Family

Today’s meditation was 10 minutes long, and focused on letting go of those things that are not working for you so that you can make room for new ideas and processes that will.

The guided meditations spoke on how changing seasons can be a good time to help in this process, as you can sync up your release of bad habits and other behaviors and time with the fall, and will come in new behaviors that will work better for you in the spring.

This is very similar to how I work with the moons phases, where the waxing moon between the full moon and the next new moon would be considered the time for release and correspond to autumn.

Today’s draw is the Ten of Cups, Which is a representation of the ending of a cycle, regeneration, and renewal in the area of the emotions, creativity, relationships, and intuition. My sister calls this card the “happy family card”, because in many ways it represents that atmosphere with a focus on the bounty that you have in your emotional life. It is, essentially, the “all my Cups are full and life is good” card.

The appearance of this car today is a reminder that as much as there may be discord and disagreements and mistreatment and even abuse, the people that I am visiting right now are family. They might suck… but they are my family, and with all their flaws there is still value in that.

It might be something that you have to dig for to see, and really search for in order to find.… but it could be worse too, and has been in the past.

Deck Used: Morgan Greer Tarot in a Tin

Where Do You Go?

In a previous post, I mentioned a type of meditation where I visit a safe place within my mind.   I thought in this post I would take some time to describe what and where this place is.

cabin

My personal inner space has not changed throughout my entire life since I first discovered this method of visualization and meditation.  That is not to say that qualities of the place haven’t changed, but the foundation is the same regardless of some of the trappings.    It is not a real place in the physical world, but rather it is a fantasy that is real only in my mind.   Within my mind, it has depth and breadth, though.  It goes through the seasons in time with the real world as well, and has been built over decades into a place that is not just a safe and secure place, but is a feast for all of the senses.

Deep in the forest, high in the mountains is a single level home made of earth and trees.

A winding road leads the way up to this part of the forest, and there is a small turn off where you pull in and park.  From there, you must hike the rest of the way in.  Grocery and package deliveries are the way most supplies come in, and at the end of the small turn off, there is a large lock box for the deliveries to be set in to keep them safe from weather and animals until I can come to pick them up.

The forest is like the rainforests of my home, thick and wet, filled with draping moss and lichen and the damp smell of decay and growth.  It is filled with lush ferns and trees of cedar, spruce, pine, and douglas fir.

Once you arrive, what you find is a cabin.  Log cabin style, it sits in a clearing in the middle of the woods. As you step out of the trees, the cabin is in a cleared spot of land, a river just beyond the house trailing away through a valley between towering peaks in the distance.

Surrounding the house is a yard  contained by a picket fence lined with a variety of herbs and plants and an arbor type of gate in the front.  There is a large tree with a swing, and in the side yard there are laundry lines for hanging clothes to dry.   On the other side of the house, nearest the river, there is a large fenced-in garden where I grow vegetables and other edibles.

At the back of the house is an attached conservatory/greenhouse much like the one in the movie Practical Magic, although that is where the resemblance with the movie ends.  Entering the house through the conservatory, there is a kitchen with gas stove and modern fridge, a large farmhouse style sink and plenty of cabinets.  Sometimes there is an island as well, other times there’s a large kitchen table instead.

It is an open floor plan, and the living room is comfortable, the interior a combination of dark wood and muted earthy colors joined with soft lines combined with hard surfaces.   Clean.  Organized.  Fragrant with seasonal scents and wood.  There is an open wood burning stonework fireplace, and large windows that look out at the river and valley in the distance.  The ceiling is high with exposed beams.

All of these things are the same, and have remained the same for many, many years.  There are things that change though, much like the alternating kitchen table and/or kitchen island.

These include whether the laundry lines at the side of the house are parallel or an “umbrella” style. Whether the tree with the swing is inside the yard, or outside of the yard.  Whether or not there is a small dock at the edge of the river. The size of the cleared land that the house sets on, as sometimes the trees of the forest are quite close, and other times they are further back.

I rarely ever see the bedroom in this house, and thus I can’t really say if much changes there, but in the kitchen sometimes the appliances change, or the equipment within the house such as the stereo, television, computers, etc will change. Whether or not there is a library or the living room is lined in books has also changed a number of times over the years. And the seasons…. the seasons always change with the seasons in reality.

These are not conscious choices, but  rather appear to happen depending on what I am needing at the time I retreat into this place. Funny enough?  My boots in this place are always the same. Not sure why I notice this, but I do.

And there you have my safe place. That place I retreat to when everything becomes too much, or I need a “time out” to just breathe. There are no photos shared in this post, because this place is purely imaginary and honestly?  I couldn’t find any photos that could do it justice.

 

Hello Again, My Queen

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on “holding space” for others as a way to support them during times of struggle.  It was about how sometimes, people don’t need you to fix things in their life, they just need you to be there with them.  To share space with them in a quiet way that shows support either by listening, or just by the reassurance of your presence, without “butting in” on their problems.

Today’s draw is the Queen of Swords, which is a representation of a “feminine” alpha energy in the area of thoughts, reason, instinct, and communication.  The card embodies the tenants of truth seeking, independence, unbiased consideration, and clear communication.

