Saturday, August 31, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Knight of Wands

First Impressions:  Wisdom, endurance

Book:  Searching for enlightenment

Guidance:  Open yourself to the world of spirit

Journaling

I was drawn to this card because it feels warm and wise and the meaning of opening yourself to the world of spirit is apt for me because I need to balance my book learning with opening my heart to new things.  I love my school work, but I also know that I have a tendency to become obsessed and to focus all my energy on brain learning and not let myself take time for the softer types of learning, of feeling, and of being present for myself.  I can sit my butt on the couch and type all day without noticing the beauty and wonder that is all around me.  One way that I know to counter this is to physically get up and clean the house once or twice a day.  Doing so helps me to get out of my head and into my body, and getting out of my head and into my body helps reconnect me with spirit.

The other thing that I need to get better about doing is getting into an actual routine for my tarot journaling.  I've been really bad about not doing that every day and I think that is because I don't yet have a set routine.  I actually like doing it at night because it feels like a really good way to end the day, especially when I am pulling cards deliberately, but lately I've been letting myself get so sucked into school that I haven't made the 10 minutes it takes a day to pull a card and right about it.  I also have to quit working right up until time to go to bed.  The one thing that I am doing right though is making time to connect on the Dark Goddess Lodge.  I'm actually doing the meditations and reflecting on them on a regular basis.  That's helping me connect with spirit on a deeper level and is adding meaning to my life and helping me to grow.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for Sean's yummy casserole
I'm grateful for sitting outside with Cam
I'm grateful for the ever cooling weather
I'm grateful for the yummy Jamocha shake
I'm grateful that Sean brought Mexican pizza home
I'm grateful for being able to afford a cartload of food
I'm grateful that I have money to pay my bills
I'm grateful for laughing with my kids
I'm grateful I made myself spend some time on cleaning

Friday, August 30, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Sun

First Impressions:  Open to Receive, Harvest

Book:  Card of joyful empowerment,

Guidance:  Be the best we can be and share that with others

Journaling:

The sun called to me as it was one of those beautiful early autumn days out where the sun is still warm, but the trees are starting to turn and there is that faint hint of fall in the air.  As usual, Wendy wanted to spend time outside soaking up the sun so I sat outside with her for a while and it was so peaceful and wonderful to just sit and receive the sun.  One of the things I have realized over the past year or so is that Deity's love is just like the love of the sun, I don't have to do anything to be worthy of the sun's love and warmth, I just have to be willing to receive it.  I've always struggled with feeling worthy as I've had a lot of shame around who I am, but sitting outside in the sun is a good reminder that I am perfect and wonderful just the way I am.  All I have to do to receive love is to be open to it.

Sitting in in the sun did help me open up and be willing to receive because after I sat in the sun, I
came inside and was holding some of my rocks and I could feel their energy so clearly.  I always thought that when I quit being able to feel rocks that they had lost their faith, but I'm realizing that it was me being cluttered and not being open to receive.  Being open to receive is one of the simplest things imaginable as it just involves letting down my guard and letting people in, but it is also one of the hardest because I always operate from such a position of fear.

Having my girl Wendy in my life is such a game changer for me because she reminds me a lot of myself as she is slow to walk up stairs, she's kind of grumpy, and she snores like a freight train.  But despite all of that, we love her so much and having her serves as a good reminder that I am loved and I am lovable no matter what.

Today was one of those days where I felt like I was my best self as I was able to get through my work, keep my crazy client in line, and get some school work done.  I was also able to just be present for Wendy when she wanted to snuggle.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for sitting in the sun with Wendy
I'm grateful for Sean's yummy casserole
I'm grateful for cuddling with Wendy
I'm grateful for a warm bath
I'm grateful for getting stuff done today
I'm grateful for my amazing lessons
I'm grateful for my snuggly bed

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Seven of Cups

First Impressions:  Reading the tea leaves

Book:  Making your fantasies into reality

Guidance:  Tune into the feelings your visions evoke and make a decision which ones to manifest

Journaling

This is an interesting card for me because one of the things I have realized lately is that I am not solely in charge of my destiny and just because I want something does not mean that I can manifest it.  If that was true, I would have manifested love a long time ago..  To a certain extent that has soured me on manifesting because it feels like I put my whole heart and soul into manifesting love, but I came up empty.  I also put as much real world energy into it as possible and still nada.  That was and is a very bitter disappointment because I know that I deserve love and I know that I have love to give, so I'm not sure why I was unable to manifest love despite my best interests.

For the most part, I really enjoy my life and I know that i have created a life to be proud of.  I've manifested a beautiful home, I have a job I mostly like, and I'm going to school, but I don't have the one thing that I want more than anything else and that hurts and makes me wonder if all of the energy I've put into manifestation has been wasted.  I know there are some who would say that I was too specific, but I think the universe should be able to figure out the essence of what I want.  There are some days I feel like I'm only living half a life because I'm alone and being alone truly sucks.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ace of Wands

First Impressions:  Lighting the way, light in the darkness

Book: Brilliant sunrise, life, creative passion

Guidance:  Take action and follow your bliss

Journaling:

For me, the Ace of Wands is that divine spark of inspiration, that magical moment when an amazing thought comes to you out of nowhere and it creates magic.  It is the first time that humans realized they could make a torch by lighting fire from a lightening strike and there was portable light.  It's Ben Franklin discovering electricity.  It's all those times when an amazing thought come to people and they acted upon it to make reality. 

One of the things we all need to learn about that divine spark is that we need to nurture it, protect it and help it grow beyond the little flame at the end of a stick.  We need to work with others to help it grow and become something real.  Sometimes I think there is a potential to want to protect our little spark baby too much and not share it. When that happens, the spark might end up dying and not coming into fruition.  However, having too many people or the wrong people involved in nurturing  the spark can also be a bad thing as that can mean that the little spark gets smothered or that people with no creativity may put the spark out because they don't believe in it.  I know there have been times in my life when the little spark was doused because someone (usually John or Charlene) doused it and made me feel as if my dreams didn't matter or like they were unattainable. 

One of the best things about living the life I live now is that I own my dreams and I am responsible for whether or not they come true.  Additionally, I get to choose the people that I have in my life which means that I only choose people who nurture and support my dreams and don't bring people into my life who are going to smash my dreams.  And if they do attempt to smash my dreams, they get kicked out of my life.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful that the presentations went well
I'm grateful for the opportunity to talk to John
I'm grateful for the safe drive home
I'm grateful for the opportunity to connect school and home
I'm grateful for getting to talk to my colleagues in person
I'm grateful the org impact session went well

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Deliberate Draw: King of Swords

First Impressions:  Arthur, decisions, journeys

Book: Power and authority from divine right

Guidance:  Cut though confusion by speaking the truth in a firm and fair way.  Stand in the power of your divine right to follow your own mind.

