Just Do It! Follow Your Inner Guidance

Two of Wands from the Goddess Tarot

Two of Wands from the Goddess Tarot

The fiery Two of Wands has shown up today with encouragement and guidance to take action and do your part in the co-creation of your life.  The two’s are about relationships, separate energies coming together, engaging in a creative process, and harmonizing.  When we are participating, taking helpful action, and showing up full-out in our relationships with other people these relationships flourish and thrive.  The Two of Wands addresses our relationship with spirit and invites us to engage in a dance with the Creator, so that we can heal, have fun, and change our lives in positive ways.

The Wands symbolize the element of fire, and there is always movement when fire shows up.  It’s the propelling force or the divine spark of inspiration.  Many of us have begun new projects, are seeing things in new ways and have a lot of enthusiasm for the path we’re on.  Some of us feel like we’ve suddenly been rerouted and we’re not at all familiar with this road less traveled.  The Two of Wands is asking us to take action – to move, but it’s not directing us to just do for the sake of doing.  It’s asking us to listen to the inner knowing of our hearts and move in that direction.  It’s also asking that we be willing to take small steps with faith because it may not be possible for us to know the benefit of an action until we have experienced it.  Often, when I do readings I find that the guidance is so simple and immediate that the brain wants to dismiss it.  I can feel the intellect start up and the inner resistance that says, “well, that’s too easy” or “How is that going to fix my problem?”  Creating change in our lives requires moving in a new direction and the only way to do this is by taking simple steps that are different from the ones we’ve been taking.  It starts small and The Two of Wands is indicating that your spirit is calling to you.  It’s directing you to a path.  Are you taking the action that it’s indicating?  That’s the question this card brings up and it invites us into a dance with the Creator, so that we can co-create the beautiful life experiences we want to have.  Here’s how it works:

1.  The first step is showing up and asking for guidance.  Speak to your heart and ask your higher self to guide you.  Ask for loving, light-filled guidance for your highest good.  At this point the Creator steps in to meet you and the dance begins.

2.  The second step is listening and being open to that guidance when it comes.  It is subtle and it will often surprise you – it feels good but may not be what you expected.  The more open you can become, the more clear this guidance will be for you.  Learning to find inner quiet is beneficial, but know that it’s possible to do this even if you are not practicing formal meditation.  Sometimes a quiet walk outside can calm the mind enough for guidance to come through.  I used to find some of the best creative ideas and solutions would drop in for me when I was taking short country drives in a quiet car.  If you don’t feel like you’re getting guidance or you question what you are getting, it doesn’t mean that the guidance isn’t there – it just indicates that you’re “in your head”.  You may find that your guidance starts to come to you through other messengers and is repetitious.  If you’ve heard over and over again that you need to relax more and give yourself a breather it’s not just a bunch of tiresome people giving you a hard time – it may be your higher self trying to get through to you!  Check in with your heart and see if that message feels like a welcome relief and keep your eyes and ears open to other messages that may be  showing up in this way.

3.  This is where step three comes in:  Just do it!  Act on the guidance that you are receiving.  If you are being guided to rest, then rest.  If you’re being guided to send an email or make a phone call, do it.  As I talked about with The Wheel of Fortune this is the year for breaking old cycles that don’t serve us – we want to get off the outer rim of the wheel and find our power in the center.  Taking action when our guidance kicks in is crucial.  This is where the rubber meets the road and change takes place.  The Two of Wands is encouraging us to keep going.  Even if we haven’t seen the full results of our efforts we don’t need to give up before the miracle occurs.  Put one foot in front of the other and take the actions that spirit is guiding you to take.  You are learning by doing. xo
 

Release, Let Go, and Flow

Flowing

Release, let go, and flow… these words have come up for me as consistent (and persistent) guidance throughout my whole life.  I’ve gotten this message from my own intuition, from those I have sought out for advice, from teachers, friends, and family.  I’ve been on a mission for years to learn how to let go because frankly, I haven’t been very good at.  The frustrating question that always came up was “How?  How do I let go?”  I always wanted to figure it out with my intellect and this pretty much got me nowhere.  If anything, it left me even more contracted, tense and panicked.  Over the years I’ve had my eyes open for tools because I’ve discovered that usually my mind is the very place where all this “holding-on” begins.  If it’s something I’ve been holding for a long time, it has probably settled into my body somewhere, and if I’m really unconscious of it then it’s running me around emotionally and fueling some of my worst habits.  I’ve learned that letting go for me often requires giving my mind something productive and helpful to do so I can get out of my own way, or getting out of my mind altogether via some sort of physical activity.  Here is a list of 5 tools I’ve gathered that help me release, let go, and flow:

