Art and Alchemy Everyday

I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of taking action lately.  About a year ago I got to a point where I realized if I wanted something different to happen I needed to start doing something differently. I decided … Continue reading

Plant Seeds and Pull Weeds

Ace of Coins from the Golden Tarot

Ace of Coins from the Golden Tarot

Does life feel like a bit of a roller coaster ride these days?  Maybe you’re having great moments followed by moments of zero inspiration, with spasms of fear and worry thrown in at regular intervals?  I’ve been hearing a lot of spiritual teachers and New Thought leaders talking about “Ascension Symptoms”, and from what I’ve learned, that roller coaster experience just about covers it.  Basically, this comes from the observation that the energy on the planet has shifted and increased in a pretty major way starting in December of 2012.  Even if you’re not a “woo woo” kind of person who gives much thought to such things, you’re probably feeling some sort of change in your life over the past year or so.  I hear people remark frequently that they can’t believe how fast the time is flying by, or they can’t believe the political situations, or they can’t believe how many people are suffering in their relationships or with their finances.  I also hear a lot of stories about miraculous events ~ major epiphanies that are transforming relationships, vulnerable moments that are opening hearts, and acts of generosity that completely amaze and inspire me.

So… what does all this have to do with The Ace of Coins?  I had to pause and ask myself that question when I first pulled this card, but it is becoming more and more clear that we are in a time of learning to do things a new way ~ and that’s exactly what this card is reminding us.  The Aces in the tarot are about new energies, opportunities, ways of seeing and doing.  These cards guide us to plant or tend new seeds in one way or another, but the analogy of the garden is most appropriate for The Ace of Coins {also called Pentacles} because this is the suit that represents the element of Earth.  This card is literally about learning by doing.  When it shows up, the guidance is to take some sort of action even if it’s just a baby step because this is how you become a master gardener.  You have to plant something in the ground and have the experience of tending it to really “get” it.

Many times we have a big vision or a dream, but we don’t take the actions necessary to give it traction or grow it into anything.  When this happens we are failing to plant the seeds and then wondering why nothing is growing.  Maybe we are waiting until all the conditions are “right” i. e. we’re in the mood, we’ve got more time, we know more, or we’ve got more support.  The thing is… most of the time all those things don’t just fall into place on their own.  Planting the seeds is about creating the congruent conditions that will ground your dream and help you make it a reality.

So that leads me to the part about pulling the weeds…  Sometimes we don’t plant our seeds at all {nothing grows}; sometimes we plant them and forget about them {they grow a little and die of neglect}; and sometimes we plant more than we can manage {a huge harvest that is overwhelming and we get lost}.  In all three of these scenarios the weeds just start taking over.  If your little garden plot is already full of weeds, you won’t be able to plant anything.  If you neglect what you’ve planted, the weeds will take it over and kill it; and if your garden is overwhelming ~ even if it’s not a weed, you may need to thin out the plot so everything can grow better and stronger.

What are the weeds?  The weeds I’m talking about include the inner resistance you feel that blocks you from taking the positive actions you know would benefit you.  These are the limiting beliefs and self-talk that sabotage and undermine you. Here are a few weeds I’ve learned to identify, maybe some of these will sound familiar to you:

The Never Get Started Weed says:  “You don’t know enough, You aren’t talented enough, Who do you think you are?, You can’t do it, What will people think?, What if they judge me? What if I fail? etc.”

The Neglect Weed says: “Just give up, This isn’t going to grow into anything, This is stupid, You’re being selfish by working on your project ~ there are other people who need you, This isn’t important unless I can make money doing it right now, This isn’t important. period. You can only do this when all your other chores are finished, Everything and everyone else comes first, etc.”

The Overgrown Weed says: “You have to say yes to everything so people will like you, You have to do it ALL so no one is ever disappointed, If you miss an opportunity you’ll fail and there won’t ever be another one, If you don’t do it perfectly you’re a failure, Never let them see you sweat, Who needs sleep, food, pleasure?… this work is the important stuff!, Who needs sleep, food, pleasure?… I’m a __________ (Mother, provider, employee, etc.) other people are depending on me, etc.”

The truth is, we all have weeds that need to be pulled, and we’re actually in a great season to be cleaning out and clearing space for the gardens we’d like to see in the spring.  So where are your weeds?  If it’s hard to imagine a life without them or you’re having trouble determining where they are, your first Ace of Coins action step is to find a tool and USE it or find a coach to help you and DO the work that is suggested.  If you’re stalled on a project and feel muddled and cloudy thinking that’s making it hard to see a small action step that you can take, you might try “mind mapping” where you “dump” all your jumbled thoughts out on paper so you can see what’s there in a tangible form.  This action isn’t about making a to do list ~ it’s about cleaning up the mental clutter and it only works if you DO it.  You can’t think about it and get the same effect.  If you’re overbooked and spread thin, your action step is to say “No” to at least 3 things and give yourself some space…. and if you’re hiding out and avoiding planting seeds because you’re afraid of failing, your action step is to say “Yes” to something that scares your pants off.