Journaling:

I love the messaging around this as it is so through that being direct and speaking clearly without emotion really helps to cut through the BS.  I have a client who gets into blaming us and trying to make us responsible for all their shortcomings.  I have learned that I just need to pull my energy in and be very direct about what needs to be done.  There is no room for emotion and for taking things personally.  I have learned that when I take things personally and make it all about me, things generally go better than when I am able to take the emotion out of it and focus on the facts.  The other lesson I learned from Ted is that instead of saying "you made me feel..." something I should just focus on I feel.  As he said, there is no arguing with my feelings as people cannot tell me that I don't feel something and it is also difficult to discount facts.  When I can approach things that way, I'm able to have much more productive conversations.

Sometimes it is really hard to open up and to own my feelings, but when I am able to have these hard conversations and admit how I am really feeling, my life is so much better.  I'm learning that sometimes just saying what I am feeling helps me to work through the feelings.  I realize that it is odd to be writing about feelings when writing about the King of Swords, but the message I cam getting is that the King of Swords can help us cut away that veil that prevents us from seeing and feeling our own feelings.  We get so caught up in being afraid of our feelings or thinking that our feelings are not socially acceptable, that we hide them or stuff them down in a desperate attempt to not feel.  However, when we can use the King of Swords to cut away the veil and let them out, we can speak our truth with clarity.

Gratitudes
I'm grateful that for the yummy Greek potatoes
I'm grateful I got to leave work in a timely manner
I'm grateful that the weather was clear
I'm grateful for the yummy hot fudge sundae
I'm grateful for the warm and snuggly bed

Monday, August 26, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Two of Pentacles

First Impressions:  Juggling, precarious

Book:  Grounded on the earth while reaching for the sun

Guidance:  Need to stay balanced while handling opposing needs

Journaling

This was a message I definitely needed to hear today as I was trying to do my job, but be as present as possible for Cam who was being there for Elif in her last days.  It was incredibly difficult as I really wanted to just go home and be with her, but by the time I got there, Elif would have passed and I have responsibilities that I need to meet to keep my job.  I'm realizing more and more that the number one issue I have with my life is that I don't feel like I am able to be present for anyone, including myself.  I am continually juggling client needs, my own needs, and the need to be there for my kids.  That's especially difficult right now because Cam is falling apart and I can't be there for her.  I need to stay employed to keep a roof over our heads, but I know that she needs me because she is struggling so much.  She missed the first day of her GA position to be with Elif and although my heart says that it was the right decision, my brain says it was not.

I also have to deal with Sean who is being completely unhelpful.  He took off to ride roller coasters today because he couldn't deal with it emotionally.  And instead of saying that he was unable to be there, he got angry at everyone and raged.  He is such a tender soul and he loves the ferrets, maybe even more than Cam.  He was so hopeful over the weekend and he thought she would get better.  He was completely unable to accept that she wasn't going to make it and I think the reason that he went out today is because he couldn't handle it.  I know he was devastated when Luke died, but I think he is even more devastated by Elif's death. 

I don't know what being present and juggling looks like going forward, but I do know that something needs to change as I'm struggling with how to truly be present for anyone.  I just keep bouncing from thing to thing and I feel like I am messing everything up. The sales calls was especially hard because I told them I had to leave at 1, but they ignored us and just kept talking about other things.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful I got through the day without collapsing
I'm grateful I was able to be as present as possible for Cam
I'm grateful I juggled as best I could
I'm grateful I did not totally flame JS, although I really wanted to for her insulting comment
I'm grateful Cam is so kind and tenderhearted
I'm grateful that I did not flame Sean for his inability to be present

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Death

First Impressions:  Through a tunnel to new beginnings

Book:  From all endings, comes a promise of new beginnings

Guidance:  Death of something that needs to end, open yourself to possibilities

Journaling

This card made me think of Elif and her journey over the rainbow bridge.  She's fading fast and I know that she will be leaving the earthly realm soon, but I got a sense of comfort today as I caught an image of her and Ollie getting into mischief in the next realm and of there being best buds.  It was such a peaceful image that it left me with a sense of peace and hope.  However, Cam is so distraught today as she contemplates losing another animal and having to take care of it by herself.  I had to leave to go to work and couldn't be there for her and Sean is so upset about Elif dying that he can't think of anyone but himself and is being so angry.

I am so proud of my girl as even though the easy thing to do would be to just leave Elif in her cage, she is choosing to be present for her, to hold her, to bathe her, and to take care of her.  She has such an amazing spirit and she is the kindest and most compassionate person that I know.  I  know that her heart is being ripped to shreds right now, but instead of thinking of her own feelings, she is putting Elif's needs first.  I wish I was half as loving and compassionate as she is.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful that I was there for Cam this morning
I'm grateful that I was there for her on the phone this evening
I'm grateful that I was kind to Sean instead of being mean
I'm grateful for the safe drive
I'm grateful I got a good room
I'm grateful I wasn't killed on Friday
I'm grateful for hanging out at home with the doggos
I'm grateful for snuggling with Wendy

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ten of Pentacles

First Impressions:  sixties dance club, abandon

Book:  Journey through the physical realm

Guidance:  Experience Ecstasy through a journey through the physical realm

Journaling

This is an interesting interpretation of the ten of pentacles, but it sort of makes sense as the ten does represent the culmination of the journey.  When I look at it as a journey, I realize it is about accepting the blessings that are offered and making the most of them.  For me, I've learned that the money and the stuff are not the be all and end all, they are the things that ease the journey and I don't want to give them up, but they are not important in and of themselves.  I'm very happy that I have a home and nice things because they are a way to provide for my family, but in and of themselves they don't matter that much.  The unfortunate thing is that some people use money as a way to keep score and they become miserable in wanting to accumulate more and more, but money in and of itself is not that important.

Money is what lets us take care of the people that we love and that lets us have some freedom.  There are people who believe that money isn't important, but I don't believe that either because money lets us do things and lets us live a more comfortable life.  I know that we are living a better life because I make more money, but money is important because it lets us do that and not as a measurement itself.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that money is a tool and not an end to itself.

The other piece about this card that is important is the aspect of family and of having people around you to share what you have.  For me, that is my kids, but for Lisa on this card it is her dance group.  Either way, it is about having people in your life who you trust and who are there for you.


Gratitudes:

I'm grateful for sleeping late
I'm grateful for hanging out with Cam
I'm grateful for Wendy & Clark learning to walk well
I'm grateful I have a house to live in and money to pay my bills

Friday, August 23, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Four of Swords

First Impressions:  At a crossroads, disregarding distractions

Book:  Being protected from the piercing thoughts

Guidance:  Take a rest from your challenges

Journaling:

What I love about this version of the four of swords is it does not show the woman completely withdrawn, instead she is shown as pierced through by her thoughts, but still able to maintain and be at peace.  That is a difficult skill and one that I am not always good at as I let myself get distracted by my thoughts and go down rabbit holes.  What I'm finding though is that the more I am able to center and to withdraw within myself, the more I am able to find peace, and the more I am able to find peace, the more I am able to peacefully influence others.

