Change and the Flow of Life

In December of 2018 a painting class inspired me to find my own unique artistic style, and I soon became lost in the vast world of fluid paint. In many ways pouring paint mirrors the life I have lived. 30 moves in 38 years through 7 states and 1 foreign country taught me that life, like fluid paint is in constant flux. All that moving highlighted the importance of learning to ‘go with the flow’, and no artistic medium demands that more than acrylic paint pouring.

After almost two years of working with fluid paint, I have discovered that like our journey on this earth, the real beauty of the process comes when we relinquish control of the medium, allowing form to appear out of chaos. Admittedly, this can be scary at first. It took awhile for me to learn that making a mess of things is not a working definition of failure. In fact, many of my best paintings came from what I thought at the time was a ‘mistake’.

An 8″ Lazy Susan I believed was a lost cause … turned out to be one of my best works ever, and is now the foundation of my brand.

In real life too, this has been the case. Out of a religion propounding the innate depravity of man, a true sense of human divinity emerged. Out of a failed marriage came three beautiful children and three amazing grandchildren, not to mention a level of self-awareness & love I doubt I would ever have been able to achieve otherwise. Out of disillusionment with traditional work settings bloomed a vast and complex garden of creativity leading to true inner fulfillment.

Many of life’s most powerful lessons are taught through pain and failure, yet we often do not see them this way until years later. I wonder what would happen if human beings learned to view the present through the lens of that future right here, right now? In other words, what if we assumed that everything that comes into our experience is always and only ever for our good? I believe our lives and our world could be altered dramatically simply by learning to see our failures as valuable lessons, our difficulties as signposts pointing out what no longer serves us, and our pain as a white-hot fire with the power to transform us into something altogether precious.

My love for paint pouring revolves around color itself. I find it fascinating to watch the same eight or ten hues blending together in a myriad of different ways from canvas to canvas – truly when it comes to fluid paint, no two pieces are ever alike! Even more fascinating is the number of times my friends and family ses shapes and forms amid the splashes of color. “There’s a bird there, see?” or “Oh, that looks like a dragon!” and “I can see a tree with falling leaves right there.” What’s more, two people looking at the same painting often see completely different images. If the same lines of color can evoke vastly different interpretations, how much more do a each see life and its nuanced complexity through our own lenses? In life as in art, perception really is everything.









As a Tarot reader and an artist, it is my goal to help others fully develop the lens that is their individual way of seeing and interacting with the world, in order to come into complete alignment with their life purpose. Through readings and classes I endeavor to lead others on a mindful journey designed to help develop a deeper connection to their own intuition – the creative center of our being. Unlocking and unblocking this center is crucial to moving forward in our lives, to clear out the things that hold us back from reaching our full potential.

This month I opened my ETSY store! I hope you will take some time to wander around and see what I have been up to. Please feel free to reach out via email (ripplesofinsight@gmail.com) with any suggestions for the site or questions you may have about my journey or yours.

Much love, much light on your unique and beautiful path.
Namaste,
~C

Visit the Nano Poblano page for links to more posts from August’s Cheer Pepper Day!

Parting Words

August 1, 2020 marks the estimated date of the end of my relationship with a child I have helped to support for the last 15 years. This morning I sat down to compose what could be the final letter I will ever send to him. Since these may be the last words this child ever hears from me, I wanted them to count for something. I had to ask myself what wisdom I want to leave behind knowing that I had only one short letter left to write.

Compassion International is a Christian-based (evangelical) child-sponsorship group which we became a part of in the late 80’s – early 90’s. When I thought about how much I have changed over the course of my time within this organization it made me smile. I would have laughed if not for the heaviness in my heart at having to say goodbye to a young man I have never met, but helped care for since he was six years old.

My introductory words to any sponsored child even 15 years ago would most certainly have been quite different from the words I wrote today in farewell. But evolution is the name of the game, and I have certainly changed right along with my beliefs. This week Aaron Abke put out a 4-part spiritual growth series called “The Shortcut to Enlightenment”. The series was designed to help bring into focus our higher self as the I Am that lives within us. If there was anything I would want to communicate to someone still steeped in the Christian religion, it would be that we are all actual children of god, exactly as Jesus was. But how to say this in a manner he could understand became the real question.

Fortunately, I also listen to Alan Watts, and his discussion of the religion of Jesus gave me hope that I could find a way to communicate my heart to this young man standing on the brink of adulthood.

Even as I share my parting words with you, I have to wonder what changes may come over the next 15 years! I hope that my readers today will continue to walk with me through the journey of our collective evolution, for what we all are becoming is as yet to be revealed. ❤️🧡💛💚💙

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Dear [Child],

I am writing to you on Saturday, August 1, 2020, Compassion’s estimated completion date for my sponsorship. In 19 more days you will turn 22 years old. Happy, happy birthday! I am not certain how much longer my letters will be delivered to you, but I want you to know that you will always be in my heart and my thoughts. I can feel the gentleness and love in your soul that will live between us forever.

Remember that life is a journey, a process of growth, and there is no ‘goal’ to achieve. So let life flow – in and through you – with acceptance, grace, and our greatest superpower: forgiveness. The seasons and moon phases give us a glimpse of life’s cycles and can help put us back on track when we lose our way. No matter what is happening today, it has happened before and will happen again; you don’t fail god’s tests, you just take them over and over until you pass. The only true failure in life would be failing to live. Accept and enjoy every moment – the good along with the bad. Take it all in with gratitude, for everything comes to teach us to love, first ourselves, then others. Be true to who you are, [my child]. Do not let anyone else define you or try to tell you the path you are to take (especially the religious leaders around you). You were born to be the captain of your own soul. The life that is you is everlasting, so give no energy to the fear of death. Only love signifies, but love must begin with acceptance and appreciation of who YOU are. The only path to real and lasting love is self-awareness – connection with the divine that lives within you and everyone around you.

I have learned over the years that we always find what we seek, so be careful what you wish for. That thing you believe will bring happiness may quickly become a tiresome burden. True happiness is found inside yourself. Meditation is the fastest path to inner happiness, peace, and love. Taking time each day to close your eyes to the outside world and simply pay attention to the sound of your own breath can connect you to god faster and firmer than memorizing any bible verse. Trust your inner knowing and always go with what brings you peace. Your heart will never steer you wrong! You are the blazing spark of the divine in the flesh right here on earth. Trust that spark and SHINE!

