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

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 

Supporting COVID frontline workers

Unlike last year at this time when a sudden opportunity to help those in need emerged right from the chaos, I have found no vent to channel my restless helplessness at watching the widespread devastation unfold. This year, things are infinitely worse than they were last year. And this year, we are even more locked up than we were last year. It’s become obvious yet again that we have been left in the lurch to fend for ourselves. Once again, it’s on us, regular citizens to make a difference in a way that the powers that be just will not. In these circumstances, being physically unable to throw myself into any sort of organised effort to pitch in has left me feeling doubly in knots.

I sat on this “what-can-I-do” feeling for days, and over the weekend I realised I could use what I spend most of my days doing — working — to contribute. It’s the one thing I am privileged to be able to continue, uninterrupted. And so it is the most obvious and useful way that I can help at this time.

So since the Sunday that just passed, through till the end of May, I will be donating 50% of all my earnings through tarot and family constellation sessions to this campaign that is supporting the mental health needs of frontline workers at the help of this disaster.

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to get a personal reading, this could be a chance to do it and support my efforts to pay it forward. Please reach out to me to discuss this or any other way to help. I’m open to listening to any ideas you might have.

If you’d like to directly support the campaign yourself, this is where you can do it: https://www.ourdemocracy.in/Campaign/covid19mentalhealth

Here is also a live and constantly updated list of various campaigns and fundraisers that are supporting a wide variety of causes during this time: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eiobgyrl8iz-R1Dz7c4R5pzzzkuZLBj99vaC7T_UeVo/edit

Please give in any way that you can. No effort is too small at this time.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: Working with fear
Three years ago: And love is all that I can give to you
Four years ago: Because wanting to leave is enough
Five years ago: This day, that year

You are allowed to feel

The other day I was looking back at the last year feeling a bit shocked at how far I’ve come with the tarot and family constellations practice, because honestly, this was not the plan. I didn’t really have a fixed plan, to be honest, but I know how far off from this point I felt at the start of last year (pre-covid). I was excited, but also nervous about beginning anew. Putting myself out there. Taking on the responsibilty of other peoples wellbeing. And so I had decided to take baby steps, in the company of my peers, holding hands and gathering support from classmates from my course. We’d decided to work together because none of us was ready to go solo. I was also not ready to go online.

The only loose “plan” was to go slow and take as long as I needed to, to take off and fly on my own. Somehow, the pandemic pushed me into the deep end of both those outcomes that I hadn’t prepared myself for. There are times when jumping intp the deep end happens organically, and you don’t feel the resistance as much. Things just snowballed for me from there on.

Looking back the other day, I counted and realised I have held space in 300 sessions. It’s been a week of feeling quite grim about the reality our country is going through at this present moment. And this felt like a silver lining for me. An unexpected outcome from an otherwise very shitty year. And the irony of it: a year of building many personal milestones and gains, while the world is breaking in so many ways, was not lost on me.

I’d be lying if I said I chose to move into this line of work only for the greater good and to be of service to people around me. It is merely one reason of many others. If I’m being completely honest, one of the big reasons I continue to do this work is that it brings so many gifts my way. Big and small, simple and complex, silent and booming. And there have been many (metaphorical) gifts. I was buoyed by the circumstances that played out last year. I profited from the incredible mental health challenges that cropped up in full. I cannot shy away from this.

There is quite nothing like receiving an unexpected message like this (pictured above) that slips into my WhatsApp messages, many weeks after a session. A client’s reflections in-process, looped back to me, that somehow offered me permission on a week full of feelings.

Lately I’ve seen my work morph slowly. I’ve felt quite loudly encouraged to tap into my other skills and bring them into sessions. By going where I’m being guided to, I’ve found seamless natural extensions. Working with words, written expression, images, stories and tales we hold, bringing memories to life suddenly feels like the most obvious thing. My life and identity as a writer that I had put in deep-freeze has found a new avatar, and reason to come out of hiding again.

The past couple of years have been a long-drawn death cycle for me. Even as new beginnings consistently sprouted in many aspects of my life, the overarching theme has been a slow, slow, painful death and a facing of the resultant darkness and emptiness that comes after. Death cycles do that — they strip way any manner of illusions of safety, pushing us towards the truths. Some that we know and shy away from embodying, and many that we are completely blind to.