Interestingly as I look at this card, it reminds me of how I am with one of my more challenging clients, it is as if I withdraw within myself and I am able to interact from a place that means it is not personal.  I can almost physically feel myself contracting when I deal with this person and I am able to operate from a place where I am not swayed by anything that she says.  It is so weird because I feel an almost physical phenomenon when I pull my energy in.  It doesn't really feel good or bad, but I definitely feel contacted and more guarded.  In some ways this is taking a rest from my challenges because I am not letting them influence me or sway me.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for the beautiful drive to Kent
I'm grateful for the good meeting with my SF client
I'm grateful for lunch with the team
I'm grateful for the good conversation with Cam
I'm grateful for letting myself just be today

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Seven of Pentacles

First Impressions:  Chasing prosperity

Book:  Reaching eagerly toward many projects

Guidance:  Pause and reflect on your goals before chasing them all

Journaling:

This card captured my attention today because that's how I feel about life right now.  I have so many good things going on in my life that it is hard to decide on just one path.  I want to finish my degree, I want to continue to build my practice, I want a relationship, I want to travel, etc. etc. etc.  However, one of the lessons that I've learned, and so have many other women that I know, is that you can't have it all at once.  You might be able to have it all, but if you try to have it all at once, you will end up stressed and burned out.  That's unfortunate and it often means that the things I want with my heart and not my head end up on the back burner because there is not enough time for it all.  And sometimes it means that I have to choose one of the things I want with my heart and hope that they will lead to the other things.

Right now, I want to get my degree, but I also want to have healthy and consistent spiritual practices and what I'm finding is that it is really hard to do both.  My taroting is a good example of that because I wrote my gratitudes for this post on 08/22, I picked the card a few days later, but I'm actually writing the post on 09/14.  I've been trying to be more consistent about my taroting because it is important to me, but work and school keep getting in the way and while taroting is important to me spiritually, school also has a spiritual component because it is helping me to have insights about myself, who I really am, etc. 

I guess the key is the same as the key is to everything else, doing the best I can every day and some days that is going to mean that I spend more time working on school and less on spiritual practices, but there will also be some days when I am able to actually make time for spiritual practices and spend less time on school work.  I've also learned that trying to have a hard and fast approach to balance never works and I have to be willing and able to go with the flow.

Gratitudes
I'm grateful for Michael and Michelle being understanding about my technical glitches
I'm grateful that I got home safely
I'm grateful for the conversation with Christy while I was at the airport
I'm grateful for hanging out in the rotunda
I'm grateful to Vince for wanting to include OCM
I'm grateful that I finally got home safely
I'm grateful for snuggling with Wendy

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ten of Cups

First Impressions:  Happiness, raising a toast

Book: Celebrating

Guidance: Emotional contentment, a card of appreciation and gratitude

Journaling

I chose this card because it was so nice to have dinner with Scott and to just hang out and talk about all that is going on in life.  It's nice to have people in my life who understand me and who get why I behave the way I do.  We talked a lot about why I'm upset and he asked me a very deep question when he asked me why I thought there was going to be a bad outcome.  I said that the Brock Turner case was on my mind and that I was upset because I was being asked to trust 12 people to make a decision.  However, he reminded me that there was a possibility that it could go well.

At the end of the day, a lot of what I'm feeling is powerlessness and it's not something that I'm comfortable with.  I don't like to not be in control and there are a lot of areas in my life where I am in control and where I get to drive what happens.  However, there are also situations where I have to trust others and those situations make me very uncomfortable.  When I'm put in a position of being asked to trust someone, I get upset and I get defensive, angry, afraid, etc.  I start lashing out at even the people who want to help me because I am afraid.  However, when I finally start hurting enough or when I have a moment of clarity, I remember that I don't have to trust everyone.  I have to trust my guides.  I have to turn it over to them and trust them to do the right thing.  Once I do that it is as if all the anger is out of me and I've deflated.  Then I can be filled back up with good things.

What's interesting about this is that Scott pulled the seven of pentacles in the Vision Quest which is a card of depletion and not a card of waiting or harvest.  Interestingly, I didn't think of it at the time but depletion is what I feel when I let all that anger and stress go.  I feel as if all the negativity has escaped out of me and I feel like I am depleted, but in a good way.  He also pulled the Shaman card and that is a card of power.

Gratitudes
I'm grateful for the good conversation with Darshan and his decision
I'm grateful for dinner with Scott
I'm grateful for leaving work on time
I'm grateful for staying at a different hotel than the team
I'm grateful for yummy Spanglish
I'm grateful for the beautiful weather
I'm grateful for fresh fruit
I'm grateful to have money in the bank

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Five of Cups

First Impressions:  Bleak, sadness, grieving

Book:  Wandering in a bleak landscape, bridge leading back to fullness

Guidance: Grieve for what is lost, but acknowledge what still remains

Journaling:

I'm so tired of being constantly angry and sad.  It feels as if those are my only two emotions and I'm struggling to keep the anger from coming out at inappropriate times.  This feels a lot like when I was married when I was just so angry and sad all the time.  However, I also know that anger and sadness also masquerade as fear and I'm terrified this mother fucker is going to get off and I know that Cam says that she just wants it over, but I know she'll be devastated if he gets off.  And I know that I'm going to want to attack him and kill him right there in the courtroom.  My hate rage is so overpowering.  I just want him eviscerated and eliminated from the planet.  I want to pound his fucking head into the pavement until it is a bloody pulp.  However, I also know that he's not worth going for jail for.  He is a piece of garbage and even if he gets off, the court of karma will catch up with him.

I'm feeling sad, scared, angry, guilty, and a whole host of other emotions that I don't even know how to name.  All I know is that I'm going to just have to keep turning it over and eventually it will get better.  Turning it over really is the only thing that helps.

Gratitudes
I'm grateful that Cam is doing okay
I'm grateful for the nice weather
I'm grateful for not blowing up at anyone today
I'm grateful for being safe and snug in my hotel room
I'm grateful for standing up for myself
I'm grateful there are jobs to apply for
I'm grateful for the support from our internal team
I'm grateful for Vince's email

Monday, August 19, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Knight of Pentacles

First Impressions:  Earthly, blossoms in the field, creating

Book:  Turning ideas into reality, visionary

Guidance: Use your drive to create

Journaling

I was afraid I was going to get bogged down in emotional stuff today or not get anything done because of constant emails, etc.  However, I kicked ass  and took names today as I worked through a proposal, got an SOW reviewed, and did a lot of other work.  I also made some time to work on school work.  Most importantly, Cindy and I are collaborating on a proposal to do research to study the best way to roll out Cultural / Spiritual Competency assessments.  This is something that Templeton actually is interested in so we might actually get a grant.