1.  Exercise:  Maybe you’re the kind of person who sees this at the top of the list and says “great! That’s easy!”  Well… that’s not me.  I’ve tried to work around this tool for years, but the truth is when I’m stuck in my head, feeling backed into corners, tense, anxious or just plain uninspired… moving my body always helps me let go and get back into flow.

2. Yoga:  I know this may seem like it should be lumped in with exercise and it is wonderful exercise, but it deserves it’s own slot on my list because there is something particularly cleansing and magical about yoga.  I’ve found it to be a great tool for wringing out old, stuck emotions.  It’s not uncommon to find myself in a yoga class suddenly welling up with tears that are gone just a few moments later.  That’s a release… and it always feels amazingly good.

3. Ho’oponopono:  This is an Hawaiian forgiveness and cleansing practice that I learned via Jennifer McLean on www.healingwiththemasters.com and Marci Schimoff in her book Happy for No Reason.  I loved the simplicity of this mantra, and I can tell you from experience that it’s a powerful practice that truly heals relationships and difficult situations.  If you are having trouble letting go of a grievance and need to unplug your energy from a draining dynamic, this is a beautiful tool to use.  It doesn’t matter if you feel wronged or if you are in the wrong.  Think about the person or situation and repeat these 4 statements:  I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.  Do this for a few minutes when you feel irritation or outrage surfacing or do it every day around any situation that feels unresolved, stuck, or difficult.  I’ve had miraculous results from using this tool.  The first time I used it I focused on a relationship that had been troublesome for years.  It was difficult to connect with this person and there were lots of misunderstandings, layers of hurt feelings, and plenty of “button pushing” behaviors on both sides.  It made spending time together draining, frustrating or both.  I started doing the ho’oponopono practice with this relationship in my mind.  Within 24 hours  I received a truly heart-felt email from this person expressing gratitude and love for me.  It opened a dialogue that we had never been able to have before, and since then our relationship has grown more compassionate and much less strained.  This tool absolutely clears away energetic cords and heals.  I highly recommend it!

4. The Sedona Method®:  I was introduced to this method several years ago and have found it easy and helpful when I’m struggling to let go of anxiety or working through resistance.  It’s designed to help you let go.  I would recommend checking out this link to their blog  The Sedona Method® where there are videos that explain and lead you through the process.  Basically it consists of 4 questions to ask yourself:  Could I allow myself to welcome this: (feeling, emotion, situation, etc)?  Could I let it go?  Would I let it go (if I could)?  When?  It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no to the 1st 3 questions.  The last answer is “now”.  It’s remarkably simple, but I’ve been amazed at the results and I use it all the time.  Experimenting with this has taught me about contracted and expanded energy and helped me become more aware of where I’m opening up and where I’m constricting in my life.

5. Tapping or EFT:  Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is another super easy method that you can use to release tension in the body, emotions, thought patterns, belief systems, etc.  I would definitely recommend watching an instructional video.  Check out http://thetappingsolution.com/2013VideoSeries/?page_id=17.  Basically the method instructs you to “tap” with your fingertips 9 different meridian points on your body as you focus on whatever issue you want to release.  The set up phrase is: “Even though I have this (pain, stress, fear… whatever), I deeply and completely accept myself.”  You repeat this phrase as you tap the points and my experience is that it’s possible to feel immediate relief.  Again, this is easy to learn, and it can be used for just about anything you want to release.

