About what matters

Writing about what really matters

Month: January, 2015

Don’t worry so much

Monkey corrected 2

This is the SoulCollage card I made yesterday to represent the last of my seven chakra totems, a monkey. This totem is associated with my third chakra, the solar plexus, seat of power and control. (The other totems are an elephant, leopard, bird, fawn, owl, and toad. You can see the complete totem pole here.)

During the guided meditation I used to identify my totem animals, one of the questions I was directed to ask the totem animal is what symbolic gift it had for me. In the case of the monkey, the answer was

A tail–another way to balance.

I assumed this meant that the tail provided balance by gripping something, and ever since, I’ve been looking for a picture of a monkey with a clearly-visible tail. (I am here to tell you they are hard to come by.) When I finally found the primary image I used here, I learned from the caption that some monkey species, such as this one, don’t grip anything with their tails (i.e., they don’t have prehensile tails), but instead use them purely for balance. How interesting.

I made this card during a SoulCollage gathering at my house, and as we finished collaging, I suggested that we read our cards. Some people draw them blind as you would tarot cards, but when I had a very small deck, I developed the habit of choosing them face up–and I still do. This is my reading from yesterday …

Monkey corrected 2

I am one who is agile; I move through the branches quickly. I look ahead to see what’s coming next. I see clearly, with compassion. I reach for what I need, and what I want.

The message I have for you is: Don’t worry so much. It’s not necessary. All you need is coming to you–all you need is within reach.

We [the fruit] are the blessings that are coming to you, that are ready for you.

 Safe

You are so safe, so loved. You are held in the arms of the Universe, and always will be.

That is all.

 Receive

Abundant blessings are coming to you quickly. You will see. Keep your hands wide open.

That is all.

New journeys

I am one who is ready for a new journey–really ready.

And it is coming to you quickly.

That is all.

What struck me the most about this reading was the phrase “Don’t worry so much.” This is a theme that has come up for me a number of times in various ways over recent months.

It’s a bit irritating, because I don’t really consider myself a worrier. And compared with some members of my extended family, I am indeed an amateur. When I was younger, listening to my relatives discover something new to worry about, and then congratulating themselves on the discovery, made me want to scream.

So I don’t want to be a worrier–and yet, I recognize the truth that I do experience–shall we say–persistent concern about the outcomes of key situations in my life.

I believe that things will work out, and that I live in a benevolent Universe, but I think it’s fair to say I am not continually relaxed in that belief, in my faith that, no matter what, all will be well in the end.

I began to think about making a SoulCollage card about faith, to anchor a way of being that is the opposite of worry. As I began to think about what this might look like, I realized I’d already made this card, quite recently–and that it was the one I’d chosen when prompted to add a fourth card to my reading–my card So safe, so loved.

This week, I want to relax in the knowledge that all will be well–and I hope you’ll join me.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

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On the seventh day, she rested

sweet dreams

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. –Genesis 2:1-3, KJV

This is my goal today, to rest, and not do any work. It’s a bit late for no work, though, as I have already done laundry, run the dishwasher, picked up after the dogs outside, and sorted some paperwork. I’m pretty sure all of that was work.

Now, though, I plan to rest.

Yesterday my Amazon order arrived, with a lovely new book (new to me, anyway) from an author I like. I started reading it in the late evening last night, but was too tired to focus properly. Today, I’ll be able to take it all in.

I also picked up a couple of magazines at the bookstore yesterday, chosen for the images as well as the content. I may take a look at those.

I am appropriately attired for a day of rest–still wearing my cherry-print flannel pajamas. I have no plans to change!

Medicinal chocolate? It’s on the menu. And I’ve already taken a short nap.

I’m wishing for both of us–you and I–a lovely day of rest.

This post is illustrated with my SoulCollage card Sweet dreams.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

 

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder

Rumi

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. –Rumi

On New Year’s Eve, I was asked if I’d made any New Year’s resolutions, and I mentioned this quote from Rumi that I’d recently seen and loved.

I think that mostly I’m a lamp, and sometimes a ladder or a lifeboat–but it’s difficult to accurately assess your own contribution, or anyone else’s, for that matter. It’s often impossible to know what impact we’re having, or will have. But it is possible to know whether I’m creating light, or darkness … that much I can tell.

I remember a coworker from years ago who told me she volunteered at a suicide prevention hotline. I’m not sure whether it occurred to me then, but it certainly does now, that she must have had a very particular reason for choosing that volunteer opportunity. She was a lifeboat.

We can, though, be lifeboats without ever knowing it. I’m reminded of an account in Michael Newton’s fascinating Destiny of Souls, which I’ve written about before. (Michael Newton’s story is somewhat similar to Brian Weiss‘s. He was a highly skeptical hypnotherapist who was into science, not new age stuff, when he accidentally regressed a subject to a time frame he didn’t even believe in–one prior to the subject’s current life. His work is different than Weiss’s in that he focuses fairly exclusively on the period between lives, from death to reincarnation.)

