Tarot: Breaking routines

It seems like a tarot week, because I’ve been waking up inspired to pull a card every morning. I do it very often. But just for myself, usually. But this week, I felt inspired to move and share. So here goes.

We cultivate routine, structure and sameness as a means to experience certainty and a sense of stability. This predictable rhythm creates safe spaces within which to live. However, the energy of life is meant to flow and inevitably, the same routines that provide support can sometimes feel limiting.

Each of us has a different degree to which we require the support of that sense of certainty. And while routine and sameness has its place, it is a good idea to build the capacity to know intuitively when to break the routine and allow life to flow. Similarly, when to bring back some containment when we need it.

Developing a personal knowing of when to move in which way does an immense lot for a sense of self, knowing one’s capacity to brave uncertainty and in the process to grow.

During challenging times, often the hardest ask of us is to change something that has come to be routine — a response, a habit, a way of being, a relationship, an action. We’re called upon to break or make (new) routines, and it is not easy to do this. We come up on a lot of resistance, doubt, fear and a hundred reasons not to change a thing.

This change is harder still in a world that rewards those who live within the externally created structures that dictate what our lives should look like, how our days should flow, what an ideal work routine is and what “good” outcomes of these are.

There is merit in finding how much of that you can and want to incorporate. And to know when you might sometimes like to break the mould for yourself.

Tarot: Meeting disappointment

Another wild card from this wild deck> Maybe the last one for this week, and a fitting add-on to the theme around embracing change that’s ongoing since the start of the week.

One of the reasons we find it easier to reject change is because it is difficult to accept the very real possibility of disappointment that any change can bring. This disappointment rests in the widening gap between what a potential future holds and the version of it we may have dreamed up in our minds.

This gap can make our desires feel like they’re too good to come true. And so we avoid moving towards change, to keep safe from that disappointment.

In truth, reality is often disappointing. Sometimes mildly, sometimes severely. To continually protect from disappointment is to sign up for a life of no movement. It could be that your imagined reality is an inaccurate version of the future waiting for you. A future you will not know unless you step forward, towards it.

Instead, ask what you need to help you feel your way through disappointment in the service of moving ahead.

Tarot: Embracing change

Busting out a Deviant Moon Tarot deck D gifted me two years ago when I was a wee little tarot newbie. It’s taken a while to get to using it because it’s so deliciously, wildly different from Rider Waite deck. But I’ve been inspired the last few weeks, and here I am. Since I have been using it in sessions in the recent past and fiddling with it in my own time, I thought it might be a good time to pick up this thread I started and immediately forgot about. Oh well.

So here’s a mid-week pull on embracing change.

It’s an aspect that shows up so, so often in many sessions. And this year, it has been a question on everybody’s mind, considering the overt and covert change that has enveloped us all: How do I move on and accept all this change?

Plus it ties in nicely with yesterday’s tarot message for the week too.

Change, whether big or small, always brings about doubt and uncertainty. Parts of us that are prone to feeling trepidation and worry might be activated at this time. Doubt about the possibility of something not working out, fear about inherent uncertainty, premature grief about the loss that will inevitably follow are natural by products of change.

This is a reminder that all of this is normal and perfectly okay. Make space for it rather than fight it. See it all rather than power through it. Ease it by asking: what do I need (and how can I get those resources in a safe way) so I don’t have to shrink away but can keep moving anyway?

Time out, in service of moving ahead

The end of something usually means it’s the beginning of something else. No? In this year of massive endings, death, loss and grief, I’ve held on to this simple thought just to get through the days. Days that were mostly filed under “I-don’t-have-a-fucking-clue-what’s-going-on-anywhere-anymore.”

Like much of the world, I have spent a greater part of this year in a state of Not Knowing. A stage that has felt decidedly like an incubation for What Comes Next. Nothing like the stage before, yet not fully inhabiting what lies ahead.

Like an em dash between all that I have experienced and learned and everything that is yet to bloom from it.

It’s been a stage that’s asked of silence, solitude and stillness of me. Retreat, reflection and rejuvenation, for a slow marination of a new sense of my world, my place in it and a desire to bring forth new expressions of my voice.

It also felt like a culmination of the last few years that I have steadily, relentlessly shifted the focus from Doing to Being, in an effort to move my axis, find a new centre of gravity to anchor my life.

