What Was Your Moon?

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Today’s card is not a card. It’s a zentangle with a poem. It’s not my poem. And, if I am going to be precise, it’s a haiku. It’s by this guy who knew how to wield a pen and a sword. It’s by a samurai named Mizuta Masahide.

What you see in this zentangle is an alternate translation. This is what I found as an original or closer version.

Barn’s burnt down —
I can see the moon.

Both are lovely but I find that I prefer the visceral punch of the second one. It’s so raw but the lyrical hope at the end makes me teary.

The samurai competed in so many things…are you surprised to learn that one of those was also poetry?  How completely opposed is the art of war and the art of poetry?

But I digress. What I wanted to say is this. This poem is the Tower card.

Have you have ever lost your barn (metaphor,darlings, metaphor)? You know…those catastrophic, “my life as I know it is completely over and I shall never see Tara again” moments? [Whoa! Hold on as I whip you from 17th century Japan over to 19th century Georgia!]

Do you remember when you first realized you could see the moon [metaphor again, darlings]? That instant when you realized not only were you going to survive, but you were going to be a stronger version of the you pre-burnt barn?

Yeah. That moment right there.

That’s the moon moment.

Take 180 seconds today to recall that feeling when you realized that you could see beautiful new things even though you’d lost something you thought so precious. Even though you thought you couldn’t go on, you did.

For me, that barn? Well, I’ve had my fair share of burnt barns–the kind that are long and smoldering (the death of my mother), the kind that are middle of the night “Pa! The barn’s on fire” (break up that I thought I’d never survive), to the kind that are like a wildfire took down your barn, your house and your other house too.

What were the moons? After Mama died, I realized that there is a lot of her in me. I hear her come out of my mouth in so many ways. Used to make me cry more than laugh but now I laugh more than cry. That’s a moon.

So what about you? If you care to share what your three minutes brings you, I’d love to hear it.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on. See the moon.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, Poem by Mizuta Masahide 1657-1723, 6/17/2013

Here is a set of books that I listened to recently. It mesmerized me. It is, in its simplest form, the saga of the Samurai as told through the journey of one boy and one Samurai lord. It’s far more complex than that of course. I highly recommend this series–>Tales of the Otori. It still haunts me.

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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.


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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How Do You Row?

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Today’s card is not a card. It’s a tangle. At work, my desk area is plastered with quotes. I find ones that speak to me then put them on unlined note cards. Then I pin or tape those cards all over my area.

“If there is no wind, row.”

It is a Latin proverb according to the little calendar I found it in. And it speaks to me. Sometimes I feel as if I’m not moving. I have to remember that I move myself. I cannot always depend on others to help me get where I need or want to be.

So how do you row when there is no wind? How do you invigorate yourself? How do you motivate? Or, as I am fond of saying, motorvate?

Today’s affirmation is:

Today I will focus on the bright things. I will acknowledge both sides but my focus will remain on the joy. I will move with comfort. I will move with ease. I will navigate today with a joyful outlook. I am loved and loving. That is enough for this moment. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Zentangle Art Journal Page, Arwen Lynch, 2013

Seek Joy, Y’all. Pass it on!

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June 2013 Tarotscopes

Zentangle_5112013It’s June. I hope this finds you well. I’ve been a busy bee doing video reviews. You can find all of my video reviews and a few silly pet ones here.

Afraid you can’t find joy? Worried your bliss has taken a permanent vacation? I can help. Let’s have a conversation using Tarot as a tool for personal development. Contact me.

This month’s deck is my personal reading deck, the Gaian Tarot. The podcast is 18 minutes and 33 seconds. You can find it below in the podcast player or here.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

Pssst! Make sure you check the newsletter this month to see if you won the free reading! May’s winner never contacted me so they didn’t get their reading!

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Sad Cats Make Me Happy

Zentangle Inspired ArtToday’s card is not a card but one of my Zentangle pieces. Technically, this is a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) because it is an identifiable shape. 😀 Whatever you wish to call it, I’d like to introduce you to my betta’ betta, Bruce.

