How Hard Is It To Listen?

What does it mean to really listen? To shut up?

[Tweet “What does it mean to really listen? To just shut up? #affirmation”]

Gaian Tarot Two of Air
Gaian Tarot

#affirmation Some days you just have to shut up. I’m a talker, you see. I tend to fill conversational spaces with anything. I’m learning to stop that. It’s a bad habit. How much have I missed in this world by doing that? I shudder to think!

Here is the Two of Air. A woman listens. It’s just that simple. She closes her eyes, tilts her head then listens. Those are cedar waxwings in the branches. I’ve seen them but couldn’t identify their song. I can identify some birdsong though easily.

Sometimes I think I would like to go back to the land as they say. Go off the grid. Get back to nature. Return to my roots.

Then I laugh. My roots? My roots are in Monroe, Louisiana in the middle of urban living. Well, it wasn’t a big city but it certainly wasn’t a small town either. We had four public high schools plus two private. Monroe is a great town but it’s not a “back to nature” situation.

I love to read books about people who have done that though. Do you? My friend, Joanna Powell Colbert, mentioned a book that I wanted to share with you as well. It is called Becoming Wild: Living the Primitive Life on a West Coast Island: Nikki van Schyndel. I’m going to get it for myself then it may also end up under the Christmas tree for someone else.

Here is a video interview of Nikki. It’s fascinating.

It’s not available on the Kindle (darn it), but it comes highly recommended.

Today’s card is the Two of Air from the Gaian Tarot which is by Joanna Powell Colbert. I’m using that image for today’s affirmation.

Today I shut up. Today I get quiet. Today I listen. I listen for and I listen to. For the messages in silence, I listen. To the song of nature, I listen. By embracing the quiet, I grow and I learn. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Unicorns, Rosaries + Time-Outs

Time-outs or time-pouts? Which do you indulge in?

[Tweet “Time-outs or time-pouts? Which do you indulge in? #tarot #affirmation”]

Chrysalis Tarot Two of Scrolls
Chrysalis Tarot

#affirmation I know today is late and I apologize. πŸ˜€ It’s been a week today. You know what I mean? Where enough things have to get done that it should take a full week but you have to do them TODAY?

LOL! So that’s why this is late. And I pulled a card on my iPhone app for the Chrysalis Tarot. This deck is making some noise in the Tarot world. Folks either love it or are just not that into it. I’m one of the “love it” group.

Here we have the Two of Scrolls. I love that the scrolls are on top of one another with obvious stairs coming down. A flying unicorn, or is that a horned Pegasus, seems to be launching from the scrolls. Or is it trying to regain its balance?

For me, this card captures the indecision and the balance aspect of the twos of the Tarot. In this deck, Scrolls are Swords. Since this is the suit of Air, Scrolls are a perfect choice for me.

Decisions have to be made. Balance has to be maintained. Not as easy as it sounds some days. We need tools to maintain our equilibrium. Yoga, meditation, alcohol (no Arwen), exercise, all of those (most of those) help us get that equilibrium back.

I have a new tool coming to me. It is a rosary made by a dear friend. I’ll wait while you compute that.

Yes, a rosary.

It won’t be the Catholic version. Here’s a great article on the praying of the rosary: It will be my own version. I will share mine once I’ve finished it. I need the rosary so I can get to work on that.

I need to calm my mind. Yesterday I took a nap simply because my mind wouldn’t stop bouncing from thing to thing to thing. I needed to put myself in a time out. πŸ˜€ So I did!

Do you ever put yourself in time-outs? I’m hoping that with my rosary and meditation, I will have self-imposed time-outs every day. Not timed pouts–although I am sure that is what they were when I was three and put in a corner. ha!

Today’s affirmation:

My thoughts are focused. My intentions are well thought out. I am a child of the Universe. I am giving opportunities to seek joy and experience happiness. I am balanced and ready. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Two of Scrolls, Chrysalis Tarot, U.S. Games Systems Inc, 2014

Managing What I Can’t Control

Notice how I did that? Manage what I can’t control. You may giggle now.

[Tweet “Notice how I did that? Manage what I can’t control. You may giggle now.”]

Cat's Eye Tarot Two of Cups
Cat’s Eye

Stress, it is a killer. Or so says Bartok in the animated “Anastasia” film. Right now I am working hard to manage some stress that I can’t control. Notice how I did that? Manage what I can’t control. You may giggle now.

