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

 

Success and Getting Your “Games” in Sync

The Emperor from the old edition of the Mythic Tarot

The Emperor from the old edition of the Mythic Tarot

The Star from The Golden Tarot

The Star from The Golden Tarot

Well, I did promise The Emperor for my next post, but The Star has come up today, so I will write about them both.  These are cards with very different energies, but some pretty amazing stuff can happen when you combine the two.  They represent your “Outer Game” and your “Inner Game”, and when they are in sync you’re on your way to success.

The Emperor is all about laying foundations.  He is an action-taker, a protector, a planner, and obstacle remover.  When The Emperor comes up, we are being asked to establish a vision and break it down into action steps.  We need to create order, organization and protect our creations with good boundaries as they blossom and grow.

The Star is a card of hope, healing, compassion, success, plentiful supply, and authentic expression.  It’s tender and magical~ a bringer of blessings.  It’s truly a card of Spirit.  It asks us to look within and investigate our deepest heart’s desires and the dreams we hold dearest.  It calls us to see our light even if it seems like a far away twinkle.  It’s there.  The Star also acknowledges that these dearest desires sometimes make us feel the most vulnerable because they mean so much to us.  They can bring up both hope and fear.  We may long for something and at the same time be terrified to even try because the thought of failing is too awful.

In truth, we absolutely need both of these energies for success.  The Star card speaks to our “Inner Game” and The Emperor speaks to our “Outer Game”.  I’d like to say that all of this falls into place in simple, linear steps, but experience tells me that we work on both our “games” simultaneously and progress unfolds in leap frog fashion.

For example, you may have a great idea for a business and be the kind of person who likes to dive right in and figure things out as you go.  You take that glimmer of star light {your inspiration} and get your emperor energy going full steam ahead ~ your “Outer Game” is coming along.  As you progress, however, you may start running into situations that require you to work on your “Inner Game”.  Maybe you discover that you avoid doing certain tasks, that communication isn’t great, and that your business gets stuck and stalled because the same problems keep cropping up again and again.  Maybe you’re afraid to ask for help, or have difficulty trusting other people.  These are all inner issues, and they’ll need to be resolved if you want to move forward.  Your outer game focus has ultimately led you right back to your inner world.

Or… maybe you are the kind of person who has been tending to your inner life diligently.  You have been connecting with your spirit, clearing wounds, and learning to love yourself in a quiet, introverted kind of way.  You also get glimmers of star light and inspiration.  You know what you love to do, and you’ve harnessed your emperor energy to help you do it out of a commitment to your own growth.  Maybe you have created something very beautiful as a result, but this gorgeous inner life is now pushing against your edges and wanting you to expand more.  It’s time to  share what you do with other people in some way and even though this may seem very scary, it’s time to get your “Outer Game” in order so you can let your light be seen in a bigger way.

Oftentimes these aren’t static scenarios.  We all go through periods where our focus is on one game or the other, but they are both important.  As we nurture our dreams, keep the hope alive within us, and move forward in faith, beautiful things come to be.  The Star will ultimately push you into the world in some way.  You may need to see your own beauty first in order to have the courage step out.  Your experience may be like the quote by Anaïs Nin ” And the day came when the risk it took to stay tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to blossom.”

The Emperor will ask you to act first and learn by doing, but every step is leading you to discover something wonderful about yourself.  This energy will lead you to your beauty, your talents, and your self-esteem as you go about building and creating.  He won’t reward haphazard or disorganized doing, however.  He wants you to make a plan, take action that is informed by your truest desires, and not skip any steps.  There are valuable experiences and gifts to be gained in every action he asks you to take.

In a way, both of these cards ask you to push past your comfortable edges, and my sense is that many of us are feeling this right now.  Take a look at where the imbalances are showing up in your life, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of which card is speaking to you most today.  Do you need The Emperor to help you step out, take care of some business you’ve been avoiding and make a plan?  Or do you need The Star to bring you back to yourself for a visit to that magical pool of hope and possibility?

