Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No to Nay-Sayers!


This week has hit the ground running so far -- I've been playing catch up since Monday.  Still haven't caught up completely yet, but finally hit my first breather a few minutes ago.  Figured I'd try to take on a reading before I get back into things.

Had a lot of plans this past weekend -- and then relatives came into town unexpectedly and we spent time with them instead.  Went to the movies -- my sister, my daughter, my niece-in-law (is that the term?), and I all like scary movies.  So, we went to go see "The Conjuring"!  Everyone else took the kids to see "Turbo".

It's really hard to make a good scary movie -- most directors don't bother to try.  They'll instead make "slasher" movies -- which really aren't really psychological scary.

Anyway, "The Conjuring" is kind of a cross between a haunted house movie and "The Exorcist".  Didn't rely on glitzy special effects but instead was a suspense-filled story.  Like I said, I thought it was really well done.

If you don't like scary movies, you won't enjoy it, though!

How about that reading?  We'll again pull two cards -- the first gives us a message, the second tells us a little more about how we might consider that message.

Our first card is -- The Seven of Pentacles.
A couple of people have written to me about their interpretation of this card ... which differs a little from mine.  That's fine -- many of us have our own feelings about a particular card.  I always get a particular message when I pull this card, so I'm going to stick with it.

This card depicts someone who has just completed a hard task -- and is taking a little time to feel satisfied about his efforts and the results (at least, that's how I see it!)  This is something that's been a little bit of a challenge -- there's no guarantee that things would have worked out.  When you're able to bring a challenging task to a successful conclusion, you SHOULD feel good about it!  You accomplished something.  Sure, someone else might complain about it ("You took too long", "You should have done it another way") and try to bring you down, but don't fall into the trap of feeling like you failed -- because you didn't. Not only is the task complete, but YOU did it.

Our second card gives us something to think about -- The Chariot.
The Chariot is a "will power" card -- this is someone who accomplishes something because he won't accept anything else other than success.  He'll find a way to make something happen -- even if the task is difficult.  He's not really big on accepting advice or listening to other people's opinion -- he's relying on his own feelings and interpretations -- and he wants to do it his way.

BTW -- I'm from the old school -- and the way I learned it, "he" and "his" are gender-neutral words.  "She" and "hers" are female; "he" and "his" are neutral ... unless the context notes the subject is male.  I can't stand work-arounds like "he/she".  When I use the words "he" and "his" I feel it applies to either gender.  If I used "she" and "her" instead, then I'd be specifically talking about a female subject.  That's just the way I learned it a million years ago in school.  If I changed, then I know my third grade teacher would show up and draw red "X"s all over my blog!

Back to the reading -- there are a couple of ways we can put these cards together.

One way would be to consider The Chariot to be validating the efforts portrayed in the Seven of Pentacles.  Yep, you did it your way and achieved your goal -- therefore, you should not only feel good about the results, but should also feel good about your abilities and focus in achieving those results.  Don't listen to nay-sayers -- after all, they're not the ones who accomplished what you did!

Another way is to consider that sometimes you've got to be The Chariot -- since you're the one on the spot, you need to take control.  Other people's opinions are relevant -- but you're making the final decision.  You're not going to please everyone, so don't try.  In fact, if you try to please everyone, you're likely going to fail.  No one else is in the same spot you are -- and just because someone expresses an opinion doesn't mean they actually care about what happens.  They'll just move on to the next project and express opinions from the outside without actually having a stake in the game.

So -- take pride in your accomplishments!  Don't listen to the nay-sayers!

Hope to talk to you again -- not sure if I'll make it again before the weekend; have to run an errand this weekend beginning Friday.  Will try -- if you don't hear from me, then have a great weekend and I'll see you next week!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Bad News Might Be Good News


Hope your week has gone well -- we've been keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Dorian over here.  Looks like it might head into the Gulf.  Don't think it's going to be a strong one, though.

Been going over my hurricane stash, just in case.  I grew up in Louisiana, so I know all about being prepared for hurricanes.  You don't wait till the last minute and then rush to the store with 57 million other people and try to buy stuff -- you take care of things before hand.  Have lots of food, water, fuel, generators, etc already stocked up.  Problem is, my stash gets moved every now and then so I'm not 100% sure where everything is.  Need to review that so I don't have to go looking for things in the dark.  Just in case.

Actually, on my side of Houston, we're not in that much danger.  We're about 50 miles from the Gulf, so storm surge isn't an issue.  We might catch some wind damage, but that's about it.  Power loss and fuel shortage are the biggest worries ... and we've got that covered already.

