Archive for 'change'

Letting Go of the Past

It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter, hasn’t it?  Here in New Jersey, winter truly made us her bitch.  But before we know it, the snow will be gone, the grass growing and I’ll be elbow-deep in mulch and new plants again. The cold nights and biting winds will be in the past.  Thank the Lord.

It puts me in mind of this Tarot card.   I love it when this one turns up in a spread.  The Sun represents coming out of the dark and back into the light.  One is reborn, with the sunshine illuminating a fresh new path.

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The Sun is about putting the past behind us, once and for all.  Notice that wall?  It’s keeping the past where it belongs, without it leaching through into the present moment.  Sunflowers represent a spiritual barrier, reminding us that the past has contributed to our growth, but it doesn’t need to keep influencing us.

See that kid riding nekkid?  That’s you, reborn.  Wheee!

I’ve had numerous clients fearful that their past will continue to determine their future possiblities.  They’re being held hostage by things that are overwith.  The past is like a nasty wad of gum on their shoe.

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Take a moment to think about the issues in your life:  what still haunts you?  When you think of a problem, what’s your first thought about it (“I always do that….” “Ever since then, I’ve never had a good job…”  “I’m a loser when it comes to love”….”Mom always said I was [fill in the blank]….”

How often do those old echoes  come up during the day?  Really pay attention to your default thought process.   Make a note of everything that goes through your head, carrying a trace of the past.  When you catch yourself, write it down….then burn it.  See the past going up in smoke.  Literally.

Because the past is overwith.  Done.  Finito.  If you can see it as having taught you something, you can move forward in a stronger, clearer way.  The past does not have to define what comes next;  it can inform it in a smarter way, making the future that much smoother.

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Take the lesson of the Sun card as we move into Spring.  And take my favorite Beatles song (well, one of them) as your soundtrack.     “It’s alright….”  [And remember, I‘m always here if you need a reading to see what’s on the horizon…]

The Real Trick to Changing Your Life

I met a woman –call her “L”  — in January.  First-time client.  This woman’s back story was pretty amazing: horrible childhood,  husband dies on their 7th anniversary leaving two little boys to raise alone.  So she was training to be an electrician in a decidedly macho business; in fact, she was just promoted to an especially challenging specialty. On top of that, she just wrote a book about her experience stepping into that world.

She is pretty much THIS woman...

She is pretty much THIS woman…

Total badass, right?  But her weak spot was the guy who was living with her.  We’ll call him “R.”  This guy was a cheater and a slob; he spent most of his waking hours putting her down, calling her names.  That was when he wasn’t eating Cheetos on the couch (and wiping his hands on the cushions, probably). He took her money.  He ran around.  The guy was a walking  old-timey blues song and you would wonder why anyone would put up with his sorry ass.  But she did.  It happens.

No surprise that “L” was frustrated and mad with herself.  She knew he was a bonehead. She knew she had put up with this for too long, but she worried about making it financially if he were out of the picture.  She wondered if she’d ever find anyone else.  You’ve heard this story before.

Cut to this afternoon, a few months after our first meeting.  “R” is still in the picture — but not for long.  “L” has been quietly making some plans.  She rented a storage unit to stash her precious items (in case he decided to mess with her — ’cause that’s the kind of tool he is).  She secretly opened up her own credit cards and took a loan against her 401K to give her a cushion.  And, on her way to my office, had hit the Home Depot for a new set of locks.  Bah-ZING!

Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya!

Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya!

The funny thing is, “R” seems to know something’s up.  And he’s trying to be all nice again — because clearly, his usual m.o. of being a jerk is not having the expected effect of putting her in line.  “L” is still a little freaked out over the change that’s coming — but she keeps moving forward.  No wonder THIS  card came up for her:

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The Moon is about being spooked by uncertainty.  The Moon’s light is deceptive; even on the brightest night, you can’t be quite sure what that is in front of you. Vicious dogs are a-barkin’, creepy things are crawling out of the mud, ready to slime you.   You just want to curl up with the blanket over your head.  It’s a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, where you feel around in the dark, not knowing what you’re about to bump up against. Frustrating. Terrifying.

However, moving forward is what we must do.  And even the smallest effort counts.  It’s the fact that you’re trying in the face of uncertainty that’s the point of this card.  That’s where greatness starts; its Edison’s final push for the light bulb, the last record company visited by the Beatles.  And you won’t BELIEVE how fast the successes and “whoa, where’d THAT come from?”s start piling up on the back of those little moves.

I was so proud of “L”s eensy steps towards a life free from the janky vibe of “R.”   She’s scared, no doubt.  But she’s walking through the uncertain light of the Moon.  She may be crawling on her hands and knees sometimes – but  she’s moving.  Before she knows it, the sun will rise, showing that she’s farther down the road than ever expected.

