Living A Wildling Life

I may be nuts. I may be grasping at straws. I may be trying to make order out of disorder.

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#affirmation Do you see faces? Figures? Patterns within patterns? I do. I see the Green Man and the Lady everywhere. I see tiny fairy faces peering back at me. I find creatures in the randomization of nature.

I may be nuts. I may be grasping at straws. I may be trying to make order out of disorder.

Whatever it is, it gives me comfort and brings me joy to see the Wildlings looking back at me.

This picture is not a Wildling for I have never been able to capture a picture. This is a manipulated image (kaleidoscope) of some fabric. But a face shows up nonetheless. It amused me.

I amuse easily.

Today’s affirmation:

I see the wonder of the world. I open my eyes, my heart, my mind to the Others that exist. I embrace the wildness of my nature. I sing the songs that call the Wyrd. I am a Goddess. I am a human. Thus combined, I am combustible. I live freely and wildly. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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Who Is Your Enemy?

Arwen_mirror_319x413Today’s card reminds me that the enemy is not in my mirror. The enemy is not in my head. The enemy is not in my heart.

The enemy is not me.

How often do we hear some version of “Oh don’t think that. The enemy is in your head.”

Well, here’s a thought. How about if we don’t call those negative thoughts “the enemy” or “bad things” or any version of that?

How about we agree that it’s just a difficult pattern we are working on?

or

A challenge we are in the process of reframing?

or

any other more positive way of saying, “Yeah I get it. I’m negative sometimes but you know what? I’m working on it so stop telling me I’m bad even when you are trying to build me up.”

Grin. It’s a process, darling dears. Once you realize you’ve made it, you too can say you were an overnight success–it only took me HOW MANY years? 😀

Yeah. Overnight.

Thousands of them. Literally.

Don’t worry if you slide. Please don’t measure yourself against anyone but yourself.

And even then measure the way they cut fabric.

GIVE YOURSELF ROOM FOR MISTAKES.

You know that’s why they are generous when they cut fabric right?

Yeah.

So aren’t you worth a few extra yards?

I think so!

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Oh, that picture? Yeah. That’s just one of the beautiful Lisa Hunt drawings in my Fairy Tale Spreads eBook. You have it already right?

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Would You Let Them Say That To Your Friend?

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Today’s card is one of my Zentangles. Is it from an upcoming oracle deck? Maybe. You never know which way you go when you just follow your heart.

There’s a recurring theme in the Tarot talks I have with folks. Over and over, the same cards show up. It’s not so much a particular card as it is a theme in combinations. So many of us have been so horribly beaten down by life, love and other factors.

Factors that should be our support but have been turned into our own constantly playing old tapes. Now. Listen to me carefully, my darling dears. Or read me carefully. Read this out loud.

I don’t think most of our old tapes were put there by intentionally cruel people.

The one that says I’m not good enough unless I weigh a certain weight? That’s my mama, my grand-mama, my aunt and every female parent of every friend I’ve ever had.

But who are they quoting? Yeah. That’s right. It goes so far back. It’s so ingrained in our predecessors and theirs that it is a waste of time to track it back.

What we need to do is to stop it. Stop replaying the old tapes. Stop it.

And isn’t that hard to do?

How about this. I’m going to give you one of Arwen’s rules of life. Rules of engagement. Rules of living a joy seeker’s life.

Ready?

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.

Yeah. That.

So when I realize I forgot to buy the right kind of tomatoes and have to substitute with salsa, I have to say, “Well that’s very clever of you, Arwen, to think of the salsa.”

I can’t tear me down.

Plenty of others who are vying for that job. Grin, or some days it feels like it.

So, for your 180 second challenge today, look at yourself in the mirror. Hold your own gaze (harder than it sounds). Praise yourself as if you were your best friend having a down day.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on. Please.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, 6/10/2013

By the way, there are still seats available in my online class. Want to learn to read Tarot intuitively? Want to hang out with me and laugh yourself silly? I’d love to have you.

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Who Has your Compassion?

