Tag Archive | journey into light

The Space in Between

“You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.” ~Nina Simone

One thing I love about the tarot: besides being an intuitive tool, a set of cards that can answer any question you can ask, each card in the tarot deck tells a story and offers universal wisdom. And each time you pick up the same card, you see different nuances to the story. So, with the 8 of Cups that I was drawn to today.

8ofcups

Left: Rider Waite Tort. Right: Tarot of the New Vision

The man is walking away, leaving everything behind. The moon up above has his eyes closed. Where he is going is uncertain, but it is important for him to leave. In the card on the right, you can see the sadness on the man’s face. He has crossed the river, there is no going back. What he is leaving behind was once joyful but is no longer.

There are times in our lives when it is necessary to leave a circumstance or person behind, to walk away without looking back. When there is no longer any joy or love in the situation. When what was once joyful and exciting has become painful and exhausting. When we feel the loss of leaving but we know there is no other choice.

What captured my attention in the picture this time is the space between two cups in the top row. The space between. In any journey there are times of walking away and times of walking toward and there is the space in between. That space in between can be the hardest space to be in and the most beautiful, if we allow it. There is grief, there is loneliness, uncertainty, fear.

But this space in between is opportunity, if we allow it. When we process the grief and go through the loneliness, we have the space to look into our soul, to get to know ourselves again. What was the gift in the situation? What did I learn? What do I really want?

The space in between is hope. This space is an empty canvas. What are you going to paint on the canvas? Let your imagination run wild.

A few years ago, I was unhappy with just about everything in my life. I had lost my passion for my health coaching business, I was unhappy in my job, some friends had gradually drifted away. I decided I was going to move, but when I started looking for jobs in other states, I got nowhere. I saw an intuitive coach for guidance and was told that I wasn’t going anywhere until I found happiness where I was. Not what I wanted to hear. But I sat with it. I looked around me for happiness. I put everything on hold and picked up one thread of something that I knew had given me happiness in the past: dance. I had stopped ballroom dancing and when I tried to pick it up again, I didn’t find a place that felt right to me. I came upon a Salsa and Latin studio when I was wandering around Meetup, a circuitous and synchronous path. It never showed up in my searches for ballroom dance. It took a little time, but I found there not only the joy of dancing, but the community that I had been missing.

I never moved, I didn’t change jobs. I’ve been inspired, learning and growing, making changes, loving my life. I’m still figuring a lot of stuff out. I’ve been in this space in between other times since, the dance and the community have been there for me. I’ll be in the space again and I’ll know what to do.

This space in between the leaving of one thing and the coming of the next, it is necessary. It is a constant in our journey. When you learn to be in it, it’s a beautiful space full of promise and opportunity. Allow it. Take it in. Paint the picture on the empty canvas of what you desire and let the synchronicity, the Universe, God do the rest.

 

 

Mirror, Mirror: Loving my darkness

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall…”

The mirror does not lie. And in the mirror, we can see the beauty and we can see the warts. The light and the darkness. As we are our own worst critics, it is not easy for many of us to look in the mirror and truly love ourselves. It is, in fact, transformative to look in the mirror and say “I love you” to the reflection. Even more so to gaze at my reflection for several minutes, affirming that I love and accept myself exactly as I am. Warts and all.

I’ve been doing this work for several weeks, after having some energy work done when I was feeling depressed and blocked. And it has been transforming and I’ve been feeling great. But progress is still slow and I’m feeling impatient.

xvthedevilAs a tarot reader/intuitive, I read for myself regularly for guidance as well as a way of continuing my study of the tarot. The last few days, number 15, The Devil, has come up a several times. One of the scarier cards in the deck. In some decks it has other names, such as “Temptation,” “Chains,” or, my favorite, “The Big Bad Wolf.” When a card keeps appearing, I sit up and take notice, look for the message, an important lesson. The Devil might point to an addiction or addictive patterns of behavior, it may advise us not to be chained to our fears. It speaks of a darkness in hiding. D-e-v-i-l the opposite of l-i-v-e-d. In the Inner Child Cards by Isha Lerner and Mark Lerner, the 15th card is “The Big Bad Wolf” and depicts a bleak, dark, scary pathway, with a wolf in hiding. The path leads to the tower bathed in the light of the moon. This is the darkness inside of ourselves. The shadow that we don’t want to see.

The message from The Devil card is that it’s time to shine your light into the darkness. It’s time to look at your shadow self and love that part of you. You’ve looked in the mirror and seen the beauty there. You’ve grown in self love. Your imperfections, your shadow, the darkness in you, your wounds, the places where you are broken need your love and acceptance the most. When you deny your darkness, it grows in fear. When you shine your light on your darkness, you heal the broken parts of yourself and transmute it into light.

It’s time to look at the parts of myself that I don’t want to see. It’s time to SEE and LOVE my darkness. Eek. I don’t know. It’s pretty scary down there. Is my light enough?

Fear. Funny, I’ve also been seeing a lot about facing your fear, feeling it and going forward anyway. I know I’m not alone here. I’ve been working on this for a while. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Stepping out of my comfort zone. The past few years, it seems like I’m doing this all the time, going outside my comfort zone, expanding my comfort zone, not being chained to a life not being lived.

But for all that work, I was feeling stuck, frustrated, and depressed. My dreams and desires just out of reach. I’ve come so far, and everything I’m working for just a breath away. But that breath might be a million miles because I still couldn’t reach it.

I knew in my heart what was blocking me, but this one was big, The Big Bad Wolf.

