician back when I was one.
I loved working with mostly geeky guys and not being afraid of tech talk. The work was ok, I was. . . competent.
But very quickly after getting what should have been a dream job, I realized I was not happy or fulfilled. In fact, despite making more money than I ever had and living in a great apartment that I loved and being medicated, I was getting depressed. Again.
I think one reason why I was laid off that time was because of my depression. I started leaving work early or staying home because I had a headache or felt “sick”. I spent a lot of time online on a forum I was a frequent contributor to. I did my job, but half-heartedly, and I I wasn’t really comfortable with it. After 15 years, I never really became all that comfortable with it. It never felt right.
I was in touch with myself enough to realize that this meant I wasn’t supposed to be an engineer and to change my major – to math.
Math is also not a very. . . soulful, fulfilling path. It can be rather esoteric and philosophical, though.
But I really struggled with a couple of courses (abstract/modern algebra and real analysis, if you have to know).
As in, took them multiple times and celebrated a C/C- grade.
Funny, every non-math class I took, I got a B or even an A without even trying.
The math classes? My actual major? Not so much, once I hit the upper division classes.
Now, I did choose math in part because it was hard. Because I’m stubborn (or is it arrogant?) that way.
See, I can read and discuss history, philosophy, ethnic studies and a zillion other subjects on my own. But math beyond calculus? Was never going to be able to teach myself that.
Besides, we keep hearing about how the schools need teachers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, so it should be easy to get a job, right?
Except it took me twice as long to finish the degree as I thought it would, because of depression and not working and then working and still depressed and so on and so on and so on.
But I did finish.
Then I got into a program to get my credential.
And choked on the finish line.
I WILL finish that this April, but the path here has been arduous.
And now I’m feeling like that may not be where I’m supposed to be.
Way back in the early 1990s, I considered leaving the military. I had an opportunity to leave before my time was up.
I consulted a couple of people, thinking I should be doing something metaphysical – since every time I go for any kind of reading, the reader invariably says, “You could do what I do.”
But everything at that time came back saying, “No, stay. It’s not time.”
Right now. . . I don’t know.
Things feel. . . very strange.
Full of possibilities.
But at the same time, I don’t think I’m manic. I’m sleeping well, for one thing. (Less than four hours sleep a night is usually a pretty big indicator that I’m swinging that way).
So, I’m trying to get down as many ideas as I can, write as much as I can while this is in my head.
Maybe it’s time for something . . . different.
I know I’m supposed to Teach.
But maybe that’s not math.
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.
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