This transition now though, has gently slipped an invitation to bring in a some Doing again. A crystallisation of the work I feel drawn to. More aligned to a new sense of myself.

I’m taking a short break from Monday Tarot Messages on here and on Instagram, to rest and to reflect, in an unencumbered way. But mainly to soak, in some of the ideas for Doing that have been brewing. The need for integrity to myself is high and I feel a great desire to bake in it.

I realise in retrospect that accidentally skipping the reading last week was not entirely an accident. It came from a need that I have felt grow during this week.

It seems that this topsy turvy time is potent or personal work. Providing tarot and family constellations sessions has not only kept me grounded and going, but also been the guiding light through it all.

I plan to resume weekly readings in November. I will continue to consult and take private sessions though. If you’re curious about or would like to book a tarot or family constellations session, please reach out to me.

One year ago: Mornings
Two years ago: They’ll be making sure you stay amused
Three years ago: Things change
Four years ago: When the going is crazy

Up and down and down again

I’ve spent a greater part of this week breathing deep.

In and out.

In and out.

It really brings me back to the now, holds me down and soothes me. I’ve needed that a lot this week. It’s been a challenging one. On many fronts. For the first time in many, many months — probably years — I felt helpless to the point of just utter despair.

It’s not that things aren’t “good” or that they’re down in the dumps. But it has been a while since I had a steady number of days that are uniformly harmonious and with things in sync. Which is not to say only goody-good, but rather where I haven’t felt caught in the undertow of something or another.

For months now, there is an emerging pattern of one/few good day/s, an upswing, and then a number of challenging days, then the light shines through again, I emerge on top of it all and go with it, but only very briefly, before something else comes at me.

This is stuff on the personal front of course, but it’s also a combination of many things that seem to be taking turns to go up in smoke. If its an internal challenge of some sort at one time then it’s followed up by a string of emotional ups and downs, when that just about settles there’s a physical or practical aspects of our life that needs our attention, something or the other just constantly is on the verge of bursting or going up in smoke. I feel like we’re (and I count VC in this too) being thrown one oddball after another, and I JUST WANT TO CATCH A BREAK.

All of this is of course 100% more aggravated in the environment of complete uncertainty and zero guarantees that seems to have become the norm now..

I’m just so exhausted from existing these days. Even the good days seem to be emotionally high for me, leaving me somewhat spent. I’m thinking back to phases in my life, even from just earlier this year, when feeling good and being well didn’t mean just for a day. And when there was certainty.

However, the universe works in such strange and complicated ways. I would say yesterday was probably one of the hardest days I’ve had since 2016 — which was the last time I felt this very apparent lack of steadiness in state of mind, when every day was a new emotional whirlwind that presented a new challenged. The worst day in one of the hardest weeks of recent time. That we’re in the midst of a pandemic ridden world is just the perfect context for it all hahaha.

But, I’ve had the best work week ever, since the start of this year. A sudden surge in interest greater than any upswing I’ve experienced since I started doing personal consultations. So good and filled with promise that I’ve done 15 sessions in just the last 5 days. And by the end of tomorrow, I would have done 18.

I wanted to do a mid week tarot reading to make up for the missed one on Monday. But I’ve directed all my energy work-wards. Honestly, this has been the bright spark in a week like this one. Because it is work that energises and me, makes me feel alive and gives me reason to keep going.

Striving, as VC called it today. As low and down and out as I felt for the last two days, I have found the energy to show up at sessions. And I’ve ended every one of them feeling a bit better than I did before.

One year ago: Come rain or shine
Two years ago: Try to remember the good times
Three years ago: What coming home feels like: revisiting old haunts II

Monday Tarot Message: Everyday grief

Note: Eight days away from regular life has meant many, many freewheeling thoughts that have bubbled over. Today’s message isn’t neatly filtered/edited and formulated the way it usually is. It’s more personal and long, but you’re probably used to it on the blog. Heads-up, though, that this isn’t the typical Monday Tarot Message, but from my conversations with people, it seems like this is wide-spread and more common than we’ll admit. So maybe you’ll relate, or find something to takeaway from it?

Let’s talk about everyday grief. Tiny, daily loss and sadness, outside of life’s big tragedies — past and current. Minor grief that exists even when life is going good.