One of the things I've had to relearn lately is that when I am stressed and overwhelmed, I default to old coping mechanisms that aren't healthy for me or for anyone in  my life.  My emotions have been all over the place because I've been struggling with feeling guilt and anger over Cam getting assaulted.  I know a lot of it is because I feel totally out of control and as if there is nothing that I can do about it.  All I can do is pray that things will work and that is annoying me and pissing me off because I want to control the outcome.  I don't trust the court system and having to trust them is annoying and makes me angry.

However, I also know that when I let myself get all swirly over what I think the outcomes are going to be, I cause myself problems and unnecessary angst.  I was all swirly over my conversation with Ted tonight and it turned out to be a good conversation.  Now whether or not anything comes of it, I don't know.  I may still have to report to Jamie, but at least I've had my case heard and been listened to.  That's something.



Gratitudes
I'm grateful I got the proposal for OV done
I'm grateful for the good call with Joe
I'm grateful for the great conversation with Ted
I'm grateful for feeling supported
I'm grateful for Rising Appalachia
I'm grateful for the amazing watermelon

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Six of Cups

First Impressions:  Friendship, happiness, laughter

Book:  Little girl is focused on giving her friends what they desire

Guidance:  Open your heart to friendship and love and it will be returned

Journaling

The six of cups is not a card that I normally like as most versions are kind of creepy and seem like they really promote an imbalance of power.  However, I love this card as it is about love and friendship and taking care of the people that we love.  That is the perfect card for today as it was the City Dogs Reunion and it was so wonderful to see all the smiles on both the people and the dogs.  City Dogs is truly a place of love as they work so hard to promote these dogs that other people ignore and look past.  I know that I was a little scared of getting a pit bull, but once we got Clark and I realized how sweet and loving he was, I got over my fears.  They are sweet and amazing dogs.

It is so easy to love them because they are funny and smart and all they want to do is be loved.  They don't really care if you have a lot of money or how you look, they know what is in your heart and they return the love that is given to them ten times over.  Getting Clark was such a good decision because he really and truly helped Cam to heal.  I don't know if she would have survived without him.  He snuggles with her and night and helps keep away the boogeyman.  He has been her rock and I know that there are days when having to take care of him is what helps her get through the day.

Wendy has become my heart because she is so sweet and loving.  I think it is because she reminds me of myself in that at first glance she seems downtrodden and used up, but her heart is so pure and open.  All she really wants is for people to love her.  I remember the day we got her and how she was so exhausted and slept so much.  It was as if she felt safe for the first time in a long time.  There were no other dogs yipping and she had a safe warm place to nest in.  It was as if she felt safe and knew that she had people who were going to take care of her.  I'm also so glad that she isn't scared about there not being food anymore.  She knows that we will take care of her.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for the City Dogs Volunteers
I'm grateful for seeing Wendy smile
I'm grateful they didn't check for Clark's tags
I'm grateful for the warm sun
I'm grateful for arriving in Chicago safely
I'm grateful for my snug and private hotel room

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Four of Cups

First Impressions:  Lonely, sad, feeling disconnected

Book:  Marching to defend their land

Guidance:  Being able to discern what makes you feel good

Journaling

This image makes me sad because it feels so lonely and if he is sitting there in despair watching and crying.  That suits my mood today because it feels as if I will never have the life that I want.  I'm spending all of my time working at a job that I don't like because it pays the bills and I don't know how to get out from under the burden of my job.  I think part of the problem is that I'm really good at what I do and for the most part I do a good job of juggling, but it is all catching up to me and I feel like I'm never going to escape.  There is a big part of me that just wants to sit on a cliff and throw my phone in the water.  I hate being tethered and I hate feeling like I can't even take vacation without everyone needing something.  I think that's why I'm so excited about going away to the cabin.  The thought of not having wifi is pretty cool.  I will be able to just to chill and to just be.  I miss the opportunity to just be.

I think the other reason that this card makes me feel lonely and disconnected is because of the story of Lisa's brother.  He had pretty much checked out of life and did not do such a good job taking care of himself.  He had suicidal ideation and he talked about blowing his brains out.  He was a powerful magician and it makes me wonder if he manifested the disease that took his life by eating holes in his brain.  There are so many days that I sit here and think about how none of this is worth it.  I'm doing a job that bores me to tears and instead of being home with my family, I'm always traveling. 

Today was particularly difficult because it is a reentry day.  I'm coming back from a week doing something awesome and amazing to knowing I have to go back to my job and continue to figure out how to make it work.




Gratitudes
I'm grateful for speaking my piece
I'm grateful for Sean's calming presence
I'm grateful that Sean participated in the 5K
I'm grateful for getting home safely
I'm grateful for snuggling with Wendy
I'm grateful for taking time to read
I'm grateful that I have an amazing home

Friday, August 16, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Seven of Wands

First Impressions:  Fierce, defending what's yours

Book:  Marching to defend their land

Guidance:  Stand up for what you believe in

Journaling

It felt like a day that I needed to defend what was mine.  I feel my vacation slipping through my fingers and there is a part of me that feels as if I will never truly have time for myself as everyone comes and keeps taking bits and pieces of my time.  It seems as if there is no way to defend my time as people keep taking bits and pieces of it and every bit of time that gets eroded seems to leave me a little bit less for me.  I worked really hard to make this week my week and to not get sucked into work, but people kept reaching out and asking for things.  The final straw for me was when Ted asked if we could meet on Saturday.  That felt like an incredible violation because I have very little time for myself and to have someone want to take that little bit of time away from me was pretty upsetting.

I was proud of myself for saying no and for being honest about how I felt.  It was really hard to be honest and to say that I felt ganged up on and disrespected, but I did.  I think part of the reason that I was able to do that is that I didn't really care if I lost my job.  I was so tired of all of it that it would have almost have been a relief to get fired.  I'm so tired trying to do all the work that keeps piling up and trying to juggle everything.  It seems like the only way I could get it all done is to work all night, but I refuse to do that because there are a lot of other things that are more important to me.

I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that I have to continue to defend my boundaries because if I don't defend them, no one else will.


Gratitudes

I'm grateful we got home safely
I'm grateful for the beautiful drive through the mountains
I'm grateful that Charmin was happy to get the flowers
I'm grateful that I stood up for myself
I'm grateful for the hugs on the way out the door
I'm grateful for Cam keeping me awake

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Five of Wands

First Impressions:  Battling for a cause, strife

Book:  Reality crashes with ideals

Guidance:  Reality clashes with ideals. Patience and perseverance are needed in order to accomplish goals.