I haven’t seen the Queen of Swords in a couple weeks, and was starting to think perhaps I had managed to somehow unwittingly absorb the message she has been trying so hard to teach me for the past year and a half, but… here she is once more, regal and beautiful and daring me to seek and speak the truth in all things.

During the depression, and during the time a few years ago when we “switched places” for a while, I stumble a bit in being honest with myself.  Not just with the expectations that I put on myself, but even with looking at -how- I’m doing.

I bundle myself up into this little ball of awareness, that is so focused on the day to day that I miss the bigger picture.

This activity on the blog here, my daily meditation (that I am still doing religiously every day), and my recent return to a more active path in my spirituality has, in a lot of ways, opened my eyes and my mind to how much of myself has been closed off, one little bit at a time.

Thank you for taking this journey with me, man.  I love you.

Go Get’em Cowboy

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on the positives that come from being wrong.  It was a discussion on how it is not in being right that we learn and grow, but in being wrong.  In those moments, we are given an opportunity to learn, and the potential to grow.

Part of the meditation involved counting during the breaths.  A count of four on the breath in, hold for a count of four, then exhale for a count of eight.   I found this practice really helped me in focusing on my breath and sinking into the relaxation of the meditation.

Today’s draw is the Knight of Wands, which is a representation of a beta energy, person, or personality in the area of passions, drive, and inspiration.  Beta energy is “go-getter” type of energy, and as such, Knights in the tarot include the energy of action. This energy housed in the Suit of Wands is a indication of motivation, and going after one’s passions with enthusiasm.

It’s Thursday, which is an order prep day, and the Knight of Wands is a reminder to tap into my passion and drive concerning my business, and my enthusiasm and enjoyment in what I do.

The Knight of Wands says to not just trudge forward, but instead bound enthusiastically forward with purpose.

Appreciation of Progress

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and twelve seconds, and focused on when we experience intense negative emotions and how to deal with them in a calm, meditative manner.  The practice explored in this guided meditation is Michael Stone’s SAIN.   This is an acronym of guidance to work through the emotion in a mindful way.

Stop and acknowledge that the intense emotion is present.
Allow space for the emotion instead of pushing the emotion away.
Investigate where it shows up physically within our bodies
Non-Identification is the practice of observing the emotion without engaging with it or letting yourself -become- that emotion.

It was an interesting meditation, primarily because I already do this practice, but I’d never heard of Michael Stone or SAIN.  Or, well… sometimes?  I’ve skipped the “Allow” part, I think, though.

Today’s draw is the Five of Cups, which is a representation of tests, trials, challenges, and “harshness” in the area of the emotions, creativity, and relationships.

The appearance of the Five of Cups today is a reminder of where I’ve been.

This is a very fitting message for today, because later today I have my bi-monthly appointment with my shrink. The last time I visited her office I was in the middle of my depression and struggling. She was the inspiration behind these daily draw posts I do here on this blog, which are used to help me in finding perspective and something positive to add to each day.

In fact, during my morning devotional, this is exactly what I asked for during the shuffle before my daily draw… A positive message to carry with me throughout my day and provide perspective.

Today’s positive message is to look at how far I’ve come and how well I am doing, and that it’s important I don’t forget the dark place that I came from or disregard the progress I’ve made.

Together is Better

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and eleven seconds, and took place in the dentist’s chair while waiting for the oral surgeon to come in and check on my progress.  It was surprisingly relaxing, considering where it took place.   And, just sayin’?  Air conditioning is a wonderful thing.

Today’s draw is the Two of Cups, which is a representation of duality, cooperation, and a collaboration in the area of emotions, creativity, and relationships.

The Two of Cup’s appearance today is all about us and the new energy we’re putting into our relationship.  It’s about our opposites joining to create something better.  Something healing and heart warming and good.

I’ve very much been enjoying the extra time we’ve been spending together lately.  It feels good on the inside in those places within myself that I usually disregard or outright ignore.  I’m positive that you feel the same.

Our time together touches on just not the heart, emotions, and relationships, but also has a direct correspondence to how we spend our time.   The writing we do and the play we enjoy together is first and foremost how we foster the deep connection between the two of us, but by the sheer nature of how we spend that time, a creative endeavor as well.

By blending all of these elements together, this is where we are… and it is where we’re at our best and most harmonious.

I love you.

What the Heart Wants

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and six seconds, and focused on stillness and silence.  Specifically, it focused on the restorative power of having a moment of silence.  How this moment can refresh you and help you recover from the cacophony of everyday life. 

The meditation included not so much following the breath, but focusing upon the moment of pause between the inhales and exhales.    I found this practice very relaxing.

Today’s draw is the Eight of Cups, which is an indication of determination, energy, and strength in the area of emotions, creativity, and relationships.  This is a card of purpose and movement, and as such, it speaks of being lead by the heart to make changes and move away from the things that are not working for you.

The Eight of Cup’s appearance today has spurred me to sit down and look at what isn’t working for me.   I look around and I find myself dissatisfied, but it has taken a good deal of time to realize that the dissatisfaction hinted at inside has to do with the mess I am surrounded in.

