Introspection: 5 possible approaches

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a conflict and you’re not really sure how you got there? This has happened with me this week. I find myself in a conflict I would have never predicted and I don’t really know how we got here. It hurts my heart. I do not like conflict and typically work very hard to avoid it. All the same, here I am. I have been trying to use an introspective approach to determine what steps I can take in the future to avoid this same situation. After all, life is about moving forward.

The Oxford Dictionary defines introspection as: “the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional process.”  This seems like a good approach to heal this situation and avoid future ones. What could I have done differently? What within me caused me to react in the manner in which I did? What parts of myself do I need to heal in order to move forward without a similar future situation, like this,  rearing its ugly head? Introspection is about looking deeply within yourself. We can only control our own reactions and responses to situations.

There are many ways to approach introspection. Here are 5 of my favorites.

1. Journaling – journaling is a great way to let the words just flow. It is a safe space to say everything you want to say, and you never know what wisdom may flow onto the pages. There can be many “ah ha” moments while journaling.

2. Meditation – mediation allows you to step away from the circling thoughts and find a few moments of peace. This is a great space to set an intention of having clear guidance and insight flow to you. I find this a powerful process.

3. Therapy – Meeting with a good psychotherapist is a great way to have someone hold space for you to get beyond any issues at hand. This person can often help you identify blind spots or actions you do see, that can cause pain.

4. Exercise – Going for a walk, running, or yoga can also be a great way to go inside. There is something about this process that is not only healing but helpful in gaining insight into who we are and the type of actions we take.

5. Tarot – This one may seem weird to you but I find, working with either tarot cards or oracle cards, is a great way to dig into the subconscious. Our subconscious often has a different agenda than our thinking mind. Even if you do not know what a card means, looking at the symbolism you notice and thinking deeply about its message for you, can be a great source of insight.

Introspection is a great tool. Whether you are currently within a situation that brings a need to look at your own actions and intentions, or you are just on a journey to be the best version of yourself. We all have shadowy areas within ourselves. It never hurts to go in and clear out the cobwebs.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you have introspective insight when you need it, as if by magic.

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Not All Hero’s Wear Capes: A different perspective

My daughter recently sent me a series of cartoons that depicted an abusive relationship. The artist who created them, was not someone I was familiar with. Her name is Polly Nor. The series of drawings shows an abusive relationship and all of the garbage that so often is a part of that unhealthy dynamic, including affairs, trying to get out, and blaming the victim. They are some very powerful images.

The series shows a progression. There is one image where the woman believes she has found a way out. In the next image the abuser becomes suspicious of what she is doing and her attempts to escape are foiled. Then there is an image titled “Not All Hero’s Wear Capes”. In this image another woman is having an affair with the abuser allowing the other woman to escape. This image really got me thinking.

I have been in abusive relationships, both physical and emotional. How does it change things if we look back at those who where the extra person, who had an affair with one of the people in the relationship and caused that relationship to fail? If we look at that person’s role, on a spiritual level, they may have indeed been a hero. A divine being who came down to cause a distraction to enable our escape from an unhealthy relationship.

The Lovers Tarot Card often depicts 3 people. The reason for this is because a choice must be made. It often represents a love triangle. When you look at the scenario we are discussing, you can see how this love triangle may be a blessing in disguise. We spend a lot of time being terribly angry at those people who get involved with our partners. We often blame them for the break up of the relationships, but it changes things when we look at it in this way.

Polly Nor’s work is powerful. I did not see the image I am speaking of on her website but I did see it on her instagram. I appreciate her powerful work which me this different perspective. I send love to all those divine souls who come in to help break the cycle of abuse, when we feel so horribly stuck and fail to get out on our own.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find it in yourself to be your own hero, as if by magic.

*Photo taken in Tigard, OR

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Healing; How To Choose the Right Modality.

There are many different types of healing modalities. At a recent group meeting we discussed the benefits of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping. Along with Acupuncture, and various supplements. All of which have been shown to provide miraculous healing. There are many others out there as well. Reiki, Yoga, Mindfulness, Pranic Healing, Sound Therapy, Essential Oils, Massage, Hypnotherapy, Nutrition, Affirmations, Shamanism, Crystals, and the list goes on and on. So, how do you know which one is the right choice for you? How is it possible to know you will get what you need from a particular healer?

I have been heard to say I believe in everything. Which is not all together true. I am also a great big sceptic in many ways. I do not trust easily, despite the fact that I try and see the good in all people. The truth of the matter is this; none of these healers are actually healing you. They are not. The healing occurs within you. Your body, your mind, your spirit has the power to heal itself. Let me say that again. Your body, your mind and your spirit have the power to heal your body and your life. I am still 100% in favor of getting these other healing modalities and that may sound confusing, since I just told you you can heal yourself.