Grief from our choices, about all that is left behind, moved away from, left unchosen. Grief from healthy growth and evolution, for who we once were. Our past selves, old states of mind, nature and quality of life long gone. Past relationships, even when leaving was the best thing to do. Grief for things being so radically different from the way they are now.

I’ve grieved so much small loss the year. Workshop opportunities, travel plans, my otherwise steady sense of hope and optimism, missed vacations, going to the gym, being in a swimming pool, hugging, spontaneous plans and outings, day drinking with friends, opportunities for unexpected friendship, public transport, loved restaurants, working from my favourite coffee shop, spontaneity in general, being in a crowded space as a normal natural thing, live music — all of it.

It’s easy to brush this all aside as “small”. And it is. Yet it has been particularly pronounced in this year of the pandemic. Everyday grief piled upon tremendous grief.

It’s very likely that every one of you reading this post today has faced tremendous loss this year. Made so much worse in places with completely broken health care systems and leaders brazenly displaying their contempt for lives of regular citizens.

There is also so much loss of a grip on who we thought we were as people. So many truths shattered. The idea that ultimately everything works out — well, does it? That we’re living in a functioning democracy — are we, really? That the people you respect and look up to aren’t bigots or abusers — this one is quickly shattering, no?

How do you process everyday grief? Do you power through it, push it aside as too little to pay attention to? Or do you make room for it, no matter how small it may be?

I’ve found that in examining how I feel about everything I have lost this year, in honouring it all, and allowing myself to feel the real grief as it has surfaced, I started to see some very fundamental ways in which my life had to change and move.

Loss is sometimes a portal to feeling alive again. And grief is the vehicle that can show us how to move on.

Many cultures have ritualised practices for grieving. Where loss and grief are fundamental tenets in living life. Where the goal isn’t to make loss productive, but to give it a place, as it is. Where acknowledging and feeling grief isn’t seen as a sign of weakness or regression.

I find that this grief that my privilege didn’t allow me to even acknowledge — because I have it so, so good — has been a fitting motivator for making changes in how I want to live.

In softening up towards grief, I have found several reminders of the basic inalienable truth of life — that it is limited. And somehow, that has pushed me through to the other side.

One year ago: Finding flow
Two years ago: Walk with me for a while
Three years ago: On letting go of what is meant-to-be, and enjoying what-is
Four years ago: I am eager

Monday Tarot Message: Be like water

The depiction of water is the most striking part of the Ace of Cups, to me. Traditionally, the five streams of water represent the five senses — the means through which we engage and perceive the world around us. And water depicts the flow of emotions.

The senses are carriers of stimuli, moving us to feel different emotions. A life of fulfilment is one in which your senses can seamlessly lead the way, and you can follow unhindered.

When we think of emotions, we think of control. Almost as if our emotions cannot be trusted and must be overcome somehow. But what if you were to learn to approach emotions with lightness and ease, rather than the hardness of control?

By learning to feel, by watching our emotions, allowing the full gamut of insights they offer about what we’re making of the world and our experiences, we may learn some of the most crucial facts about who we are as individuals and what makes us tick.

The idea of being “detached” is often associated with being free of emotion. When in fact being detached could very well be a state of being so in tune and at ease with feeling every one of our emotions, there ceases to be any need to control them. And life then flows. Just like water.

I’m thinking of Bruce Lee’s famous words today: “Be water, my friend.”

He speaks of finding flow, when he says, “Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or creep, or drip, or crash.”

Water, like our emotions, is soft, yet powerful. Soothing, yet impactful — depending on how it is wielded.

Just for today, if you allow yourself to feel an emotion you usually push aside, what might you learn about yourself? Which emotion do you most need to soften up for at this present moment?

One year ago: Small victories
Two years ago: She told me to walk this way
Four years ago: Today, on the internet

Monday Tarot Message: On self-love

How do you meet the other in any relationship? Are you more of a giver, are you also comfortable receiving? How is it for you to ask for what you need? And how do you feel as an individual within a relationship unit?

If you find yourself holding out for something to change in the other, so you can be seen or heard, have your needs met, feel safe or acknowledged, loved and validated in some way, chances are, you’ll be waiting for a long, long time.

The more whole and fulfilled we are in and of ourselves, the free-er it is to offer and receive love in our relationships.