These 5 tools are some of my favorite go-to’s when I’m feeling contracted, anxious, stuck, feeling pain in my body, or just suffering from some drama in my life.  I’ve had great results with all of them.  I hope you find them helpful too!   Many Blessings! xo

Create a Year of Good Fortune

 

The Wheel of Fortune from the Gilded Tarot

The Wheel of Fortune from the Gilded Tarot

I hope that 2013 is off to a wonderful start for all of you!  On New Year’s Day I pulled a card for the year for my blog readers and Facebook folks.  It was The Wheel of Fortune, and I want to share the insights that have been coming together for me.  The basic message is about releasing control, staying in the present moment and letting go of worries, doubts, self-abuse, tension, and anxiety.  The Wheel is number 10 of the major arcana and this number symbolizes the ending of one cycle and the beginning of a new one.  This year may bring up awareness of your patterns so you can see what is serving you and what isn’t.  If something isn’t working, the great news is you have the opportunity to change it.  If you’re noticing patterns that work well, then you get to refine your technique and take it to the next level.

The Wheel of Fortune is ruled astrologically by the planet Jupiter and the sign Sagittarius.  Jupiter is the bringer of blessings and good luck and Sagittarius is symbolized by the archer.  If you’re working with talents, gifts, and skills that make your life joyful, keep the image of the archer in your mind’s eye as you go through this year.  He carefully positions his bow, takes aim, breathes deeply, envisions the arrow hitting the mark and then releases it.  At that point the archer’s work is done.  Now the universe takes over and all that is required is faith in a positive outcome.  If it misses the mark, no worries, The Wheel of Fortune always brings around another opportunity to try again.  The power to aim and release the arrow is always available (and only available) in the present moment.  When you practice staying present, aiming for your goals from this empowered place, and taking the actions that are available to you right now then you are standing in the center of The Wheel.  This is the access point to your own higher self and opens the door to wonderful expansion, blessings and good luck.

If you’re feeling stuck or confused and can’t see clearly enough to picture the target much less a bull’s eye, you’re experiencing a pattern that isn’t serving you.  You can usually tell if you’re in this spot because you feel trapped, frustrated, and unable to figure out any possible solution.   In this case, you’re riding The Wheel and going around and around the same issues with the same way of approaching them every time.  It’s not a very fun place to be, and blessings and good fortune can feel unattainable when we’re stuck in these cycles.  The gift of The Wheel in these circumstances is that we can notice where these patterns show up for us, change our thinking, and invite the Divine to bless us with a miracle.  Marianne Williamson writes in The Law of Divine Compensation:

“…{a miracle is} a shift in thinking which then shifts your experience.  This shift in perception- your willingness to look beyond appearances- enables you to invoke a different set of probabilities going forward.  It enables you to see beyond what’s happening to what could be happening, thus creating the space for something new.” 

Albert Einstein also said, “The significant problems we face can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  If you’re suffering from the same thing that has made you suffer many times before, it’s time to step off The Wheel.  Doing things the same way with the same undesirable results is a closed-system that can feel like a jail, but the way to freedom is always found right where you are now.  Come into your present moment and choose something new and different.  If you always do things one way, change it up.  If you tend to think pessimistically and are suffering from a pattern of low energy and lack of creativity, start naming the good things that surround you.  Start a gratitude journal, say a prayer, or take one action that is uplifting to your spirit in some small way.  If you’re exhausted from being in a constant state of doing and controlling, take a break.  Do something that your mind might categorize as frivolous or do nothing at all.  Take a nap.  These are simple things that have tremendous impact if you are ready to take  your unfruitful patterns in hand.  You’re coming back to your center, changing the things that aren’t working and inviting a miracle.  It’s always a step you take from exactly where you stand right now.  These small actions get you into the dance with the Divine and then anything can happen!  May The Wheel help you break the cycles that block your joy, bring you focus and faith in your gifts, and lead you to a more abundant, fun, and blessed experience of life-  a life of good fortune filled with miracles.  xo

 

Overflowing

The Ace of Cups
The Ace of Cups

The Ace of Cups

JES 1973

I’m overflowing with emotion today, and I guess it’s appropriate that I pulled the Ace of Cups not once, but twice.  This card is all about blessings and an open heart – an abundance of love and the willingness to receive grace.  It’s a new awareness of these things – being able to see with fresh eyes.  Earlier I was looking through a box of old photos and found some pictures of myself as a child.  It reminded me of the sweet, innocent little person I was then and how those things are still a part of me.  They are a part of all of us – we were all innocent little children once.  The message from spirit is: Listen to your heart and understand that it’s guiding you to love.  Love yourself, love your beauty, your gifts, your innocence, your unique contribution to this world.  From that place of overflowing abundance you can give love by seeing it in everyone you meet.

