Eight of Wands with Seven of Cups

Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche
Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche

Once again, I come to this blog with a couple of cards that seem to have a bit of a personal message. Whether you are anything like me, or nothing like me, or somewhat resemble me from the knees on down, there may be a message in these two cards for you as well.

First of all, I want to preface this post with the promise that this is in no way another New Year’s themed memorandum. I’m not vowing to eat more of this or less of that, I’m not planning a lifelong commitment into a workout regimen that will actually fade out in the third week of the year, nor am I promising to be nicer or less snarky to myself or anyone else. I’m not really a resolution maker, as I’m a proponent of the “the best time to start anything is now” credo rather than saving it for a monumental milestone marker date that’s highlighted on a monthly calendar containing pictures of puppies in baskets.

For me, why decide to start something anew on the annual Day 1 when there are so many things I have yet to complete? Admittedly I am one of those forms of folk that like to have a myriad of projects, many irons in the fire.  My grandmother, having recognized the multifaceted attention span that is inherent in us Gemini, often tossed me the “jack of all trades, master of none” idiom (or its Barbadian equivalent) as a harbinger of a life filled with the detritus of incomplete endeavors.

As I take inventory of the works-in-progress that lay strewn about in my mental hopper I see a fictional story, a non-fictional writing concept, an improvement on the coffee roaster, the continuing pursuit of my certifications for work, the next assignment in line toward my metaphysical theology degree, another podcast or reawakening the dormant one, a little music recording… that’s only to name a fraction of them. The list is inexhaustible yet exhausting to ponder. A small thread of anxiety shows itself when I try to discern which deserves the lion’s share of my attention.

Each and every one of these endeavors excites me, so I cannot begin to prioritize them by importance. That’s the trouble with these multiple interests; as each moment passes one of these happen to stop on the wheel’s flapper to say “pick me”, yet the wheel gets respun time and time again as the sun marches across the sky. How do I decide what is most important or most deserving of my time, or which I want to do above all others?

The trick here is to step back and look at it all from a thousand feet away. When all these little projects and interest get displayed on a single large canvas, they take on a completely different perspective. I can look at all these accomplishments I’m aspiring to complete in one singular theme. The question is not about importance or priority or ultimate desire, it is one of purpose and point, not about what I want to accomplish, but who I want to be.

As I stand back and soak in these endeavors in perspective panoramic, I seem to see a mish-mosh of disparate plans and projects, but my Gemini soul gazes upon the vista with great pleasure. I see a collection of tiny pieces of projects, each of which in turn catches the sun as it crosses the sky to create a glint to catch my attention at that moment in time, only until the next piece winks its light at me with the shifting azimuth. It is delighting in the distractions of the dabblings. It is the pleasure of engaging in a tarantella with a myriad of projects that exhilarates me. It is essentially the pure joy in being a jack of all trades, much more gratifying than being the master of one.

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The Chariot

A man drives a chariot being pulle by two sphynxs, one black, one white, of which he controls
A man drives a chariot being pulle by two sphynxs, one black, one white, of which he controls

Manifesting our desired outcome is about recognizing a desire, setting an intention, then working toward the established goal. Throughout this process the true source of power is ourselves.

The desire realized is our own desire. We are the ones setting the intention for ourselves, and we are taking the action required to achieve our goal. Therefore, we are always in control and continually have total control over our journey.

At times circumstances may appear to be outside our purview. We may feel that external events have inserted themselves into our lives, leaving us with few to no options available to us. Yet there is never a time we are left without options. The truth is that the options to us may change and shift based on circumstances, but we still have choices. Nothing happens to us; rather, things happen, then we choose how to respond to the events that have occurred.

As long as our goals remain consistent with our desire, they are attainable. When a massive boulder lands on our path, it only serves as a block. It does not in and of itself demolish the goal. We may be able to move the boulder, climb over it, circumnavigate the boulder… there are always several options available to us as to how to move forward. The boulder has not taken away our ability to choose, it has only introduced a new set of choices we need to make in order to get past it and continue on our journey.

The only true impediment to any goal is when we make the choice to no longer pursue the goal. It is not external factors that have forced this choice upon us, it is us changing our intention, shifting our desire away from the one we once held. In that moment, we are employing our power to change our destiny to match a different desire, but the power continues to be, as it always has been, in our hands.

Judgement

Judgement
An angel above blows a trumpet as the deceased arise from their coffins, arms raised in praise

Yes, tenacity and hard work are absolutely essential when it comes to manifesting our desired outcomes. There are times when we spend what seems an eternity on the road to our destination, where we have spent an inordinate amount of time applying our efforts to produce the results we want.

Sometimes in our efforts we create such a pattern of toil and perseverance we find we get caught up in it. We have put our head down and powered through, then come to find out we’ve missed our stop when we weren’t looking out the window. We have silenced the children in the back seat of our minds who have been continually asking “are we there yet?”, then we have developed road hypnosis while gripping the wheel and mentally repeating the mantra “just drive. Keep driving.”