It remains my hope that we may one day reconnect again. All my love and prayers for your safety and health,

~C

If you had one last letter to write, what would you want to say that would leave your mark on the heart(s) of your reader(s)? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Not Now

I’m too needy to be needed now
I’m too feely to be felt (up) now
I’m too hungry to feed now
I’m too thirsty to quench now

I’m too lost to find now
I’m too deep to splash now
I'm too many questions to answer now
I'm too many thoughts to listen now

I'm too much to be small now
I'm too bright to be dim now
I’m too new to be old now
I’m too me to know you now

Inspiration found in “Untamed”, by Glennon Doyle July 10, 2020

The Light of Context

When you figure that out, write it down,

he says. As if relationship were a concept, an abstract idea easily understood once pinned (or penned) down. But relationships, like words require context and that context is us. You. Me. Complex humans who cannot come to any word without interpretation specific to you, to me. Where ne’er the twain shall meet…?

I laughed when you said, “Write it down.”

You have no idea. Behind pages and screens I hide, safe at last to distill my thoughts into carefully crafted scripts. The words form a wall, my own personal fortress – the one place I can be truly me, whether anyone else understands or not. 

With you I force myself to speak, an attempt to be done with hiding. This time I will see, hear, know what comes of my words. The relationship that cannot bear the weight of them is a mirage, an oasis shimmering in the distance with only the empty promise of connection.

words too heavy
float like boulders in my mind
i fear the fall of their weight on
ears too fragile

Most often the words will not come. When they do, the anticipation of possible outcomes catch them in my throat. I watch you do it too, ill-prepared for the vulnerability that revelation invites.

Peter Pan Diamond Edition - Peter's Shadow Clip - YouTube
Peter tries to catch his shadow.

What if the fear is a lie, the mere shadow of a monster cast by our own egos upon that flat featureless expanse of time we see stretched out before us? Unlike Pan, we reject it, content to let it drag along behind, weighing us down with the burden of truths we are unwilling to face in the glaring light of context.

Finding Peace in a Violent World

My eldest daughter recently introduced our family to a practice called Nonviolent Communication

“NVC is about connecting with ourselves and others from the heart. It’s about seeing the humanity in all of us. It’s about recognizing our commonalities and differences and finding ways to make life wonderful for all of us.”

As I understand it, the basic premise is that in every human interaction, a request is being made. The principles found in Nonviolent Communication address 1. how the request is expressed, and 2. the response if/when the request is refused. 

To talk about Nonviolent Communication necessitates some discussion of its more prevalent opposite, violent communication. When it comes to communication, most people operate from ego or the unconsciously remembered pain of the past (often referred to as subconscious programming). After all, hurt people hurt people. Violent communication typically involves 1. a demand for particular behavior from another (in order to supposedly secure happiness), and 2. a refusal to take no for an answer without some form of retribution. Guilt and shame are commonly used to manipulate, and rarely, if ever, do communication issues find full resolution. 

Violent communicators have difficulty acknowledging their own needs. For instance, when person A accuses person B of saying or doing something person A dislikes, it is rare that person A is aware that they have an underlying need that is unmet. Further, if person B is unaware of person A’s unspoken need and/or their own underlying needs, the communication can be perceived as a personal attack, simultaneously triggering them as well. The ‘violence’ escalates when neither party is able to articulate or acknowledge their own underlying needs or find constructive ways to meet them. Violent communication is the basis for all broken relationships from the occasional spat with a spouse to all-out war between countries. 

The goal of Nonviolent Communication is the actualization of the natural capacity we all have for compassion and empathy towards one another. It involves the realization that everyone shares the same basic needs, and that each of us is personally responsible to meet those (our own) needs. Without this understanding put into practice, Nonviolent Communication is impossible.

The most important and challenging factor for me personally has been taking the time to identify the underlying unmet needs within myself and the person I am interacting with. Knowing these needs (or learning the questions that will help uncover them) develops both self-awareness and a deeper relationship with others (because, empathy). Communicating in a manner that seeks to meet everyone’s needs not only enhances our own well-being but can significantly strengthen our relationships. 

NVC teaches that every human being has seven basic needs:

  1. Connection
  2. Physical Well-Being
  3. Honesty
  4. Play
  5. Peace
  6. Autonomy
  7. Meaning

Beneath these larger topics are sublists of multiple emotional needs. So how do you identify your own or other’s underlying needs in the heat of the moment? By paying close attention to the body. When we are triggered by someone else’s words or behavior, it can be difficult to step back and observe, but that is exactly what is necessary in order to avoid escalating conflicts. The body is the key – recognizing and giving our attention to negative emotions and thoughts that arise during an interaction can mean the difference between violence and peace, resolution and discord. 

Over the past year or so, I have begun analyzing ‘triggered’ reactions (mine and other’s) in an attempt to learn a better, gentler way of communicating. Sometimes I have been able to avoid a conflict altogether, simply by taking the time to detach and look at the situation more rationally, while still listening to my body. Obviously the greatest hurdle to overcome is communicating nonviolently with people who approach me with violence. But responding with empathy and compassion can open doors to conflict resolution even when the person you are communicating with remains unwilling to acknowledge or explore their own unconscious behaviors and unmet needs.

The final key to nonviolent communication is forgiveness. We must begin by forgiving ourselves for the many ways we have used violent forms of communication in the past. By showing ourselves compassion and acknowledging that we are always doing the best we can with the information and experience we have, we can then extend this same grace to those around us. 

We all have needs, we all seek ways to meet those needs. As we do, may we learn to communicate with kindness, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness. 

Thanks so much for reading! 

Namaste,

~C

On The Matter of the Breath

Life begins on an inhale and ends with a final exhale. Most of us will take innumerable breaths in between, and while it could be said that breathing is arguably the most important thing we will ever do, it is something we think very little about.

Breathing is a function of the autonomic nervous system, but unlike the majority of the body’s involuntary functions, we can exercise some control over it – if we give our attention to it. Unless you meditate, practice yoga, or have a serious chronic lung condition, you probably never think about breathing, but you may want to start. According to Dr. Artour Rakhimov,

Over 90% of modern people suffer from breathing problems … [including] chest breathing, mouth breathing, and hyperventilation, all of which reduce oxygen levels in body cells and promote chronic diseases.

http://www.normalbreathing.com (emphasis mine)

Over 90%.

Consider that number for a moment. I am willing to bet that you and I are in there. My own journey with the breath began many years ago while reading an article on running. Most runners breathe in rhythm with their feet. For example, the inhale and exhale happen when either the left or right foot strikes the ground. Apparently some scientists discovered that breathing in and out with the same foot strike can lead to heart problems. Even today when I run, I count steps between breaths – in for 3 (through the nose), out for 4 (through the mouth). In this way, I ensure that each time I inhale, I alternate feet.