Someone said he looked like Jules Verne had inspired him. I can see that with the way the sections fit together. And that tail! Oh my goodness, that tail. I hope he can swim with it. I had so much fun drawing him. And that is what today’s post is going to be on.

What brings you joy? Name three things that you do that make you happy. They don’t have to be big things. They can be little things. I was going to give you examples but…no. I know you have at least three things that bring you joy on a consistent basis.

And that’s all we are doing on this fabulous Monday. Naming three things that bring you joy.

I’ll start!

Birds at my bird feeder. I love my cardinal couple. She’s always first then a few minutes after she’s gone, he shows up. I think they must be nesting somewhere. The doves make me a big cranky but I have to smile at them as they bully their way onto the feeder then SHOVE all the seed they can’t eat out on the ground as they search for what they like. I even had a hummingbird yesterday. I love the hummers. Once had the opportunity to have one sit on my finger for a moment. Magical, y’all. Simply magical.

My cats watching the birds brings me joy. They chitter at the birds and each other. I imagine they are sharing discussions about how to stew, bake, fricassee and fry them properly. There will be the expected arguments about how much garlic is too much. Speaking of cats, my last thing that brought me joy is this video.

Sad Cat Diary

Yes, I’ve watched it many times and laugh just as hard every time.

Your 180 second challenge is to name three things that bring you joy.

Seek joy, y’all! Pass it on.

ZIA “Bruce”, Stephanie Arwen Lynch, (c)2013

PSST! Go see my post over at Leanne’s place!

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When Are Your Sacred Moments?

zentangle016Today’s card is a reminder to me to look at all that I have. I was reminded of this by my friend Cathie who is my Kansas self. She commented on this tangle that it reminded her of looking down on a garden.

The traditional Nine of Pentacles shows a woman in her garden admiring all that she has. She is wise enough to know that prosperity isn’t just money. Do you see the nine coins in this image? They are there. You just have to look for them.

Sometimes we just have to look for our wealth. We just have to know where it is. In Joanna Colbert’s newsletter today, she offers ways to make any journey into a pilgrimage. You should probably subscribe to her newsletter. They are one of my highlights when they arrive.

Joanna is preparing to kick off her next Seasonal Practices journey for Beltane. I can’t recommend this enough. She’s a marvelous teacher.

The Nine of Pentacles is, perhaps, a teacher as well. It teaches me that I am living a life I love. Are there places I might want to tweak a bit? Sure. But that’s not dissatisfaction so much as it is knowing I can move up another level. I can increase my joy that much more.

I am beginning to do this by acknowledging where I need to create space–where I need to make quiet sacred moments for myself.

So your challenge today is to create a quiet sacred moment for yourself. Just for 180 seconds, that’s all. Three minutes of intentional acknowledgement of that time.

Zentangle, Arwen, 2013

Seek Joy, Y’all. Pass it on!

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Are You Sappy?

zentangle035“She had so deep a kinship with the trees, so intuitive a sympathy with leaf and flower, that it seemed as if the blood in her veins was not slow-moving human blood, but volatile sap.”

-Mary Webb, Gone to Earth (1917)

Lissa Coffey shared this in her Wisdom email today. It moved me. I wanted to share it with you as well.

I love the idea of volatile sap. Sap that is so fast it could ignite at any moment. We could be all catalysts for something great.

I think we are all catalysts for something great.

Last night I had the most amazing reading with Marcy Currier. She did a reading for me that focused on the body–specifically we were looking for things that needed to be moved, reset, reoriented.

She’s an amazing reader and I can highly recommend her to you. I came away from my reading with so many positives–I don’t know if I can list them all.

Suffice it to say, I felt like I’d had a massage that focused on realigning me energetically. Good stuff, y’all. Goooooood stuff.

Here’s your 180 second challenge today. If you were made of volatile sap, what would you change first?

Take three minutes to think about that.

Then get started.

Zentangle, Arwen, 2012

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Is That Affirmative?

zentangle037Today’s card is one of my tangles. This is a very repetitive zendala called a monotangle. That’s because it uses the same pattern over and over again.

It’s a time-honored tradition in spiritual work–this repetition. Buddhists do it. Catholics do it. Wiccans do it. Taking the same phrase and repeating it helps solidify that thought pattern.