This is because, sometimes, we just need a little help. Sometimes our bodies need a little urging. Sometimes we are like Dumbo andneed to hold the feather to believe we can fly. These holistic modalities can be beautiful ways to unlock the power that is within our bodies. They can help us move past blockages and get the energy flowing. Many are ancient and have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. Others are newer but are based on the more ancient traditions and philosophies. Quantum Physics is opening up a whole new realm of understanding.

Many people are skeptical of these modalities but there is research out there that showsscientifically that many of these modalities have proven positive results. These skeptics can look at the science and tell you it is just the placebo effect because the people in the study believe they are going to get better so they do. So, lets look at the placebo effect. According toDictionary.com a placebo effect is, “A beneficial effect in a patient following a particular treatment that arises from the patient’s expectations concerning the treatment rather than from the treatment itself.” So basically the person gets better because they believe they will get better. In studies on medications, a number of test subjects are considered the “control group” they get the sugar pill instead of the actual medication. Science accounts for a certain number of the control group having a placebo effect. 

Dumbo’s feather or placebo effect or holistic healing. It is all unlocking the power we have to heal ourselves. I totally believe in holistic healing experiences. I have used EFT to relieve a headache and a stiff neck. Energy Healing helps me relax and I feel centered and grounded once it is over. Acupuncture releases blocks and relieves pain like little else I have tried. These things do work but they work because they allow my body, mind, and spirit to do what it is fully capable of. These holistic modalities facilitate our bodies innate ability to heal itself.

Do I suggest any of these modalities to others. Yes. Which ones you may want to know? I suggest you follow your internal compass. Choose the healing modality that you feel drawn too. Others may try and steer you toward the one that was beneficial for them, but it is important that you listen to your own wisdom. Your soul knows what will best help you. Even if a certain modality was not helpful to your friend, it can still be extremely powerful for you.  Trust yourself.

No matter what modality you decide to use, all of the power exists within you. You are all powerful. You have the ability to do miraculous things. You have Divinity within you. Believe in the possibility that you can feel better. Believe that good health can be in your future. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find the health that you are seeking, as if by magic.

*Photo taken at Castle Bled in Slovenia.

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Tarot and Archetypes

The tarot cards are really a pack of archetypes. Archetypes are basic personalities or typical expressions of things. For example, the concept of a mother is an archetype. What we think of when we talk about a teacher would be another. Carl Jung worked a lot with archetypes as a part of the psychological frame work. A pack of Tarot cards contains many archetypes. Some of these are personalities, like the emotional brooding leader (King of Cups). Others are roles we play in life, like mother (Empress) and teacher (Hierophant). Still others are archetypal times in our life, when we have to gather our strength, to continue to push forward toward our goals. (9 of Wands)

The pack of 78 cards contains many of the aspects of life we face. There are cards we associate as “good” and cards we associate as “bad”. Ultimately all the cards contain positive and negative aspects. All of the cards can be represented in high energy vibration or a lower energy vibration depending upon your view point.

I was having a conversation with a friend, and the idea that all of the cards live within all of us came up in discussion. Sure there are cards, or archetypes, that we more readily relate to. I, for example, relate to the Moon card. It embraces the defined feminine. Additionally, the Moon is ripe with mystery. The Moon card has the magic of the night within it. It speaks of a childhood running through the woods, with flashlights, playing in the sand near a bonfire next to a glistening lake, and sitting peacefully in the grass in awe of the Aurora Borealis. The Moon card is associated with the sign of Pisces, which furthers my connection to it. Even though I love the Moon card and associate it to myself, it does not define me. It is not all of me.fullsizeoutput_4289

I hate to see the Devil card come up in a reading for myself. I do not like to think about my associations to this card. What am I chained to? What aspects of myself do I not like and shy away from “looking” at. What addiction may be holding me back? But, however much I do not care for this card, lets face it, we all have aspects of ourself we do not like. So, although this card is not full of the beauty and mystery of the Moon, it too is a part of who I am. It comes with helpful advice to look at those parts of myself and my behavior that are preventing me from stepping forward into the next glorious phase of my life.

Ultimately we are diverse and complicated people. Our lives ebb and flow between happy times of celebration and troubled times of growth. Both are necessary to help us appreciate the good and move towards being better. Which of the archetypes of Tarot cards do emulate today? Which do you hope to be tomorrow?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your journey toward self awareness be a success, as if by magic!

