Openness; Card of the Week, 7th December 2015

 

card 12.7.2015

This month’s theme is about giving and sharing, and this week’s card is a great reminder of one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves and others: OPENNESS

Sounds great… but what exactly is openness?   Openness manifests in all sorts of different ways but it always does one thing:  invites energy IN instead of repelling it.

Think of someone with an open mind willing to listen to your side of the story, or think about how some people feel really open and accepting and have open, friendly faces instead of pinched, closed or angry ones.   Or what about the person who is open to ideas?  Openness is all about having an open and willing heart.

Why is that so important? Because if we are going to get what we want (new relationships, jobs, opportunities, abundance, etc.) openness is required to attract what we want and to take the practical steps needed to make progress.  If you’re not open, after all, you’re going to feel that energy manifest as boredom, frustration, pessimism, feeling hopeless, lost, agitated, antsy, or dull.

Giving the gift of openness is a great way to increase your OWN open heart or help yourself open up if you’re feeling closed down or pinched up.   Spend a little time this week brainstorming about how you feel when you’re open and how you have given that openness to other people in the past.  Next, think about some ways that you could give the gift of openness to others and yourself.

Maybe for you that means being really open with your spouse and having a great conversation. Maybe you’ll decide that being frustrated is holding you back and you want to give yourself permission to wiggle your toes in the sand and just be open to whatever is coming, whenever it comes. Maybe you’ll open your wallet or heart or kitchen to someone who needs you this week.  Maybe you’ll open yourself up to the possibility of having fun doing something totally different than your normal routine.  Maybe you’ll open yourself to possibilities you haven’t known or seen yet.

Being open means you’re not focusing on what hasn’t worked before, or on  the timeline or manner that your mind suggests, but rather that you’re up for what’s coming without judgements or preconceptions about what that will be.   I hope you get and GIVE the gift of openness this week Smile

 

About this deck: The Original Angel Cards: Inspirational Messages and Meditations by Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake is a set of 72 playfully illustrated, tiny cards for inspiration, creativity, meditation and more.  It is published by Allegro Corporation.

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Coming around; Card of the week 12 October 2015

card 10.12.2015

 

 

This week’s card  (little piece of cardstock about the size of a penny) is from a series of little bug cartoons I made ages ago illustrating some of the most simple (but tough to relate to) energetic principles … kid-style.    [ Part of me….ego….. didn’t even want to use these in the weekly cards blog, “No! Don’t show these off… I’m an ‘artist’ now!”   but I didn’t listen and here they are! LOL)

This one was inspired by one of the  favourite sayings of elders in my clan, “What goes around comes around,” meaning, roughly, you better watch your butt because if you screw up, you’ll get what’s coming to you. It’s typically a phrase of karmic retribution. Or is it? Here I imagined it as a bug patting another on the head and that this act of intention gets passed forward, on and on.  The energetic principle here is one of balance and of, “what you give, you’ll receive.”

How does this relate to this month’s theme of communication?   Most people mirror one another in communication. It is part of evolutionary social science, or instinctual, but its almost a sure thing that if someone is upset, it’s really hard to not take on a testy tone yourself, for example.

The good news is that mirroring can be a conscious choice.   If you were feeling fine until you started talking to Debbie Downer the bank teller, you do have a choice about whether you carry this energy forward.  No matter how others around you are feeling and no matter how others are portraying themselves (say, in a difficult conversation with a family member or partner)  you can still make a choice to be conscious and have the intention to learn and to understand as well as communicate your true feelings instead of matching their crazy and flying off the handle yourself.    You can put a different ingredient into the mix this week and get a better outcome!

 

Even though your every instinct might be to mirror your partner, or even to take on their emotions as your own, you can make your own choices and if you are honest, compassionate and considerate, the chances are much better that the other person will be too. Other ways to think about “what goes around comes around” this week is to take a look at what your objectives are for the month and overall.   Are you looking for love? Then maybe you can BE a loving source to others. Are you looking for good customers? BE a good customer.   Do you want people to see your hurts? See theirs.  Do you want abundance to flow? Be on top of your money game, respect your finances and share with others.

 

So much energy focus this month is in how the world mirrors what we feel and how we relate to the world.  “The world is what you are,” as the saying goes.  What are you putting into the machine? How are you feeling? How are you treating yourself?  Is it with anxiety, impatience or dissatisfaction?  If so, is it reasonable to expect that the world will somehow mirror back to you something DIFFERENT than what you are?

 

Have a great week!

 

 

Friday Toon: Showing Love

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Click on the photo to view larger.