It is like burning down a field after a cropcycle. In turning everything to dust and ashes, so it may bear fruit again. There is potential in that destruction. Hope in that death. Space, in that nothingness.

Stepping into this expansiveness sounds liberating, but is very frightening and often painful. It’s comes with quintessential bittersweetness — grieving the ends, death, finishing and letting go of so much, and stepping into new beginnings, new ground, new ways of being that are completely unfamiliar and will take a lot of getting used to.

BUT, OMG THE FREEDOM HERE. Now.
It is delicious. It is vast. It is open.

And so when I received this message and picture from a client last week, it took me back to our session earlier in February this year. I noticed how much has changed even in the short time since then. Around me, yes. But within me too.

I’m enjoying letting the edges of the process of my work that I’ve held on to so tightly as a guiding light so far, blur ever so slightly. It’s nice to trust my instincts that are gently goading me to allow my other capabilities to bleed, one in to another. It’s wonderful to be able to add to my work with tarot and family constellations, bravely. To go in without any fixed plans, and see new directions emerge as they are meant to. To trust. And to enjoy the emerging process.

One of the fundamental lessons from death has been to really understand that while I make conscious choices in my outer life, there is a lot that happens on the inside that is always guiding me, luring me, showing me what’s good, what’s right for me. This is entirely out of my consciousness. The work has been only in tuning in, learning to listen, and humbly respond with surrender, smallness and grace.

To go where I am led. It is what I have been doing this year. Who knows what leaving the shores and swimming free holds for me. I’m being mindful not to make a destination out of this, or to feel like I have arrived, and my work here is done. I’m just eternally grateful for the many resources that have come together to bring me here, and now that I am here I’m ever so grateful for people like these — friends, clients, both — who are brave to swim along with me.

One year ago: Slow, scary change
Three years ago: Doesn’t mean I’ll stop
Five years ago: Dawn to dusk

School again

Back in the classroom again today. A different set of people. Different modality of work. Different mentor. Different me.

I’m so excited to be learning again. And so happy to be interacting with other humans. Just so, so sad that this too is across a screen.

I was only just about getting comfortable with getting out and about, meeting humans in the flesh, and settling into the “new normal”. Some friends and I made promises to each other to try and do this more often, fight the fear and get out and live a little. And somehow we are back to square one. Only worse?

One year ago: Zen
Two years ago: And thanks, Goa
Five years ago: Imperfect timing

Rewarding, on my terms

Responding to the deep ask of giving my life attention, love and observing it without judgement has been immense. It has been so nuanced, asking for so many different things of me at different times. At times it has felt overwhelming. And not always in a good way. But that too has been a learning curve. To know when I am feeling the flow and aligning with an innate readiness to deep dive into that state of presence, where everything slows down and holds meaning; versus when I my body is telling me “No, not today.” and I am able to observe that too, skim the surface, see what I need to and knowingly say, “I am not going into this today, I’ll file this away for when I feel better.”

Ultimately, I realise the summation of this entire process of looking within, healing, self-development…call it what you will.. for me, it has been about befriending myself intimately. Finding a deeper relationship with myself. Really knowing what I am about. Even when it is to see that I am not doing okay. Without attaching any more meaning or judgement to it. Knowing that that too is a part of the process, a part of who I am and how I can sometimes feel. Not making those periods/days/phases a time that needs fixing or “bettering” somehow.

I am getting so much better at riding through the days, all kinds of days, just watching and noticing the minor ups and downs in my energy and emotions. It helps me function well on days when I can, and go easy and cut myself slack and be kinder on days when I cant, for whatever reason.

In a session with a client today, I found myself speaking about going with the flow and how it holds a meaning absolutely nothing like the one I used to associate with it some years ago. I had this notion that I was a go-with-the-flow kind of person, and it used to me I was chill and easy-going. Maybe I was, for the most part. But a very large part of me wasn’t — a large part that I didn’t want to acknowledge. And noticing and seeing that part, understanding why it desperately needed and craved rigidity and control, and most importantly, looking at it with compassion and kindness, has somehow made me make space for it. Allow it. Let it be. Rather than fix it or let it go. This, is probably a truer representation of going with the flow.