But managing my reaction to that stress? That I can do. I’ve got some great tools that I’m not using. My Zentangles? I keep picking up my pens then realizing that this or that or this other thing need doing.

One thing I do have access to is the companionship of my pets. Or am I their pet? Sometimes it is hard to tell. I can’t sit down without having at least one of them near me. Right now I’m at my dining room table with my eldest cat curled up in the chair next to me. His sister is sleeping on the window sill. They’ve both had a very rough morning of bird watching. Tough life.

Flynn + Vinegar
Flynn + Vinegar

The dogs wait for me to sit on the couch. Then the Basenji wedges her butt against me while the Chiweenie worms his way between me and the arm of the couch. No matter if I am curled up in the corner. He will have his way.

Batman + Nayru
Batman + Nayru

Today’s card is from the charming Cat’s Eye Tarot by Deb Givin, DVM. Here two black and white cats wind around one another. It reminds me that even when I am tripping over my fifteen pound Maine Coon, I’m only doing that because he loves me so much.

We’ve all heard about pets being great stress relievers. They are. Even when I am whining that I don’t particularly WANT to go for a walk, I always feel better after that walk.

What pets do you have? I’d love to hear about them.

Today’s affirmation:

I am relaxed. I am calm. I manage my response to the stresses of my life. I breathe in. I breathe out. I am enough. I am a beautiful, strong, woman. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Two of Cups, Cat’s Eye Tarot, U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Parts, Love+Deep

Today’s card reminds me of sadness and being misunderstood. And that’s a rather unusual interpretation for this particular card. Normally this is the card of love and romance and partnership.

DarkGoddess_2Cups002Today’s card reminds me of sadness and being misunderstood. And that’s a rather unusual interpretation for this particular card. Normally this is the card of love and romance and partnership.

But the Lorelei, to me, is a sad creature. She only wants love to come to her. She sings for love. She attracts love. Sadly none of them want to stay and that love is destroyed. Often, so is the lover.

Per the Dark Goddess Tarot, she is a German spirit of unending desire. The phrase in the Little White Book (LWB) is “the deeper you go, the harder your heart beats”.

So perhaps the Lorelei can find love if only one person will go deep enough to understand her. Deep enough to see all her parts–both light and dark.

Isn’t that what we all want? Just someone to love all of us?

Journal prompt today: “Do I love all their parts?”

Two of Water, Dark Goddess Tarot, 2013

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Who Defines Me?

Adventure_2Swords002Today’s card is from one of my primary reading decks. I’m a bit of a serial Tarotist, you see. I get hooked into one deck for a long time, but then move on.

This deck is one I bought because I’d met the creator online. Can’t tell you where or how. I don’t remember. I’ve slept since then. πŸ˜€ But I never thought I’d read with this deck.

It was a CARTOON deck, after all. SNIFF. SNIFF.

Yeah. About that? This is a ddeck taht immediately worked for me. On all levels. It is one of the first decks that taught me suits can be called different things. I learned how to loosen up as a reader.

How you see me does not define me.

I woke up with that phrase in my mind. Then I pulled this card. I knew I was going to work with this deck this morning. I just didn’t know which card would come to hand.

Our Two of Blades is ready. She is can go into a offensive mode if necessary, but for this moment, she’s solidly in a waiting, defensive mode. She is blindfolded because she’s learned what she sees can distract her.

Think about your “Internet-only” friendships. Those people you’ve never met face-to-face. The ones so many claim “can’t be real friends because you’ve never met them.”

We meet one another in this medium without some distractions. Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing?

Perhaps, my darlings, it’s just a thing. What we do with it is what counts.

For me, I’m more cautious now than I was when I first began my electronic journey. I still have friends from my first BBB. for those who are curious. LOL

I do my best to be real, to be authentic, to be who I am in all my worlds–online, offline and dreamtime. That means sometimes I’m cranky. Sometimes I’m mean. Sometimes I’m emotional. It’s who I am.

Some see me as a one-note joy seeker and that’s okay.

How you see me does not define me.

Some see me as an egomaniacal bitch and that’s okay.

How you see me does not define me.

Hold on to that for yourself. You define you. Your opinion is the one that counts in this.

Two of Blades, Adventure Tarot, U.S. Games (OOP) (aff)

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Why Did I Do That?

