Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Your Unique Potential

When I first read this Joseph Campbell quote, I thought about the career I chose to pursue when I was in school. I focused on that pursuit being the definition of my unique potential. I went away from the quote for awhile.... left the image sitting in a folder on my computer. When I returned to it, the words seemed somehow changed.

What truly changed was my reading of them. That very first line snags my mind with a wild image: "...never was on land or sea." As though what we seek is unique to each of us individually even if the basic job descriptions or life descriptions share the same wording.

When I consider the number of times I could have let my own uniqueness shine, I realize that I instead spent a chunk of time fading into anonymity. Why? Several reasons. One is that I am, at heart, an introvert. Being in the limelight does not come easily to me. Another is the fear of failure. In order to truly succeed at stepping into a fuller potential, there is a better than even chance of failure. Now I understand that 'failure' is simply a word with greater or lesser emotion attached to it. For me, it used to be greater. It's growing lesser with each passing season. I also was negligent of the possibility of success. What would it take? Was my dream, my desire, big enough?

An important lesson I've learned lately is that it is never too late to reach for a dream. I've been blessed with a number of course changes during my life. Currently, I'm heading for another. It's all good ~ and bringing me closer to becoming something that "never was on land or sea."

Have you reached your fullest potential? How unique do you see yourself being? Is there something more calling to you? Are you willing to head for your own course change? Where would that lead you?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Allowing the Wild Storm

Sacred Rebels Oracle by Alana Fairchild
Since it was the weekend, I decided to draw a card for the coming week. What was my focus for the coming week? What was the most important point for me to keep in my awareness? What showed up: After the Storm.

From the Guidebook:
"There is, in life and in the creative process, a need to allow for wild storms. There will be those precious moments of peace beforehand, and the release and revitalisation that follows, yet the storm in the middle is essential! ...[T]he storm wisdom offers you the gift of bringing things to a head, and clearing them away, so that the energy can be freed from a pattern that has had its day, and is ready to become something new."

I've spent a good chunk of the past year weathering the storm. There have been bright, sunny, blue-sky spots as well as dark, forbidding, sudden-squall spots. I've been blessed with friends both new and old who have ridden out the shifts and changes with me. I love that this card has shown itself at this precise moment in time. It's the blossoming force of the creative process that has provided the life-changing, mind-altering energy to keep me moving forward, ever onward.

It isn't lost on me that the creature flying in the bright creative moonlight after the storm is an Owl. Owl has guided me through dark times for many, many years. It was my high school mascot. No matter where I've traveled, Owl has insisted on being a Light Bearer and guide for me. This beautiful, moon-faced barn owl is haunting and hunting me, leading me through the darkest moments of the storm. I am grateful.

What storm is brewing in your life? or what storm has recently passed? How does your creative energy express before, during and after the storm? Do you fear the storm? or find it exciting? What's your next creative step?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Achieving a Smile

My latest Teabag Tarot.... and I'm giggling about it. Really? A smile is an achievement? Well, sometimes it is.

Sometimes happenings take me by surprise: a friend's hospitalization, a new pet at a relative's house, a pink slip in my pay envelope. Most surprises bring with them a sense of "oh, no!" which can translate into anything from fear to grief to shock. Even when the news is good ~ an engagement, an upcoming graduation, a raise ~ my first reaction is rarely a smile. To smile, to show happiness, at those moments is an accomplishment all in and of itself.

It's also difficult at times to get those corners of my mouth to turn up. When I am focused on work, I can feel my lips purse with intention. When I am doing housework or riding my bike or writing this blog, often my thoughts are flying faster than my fingers and I am not necessarily smiling either. Smiling at those moments, although happier times, also happens with reminders.

My giggling at this particular Teabag Tarot shows the strange paradox of the seriousness as well as the lightheartedness of its message. I look forward to practicing and rewarding myself with a smile as often as I can.

Do you ever feel the difficulty of smiling? How do you remind yourself to smile more often? When was the last time you caught yourself smiling and wondered why? What was the most difficult time for you to smile?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Beautiful Dreams

Sacred Rebels by Alana Fairchild
Do you know how sometimes you do something that later you can't explain why you did it? Or you can't fathom how or why it held the effect and power it did?

Less than a week ago, a package arrived. I didn't recall ordering anything so when I opened it, what was inside was a surprise. I enjoy ~ and collect ~ a variety of decks of divination cards. There was one inside that was totally new to me; one I don't recall having seen: Sacred Rebels by Alana Fairchild.

When I opened the deck, I focused on the question: What Rebel do I need to guide me today? I drew the card: Dream a Beautiful Dream.

