Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Christmas Gift

Have you ever had life kick you in the ass to remind you that your life isn't so bad? That happened to me today. I've been in a terrible funk the last few days because I didn't get a job I really, really wanted. It's been "Merry F***ing Christmas, Life sucks" since I got the news. Then, tonight as we were closing the shop, a customer we have known for the past 7 months, who is battling cancer, stopped in because she was in need and felt she had nowhere else to turn. She was just informed that she has 6 months to live and that this will be her last Christmas. She had no gas, no medicine and no presents for her grandchildren. Community Green opened the entire shop to her and told her to shop for whatever she wanted/needed. This generous woman makes baby blankets for children's hospitals and we had previously donated material to her to assist in her project. Tonight we provided her money for gas and medicine, Christmas gifts & decorations, along with a bag full of material for her blanket project. She said she just wants to spend the time she has left making baby blankets. With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I suddenly felt very ashamed of my whining and bad attitude. I should consider myself extremely fortunate as I have my health as well as good friends and family.

Ironically, the tarot card of the day on Thursday (when I received what I call the "Fuck you very much & by the way you suck" rejection letter) was the World card. The World could be thought of as a time of rest, the time between death and life where the soul awaits reincarnation in the material world and - for the briefest of periods - becomes one with the universe from which it came. All the lessons learned have been put to use. All the tasks accomplished have born fruit and brought prosperity. Every cause has had its effects and all of the diverse threads of effects have been woven into a tapestry of your life as you have lived it. Now is a time to enjoy your wisdom, savour your prosperity and admire the personal artwork you have created, for soon you will start it all over again. The journey may have stopped for the moment, and it may have transcended the plane on which you started, but the journey of the soul never ends.

A new beginning is found in the end, the pieces are in place for a new journey to start, and after that one is completed, another will surely commence. After a glimpse of the Divine you return to manifestation, sure of your convictions and in your ability to someday see the face of God again. The cycle is as endless as the wreath that surrounds the scene, tied together by the ribbons of Divine force, and spiraling around the universe until the end of time. The World card marks a time in your life in which one cycle is over and the next is just beginning. It represents the final achievement of all your worldly expectations and desires, and the imminent approach of new desires to follow and new goals to peruse. The World itself remains the ultimate goal, because it is an affirmation of life and an arrival at a perfect state of harmony and bliss. This is the confirmation of success and the reward for all your trials and ordeals. With the coming of the World comes assured success and material well-being, as well as emotional fulfillment, and growth in the spiritual sense.

In the material world, this card's energy often manifests as a promotion to a higher position or an initiation to a new level of knowledge that was only dreamed of before. But this time of rejoicing and happiness, this peak of ecstasy, merely gives us a glimpse of the next mountain on the horizon. So once again you must step up to the cliff and leap off, ready to start a new Fool's journey and find what secrets lie in this new level of existence. The cycle of the Major Arcana begins where it ends and ends where it begins; start and finish are no longer the ends of straight line, but coincident points on the circumference of a circle that encapsulates your life. The present is now. The future is now. Eternity is now.

I can't help but think it mean the end of my career in domestic violence. If my experience tonight isn't a sign, I don't know what is. Perhaps I am supposed to be focusing all my energy on Community Green?! I have found it extremely difficult to give up that part of me that devoted 25 years toward ending violence against women. It's like giving up a part of myself. But it might just be time to let it go. So Merry Christmas everyone and please take time time this holiday season to cherish the ones you love.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

18 & 8

I'm a little pensive tonight as today is Hannah's 18th birthday. [Happy Birthday, Hannah!] While I have been preparing for this moment since the day she was born, I'm still not ready. I lost a few years of her growing up after Mike's accident and just as we were getting back on track, the cancer hit. I fear she had to grow up way too fast. Life has taken us on a journey we could not have expected. Luckily she has adapted and faced it head on. She has become a beautiful young woman with a good head on her shoulders. We are extremely proud of her.