*To learn more about Tarot and the Archetypes check out my mentor, Toni Gilbert’s, website. She has written a couple of great books on the subject.

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What is a Witch?

As Halloween grows near, we see many images of old women in pointy hats riding on brooms or leaning over bubbling cauldrons. It is all part of the fun, magical, and yes even scary imagery; that is part of this time of the year. My 4 year old granddaughter asked me the other day if bats and witches are real? I told her they are. She said she had never seen one so she didn’t think they were. If only she knew they walk amongst us. Ordinary people that you pass in the street, every day, may have a spiritual practice that you may refer to as Witchcraft, The Craft, or Wicca.

We have all heard of the past tragedies that were done to the young women in Salem, Europe, and many other places around the world because they were accused of witchcraft. So what is a Witch? Where does the fantasy end and the tradition begin. Past history has witches worshiping the Devil and practicing “Dark Magic”. Witches have been portrayed in movies like, The Wizard of Oz, Stardust, and The Witches of Eastwick, as well as TV shows like Bewitched. Some of the witches are good and some of them are bad in these shows.

I would say that is the same of real people as well, some are good and some are bad. Usually, those we considered bad, have damaged psyches, are going through some difficult experiences currently or have had very difficult things happen to them in their past. I would say, like with all people, most Witches are good.  They do not worship the Devil but rather the Earth and Nature; they see “spirit” in all things and understand that there is a balance to the way we interact with the world.

Most Witches, in the long ago past and still today; are healers. They use natural herbs in their magic, cooking, and potions. Like using some Lavender or Valerian to relax you or Echinacea to boost your immune system. Chamomile to help you sleep. They may practice various forms of energy healing; like Reiki or Hand on Healing. They may use crystals for their energetic properties. These Witches may also practice various forms of divination such as; reading tarot cards, mediumship or channel readings. They believe in the Power of Intention. Spell work is really just a way to put some ceremony behind their intentions.

There are many different types of Witches and belief systems among them. Some are solitary practitioners and others belong to groups who support each other through their spiritual growth. Some hold fast to ceremony’s past on from generation to generation and others make new ceremonies to suite their needs.

In the past, these woman, were the ones the people the village came to when someone was sick. Then they became prosecuted for being different. The others came to fear what they did not understand. Christianity started to paint the Witch as evil and dangerous. When in reality, these were mostly good hearted people who wanted to help their neighbors.

Think about the times you have turned to a nice cup of tea to calm your nerves, made some Chicken Noodle Soup to heal your sick family, or a time you called a friend who suddenly popped into your head. Only to find out they were going through something difficult and needed you. Call to mind the times you have set intentions for a positive outcome to a situation. We are all more similar than we are different.

So as the veil thins and Halloween approaches, keep in mind that witches walk among us. They are kind hearted ordinary people who see the sacredness in all things. Remember those things your grandmother passed down to you; to heal you family, keep you safe, and make life a bit more magical. After all, there is a little witch in all of us.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find your personal magical power, as if by magic.

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Be Who You Are and People Will Love You for It.

Yesterday at my Toastmasters meeting I gave a speech on Tarot Cards. This was very scary for me. Tarot is not accepted by many people; some even think it is the work of the devil. I wanted to dispel this myth and share how it is a great tool to take a peek into the subconscious. I wanted to give them a little bit of information about the cards and the deck to help it seem less scary.
It is interesting that I wanted them to feel less scared of the cards but here I was feeling nervous about letting people know that I work with Tarot cards.
I gave the speech and the group expressed genuine interest. Several people even mentioned that I should have brought a deck of cards to show. I cannot say if everyone was open to the idea but those who took the time to talk to me certainly were. I appreciated their openness. Our group consists of people from several different career paths and I was pleasantly surprised by their reactions.
I left the meeting feeling triumphant! I was proud of myself for being me and not letting fear stand in the way. People will love me for who I am or they won’t. After all, isn’t it a lot easier to enjoy being around someone who is authentic and genuine? Can you tell when someone is not being their true self? By being the “who” we really and truly are, we let our light shine. Others will feel naturally drawn to us. It is okay that I am an RN, Tarot Card Reader, Artist, Grandmother, Author, Healer, Mother, Wife, and so much more. Even though some of these things may seem in contrast with each other, that is not true. They weave together perfectly to make me. Just as all of the different labels you wear weave together to make you the who you are. Dr. Seuss said it best. “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
 – Hamlet, Shakespeare

I have learned (and am still learning) that by being true to who I am, fully and authentically, will attract people who like me for being exactly who I am. I will not need to pretend to be something or someone I am not. People who love me will love me warts and all.

 

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