From the Guidebook:
You are meant to dream of beauty and to create beauty, in its far more holistic and creative definition. ... [Healing] happens when we accept the existence of inner harmony in all of creation, even if it cannot be consciously observed. By expecting there to be beauty within a situation, even if it is hidden, you will be more open to seeing the healing potential, even in your challenges.

I'm in the midst of facing a challenge, however personally large or small it may be. I often think I am on my own in facing it. Then I drew this card and read this information: Seeing the hidden beauty in the situation will carry healing. My own creative expression and vision will heal the disruption of the challenge, if only I look beyond my fear, upset, pain, distress or whatever other emotion arises from the challenge.

How do these things happen? How does a deck that I didn't recall ordering arrive at the precise moment I need it? How do my hands shuffle and draw the exact card carrying the message to soothe my heart?

Do these type of events happen to you? If not a deck, perhaps a person showing up with a message or advice when you need it? To what ~ or whom ~ do you attribute this occurrence? Is it something you attract or draw to you?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What Do You Think?

I've understood the power of positive thinking for years now. Recently, I've begun practicing a new step in the positive thinking routine ~~ Reaching for the higher thought. What we think, the way our minds allow for positively or negatively charged words, creates what comes to us. It's simple and not so simple all at the same time.

Positive attracts positive. When I allow my thoughts to be bright and positive, I attract more of the same.

Negative attracts negative. When I grump and grumble and roll around in the metaphorical mud, things continue down that same road.

As I said, simple. The not so simple part is doing it continually. I practice often. I take deep breaths every time some dull thoughts rumble through, put the brakes on them and grab for a higher, brighter thought.

It goes something like this:
"This is taking too long! What's that lady doing? Why isn't the line moving? I only have two items; why isn't there an open faster lane?"
"I'm glad I'm in this lane and not a longer one. I'm glad I only have two items so when I get to check out, I'll be done quickly. Look at how beautiful the sky looks! I have a good view through the window from here."
By the time I get through the check out, I'm more relaxed and smiling. The entire day looks better and all I did was refocus with intention on something positive.

What do you do to bring more positive thinking into your life? How do you change your thinking when it's heading down the negative track? How do you feel when you're positive? How do you feel when you're negative?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January's Super New Moon

January 20, 2015 ~ The first New Moon of the new year AND the first SuperMoon of 2015. Unusual as it may seem, this New Moon is one of the closest to the Earth. Even though we don't see it, we can feel the pull of its presence.

This Super New Moon is in Aquarius, the sign of new beginnings, fresh starts and expecting the unexpected.

The New Moon is always a time of letting go. However, this one demands that you look closely within to see what needs changing in order to create success and growth. Look at your challenges in a new way and be willing to embrace them, to work with them, to overcome them.

There is power in the choices you make today. Choose well. Let the Super New Moon work its magic to help you create new life and co-create it the way you want it to be. Live your creativity from the deepest part of yourself. Empower yourself ~ do what makes you feel powerful, courageous, strong. Step out of your comfort zone and be bold and innovative. Listen to your inner knowing, your intuition. Pay attention. Listen with all your attention.

New Moons carry their own power. The particular potential of this one is its position as the first of the year.

What are you ready to let go of? How is you creative energy calling to you? What is your intuition saying?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gatekeepers of the Lips

Sometimes, when I take the time to think about it, I catch myself saying some things that are pretty ugly. Not intentionally. My mood can cause me to bark or to snap half truths. Or it can provide verbal fodder that would be better off unsaid. Occasionally, I step into gossip ~ which is never a pretty or uplifting conversation. It's human nature to speak our minds about topics, rattle off our opinions and focus on the seamier side of our mental processes.

That's why I love the proverb in the image. It reminds me that three very small queries could prevent the kind of negativity that I truly don't want to have in my life.

The first question: Is it true? It seems that would be an easy one. Something is either true or it is not. Unfortunately, my words are rarely that simple. The specific statements I make may be true, but the context, inflection and/or intention may not be. Have you ever heard, or used, the phrase: "I was only telling the truth as I saw it"? That's a subtle acknowledgement that the speaker knows the re-telling is questionable in its veracity. If that's true, keep your mouth closed. The story doesn't need to be told that badly.

The second question: Is it kind? Wow. This one really hits me in the gut. Have you ever wanted just to be snippy and unkind to make yourself feel better? Sometimes that how it goes. I've had a tough day at work, I forgot my lunch, I spilled my coffee. The list goes on. When I feel bad or insecure, all I want to do is feel better. For some odd reason, at those moments I forget about kindness.