BuddhaCompassionToday’s card is not a card at all. It is an image and a quote. A dearheart tagged me on this yesterday. I was so moved because I really needed to hear it.

I’ve been hard on myself lately. Really nagging me about my weight (because it is hurting my back.) Really bashing me about my food choices (because I am intentionally eating things I know I shouldn’t.) Really talking down that girl in the mirror.

And I preach compassion. I state over and over that you, my lovely friends/readers, should love yourself.

What’s that?

What’s good for the reader is good for the writer?

HONK!

Yeah. About that.

So, like I said, I needed to read this. Okay, so I said I needed to hear it first. You know what I mean. 😀

Does your compassion include you?

I’m going to make sure mine does. That will be my mantra.

Today I breathe in compassion. I breathe out regrets. I breathe in love for me. I breathe out shaming myself. I set my feet on the earth with the intention of loving me as much as I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Buddha Meme from Facebook

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What Are You Worth?

zentangle5152013So today’s card is not a card from any published deck. It’s one from my maybe Tangled Oracle. 😀 It’s a simple phrase that I share, but not always an easy concept.

If we lived in a society where we bartered services, worth would have a different meaning. It might mean three cows, one chicken and a loaf of bread. It might mean a tire change and a new dress.

But we don’t so a lot of us think our worth is what we have in the bank or what we earn. We think it is the kind of car we drive or the brand of shoes on our foot. We think it is our neighborhood or even our neighbors. We think it is shiny and hard to attain.

When we work from that mindset, nothing is ever going to be worth it. No amount of dollars will ever equal what you are worth. If I offered you cash for your best friend, how much would you want? How much would I have to pay you to take away friendship from you?

Know your worth, babies.

It’s not money.
It’s not stuff.

It’s the people at your dinner table.
It’s the laughter on the phone.
It’s the photographs on your wall.

For your 180 second challenge today, I want you to spend that three minutes counting up your friends. Weigh that against what you think you should be worth.

Seek joy, y’all. It’s worth it. Pass it on.

Zentangle 5/15/2013, Stephanie Arwen Lynch

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Violence, Words & Intentions

It’s always a joke–except when I’m mad. Then there’s heat behind those violent words that I fling out at a driver who pissed me off. There’s unformed intention floating around my heart.

I rarely post twice on the same day but wanted to share this thought on violence with you.

Violent Words

A thought. We all have varying opinions on why our society is so much more violent these days.

Here’s mine.

Language.

The things we say embed themselves into our lives. Make impressions on our souls.

Do you ever say “I could just smack her” or “I’d like to punch him in the face”?

Do you use violent language without thinking twice?

I do.

I even jokingly tell my dog that I will beat her like a rug. Of course I’d never hit her. It’s just a joke, right?

It’s always a joke–except when I’m mad. Then there’s heat behind those violent words that I fling out at a driver who pissed me off. There’s unformed intention floating around my heart.

Would I do it if I had the chance? Of COURSE not.

But what is that saying about thoughts becoming intentions so make yours good ones?

I’m not saying that our society’s use of “one of these days, Alice, straight to the moon” is the root of all evil.

All I’m saying is that I am personally pledging to make 2013 (and the rest of 2012) a non-violent words year. Maybe I’m not the type to knife or shoot or run over another person, but who’s to say my words aren’t shoving, pushing, pointing me to that eventuality?

If you catch me using violent language, will you help me correct my course? I’d appreciate it.

P. to the S. If this were a Tarot card, it would be the Five of Swords. I took this picture in Laguna Beach, CA April 2012.

Seek Joy, Y’all. Please pass it on.

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Beliefs, Ceremonies & Secrets

One of the questions in this closing ceremony was “What dreams came true during 2012?” I came up with four of them right off the bat. The first and second were the most important to me. They were the two that really were the biggest.

