tarot

Stepping Out of the Familiar

Each morning I pick a daily tarot card. 

In addition to honing my skills and understanding of the deck, this practice offers me the opportunity to look more deeply at the direction of my life, contemplate the choices in front of me, and increase my self awareness. Yesterday, I picked the two of Wands and its message was particularly timely and on point.

Ever since last week’s blog about the importance of creativity, I have been thinking about ways to break out of my comfort zone and attract new experiences that will be more fun and expand my imagination. I have been making lists of activities I’d like to try and places I want to bring my inner artist as suggested by Julia Cameron in her book, the Artist’s Way. 

It occurred to me that I had already started to experiment with a few new endeavors, like painting with acrylics while following a Youtube tutorial and concocting a variety of vegan dishes from a beautiful new cookbook I purchased a couple of weeks ago.  Both of these undertakings have been fun with surprisingly good results, and even though the outcome has been better than expected, I am realizing that the real reward lies in the process.

According to Cameron, we all have access to an unlimited supply of creativity. As children, we are open and able to easily tap into this source. Then, as time goes on, we become blocked by limiting beliefs and experiences and have an increasingly hard time conjuring up our imaginings. 

Most of us have a tendency to fall into repeated patterns and sink deeper into what is familiar. We seek out comfort and avoid pain. This past year, in response to the pandemic, we found ourselves shrinking into an even more limited existence with less stimulation and interaction. The grooves of our daily lives got deeper and smaller.

This week, as the sun continues to grow stronger and the world opens up, it feels like it might be time to break free and move into something novel and more energizing.

One way to do this is to make a list of new places to see and things to do, and then begin checking them off, one by one, even if they are outside our comfort zone. Having a regular and consistent time for these adventures is optimal as is doing them alone. It is also important not to focus on the outcome, like discovering the perfect destination, becoming an expert tennis player, or learning to play the guitar in 2 lessons. The process is what counts and it is what will attract more creativity and expand our experience as we continue down the road.

The 2 of Wands was a perfect pick because it encourages us to choose adventure over comfort. It tells us that envisioning our dream is good, but living it is even better. I love this advice as I am in the process of making plans for a few different experiences this spring and summer, like taking surfing lessons, mountain biking on one new trail each month, traveling to some local towns that are unfamiliar, and continuing to paint weekly. I have already planned a summer trip out west and have signed up for a beginner golf clinic. 

Stepping out is scary, but once we do and let go of the outcome, I believe our imaginations will grow and soon we’ll be tapping into unlimited ideas, expanding our minds and having a lot of fun in the process. 

To begin manifesting your best life, visit my website here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/.

Change Yourself. Change the World.

During a Tarot reading a few months ago with one of my Soul Purpose Project clients, we came upon a difficult crossroads which called for some hard decisions. My client was a middle aged woman who had nurtured her family for years, often sacrificing her own needs and desires to assure the happiness and success of her husband and children. Her youngest had left the nest a few years earlier and the empty space which remained was magnifying the discontent she had buried for years. She could see the changes she needed to make in order to begin honoring herself and bringing back the happiness that she once knew.  However, the fears surrounding the outcome and its accompanying pain was a scary proposition. It is not our nature to run towards a storm.

It reminded me of an epiphany I had several years back when I first started playing my guitar and singing in public. I remember one particular performance when I was on the stage alone, a sea of eyes directed at me in a room of silence. It was terrifying. My entire body began shaking and I could barely conjure up any audible sound. Thankfully, I was able to push through but I was sure I would never try that again.

Today, I am in a band and play out regularly at restaurants, bars, and festivals (at least until Covid hit last year). I rarely get nervous and am able to put forth my best effort with confidence. It is one of the most rewarding and fun activities in my life and I am grateful that I was able to work through that initial fear. I believe, deep down, that through this effort I may have also helped others reach out beyond their comfort to overcome similar obstacles.

The belief that helped to push me forward was the idea that whatever we do in our individual lives to honor our truest selves has a direct effect on the collective psyche. In other words, if I can be courageous enough to take the chances necessary to grow and heal and become a better person, then somehow that will affect others who may be going through the same thing. All of my bravery, forgiveness, generosity, love, honesty and healing will not only affect me and those that I touch directly, it will also bring more of these qualities out into the world. 

