#MyBestAdvice a (non) VR to Brian Cormack Carr

GraveStone

So this will be an easy (and short one) for the questions thing.   Brian Cormick Carr over on YouTube introduced the hashtag #MyBestAdvice on his channel recently, where he shared what the best advice was that he has ever gotten in life, and where from, and then asked others to do the same.

For me, this was advice given to me by Z.  Growing up, I spent a great deal of time at her house because she was 1) my parent’s “Pagan Parenting” coach of a sort, 2) she kind of ended up functioning as my sister and I’s “godparent”, and 3) she did a LOT of babysitting of L and myself.

So, with all those factors in place, it’s not really much of a surprise that this advice comes from her.   I think I was around twelve?  Maybe a little older.   Perhaps she was worried about how I would turn out, or perhaps it was just another guiding step on teaching us values.  Whatever the reason, her advice was to read a poem named “The Dash” by Linda Ellis.

Here it is…

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

By Linda Ellis, Copyright © Inspire Kindness, 1996, thedashpoem.com

This poem changed my life in a very literal way. It made me conscious of my effect upon others and the world at large in a way that nothing previously ever had and created a “community perspective” that reached way beyond just my immediate family and friends.

This poem is the best advice that I’ve ever received, and holds a framed place above my altar in the bedroom where I stand to do my devotional each day.  A daily reminder to always look beyond myself and be mindful of the influence I have upon others and the world around me.

Sink Into It

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and nine seconds, and focused on the mindset of scarcity.   Struggling with a lack mentality is many times what causes people to overextend, overspend, over-commit, etc.    When in this mindset, always wanting more makes it difficult to be  happy and at peace.

This is a mentality that I personally struggle with quite a lot.  This and the fear of loss are the reasons that I work so much and push myself beyond my limits.  I fear losing my home.  I fear losing my security and comfort.   Having been in the situation where I was without so much, including a place to live for a while, it is what pushes me more than anything else.  And perhaps in some ways, these motivations are a good thing.

But, I DO understand that when that mindset of scarcity takes over, it can become problematic both to one’s physical health as well as mental health.

In the guided meditation, it speaks of a method to remove yourself from this mindset by focusing on gratitude rather than needs.   I think this is a really good message, and I have over the past few months really stepped up in my mindfulness concerning gratitude, although I’m not sure that it is helpful in my issues with scarcity, as gratitude can sometimes makes me feel like I want to hold on tighter to what I have.

This is an ongoing struggle for me and there is no resolution today, just a meandering wander through my thoughts on the matter.

Today’s draw is the 12th card in the Major Arcana, the Hanged Man.   This is a card that is near and dear to my heart, and one of my “deal breaker” cards for a deck.  (Meaning that if I don’t like the Hanged Man card in a deck, chances are very good I don’t and/or won’t want it.)   Like all cards in the Major Arcana, this card deals with one’s experiences as a whole and their journey on the path of life rather than just one aspect of that journey.

The Hanged Man is a representation of change in perspective, and taking a pause to look at something from all angles, as well as surrender and letting go.  In the Major Arcana, I view this card as the one that I most often relate to above all others, as it is the goal of looking at things from multiple perspectives that is one of the tenants of my life.  Life is not one dimensional, and although I may not agree with all view points, I very much want to be able to -see- them, understand them, and then decide for myself whether or not they “fit” for me or if I can take some greater understanding away from them.

The Hanged Man teaches, though, that sometimes in order to adjust your perspective, you must relax and sink into a receptive state of surrender.  If your walls are up, your mind and heart closed, then nothing is gained and nothing will change.  And that is very much a part of what the Hanged Man is all about… personal change.

That openness is the message in today’s card.  Early in the year, I was having a real problem with this.  With everything blocked and clogged up by the depression that slipped away with most of my spring, I remember feeling as if I was far more closed minded than I liked, and I very much disliked that in myself.   It’s not a mindset that I’m very familiar with, as although I am quite stubborn, I have a deep seated need to grasp other’s perspectives and it is one of the main ways in which I better relate to other people, as well as learn and grow.

I have found that lack of flexibility opening up in the months since the depression’s retreat, and the appearance of this card brings a conscious awareness to this aspect of the process of “getting back to myself”.

Deck Used: Student Tarot v5