That’s your word of the day, children: “try.”   And here’s your assignment:  think of something in your life that just ain’t working.  You’re putting up with a job you no longer like, a person you no longer love,  the 15 extra pounds, anything you know you need to change but just can’t.

Now, take a few deep breaths and sit quietly with a pen and pad.  What are the three smallest things you can do to start to change that situation today?  No big moves to overwhelm you, just little baby steps.

Here’s an example.  Let’s say your job is played out.  You’re just grinding it out, day by day, knowing that you want something else, but it’s just too damn hard to consider leaving it.   If this were me (and it was, at one point), here are my three baby steps:

1) Google a few job sites and just poke around for 15 minutes.

2) Write down three people to talk to about  possible opportunities (notice, I’m just writing them down, not actually contacting them at this point)

3) Pull up the resume’ and give it a quick once-over.  Again, we’re not making any actual changes to it. just initiating some energy.

I think you’ll find  that the act of doing something, anything builds momentum towards change. You take another tiny step…and another…and another. So have at it, and let the light of the Moon lead you forward into your dream life!

Tell me how you’re gonna do it in the comments below.  (And if you like what you read, share it!)

Extreme Makeover: Life Edition

There are tons of “do it yourself”-er shows on TV these days, where experts are making over homes, restaurants, relationships, bad hair — whatever.  And this is the Tarot card that sums up all that creative energy.

The Magician is the card of the entrepreneur or, for that matter, anyone who wants to give something in their life a fresh paint job.  Take a closer look:

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On the table are all four of the symbols that show up in the Tarot deck:  the cup, wand, sword and pentacle.  He’s about to use every resource available to him.  The cup are his emotions and intuitive insights; the wand his practical abilities; the sword represents his ideas and intellect; the pentacle, his earthly resources and physical energies.

He’s pointing down towards the energy of the earth and  up towards the power of the unseen worlds above him.   That squiggly figure-eight shape above his head is called a “lemniscate” and represents being tuned in to the universal power during the whole process.  In a word, he’s about to get jiggy wit it.

Speaking of magicians, here’s one of my all time favorites:  Tim, the Enchanter!

Our Magician is not so much about throwing fireballs from his finger (although that could come in handy); he’s about doing something more useful.  I like the idea of engaging ALL of our abilities and talents in pursuit of a goal.

It gives us an opportunity to take stock of the many gifts we have at our disposal. Do this right now- make a list of your gifts, from your amazing smarts and long list of friends, to your ability to juggle. Really dig in, and see all you’ve been given to run your life.  This is the secret of the Magician.

Here’s mah girl, Chrissie Hynde, to sing us out.  She’s running down her own list of tools: “gonna use my arms, gonna use my legs…”  Work it, honey.

Back-To-School….and Fearless

My great-niece, Ella Ruby, starts 2nd grade today.  She is totally chuffed, excited about her new teacher, backpack and classroom.  She doesn’t care that she knows nothing about 2nd grade math– she just plans to tackle it and get as many gold stars as she can grab.

Ah, for the days of spitballs and forgetting your locker combination….

There’s something wonderful about a 7 year old’s complete lack of fear.  For the most part, everything new is an adventure.  Their little egos are practically non-existent, so they don’t even think about how it will look if they fail.  They just want to try the New Thing.

This is where the 8 of Pentacles comes in.  While I don’t play favorites with the Tarot cards, I admit that I love when this one comes up.  The message is an encouraging one — it means that whatever you’re faced with, even if you know zilch about it, you’re gonna totally dominate.  The card is nicknamed “the talent card,” revealing hidden abilities.

Most of the time when it appears in a spread, my client has a hard time believing that they’ll be able to pull off whatever that hidden ability may be (“I don’t know ‘nuthin’ ’bout Excel spreadsheets…”).  I remind them of one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt: “When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

Can’t argue with a guy sporting such a fierce ‘stache…

A few months back, I got a call at 4:30 PM inviting me to do some copywriting for a start-up tech firm.  There was a conference call less than an hour later — and in that time, I had to Google the firm, download Skype and learn how to use it, and give myself a crash-course in tweeting. I was able to fake my way through the call, and landed a nice gig.

Second-graders like my niece embrace learning — it’s what they do.  Somewhere after graduating, we grownups decided our days of learning were pretty much over.  New things freak us out, make us feel uncertain.  But taking the challenge posed by the 8 of Pentacles is always a good exercise in reaching a little further towards our full potential.  Whether we succeed or fail at it, we still get a gold star for trying.