This week’s cartoon illustration is about something we all feel from time to time;  the person we care about doesn’t care about us because they’re not demonstrating how they care in a way WE would, or in the way we think they should. That doesn’t mean that their caring is truly diminished though.  They may use different words to express love than you would, or  cook instead of writing epic, thoughtful emails, or  they may rub your back and listen instead of buying a gift, or the reverse could be true – they could buy you fancy plates instead of listening to a story you wanted to tell.  Sometimes it’s best to look at another person’s unique expression of love instead of our own.  Mom might be a hugger, sis might be a listener and our partner might like to mow the lawn for us.   Expressions of love of all kinds are often around us if we would choose to see outside our expectations and our own way of doing things.

Every week I do a new illustration or cartoon, so stay tuned!

Friday Toon 5.1.2015

 

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Bee happy, don’t keep score!    Keeping score is great for Yahtzee but not so great for fostering good relationships.   Don’t we really only  compete with someone we feel is an opponent?    Ask yourself:  do you want to be in a relationship with an opponent or an ally?  Adding up who does what also keeps every one in ego (ME FIRST!) instead of focusing on a sense of teamwork.   There will be times when one person seems to be doing more or less, but that’s because relationships are complex and not everything is something we can “score.”  We all have different abilities and skills that come out at different times and in the end there is balance in a teamwork relationship.

Have a great weekend!

Commitment and Love: Card of the Week 9th February 2015

card 2.9.2015

Aww, what a great message for Valentine’s Day! A celebration of commitment and LOVE for the week!  Who doesn’t want love to stay true, to stand by our side on the long  and curious path of life.  The big “C” COMMITMENT has great cachet in the world of romance fiction, and self help books. According to the world at large; we’re looking for commitment.   After all, we’re taught that commitment is the way in which love finds us.   We learn that it is something other people give to us and we can’t really rise up into the pink, fluffy, heart-shaped clouds of love without it.

While true love and commitment go hand in hand, in reality, it may be just a little bit different than what we’ve always been taught.  Commitment isn’t just a word, a “get”, a thing to WIN or wear on your finger… it’s a state to BE and to give others. Commitment doesn’t quit.

This week’s energy is all about going the full distance, staying true, and not doing anything half arsed.   We’re invited to bring our full intention and conviction to the people and things that are most important to us right here and now. Here are just some of many  ideas on how to celebrate commitment and love this week (if you skip all the others, the first on the list is a MUST):

1)  COMMIT TO YOU  Give yourself the gift of love and commitment. Celebrate those forces within yourself. Allow yourself to be the FIRST recipient of these gifts because without them, it’s impossible to truly love or commit to anything or anyone else. Give yourself kindness, acceptance, and belief in yourself.  Give yourself TIME.  Commit to finding the things that make your soul full, which make your heart smile, which feel like “purpose” to you.   (Without that ability to connect to what makes YOU happy, you’ll forever be looking for others to make you happy; an impossible order to fill).   Commit to whatever mountain climbing, institute building, opera singing, song learning,  100 sit up challenges or tasks that can shape your pride in yourself and participate in the world. Commit to yourself for a full day.  Buy yourself a dozen roses.

2)  COMMIT TO YOUR PARTNER  Do you sometimes spend more time wanting to GET something from your sweetheart  than you do enjoying them?  This week, instead of trying to get that awesome date, that ring, that perfect box of chocolate, that attention or that love, instead focus on the commitment and love that you’re giving.  Give them your presence, your kindness, your humour, your love, and your honestly.   Not as a new technique to “win” their love, mind you… but for REAL.   See what happens when you do. I bet you anything you will feel more commitment from them too!

3)  COMMIT TO YOUR TASK  Have you started a project or gotten some major soul-nudges and hints in January that you need to act on or face?  Are there fields of fire you know you’re ready to walk through? This is the time to commit to the path forward no matter what feelings of uncertainty lie in the way, no matter how much your identity may seem to be changing or crumbling as the new thing takes shape.  Commit to doing what you set out to do.

4) COMMIT TO COMING FORWARD   Have you been harbouring tumultuous feelings of secret love like an emo pack mule? If you’ve ever found yourself thinking or saying, “I’ve loved him/her from afar.. but I’m not sure he/she knows!”  then you probably are.  Instead of slogging this unrequited love around with you for the rest of your days, you could commit to clearly communicate your feelings and be loving.  Being loving means that you’re willing to hear (and accept) what the other person says.  If those feelings are mutual, hooray! You can now start down the path of a romantic connection. If they’re NOT, you can now commit to a new path of discovering the many people in this world who could love you back.