If you're in hurricane territory, I hope you're getting your preps ready!  Don't wait till the last minute!

How about a reading for this weekend?  Once again, we'll pull two cards.  First card sets the tone for the reading, second card suggests how we can best turn it to our advantage.

Our first card is -- The Three of Swords.
Some people think The Devil -- or perhaps Death -- are the worst cards in the deck.  Nope -- to me, it's the Three of Swords.  I've since had a change of opinion -- it is a powerful card, but if you use it properly, you can take advantage of the message.

The Three of Swords suggests heartbreak or great sadness.  Not a very encouraging message, right?  My change of opinion on this card comes from what this really means.

For instance, something that a teenager might claim would "wreck my life" might not affect an adult one bit.  It's how you perceive a situation that makes the difference.  A situation you might feel is eventful might not be so if you view it in a different manner.

We might look at this card by thinking of events that have made us sad -- maybe layoffs, breakups, lost friendships ... things like that.  None of these sound very good, do they?

Or do they?  What do we learn from events like these?  Do they make us stronger people?  Do they help us better prepare for future mishaps?  Do they help us focus on the things that really count rather than on superficial things?  If we look at it this way, a sad event might turn out to be extremely helpful to us.

What helps us perceive things in this manner?  Well, experience and a cool head helps.

Which brings us to our second card -- The Hermit!
The Hermit is the wise old hermit -- he's wise because he has knowledge, experience, and patience.  He's even-handed and is not going to go running around in circles if he receives bad news.  He knows that life simply happens -- and sometimes it's good, sometimes it's hard.  That's just life -- no need to take it personal.

When things happen -- no matter good or bad -- we can learn from them.  It's the "learning" that's important -- so the Hermit isn't going to waste an opportunity.  He'll take advantage of any event in order to build his experience and become a more complete person.

And that's an approach that may work best for us.  When we receive bad news, we can let it wreck us -- or we can learn and grow from it.  It's our choice -- and with a little help from the experienced Hermit, we can make the right one.

Hope you have a great weekend!  See you next week ...


Monday, July 22, 2013

Where and Why!

Hi There!

Hope you had a fine weekend -- I'm making progress on my new roulotte.  Got the trailer part almost done (just need to put the tires on).  Began painting some of the upper roulotte part.  I'm going to try and paint it all before assembly.  Will probably paint it again after assembly, but figure this will make it last longer.

Still haven't quite figured out the "floor plan" yet -- it'll either be 4 feet by 8 feet ... or it'll be 6 feet by 8 feet.  I've got to get the tires on the trailer before I can figure it out for real.

How about we jump into the reading?  We'll pull two cards; the first will suggest some behavior or attitude; the second card represents the destination the first card suggests.

Our first card -- the Knight of Swords!
This is a fun card -- I very much identify with it.  I've mentioned before, there are masculine cards and feminine cards ... and this is probably one of the more testosterone-laden cards.  I mean, we have a Knight in shining armor, he's swinging a sword, and riding a charging horse!  In my Robin Wood deck, the horse even flies!  What could possibly be more "guy" than that!

Of course, even though it sounds great, being a Knight suggests some strong weaknesses to go along with the positives.

This Knight is always ready to charge into a challenge -- he's confident that he can solve most anything by beating it to submission!  That's the good part -- energy and confidence.

The bad part?  Well, most problems need a little more tactful approach rather than "beating them into submission".  Furthermore, while this Knight has jumped right into the fray -- he never took the time to figure out which direction (or approach) offered the best chance of success.  He didn't take the time to consider the problem first in order to determine how he should solve the problem.  He might have even adopted a familiar method he's used before -- without determining if the old method best suited the new problem.

Basically, this Knight's main weakness is focus.  He's ready to take on the problem, but lacks the focus necessary to approach the problem in the best manner.

We might consider situations in our own lives where we've made similar errors.  Are there issues where you are trying to solve them in the same old way?  While familiar and comfortable to you they may be, they may not be the best way to approach the situation.

What might happen to us if we pursue problems in this manner?  Let's look at our second card, the Four of Cups.

While this card doesn't appear to be distraught -- he doesn't look too happy, either.  He's not satisfied with where he is -- he's made it to a particular position, but doesn't seem to be able to move forward from there.

Perhaps he needs to change his tactics?  He may need to re-analyze how he perceives things -- relying on old and familiar methods won't always let you understand current and complex situations.  Old methods might even make problems worse.