DreamRaven_2Cups001Today’s card reminds me that I need to be actively engaged in my own emotional choices. I must remember that what I feel is my own responsibility. I cannot allow my emotional choices to be made by others.

I mean that I cannot say, “Oh I did that horrible thing because I was mad at so-and-so.”

I mean that I cannot say, “I was speeding because X told me I had to hurry.”

I can say, “I was hurting when I did that horrible thing” or “I was speeding because I thought it was urgent that I get there.”

By taking the “other” out of my actions, I own what I do. I was thinking about this on my morning walk with the dogs. I released one emotional burden yesterday. It hurt, y’all. It hurt to release it. Doesn’t feel much better today to be honest.

But? I know it was the right thing for me. I hope it was the right thing for the other person.

I had to make an emotional choice where I put myself first. I had to be reminded by someone who loves me that I was trying to put blame where it didn’t belong once I’d done that releasing.

My reaction to that reminder was…poor, to say the least. πŸ˜€ I reread what they said this morning and got more of what they meant. But last night? HOOO BOY! I did not want to hear what they said. AT ALL.

So what about you? Do you have any impending emotional choices? See if you can make them from your heart-centered, self-focused place. See if you can not say, “If X hadn’t done X, I wouldn’t have to do this.”

As my dear One pointed out, it’s in the scorpion’s nature.

Two of Cups, Dream Raven Tarot (Beth Seilonen), Schiffer, 2013 (aff)

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

P. to the S. Do you love movies? Like to watch them on your schedule? Become an Amazon Prime member today. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial. I’ve been a member for 2+ years now. LOVE IT. Better than Hulu. Better than Netflix. I can watch it on my TV too. πŸ˜€ htt

Balancing Prosperity With Budgets

DreamingRaveb_2PentaclesToday’s card is from a really pretty new deck. I’m fast falling in love with it. In a strange way, it reminds me of Dana Driscoll’s Tarot of Trees. I can’t really place my finger on exactly WHY it does but it has something to do with the intensity of the colors, I think.

Here we have the Two of Pentacles. Traditionally a card of choices, I see this raven as something of a trickster. There is a connection between the twos and the Major Arcana II the Magician so maybe that is why. Of course, the Raven CAN be a trickster in many beliefs.

Still, here it looks as if he is pulling coins out of thin air. It can certainly feel that way when we are making money choices, can’t it? As if we don’t have enough and will never have enough?

I think this card is a reminder to me to think abundantly while living carefully. I have a lot of good things going on right now so I am able to afford things I couldn’t in my 20’s. But that doesn’t mean I need to buy the whole horse when I all I want to do is ride one hour a week. πŸ˜€

How do you balance your abundant living thinking with your carefully budget life? Do you think one negates the other?

I don’t. I think carefully budgeting myself while calling in prosperity is my “Yes, okay” to the Universe. I’m making a promise not to squander the abundance. I’m making a choice to be careful with my wealth.

And? I don’t see wealth as money alone. Pentacles are the suit of community and earth as well as money. So my friends and family and pets are all covered in this abundant life.

Today I accept that I live in abundance. I acknowledge my right to a prosperous life. I embrace the wholeness of my wealthy, healthy self.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Two of Pentacles, Dream Raven Tarot, Schiffer Books, 2013

Storm Coming? Passing?

SteampunkTarot_2PentaclesToday’s card reminds me of something I heard today. The quote was by a man named John O’Donohue who died in 2008. He said

“The normal way never leads home.”

I learned two things when I heard that. The first was that I needed to get his work. The second was that I had no definition of what home might mean in that quote.

Living in Austin, I can certainly identify with the idea of not being normal. I’ve decided that if I ever do leave this mecca of weird, I will go to another mecca of diversity and unusual. I need to be where the norm is to be uniquely myself.

I am not like you. You are not like me. Like everyone else, we are unique. Isn’t that an amazing concept? Consider it for just a minute. No one on earth is just like you. No one has your life experiences or your truths or sorrows or joys.

Many of us have similar. Many of us have shared in the same experience. But how many of us have come away from those shared experiences with different outlooks?

When I went ocean kayaking with my best friend, we fell in. Whether we fell in courtesy of me or her is a matter of opinion. I’m willing to believe her when she says I tumped us in. I saw a WHALE. (Tumping is what I was taught you do when you turn a boat over. πŸ˜€ )

So my experience of being in the water THISCLOSE to a humpback was thrilling as well as humorous. But what was Cai’s experience? I know that when I was pointing out how close the whale was, she somewhat tartly pointed out that I should be getting back in the kayak so she could too.