You won’t be surprised when I tell you that’s one reason for “seek joy, y’all” all the time.

On my personal Facebook page, I do a daily affirmation (well nearly daily). It is my way of setting my day up. I begin with positive statements.

For today’s 180 second challenge (that’s just three minutes, my darlings), I want you to say an affirmation. It can be short. It can be simple. It must be in the present tense and positive.

For instance, the following is not a “good” affirmation:

I am going to not be sad today.

Change that to:

Today I am happy.

Short. Sweet. Positive.

I tend to make longer ones because, hey, I’m a writer and I’m wordy. Here is my affirmation for today.

I breathe in peace. I breathe out joy. I see beauty in each person I meet. I find the good in the world easily. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

I’d love it if you would share yours with me.

Zendala, Arwen Lynch, 2012

Pssst! In Austin, TX? Check out out this upcoming class from Ginny Krauskopf, CZT. This is the woman who taught me the basics of Zentangle.

Beginning Zentangle – Austin, TX

April 13, 2013, 1:00 – 3:45

Whether you’ve been playing around with Zentangle for a while, or never drawn a single pattern, this class is for you! You’ll learn basic tangle patterns and get a kit to take home.

You can sign up for the class on the Austin page of Ginny’s website.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

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How Do You What-If?

Today’s card is one of my tangles using the Zentangle method. There’s a lot wrong with this one. I could point out all the places it went wonky. I could show you where the patterns went askew. Not to mention the fact that the paper shifted when I closed the scanner lid so the whole thing needs to be tilted to the right just a bit.

When I picked it out this morning, I realized that I had to look for the imperfections. I had to focus on them to find them.

Profound moment ahead. Fasten your seat belts.

I then wondered why I couldn’t just pull back from the close-up picking apart and just enjoy. You know…just let my eyes roam over the image to see where it took me?

I love that there is this pushing from one side to the other. As if the curlies on the left are straining to get to the floaties on the right. All that it between them is this thin barrier. What happens when they meet up?

What amazing thing will they create when they combine? Where will they go from there?

zentangle001Today, instead of what-iffing my way down the negative track, I’m going to what-if my way up towards hope. I’m going to dream of the good instead of the bad.

How about you? Can you commit to 180 seconds of dreaming about all the amazing things that could happen instead of dwelling on the icky things that might?

I mean really–it’s a 50/50 chance, right?

So why not take three minutes hoping for the good 50 instead of trying to avoid the bad 50?

Tangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

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Are You Humble?

zentangle009Today’s card is from my zentangles. It’s actually a mandala with zentangle elements. I’m most proud of the shading on this one.

I hesitated before I wrote that. It seems…well…a bit prideful, you know? (Pssst, you can click it to see a larger image)

But then again, why shouldn’t I say I like something that I did? Lately I’ve seen a trend. There’s this overbearing sense of humility out on the web.

“Gee, I don’t have anything you could possible want but here’s a book I wrote. Maybe you’ll like it?”

“Oh I don’t know why you are here reading my post when you could be out doing something really amazing.”

“If you have nothing better to do, maybe you could tell a friend about this widget I’m selling? It might really be okay.”

Y’all. Listen up.

There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I am selling houses now. If you are in the market, chat me up. I’ve got some killer marketing strategies.”


“I rock at teaching entrepeneurs how to really shine.”

Which would you be more interested in?

A) So yeah, I write naughty girl porn books
B) I write this great series about sexy-as-sin shifters who meet their matches. From steamy New Orleans to saunas in Wisconsin, you will want one of these passionate hotties curled up in the bed with you.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again.

Be your own publicist.

I give you permission to tell me something amazing about yourself in the comments. Got a book you wrote? Have a product you sell? Host a can’t-be-missed radio show? Are you one bad mammajamma?

Tell me. Sing your own praises. Believe in yourself.

Yep, that’s your 180 seconds today. Commit to believing yourself. Commit to buying the hype about YOU.

I think you are freakin’ awesome. I want you to believe that too.

Oh and hey. I wrote this hella hot series about singe-your-hair sexy shifters. Check them out!

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

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