What do these two cards suggest? 

Bottom line -- take the time to understand where you're heading and WHY you're heading there.  Your initial motivations may no longer be relevent -- the world changes, issues change, and you change.  A little initial internal review may offer insights and understandings you'd otherwise miss.  Before you charge into a problem, make sure you understand both yourself and the problem!

And that's it for now -- hope to see you again before the weekend.  Have a good one till then!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Put Your Shoulder in and Push!

Hi All,

Well, I've been on the road the last week and a half -- and realized that it's the business travel that gets in the way of the readings!  I used to be excited and envigorated years ago when I travelled -- now I'm just tired.  As a result, the readings suffer.

Fortunately (for the readings), I rarely travel anymore.  Back in town this week and have about an hour before my next call, so let's see if we can slip a weekly reading in!

Our first card is the Two of Cups.
We've seen this card a lot recently.  The Two of Cups suggests a new emotional relationship or friendship ... or a renewal of an existing one.  Quite often, it suggests looking towards family or friends where a troubled friendship could be fixed.  There may be some ill feelings over harsh words or actions -- and these feelings are in the way of what could be a rewarding friendship.  Usually, one side has to swallow those feelings and make the initial step towards reconciliation.  What this card reminds us is that the payoff is worth the payout -- what you'll reap from a renewed friendship is most often worth the temporary discomfort of "making the first step".

So, tell us more about this situation -- what things should we consider?

Let's look at our second card -- the Ten of Swords.
This card suggests a really failed relationship -- one that may seem to have hit rock-bottom.  That's acually good news in a way -- if things are at there worst, then any change can only be an improvement!  It's that old "darkest before the dawn" thing.

If we want to consider friendships to renew, we might start by looking at some that might seem most damaged.  These might actually be the easiest to fix.  We might also consider emotional relationships that seem to be stuck in a rut -- they may not be getting worse, but they're not getting better.  These also might be the type of relationships most receptive to renewals.

Friendships and relationships take a lot of work -- but the payoff is always worth it.  Sometimes a little nudge is all that's needed to get things moving in a better direction -- consider being the one to first put your shoulder in play to provide that nudge!

Hope you have a great week!


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Risk and Rewards

Hi All,

Sorry I'm late this week -- yesterday was kind of hectic!

I tend to do pretty much all of the cooking at home -- even when I was back in college with roommates, I was usually the cook.  I don't know that I'm all that inventive -- don't follow recipes that much.  I'm half Sicilian and half Cajun French -- so I normally cook either Italian or Cajun style.

Our four-year old granddaughter lives with us -- and she's been taking over the house.  She's made it known that she expects pancakes for every meal -- so my cooking has been very one-dimensional laterly!

You may recall me talking about a Jazz Improvisation class I've been taking.  Class is over, but a small group of us has continued on with additional assignments.  This last one we did is probably the first one I feel I did okay on -- it has some glitches and flubs, but I don't think it's all bad.  If you want to give it a listen, here's  My Improvisation for How High the Moon .  Please be gentle!

Let's jump into this week's reading -- again, we'll draw two cards.  The first will offer something to concentrate on, the second will offer tips on how we might be realize the positive message of the first card.

Our first card is ... The Empress.
The Empress is a very maternal card -- it suggests the things we typically associate with maternal feelings.  Note that you can be the toughest, hardest, manliest guy around and still have maternal feelings.  Don't believe me?  Gather a bunch of tough guys and show them a cute puppy!

Maternal means caring and nurturing.  It also suggests a special and strong attachment.  You may feel caring for people in general, but you'll feel a stronger caring for family and friends who are close to you.  This maternal caring is a two-way street -- you'll receive benefits as well as give benefits.

How to best realize these benefits -- our second card, the Four of Wands.
This is a celebration card -- there's a reason to celebrate and someone to share that celebration with.  I've always envisioned a crowd of people watching the celebration and acknowledging the appropriateness of the celebration.

When we put them together, the message is pretty straightforward.

Care for the people you should care about -- and let them know you care!  Don't keep a cage around your heart -- I know some of us keep folks at arm's length because we don't want to be vulnerable.  However, the rewards for opening up and reaching out tend to outweigh the risk!

When we do so and reap those rewards -- then we have a reason to celebrate ... and someone with whom we can jointly enjoy that celebration.  We'll have a sense of belonging, contributing, and feeling important and needed.

Yes, it might be a risk.  But there are rarely rewards without risks. 

Hope things work out well for you this week -- take care, and I'll be back in a few days!