The other day I stumbled across a poem by Mary Oliver that struck me as so incredibly beautiful that I had to read it over again several times.  I’ll share it here, and I’m wishing you an open heart and an overflowing cup. xo

“At the River Clarion” by Mary Oliver

1. I don’t know who God is exactly.

But I’ll tell you this.

I was sitting in the river named Clarion, on a

water splashed stone

and all afternoon I listened to the voices

of the river talking.

Whenever the water struck the stone it had

something to say,

and the water itself, and even the mosses trailing

under the water.

And slowly, very slowly, it became clear to me what they were saying.

Said the river: I am part of holiness.

And I too, said the stone.  And I too, whispered

the moss beneath the water.

 

I’d been to the river before, a few times.

Don’t blame the river that nothing happened quickly.

You don’t hear such voices in an hour or a day.

You don’t hear them at all if selfhood has stuffed your ears.

And it’s difficult to hear anything anyway, through

all the traffic, and ambition.

2.

If God exists he isn’t just butter and good luck.

He’s also the tick that killed my wonderful dog Luke.

Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then

keep on going.

Imagine how the lily (who may also be a part of God)

would sing to you if it could sing, if

you would pause to hear it.

And how are you so certain anyway that it doesn’t sing?

 

If God exists he isn’t just churches and mathematics.

He’s the forest, He’s the desert.

He’s the ice caps, that are dying.

He’s the ghetto and the Museum of Fine Arts.

 

He’s Van Gogh and Allen Ginsberg and Robert Motherwell.

He’s the many desperate hands, cleaning and preparing

their weapons.

He’s every one of us, potentially.

The leaf of grass, the genius, the politician,

the poet.

And if this is true, isn’t it something very important?

 

Yes, it could be that I am a tiny piece of God, and

each of you too, or at least

of his intention and his hope.

Which is a delight beyond measure.

I don’t know how you get to suspect such an idea.

I only know that the river kept singing.

It wasn’t a persuasion, it was all the river’s own

constant joy

which was better by far than a lecture, which was

comfortable, exciting, unforgettable.

3.

Of course for each of us, there is the daily life.

Let us live it, gesture by gesture.

When we cut the ripe melon, should we not give it thanks?

And should we not thank the knife also?

We do not live in a simple world.

4.

There was someone I loved who grew old and ill.

One by one I watched the fires go out.

There was nothing I could do

except to remember

that we receive

then we give back.

5.

My dog Luke lies in a grave in the forest,

she is given back.

But the river Clarion still flows

from wherever it comes from

to where it has been told to go.

I pray for the desperate earth.

I pray for the desperate world.

I do the little each person can do, it isn’t much.

Sometimes the river murmurs, sometimes it raves.

6.

Along its shores were, may I say, very intense cardinal flowers.

And trees, and birds that have wings to uphold them,

for heaven’s sakes-

the lucky ones: they have such deep natures,

they are so happily obedient.

While I sit here in a house filled with books,

ideas, doubts, hesitations.

7.

And still, pressed deep into my mind, the river

keeps coming, touching me, passing by on its

long journey, its pale, infallible voice

singing.

 

 

Abun{dance}

Dance yourself into an abundant space

Dance yourself into an abundant space

In tarot terms, it’s been A Hanging Man phase for me these past few months which means I’ve been given plenty of opportunities to get more acquainted with the lessons of patience, allowing, receiving, and looking at things in a completely new way.  I won’t say that I’ve “aced” all of these lessons, but I’m realizing that for me these things are linked with my experience of abundance.  One of the biggest gifts I received lately is a new-found perception of dancing.