I like this thinking because it means that when I face hard things head on, I am helping others as well as myself. This makes the effort that much sweeter with a payoff too enticing to ignore.

The concepts of a collective consciousness, collective unconscious, Gaia, and collective psyche have been entering more of the discussion in recent years. The basic idea is that we are all part of a greater whole and our beliefs and actions are influenced by our ancestors and ideas planted in our collective unconscious over generations of evolution. The concept of Gaia states that we, as humans, are all interconnected and together make up the larger earth body.  In summary, when something happens to one piece, it affects the whole. When we feel a deep sense of faith or belief in something we cannot explain, the collective is where it originates.

As my client and I stared at the cards and contemplated the different choices, I asked her to consider the idea that moving forward in the direction which seemed best for her soul, even though it would take a great deal of courage and possible pain, could result in a truer and more rewarding life trajectory, and this change would not only benefit herself and those whose lives she touched directly, but it would ultimately affect all of humankind. Even though she would be running directly into the storm, she might find peace, happiness, and fulfillment on the other side while clearing the way for others. 

As she contemplated this, I could see her face soften and a sense of growing assurance began to surface. She seemed to understand her choices and I felt certain the world was about to change.

To begin manifesting your best life, visit my website here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/.

Time to Unload

I look at my watch and realize I am late. I need to be at the airport in 20 minutes but that is impossible. I am at least a 20 minute drive from the terminal and I haven’t even finished packing. My belongings are spread out all over my bed and my suitcase is already too full and much too heavy. I try to focus and pull myself together but I am quickly in an all out panic and completely overwhelmed. My mind begins to scramble and I lose any remaining mental control. I am going to miss my flight. Of that, I am certain.

I have had this recurring dream over the years and it successfully illustrates how I feel at times. I am an ambitious Capricorn and have always been striving for a higher plane. I know I have it in me to soar to greater heights, I just don’t know how to get there and sometimes it feels like I am carrying too much.

I have been reflecting on this theme recently because I have chosen the 10 of Wands repeatedly over the past month in my daily Tarot card draw. 

The 10 of Wands suggests that we may be moving with too large a burden and that this load may be unnecessary and holding us back from realizing our dreams.  It asks us to reflect on our situation and lighten things up by prioritizing, accepting help, and letting go of outdated and potentially harmful patterns, behaviors, and relationships. It says that our burdens come in a variety of forms including material, spiritual, literal, emotional, and energetic and that if we are to arrive at the desired destination, we will need to unload.

I have felt some heavy energy surrounding my efforts lately and have noticed that most of it is self-imposed (goals I have set for myself, guilt I am working off, scattered organizational energy, unprocessed emotions). I have begun to realize that many of these energies have been with me for years and have slowed my progress. I have started questioning what would happen if I began to leave some items behind. If I dropped some of my bags, would I make it to the airport on time? 

As I consider this, I realize that perhaps it is alright to step back and enjoy the fruits of my labors without carrying any guilt. Perhaps it is better to face my emotions head on and provide time, space, and self care so that I am able to process and release the sadness, hurt, and loss instead of continuing to bring it along, and even though it’s hard to let go of familiar patterns, maybe it’s healthier to say good-bye to those that are no longer working.

In the process of determining what to keep and what to unload, I have found it valuable to observe all that makes me happy and gives me joy. These are the things I want to add to my bag because they are light and propel me forward, and they are indicators that we are on our truest path. 

Everything else can go. 

Of course, there will be negative and difficult situations, emotions, and energies along the way, but I know that the quicker I can identify, process and integrate or let go, the smoother and more successful the journey will be (to begin manifesting your desired life journey, click here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). 

As we head towards the New Moon on April 11th, it is the perfect time to reflect on what loads we are carrying and if they are a necessary part of the voyage or are hindering our progress. We are the creators of our lives and if we want to travel to exciting destinations, it may be wise to let go of unnecessary cargo so that we can move along more freely with ease, flow, and unlimited grace.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

A Ritual for Pansies

While on a recent walk with my friend, Mary, the topic of spring came up and we began to express our excitement about the coming of warmer and longer days, the re-emergence of plants and wildlife, more access to fresh air, increased outdoor activities and the general hope that always comes with the season. We shared our enthusiasm for all that was springing forth this year and discussed how it was that much sweeter after enduring a year of pandemic. 