This is not to be mistaken as a call for self-sufficiency that makes us shirk help or assistance. Independence for the sake of defying and denying the basic human need for connection and collaboration is futile. This is more the subtle but important difference between learning to satisfy your fundamental needs in a healthy way, versus waiting for them to be met by unwilling/incapable parties.

When we operate from a place of wholeness, we enter into relationships ready to give and take freely, rather than expectantly waiting for the other to fulfil or complete us in some way.

There is a lot to be said about learning to make choices and build a life that reflects and reaffirms that you can look after yourself, tend to your needs, nurture, love and keep yourself safe. Then everything else that you may ask for and receive from the world, will be a bonus. But, to be the master of one’s needs requires a level of judgement-free honesty about one’s own vulnerabilities, that most often requires learning and building.

Cultivating the means to meeting your own needs begins with a truthful understanding of your needs — whatever they may be. Union and connection for some, safety and boundaries for others. This too is an act of self-love. The term gets oversimplified when we don’t include the important parts of owning up to missteps that we may have made from seeking love or completion in places where it could not be found. From people who weren’t equipped to fill those gaps. Or in places that were inherently unsafe.

Completeness or “wholeness” as it is often called in therapeutic practice comes from understanding needs, which are the shaped by a range of experiences and the positive and negative effects they may have had on us. When we do ourselves the honour of healing that emotional back-log, we can connect with others without putting the burden to soothe us, on them.

Self-love and healing is about reinstating trust within yourself, that you can keep yourself safe, loved and cared for. That you are enough. The interesting thing is that learning this takes *making* choices that reflect the fact itself.

A catch-22 of sorts.

You can begin by checkin what it’s like for you to say, “I can trust that I can keep myself safe” ? See what comes up for you. Is it disbelief? Or maybe a deep trust already exists.

Two years ago: One breath leads to another
Three years ago: Go, Goa, Gone: End of my sunshine dream
Four years ago: This morning

Monday Tarot Message: A balanced approach in relationship

Today, this card reminds me of what a constant balancing act being human is. Most of us are not uniformly “good” or “bad”. Instead, products of our experiences, beliefs we have cultivated, and our “good” or “bad” actions are a reflection of it.

Growth comes from building the capacity to accept this about ourselves so we may heal that which is traumatised in us, and improve our behaviour, reducing the chances of causing harm in relationships in the future.

This is a reminder to seek a balanced understanding of ourselves, as well as of each other.

Experiences of pain in relationships may lead us to believe that all people do hurtful things so it’s better to build a wall around our hearts. Or we may fail to see that even the best people are capable of causing pain, and the pain of realising this may cause us to avoid relationships altogether. Our relationship with connection itself can be imbalanced and altered dramatically.

We do this to cope and to stay safe, but to heal from pain is to find compassion and remind ourselves that polarities are seldom useful. Or even real. Nobody is ever that black and white. Growth is acknowledging that each one of us carry unhealed trauma that makes us behave in ways. Ways that can be worked on, so we may improve the quality of connection we seek. And that we offer.

Lately, I have been thinking about this in relation to injustice in the world. How can we heal while simultaneously dismantling systemic injustice, without understanding this basic inalienable truth of the human condition — that we are all capable of being good and toxic, in equal measure? That it is useful to reflect on the why, rather than the what of our behaviour, if we are to improve as a people.

Perhaps the answer is in adopting temperance — a balanced approach of empathy and compassion, to understand that we are all whole people made up of many different parts. Self-improvement and healing involves accepting that we each have aspects of the good and not-so-good. Our identities are not so fragmented in black and white and cemented by just the acts we may commit. We are all works-in-progress with the capacity to heal and be better.

I’m thinking today of how Rega Jha put it perfectly: Everyone’s inner world is as weird, complex and well-intentioned as yours.

Seeking balance with ourselves and our traumas might be an entryway to explore the grey areas, where humanness resides.

One year ago: Raw
Two years ago: Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Three years ago: Brain noodles
Four years ago: August

Monday Tarot Message: Finding anchors

When our conditioning teaches us to consistently sidestep “difficult” emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, anxiety, shame, disappointment or anything else that is “unpalatable”, we lose the opportunity to learn early in life, what they can teach us.

These emotions may indeed be difficult, but they needn’t be destructive, or cause us to be unanchored. They can come and go. And they can be opportunities to grow.