The third question: Is it necessary? Probably over half of what I talk about with people is unnecessary. People don't need all the details of my burnt breakfast. Or how many places I searched for new batteries for my camera. If the details help comfort someone or make someone laugh, then they're worth it. It's a matter of discerning what's truly necessary to hear and what's fluff.

I think I'll post this image above my desk. If I remember to look at it, it may save some heartache and ugliness.

Do you ever say ugly things? How do you feel afterward? What do you do to mitigate the comment? What practice do you do to stop the ugliness from coming out?


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Still Small Voice

 There's also that Voice inside me. You know the one because you have it too. The Voice that urges me forward, onward in certain, steady directions. The Voice that says, "Turn this way." When I do, I face an incredible sunset. Or It says, "Leave. Now." I do and later discover that an accident occurred shortly after I left, blocking the route home. Or It says, "Not this one." I turn away, only to discover later that the person in question was not worthy of my trust.

The list could go on and on. You know that Voice. You've heard it. Sometimes in your ear. Sometimes in your heart. Sometimes in your dreams. My Voice sounds different from yours ~ which makes sense. We do not want to be confused by any overlapping messages.

We can name the Voice God or Goddess or Angel or Soul Companion or any of a thousand other names. That is of little import. How you or I choose to respond to that Voice is of the most significance. Do you listen? Do I respond? Do the voices around us drown out the Voice Within?

There is a story in the Bible of Elijah. He was distressed and fearful. God had sent him to Jezebel to give her an ultimatum. She was Queen ~ and had her minions scouring the Judean countryside for the prophet. He had good reason to be afraid. He wanted a sign from God ~ to hear God's Voice ~ reassurance that Elijah remained in good stead with the God of Israel. God sent a strong wind that tore up the land around Elijah, but God was not IN the wind. Then came an earthquake shaking the ground around Elijah, but God was not IN the earthquake. Then a ravaging fire, but God was not IN the fire. Then came a Still Small Voice. Elijah knew God was IN that Voice.

Sometimes, even when much is happening around us, listening for that Still Small Voice can keep us on track. I often have to cock my head to one side and listen. Or recognize It in the voice of another. Or be patient enough to wait.... to know It will speak sooner or later.

What has your Inner Voice spoken to you lately? Do you listen? Do you recognize when you haven't listened? What is it telling you today?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Build Windmills

I recently dreamed about windmills. I walked up the rise of a grassy hill. Although the sky was a swath of deep blue velvet with scattered twinkling sequins, the land was lit with an ethereal blue-white glow of the Full Moon. The earth sparkled with diamond dewdrops.

As I topped the rise, an expanse of mostly flat land lay before me. A river ran from the northeast to southwest, its banks lost from sight below low, chiseled cliffs. I caught glimpses of white-capped waves swirling along the line of cliffs.

The land was dotted with windmills of all ilk:

Old World brick buildings

They took a significant amount of space on the wide plain. Their large blades churned methodically, rhythmically, visible only as the large crossbeams slipped through the dark air. Their varieties were plentiful, amazingly beautiful across the land.

Midwest/Great Plains farm/ranch towers

These towers were most familiar to me. I spent my youth in the North Central states and saw them dotted across fields with dairy cattle gathering near their bases. Memories of that youth flooded through me as I watched the rotors blur in the moonlight.

new wind power generators

These triple-bladed giants towered over the other windmills across the open space. Their mobile white blades taking on the appearance of tilting praying mantis heads and upper appendages in the flashing dark-and-light.

As I watched, the wind strengthened, pouring forth with great gusto, until all the blades of all the windmills became a blur of intermittent light. I recognized this burst: the Winds of Change. This is a year of Change. News from across the world echoes that notion. My dream insistently prodded me to form the Distant Past, the Recent Past and the Present into a Windmill of Change to power me into the future.

What changes are blowing through your life now? Are you building walls? or windmills? Why have you made that choice? Do you experience one choice as more valid than another?


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Be Fierce

I have a friend who has chosen a focus word of the year for the past decade. She challenged others to join her in the practice ~ and many have. I have repeatedly chosen not to do so. My reason? Words call to me all the time. They show up in my everyday life like dust-bunnies under the bed. Sometimes they gather together and bring a larger message; sometimes they puff out when the wind blows the right way.

Today, these words showed up: Stronger, Braver, Kinder, Unstoppable.... and their cousin: BE FIERCE.

How do I choose from among those incredible words? Personally, I don't. I let them all flow through the energies around me, let them settle in the corners of my mind. They throb through my veins into my heart. They find their own rhythm to speak to me ~ and I find the space and silence to listen.

