Monday Tarot Message: On emotional backlog

When unseen, old emotions remain not seen or dealt with, we could find ourselves with emotional backlog that has a way of turning hard and cold. Over time, this could feel like parts of our heart and the way we behave turning rigid, inflexible. Life, on the other hand asks for energy and movement — both inherently warm and in-flow — of us.

Emotions are a natural byproduct of an engaged life, and everything we live and go through. However, through challenges or traumatic events, we sometimes shut down or lock emotions away. We do this to dissociate when it is too hard, or something feels inherently unsafe.

However, emotional backlog also has a way of rising to the surface to be seen, over and over. When we find ourselves in repetitive patterns that we are unable to break out of, it is worth re-examining if we are re-enacting an older difficult experience (could be acting out from our subconscious, or even intergenerational trauma) that we may have put away, in order to survive.

These patterns can sometimes be opportunities to revisit what was once difficult. A chance for a much needed thawing. To kindle that which had once turned frigid and cold, with the warmth and willingness for an engaged, awakened life. It is a way to move through hard places with gentleness and flow.

What do you most need to see, right now? What past experiences are rising up for reflection? How can you support yourself so you can allow this thawing?

One year ago: Turning and turning
Two years ago: Taking a moment
Three years ago: And the stars look very different today
Five years ago: Flame of the forest

This little home of ours

Within the span of a single day, this little home of ours goes from being the haven that has kept me safe, to a cage that has me tied in.

It’s a home that I feel extremely grateful for, for holding and homing us through the entire duration of this pandemic, and also sometimes begrudge. It feels large and giving when I’m feeling the former, and boxy and insufficient when I’m feeling the latter.

The same space turns from being a harbour, a canvas for my every locked-in creative pursuit, whether it’s my plans or the art on the walls, or the curtains and sheets that change; to a lifeless shell of walls.

This is entirely new, this dichotomy. And to feel a whole gamut of these feelings within a single day, sometimes multiple times a day, has been all kinds of unsettling. The weight of this edition of being locked carries none of the novelty that it did last year, when despite the inherent uncertainty and isolation we swung into revelling in what honestly felt like a gift. Last year, being locked down was a privilege. This year, the sheen has worn off, the ennui has set in, and by the looks of it is here to stay for a long time to come.

In a span of a single day, these days, I love my home sometimes. And sometimes I fucking hate it.

One year ago: The fullness and ease of balance
Two years ago: Renewed relationships
Three years ago: April

Tarot: Breaking down the unattainable

I had a session this evening that has stayed with me, the conversation working it’s way through my brain still. When that happens it’s usually because the message has touched some relavant part within me too. So as I’m sitting with it tonight, it inspired an impromptu post, off-schedule. Unplanned, but potent for me.

You’ve figured out your goal, your next milestone or your next stop onwards to that big dream. Your focus is on the end point, energies aligned. But before you get going, take a moment to notice your inner chatter. Stuff you tell yourself when nobody’s around. The things you think in the quiet moments. That self talk.

Often, despite having the outward behaviour in place, our inner voice has a different tale to tell. Notice the quality and tonality in your inner voice.

Are you supporting yourself? Are you tending to your needs? Or are you shaming or berating yourself for wanting that next goal?

This is of course entirely human. To waffle, to feel negative, underconfidebt and not wholly believing how worthy you are of every success you desire.

But rather than feel bad about these parts of yourself, what if you were to get curious about where they come from?

What if you approached every limiting beliefs with warmth and curiosity?
What if you broke every big, seemingly unattainable goal into smaller much-more-attainable actions?
How about we learn to look at our nebulous future dreams and see the many clearer micro-outcomes that they are made up of?

***

It’s been months since I made a monthly post like I once used to, announcing “bookings open” at the start of the month. And the other day. R messaged asking if I am open to doing a reading. So it occurred to me that maybe folks assume that I have stopped?

I have absolutely not. I continue to take bookings for sessions in both Tarot as well as Family Constellations and in fact it has been a constant through everything, keeping me grounded and going. So if you’ve been contemplating it, do not hesitate to reach out.

Additionally, this month I have pledged to donate 50% of all my earnings through sessions to COVID relief. In case you need another reason to get in touch.