I began meditating and practicing yoga in 2015. Yoga encourages a slight resistance in the throat to help regulate the breath. Yogic breathing makes a comforting sound in my head like ocean waves crashing on the beach. I have worked with that some, and Kundalini as well. Wim Hof‘s method of breathing has been scientifically tested many times. I especially encourage you to look into his work if you strive for peak athletic performance.

Fast forward to the summer of 2019. I will not rehash the experience since you can read about it here, but Dr. Tom’s initial perception of my inability to take a deep breath stuck with me. That and the respiratory distress that had sent me to Georgia in the first place got me thinking about breathing again.

In November I scrolled right into a Facebook post about a breath technique called SOMA. A few short weeks into the practice I noticed an increase in my stamina, heightened focus during meditation, and a deeper sense of relaxation overall. Then, in January, 2020 I blundered into Michelle D’Avella’s method of breathwork. Her brother Matt’s YouTube video convinced me that there was something there for me to explore. Turns out, he was right.

Modern metaphysics has a name for belief systems that cause us to behave in ways we would rather not: subconscious preprogramming. Some of these programs we inherit from our ancestors (through our DNA), but most we acquire from our families and peers.

Children spend their first 6-7 years in a Theta dream state, incapable of analytical thought, yet everything seen, heard, and felt is imprinted onto the subconscious mind and these imprints – or rather our unconscious interpretations of them – form the belief systems by which we interpret the world and our place in it. To complicate matters, children lack the capacity to understand or manage their own negative experiences (aka traumas). Societal norms and family expectations often teach us to reject or stuff the more volatile emotions of anger, fear, jealousy, even grief. Through conditioning, we learn to automatically pull away from these feelings in ourselves and others, contracting not only mind and spirit, but the body as well. These repressed emotions become what Carl Jung termed the shadow, and our shadows become triggers.

trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.

https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-a-trigger/

To hide from our shadows, we develop stories around our past that form the basis of our unconscious belief systems. Each story carries with it a negative emotional charge. These negative emotions then form ‘blocks’ in our psyche which hinder our ability to move through life with ease. Left to fester long enough, blocks manifest as overwhelm in the mind (anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors) and/or pain/disease in the body.

On some level, we all fear looking at our shadows. After all, they are built of painful memories that often evoke feelings of shame. But 95% of human behavior is borne out of subconscious preprogramming. That means that whatever traumas and emotions you are unwilling to face are probably controlling your life.

I never would have believed that breathing could heal if it had not happened to me

There is something about consciously breathing deep into the belly that opens the door for emotions to arise and be cleared. Breathing with intention can rescue us from the pain and shame of the past if we learn to give our bodies permission to feel through all of those rejected emotions. By allowing our blocks to come into conscious awareness, we can release them with love and acceptance.

Daily, moment to moment, the body is breathing itself. We need not do anything, but with conscious use, we are capable of many things. In an alchemical way, we can turn our dark matter into breath, to flow with breath, to release with breath.

On the conscious exhale, the willingness to sit with the rising up, we become capable of the letting go of weights. We held them so strongly that we had no idea just how heavy we were, until we’re floating.

https://upliftconnect.com/breathwork-for-clearing-trauma/

I began pouring paint in December of 2018. After a few months, I noticed new levels of creativity and experienced a peace and joy that I had not known before. My love for fluid acrylics crystalized into a desire to pass this freedom of expression on to others, so I offered paint classes that included meditation focused on connecting with the creativity found inside each of us.

The effects of COVID-19 have provided me with a lot more time and energy to explore my inner world than I would normally allow myself. During the second week of a 21-Day SOMA Journey, I realized that breathwork was the direction I want to go in terms of meditation – both personally and in the art classes I will one day teach again.

Ironically, I have not been able to put paint to canvas since my self-imposed quarantine began on March 15 (50+ days ago). But I sure have been breathing! And healing … and dreaming. I plan to develop my own style of breathwork, something that I hope will inspire deeper depths of creativity in myself and others. In the meantime, I would love to hear about any and all aspects of your journey in the comments below!

If you are interested in learning more about breathwork, please visit the links I provided in this post. For information about classes that combine meditation with fluid art, connect with me at ripplesofinsight@gmail.com.

Namaste, and thank you so much for reading.

~Cindy

Paint pouring with Cindy, with a focus on exploration and creativity in the moment, what could be better? Cindy gives lots of options for self discovery and helps you to design a lasting memory, as well as sparking a desire for experiences yet to come.

Gee Lawrence, Pickleball aficionado extraordinaire

Tonight Cindy Welch taught me a way to use meditation with pouring art. And it was amazing! I went back to attempting to paint from the things I learned from my meditation … and I felt like I accomplished my goal!! Working with Cindy was such an insightful and spiritual experience. I know that it helped me unblock what was interfering with what I was trying to create!

Rebecca Webeck

Creative Flows

I’ve been busy! Between pickleball sessions, a lot of paint has been wandering around on canvas. Check out my most recent creations below and let me know what you think (prices do not include shipping). To request a quote for a commissioned painting, email ripplesofinsight@gmail.com with color scheme, painting size, your location, and, if desired, pouring style. I require a deposit for a commission, which would apply to the final price of your piece. Please note that paint pouring does not lend itself to exact replications.

Click here to take a look at some of my other work.

As always, thanks for reading!

Namaste,

~C

Another Year … Another Decade

Hard to believe that it’s New Year’s Eve once again. It seems like yesterday I was hanging out with my grandchildren on this night last year, reminiscing about Ireland and contemplating what I thought might be one of my toughest years yet. Turns out that 2019 was kinder and gentler than I had imagined, but not without its challenges. It was a personal 9 year, after all.

Of course, my life for the past 30 years could be most easily characterized by the words ‘let go’ and this last decade was no different. Since 2009 I moved 6 times, started a blog, pulled off a wedding and a divorce, buried a sister, witnessed 3 grandchildren come into the world, published a novel, began a new craft, found a new sport, became a Tarot reader, and spent 11 glorious days in Ireland. All in all, 2019 was a much tamer beast than expected with only 2 job changes and one move – practically dull! 😉

Perhaps it’s me. Hopefully 4-1/2 years of meditation begins to count for something. Living a more minimalist lifestyle helps. If I had not become a paint pouring addict aficionado, everything I own can now fit into one bedroom. But I am not entirely sure how moving back into my home of origin fits into the theme of letting go. The end of a 9 year is also the beginning of a 1 year – a whole new journey of self-discovery. This feels like the old, not the new – like moving backwards, not leaving the past behind to move forwards. And yet … something about being here now is so completely different than before, it could almost be called ‘new.’ Besides, my personal 1 year does not actually begin until my 2020 birthday so, I still have some time.