Journaling

It was such a day of contrasts today as I spent the day learning and being passionate about really interesting stuff.  Then I got sucked back into my day job when Scott called me.  I was a little pissed off, but I also know that he has a job to do as well and that he needed my help to do it well.  I also appreciate the fact that he is really gaining an appreciation of OCM.  The real struggle is my own internal struggle as I see where I want to go with my life, but I'm stuck where I'm at because of finances.  I feel trapped, but I don't know how to change my life and move into a place of living from passion.  Part of feeling trapped is the bills because if I had everything paid off, I could afford to make less money.  However, it seems like there is always something that needs to be paid.

One of the things I need to do is to be better at eating cheap when I travel because if I don't spend it, I get to keep the per diem and if I'm careful I could use some of that to pay my bills off.  I also need to just stop spending so much.  That is an inner conflict though because I know that I use spending as a way to make myself feel better.  I know it isn't smart, but sometimes I just feel like I bust my butt for everyone else and I don't get anything for me.  When I feel that way, I have a real tendency to spend, spend, spend.  Maybe I just need to ritually start turning over my spending every day and ask them to help me.

Gratitudes
I'm grateful for the pretty drive through Durham
I'm grateful that I was able to be patient and present for Cam
I'm grateful for Cam for talking me off the ledge when I was angry
I'm grateful for choosing to take care of myself and leave early
I'm grateful for the awesome Lobster Roll
I'm grateful for the rain

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Deliberate Draw:Knight of Swords

First Impressions:  Spark of intelligence and learning

Book: An action that allows a dark cloud to be split and sunny days shine through

Guidance:  Be decisive

Journaling

Cam has been my sword cutting through the dark clouds this week.  I'm enjoying this week so much and I really don't want to have to go back to work and deal with all the BS that that entails.  I want to figure out how to live in a world where I can learn and do research all the time and not have to deal with all the BS that my current job entails.  Hanging out with Cam and seeing how brave she is and how well she deals with her situation is an inspiration.

One of the things that strikes me about this card is that it is not always possible to be decisive, especially if you believe that spirit leads you.  I do believe that I'm being lead and sometimes that means not knowing why I'm doing the things that I'm doing.  I'm not sure why I went to this workshop other than to get credit, but I know that I felt led to attend this seminar and connect with these people.  However, maybe the decisiveness is about choosing to believe in something greater than myself.  Maybe the sword is my belief cutting through the dark cards and letting the light in.  I know that when I work hard to move the dark clouds along, I do feel more connected.


Gratitudes

I'm grateful for the yummy taco salads
I'm grateful for chilling out with Cam
I'm grateful for Jill doing such a great presentation
I'm grateful for the pictures of Wendy & Clark
I'm grateful for the yummy smoothie

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Three of Pentacles

First Impressions:  Pay Attention,

Book:  Remembering Wholeness

Guidance:  Skill, knowledge, and spiritual awareness will manifest abundance

Journaling

I initially picked this card because one of its associations is collaboration and for me this week is all about collaboration.  We all need to share knowledge and work together in order to create amazing things.  However, that being said, I belief it is also true that skill, knowledge, and spiritual awareness will manifest abundance and that is part of why I am in this class.  For me, I am starting to realize that true abundance has very little to do with the size of my paycheck.  My paycheck pays the bills and provides me with stuff, but it really doesn't bring me much abundance.  In fact, being unhappy at work is one of the worst feelings in the world because I put my whole heart and soul into work so when that positive emotion is not returned and I'm shit on, it's really hard for me to deal with and I've been shit on a lot lately.  However, none of that matters because at the end of the day it is just work and there are other jobs out there. 

What I have found so amazing about this week is how the ideas are flowing and how everyone is sharing and listening to each other.  I have learned so much about religion, spirituality, and health and it really makes me realize exactly how much I have to learn and made me realize how much I have to contribute if I can figure out how to get my PhD and make it work.  I don't know what that looks like and I don't know how to do it, but I will just keep opening up and listening to spirit and I will figure it out.


Gratitudes
I'm grateful that Dr. Oliver was interested in my presentation
I'm grateful that Jason sat with me
I'm grateful that I didn't get pinged too much from work
I'm grateful for the yummy whoppers
I'm grateful for hanging out with Cam and chilling
I'm grateful to Sean for sending pics of the dogs
I'm grateful Charmin listened

Monday, August 12, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Page of Swords

First Impressions:  Learning, knowledge, intellectual

Book:  Harmonious symmetry

Guidance:  Open your mind to new ideas, messages come through learning that are a catalyst for change

Journaling

Meeting Heather was such a godsend because it was so much easier to show up since I had already met someone.  I was also thrilled to see such an amazing group gather.  Today was truly a day about opening my mind to new ideas and realizing how intellectual learning stimulates my emotional learning.  I was also so pleased that there were people who were actually interested in my background and thought that I had something to contribute.

What is so amazing is that it truly does feel as if I'm found my niche where I belong and where I can actually add value to the world.  I think part of what I'm feeling right now is that I'm not learning, growing, and adding unique value to the world.  Being at this conference was truly all about learning and figuring out new pathways.  I don't know what those new pathways are yet, but I do know that I'm definitely changing.


Gratitudes
I'm grateful for people being interested in my background
I'm grateful for being included in the Qualitative Research Group
I'm grateful for being in such a beautiful space
I'm grateful for all the great information
I'm grateful for the awesome hummus place that Clam and I went to for dinner
I'm grateful for getting a good night's sleep
I'm grateful for Jeanette

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Three of Cups

First Impressions:  Friendship, having fun

Book:  Three friends having fun

Guidance:  Cherish friendship and emotional bonds with people

Journaling

I don't have a lot of friends in my life and I'm not good at making friends and just hanging out with someone else.  I have to admit that when Heather first reached out to me, my first instinct was to say no because I didn't want to expend the emotional energy to meet someone else.  However, I am so glad that I said yes and that we went out and had a good dinner.  We share a lot of the same interests and values and it was awesome to talk to someone who gets the things I'm interested in.  It was very comfortable, relaxed, and awesome.  She also admitted to me that she doesn't have a lot of friends and that it's hard for her to meet people.  I really felt like we bonded.

Cam and I also had a great day visiting the lemur research center, going to the yarn store, and just hanging out.  We also went to The Holy Rose which is a wonderful Pagan Store in Durham and I spent about 10 minutes just meditating in front of the Virgin Mary statue.  It was really nice to just sit there and let her love wash over me.  I felt her presence so strongly and she brought me such a sense of love and peace.  It also made me want to commit to set up an actual altar where I worship on a regular basis as I think there is an amazing sense of piece that comes from having a place that collects energy.  I also know that it has to be a private place as anything I put in a public place becomes a junk heap.

I was also happy that I had time to just hang out by myself and destress.  I don't get a lot of time by myself without having a ton of obligations so it was really nice. 