One year ago: The sweet confinement of aloneness
Two years ago: Quiet
Five years ago: Things about VC that I never want to forget #16

Food for my soul

There’s no satisfactory explanation for why I have been waking up earlier than usual and beginning my day with cooking. Despite us eating practically just one meal a day. No good reason why I am choosing to embark on complex recipes for layered pulaos that require berries, blanched pistachios and fried onions, at 8 am on a Saturday morning. It’s the only reason why I have been sending VC off to buy me some hot chips every now and then. Also why I go to bed with a mental list of groceries or veg I might need to step out to buy the next day, all because I have a plan to make something very specific. So far it has ranged from aforementioned berry pulao, palak paneer, spaghetti bolognese and chaat. And then there is the ever expanding wishlist in my brain, of things to eat in the near future — including a delicate selection of things that can be cooked at home and some that will have to be ordered from a favourite restaurant.

Tonight, we ate chaat for dinner.

Yes, I’m at that stage of the lockdown brain where food — and all things connected to the making and consumption of it — are turning out to be a big grounding crutch in my days. And while I don’t know how I went from eating lean smoothies and leafy salads and hearty meals to this, I’m just giving in at this point. No questions asked.

Five years ago: Distressed, but thankful

Back to basics

Things that have helped immensely these past 2 weeks:

  1. Working out at least 5 times a week, getting so close to finishing Caroline Girvin’s Epic I!
  2. Not fighting the urge to take an afternoon nap.
  3. The unexpected twist of fate that’s brought more constellations than tarot sessions my way, lately.
  4. Ordering in on the weekends.
  5. Chips.
  6. Watering my plants everyday.
  7. Video calls.
  8. Summer fruit, drinkable lunches.
  9. Accepting that it’s okay to just get by for now, without any larger achievements to write home about.
  10. Home and having VC around.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: The Establishment vs The Self
Three years ago: Please don’t go
Five years ago: Summer evenings — 2 

Summertime sadness (covid edition)

I’ve hit that phase of the lockdown where listlessness is me. Everything is happening in slow motion and there is a constant feeling of impending doom lurking around.

This year, the devastation feels much more endless. It is so much more intense of course, but also has this definite sense of no end in sight. Last year, whether it was the lockdown or covid itself, I got through it because there was a date in sight. Even with all the extensions for when the lockdown would lift, and the underlying uncertainty of it all, it did not feel as unhinged as things are this year.

This year, patience is scarce. So much thinner, so very tenuous. About to snap at the slightest stretch.

This year, I find myself in energy conservation mode. Almsot like my insides know this time we’re in it for the long haul, and we need to brace for far worse that is yet to come.

Took today off, didn’t pull a card or post a monday message. It’s been a pretty full on week, last week, and weekend. Even with the recreational activities packed it, it’s been busy and when I woke up this morning I just had this strong urge to call it a day off. Spent the morning doing all my chores for the week, workouted out and then called it a day.

I’ve hit that phase of the lockdown where listlessness is me. Only this time, there’s no immediate solutions for how to move on from here.

One year ago: Never gets old
Two years ago: Summer
Three years ago: Simple things
Five years ago: Summer evenings

Mood

Listless. Everything feels tenuous. Quite tired of not knowing. Angry and fed up with having no information or answers. Helpless at being caught in the undertow and being at the mercy of powers that are not being powerful in the way that is most essential right now.

Today, a colleague asked if I would be willing to join them in facilitating a weekly grief circle. And for the first time in a long time, I just said no. I don’t feel that I have much additional capacity to do anything more than the bare minimum that I am to just survive, be safe, and be there for the people I already work with. There is guilt from realising this. That I have the choice to actively say no to something that I know is essential, but that I realise very deeply I cannot bring myself to participate in right now. I need holding myself, and I don’t feel like I have any extra resources to give to a grief circle.

There was immense and immediate guilt as soon as I articulated the no this morning. Questions of But isn’t this what your skills are good for? and If not now, then when? And I had to take a deep breath and separate that self talk from the truth because the two were really melting one into another there. It didn’t help that the colleague who asked is someone who seems to always be stretching themselves in ways that I am partially in awe of, but also sometimes judge. And of course it was that same judgement that I was also pointing inwards at myself.

And this is the truth I have been sitting with today. Accepting my privilege, and the fact that it comes with these choices. I’m trying to look at them without the filters of  good or bad, better or worse. Just choices that are useful for now, for where I am at right now.

One year ago: Fed up
Two years ago: Engineering bigness
Three years ago: Another day, just breathe
Five years ago: Retrograde rant 

Just alright

For the last few days, everytime someone has reached out to me to ask how I’m doing, I have found the capacity to say “Just alright” rather than the usual “I’m okay” or “I’m doing good”.