Anger, for example, can fuel action, rather than cripple us. Guilt has the power to inspire endeavour, if we invite it. Fear can make us shrink and cower, or it can spur us to move in a different way.

With the right anchors, we can learn to process, rather than repress, emotions, and receive the hidden messages that move us to grow.

Welcoming difficult emotions like anger, fear, shame, guilt, sadness, disappointment, requires us to build anchors. In our beings and our lives. Anchors that can hold us and that we can hold on to, when difficult emotions come upon us. Think of these as all that is important and affirming in your life.

Whatever your anchor may be — an important relationship, a creative life, a robust meditation practice, prayer, grounding in domesticity, dedication to work that fulfils you — invest energy in building something that really drops roots in you and fills you up in a good way. Something that isn’t an escape, but a safe shore that will allow these emotions to come and go as they need to without causing too much havoc.

To know what your anchors are, you’ll have to get very good at knowing what is truly precious and life giving. What is potent and nourishing. And for this, you’ll also have to know the exact opposite — all that is depleting, toxic or unhealthy — and know when to step away from it. Identify all that enables distance from and repression of emotions rather than healthy engaging with emotions, and step away. Knowing what enriches you will require an all-round knowing of who you are — the dark and bright parts of you, the good and bad, the palatable and not-so-palatable sides alike.

One year ago: Move
Two years ago: After all is said and done, you’ll believe God is a woman
Four years ago: Ten reasons why I’ve taken to cycling

Monday Tarot Message: Sitting with a problem, instead of solving it

Many of us find that we are wired to jump in to immediately solve problems — our own, others’ and those of the world at large. If this is a compulsive tendency, it could stem from a need to avoid discomfort. Like guilt of not being useful or efficient, or fear of not being looked upon kindly or not finding belonging, or shame for not having all the answers. This is especially true if being useful or productive or being the problem solver was a way to be seen, loved and to belong in your family.

Compulsive problem-solving denies us the experience of growth and change that discomfiting emotions present. Given that problem solving is a way of our world, our rush to fix things may have us forgetting the art of sitting with problems. An art and practice that is essential in solving the quiet, internal difficulties of our minds, that asks for something else.

While the outer world exists in polarities — problem and solution, this or that, trouble or relief — matters of our internal world call for exploring the vast middle ground, or finding a meeting point between the two.

Carl Jung called this a “third thing” in which opposites can unite. He says;

Here the logic of intellect usually fails, for in a logical antithesis there is no third.

He likens it to the intangible, fluid space in which:

a waterfall visibly mediates between above and below.

A few questions you could ask yourself, to check for your true intention, or where the need to solve problems may be coming from:

  • Are you a compulsive problem solver?
  • Are “problem” states uniformly uncomfortable?
  • Does problem solving assuage that discomfort?
  • Does being “useful” to others make you feel good, give you a sense of worth?
  • Are you inexplicably “drawn” to feeling responsible for any and all problems?
  • Do you feel that every problem you encounter, whether yours or others’ is your burden to carry?
  • What purpose is solving all problems serving for you?

In rushing to find solutions, you may be blocking/bypassing a potent channel for healing that’s present in holding the tension a problem presents. This is often “sitting with discomfort” in therapeutic practice is all about. Or what therapists mean when they say “befriend discomfort”.

Sometimes, sitting with our discomfort, or being able to watch others sit with theirs can be a powerful healing experience. Not all problems need solutions in the way we imagine they do. Simply sitting it out can be medicinal. It is important to develop the capacity to tell the difference.

One good way to do that is to learn to take a beat, to pause and check your intention when drawn to fix a problem. If the choice comes from avoidance, that discomfort will not go away, instead simply find other spaces through which to emerge again.

One year ago: Just 365 days
Two years ago: So comfortable, we live in a bubble
Four years ago: It’s nothing, really

Tarot: Unmet goals and unfulfilled dreams

Aside from the Monday tarot messages, I have sometimes done the one-off card pull mid-week. Either when inspiration strikes, or when I needed the guidance, or if something came up for me that needed to be seen or resolved.

Like these:

  1. On resilience
  2. Thinking and feeling
  3. Loss and betrayal
  4. Middle-ground

I’ve been wondering about doing a card a week (maybe) discussing some common themes that arise in my sessions. Frequently asked questions that most people have on their minds. I’m not sure how frequently I want to do this, especially because in essence they’re only very slightly (barely!) different from the Monday posts. Let’s see how it pans out. Anyway, here’s the first one.