It presents itself as an organic moving through with life, rather than trying too hard to shape everything in it. And of course it’s taken me years to understand that I have to find a sweet spot between working hard and actively moving towards my goals, and leaning into what is not in my control and aligning myself with that component of the process that is the flow of energy beyond and outside of me. Knowing the difference between when to exert energy, and when to ride the wave.

An analogy one of my mentors used very often was of a casual boat ride. How choosing to actively paddle, steer and guide the boat in a certain way would result in one kind of journey, while understanding the natural flow and current of the water and finding a rhythm between paddling a little and sitting back and enjoying the ride a little would result in an entirely different kind of journey altogether.

This has been coming up a lot for me lately, because I am suddenly seeing, actively, how I am working much more (in quantity) and much harder (quality) than I have in a long time — probably since 2017 — and yet the quality of my life is slow-paced, comfortable, easy-going. And I seem to have ample time to do more of the things (work and life) I want to, I feel happier and much more in the flow with life, than have to work against it, somehow.

I have always associated busyness, hard work and the like with the conventional definition of “the hustle”, only to realise that my inherent rhythm and energy cycles cannot hustle quite the way the world would like me to believe is rewarding. I had to find my own rhythm, my own idea of the hustle, my own sense of what is a good reward, and give all of that to myself. Observe, listen and loving all of this about myself has been a key factor in finding a way that is rewarding on my terms, that doesn’t feel like too much effort for too little payback, and most of all — not constantly feeling tired and holding that like some goddamned badge of honour.

One year ago: Chasing sunlight
Four years ago: Kitchen soup for the honesick soul
Five years ago: Shine one

Re-balance

I’ve had a really full-on week of work. 3 sessions a day on most days, and sometimes things happening in between too. The slowness of 2020 seems to be fading, and whenether I’d really like to or not, an upward energy has scooped me up. I have had to make time to sit down and catch a breath, sometimes a nap, or a grocery run in between my commitments and appointments this week.

It’s been very busy, by my standards (from the last couple of years of major, deliberate relaxation) but fulfilling. I have wanted this. Movement, work, a challenge, so I am really loving it. To enable focusing on work this much, I had to revert to hiring house help again, and it has been a boon to have that taken over. More mindspace has been freed up.

But, I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that it’s also been exhausting. To be present to my work, fit in home stuff, get meals done, try and stock cook and eat clean and somehow pull it off.

Not a big deal in the lives of most women, I know. But it’s been a long, long time since I had work be the predominant force that dictate the rhythm of my routine in such a major way. And it’s been two weeks of this. Next week, I’m taking it easy. Deliberately. Fewer slots open for sessions, I’ve fixed an appointment for a massage, and I’m going to take myself out for a day by myself.

Re-balance.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: Mind-body, body-mind
Two years ago: Another favourite
Three years ago: If you could change your mind
Five years ago: Make like a tree

In every direction

You’re the center and you’re always free
In every direction

— Junip

This morning, while obsessing over Nicolas Jaar’s musical genius with S, I discovered he had his first album out at 21. TWENTY ONE. It’s no different for some of my other favourite artists like Stormzy and James Blake, in terms of being focused and prolific in their 20s. And I said to S, in shock, “HOW do they do it so young! I feel like my life has only begun at 32. I spent my 20s unconscioulsy figuring so much stuff out, and consciously putting the pieces together when I was closer to 30.”

And here I am today.

This is just me in a moment of happy. Doing what I love best these days. Sitting on the ground, in the sun, beneath a tree. Reading cards. Joining the dots. Soaking it up. And the satisfaction from it comes from holding the polarities — this as a route to reaching people in a way that fulfills and excites me, and this as a job that earns me my daily bread. I’m finally in a place where I don’t feel the need to shirk the value that money adds and why earning it from doing what I love is a very, very key piece in the do-what-you-love puzzle.

This has been a hardwon learning. I’ve had a meandering life path that flits and swings from one thing to another every few years, with every pursuit taking me in intensely, often makes me feel bad because I have little to show for “consistency” or “staying power”. I’ve baked for a living, cooked and food blogged, had a pretty serious stint in freelance journalism and feature writing, and also a significant number of years in advertising. At every point, each of these things felt like the thing I’d do for the rest of my life. And eventually the pressure to balance the practicality of how much I earned from it (to make it practically work) without compromising on how passionate I was and how much joy it brought me, killed the pursuit. I would always reach a point where I had to “ramp things up” to make it make sense economically, a point where I realised I couldn’t go on in quite the happy go lucky way that I had the privilege to. And it frightened me to the point of giving up, each time.