To say I am looking forward to the coming year would be an understatement, truth be told. I am very excited about what looms down the pike for me. It begins with the cherished time I have now to spend with my parents. We celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday this month and will mark my father’s 92nd year this coming March. I have multiple books begging to be read and at least two asking to be written; my vision for a place to pour paint and read Tarot is coming into focus; I have plans to hike the Northern coast of Ireland and search out my Scottish origins; and there are new relationships waiting around every corner. I expect my next decade to be just as full or fuller than the last!

Now it’s your turn. What words would you use to describe your last decade? 2019? What about the year(s) ahead? I hope that you are as excited as I am about the future we are making together.

If you feel so inclined, please let me know all about it in the comments. I look forward to our conversations! As always, thank you for reading.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and all-out amazing New Year!!

Namaste,

~C

True Love Is …

True love is … receiving a custom made sign commemorating key locations in my novel. 😲 I cannot think of a more creative and thoughtful gift than this!

Click the picture to visit Houser House Creations, home of Dragyn’s Fyre Designs.

Roxanne, you just succeeded in making the Christmas of 2019 BEYOND special and amazing and incredible and stupendous, and … I have no words. ❤️💚💜🧡💛💙

The maker of this amazing sign wants to use it to promote my book!
This is like the gift that never stops giving!!!

Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

X X X O (kisses, kisses, kisses, HUG!) Or as my sister would say, love you bunches and bunches & tons and tons!

Your bestie,

C

Blessed Yule!

A Sunday Meditation

Welcoming back the light.

Even though this is not getting out until Monday, the energies for the reading are good for 1-6 months. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 21 marked the 2019 Yuletide and Winter Solstice. In an intimate celebration, a friend and I welcomed back the light of the sun. Winter has never been my favorite time of year, so thinking about longer days filled with sunshine left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. In the process of researching the various ways that Yule has been celebrated throughout history, I ran into this tree Tarot spread and decided to pull some cards for all of us in honor of the season. This is a general reading for all signs of the Zodiac.

I used my Waite-Rider-Smith Centennial Deck – a new go-to favorite of mine.
  1. Ideas/Inspiration – the 6 of Cups, nostalgia. It is no surprise that this card came up during the Christmas season. There is something about this time of year that brings up the past like no other. I am sure that many of you have spent more than a few moments this year thinking about what Christmas was like when you were growing up. This card is asking you to pay attention to those memories – to consider the dreams, visions, and ideas you had as a child. It is also time to uncover the ways you may be stuck in that past. If Christmastime was less than happy for you as a child, perhaps you can find ways to reimagine the season to bring you joy. This rewriting of the past has the power to unblock the root & sacral chakras, allowing new ideas and imagination to flow. It is a good idea to look back with gratitude and love on the people who have impacted your life to bring you where you are today. Consider how your past experiences can ground you, and draw on that energy moving forward.
  2. What is growing – the King of Pentacles, prosperity & mastery of the material world. Many of you are figuring it out & becoming the captain of your ship and the master of your domain. This could also be another person who has come into your life to bless and take care of you. It could be someone who is grounded and well-able to manage the things they value. Look to them for advice and guidance in the areas of finances, time management, or even relationships.
  3. What you give (bring to the table) – the Hanged Man, faith, patience, and a new perspective. Trust in your unique viewpoint, even though it may be different from those around you. Or maybe the cards are telling you that it is time to look at things in a different light, trusting that everything is working out for your highest good. Be willing to sacrifice your habitual ways of dealing with difficult issues as this could be what opens the doors for the new growth and change you desire. Ultimately this card is a call for patience, so work to temper your desire for immediate results.
  4. Your plans – the Hierophant, education, mentoring, and traditional ways/values. This card can also indicate a departure from tradition, which I believe may be the better interpretation in light of the Hanged Man with his ‘other’ perspective. This can also be the marriage card. Perhaps some of you are about to receive a proposal or will be tying the knot this Christmas! Whatever the circumstance, I am getting that it is time to both learn and teach. Be willing to sit at the feet of those who are ahead of you on the path and listen to their wisdom (take it in). Likewise be willing to give that knowledge away to help others along as well. It may be time to open your mind to other possibilities and beliefs.
  5. Process for bringing plans into being – Strength, facing the shadow, standing in the power of compassion, humility, and gentleness. Find the strength within to admit where you have missed the mark and do this in light of your commitment to learn, grow, and perhaps find a new way of moving forward on your path. No matter what, you got this.
  6. Be attentive to … (potential obstacle) – the 8 of Cups, new journey, leaving behind what no longer serves you. It is time to give some attention to the things from your past that are continuing to trip you up. Holding on to the emotions of the past will only hinder your progress forward. It is okay to look back (6 of Cups), but this is best done through the lens of gratitude, with a view to the lessons the past can teach. Memories can be useful teachers, but hanging on to the things that brought you pain (breeding unforgiveness and resentment) can keep you stuck in an unhappy life. You cannot change what was, and you can only move forward into all that can be by letting go of the past. Perhaps some focused journaling is in order.
  7. Your gift – what emerges (resolution/completion) – the 7 of Cups, choices. Sevens always indicate evaluation, and cups are emotions, feelings, and inspiration. This card carries with it a sense of overwhelm, but for me the message is simple: The choice is yours, you have the power to decide whether to stay stuck in the past or move forward.
  8. As clarification, I decided to pull another card. The 10 of Cups promises abundance and fulfillment in every area of life. It comes as assurance that the decision to let go and move on is a good one. Keep in mind that there is no bad choice, only what is. Stand in your power and do not fear making this choice. Your destiny awaits!

As I looked again at the spread, I was struck by a couple of things. First, the progression in the second row from the King of Pentacles, through the Hanged Man, to the Hierophant. This looks to me like movement from the material to the spiritual with a flip in perspective on the way. It is as if your ideas of what is of value are being turned on their head, and you are moving from an obsession with the things you can see, taste, hear and touch to a renewed focus on the unseen world of spirituality.