Mary went on to tell me that over the weekend she would be heading to the nursery to buy some pansies to plant in her yard. She said it was something she did on the first day of spring every year and that it was a bit of a ritual, a way to welcome the new season, a response to its beckoning.

The idea of ritual has come to my mind recently as I work on refining the services offered through my business, My Soul Purpose Project. (click here to begin manifesting the life you desire: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). I facilitate the process of connecting with inner wisdom in order to manifest one’s fullest potential.  I work with moon cycles, dreams, the Tarot, soul journaling, and other practices that use ritual in one way or another. 

In addition to the benefits of grounding, encouraging mindfulness, reducing anxiety, fostering connection to oneself and others, and improving physical and mental well-being, ritual also helps us tune in to our values and connect with others who share the same beliefs. It helps us to focus our energy, to build habits and organize our efforts. It promotes creativity and gives credence to our commitments. It is a celebration of the things we love.

The aim of my business is to help people create a life of happiness and purpose. Once we identify what is most truly desired, we move into the art of manifesting which involves belief, envisioning, writing, repeating, and embodying the desired outcome. Thoughts and words are a good way to begin, but in order to bring an idea to fruition, we must feel it happening, see it in our mind’s eye, and believe it to be true. Ritual adds power to these practices through focus, repetition, creativity, connection, love and fun. It helps to propel our wishes into action. 

The first day of spring was on Saturday and so far the temperatures have continued to rise and the sun has been shining. I decided to go to the nursery myself today and buy a crate of pansies to plant in the yard. They were a variety of colors and seemed eager to burst forth in their new life. I brought them home, thanked the Universe for the wonders of spring, the beauty of these tiny flowers, and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and then I planted them in a container by the front door. 

As I stepped back to admire my work and reflect, I was reminded of the miracle of life and the unlimited potential available to us all at any time. I could sense the importance of taking the time to tune in and create rituals around all that I love and cherish and especially around the things I’d like to manifest. I felt hope that whatever challenges we face in the wintering of our lives, we will be offered a new beginning, a second chance. Spring.

I suspect I’ll be reminded of this each time I pass by the planter and I sense that the more attention, thought and feeling I give it, the more likely I will be to attract more of the same. When I look upon the expanding pansies, I’ll be reminded that whatever we put our attention to grows and the rituals we create will help magnify our gratitude, allowing us to celebrate that which we hold most true.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Placebo as Medicine

In my experience, the placebo effect has always gotten a bad rap. It has either been used as a way to disprove the effectiveness of a drug or therapy being tested or to uncover a group of hypochondriacs.  Whenever the placebo effect comes out ahead in a clinical study, it usually means that an attempt at a real cure has failed.

I have been thinking about the placebo effect recently while developing my new business, a life coaching and healing enterprise called My Soul Purpose Project. (Click here for more information on how you can begin manifesting your deepest desires~ https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). Several of the healing services I offer have no solid scientific backing. I perform Reiki, Tarot card reading, and moon phase planning in addition to the more (but not completely) proven methods of massage, craniosacral therapy, and soul journaling and the outcomes are almost always positive, sometimes in cases where more traditional methods have not worked. I have seen miracles happen and seemingly insurmountable obstacles overcome with a focus on belief, positive thinking, healing energy, and tapping into inner wisdom. I began to wonder if the success of these approaches was a result (at least in part) of the placebo effect and if so, did it dim their authenticity. 

The placebo effect is a concept used mainly in the scientific and medical fields and is defined by the Webster dictionary within this context. However, a 3rd definition is given which suggests a broader meaning, “something tending to soothe.” 

Through my recent studies and practice, I have been learning about the power of positive thinking and belief in shaping our experience and it makes me think about the placebo effect and it’s value in the healing process. Instead of looking at the placebo as a tool to prove or disprove the real cure or as a fake medicine to trick the patient into wellness, perhaps it is itself the remedy.