This time, it has not been peachy, hunky dory. We didn’t swing into gardening and cleaning and cooking and baking to save our lives and our sanity. Instead I got myself to turn to some of those things as a means to ground myself. But every step of the way I have been gritting my teeth, digging my heels in and wanting to just throw a tantrum and express mydispleasure, my discomfort, my irritation at being locked up again.

I know, I know it’s a small price to pay for my safety. And this struggle is literally nothing compared to the literal struggle for life out there. But still, for a moment, I want to acknowledge that this is how I also feel. Stuck. Trapped. Like life was moving, and suddenly someone dropped a massive boulder in my way.

One year ago: Irrfan
Two years ago: Flow
Three years ago: Stuck in the sunshine riptide
Five years ago: The urban poverty piece that has errrebody’s panties in a bunch

Just no

Having one of those days today. I just want to say NO. Three deaths for people in my immediate circle, in just the last 24 hours. And I know this is just normal for most now.

When will this end? And how much more will this country endure before it is over?

One year ago: Birthday gratitude
Two years ago: Gratitude
Three years ago: The beer I had for breakfast
Five years ago: At sea

When nothing makes sense anymore

Some days I manage to hit stop on the need to find answers. I don’t need to figure it out, make sense, feel the feelings, process everything that’s not making sense right now. Many days I let go of the need to be a better version of myself. There is no better. There is no version. There is only me. All of me. Now. As I am. In this crazy, broken world. And there is no way to have the right answers, make all the right sense and have the right reactions right now.

Some days it’s okay to hit stop and take a break. Catch the breeze. Stare out into nothingness. Drink too much of your favourite drink. And sleep it off.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: Healing can sometimes feel counterintuitive
Two years ago: Content
Three years ago: I’ve been saving this time
Five years ago: Inside-out 

Monday Tarot Message: Making space for change

Just like you can’t give from an empty cup, you can’t receive in a full cup. I’m reminded of the Zen story about a young monk who approached his master, eager to learn. But he came with a mind full of preconceived notions, inflexible opinions and keen to show how much he already knows. The Zen master rebuked him, “First, empty your cup!”

The Ace of Cups, represented by an overflowing cup brings a message about making space today. Letting go, clearing out, cultivating emptiness as a necessary step in growing. Without it, there will be no space or flexibility for newness to seed.

Where in your life do you need to make space?

What do you need to empty, so your cup may be filled anew?

What old habits are you ready to let go of, so you can change, learn or do something differently?

How can you open yourself up and become flexible in your convictions?

How could seeing multiple points of view benefit you?

How can you aid the change you seek, by making space for it?

How can you create a habit of ongoing emptying out and creating space to allow for continuing expansion?

Two years ago: I am enough
Three years ago: Like happiness is the truth
Five years ago: Kangana Ranaut’s crash-course in honesty, feminism and empathy

Another one has come and gone

For the second year in a row, a birthday in lockdown, spent with these two.

I was extremely bummed about the former, but I can’t complain about the latter. At all. Because I am safe, healthy, at home, with access to most luxuries I need. Two cakes arrived at my home, one each from both sets of parents. Plenty, plenty phone calls and messages. A handwritten/handpainted note from my sister. A very lavish meal of dimsum, nasi goreng and other Asian fare courtesy VC. Lots of polaroid shenanigans. And even though I spent the day finding it quite hard to feel celebratory as I always do on my birthday, I went to sleep with a warm, full heart.

Gratitude as always, but perhaps more this year than before, for the little things. I truly felt the impact of how much it is the little things that matter, not the large overtures, more than the outlandish actions, definitely not the expensive outings, gifts and what have you.

Two years ago: A seed of life
Three years ago: Acts like summer and walks like rain
Five years ago: Turning 32 and the salt water theory

37

I am 37 years old today. My 30s have been the gift (that keeps giving) of unending self exploration, visioning and casting life’s net in new ways. I sometimes say if life had been otherwise, I’d have done this in the last decade of my life. But I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit that this journey has come at the right time for me. I wouldn’t have been this ready to absorb it all, this willing and available in my 20s. Life has a way of working out and so, I want to mark this day by listing down some things I learnt this past year.

This is the year I turned an important corner in doing the hard, important work of witnessing myself. I turned the corner and I found ease, lightness and joy, even as I sank to the depths.

This is the year I held myself through so many ups and downs. And in scraping the lows of my own darkness, my wounds, my healing, I found the strength to hold space for others to do the same.