In the next row up, notice how the woman is facing left (for me, the past), the man is walking to the right (future), and the 7 of Cups hangs betwixt them. It is as if the 7 is taunting you, even daring you to make the choice – remember that no decision is a decision. Facing yourself, your shadows and weaknesses, coming to terms with your failures, is the requirement for progress forward. Once you make that choice, the journey promises to be so much sweeter than the past. I do feel there is some sorrow involved in this path, but the 10 of Cups stands as a promise that you can trust it will be worth it. It is high time to leave behind the emotions and beliefs pulling our energy away from the now! Time to throw off all that hinders our journey into the light.

It is time to choose.

The numbers (without the clarifier) add up to 8 – manifestation, power, and the energy embodied within the Strength card. You can do this. Never doubt it.

I hope this reading was helpful to you. Feel free to email me at ripplesofinsight@gmail.com with insights, questions, or anything else you would like to say. If you are interested in diving deeper on a more personal level, I offer intuitive Tarot readings in person (in the Greater Richmond, VA area) by phone, or video chat. You can email your question (and specify your preferred format) to cecetarot@yahoo.com. Payment of $40 can be made via PayPal and is completely refundable if you are in any way dissatisfied with your reading.

May this Yuletide season be bursting with love, gratitude, and peace.

Sending you much light,

C

NanoPoblano Leavings

November 30, the last day to post, read, comment, or link share for Team Tiny Peppers 2019, has arrived. Many are celebrating a great accomplishment, and well they should. I am so proud of everyone who met their writing goals this month – whatever they were!

On October 31, I intended to make the most of November – to write 10 posts, leave 10 comments, and share 10 links. While that goal was probably quite doable, the month did not exactly pan out the way I had planned. Still, I cannot view this as a failure. After all, I wrote, commented, and posted links more this month than I have in the past year. I also managed to pack up my stuff and move it to a house a few hours away, all the while continuing to teach pickleball, paint, and spend time with my amazing family! I just cannot find it in myself to feel bad about missing the mark this time.

Guilt, as a whole, lost its appeal to me years ago, when I saw it for what it was: a feeling of unworthiness masquerading as a noble emotion able to effect change. In fact, guilt and shame are the worst motivators I have ever come across. I do at times succumb to their lure, both towards myself (I must be to blame) and others (he/she/they must be to blame). But time and again I find the tactic painful and unrewarding.

Much better to finally discover that no one is to blame, that judgement itself is a construct of the ego, an outdated software program compelling me to do whatever it takes to survive. Perhaps the shame/blame game had a place in our earlier evolution when life literally depended on connection to the community. But throughout history are examples of those who understood that the shame/blame game was not the way, that judgement only ever leads to misery (for everyone involved), and that love alone signifies (Jesus, Gandhi, and other ascended masters come to mind).

In the spirit of link shares, I would like to give you a little something that has helped me begin to identify the problem of ego in my own life. I hope that it will inspire you too.

This universe began with love and the story of life must end with love as well. Sure, we may blow this world to kingdom come in an effort to keep the shame/blame game going, but I believe in a universe that will continue to expand even if earthlings do not course correct in time. We are part of the eternal Source of all that is, and there is no power able to bring about the ultimate demise of Source.

If and when this world is shattered, we will surely build another.

Until then, I choose to walk the path of love: taking care of myself, taking care of others, continuing to explore life while letting go of shame and blame. It all must start with me.

So I close November with grace – towards myself, towards you, towards all who can receive it. And I send out the message I have been hearing all year: I am enough … you are enough … we are enough.

May you come to discover the incredible freedom found outside the bounds of the shame/blame game. May you grow to know the amazing person you are and always have been. Today, apart from any perceived success or failure, may you realize your worthiness to thrive. May you come to believe, without any shadow of doubt, that you are enough!

Hope to see you in December. Much love and light.

Namaste,

~C

Link Share #3

Blessed Sagittarius season, everyone! I plan to begin writing again once my move is complete, so stay tuned for some holiday explorations and an upcoming Yule Tarot reading! In the meantime, I found a wonderful article I wanted to share. Enjoy!

One Native’s perspective on Thanksgiving. Beautiful read. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

See you soon!

Namaste,

~C

Thanksgiving Meditation

On Thursday this week, many families in the US will celebrate Thanksgiving. Somewhere in the cloudy memory of my younger days, I recall being taught that the holiday commemorated a camaraderie between Pilgrims and the Indigenous peoples of the land. I came to question that narrative as I grew older, and considering how we continue to mistreat and marginalize the people whose land the settlers stole, I have my doubts about any sort of harmonious relationship between the melting pot of invaders and the Indians of the Americas. Certainly if it ever existed, it was short-lived. I once heard someone say, “The winners write the history books.” That sounds about right to me. 

Yet here we find ourselves year after year, coming together around a table to indulge in the abundance of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave … well, depending on who you are. Apparently, freedom is a fluid concept that may or may not be dependent on the color of your skin. 

Which begs the question, what is freedom anyway? 

I remember a man speaking to a full auditorium about his life as a prisoner of war. I do not recall his name, which war he fought in, or what country held him. I do remember hearing him talk about the sense of freedom he experienced during that the days, months, and years spent alone at the bottom of a hole in the ground. Freedom must be more than the ability to go and do where and what you want. 

Could it be that freedom – like love, joy, and appreciation – is a state of mind? Maybe true freedom is knowing that there is no substance to the things that enamor us in this world, that what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is merely energy coalesced into different forms, enticing us to believe that something outside of ourselves owns the power to grant those higher emotions. What if true freedom is not possessing the land, having the job, getting the vacation, or the ability to eat ourselves into a turkey-induced coma? What if freedom is the understanding that no circumstance, thing, situation, person, or place outside ourselves can ever bring or take true happiness?

I cannot help but wonder if we who indulge our appetites so recklessly every fourth Thursday in November are not the real prisoners. Enslaved by the sheer hunger for more, we do not stop our indulgence on Thursday, but now carry it on through Friday – the day we try to fill a different hole in our hearts, the one reserved for more stuff.

A quick search of the origin of the term “Black Friday” yielded this little gem. It seems to me that the establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday was more of a political ploy or an excuse for a couple of paid days off than an opportunity to focus on gratitude. Maybe that’s just my propensity for cynicism talking.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Thanksgiving as a rule. I am glad that our family has an excuse to get together every year around a table full of food we all helped to prepare. And I am one of the lucky ones – my family comes together often, without any excuse but our love for one another. For that I am immensely grateful. 

My heart goes out to the countless Americans who have no family with which to celebrate this or any holiday; those who are estranged from the ones they love; and those who have no means for a feast. Sad conditions indeed. Sadder still are the ones who have all of those things yet live a life enslaved to their perception of reality, complainers, unable to find joy or peace within despite their abundance without. 