During our extended efforts it is important to pull over at the next rest stop and take a break, look at our road map. We need to evaluate our position and find out if we have truly arrived at where we want to be in life. We may believe we will know when we get where we want to go, but self-doubt and uncertainty can creep in. It will tell us that we still aren’t ready for that big goal which we’ve worked so hard to attain, that we still need to continue our efforts. We will tell ourselves the moment isn’t perfect, or that all the pieces are not yet in place, so we must continue to power through.

At times the hardest thing to accept is the fact that we have reached our goal, that it is time to open the door and walk through, where life as we know it will completely change. If we let the fear of this change grip us, we will convince ourselves there is still more work to do and deny the fact that it is time to embrace the destiny that we have finally reached.

Six of Wands

A man crowned with a laurel branch  holding a wreath topped staff rides horseback alongside a crowd with staves raised
A man crowned with a laurel branch holding a wreath topped staff rides horseback alongside a crowd with staves raised

What is a great way to accomplish those big achievements we set for ourselves? By recognizing and acknowledging the small achievements we accomplish.

Part of the process of learning to manifest our intentions is learning to feel the sense of accomplishment. With each accomplishment we acknowledge, we condition ourselves to become used to the feeling of taking positive steps toward our goals, of moving forward.

So often we get so focused on the goal that our pursuit of it can feel like the proverbial carrot-on-a-stick. It seems as if no matter what steps we take we do not seem to be any closer to our goal. However, every grand achievement is comprised of many many smaller achievements. Even the tiniest achievement is a victory upon itself.

Perhaps we only spent five minutes on a step toward a goal that might seem years away. That means we are now five minutes closer. That was five minutes we felt was important enough to invest our time and energy in our intended outcome rather than a diversion or a distraction.

Many of us have learned to be more self-critical growing up than self-approving. As a result we focus on where we fall short of our goals or our inability to reach them as soon as we like. We may base our self-worth on whether or not we have attained a given goal or station in life, feeling that we are inadequate if we are not yet there, rather than acknowledging we are moving in that direction, recognizing we are in a state of becoming that which we want to be.

Celebrating even the tiniest victories helps our minds and bodies learn and recognize the feelings of success. No step we take is too trivial. Acknowledging each step, not matter how insignificant it appears, works to reprogram and overwrite the negative thought processes that impede our own progress. When we learn to continually feel the sense of accomplishment we get used to having that feeling. We then find ourselves pursuing that feeling automatically, without having to put as much pressure on ourselves, and we move more effortlessly along the path we set for ourselves. Before we know it, we have attained the goal we set out for without even realizing it.

The balance between content and inspired

I love inspirational writings. I really enjoy wrapping myself around words that are meant to remind us of all we’re capable of, words that are intended to reach into our souls and awaken our fullest potential, stripping our limits away like slowly peeling, fading wallpaper. Continue reading The balance between content and inspired

The weekly challenge

So I’ve just stepped up to the post-a-week challenge.

WordPress is encouraging a post-a-day and a post-a-week challenge. It’s not a contest. You don’t win anything that you can put on a bookshelf or display case or hang on a ribbon around your neck. It’s a challenge, a way of setting a goal for yourself to encourage you to develop a new habit or adopt a routine into your lifestyle, this one obviously set around blogging.

I’ve never been very good at these types of challenges. I was always the kid in school that tanked in the classes that didn’t hold my interest, though I excelled at the ones that captivated me. Accomplishing a task solely on the basis of it being a set expectation never worked for me.

So why am I taking on this challenge? Do I feel a need to learn to take on expectations that are thrust unto me? In a sense I could be cheating at this particular one, as I’ve been pretty consistent in posting to this blog, so how much of a stretch is it for me to post weekly? It it really just a “gimme”, a cakewalk?

There is also a post-a-day challenge. If it were really about the challenge, about pushing boundaries and setting new patterns, wouldn’t this be more appropriate to take on? Currently I do not post to this blog on a daily basis, nowhere near that frequently, in fact. I do journaling offline as well, but not daily.

This particular endeavor is often inspired for me. Even when I don’t think I’m inspired, when I begin to write the words will start to form and the flow develops. Sometimes it’s a matter of pushing out the congestion which is actually inspiration without definition, an amorphous blob of impetus that is dammed behind a wall of ambiguity of subject matter, of congruent ideas.

The problem comes when I do try to force it, when there is no congestion, when there is a vacuum where an inspiration would otherwise reside, when motivation is available in surplus but source material is absent. If I were to take on the daily blogging endeavor, I would be revisited by the resentment of my young adulthood, of an obligation I feel no compulsion to fulfill for the sake of the obligation alone.

Each post is born of a catharsis, of the gestation of my thoughts, emotions, and experiences combined until they have ripened to a stage where they are ready to be harvested and posted. Even then the subject of each writing often gets further processed beyond the initial posting time. To write a post to check a box of mandated frequency would simply be akin to serving up an unbaked cake. The thoughts, emotions, and experiences that are the basic ingredients of these postings need to bake in my own mental oven.

However, the weekly post feels right. As my own minister I am entitled to give a weekly sermon to myself, am I not? A week should be plenty of time for the ingredients to cook up, to ripen in the sun of my life experience. So I agree to take on the challenge. The key for me here is knowing myself. I know where I am comfortable, but not afraid to stretch it. I also know how far I can stretch before risking a severe injury.