5) COMMIT TO THE RIGHT THINGS Are you committing a lot of  your time, thoughts and emotional energy to someone who is not able to be a true partner or who is not connected to you as you want?   Does it hurt instead of feeling mutual?  It could be because they left or are leaving, or perhaps because you just met and don’t know each other well, or have not yet mutually decided to be a committed couple.   Be honest.  If you answered yes, then your commitment needs some fine-tuning.  Chances are, some of that commitment and intensity you think you’re offering could actually be need and fear.   There are so many more worthy things to commit your energy towards this week. (see #1)   LOVE is within you and around you if you give yourself a chance to change your perspective and let go.

6)  COMMIT TO YOUR OPEN HEART If you’re single and looking for partnership and new friends, commit to the process.  It isn’t always instant and sometimes it takes time to get in the groove of being our authentic and fulfilled selves in the whirly world of online dating, mixers and speed dating. Don’t give up. If you feel like cashing in your profile, sitting at home and pulling the covers up over your head, don’t.    That doesn’t mean that you’ll be an active searcher crawling through the underbrush trying to spear love like a huntress…. instead , it’s more about the internal intention, “I don’t give up on myself, I don’t give up on other people. I do believe in love and my capacity to love.”   There’s no such thing as “committing to find love” –but there IS such a thing as committing to your open heart.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!   And speaking of Valentine’s Day, no matter how romantic you are or how much importance you tie to this day, as I always say — It’s just another day.  It really doesn’t mean the world. Use this day to focus on the bubbly pink hue of love in your OWN heart, but don’t take it too seriously.

 

About this deck:  The Love Pack, by psychologist Chuck Spezzano is an 84 card deck and book set published by C&B.  Cute, modern illustrations, outline simple but powerful concepts of relating.

Romance; Card of the Week 2 February, 2015

card 2.2.2015 1

Look at the happy picture. The moving water and waves (symbolising emotions) glimmering in the sun.  Indeed, this is a month where our emotional lives are lighting up in new and unexpected ways. Even our collective unconscious is strummed towards feelings lately (one only had to tune in to the Super Bowl commercials last night, typically a bastion of beer and babes, to see emotional commercials about aging parents, and heart-tugging adverts about puppies and children.  (Did I just see a campaign by McDonald’s to “pay with love?”)        What should we do with all these feelings running rampant?  Something good I hope!    This week’s cards (there was a jumper) hint towards romance.

Some of you will be overjoyed to see this picture. Some of you might get nervous, but before you look at this picture, see the couple, groan and think, “oh no!”    Read on! – This could be a week of a lot of romantic awakenings and emotional awakenings.  Romance, in this case, is anything that makes your emotions come alive, dance and take notice of the world around you. Romance could be a connection to a partner, but it can also represent the romance with romantic feelings and excitement, a romance with your own heart, or a romance with whatever you’re truly passionate about.

Romance is about the alive heart, beating with possibilities, excitement and wonder. This is the heart that gets invested in things, which fears neither defeat nor isolation. This is the lion heart of love and passion.  If you’re in a relationship, this is an amazing week to explore the terrain of your romantic heart.  Whether or not these are the days of wine and roses, let your heart be tickled by emotions and fondness. Your partner might be sending shivers up your spine, or you may be affirming to them, “YES! This is awesome! I care about you and I want to continue this adventure!”     If you’re single or dating, this is simply about waking your heart back up and feeling more foot-loose.  Feeling the surge of “yes!!  this is possible!” again.

In terms of work, projects and practical things, romance flashes here too! This is a week to let your feelings come alive again, to feel the full rainbow of emotions, and to feel passionate about your life.  No partner brings this to you, after all.  And to have romance on the OUTSIDE you must have romance on the inside too!    For many, this is going to be passion for our purpose.  Being “in love” with work again, feeling special about things that make our heart sing.   (this is great for those who have felt a little “lost” in terms of greater purpose lately).     You may find yourself falling in love with what you’re meant to do to a greater degree or you might discover something in your hobby or artistic passion (OH MY GOSH THAT’s the GREATEST GUITAR PICK EVER!)  that really tickles your fancy.   There’s a lucky answer to a problem…

card 2.2.2015 2

 

The  second, “popper” card (Holding On) is a great companion to Romance.  Wherever we find romance and passion blooming, whether that’s within our selves, for another person, for our job, for life…. we can bet that “holding on” can squash those feelings of excitement and peace.  Here’s the thing, though – holding-on isn’t unusual.  If you think about it, it’s only an expression of that fear we all have about the unknowns of the future, or where life might guide us outside our expectations.   Holding on is just that feeling of “No, I’m scared. I don’t know what the future might bring, I don’t want to change!”      This card is a gentle reminder to us to examine if there’s someone (or something) we’re hanging on to so much that passionate and romance cannot bloom in new places. The figure in the pictures has already packed their bags and wants to roll down the road, while another hangs on to their trouser-cuff for dear life.      This card cautions us that no matter how much we might want to hold on to a situation we would like to change, letting go is our only chance to transcend that pattern and keep from being abandoned victims.   Think Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day (one of my absolute favourite movies ever, consider this your homework if you’ve never seen it!)