The true inspirations are those who manage to find joy without any of those things. Just as a bad circumstance has no power to steal my joy, freedom, love, or gratitude (unless I let it), so abundance and good fortune lack the power to give any of them to me. 

I confess, my original plan for this post was to tell you that on Black Friday I will be moving instead of shopping, that it would mark the thirty-something time I have moved since I was 18, and that the thought of moving again makes me tired. Instead I was made to remember that everything I need already exists inside of me. To top that off, my outer world is a place of abundance, a veritable feast of loving family members, places to live, and countless wonderful things I enjoy doing! These thoughts made me realize the many ways that I allow my perceived circumstances to dictate my sense of freedom or bondage, joy or depression, love or fear. My own words have confronted my propensity to complain rather than to thank.

Today I choose to remember that freedom, joy, and gratitude are states of mind that nothing in my outer world may alter without my consent. 

May you find the joy that nothing outside of you can steal, the love of yourself that you deserve because you are worthy, and the gratitude & appreciation for the wonder of life itself. May your Thanksgiving be truly blessed – both within and without.

With a thankful heart, Namaste,

~C 

Connection …? We Really Have NO Idea

It’s worth thinking that maybe the meaning of our lives are actually not even within the scope of our understanding.

Tom Chi, TedX Taipei

This video is for anyone who thinks that their life doesn’t matter. If only you knew how crucial your existence is to everything and everyone else!

Everything is connected.

No matter how long you spend on this earth or what you ‘do’ with your life, please know that you matter.

Namaste,

~C

Just Breathe

I know, I know, November was supposed to be a month of blogging. My life and writing? Not particularly in sync right now. The full schedule will certainly let up right around the first of December – just after NanoPoblano ends. 😒 Mind you, I am not complaining. I may not be writing, but I absolutely love what I am doing.

In lieu of a post tonight, I would like to share an exciting process with you. I may not be writing, but I am most definitely breathing. Enjoy!

SOMA Breath – highly recommend the daily doses. But watch out! They might just change your life – for the better!

Namaste,

~C

Finding My Flow in North Georgia

It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. 

Lewis Carroll

This is a continuation of the journey I began early in the summer of 2019.

I have long understood that everything in our physical realm is made up of invisible energy. This energy must flow freely or our lives will be filled with pain, chaos, and misery. Maybe that’s why I love fluid art so much. Pouring paint has helped me to learn to tap into the flow. But this summer it came to my attention that something was blocking the natural flow of energy inside me. I reached out to Dr. Tom and Emily to see if they could help me identify and eradicate it for good.

At approximately 11:00 in the morning on July 20, Tom Dill offered me a seat on a massage table in his office in the North Georgia Wellness Center. “So what brought you here today?” he asked, graciously omitting the unspoken but implied, all the way from Woodbridge, VA. Emily Francis sat on the couch to my right, preparing to take notes on her phone. At the time, I was unaware that Emily no longer accepted patients and that Dr. Tom never agreed to treat anyone who lived out of state. I still do not know how or why my email persuaded them to see me, only that I am so very grateful it did.

In the middle of my narrative, Dr. Tom glanced at Emily and said, “Do you see that?” “I sure do,” was her immediate response. He waited until I finished before asking, “Can you take a deep breath for me?” It was my first clue that I had come to the right place. Sometime in 2018 I had lost the ability to breathe deeply, as if a stone had lodged in the center of my chest. I felt pain in the area from time to time. I did not know what it was, but I did know that it was completely unrelated to my physical heart. I had an energy problem.

Most of us are unaware of the beliefs and thought patterns we carry around in our subconscious minds. When those beliefs tend towards the negative, they can become blocks in the energy field that eventually cause problems in our physical bodies. While there are several ways to hack the subconscious (many of which I already use, like meditation), I knew that whatever I was dealing with needed something more. I needed help from people who were trained to work directly with energy.

We skipped over the conventional NAET tests for allergens. Instead, Dr. Tom muscle tested me for various emotional issues, beginning with the general heading of ‘my past’. During this portion of the treatment, Tom made some interesting discoveries.

  1. I ‘tread lightly’, fearful of making mistakes.
  2. I hold patterns from my childhood in my chest (go figure).
  3. My heart was broken in the past (like most everybody else).
  4. My fifth chakra (throat) has always been weak. I found this one the most enlightening – a reminder that the gift of gab does not indicate a healthy throat chakra. The ability to effectively speak my truth has long been an issue.

NAET practitioners typically identify negative memories, beliefs, and thought patterns that have morphed into energetic blocks, then clear them using acupressure along the meridian points of the spine. It was quite similar to some of the treatment I have undergone with my acupuncturist. Dr. Tom wanted to know when I first experienced the block in my chest. While trying to remember, I commented how odd it was to me that I could not take a deep breath. “Every trained singer knows full well how to belly breathe,” I said. But I had lost the skill – even during meditation. Muscle testing revealed it began around November 22, 2018. “That was moving day!” I exclaimed. “The day we moved into the house that we love.”

“That makes sense,” Tom said, “since you have trouble allowing yourself to be happy.” Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Which it rarely does. But if you believe you are not allowed to be happy and you are happy, self sabotage is your only recourse. Dr. Tom proceeded to clear my subconscious aversion to happiness. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would ‘stick.’

Emily’s turn came. The raw pain in my connective tissue brought me up from the table several times. I knew in my head that her brutality was a necessary evil and reminded myself that I hadn’t made the 10-hour drive to be coddled and left in my current condition. Something had to shake my body from its chains. When the massage was over, Dr. Tom returned for a final round of clearing and we were done. Other than the pain I had experienced at Emily’s hand, nothing particularly earth-shattering had happened. I drove back to my friend’s house in Marietta and wondered what I had really accomplished by coming all the way to Georgia.

The next morning I woke up and took the first deep breath I had taken in almost a year. I understood then that my trip had been worth every second and every penny. Life is all about flow, and Tom and Emily had helped my body find it once more.

Today I dream of running an art studio where fluid art and metaphysics come together. Until I open the doors I will learn everything I can about both, thanks to amazing teachers like Aaron Abke, Gilly Kube, Joe Dispenza, Gina Deluca, and many others. For now, I will set my intention, dream my dreams, and learn to live in the flow.

How about you? Is flow something that comes naturally or is it a struggle for you to find? When you detect blocks, how do you go about clearing them? Let me hear from you in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading!