Most often, I find that we need a little bit of both.   We need to trust that our deepest dreams have come from spirit.  Those desires are the seeds of your potential.  They are clues to your authentic purpose and a promise that you have what it takes to manifest it.  You wouldn’t have the vision if you didn’t already possess the gifts needed to achieve it.  The Star promises that the gold is there, and The Emperor hands you a shovel and helps you make a plan to find it.  Embrace them both and happy digging! xo

The Heart of Creativity

One of my favorite things to do - doodling

One of my favorite things to do – doodling

My spirit is calling me to talk about creativity today.  Most of my posts have been related in some way or other to the Tarot, and I often post my artwork or a photograph I’ve taken of the card.  Until now I’ve never spoken directly about my work as an artist, but the journey to express myself creatively has been healing and extremely gratifying.  I have always been pulled to do creative things, but it took me a long time to fully embrace that part of myself.

When I was 27 my late husband, Chris, gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and about that same time I discovered another wonderful book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  I know that I didn’t fully “get” everything these women were talking about at the time, but I kept going back to these books.  I still revisit them from time to time, and this is why:  Julia Cameron helped me understand that I wasn’t alone in feeling creatively blocked, and that it was absolutely possible to awaken that part of myself.  She also gave me tools that I still use.

Sarah Ban Breathnach planted the tiny seed of an idea:  that gratitude and self-nurture could transform my life.  Both of these books introduced me to the concept that there might be something truly wonderful, unique, and beautiful inside of me just waiting to emerge.  I had a lot of inner criticism and mental garbage to wade through at the time… but I had that tiny glimmer of hope that kept pulling me forward towards discovering what those gifts might be.

It took me a while to get over myself enough to be a beginner.  The ego hates that, you know.  But my creative spirit needed to emerge.  I heard someone say last week, “the pain pushes until the vision pulls” and that absolutely describes my experience.  The pain of not allowing myself to express creatively kept pushing me forward.  It pushed me into classes and to craft fairs.  It pushed me set up a studio, carve out time in my life, unplug from drama and tend to my inner artist.  I was pretty stubborn, and there was a lot of resistance to jack hammer through….but then the vision started to pull me into my creativity.  It started to feel necessary, like dinner.

For me the path of creativity ran parallel with my journey to cultivate my intuition.  In fact, one of the reasons that I was so captivated by the Tarot was that the archetypal themes went right to my creative center.  They stirred my imagination into action in a positive way.  I had become very good at using my imagination to generate worry, but now I had a productive outlet for this energy and beautiful things started to come forth.  I learned that expressing myself creatively was healing, and now it’s part of my spiritual practice every bit as much as meditation.

I had the wonderful experience this weekend of indulging in a workshop with Suzi Baum, my neighbor, friend, and all around Renaissance woman.  You can check out what she’s up to on her blog: www.laundrylinedivine.com.  Sitting with a group of women writing, doodling, and sharing really fed my spirit.  We did these things just to see what would emerge.  There was no agenda, just exploration… and it occurred to me that this is really the heart of creativity ~ to explore oneself and make what you find visible to others in some way.  The little doodle pictured above is part of what I did that afternoon.

I’ll add here, that even though my own path has involved literally picking up a paintbrush {or pen} and expressing in that sense I believe that we are all creative.    Perhaps you love to cook, garden, or write.  Maybe you love sewing, knitting, or decorating.  You might enjoy the art of golf or creating a meaningful yoga practice.  Your business can even be a creative outlet with endless possibilities.

Whatever you are doing, you are creating the life you are living.  You are creating the quality of your days, the connection in your relationships, the essence of every moment you spend.  I believe that these moments are opportunities to allow our inner riches to come forth.  Whatever you are doing to give voice to your spirit is worthwhile.  It doesn’t have to have a an obvious purpose right up front.  If it lights you up in some way it’s a beautiful thing.  I’ll leave you with an invitation to explore that part of yourself in some way along with one of my favorite quotes:

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never be seen. ” ~Robert Bresson

I’ll be posting again in a few days all about The Emperor.  In the meantime have a wonderful 4th of July!! 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.