Today’s card reminds me to believe in myself. When I listen to what old me says I can’t do, new me gets shut down. That’s no fun! The 8 of Coins is the card of the craftsman. I see it as the cycle of apprentice/journeyman/master. We are all at some point on that scale. Often it depends on what it is we are doing. For instance, I consider myself to be a master at the craft of Tarot reading but an apprentice when it comes to Astrology. It’s all good too. As long as I’m still learning, I’m succeeding. This is a fun representation of this mix of learner and learned in the Fantastic Menagerie’s Eight of Pentacles. Musicians are another form of artist who have an almost continuous learning curve.

My learning curve this past year is not something I really paid that much attention to until I got this planner for next year. If you’ve been paying attention, you know where I’m heading with this post. I’m going to go on and on about the 2013 Create Your Incredible Year some more, y’all. There’s so much here. I’m not even a quarter of the way through but already, I’ve had an epiphany. I’ll tell you about that epiphany on Wednesday.

The planner begins with an exercise that states as the very first line:

Here’s the place where we muck it up.

My first reaction? “Well that’s just not very nice, Leonie!” But, I’ve been a member of her site since June so I thought I might want to read on for one more sentence or so. Then I saw phrases like “taking stock” and “celebration + release” and “closing ceremony.” My fears were assuaged.

One of the questions in this closing ceremony was “What dreams came true during 2012?” I came up with four of them right off the bat. The first and second were the most important to me. They were the two that really were the biggest.

1. I created art.
2. I changed people’s lives.

Now those may seem fairly disparate or maybe even super out of balance in terms of importance. I suppose I could have lied to y’all and said that the second was the first and the first was the second, but well, that’s not true. That first one is a doozy for me.

I’ve shared some of my Zentangles here and there. The responses I’ve gotten have fed my soul in a myriad of ways. I get a bit choked up when I try to verbalize those ways. Art is one of those things I always thought wasn’t in the cards for me. I figured I was good to be able to write poetry and stories. My writing partner is an artist. She’s so talented that sometimes I felt a wee bit jealous of her.

Then two things happened. One was the Leonie Dawson Creative Goddess course. The other was Joanna Powell Colbert’s seasonal practice (I took the Lammas one). Both are online courses. Neither forces you to a strict “do it or you suck” time table. Both had these amazingly supportive souls on the same journey with me. Many of them were already visual artists. I was so intimidated when I saw their first pages of THEIR art journals. Mine looked like something a child (a really untalented one) might do. Goddess. It was excruciating to share my pages. But I did.

Then while I was doing that, I heard about, stumbled over, ran across Zentangle. And boom. I took a class (had to set multiple reminders on my phone that basically said “You paid $35 for this. Don’t back out.” And other *ahem* self-motivational admonishments. When that Sunday came, I was still looking for a way out including a mild wish to be hit by a bus. What was I thinking? Me? Doing art. HA to the HELL NO.

But I did. And I did. I mean…I did! I created things that were pretty. I showed my best friend who immediately dove in as well. She’s doing them as well. Zentangles, for me, have been a way to quiet my mind which helps my creativity.

Then there’s that second piece. That big, ballsy phrase about me changing people’s lives. I hesitated before I put that one down. It’s not one of those throwaway statements. But I’m going to talk more about that tomorrow.

Want to join me on this planner journey I’m on? I have a Facebook group (it’s seeeekrit). Let me know you’ve got the workbook. I’ll give you the Seeeekrit code and, if you join by midnight yesterday, you’ll get the Seeeekrit Decoder Ring and the Super Seeeekrit Ranger Necktie too. (grin).

Seek Joy, Y’all! Pass it on.

8 of Coins, Fantastical Menagerie Tarot, The Magic Realist Press

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Busy, Crazy & Pollyanna

Ever feel overwhelmed? Like you just can’t get it all done and there isn’t enough time for you? How do you manage those moments? What gets you through them?

Today’s card isn’t a card. It’s one of my Zentangles. I’ve got so much to do today. I’ve got to go to the Vet (kitty with allergies). I’m having lunch with a friend. I’m meeting a new friend for tea. I’ve got a phone date with a friend later. I hope to also have a phone date with my honey.

Ever feel overwhelmed? Like you just can’t get it all done and there isn’t enough time for you? How do you manage those moments? What gets you through them?