More recently, the placebo effect has been getting attention as a real player in the field of health and has become the subject (instead of just the control) of scientific study. According to a an article published in Harvard Health Publishing/ Harvard Medical School, The Power of the Placebo Effect (Aug. 9, 2019), “How placebos work is still not quite understood, but it involves a complex neurobiological reaction that includes everything from increases in feel-good neurotransmitters, like endorphins and dopamine, to greater activity in certain brain regions linked to moods, emotional reactions, and self-awareness. All of it can have therapeutic benefit.”

The article also states that belief is enhanced with ritual and by taking a sugar pill regularly or following through on a prescribed course of action, the results will have a much greater chance of success.

As I refine and develop the programs and services offered through my life coaching and healing practices, I will keep this in mind. I will continue to develop methods, exercises, and rituals to help tap into inner wisdom. I will encourage positive thinking and help cultivate ways to visualize and strengthen belief in the desired outcome. I will introduce techniques for gaining clearer insights by accessing the subconscious mind through the tarot and soul journaling, and I will foster a connection to the healing energy that surrounds us.  

I believe we should all embrace the effect of the placebo as it appears to be a valuable medicine. Used alone, or in combination with other pharmaceutical, herbal or energy therapies, it offers a natural and self empowering way to heal and to me, this makes it a real cure, one of the broadest, purest and most powerful.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Photo by Liam Simpson on Unsplash

Riding Out the Pandemic Crucible

The Hanged Man as portrayed in two different Tarot decks.

I had a remarkable experience this week which I’d like to share. I am a student of the tarot and as part of my recent practice, I have been drawing a daily card, setting intentions for the day related to the message and then reflecting at night. It’s a good way to gain insights into my life while enhancing my understanding and relationship to the cards. 

I usually find the themes to have important and personal cues which guide me to areas of my life needing attention and often catalyze new ideas and insights. It is not uncommon for me to feel the Universe pushing or pulling me in a given direction or to hear my inner wisdom raise its voice. 

This week, although I was not looking for help on any particular issue, the cards seemed to be asking me to stop and pay attention, and they were rather loud and clear.

Over the past four days, I have drawn the Hanged Man every single time. This is highly unlikely given the fact that I shuffle the deck fully and then cut it at different places before uncovering the chosen card.  It didn’t seem that strange when the Hanged Man appeared for a second time. After all, coincidences happen and the interpretation made sense. On the third day, I thought, “how strange,” and by the fourth (today), I had no choice but to stop and take a closer look.

The Hanged Man card in the Tarot deck symbolizes suspension, detachment, letting go, and uncertainty. The subject hangs from a tree, tied by one foot. He is not free to go easily. Yet, he appears relaxed as if surrendering to his circumstances. His second leg and arms are not bonded and a yellow light emanates from his head, indicating intellect and spiritual development. The card is said to suggest sacrifice, a necessary step in the process of moving forward. Sometimes, the card asks for a certain action to be suspended. It tells us the time is not right to make a move. I have also read that the Hanged Man can represent a crucible, a situation or severe trial which leads to the creation of something new and improved.

I have been thinking lately about the pandemic and its effects on the mental health of our world. People are suffering or at the least being tried, physically, financially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There has been enormous loss and challenging circumstances everywhere and on every level. The economy is wincing. Politics are dividing and in our isolation, we are being forced to face ourselves head on. There is nowhere to hide. We have been stripped of our usual escape routes, like busying our lives to the point of exhaustion and complete distraction. And although the situation is improving, there is no saying how much longer we will be hanging from the tree. 

I have been noticing a growing pressure myself and like many, I feel the need to bust out, to make a move, to release the bondage, to battle with the cords that bind me, and to break free. Some days I feel unnaturally restrained. However, as the Hanged Man suggests, it may not be the right time to act. It might serve me better to relax into the situation and allow my inner light  to mull, to grow and to strengthen. It may also be time to surrender to the restrictions and fallout of the pandemic instead of trying to resist. It seems the Hanged Man is telling me with certainty to accept what is and remain patient with life’s timing. 