Let me explain… you see, I’ve been going to personal growth workshops for years, and one of the tools I’ve been given again and again is dancing.  It has always been an instant vibrational elevator which basically means that I feel great when I do it.  My experience is that most people feel great when they dance because it’s fun – it lights up our inner children.  So given this realization about dancing you might think that I’ve been doing it a lot over the years, but (sigh) I haven’t.  Lately, I was reminded once again that this is soooo good for me and makes me feel awesome, and this time I asked myself:  “Why all the resistance?”  The answer I received had to do with my ego.  For some reason my ego decided that dancing was only ok in certain places and for certain people at certain times.  I’ve always loved to dance, but when I was growing up it was only ok to do it if you were at “a dance” and these were usually for high school kids only – none of the grown-ups ever danced.  The other place you might see dancing was a wedding.  This was the only place I ever saw adults “cut a rug”.  When I got into college there was a lot more dancing – we’d go out to hear some music and dance quite a bit, and it was a blast!  This was considered ok because we were kids, but after college… well, the occasional wedding was really the only ego-sanctioned dancing event that ever came around.  Sadly dancing pretty much went out of my life.  I found it again at some of the workshops I mentioned.  I would come home feeling wonderful, sparkly, and inspired to dance more, but the resolve would fade away as I got back into the regular day to day living.  Dancing just didn’t seem to have a place there.  This past month when I returned once again from a workshop feeling great, I decided to try an experiment with myself to see if I could bring dancing back into my life.  For the past 30 days I have danced every morning at home in my PJs to one song (about 3-4 minutes).  I’m no pro, I don’t have any fabulous “moves”.   I just dance the way I dance for 4 minutes every morning.  Here is what I have discovered:

1. Even at home alone, my ego puts up resistance.  I’m learning to look this resistance in the eye every morning and just walk on through.  There’s something very empowering about that.

2. I seem to know exactly what I need to do that day right after dancing.  I feel clear-headed, energized, and full of inspiration.

3. I’ve actually lost a little weight without doing anything else.  This is certainly not scientific, but I’m thinking that this little dance routine is giving my metabolism a small boost first thing in the morning.

4. I’m more grounded and subsequently I worry less and feel safer in the world in general.

5. I feel more open and expanded throughout the day.  The irritating stuff is rolling off much more easily and I’m receiving the good stuff in a more authentic way.

In general I feel happier, more energized, more connected to my intuition, and grounded in my body.  I’m open to seeing the good and less affected by the bad.  Things have been flowing pretty nicely this past month despite The Hanging Man influence, and I’m feeling optimistic and enthusiastic about the future.  The fire I’m generating by dancing is burning away some of the old stuff and making a nice clear space for some beautiful new things to come into my life.  Yesterday I was working on an Oola button for abundance www.oolaoola.com, and as I was carefully painting the letters I realized that “Dance” is in the word.  It seems to me that all I’m experiencing truly is Abun{dance} but the possibilities are endless.  Dancing has given me a key to finding that expansive, open energy that abundance is.  I’m looking forward to seeing how things unfold, but in the meantime I wanted to share this.  Maybe you’ll want to give it a try and invite a little abun{dance} into your own life.  xo

Letting Go of Control

 

Happy Wednesday!  Here is the message from spirit I read this morning:

“Grace finds us when we accept life as it unfolds, even though, at times, we do not like what is happening.  Grace gives us the wisdom to cease arguing with God, demanding that life be what we want and not the way it is, and helps us find the gifts in what is so.”  -Sonia Choquette

Earlier this week I had an epiphany about the ways I try to control things in my life, and how that actually puts me into a contracted state…. I limit the beauty and gifts that I’m able to experience when I try to control everything.  So as we slide into the last few weeks of 2012 and the holidays, I’m really looking at getting more comfortable with letting things be the way they are.  I truly want to relax into a state of trusting and allowing.  So today’s message from spirit seemed just right to me.  I wanted to share it and wish you all a relaxed and beautiful day!  xoxo

Beautiful Receiving

7 of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot

Last week I went to a wonderful workshop with Sonia Choquette and returned home feeling uplifted, inspired, and joyous.  The big message I took in was about RECEIVING.  It seems timely as we enter the season of holidays and inward reflection.  This time of year there is a lot of emphasis on giving.  However, I’m realizing that the energy of giving and receiving is all the same, and we need to do both.  If we are comfortable with giving and not receiving – it’s like being comfortable breathing out but never wanting to breathe in.  That doesn’t really work… does it?   Generally speaking many of us (myself included) aren’t very good receivers and my spirit is telling me it’s time for this to change.