There was so much shame from having built so many things up form scratch, only to shut it all up every so often and go on to the next. Repeating the cycle all over again.

Will I ever be taken seriously? I wonder. Even now, I stutter a bit when people ask me what I do. When I realise they mean “for work” and not just “in life”.

But in the last couple of years, I’ve become comfortable with seeing myself as someone with multiple directions. Easily excited and intensely taken into multiple things that capture me. A completely new thing every so often.

And I ask myself often, “What’s wrong with that?”

When this squidggly trahectory prickles me, I ask, “What’s wrong with reinventing myself?” And I remind myself, “You’re allowed to change your mind, life path and choices, as many times as you need to.”

Because that is what it has been about. If I’m being completely honest, I know now where my commitment and perseverence shows up. I am actually very committed to, and very consistent with reinventing myself. With all the practice I’ve had I’m so much better at responding to inner calls that take me to different, divergent places, and not necessarily in one direction. And I’m getting better at letting the shame around that slip away.

I’ve only recently started to see, accept, appreciate and hold that as just the way my life flows. I build, break down, let go, move on and rebuild often. I dig deep within myself often. I stay interested a lot. This is my life, as it has come to me.

One year ago: Finding flow, and flowing with it
Two years ago: Renewal
Three years ago: You guys, I must be the luckiest alive
Five years ago: Beach bum

Year-end feels (#4)

Newsflash and new learning: I don’t have to pause life for healing, or pause healing to live life.

Real life is mixed up, often messy and up and down. As is healing. The two can (and should) go hand in hand. They complement each other and evolve somewhat simultaneously.

I lived in hiding, especially keeping the “healing story” of my life under wraps, for some years. Very few people knew I was studying family constellations or that I had been reading tarot cards, until I started to offer it at the start of last year.

Since then, it’s been a slow coming-out of hiding, as I have worked on opening up other aspects of my life, stepping up and owning parts that I’ve kept hidden either from shame or fear. And sometimes guilt. I’m only just getting comfortable with all that I am at this moment in time. And all that I have been before. There is contentment about where I am today, and excitement about where I can be in the months to come.

It seems funny and interesting that it’s taken me so long to really believe how the two — my personal journey and the rest of my life itself — intertwine and meander like a braid, one influencing the other and contributing to make a whole. Seems most basic and obvious, and yet it has eluded me for so long now. But it is such a small, big difference.

One year ago: In with the new
Two years ago: Taking it slow
Three years ago: Onwards and upwards
Five years ago: Move more

Looking back. And looking ahead.

Somehow, it is the end of the year already. ALREADY. While I’m not feeling the usual forced new-year-new-me enthusiasm, I am feeling reflective. Because it has been a whopper of a year.

If you find yourself reflecting on the year gone by too, I’m offering tarot sessions to look back at all that 2020 has held. Without any pressure to expect anything major from the year ahead. A session to gather key experiences and emotions, reflect on what you have gained and lost, celebrate the wins, grieve the losses, mark the moments that you want to build on. And easily, gently set an intention for the months to come.

It’s been a challenging year from everybody — one way or another. I can say this with so much certainty. Maybe it raked uo a lot of previously unseen and unfelt emotions. Perhaps it asked for a lot more fortitude andn stretched you in ways you didn’t feel ready for. And through it all, maybe you unlocked unknown reserves of quiet strength and flexibility. Maybe you also saw faultlines in yourself you didn’t know existed beneath the aspiration for perfection or the need to have it together. Maybe you discovered something about yourself that you love, something else that you didn’t love so much, something else that needs work, something else that gave you peace.

Whatever your specific experience through 2020, it’s likely you’re not looking at yourself or your world quite the same way you did before 2020. Or perhaps ever.

I’ve had clients experessing a feeling of “backlog” or overwhelm from not having processed any of this. If this resonates with you, I am attempting to facilitate a space like that, even if you just an hour or more, before we step into the flow of the new year.

Give yourself, or a loved one, a session to Look Back And Look Ahead, if this sounds interesting to you. I started sessions yesterday and will be available until 6th January, 2021. Slots are already filling up, so please reach out if you’re considering, so I can accommodate you.