Namaste,

~C

Inner Musings – Part 1

The child standing before me was barely recognizable. Her eyes, nose, and mouth sat jumbled and distorted on the right side of her face – off-kilter, a mirror reflection of the state of my heart. Her head tipped back, revealing eyes filled with longing. How could I refuse the silent plea? As I lifted her into my arms, her features slid back into place. She turned her head on my shoulder and smiled. I knew then that I would take her with me this time. I could no longer leave her in my memories of the past. Perhaps she had outgrown them. Perhaps we both had.

My father made it for me. It hung humbly from the limb of a pine tree in my back yard.
Next to my little teddy bear classroom, that swing was my favorite toy.

I first encountered my inner child in the backyard of my home of origin. The swing made sense – it had brought me endless hours of delight. There I could forget everything but watching the sky rush down to meet my outstretched feet.

Her joy was a palpable presence as I stood watching her.

I remembered it like it was yesterday. The ground, the sky, the ground, the sky, the ground – then, when I had amassed enough courage, a final leap into thin air! The tumble down the hill, the laughter – just like it was yesterday. My allergy to the green carpet that covered the backyard like an itchy wool blanket had never stopped me jumping. In the interim, other things had gotten in the way of my courage, though.

That day, she did not jump. She just swung, and watched me watching her. I did not remember ever wearing the knowing smile she gave me. When I had amassed enough courage to stand before her, I held out my hand and said, “Come with me.” 

“No,” she replied, “you come with me.” Without a word, or even a moment’s hesitation, I turned my back to the swing, waited to feel its touch against my legs, then sat. A strange sensation came over me, as if my body were falling into hers – or had she fallen into me? Now I was swinging. The ground, the sky, the ground, the sky … 

But would I ever again amass enough courage to jump? As it turned out, I would.

The Ring of Kerry, Dingle, and the Ballaghbeama Gap

The Wild Atlantic Way, Part II: A continuation of my time spent in County Kerry, September, 2018. You can read Part 1 here.

The road leading to the beginning of the Ring of Kerry was virtually deserted that time of morning, bewitching me into believing that the day’s drive would be equally as unchallenging. But once on the Ring, buses sped towards me at regular intervals, passing dizzyingly close. I could not help reacting every time, flinching and often pulling over, to the chagrin of the drivers behind me. Even after five full days, every time any car came near, my eyes told me there was just not enough room on the road for the both of us.

I arrived in Waterville – the halfway point – at about three o’clock in the afternoon. There I stopped for a cup of tea in a café serving only ‘staying’ customers, as evidenced by the large “no takeout” sign hanging beneath the register. The proprietor’s passive-aggressive insistence that his patrons sit to partake of his little slice of Irish heaven brought a smile to my face. For me the break from the stress of driving was a welcomed one, and I enjoyed it at my leisure.

Waterville gained renown as the favorite vacation spot of Charley Chaplin, who often enjoyed its charms when on holiday with his family. There were several photos of him on the cafe walls. I took a short walk along the beach after tea, and even went so far as to participate in a local legend. It is believed that picking up a handful of sand from a beach in Ireland and dividing it in half – reserving some in a bottle and throwing the rest into the sea – will ensure the traveler’s return. Fingers crossed for 2021…

Seashells, sand, stones, and a feather I brought back from the beaches of Ireland, rest in an abalone shell.

In the planning stages of my trip, I learned that the Beara Peninsula (specifically the Healy Pass) was a much more desirable sight than the commercialized Dingle, but at around five o’clock in the afternoon I reached the end of the Ring of Kerry, and on a whim, turned left onto the Dingle Peninsula.

As I drove west, the sky grew progressively darker. A steady rain greeted me in Dingle Town, but I pressed on for a few more miles before realizing my mistake. Having already experienced the difficulty of navigating the narrow streets of Ireland in the dark, I knew that to attempt it with rain too would be madness.

The downpour let up a bit as I headed east, away from the eye of the storm. Relieved, I continued to follow my GPS, pleading with Siri to avoid any gaps. Before I knew what was happening, I had entered the first hairpin turn of the Ballaghbeama Gap. Frantically, I shouted at my phone, “I said no gaps!” But the little wisps of fog trailing into my windshield were the only reply I would get.

Photo courtesy of beckeb00 as posted on Trip Advisor.
Used by permission.

The higher I climbed, the thicker the fog became. The problem of reversing direction seemed insurmountable. Not only was the road narrow and one-lane with nothing but air on either side of each switchback, but the fog made it impossible to see more than a few feet in front of my bumper. As if mimicking life itself, moving forward was my only choice.

The darkness grew. I considered contacting my hosts while cursing my lack of a flare. A wry smile crept across my face as I recalled the story they had told me not twenty-four hours earlier about their own search and rescue mission to save a Belgian guest who had lost her way hiking the hills of a similar gap. When it finally it dawned on me that I must be the only one who would dare to brave a gap in weather like that, I relaxed my grip on the steering wheel, at least sure that I would not find myself in a head-on collision.

I have no recollection of how long my slow crawl through the fog-enshrouded Ballaghbeama lasted, but it would be several hours later and a long shot of whiskey before I could calm down enough to sleep. The stress of the ordeal dogged the rest of my trip, and for the first time since boarding the plane to Ireland, I longed for home.

When I finally got around to putting together a photo book and writing down my adventures, it occurred to me the extreme bravery it had taken to make the trip at all. A 50-something woman, driving alone for 11 days through a strange country, willing to blindly follow a map, though it take her through the inky blackness of the Ballaghbeama Gap.

If there is one takeaway from my trip that really meant something to me, it was the realization that I can overcome any challenge thrown my way! Whiskey notwithstanding, I have what it takes to persevere. And at that moment in time, owning a belief in myself meant more to me than a thousand trips to Ireland. I can honestly say today that there was no more defining moment out of that week and a half than the harrowing hours I spent driving through what felt like the valley of the shadow of death. And I couldn’t be more thankful for the experience.

What life experiences have defined you? Or what experiences have shown you an aspect of yourself you had not before appreciated? Share them in the comments, if you like.

Many thanks for reading.

Namaste,

~C

LinkShare #1

As part of this year’s NanoPoblano, we are sharing links to websites and blogs that have had an impact on us. Today I would like to draw your attention to a favorite teacher of mine.

Geraldine Amaral has spent a lifetime learning and living the Tarot. I have taken several of her classes and am slowly working my way through her book, Tarot Celebrations, coauthored with Nancy Brady Cunningham. I will be sure to post a review here on the blog when I finish.

The Spiritual Tarot is filled with great information, pithy quotes, meditations, and of course, how you can connect with the cards. Please visit Geraldine’s site when you have some free time to wander around.