The Ace of Coins is here to encourage you to be bold and take action that supports your higher vision.  Don’t let the weeds win!  You have a beautiful garden that is ready and waiting to burst forth into full bloom.  You can turn those weeds into nourishing mulch, but you have to DO something so you can really benefit from the experience of seeing the magic first hand. xo

 

Put Your Action Where Your Heart Is

The Chariot from Gateway to the Divine Tarot Deck

The Chariot from Gateway to the Divine Tarot Deck

I just spent a fabulous and regenerating weekend at Kripalu and had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Howard Martin from The Institute of HeartMath – all about Connecting with Your Heart’s Purpose and Creating a Heart-Based World.  This subject definitely spoke to me, and I was inspired by all that I learned.  It seems no accident that today is all about The Chariot, and the key words here are: Trust, Alignment, and Victory.  Or another way to put it would be: Trust your Heart, Align your thoughts, words, and deeds with the desires of your Heart, and this will lead you to Victory.  The Chariot is asking me to put the wonderful things I learned this weekend into practice, and I want to share the message of this card along with some of the gems from that workshop.

The Chariot is number 7 of the major arcana, and in my own work with the tarot and the work I’ve done with others I have noticed that the 7’s often bring up confusion or resistance (sometimes I even feel like confusion is a form of resistance – but that’s another article.)  Mainly it’s because of that big T word – Trust.  Sometimes that can be so frustrating to hear when what we’re really hoping for is a loop-hole around having to trust.  Maybe we’ve started down a path because our heart’s were leading us, but now our doubts have been triggered and we’re wondering if we need to keep going or turn back.  We’ve gotten stalled out and our fears are having their way with us.  We just want a clear affirmation that yes, we’re doing exactly the right thing and everything will turn out just fine.  The Chariot does give us this encouragement, but it does it by calling us into action.  It guides us to look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.  It asks:  Are you all in or are you walking the fence?  Do you really want what you’re going for or are you giving just enough of your energy to try and test things out hoping that you’ll get your guarantee before you fully commit.  When The Chariot shows up, it is calling us out on the places where we’ve allowed ourselves to remain divided, and it is a blessing when it does show up.  It’s exactly the help we need when our energies aren’t integrated.  The promise of The Chariot is that we can have anything we choose, but we have to fully choose it – we have to commit and align our actions with our highest goals.  The image on the card shows a woman charioteer riding through the ocean with a full moon lighting her path.  She is holding the reigns of two horses.  One horse is black and other is white, and they seem to be veering in different directions.  However, she is holding them steady with her intention and her faith.  She is trusting her heart and her intuition – staying clearly intent on her vision.  This clarity, focus, and right action is keeping her from sinking into the emotional depths of the water and losing her momentum.

If you’re wondering how The Chariot might be speaking to you today, here are a couple of questions and tools to use for clarity and insight.

1.  Take a look at the goals you are currently working toward.  Do these goals inspire you, spark your enthusiasm, and light you up when you think or talk about them?  If they don’t, then you may want to consider changing them because they may not be goals of your heart.  Take some time to listen to your heart – you may need a course correction.  I highly recommend The Quick Coherence Technique designed by The Institute of HeartMath.  All you do is center your awareness on your heart and gently breathe into that space.  Think about something that you appreciate and breathe that feeling of appreciation into your heart.  When you have done this for a few minutes you are in a perfect space to ask for internal guidance.  Write down your question and sit quietly for a few more moments, then write down anything that you received.  Don’t worry if you didn’t receive anything – you can always try again or you may find that the answer just drops in at a later time when you’re least expecting it.  Be open.

2.  If you know that your goals make your heart sing, then The Chariot is asking you to take action.  What tasks are you putting off because they are more challenging or scary?  Where are you feeling the most resistance?  Go there first and acknowledge what you’re feeling.  Just sit with that for a moment.  Make a commitment to some form of action.  If you are feeling overwhelmed,  just do the first thing that comes to mind.  It may be something very simple like finding the business card with the phone number on it, or it could be sending an email, or making a list of the supplies you’ll need.  You can use the Quick Coherence Technique as well to help you zero in on that next action step.  You can also use another wonderful technique from The Institute of HeartMath called the Inner-Ease Technique.  Acknowledge your feelings, do the focused breathing I described above, and then imagine that you are drawing in the feeling of inner ease with each breath.  Anchor and maintain this feeling as you go about your day and notice the difference in how it unfolds.