One year ago: Back to earth
Two years ago: Expand your mind, take a look behind
Four years ago: All the books I read this year

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

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

Riding the highs

I have just had such a full and satisfying day. Actually the week and most of last week has been this way. Full not in tasks and busyness but in satisfaction. In feeling filled up.

My work has definitely become lean during the lockdown. And I would take responsibility for that because given the all round situation, the grief and the uncertainty that was prevalent, I just didn’t feel enthusiastic to push it as aggressively as I have in the months before.

I was getting by with the bare minimum that came from small mentions and calls for work on Instagram. I stopped tracking numbers and following up. In fact I didn’t accept all requests that came because I have myself been in such an inward looking space.

Even so, work has come my way. Without me looking or pursuing it. Through referrals. Through random Instagram connections and it has reinstated my faith in not always having to hustle or labour to get my work out into the world. It has been lesser than normal, for sure. But it has been consistent and for that I’m grateful.

This month though, things have switched around somehow. I myself feel more outward and looking out into the world. I feel much more energetic to work. I feel a receptivity from the world around too.

Personally and professionally, I have had my head under water for the most part of the last three months, swimming difficult, choppy waters. But in the last 20 odd days, the tide has turned and I find myself coasting placid, pleasant waters. Swimming along happily, taking the sights and sounds if this new phase.

I’m getting more comfortable with accepting that perhaps this is just the way my energy is. I will operate in cycles. Especially with a life that is so heavily invested in my own inner work, I must make space for the underwater phases. When I will need to go inwards so much that it won’t leave me much energy or mindspace for external facing pursuits. Especially because the work I do and what I offer to the world depends so much on my own internal process. Keeping my mirrors clean and constantly working on myself.

I have been slowly trying to give up that expectation of uniformity from my energy and motivations towards “work”. The idea of that being “normal” has somehow receded. I’m open to riding the waves when the come and letting myself go under when that time comes. And to go lean with the work, when those phases hit.

All this to say, OMG I’ve had such a great work day today. I’ve done at least one reading every single day this month. Two on some days like today. And it feels good. I feel ready and able. But a day like today — that just knocked it out the park in terms of how challenging the readings were — give me life.

I had interesting, unique and very special clients today. Questions that came from a place of clarity and openness to listening. Sessions that demanded so much stretch from me, asking me to slow down and think differently, articulate specifically, not generically. To move away from the way I normally take a reading.

I have also been doing more video sessions. A big change from pre-COVID days. The more obvious reason is distance but the less obvious reason, and the thing I have noticed happily, is my own comfort with my offering that has given me new confidence to be seen. By strangers. To receive with love and grace the faith the put in me. Unapologetically. I notice that my body language in sessions has changed. And that I am able to access my own body and the cues it gives me.more easily.

It’s been hard won, this comfort. And on a day like today, I’m just so grateful for this twisting- turning journey and where it has taken me. But most importantly, where I am at today.

I’m here now and I feel so filled up. In my heart and in my life. My cup, it brims over.

PS: July sessions have been open all month, in case you didn’t gather. If you’ve been reading my Monday messages and find value in them, and if you’ve been hemming and hawing about trying out a session for yourself, may I encourage you to reach out? If it’s any added motivation, I can honestly say I am in an extra good headspace to do this work at the moment.

One year ago: New light
Two years ago: Oh my life, is changing every day
Four years ago: That’s all

Card games

Re-upping this post, and sharing part 2 that follows:

In writing these, I have had to clarify a lot about why I do this and how I want to take this practice forward, for myself. It was an exercise that’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad to be putting in the time towards this, like I have all other professional undertakings, whether writing, or baking, or working with VC. As always, I’m happy to take questions, if you have any — whether you personally want to a reading or not.

***

The all round uncertainty and loss of control, not to mention stressful and emotional, time has been bringing up a lot for everybody, whether they’re conscious of it or not. Literally every reading I have done during this time has a question or two about job certainty. “Why am I feeling so emotional all the time?” in some form or another, is a close second. I feel both these situations so deeply these days. It’s in the air all around us, so if you’ve been feeling it, you’re likely tapping into the collective. Please know that it’s legit. It is allowed.

One year ago: Beachy things
Four years ago: Stop