For me, I remember that there is one thing in the world that I can pretty much always multitask.

Seeking joy.

I’m going to find joy at the vet knowing that my elderly boy will be back to his pushing, purring, pillow-hogging self once he gets his allergy shot.

I’ll find joy with my friend over good food and his silly dogs.

I love meeting new people.

I’ll get a chance to catch up with a loved one.

I might even get a chance for some pillow talk (albeit over Skype) with my honey.

I could wail and moan about all I have to do but really, I would still have to do it.

So, grin, I’ll just put on my Pollyanna hat with a firm clap to my head. I’ll scootch my rose-colored lenses up my nose. I’ll lighten my load by acknowledging all the joy coming my way today.

I hope you have a marvelous day. I love you. Each of you are worth love. Each of you deserve love. So remember, when you are wondering how you can get it all done….

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Zentangle, Arwen, 2012

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Weights, Beauty & Spoons

I don’t know a thing about them. None of them are signed. I imagine all of them are just old things someone collected because they made them smile.

Today’s card isn’t a card. It’s a picture of some antique paperweights I won at an auction. They remind me that even functional things can (and should) have beauty.

These six items bring me a lot of joy. I got the egg shaped one first then the other five in a lot bid. I don’t know a thing about them. None of them are signed. I imagine all of them are just old things someone collected because they made them smile.

Today’s challenge is to find beauty in some common object. Maybe there is a pretty scroll work on the chapter heading of your text book. Or the color of your favorite blouse makes you happy. Take a moment to focus on your ordinary, everyday life.

What is beautiful there? What do you use every day? See the joy that is right there at your fingertips just waiting to be found.

Have a fabulous day, y’all. I just looked at the spoon I used to eat my breakfast. Gorgeous intricate pattern that someone, somewhere worked out in their head, then put on paper so someone could create this simple metal spoon that I use every day.

How amazing is that?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Six Paperweights, personal collection, Arwen 2012

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Mocking, Reflections & Words

I am not perfect. I find Yankee jokes hysterical. I should be kinder to the regionally-challenged.

Today’s card is from a very special deck. It’s an oracle deck, but so much more. It’s from Schiffer and it is the Inspiration for Survivors deck. It’s very uplifting.

I chose this deck and this card very intentionally today. Sometimes I pull randomly. Today wasn’t one of those days. You see, I read this letter to Ann Coulter from special Olympian John Franklin Stephens. He took offense at a word she used against someone. Ann Coulter tweeted this:

“@AnnCoulter: I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.”

He responded with a letter to her which you can read here (and I highly recommend that you do read it):

I’m not going to delve into the politics of this. I’m going to talk about why we must remember that we are reflections of each other.

When you mock a skinny woman, you don’t know if the woman sitting next to you fought and won her battle with anorexia.

When you mock a fat man, you don’t know if the man sitting next you has a father who battled obesity.

When you joke that your friend should ride the short bus, you don’t know if the person next to you puts their beloved child on that short bus every school day.

When you gather your girlfriends to exchange catty gossip about that slut at school, you don’t know if she uses sex to replace the love she never receives at home

You can’t know.

You should think about it though. You should think about how you want to be reflected. Is your reflection in others one of kindness and caring? Is it one that encourages them to lift themselves up?

I am not trying to shake a finger so much as offer some thoughts on why words hurt. You see, I lived with a young man who was called a retard on a regular basis. He rode the short bus. He was mentally challenged. But you know what?

He understood what retard meant. To him it meant “we don’t like you because you are not like us.” And it hurt him.

Retard.
Fatty.
Skank.
Slut.
Cripple.

How about:

Differently abled. Needs love. Looking for friends. Needs kindness.

Choose your words. Consider jokes you send out. Are they funny or do they mock someone for being blond or a Yankee or or or?

I am not perfect. I find Yankee jokes hysterical. I should be kinder to the regionally-challenged.

I am not perfect. I gossip. I mock others.

I simply try not to do those things.

I simply try to be better than my reflection.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Inspiration for Survivors, Schiffer Publishing, 2012

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