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for visiting the amazing lemur and seeing how cute they are
I'm grateful for finding an awesome yarn store for Cam to visit
I'm grateful that the Residence Inn let us check in early
I'm grateful that our rooms face the woods
I'm grateful that Heather reached out to me
I'm grateful that Cam was okay hanging out by herself
I'm grateful for meeting Heather and for the amazing dinner

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Empress

First Impressions:  mother and child, nurturing, loving

Book:  Great mother who nurtures and provides

Guidance:  Open ourselves to what we need, give and receive love

Journaling

Today was a pretty incredible day and I did a good job of opening myself up to what we need to give and receive love.  I opened myself up to having a good day, to being in a place to receive all the amazing blessings that I have in my life and to just be with Cam.  We went to Raven & Crone in Ashville and it felt really good to be around pagans and to soak up the good energy.  It's funny how I can usually put myself into Pagan Standard Time as I was pretty annoyed when they were a few minutes late opening, but once I got in there I just let myself enjoy looking, smelling, and just being.  Can and I went to the Folk Art Center and the art is just amazing as people have taken traditional Appalachian folk arts and used them to create things of beauty.  We also wandered around in a little mountain town that happened to be having a festival and I got a wood spirit carving for our house.

Next stop was Bat Cave and Cam and I were able to find the mountain stream that we'd happened across 10 years earlier.  We had kind of vaguely known where it was, but we knew enough that we were able to find it.  We stopped at Bat Cave Apple Barn and we paid a dollar to park.  Then we picked our way down the rocks until we got to the Broad River.  We ended up sitting with our feet in the water and it was an amazing way to cool off.  Cam later told me that she was a little afraid that I'd end up falling and breaking my head, but I made it down to the river and was incredibly proud of myself.  We also wandered into a little store along the side of the road and the lady had a "pet" vulture.  He wasn't caged, but apparently he and his partner regularly visited her.

Spending the day with Cam was such a treat as she is so funny and quirky and always gives me things to think about.  It was also so nice to just let go of work.

Gratitudes

I am grateful for the fun day that Cam and I had
I'm grateful for Cam helping me down to the water
I'm grateful for the beautiful weather
I'm grateful for the yummy peach cobbler
I'm grateful for the Folk Art Center
I'm grateful for wandering around in the little town
I'm grateful for seeing the vulture
I"m grateful for buying a Bat Cave
I'm grateful for Sean taking good care of the critters
I'm grateful for the solitude
I'm grateful for the silliness of Lil' Wen

Friday, August 9, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Six of Swords

First Impressions:  Journeying, venturing out

Book:  Journey out of consciousness

Guidance:  Allow yourself to be led out of the darkness

Journaling

Leaving home and setting out on a trip is always about shifts in consciousness.  It is about leaving behind what is familiar and setting out with only the things we need into the unknown.  Even if the route has been well mapped, there is still a sense of difference and moving into something less familiar.  There is always a sense that there are new lessons to be learned and potential danger even if the road is well traveled.

We had a beautiful drive through Ohio and West Virginia.  We went exploring and found Salt Lake State Park which is a huge park with camping, a cave, and lots of trails.  It's a place that we may venture back to with the dogs for a weekend or for a few days of R&R.  One of the things I love about traveling with Cam is that we just meander, we let ourselves explore the interesting side roads and byways.  I think that's the best part of travel as you see new things and you learn new things.  I know that as we were driving, I had the sense of leaving all my cares behind and finding my way toward peace.

One of the coolest things that happened was that as we were going through the mountains and we were talking about how hitchhikers were dumb and putting themselves at risk, we both smelled perfume or hotel soap in the car.  The smell just came upon us all of the sudden and it filled the car.  Both Cam and I smelled it.  I'm not sure if it was a ghost or what, but it was pretty cool.

We ended our night in a Motel 6 and I always find it funny that I feel so much like it is traveling and vacation when I stay at cheap hotels.  Staying at more expensive hotels always feels like work, which makes sense because those are the hotels I stay in when I work.  There is just a sense of adventure in staying at cheap hotels because it feels so transient and as if this is where we are tonight, but tomorrow we'll be somewhere else.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for the beautiful drive
I'm grateful for leaving early
I'm grateful for the conversation with Cam
I'm grateful for the snuggly bed
I'm grateful for Sean taking care of the doggos
I'm grateful for the beautiful moon over the mountains

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Hanged man

First Impressions:  Darkness, clarity, comfortable

Book:  Seeing things in a new way, finding clarity

Guidance:  Travel into the unconscious

Journaling

Driving in the daytime is about seeing the sites, about looking at the scenery, about being in the world.  Traveling at night is about being comfortable in the darkness.  It's about knowing that there is a great big world out there that you cannot see.  Depending on the phase of the moon, you may see outlines of mountains or complete darkness.  Driving in the dark means being comfortable with the unknown.  It means relying on all of our senses and not just our eyesight to navigate.

Going within and navigating the terrain of our soul also means letting go of all that we know and surrendering to something greater than ourselves.  It means letting go of who we are in the light and in the outside world and embracing our soul selves.  It means letting go of work, of family, and being comfortable being alone with ourselves.  I was never comfortable with the darkness and venturing into my soul.  Before my divorce, I was filled with shame at who I was.  Shame about my body, shame about my life, shame about everything I was.

However, the last eight years have been about finding myself and embracing who I truly am.  I've discovered that I truly have a beautiful and luminous soul.  I'm not perfect, but deep down I am an amazing person.  And once I've been able to let go of most of the shame, I'm found that I am a pretty fucking amazing person.  I'm finally comfortable navigating in the dark.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for the beautiful drive home
I'm grateful for the trip down LSD
I'm grateful for my convertible
I'm grateful for snuggling with Wendy
I'm grateful for being mostly done with my work

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Queen of Cups

First impressions:  Filling my cup 

Book:  Accepting the flow of all emotions,

Guidance: Be authentic for all feelings are acceptable if we own them, be authentically in the moment with what is

Journaling

I love this reminder to be authentic with our emotions and to own them.  My gut reaction to that statement is that sometimes it is too easy to wallow in our emotions.  However, when I am really honest with myself, the emotions that I wallow in are those that I don't understand.  When I am confused and feeling like I'm sad, but I'm really angry, I tend to wallow.  I wallowed a lot when John left because I was so overwhelmed and I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling. In retrospect, I really don't think that I was wallowing as much as much as I was seeking attention because I didn't think I was strong enough to survive on my own.  I was looking for someone to take care of me, because I didn't think I could take care of myself.  I also was uncomfortable at acknowledging that self loathing was a big part of what I was feeling at that time.  I didn't like how I looked, what I did, or who I was.  At the heart of who I was was a great big pile of uncomfortable shame.  And that was definitely not something I wanted to acknowledge.

When I am truly honest with myself, I know that I was playing the victim because I wanted everyone to feel sorry for me and I wanted someone to validate my feelings.  The kids are quick to point out that I obsess over things and when I take a step back, I realize that when I am obsessing I am wanting someone to validate my point of view or my emotions.  That is a symptom of my childhood where I was taught that my opinion didn't matter and that my thoughts only mattered if someone else validated them.  I am very slowly learning that that is not true, but it is still difficult sometimes to accept that my thoughts and opinions are valid and that I don't need anyone else to validate me.