One of the most common situations clients bring to me are unmet goals and unfulfilled dreams. And the idea that something is “blocking” them from becoming reality.

I want to clear the block.

I feel blocked.

No matter what I do, it doesn’t work out.

For many, the healing journey begins with the desire to clear the “blocks” in getting to places or things they aspire to. Because the realisation that the blocks aren’t entirely external and certainly not actual, physical hurdles comes pretty early in the process. The idea that sometimes what’s in the way, blocking us, is we ourselves, can be revelatory.

Healing mostly begins with examining deeply held beliefs about a host of things. What follows inevitably is revisiting experiences that created them. This requires building safety within oneself, a necessary requirement of moving out of old beliefs and into new ones. That itself is the healing process.

It’s how we may find the power us do the work to get out of our own way.

We can then create goals grounded in values that come from the newly-discovered authentic place, values that aren’t borrowed, convenient or fear-based, there is a greater likelihood that we will succeed.

If we are upholding the values drilled into us by our parents, society or what is culturally expected of our gender, for example; or if we’re trying to outdo past experiences of trouble and trauma that our family or past generations may have faced; or if we’re simply caught in aspirations that aren’t aligned with our own true values, we find ourselves working hard but getting nowhere, and feeling unhappy most of the time.

Defining values is step one. Next begins the work to meet those goals. There is no shortcut to this: dedicating energy to consistently examining, realigning and evolving values and beliefs, so that they are relevant and true is so important but often forgotten. This is the constant work of life, birthing values and shaping them into real living things.

Then you’ll see that progress, moving ahead, levelling up is a bit like going around in circles, but definitely upwards. You’ll find yourself revisiting the same essential questions, but with a deeper understanding. Figuring out what values make you tick is just one part. Practicing consistently, the ways to live by them is equally important.

It’s like planting a sapling that requires constant nurturance in the form of water, sunlight and nourishment in order to thrive. This isn’t a one time task. It takes consistently show your values your love. Nourishing them by feeding what they need to come to life.

Nurture your authentic self, give life to your desires, watch your values take root and your goals will definitely blossom.

One year ago: No rain, no rainbow
Two years ago: It’s been a hard day’s night
Four years ago: What my Sunday morning was like

Monday Tarot Message: Go within, embrace your truth

Two of Swords is usually a cautionary card, symbolising defensiveness, or fear, or shutting down or being unable to see things for what they are.

Today, it speaks differently. Of an invitation to take the time to go within. To pull away from distractions (lies) in the outer world that keep us away from what is within. To dig deep into the joys and pain of our truth.

And this is quite honestly a stark, strong message for me, first. It’s amazing how this happens so often — I get a pertinent message most apt for what I am going through. As I am noticing and surveying the ways in which I move forward, I am reminded today that sometimes that necessary movement is to go within. Even if it is to a dark place that is has been potentially scary. It feels like I can do it this time around.

***

Truth here, is about instinct. A raw, primal inner sense. Intuition. The voice of that inner self. This is about allowing that self to guide us. To lean in to what we know to be true, but we let slide because of logic, cognitive biases, worry about perceptions and how we will be received. We can get intimate with that intuitive sense only when we befriend all of ourselves with nakedness, dropping facades and lofty aspirations we may have held. Coming to terms with ourselves just the way we are. Culling away outer layers and meeting what lies within and cultivating a deep trust with that self.

What we go searching for in the world around — belonging, validation, to be seen or heard, love or acceptance, surety  — inevitably brings us back to that self that lies beneath personas. Finding true alignment requires truth-telling. Owning up to our experiences, our stories, our vulnerabilities and all that has shaped us.

Allowing ourselves to be led by instinct, brings truthfulness in the way we conduct ourselves in the world too. Thoughts and feelings become unfiltered. Communication becomes precise. And telling the truth, about the smallest things, becomes natural, no matter what the outcome. Like others potentially leaving us, or their reactions that could be difficult to stomach, or steering into unfamiliar territory. But because this inward journey helps build a commitment to ourselves cemented in our truth, we may not waver.