In the account I’m thinking of, when the subject completed his life, he learned that one of the most important accomplishments of his lifetime occurred when he stopped one day on the street to comfort a woman who was crying in despair. Had he been asked to list his accomplishments, that day wouldn’t have even crossed his mind–but on that day, he was a lifeboat.

How we interact with other people is key, but I believe being a lifeboat applies to all sentient beings, such as the many cats and dogs who cross our paths. I brake for squirrels and birds, and the life of every lizard in my garden is important. Caring for animals who need our help, even keeping an organic garden, is another way to be a lifeboat.

Being a ladder is, I think, a bit tricky. To me, it is saying, Here’s a possible next step, a higher vibration, love rather than fear, a way to lift yourself higher, to move forward. But in every case, the choice to see by the light of the lamp, to step into the lifeboat or onto the ladder, is not ours. People, even animals–who in my experience are often easier to reach–can and do refuse the light and the help at hand.

Even so and nonetheless–be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

There will be days when, to put it bluntly, it will seem that no one is interested in your light. There will be days when people overtly choose the darkness. That can be heartbreaking–but shedding light in darkness is its own reward.

If you persist, there will also come a day when you find out you’ve made a difference–that someone has seen by your light, stayed afloat, climbed a rung of your ladder. That is a truly wonderful day.

Whichever kind of day it is, each day of this new year, I want to be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

This post is illustrated by the SoulCollage card I made today.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

So safe, and so loved

Safe

Last night, late in the evening, we had a thunderstorm–and my dog Gracie hates thunderstorms. She runs around barking at the storm, and she is not kidding; she gets an adrenaline rush and her heart beats faster. I completely get this. I know she lived outside for awhile before she came to me to be fostered–and never left. (She had been seized in a 5000-dog puppy mill raid. She had escaped the wire cages inside, and was living with other dogs outside. Virtually all the other dogs were bigger, as the mill specialized in Huskies and Beagles, and all the outside dogs were fed and watered from two bowls.)

I have read the advice not to comfort dogs during storms, and I believe it to be (and this is putting it mildly) utter nonsense. Gracie had nestled into a spot next to me on the soft quilt on my bed, but I decided to pick her up and hold her (she’s a very small Sheltie) while I reminded her that now, she is so safe, and so loved, and has nothing to fear from storms. She rested her head on my shoulder, and as the thunder continued in the distance, went to sleep and began to dream animal dreams.

As I held her, having recently reflected on the year now gone, I had a sense of being held myself, in the arms of the Universe, angels, guides, and ancestors. I think we are all, ultimately, so safe, and so loved.

This post is illustrated with the SoulCollage card I made today, So safe, so loved.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

A reading for the New Year

Happy New Year! And thank you for being with me for the journey in 2014, the year now passed. It was a proving ground for sure!

I’m thrilled that my words here were read in 57 countries last year. When I think how much communication has changed in just my adult lifetime, this amazes me. Early in my career, I was secretary of the local chapter of my professional organization for several years, and I printed, copied, stapled, stamped, and mailed the minutes to the other board members. In those years, having 56 penpals would have been a great way to be read in 57 countries! Now, I can just click Publish. A little miracle right there.

I’m also really pleased that some of my most-read posts last year were also some of those that meant the most to me, about some pretty important things … letting go of judgment, releasing bitterness, and rising above the ego. I’m so glad you found them!

This year I continued my tradition of a SoulCollage card reading for the new year (below). Last year I made a single card on New Year’s Eve, the first one in the reading, to represent my unknown path in the new year. This year, I made two cards for this reading ahead of time to represent two major themes–the heart card and the thoroughbred card.

All my best wishes for a New Year that brings you every change your heart desires!

path

2014 was a difficult year, but you came through it with flying colors.

Winding was the path, stony the way, but you were guided every step of the way.

That is all.

Heart 2

Your heart will indeed expand, in many ways. It will be beautiful–and enlightening.

That is all.

Time to go

It is time to go, now–it wasn’t before. You will be even calmer this year. You have plenty of time for all you need to do. Just one way now–forward.

That is all.

Thoroughbred

This year you will leap over the competition with ease. You will no longer be confined–you will be free. Free to do more of what you like–respected for your abilities.

You will remain pointed in the right direction due to your spiritual path.

You’ll feel the wind in your hair–exhilarating.

That is all.

The writer

You will continue to write–what you do best, what you’re meant to do. … Keep your pen sharp–to distinguish between right and wrong.

That is all.

 

There will be love–much love. Much comfort. Much grace.

That is all.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

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