And today's tarot card was the Eight of Cups. The lesson the Eight of Cups gives us is this: the past is gone and it cannot be changed, so you might as well make the most of the future. You cannot go backward and you cannot stay where you are, and the time has come for you to move on. This is in many ways a card of self-discovery, urging you to pursue your true path and find something better. An old ambition may have to be abandoned but a new one will certainly arise. Recognizing when it is time to move on, away from difficult times, is the primary theme of the Eight of Cups. So, is this talking about Hannah's growing up or my employment situation? I did have an interview today so we'll soon see what comes of it.

Another type of energy stagnation illustrated here is simple lethargy, the lack of motivation and desire to achieve. Such apathy generally manifests as complaining about how good the past was and how bleak the future looks. I try not to dwell on life before Mike's accident because there is no going back. That life was good and I miss it. Tying into the theme, and usually fitting with the card's symbolism, is the notion that physical sacrifices must be made for spiritual growth to happen. The card show the man walking away from his eight golden cups, neatly stacked, to the barren wasteland ahead. This represents a search for higher truth when the everyday truths of the material world are no longer sufficient to satisfy the soul. In many ways the Eight of Cups is tied to the Hermit and the Hanged Man, who give up their friends and their freedom, respectively, to seek wisdom. The sacrifice intended on the Eight of Cups comes from the heart, but the wisdom earned fills the void that is created. Geez, what more do I need to give up? My marital relationship, my life's work, a car, a house and one breast are gone. I'm not sure there's much left to give. Spiritual enlightenment had better come soon!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Just call me Pariah

"I have to say that life has gotten so much better since I have arrived in Santa Cruz. It is truly a magical place, the beaches have healing powers and there is something to be said for eliminating those who bring negative energy into your life. My friend, Tami Tunnell, says negative energy is like a cancer that eats away at your soul and body and as a cancer survivor, I believe her. I suggest - cut them out, get alone with your on thoughts, closer to God and take care of your body, mind and soul. And never forget to honor and support your family and TRUE friends emotionally and spiritually. You never know, you might be the only positive loving voice they encounter in a day. Peace!!!! "
~ Dawn Fridrich

Ok, so I'm thinking about changing my name to Pariah, because that's what I'm feeling like! I was turned down for yet another job today. (It's hell to be unwanted!) And to top it all off, I was told by someone who just met me for the first time today that I needed to get my priorities straight. Excuse me?! I'm fascinated by those who can judge me without having any idea about me or my life. Maybe I should have asked exactly what I should do differently? But I am not willing to hang on to the negative energy. Reading what Dawn posted yesterday on Facebook was just what I needed.

Have you ever had a similar conversation or incident that left you upset for a day or two? How can you release that negative energy? One easy way is to simply brush it off. When people often offer this well intentioned advice, they aren't speaking literally - but here I am. Literally, take one hand and brush your arms, legs, head, and back. Understand that energy literally sits around us so wipe your body clean, like you were removing a layer of dust from your skin. You'll instantly feel better as the cloud of bad energy is brushed from your immediate surroundings. It's best to do this outside and ideally in nature (like on the beach).

Another technique is to shrug it off by shrugging your shoulders, literally. Energy, especially the energy of resentment, which is the feeling that someone has done something wrong to you, often sits in our shoulders - along our gallbladder meridian. By shrugging your shoulders up and down several times, you're helping that energy move and when it moves, it can be removed - instead of sitting stuck inside you. Blowing it off is yet another technique that can help and again, literally. Breathe deeply and exhale quickly and forcefully through your mouth. This will help remove the poor energy from your internal environment.

I think that, short of joining my friend Dawn in sunny Cal-i-forn-ia, my priorities are in order. And while I was offended and discouraged, I do recognize that I am blessed with family and good friends, Community Green and roller derby. Dawn's post was the perfect reminder that no matter what, my friends are there. It's nice to know that someone still loves me!