This awareness isn’t new for me.  For the past decade life has been teaching me that I need to embrace my vulnerability, let my guard down, and learn to receive.  It started with learning to receive kindness from myself -to adopt a gentler inward tone and cut myself some slack.  This may sound a little mushy, but I have to tell you it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!  Learning to allow myself the time to regenerate, meditate, create art, get enough sleep (these are all things that “the world” says are optional or insignificant) took a lot a lot of work.  I had to actively choose to listen to my spirit instead of my ego in order to allow these things into my life – and my ego really put up a fuss!  It likes to be in control of things.  It tells me that I’ll be safer if I keep myself protected, put on the mask of perfection, and keep all of the messy stuff hidden.  Well isn’t that just exhausting?

The 7 of Pentacles showed up the other day as I was reflecting on these things, and I realized that it’s about taking a look around, and welcoming whatever the Divine has extended to us that we need to receive.  The woman is standing under a money tree with an empty basket and a ladder.  So what is she waiting for? Does she feel she doesn’t deserve it?  Does she feel she has to earn it before she’s worthy?  Maybe she doesn’t trust it (if she climbs too high on the ladder the universe might pull it out from under her?) Perhaps she worries that others won’t think she’s a good person if she has too much.  There are lots of reasons we don’t receive in our lives and although this card addresses the earth element (money and tangible things), my heart tells me that we are never far away from our feelings about love, acceptance and worthiness when these issues come up.  True abundance is all of these things and we are all absolutely worthy and deserving of it all.

I realized over the past two weeks that everything that means something to me in this life is asking that I become a better receiver.  Opening to intuition is all about developing the ability to receive – to be open enough to get the information and trust it.  Acting on this guidance is how we give because we make the divine manifest through our actions.  Being an artist is about receiving inspiration and sustaining that flow of energy long enough to create something.  It’s blissful because we’re receiving – it’s filling us up and we’re giving at the same time through that act of creation.  Of course you don’t actually have to paint or sculpt in order to be creative – everyone of us is creating our lives each moment.  If we can fill our wells with love everyday by practicing receiving we’ll create such beauty in the world.  Everything we do will be infused with grace and that’s a vision that makes my spirit very happy.

So where are your doors closed?  Where do you control, worry, and feel constantly tired?  This is a clue to where you aren’t receiving, and I want to share a beautiful 10 minute “Sourcing” meditation that I learned at my workshop.  Find a comfortable place to sit and rub your palms together for a few seconds.  Feel the tingling of the energy in your hands and lay them on your knees palms upward.  Take a deep breath and let out the sound of “ahhhh” as you exhale.  Ask for grace to fill  you up as you sit and breathe gently.  I would recommend listening to “Devi Puja” by Krishna Das, Baird Hersey, and Prana as you sit.  You can find it on itunes.  Receive this gift of grace and carry it with you as you go about your day.  Many blessings! xoxo

 

 

Try a Little Laughter

Positive Message Graphic available at Uncommon Goods. This is a project I’m doing with my friend Amy Humes (Oola). You can use them to press your internal “reset button”        Oola at Uncommon Goods

 

I read this yesterday in Sonia Choquette’s Grace, Guidance, and Gifts and posted it on Facebook.  I realized later that it was a perfect addition to my post – “Have More Fun”.  What is more fun or more healing than a good laugh?  I thought I would share it here as well.  Wishing you a beautiful day full of fun and laughter! xo

“Open your heart, and there you will discover the gift of humor.  Humor temporarily frees you from the immersion and enslavement to the soul’s struggle and the ego’s drama, and elevates you back to the viewpoint of Spirit.  Laughter, amusement, chuckles, smiles – all are the many faces and expressions of the gift of humor. Humor restores perspective, returns one’s sense of power, rebalances and liberates one from negative and toxic emotions, and elevates one’s vibration to detachment and freedom in the moment. It floods the body with healing hormones and brings relief and objectivity to the mind.

The gift of humor is ushered into your heart by the divine muses, the subtle joy guides of creative inspiration and solution in service to God.  They are there to remind us that what we laugh at we can overcome.  Search deep into your heart to find your gift of humor, especially if it feels lost at the moment.  It doesn’t go away.  It’s only been misplaced.  Follow the muses and look for your gift in humorous movies, funny books, comedies, jokes, and satires.  You can find the gift of humor if you look for it.  That is part of the fun of humor.  When you look closely enough for it, you find it in everything.”