Letting go of whatever we’re desperately clinging on to (good or bad, whether it’s a PERSON, THOUGHT HABIT, or THING)  is an immediate way to point our emotional selves towards more romance, more passion, more fiery, “YES!” vibes  whether towards a new person, dating, enjoying life, feeling EMOTIONS again, or just liking work and projects a little more.  We can explore a new sunny day, instead of the same winter-scape over and over.

We’re not going to be desperate or humiliated this week. Nope! This week it will be just a little easier to let go of that metaphorical trouser leg. Stand up, brush ourselves off, see new possibilities. Feel the tingly surge of new emotional tides. Walk along the sand with someone special.   Think about all the wonderful gifts of emotion, passion and care that you have to give to others around you. Let them flow and flow.. just like the ocean in the picture.

Have a romantic and fun week, everybody and happy Groundhog Day!

 

About this deck:  The Love Pack, by psychologist Chuck Spezzano is an 84 card deck and book set published by C&B.  Cute, modern illustrations, outline simple but powerful concepts of relating.

Tale of Fox and Moon; Card of the Week 5th January 2015

card 1.5.2015 Never fear,  in spite of the title of this card, our Foxy friend is not here to say we’re necessarily  going to feel bad or be rejected this week.   Instead,  she speaks about the obvious or hidden feelings and thoughts that accompany letting go and jumping into a new positive phase.  (The good kind of letting go, that we need or even want!)    The call to let go, relax and open up often wears the disguise of fear of rejection.    For example:  being rejected is often a fear that accompanies the act of letting go and letting someone in.  Fights can surround a misplaced sense of “rejection”  when in reality another person is simply trying to express themselves.   We can even feel rejected when someone around us is not taking responsibility for their lives,  something that has nothing to do with us.

Sometimes emotions are like a fox in the woods… elusive, difficult to track, difficult to understand or pin down. We might not know what they mean in the moment we’re having them. or they might just present themselves silently when everything seems fine.  Sometimes we wonder if we can trust ourselves. Doubts dart in and out of our mental landscape like the fox. This is the perfect week to think about our feelings, stories and beliefs about “rejection”  — are these stories keeping our power to choose and make decisions hidden?  Are these beliefs hiding an awesome way to progress forward?

What are you afraid of?  Here’s the thing – rejection isn’t something you need to fear.  Most of the time it’s an idea in our heads, a fear in our hearts, not something real.  Sometimes rejection is just an act when we don’t know how to talk about what is REALLY in our hearts. And in those rare times that something doesn’t pan out or work out (we get a denial letter from a publisher or a Dear Jane) – it’s still not rejection! It’s simply that whatever it was wasn’t in the right groove with where we’re headed right now.  (A protection, not a rejection)

Maybe if we worried about rejection a little less this week we could make better decisions and not cloud our judgement with thoughts about how to keep another person (or thing) from hurting us when we could be seeing the truth or making intelligent decisions instead.  We’d be our wonderful, shiny, foxy selves more often.  We’d rush into things (or out of things) a little less blindly because we’re not just trying to escape rejection.

card 1.5.2015 2

The second card that popped out alongside our fox, is the moon. – The author says, “The moon calls you to creative reflection. Her mysteries will be revealed in due course, and when you least expect them. If you feel stranded and bewildered, energize your goals and aspirations with positive thoughts. Listen to your inner voice, dreams and intuition. They have amazing power to alter your future. The Moon is about the joyful celebration of your success.”

Imagine our little fox darting in and out of the trees in a deep woods. The moon hangs in the winter sky, the snow crunches beneath her little paws. She’s on the case,  she’s going somewhere amazing and astoundingly beautiful.  She knows where she’s going – it might not always be obvious but she’s being guided with her creativity and heart more than any doubts or fears and so are you!  We all have fears, illusions, and dreams hiding the clear path, but this week those dreams can be harnessed for powers of good!

 

Have a wonderful week and happy 2015!

 

About this deck:  This week’s card is from the beautifully painted Chrysalis Tarot illustrated by Holly Sierra and written by Toney Brooks. Published by US Games (and available by Fools Dog on Android and Apple).  I was attracted to this deck based on the really unique and whimsical representation of traditional tarot themes and the magnificent artwork.