If you are interested in more information from the Institute of HeartMath check out www.heartmath.org  This Institute is conducting scientific research on the heart and the various ways it works in our bodies and affects our lives.  They have proven that using the Quick Coherence Technique I mentioned above creates an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are aligned and in-sync.  Also, physiologically, the immune, hormonal and nervous systems function in a state of energetic coordination.  In short, our bodies and our lives just work better.  Have a beautiful and productive day! xo

 

Your Greatest Creative Tool: Choice

The Seven of Cups from the Golden Tarot. Painted stones by Jennifer Currie

The Seven of Cups from the Golden Tarot. Painted stones by Jennifer Currie

This morning I pulled The Seven of Cups as inspiration for today’s post, and I have to confess that this card is close to my heart in a love/hate sort of way.  First I’ll tell you why I love it.  The Seven of Cups is about dreams, imagination and the realm of possibility.  There is an expansive quality to it and all kinds of options are available when this card shows up.  It’s about feeling your way through life and keeping all the creative options open. This card invites you to explore your dreams without editing and restricting them.  It asks you to trust and allow whatever it is you discover.  For me this has always been a natural and fun process.  I love the dreaming phase of any project when I can just let my imagination flow and enjoy the experience.  All of this is great and a very necessary part of any creative endeavor.  But here’s where the down side can come in, and it’s also a big part of the message of this card.  Sometimes it can be so much fun to live in that realm of possibility and imagination that we just don’t want to leave.  When this happens we may find ourselves getting caught in a dreamy, ungrounded cycle where nothing is actually happening.  All those dreams are beautiful but they never come to be because we’ve chosen to stay in the clouds and haven’t brought them down to earth.  Our visions stay in the realm of the imagination and are little more than mirages.  Sometimes the down side of this card can show up as scattered energy.  False starts and distractions can keep us running in circles because we’re overwhelmed by the expansion.  In this case there are too many possibilities, and we don’t know what to choose, so we try to do a little of everything, or we’re afraid to make a choice so we just check out.  We tell ourselves that we’re just waiting, but we’re really just choosing to stay stuck.  Either way… nothing happens and the time just passes while we sit in the clouds.

Both of these scenarios came to mind when I pulled this card, but the message from spirit and the antidote to a Seven of Cups conundrum was right in front of me when I placed the card on my altar to photograph it. The painted stone with Lao Tzu’s wisdom was sitting right there like a neon sign pointing an arrow: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Of course I painted the quote on that rock to help remind me of this on those Seven of Cups kind of days (I love these little synchronicities).  The message here is that whether you’re taking a much needed trip to the realm of possibility or you’ve gotten trapped there, you’ve got to come down out of your head and take the first step toward your goal.  Often that first step is making a choice.

I heard Law of Attraction teacher, Bob Doyle, in an interview recently say that, “Indecision is a form of self torment.”  Can you relate?  I certainly can, and that down side of the Seven of Cups can often feel exactly like this.  It’s a form of struggle, and we’re fighting ourselves.  We may even feel like we don’t have a choice simply because we’re looking for a path that won’t rock the boat, make anyone uncomfortable, or be too challenging.  What we have to remember is that our power to choose is our greatest creative tool.  I know that I have often felt stuck simply because I was afraid of making the “wrong” choice, but I’m learning all the time that it’s better to make a bold choice, gain something from the experience and then choose again than it is to remain in the realm of possibility so long that nothing happens.  It’s the trap of escapism, and there are lots of tragic stories through history of wasted talents and gifts.  The Seven of Cups is a reminder to actively use our power to choose because when we’re able to receive the gifts from the realm of possibility and then bring those inspirations into tangible form through our choice and actions…. well, that’s what we’re all here to do.  That’s being in alignment with your spirit.

So what is the Seven of Cups saying to you?  It could be asking you to expand your realm of possibilities and entertain your imagination.  Sometimes we get into ruts that numb us to the beauty of life and deaden our intuitive and creative perceptions.  If you’re feeling uninspired, bored or just plain blah your spirit may be calling you to choose to relax and dream a little.  Or you might be lost in a whirl of visions always thinking about what you could do or might do without really taking any action.  You may feel scattered and have anxieties about looming deadlines or unfulfilled dreams.  Either way… make a choice and know that you can always make another choice and another.  You are a powerful creative spirit, and you’re never truly stuck.