This seems to be a good message given the current state of the world and one that is hard to ignore considering the way it was delivered (drawing 4 of the same card in a row!).  I may be more successful and the journey smoother if I hang loose for a time. If I allow myself to ride out the pandemic crucible with acceptance and patience, it’s possible I will emerge on the other side as something new and more highly evolved.

Check out my other websites:  Body https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Manifesting Your Resolutions with the Tarot

A Tarot Spread for the New Year

The New Year is underway and our carefully outlined goals have been determined. The dreaming has been fun, inspirational and inventive, and now is the time for action. Personally, I have vowed to improve my self discipline and time management skills. In order to manifest my resolutions, I realize I need to become more focused, efficient and direct. I am committed to trying some of the more popular techniques of time blocking and habit development. However, I also realize that, particularly during this challenging and dark pandemic time, I need to keep things fun, colorful, and light with a sprinkle of magic whenever possible.

I have been working with the Tarot for many years in a personal quest to understand myself and my life on a deeper level. I believe that the human mind and its ability to possess accurate self awareness can only go so far. In order to gain a deeper understanding, we need help from a higher power. In truth, I believe this wisdom is accessible within ourselves. All we need is a compass and some pointers to help guide our way. I have found that the Tarot is one of the best tools for this type of exploration.

In case you don’t know, the Tarot is a deck of 78 cards composed of 22 Major Arcana (representing major life themes) and 56 Minor Arcana (addressing issues of a more daily nature). The practice of laying out and interpreting the card meanings dates back as far back as the 15th century (possibly even further.) Noone knows for sure. Each card represents a theme and is decorated with symbolic illustrations which point to a variety of interpretations depending on the individual and their unique situation. The cards are shuffled and drawn into a particular sequence or layout.  Based on their position, the reader is able to glean a certain meaning. Due to the variety of positions and the number of symbols represented on each card, the interplay can lead to an infinite number of possible interpretations. This is where the intuition or inner knowing of the reader comes into play.

The Tarot is often misunderstood to be a fortune telling tool and many fear that it will bring forth some undesirable news or predict events that cannot be changed. This is simply not true. The Tarot is a wonderful resource for tapping into major (and minor) life themes, relating them to one’s situation and offering options for change or areas on which to focus. When I was first introduced to the Tarot, I would call on an Intuitive Reader whenever I had important questions to answer or felt that I was blocked and needed further insight. I later realized that I could use the Tarot on my own, on a daily basis, to help me navigate through periods of change or even to gain insights into my daily existence. This process of discovery resulted in a sense of peace and a feeling of empowerment, and I continue to use the cards to help me make better decisions as I travel down my life’s path.

After years of daily personal use, it seemed only natural to extend my knowledge to others. I have since started a virtual business called the Soul Purpose Project with the aim of helping people identify and clarify their purpose and also to identify the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their fullest potential. A major part of my sessions involve the use of theTarot as I find it the perfect starting point for a conversation about what lies beneath the surface. In conjunction with my client, I determine an appropriate layout and as they are meditating on the topic, I pull the cards. I send them a picture via text of the resulting spread and begin to explain each card’s meaning and my intuitive interpretation. I find that involving my client in the interpretation is helpful as it promotes their own self discovery. There is never a question as to the accuracy of the final message as I believe we all know the truth when it is revealed. If it does not feel right, then there is probably more digging to do.

The New Year is a perfect time to do a Tarot reading. If you want to try one on your own, I would recommend purchasing a copy of Tarot for Life, by Paul Quinn. The book provides an excellent overview of the cards, their meanings, and a variety of layouts. It also shows ways to use the Tarot in a daily practice to help gain insight into relationships, career, family, and personal development. I would also recommend buying the Rider-Waite deck. This is a good starter deck and one of the most frequently referred to in learning texts. 

A few good New Year’s spreads can be found here:

If you don’t have the time or interest in learning the Tarot on your own but want to treat yourself to a reading or see how I do it, I am offering a 30-60 minute session, accessible here: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you all the power and insight to manifest the life you are dreaming in 2021. And…… I hope you can do it with some fun, color, light and a sprinkle of magic.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/