What truth do you have hidden inside of you that want to embrace? How can you forge a commitment with yourself? Know that doing this means you will have your back in a way that nobody else in the world will.

One year ago: AWOL
Two years ago: You haven’t felt the fire
Four years ago: How many ways?

Monday Tarot Message: Finding joy

The wonderful, joyful and honestly underrated aspect of healing is how it opens up access to moving towards that which you could only dream at one time. A life that has a capacity for hope, pleasure and delight, triumph and success. A life in alignment with your desires.

A major aspect of any healing journey involves doing the difficult, confusing, painful work of facing trauma. Inner work is terribly unsexy for the most part. But it is only by working through the parts of our stories that make us unravel, that we find ways to put ourselves back together again.

However, what doesn’t get spoken about often enough is that doing this work is also the portal to accessing safety and joy. When we heal our trauma (however big or small), and we regulate our systems to identify and cultivate a sense of safety, is the foundation for unlocking so many wonderful things like trust, curiosity, wonder, the capacity for joy and fun, nurturing creativity, finding and receiving love, chasing a passion and the like.

Healing brings back into our wholeness all those things that trauma may have split away from us, making us believe that we are not worthy or that we got dealt a bad hand. Accessing these joyful moments in the journey is definitely challenging and demands strength and vulnerability that many of us fear. But the moments when we make contact with that safety and well-being can be life-giving and affirming for all the work it has taken. Like finding light even while walking through the darkness.

These moments of light and life begin to return more frequently when we get the hang of regulating our systems to feel safe more often than not. When we learn of inner strength, and how we can find all of these resources within ourselves. They bring a robustness and a sense of being whole, rather than split. And a feeling of joy and love being within, rather than beyond our reach. It is only from a space of safety and wholeness that we can begin to reach our full potential and touch the fringes of all the things we aspire to.

It is necessary to affirm and celebrate these moments along your personal journey. Moments that hold promise and potential for the kind of life you may have only dreamed of until now.

One year ago: Downtime
Two years ago: And you were an island to discover
Four years ago: July

Monday Tarot Message: Being true to yourself

Our capacity for authenticity as a cornerstone of how we live our lives begins with honesty with the self. And how we hold that authenticity towards ourselves and our own lives first. This defines being true to oneself.

The High Priestess represents that inner aspect of the Self that holds the authentic core, with all that we truly know and desire. A fulfilling life comes from listening to the voice of that self with confidence.

The voices on the outside — expectations, norms, benchmarks, values — can often drown the inner one which is clear and pure and needs no reasoning. This can be hard to do, especially in a world that holds so many ideals and values as aspirational, and teaches us to chase what structures and systems (such as capitalism, patriarchy, caste, nations) require of us. This can cause massive obscuring in the process of being in tune with the voice on the inside that may want otherwise.

Today’s message is a reminder that healing, growth, personal development — are all journeys that take us back to our inner selves. Healing offers a process through which we may examine and soothe all the parts of ourselves that choose to deviate or move away from that inner self, which is actually the only compass for living an authentic life. And it helps us return to ourselves. To our bodies and hearts the way we were always meant to be.

Our connection with the inner self is routinely disrupted by the machinations of our outer life and all that we encounter or engage with. We experience dilution of our intuition and may question or doubt that pure way in which we know things to be true without needing proof or validation. This causes confusion, anxiety or, in the long run, the inability to find meaning or deeper satisfaction in life.

The ego is largely motivated by external voices. Often the knowing or desires of the inner self are not in alignment with that of the ego. This can cause tension. For eg; the ego’s pursuit of what a “good” person is, may often cause one to go against ones true desires which maybe entirely different. Over time, this inauthenticity will feel insincere and disingenuous to the self and bring disconnection and unhappiness.

Re-establishing this connection is to rediscover the true self. To gradually strengthen the ability to listen and trust the inner self. To learn to parse out doubt, fear, shame or guilt or anything else that inhibits listening and leaning in. To examine our need for external sources of certainty (validation), or why the internal compass doesn’t feel trustworthy to begin with. To notice our patterns of abandoning our inner selves. And most importantly, to see the ways in which this sidelining of ourselves brings pain from disconnection in the long run.

This is what being true to oneself would look like.

One year ago: Forward
Two years ago: Closing walls and ticking clocks
Four years ago: Smoke and ashes, email trails and matters of the heart