Writing this now feels like I’m walking the bleak and scary landscape of fear. I’ve walked this path alone and now I’m taking you with me. Into the shadows.

Deep in the darkness, I find the part of myself that decided a long time ago that I would do this thing called life alone. Because, well, fear. Because that’s what strong people do. Because, control issues. Because, what if I’m not really worthy of THAT much love? I built a wall and subconsciously kept people out, at the same time, I longed to not be alone.

Deep in the darkness, I find the anxiety that has controlled my life. The anxiety that put up a wall around my heart. The anxiety that told me I was unworthy.

I honestly don’t know how far back my anxiety goes. I never acknowledged it or talked about it until I was 40. I’m sure I can find instances of illness or unexplainable behavior that may have been panic attacks. But the thing I don’t remember being without are the constant critics, the mean girl voices that come with anxiety. I lived a good part of my life with a constant voice in my head telling me I’m wrong, I’m bad, nobody likes me, I’ve done something terrible (I have no idea what) and everybody is going to find out. It’s called anxiety and is caused by a chemical imbalance.

I thought this was normal until I sought help for depression when I was 40 and was prescribed an SSRI anti-depressant that was mostly for anxiety. I was told it could take weeks for the drug to take effect. The very first day, the mean girl voices went away and I felt free and happy. I didn’t stop talking for three months, I had a lot to say. Things calmed down after that, but I set a number of things in motion that were the starting point for amazing transformations (and some amazing mistakes) in my life. After a few years, I weaned myself off the medication and committed myself to a diet and supplements that would keep my chemistry in balance and keep the mean girl voices away.

The real work began. Here’s the deal, the medication made me feel good for awhile, but ultimately, I was not working on my shit and I would have eventually needed more medication. My body, my inner guidance, and my drive to fulfill my purpose in the world told me strongly it was time to get off the medication and work on my shit for real. I got the mean girl voices under control, but they had already wreaked havoc with my underlying belief system and my confidence.

My work on myself and my work in the world has been about self love, about looking in the mirror and seeing the beauty all of us have within us. My work on myself an my work in the world has been about seeing ourselves as beautiful, as every one of us is. My focus has been on body image, but the work needs to go deeper than that.

Loving and accepting ourselves exactly as we are is not just body image. This is going deep into the dark places and loving ourselves there. It’s about accepting the shadow. It’s about the knowledge that we deserve love NOW. We are worth as we are. We don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love and abundance and realizing all of our deepest desires. We are human and beautiful in our imperfection.

I’m again looking in the mirror every day, now for five long minutes, affirming my love for myself exactly as I am, the light and the dark. I had some energy work done, which got me started and lifted the depression. I saw hope again, the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m tearing down the wall that I built around my heart, brick by brick. The magic is happening and it seems so effortless in the moment.

Some days, I’m still walking in the dark, in fear of the Big Bad Wolf. But I see the stars and the big bright moon. And I’m no longer walking alone.

Piled High and Deep

My thoughts on politics: There is so much bullshit on all sides, my bullshit meter is buried and spinning out of control.

I thought I’d end it there, but it turns out, I actually have more to say. I’m going to try to say it without endorsing or supporting any particular candidate, because I’m not particularly thrilled with any of them. Well, some of them I don’t know enough about and I’m going to learn more.

This upcoming election has become really personal. There’s a lot of hatred being spewed on social media in response to people sharing their views. A lot of strong opinions, too. I have no problem with the strong opinions. I’m kind of envious that I’m not that sure this time, because I don’t know who or what to believe. It’s the hatred I have a problem with. The name calling. “You’re stupid if you vote for x.” You’re just like him or her. Worse.

We have a place to express ourselves without having to look each other in the eye.

We’re passionate about our positions and we’re vocal. And we should be both. Racism, misogyny, LGB rights and discrimination, corporate and political corruption and greed, issues of the environment and public health, immigration, refugees, and a lot more. We all have our own hot buttons for various reasons. We’re all really divided.

We’re tired of the status quo and we want to make things better. The conspiracy theorists are starting to make sense. We’re being poisoned by GMOs and over-drugged by the pharmaceutical companies, and we’re considering putting the nuclear codes in the hands of a recalcitrant 5-year-old. Tax loopholes mean that the super rich aren’t paying taxes and the burden is falling on the middle class. Children are starving. We blame it on illegal immigrants. Gun control: why has nothing changed when people are shooting up our schools? The whole system is being manipulated by a small powerful group. Or none of it is true, or some of it is.

What’s really important is, whatever the truth is, whatever your truth is, life goes on after the election. Life goes on during the election. We all have the opportunity to look at all of it from a different perspective. Perhaps with compassion. Perhaps through the lens of your love glasses.

It may not always seem like it, but we really all want the same thing. We’re all trying to alleviate the feeling of fear from our own current state of consciousness. We were born from love and we’re trying to return to love. We will return to love – the question is will we start now or wait until we die? We’re all doing the best we can from where we are. Compassion begins from this understanding.

Perhaps we can all be a bit kinder to each other. Maybe we can imagine we’re looking each other in the eye before we start typing. Remember that person you liked before the presidential campaign? The person you had enough in common with to become Facebook friends. Can you look at this person again and see the good? Can we find common ground and work together to make a difference?

The veil is being lifted. We’re seeing a lot that we don’t like. We want change. We debate and we vote, but it doesn’t end there. We have our gifts and our purpose and we continue to go out and do what we are called to do in the world to effect change. Whether our own purpose is global, local, or personal, we do it. Let’s do it together.

Our work in the world is just beginning. There are so many ways we can make a difference. And we are better together.

walkingeachotherhome