Strength with The Chariot

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Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

This goes out to all the control freaks out there and to the control freak that lies within us all.

Control is like trying to grab an eel swimming through an aquarium full of vegetable oil. It elusively works against itself. The harder we work at asserting control over any situation the less control we actually have over it.

Think of the times when we felt if we could only get everything in order, if we could get everyone to cooperate with the plan (the plan of course being our own plan), if we could get all the pieces to stay in one place. We feel like we’re trying to figure out how many dollars we have but we’re trying to stack it into neat piles while in a wind tunnel.

The less control we feel like we have, the harder we work at maintaining control. We apply a greater assertion of our will, we lay down more decrees and demands, we build a higher wall and a deeper moat to keep the critters more tightly contained and the predators at greater bay.

What we seem to fail to realize is that the more we exert our control, the less control we really have. It’s an ironic oxymoron wrapped in a contradictory dichotomy. Ever watch someone try to organize an event to their level of expectations that needs to be measured with a micrometer? They run around frantically, dashing from place to place, task to task, lackey to lackey like a pinball between bumpers. To step back and view the panorama of control corralling, it never appears they have much of it. In their attempt to have everything perfectly set and timed they behave like a mechanical whirling dervish that had coffee spilt on its motherboard.

To continue this concept of contradiction it is when we lighten the reins and loosen our grip that we exert the greatest control. True control is moving the greatest weight with the least effort. When we exert our will over others despite their wishes, our demands are met with inherent resistance beneath the surface, which maintains and accumulates pressure over time. However, when we align our will with the desires of others, we will find that we hardly need to exert much energy at all to accomplish what we desire.

True control is found in the midpoint of the fulcrum. It is found in the place of balance of any situation. On one hand, there is effort required on our part, but there is also required a release as well. It feels so counterintuitive to gain control by letting go, but this is all too often the case.

If we want to guide a situation in the direction of our intention, we have to not only know where to apply our energy, we have to understand where we need to pull our hands away from it. This points to the most often overlooked yet important aspect of maintaining control of any situation; it is in the act of self-control. It is knowing when our efforts are best applied and knowing the point of where our efforts yield very little. Beyond this point we are only applying our efforts to avoid feeling helpless when the situation is beyond our influence. We are simply reinforcing the illusion and expending our precious reserves. The practice of self-control has at its center the act of acceptance and allowing, which is one of the most challenging truths for any control freak to embrace.

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The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man
A man hangs upside-down suspended by one leg, a halo of enlightenment surrounds his head

When we set our intentions to manifest what we wish to bring into our lives, we are looking to add into our lives that which we do not yet have, that which we are currently without. However, we need to be aware that we may have to make room for what we want to attract, which means surrendering something we currently have.

Everything has a cost. Often the cost to achieving our desires is giving up something we currently have, specifically something we enjoy or something we have grown quite accustomed to having. It is easy to give up a job we don’t want so we can land our ideal job, or to move out of the mediocre house into our dream home. What we often forget to consider is that other aspects of our life have to change to accommodate our new conditions. Continue reading The Hanged Man

Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups
A knight steadily rides on horseback carrying a chalice, a river, mountains and a clear sky in the background

As our emotions serve as the fuel for our inner creative force, it is important for us to experience them and allow them to flow in order to understand them.

We often learn from an early age that some emotions are negative, harmful, or undesirable. As a result we have developed ways to surpress these unwanted feelings. Boys are taught in our society that it is not appropriate to cry or appear vulnerable through their emotions. Anger is frequently labeled as being negative and unwelcome. Yet all these emotions have their genesis, and to stifle their expression or deny their existence is to surrender the opportunity to use their powerful force to align ourselves with our own creative energy.

That is not to say that we would do well to fully act on our emotional state without discretion or restraint. Rather, it is to acknowledge our feelings as valid, even embracing them and our right to their presence in us as a natural byproduct of the expression of who we are as unique individuals. To surpress our feelings is to say we are not entitled to that which we truly desire in life.

While we can intellectualize what any given emotion means for us we will fall short of discovering our personal truth until we allow it to run its natural course. Emotions function like currents of a body of water, they propel us in a given direction based on the desires that gave birth to the emotional state. Only upon embracing our right to the emotions will we find the current carrying us to our goals. To deny their right to exist is akin to fastening our intentions to a heavy weight and sinking it to the depths of the lake of emotions, only to remain adrift on the stillness of stoicism, moving in no particular direction.

Though an emotion may be uncomfortable, it is not an indication that it is wrong. It is functioning as does a grain of sand in an oyster. The oyster embraces the irritant rather than denying its existence, from which is produced a wondrous pearl of beauty and value.

Coming face-to-face with shadow

I feel as of late I’m beginning to understand the idea behind shadow work. The idea of shadow work arises from shamanic practices, which approaches dealing with the dark aspects of the self as a means of spiritual growth, of moving forward through the aspects of ourselves that cause us to create our own limitations. Continue reading Coming face-to-face with shadow

Reopening a door

It’s time to reopen a door. Perhaps this door is synonymous with a wound…

As I enjoy using the tag surfing aspect of WordPress to discover other insightful and interesting blogs, I have lately found several that have been very raw and honest. This I truly admire, as that was the initial intent of this blog, to find the boundaries of where I feel vulnerable and sensitive about who and what I am and attempt to step over each of them. Continue reading Reopening a door

The only way out is through

I woke up a bit off-kilter this morning, tilted 37 degrees off my axis.

I felt that odd buzzing that surrounded my head, like a cloud of tiny invisible wasps were stringing up live electrical wires on a static-ridden pre-thunderstorm afternoon. Continue reading The only way out is through

When a situation is more functional than optimal

Often situations that seem less than optimal are actually functional. Perhaps it is more often than often… perhaps it is always.

Yesterday we had a less than optimal situation, albeit a minor one in the grand scheme of things. We went to pick up some plants we had ordered through our nephew’s preschool. The trays of plants were laid out in rows grouped by last names alphabetically. Ours were supposed to be in the C through K group. There were a few D’s… but no plants tagged for Dear. The plants for our friends and coworkers were there. All of our orders had been placed at the same time by Jacque. But ours were absent. Our name wasn’t even on the list. Continue reading When a situation is more functional than optimal