Running a business from home is a messy thing, especially running a creative business.  Yes, I know where everything is, but there’s stuff…. everywhere.  Piled on the coffee table, stacked on flat surfaces around the house. It’s become a bit stressful, actually.

I think it’s time to start looking at a new system.  Or perhaps just altering and refining the system I currently have.   Things have gotten a bit out of hand and it’s time to clean up, clear up the chaos, so that my creativity can flow more smoothly.

Within the same theme, yet on a different thread, the Eight of Cups speaks to me in another way as well.    I really enjoyed our time together last night.   The amount of separation lately has been difficult for you, and it’s not working for me either.  I woke up feeling so much better internally this morning, and I could trace that feeling back to you.

I feel I need to move towards finding a better way to manage my time and activities so that we can have some more time together.  I’ve had some false starts and tripped over my feet a few times on this since emerging from my depression this spring.   I am determined to make this change, though.   I miss you.  I miss our time together.  Not that we don’t get time now, but…. it’s not enough.

Getting in Touch with Responsibilities

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and six seconds, and focused on the practice of Metta. This is mantra meditation, where you focus your mantra upon yourself first, and then picture a recipient in your mind to focus it out ward upon them. For example, today’s mantra was “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be at peace.”

I directed this mantra, when it was time to do so, to you. After our conversation yesterday, it feels like these ‘blessings’ are something that you are in need of right now, and I hope the energy that I directed your way helps you in finding that happiness, wellness, safety, and peace that you felt lacking in last night.

Today’s card is the fourth card of the Major Arcana, The Emperor. As with all Major Arcana cards, this card is focused on “the big picture” instead of smaller factions of the human experience.

The Emperor is a “father figure” card of responsibility, authority, and goals pertaining to the “greater good”.

The appearance of the Emperor in today’s draw ties into the readings I did yesterday for my Self-Care work, as well as the morning’s daily draw. The emerging theme of yesterday’s readings was one focused on compassion, and yesterday’s draw was Temperance.

The Emperor requires both of these to bring about positive consequences and be the embodiment of a just, fair, and balanced authority. He is focused on what is important to him, what he values most, rather than on the new and the frivolous.

This is a continuation of yesterday’s lesson, and a reminder to focus on the now. The Emperor card is pointing out that my actions and their consequences affect more than just myself, and to pay heed to this when considering my future actions.

Moderation is The Key

Today’s meditation was ten minutes in length, and focused on enlightenment.  During the guided meditation, it discussed how when one seeks enlightenment, you will never find it, for you cannot “be complete” if you are still searching.  Ie: if you are always reaching for more than where you currently are, you are not fully in the moment of the present.

Today’s draw is the fourteenth card of the Major Arcana, the Temperance card.  As with all the cards of the Major Arcana, this card deals with “the big picture” rather than any one aspect of life.

The Temperance card is about balance.  It is about being rooted and patient, at one with the ebb and flow of life.  It is about balance and moderation.

I’m still having a small bit of a problem getting my “creature comfort spending” under control, and the Temperance card has appeared to let me know that a part of finding that control in this area involves finding balance in all areas.

Stop fighting.  Stop struggling.  Stop reaching.  There is no pitting one side against the other, as when they are in true balance, they are equal.  The Temperance card says that I can have my cake and eat it to, but only if I do so in moderation.

The Harbinger of Change

Today’s meditation was nineteen minutes and forty-three seconds, and was a four-stage yoga nidra by Sadhana over at Integrative Healing on Youtube.  The guide (Sadhana) walked the listener through a full body scan before reaching the awareness out to the surroundings, and then eventually back inward again. It was very relaxing.

Today’s draw is the thirteenth card in the Major Arcana, the Death card.

Death is the harbinger of change. Not the chaotic type of change that would be indicated by the Tower card, but more in the spirit natural progression wherein something comes to fruition and moves on.

Is there any chance that it could be the pain in my mouth and swelling in my jaw?? Just kidding. Although, that would be nice. The natural progression of that, though, probably won’t start making an appearance until tomorrow.

The presence of this card is a reminder that change is a natural part of life. Whether it’s small things, or large ones, everything changes over time. We get old. Seasons change. Life moves on. And that is what the Death card is all about.

I’ve been going through a wide righty of changes lately, from the return to my spiritual practices to even yesterday’s surgery. There’s a reassurance in knowing that sometimes changes happen just because it’s a natural progression of things, and not as some chaotic upset pouncing to throw everything out of whack.

The Death card’s appearance may also have to do with the fact that I am currently going through sugar withdrawal. I cut back sharply on my sugar intake two days ago, and with the surgery that I just had done I’m not allowed to eat anything solid for another 24 hours. This means that unless I want to binge on the Creamsicle ice cream in my freezer or apple juice in the fridge (which I don’t), I am SOL on resolving the withdrawal and will instead have to just ride it out.

This is actually a good change, I think, considering my recent cholesterol results. If I can get through the withdrawal before going back to solid foods, perhaps it’ll help me in staying away from things like packaged cookies and crackers and crap like that.