This is the year I will be fierce. Yes. I feel it. The online dictionary defines fierce as "showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity." That's certainly what I've been feeling as this new year has begun ~ a powerful intensity leading me toward.... I'm not quite sure what.

That intensity, that fierceness, has shown up in my recent dreams ~ battles without anger or bloodshed, only abundant intensity, like a many-partnered dance with weapons. Or lots of people looking for a particular path and tumbling over each other to reach it. More circus-type tumbling. No harm done nor intended. Yet overflowing with intensity. I continue to watch how fierceness will play out in my life ~ and for how long.

What word or a group of words calls to you as this new year begins? Will it form a focus for your year? or for a particular length of time? Where is that word leading you? Are you willing to follow?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cancer Full Moon

The January Full Moon is also called the Wolf Full Moon, referring to the wolves howling in the deep cold of winter. Wolves were more willing to come closer to villages to find heat and food.

This Full Moon is also the in Cancer. As it is connected to Pluto, the New Year begins with a powerful charge: Focus on what needs to shift, change, end or transform in your life. Let go and let the door slam shut behind you! Allow the old, fulfilled karma to depart ~ and with it, anyone or anything that is holding you back. Embrace the change that this Full Moon is bringing.

This is also a Grand Cross Full Moon ~ (Capricorn Sun opposite Full Moon Cancer crossing the axis of the North Node in Libra and the South Node in Aries) ~ which means that energy is moving. Even though there is change underway, do not make the changes impulsively. Follow the center path. Move forward decisively and with awareness and create the life you most deeply desire.

Change is happening deep within as well ~ and is manifesting itself through external events in your life. Balance your masculine and feminine energy to empower and support your creativity during this time.  Focus your intention and trust your feelings, your intuition.

What are you willing to release? to transform? How will you encourage your own creativity? What do you need to let go of? What do you most desire?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Dark Resurrection

Here we are. Once again within a day of the Full Moon. Beside us stands Inanna, Goddess of Going Into Dark Places.

The card reads: If you descend into darkness, you can emerge unscathed. What it fails to mention is that you will not emerge unchanged. So much time and energy is spent on being unscathed that it is easy to miss the changes.

The greatest power of Inanna is that She could descend into the Darkness ~ the Deepest Darkness, the realm of her sister Ereshkigal. Every step of the way, through seven gates, the Queen Moon had to remove every visible aspect of Her Queenhood.

Think this was easy? Maybe that it didn't change Her? I doubt anyone, including the Queen Moon, could walk into that Darkness and strip Herself of every vestige of identity and not be changed.

As I move forward into the New Year ~ through this first Full Moon ~ I recognize and acknowledge my own fears when I face Darkness in any of its myriad forms. I may be unscathed. Outwardly the same. Inwardly, I find a new and more complete strength, born from facing the fear and the darkness. Resurrecting into the Light of the new Full Moon. Rebirthing into the Light of the Sun.

What Darkness have you faced, or descended into? What change has it brought into your life? How do you embrace the change? Which Light will you emerge into? What will carry you forward?

Strength for the Day

My focus when drawing this card was strength... uncovering a particular attribute. Balance fits impressively well... I am grateful it showed up.

Message: Things are happening so suddenly and quickly that we must stay on guard and grounded at all times in order to handle the coming changes. If we do not remain as such, then all chaos will break loose within ourselves which will then manifest to the physical surrounding us. Be calm, stay balanced, remain grounded.

My plan: begin the year with strength ~ with love, grace and joy too. For Balance to arise as the focus this early gives me hope and makes me grin. Remain grounded. Yes. What a powerful New Year message.

What attribute do you seek as 2015 begins? How do you stay grounded? Is that important to you? Which of your values point you to that focus attribute?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gift of a New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Approaching the New Year, I spent much time with family. The holidays overflow with busyness, preparations and plans for gifting and gathering. It's rarely clear what is the true focus of this madhouse time.

Now that 2015 has arrived, things are slowing down. The roar of arriving planes has lessened. The pre-holiday sales have given way to post-holiday sales to get rid of holiday items. Homes are settling back into routines free of visitors and parties.

This is the time to take a breath and consider what gift you want from 2015. What is possible? What is needed? What is wanted? What can expand, contract, allow in your life? What corners need clearing? What dark spots need lighting? What calls to be released? to be accepted? to be healed?

2015 holds much in store. Set the intention to look for the gift. Breathe. Open to the beauty, health, love that is being carried in on the New Year. Search your heart for what is most important and ask for the gift. The New Year waits to hear your request. Open to the Gift.

What do you want from the coming year? Do you have a wish list? What is your intention? How can 2015 provide you with support? Can you open and accept the gifting?