This is the year I really embodied the idea that I am loved, cared for, supported and uniquely, inperfectly perfect. Not because of what I am good for, how useful I am, what purpose I serve of how. But because, I just simply am.

This is the year I witnessed the touch of pure love. Many times over, with people already in my life and some new, it came at me like a gusty, powerful exhale of a breath held tight within me for decades. To let that breath go, and allow myself to be witnessed as I am. That felt like love. And I was lucky to feel it many, many times over.

This year, partly by my conscious doing and partly through the alchemical space that is healing, Itasted a tiny smidgen of what it is to truly be committed to paying deep attention, and to hold what I see in a soft place of love, without judgement.

This is the year, I really looked att he shadow side of the two points above. I noticed in myself the capacity to do and be things and ways I dislike about others. I witnessed evil in myself. I held space for it. I confronted and got comfortable with not being liked, possibly ever, by some people I’ve held out for, waiting for love.

This past year hurt like hell. A lot. But this past year also set me so goddamn free.

Past birthdays: one year ago, two years ago, three year ago, five years ago, six years ago, seven years ago, eight years ago, nine years ago, ten years ago, eleven years ago.

Choose better

Doing my best not to look away and disconnect, but also to not lose myself to the hopelessness. Not really always succeeding.

This year, the devastation is hitting much harder, much closer home. It’s getting harder to look away in the name of self-preservation. And yet, that is exactly what I seem to need many days — a balance between knowing what’s happening such that I am not ensconsed in a bubble of privilege, but also not getting totally caught and dragged in the undertow of it all. Just being in contact and witnessing has felt important, but difficult at this time.

The thing I am finding most hard to do in this moment: separate my anger towards this current regime, that has quite honestly been building since 2014, and everything that they are doing to further worsen the situation on hand — the denial, the complete lack of empathy, the extremely twisted priorities, the pure evil in no longer even pretending to care — from the actual brokenness of the system. I think the system was always broken, and us rich folk were always protected by the brokenness that favours those who can afford care. It took a virus that doesn’t distinguish between the haves and the havenots to bring us all down to the same level, making essentials like life-giving air a scarce commodity, and suddenly our brains are broken from trying to comprehend how and why we got here.

We didn’t get here. We were always here, we just didn’t face it in the purely devastating way that each one of us is at the moment. This time around the virus has come so close to every one of us, that there is no acerting out attention. There is no opportunity to create a safe bubble just because it feels too much. This is business as usual, even pre-pamdemic for more than 70% of this country. But it did take about 7 years of being under a government with a brazen and continuous focus on everything other than governance to bring this to the fore.

What is hurting and boiling my blood on a daily basis, even now, is that this government still doesn’t want to act in any other way except ways that fuel their megalomania. I try and separate my anger about this with the other feelings I’m feeling at the widespread calamity, but some days I feel like this is an important step too. To call out the BS, to articulate where I stand and what values of mine are different. This feels like that stage in an abusive relationship where you move past the guessing and approximating at the abuse, gain so much startling clarity about the abuse, and calling it out is empowering. It feels scary and unsettling because the obvious question is, “If not this, then who/what next?”

I know the options are grim, and close to none. There is no opposition to speak of. For seven+ years they’ve been given opportunity after opportunity on a platter to rise up, mobilize, do something to get a leg up.

And so now, I’m at the point where I’m willing to take anyone that doesn’t have this much blood on their hands. Literally anyone, even incompetent, without this  demonstrable and proven trackrecord of genocide. And maybe we begin with calling out the BS, demanding some accountability in an atmosphere where there is none, and realising that in this situation, literally any other option is better.

Maybe then we’ll chose better next time.

One year ago: Contained
Two years ago: Acceptance
Three years ago: Looking back, over my shoulder

Butterfly

This past week, I had many a moment where I felt immensely grateful. For many things, but mostly for just one thing that probbaly encapsulates everything else: for being alive.

In current circumstances, this is an obvious thought. And it came to me too. Again and again, in so many ways. Several times as a thought laden with emotion, twice in my dreams, and also in the unfolding of events that put me face to face with some developments in my life.

There is a constant stream of reminders of aliveness, of liveliness and the energetic and billowing push that I feel towards life. And again, I see it. I see it all. I acknowledge it. I take it and make it a part of my life, as I am today. Even in these seemingly standstill times, I feel this thrust, teeming with movement, propelling me on to level up.

And I’m absolutely here for it.

One year ago: Wild and free
Two years ago: Vulnerability and validation
Five years ago: Birthday weekend in progress