What I have learned in the past eight years is that if I am honest and acknowledge my feelings right away, I don't get overwhelmed with them.  However, I did get overwhelmed when I wasn't honest about what I was feeling and when I let everything pile up and pile up.  I had all of this garbage deep in my soul and when my resistance finally broke down and I let it all out, it was very scary.

Gratitudes
I'm grateful that I went out to dinner with the team
I'm grateful that Darshan is talking to Scott tomorrow
I'm grateful for the beautiful weather
I'm grateful for for getting the car packed
I'm grateful for sitting here listening to the Blues

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Universe

First Impressions:  At home in my own skin, beautiful

Book:  Mind, body, and spirit move in harmony with one another, emblem of wholeness, cycle reaching completion

Guidance:  Know yourself and your place in the world

Journaling

This is a card I hated when I first started working with the World Spirit Tarot.  I hated how fat she is and how she always seemed to turn up to represent me.  However, as I've learned to love myself and to be more comfortable in my own skin, I've started to see her beauty and her wholeness and started to appreciate my own beauty and wholeness.  I find that when I focus on my wholeness and my beautiful spirit, I glow and I'm able to laugh at what comes my way.  That doesn't mean that ugly stuff does not upset me, but it means I am more able to take it in stride.

I love that this is a card of completion and a card of moving into the next phase.  In a lot of ways, this card is the precursor to the fool card as she is whole and complete, but there always comes a next phase and I think the Universe is in that place of celebration before moving into the next phase.  I also love that she is whole and complete in and of herself.  She does not need anyone to complete her.  She is complete all by herself.


Gratitudes
I'm grateful for the good day at work
I'm grateful for the good call with Alliance Laundry
I'm grateful for being at peace with myself
I'm grateful for going to bed early


Deliberate Draw: The Hermit

First Impressions:  Blessed solitude, choosing to live a life of light and dark

Book:  Time alone in contemplation, paring down of the outer world in order to travel deep within the psyche, ability to see within

Guidance:  Spend time alone

Journaling

Today was a true hermit evening.  I left work on time and got back to the hotel before 6 pm.  I watched some TV, worked on my paper, then went to bed at 9 pm.  It was so nice to fall into the complete darkness and let go of all the tension from the day.  I just let myself be alone and in the dark and it felt so good.  Even though I only really had four hours from the time I left work until I went to bed, it felt like a lot longer because I had solitude.  I didn't have to think about work.  I didn't have to think about what was next.  I could just be.

I think that is what's key about Hermit Time, the ability to just be, to not be worried about what's next, or what deadline needs to be met, or about carrying on a conversation, or about meeting expectations.  The need for solitude is a strange one in our society because everyone believes that in order to be happy you have to be surrounded by people, but being surrounded by people actually makes me very unhappy as I feel like I am on stage and not being my true self.  I especially feel that way at work where I am having to meet other people's expectations instead of being able to be myself.

Gratitudes
I'm grateful I had the evening alone
I'm grateful that work was fairly innocuous
I'm grateful for the beautiful weather
I'm grateful for getting to read and be myself

Monday, August 5, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Lovers

First Impressions: Entwined, enmeshed, oblivious to the world around them

Book:  Union, harmony with others and within ourselves

Guidance:  Be deliberate in your choices, give of yourself without losing yourself

Journaling

And that is the quintessential question, how to give of yourself without losing yourself.  I believe that is the reason that I'm terrified of falling in love again as I don't know if I can give of myself without losing myself and I have fought so hard to find myself and to define myself that I'm terrified of losing myself again.  The last week has brought some deep revelations into my life and I feel as if I'm another step closer to being truly myself.  What I'm finding is that one of the ultimate questions in my life surrounding love is being open to loving myself.  I feel as if I've spent most of my life focused on my flaws instead of my attributes.  I've also always been way too willing to put myself down and allow myself to take a backseat to other people in my life.

It has only been recently that I've started to view myself as a valuable person with something to offer the world and as someone who deserves to live a good life.  Most of my life I've bought into the belief that I was somehow not deserving of the good stuff in life and that I should be grateful for the scraps I received.  However, my thinking has changed lately and I realize that I do deserve a seat at the table and that I should not be grateful for scraps. 

Finding this unity and self acceptance has really helped me to truly love myself and maybe at the heart of it, that's what this card is about, being able to love the disparate parts of ourselves.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful I got back to my hotel at a reasonable hour
I'm grateful for the pictures of Wendy
I'm grateful for a good night's sleep
I'm grateful for getting my work done

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Seer of Swords

First Impressions:  Arrogance, facing the future

Book:  Intelligent and insightful, discovering what is hidden, not afraid to speak the truth

Guidance:  Tailor your talent to the world of human reality

Journaling
The meaning on this card makes me smile as I sometimes race ahead of everyone else and am left looking back waiting for them to catch up.  This card serves as a reminder that I live in the human realm and I need to be kind and to help others along instead of racing ahead of everyone else because I can.  My job generally helps me with that as I get a reminder on every project what it is like to be back at the beginning and starting over. 

The page of swords also serves as a reminder that learning can be fun and that it can be amazing to jump into a pool of new knowledge and learn something new.  We often get so caught up in being the smartest person in the world that we forget what it is like to have beginner's mind and start from the beginning. 



Gratitudes

I'm grateful for the yummy Spanglish and flirting with the guy behind the counter
I'm grateful for the safe drive to Chicago
I'm grateful that the Delta fixed my reservation for me
I'm grateful that it was a nice day for a drive
I'm grateful for driving down State Street with my top down
I'm grateful for seeing the beautiful moon

Deliberate Draw: The Moon

First Impressions:  Seeing what is below the surface, reaching for the mystery

Book:  Portal into initiation, searching for answers

Guidance:  Dive deep into our emotions to find our way through the dark night of the soul

Journaling

Driving from Cleveland to Chicago was an interesting trip this time as  I am starting to uncover the depths of my father's complicity into my lack of self confidence and the wounds of my soul.  I've always blamed my mother for acting as if my life was supposed to be all about everyone else and for not supporting me, but as I come closer and closer to getting the director title, I am starting to realize that my father was not innocent in my wounding.  As I look back at my childhood, I realize that I can no longer see my mother as the monster and my father as the saint.  I also realize that I have to take my feelings out of the equation and see my father as the flawed human being that he was instead of seeing him as my adored father.  I have to see him as the instrument of the patriarchy that he was.

My father, who I know loved and adored me, injured me deeply.  When I look beyond the words he said to me, I see the pattern of misogyny that "put women in their place" which in his mind was the home.  My father was always loving and kind, but when I look at things through adult eyes instead of a child's eyes, I see that my mother working menial jobs outside of the home instead of having a true career were the result of my father's beliefs that men should support their families while women took care of them.  I know she had wanted to be a nurse, but that dream died because of his mandate.  At the time, I believed she gave up her dreams willingly for our family, but now I'm not so sure.