It may have been April and it may have been slightly brisk in the water that day.

But our experiences were not the same. Neither of us was angry at the other. Far from it! We laughed our butts off. But I think you would hear two different stories from that day that we went swimming quite unexpectedly with whales.

The Two of Pentacles from Aly Fell and Barbara Moore’s fantastic Steampunk Tarot shows a woman on an old-fashioned bicycle. There is a neon lemniscate acting as the chain. She appears to be riding on water or clouds. The sky above her shows a storm breaking. Or is it gathering? Is she finally leaving shelter to head on her way? Is she hurrying for shelter before the storm hits?

Your personal story will lend flavor to this card and every card in a spread. As a reader, you must acknowledge that. Some of it will need to be put aside if you are reading for another, but if you are reading for yourself, understanding how your own mood can blend into the cards is key.

So, when you look at this card, given your current mood and understanding of where you are, is she fleeing the storm or has the storm passed?

Here’s some of John O’Donohue’s work [aff].

Two of Pentacles, Steampunk Tarot, 2012 [aff]

Who’s Telling The Truth?

Paulina_2SwordsToday’s card reminds me that there are two sides (at least) to every tale. In fact, I would propose that there are three. Mine, yours and the truth.

Now I’m not saying that you or I are lying. I’m not saying that at all. It’s more that we each bring our own truth to story telling. What I see and interpret is influenced, guided, filtered by my life experiences. Same for you.

I might see someone cut someone else off in traffic and think, “What a jerk. They are rude and have no manners.” You might see them and think, “Wow, they must be late for work.”

And the truth might be something completely different.

We are all influenced by everything that occurs in our life. Even our choice to avoid things that might influence, influences.

What I am saying is that we can’t ever be completely “clean” of life.

And that, I think, is a very good thing. That way we can bring our life events in to help us grapple with things large and small.

Back to the traffic incident. I could also stop, breathe, and then say, “Maybe they were unaware of how close that other car was. Maybe they have a sick child and are rushing to the hospital.”

I don’t HAVE TO go to the bad every time.

I don’t HAVE TO assume the worst.

Did you know that’s a documented human response? The assuming the worst?

It’s part of the “fight or flight” animal instinct in all of us. Scientists say that is why we look for the worst in a situation. It’s in order to keep ourselves safe.

I am challenging myself today to not assume the worst. Particularly after Monday, when my “they’re all jerks” is in high reactive mode, I must fight to get back to a more joyful outlook.

It ain’t easy, kids. It ain’t easy.

But I have faith that I can do it. Just like I have faith that I can continue toward my goal of 10k steps a day. I’m now averaging over 5k a day so that 10k isn’t that far away.

Neither is my joy-seeker outlook. I know I left it here somewhere.

I’ll go rummage around in my mental pockets. You do the same.

Let’s meet back here tomorrow to check in on how we did today.

Two of Swords, Paulina Tarot, USGames

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

P.S. Please check out this Kickstarter. It’s a cool glass artist who is a personal friend of mine. I’ve backed many Kickstarter projects. The more airtime they get, the better they do. I’d appreciate if you would share this link as well. What goes around comes around,darlings!

Yes, I’m going to mention this a lot in the next 25 days.
No, I don’t make a dime from this.
Yes, I know it may seem obnoxious but I’m trusting y’all to understand I do this for my love of my friend and my pride in his work. MUAH!

Who Do You Need Most?

DAC81_4This card is a reminder that all I need is love. And that the Beatles have been haunting me this week. Stop that, you bad bad boys!

Here is the Two of Cups from the Thoth deck. Honestly, as much as this deck doesn’t appeal to me, this is a favorite depiction of this card. I find it soothing and just lovely to look at.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is to love myself more. I don’t feel as if I do it enough or maybe it is that I am not regular about it. I need to do it daily. Do you?

I find that when I see myself as both cups, I do better. When I stop needing someone else to fill be up, I am a person I just like more. What about you?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of “If they need me, I must be worthy.”

What about you? Do you need you?

For your 180 second challenge today, do something for yourself for three minutes. Love you.

Two of Cups, Thoth Tarot, U.S. Games

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!