I'm also beginning to remember bits and pieces of conversations that happened after I'd gone to bed, conversations about radical feminists and how wrong they were.  I remember the snippets about them wanting to be men and abandoning their role.  Of course, looking back at overheard conversations from 50 years ago, it's possible I confused the word's my father said with the word's I heard on TV.  However, what I can't confuse is the fact that he did not believe in women's equality.  He did not believe that women should hold positions of power or be in positions to influence others.  He would not even attend a church with a woman pastor because he believed there was a biblical prohibition against a woman leading men.

I'm angry as I write this and think about the years that I was robbed of reaching my full potential because I bought into my father's sanctimonious misogynistic bullshit.  However, I also realize that now that I am aware of the situation it is my responsibility to rectify it.  It is my responsibility to do the ritual to let go of the past and to do the work to move forward.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Queen of Pentacles

Note:  There will be a slight overlap between decks as I have pulled almost every card in the World Spirit Tarot.  I will be maintaining my commitment to the WST by beginning a new series where I pull the Major Arcana card and related minor cards.  However, I wanted to get Autumn off to a good start by beginning my pulls with the Lisa de St. Croix deck.

First Impressions:  Opulence, being grounded, love

Book: Surrounded by the riches of the earth, embodiment of the earth

Guidance:  Enjoy the senses and share with others

Journaling

Even though the highs are still straying into the 80s here in Cleveland, it is beginning to feel like Autumn.  The last week, I've felt a shift in the air as the nights are getting chillier, the flowers have that wild and crazy vibe I always equate with the last days of summer, and the stores are selling back to school supplies.  This time of year reminds me of the summer that Luke and I spent living on the North Side of Chicago.  John and I had separated earlier in the year, then I'd gotten let go from my job because of my erratic behavior after our separation.  Luke and I had a lot of time to wander around Chicago and I remember walking in our Andersonville neighborhood and seeing all the wild and crazy flowers.   I was sad, but Luke gave me a reason to go on as I had to get up and feed him and take care of him.  He was my reason to live and my lifeline that summer.

I can't believe it has been two years since he passed away (July 30, 2017).  I remember that day so clearly as the night before he had been insistent on sleeping upstairs with me even though he hadn't gone upstairs in a few months and had slept on the couch.  When I got up in the morning, he couldn't make it down the stairs and Cam and I had to put in him a blanket and carry him.  We ended up taking him to the vet and making the humane decision to euthanize him.  His last act of agency was to lay down in the sun so he felt it on his face.  After we called Sean so he could say goodbye, Luke died with his head on my leg and looking at Cam.  We were brokenhearted, but we knew it was the right thing to be.

This will always be a time of endings and beginnings for me

Deliberate Draw: Wheel of Fortune

First Impressions:  What comes up, must go down

Book:  Everything on earth moves in cycles, the only promise is change

Guidance:  Stay open to the experience even when things turn for the worse, remember that even the wheel of change has a small spot of quiet in the center

Journaling

The reminder to stay centered even when the world is spinning around is incredibly helpful as I often let myself get carried away by the change. I think this card resonates with me today because I am really feeling the change of the seasons as the flowers are wild and crazy, the vegetables are laden down with the heavy fruits of the season, and there is just a hint of chill in the air.  This beautiful blue orb we call home orbits around the sun and we orbit with it.  There are days when it is warm and beautiful and times when it is dark and cold.  This is so clearly a time of transition and I feel it so strongly this year in the world and in my personal life as it feels like life is rotating up.

However, one of the most important lessons I've learned from being a citizen on this beautiful planet for over 50 years is that things are always changing and that sometimes all we can control is our reaction.  I used to buy into the theory that I was solely responsible for creating my own reality, however, I've realized that is just not true and that there is so much that happens that I can control.  However, what I can always control is my attitude and how I respond to a situation.  I also realize that there are certain circumstances where the appropriate response is to throw oneself on the bed and cry until there are no more tears.  However, even in those situations, there will come a time when the appropriate response is to pick myself up, dust myself off, and figure out a way to go on. 

Gratitudes:

I'm grateful for Scott's email
I'm grateful for walking at the park with Cam and the dogs
I'm grateful for the helpful guy at the Valvoline
I'm grateful for the yummy smoothie
I'm grateful for Wendy wanting to snuggle
I'm grateful my book's were ready
I'm grateful for clean clothes
I'm grateful my air filter came
I'm grateful I got my car cleaned out
I'm grateful for the peace in the house


Friday, August 2, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Star

First Impressions:  Ungrounded, not focused

Book:   Healing and wholeness, calm and peace, pouring out blessings, there is always more love to give

Guidance:  Breathe deeply and feel her healing waters flow through your life

Journaling

It's interesting that I got a bad vibe from this card as I usually get a good vibe from the Star card as it is a card that fills me with hope and reminds me that good things are coming my way.  This card is different than most Star Cards as she appears unrooted as she doesn't have one foot on the ground and isn't kneeling into the water.  Most Star cards are kneeling and I get a sense that the person is rooted in reality.  Maybe the message to me is that hope and healing has to be grounded in reality and that I need to be sure that my love is rooted in reality too.  There is always more love to give, but the question is should you continue to give love.

That was my problem with my marriage is that I thought if I loved more or differently then he would love me, but he had no love to give so my continuing to give love only depleted me.  In a truly giving relationship love flows both ways and the love is continually recycled.  My marriage was not a giving and healthy relationship and the love was only flowing one way and when I got depleted and had nothing left to give, he left.  I know that is not his version of reality and his version of reality paints him as a victim, but he chose to be a victim and he chose to blame everyone else for his mistakes.  I said yesterday that Sean having seen how he treated Michelle opened Sean's eyes to his father's flaws, but I think it has opened my eyes as well.  Seeing how he blamed her for not being able to continue to love him made me realize that he did the same thing to me.

It also helped me to see that love truly is a verb and it is not just something you give, it is something you actively work toward.  It is a million small gestures and it takes work to love someone.  In some ways a bad marriage is very much like a dead end job where you give and give and give and you get nothing back. The love in a marriage has to be mutual or it doesn't work.

However, I do believe that blessings can be unlimited and that I can send blessings to someone without it being a drain on my energy.  I have started to flip my thinking and when I am going to say F* you to someone, I'm going to start saying Be Blessed instead.  It may not impact them, but it will impact me as I'll be putting out positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts.

Gratitudes

I'm grateful for the good call we had about education
I'm grateful that I finished the FICO Deck
I'm grateful that I finished the Procure to Pay deck
I'm grateful for snuggling with Wendy
I'm grateful it is Friday
I'm grateful I didn't eat the Bacon and Egg sandwich
I'm grateful for the yummy watermelon


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