If you’d like to know more about my own journey into Tarot, click here.

As always, thanks so much for reading.

Namaste,

~C

Samhain Meditation 2019

Día de Muertos, All Hallows Eve, Halloween, All Saints Day, Samhain – no matter the name, across cultures it is believed that from October 31 – November 2, the veil between the living and the dead – the spiritual and physical realms – is at its thinnest. It is the time when we honor our ancestors, when we give thanks to those who came before us – the ones who laid the foundation for our lives. In the Pagan tradition, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “sow-win”) also marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

I decided to reach out to my angels and guides for a message to the light workers, those of us looking to bring peace, healing, and love into the world. I asked for some word of encouragement for the coming year, something to help further the ascension of humanity.

I set my wand in the center of the spread as a representation of the divide between the upper and lower realms. What follows is my take on the cards. I welcome your input in the comments. Feel free to expand the meaning of the message(s) from your viewpoint.

1. LIFE: VIII of Wands 

Embrace all that we hear from spirit. The messages will sync with what we already know to be true. There is a strong sense of order in the way the wands are traveling – now is the time for unity. Standing together, we have the power to raise the vibration to a new level.

Wands are fire, movement, and the things we are passionate about. They can indicate growth. The eight of wands is communication, fast motion forward, and sometimes overwhelm. Messages will be coming in hard and fast, bringing the light of understanding to many. All of the wands are in sync with one another – although some are further ahead – showing that we are working together, yet continue to be on our own individual journeys, at different points along our path. The wands are falling from the sky to the earth – Spirit to flesh – and they are traveling to the right (for me, the ‘right’ direction spiritually – towards the future, advancing forward). 

2. DEATH: VII of Wands 

Let go of the need to defend our position. The light does not need defense against the dark. Light dispels darkness just by shining. Arguments, rivalry, jealousy – these have no place among those of the light. We are in this deal together or we are not in it at all. Separation & division are illusions.

Wands are fire, movement, and the things we are passionate about. They can indicate growth. The number seven relates to evaluation. It is time to take a hard look at our methods. Infighting, anger, jealousy – these are tools of the dark. Self-defense is resistance and cannot serve the light. Only love has the power to change and transform this world. It is time we stop meeting violence with violence. Only love signifies.

3. Our Courage: IX of Swords 

We have come to the end of a cycle characterized by worry, fear and doubt. It is time to trust in our dream for a better world. No more sleepless anxiety. Only have faith that all is moving according to plan.

Swords are thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and intellectual patterns. Nine promises an ending that will make room for a new beginning. It is time to let go of old beliefs/thought patterns and the anxieties that accompany them. The light of dawn is coming. Trust, take courage, and walk in hope.

4. Our Fears: X of Cups 

We fear that all the goodness we have known is coming to an end, but just the opposite is happening! For the new to come, we must let go of the old. It is time for our traditional ideas of work, family, spirituality, and prosperity to die. Everything is vibration and there is no separation between us and the Divine. All is one. I say again, separation is an illusion.

Cups are emotion and intuition. They speak of Spirit and the flow of life. Ten is overabundance, fulfillment. Do not listen to the doom and gloom message being touted by the media, trying to keep you trapped in fear and worry. Listen only to Spirit. It is in the still small voice that we discern the truth and learn to hope with faith. There is no end to the abundance we can experience when we walk in the light. We are not fighting over a limited pie – the abundance of this universe is boundless!

5. To Celebrate: III of Pentacles 

It is time to celebrate our expansion. We are coming together as one at last. New discoveries are beginning to verify what we have heard for so long from Spirit. Things are beginning to make sense and it is becoming more and more difficult for anyone to discount the power of the Divine in the world. 

Pentacles are things of earth, the things we value in the natural/material world. They can be money, time, relationships. Three is the number for expansion, growth, fertility. Unity is growing in the camp of the Light! “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” What we build together will stand the test. It is time to begin to trust one another again, to celebrate not only our similarities, but our differences too. We each bring something unique to the table that will help build the new world we all desire. Celebrate this time of increase in numbers, depth, and understanding.

6. To Contemplate: III of Swords 

It is high time we dive deep into our ability to heal our own past hurts and pain. We have been the walking wounded long enough, but even that has only been in the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and our past. Take another look, reframe the picture of your life. Understand that everything has served the purpose of increasing the light – even our darkest days have taught us to trust – to listen to our intuition.

Swords are thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and intellectual patterns. Three is the number of expansion, growth, and fertility – but in this suit, the growth is stymied by wrong thinking. Our hearts are pierced by the thoughts in our minds. Love cannot flow from a heart hardened by bitterness and resentment. It is only our thoughts that cause us to suffer – how we think about our situation and the things that have happened in the past is key. Change your thoughts, change your life. Find gratitude for all that has come to pass. Staying anchored in the pain only keeps us acting out of that pain. Contemplate and reconsider reactions to everything in life. It is time to take courage, let go, and move on. Remember it is the story we tell ourselves that determines how we see everything. Let’s make our story a masterpiece!

The number of the spread = 5. Five is change. And change is coming! This year we are being given the opportunity to make our own change. To contemplate the past, choose new thoughts that will bring healing and find the strength to move on.

May you walk in peace and joy in light of this message from Spirit. As always, thank you for reading.

Namaste,

~C

The Brilliant Dark

 There exists around me
A wide world of insanity
Voices filled with promise
Vie for attention before my eyes
Enticing paths run in all directions
Begging me follow
at my peril. 
 There exists inside me 
A vast realm of possibility
Darkness alive with potential 
Shrouding treasure behind my eyes
Untapped thoughts lay in the crevices
Marking time
'til I awaken. 

For more on experiencing the space within, check out Dr. Joe Dispenza.

What’s Your Story?

What if every situation in our lives comes to help us in some way? I mean every situation. Like the ones that tear your heart in two … financial loss, illness, death. What if ALL OF IT is an opportunity to teach us to tell a different story?

I love to paint. But let me clarify – I am hopeless with a brush, a pencil, a pen. Just give me a canvas, acrylic paint, and a way to make it fluid. I like to watch it crawl around the surface in little lines and swirls. Sometimes the colors surprise me; other times they are predictable, like when I make ‘mud’. But a child delights in mud. No one ever told them that ‘mud’ is not a pretty color. To a child, mud is nothing short of an opportunity to play.

The child knows how much fun mud can be, while grandmother sees the mess. No wonder Jesus said we have to become like children to understand life properly. Children never see the mess, they see the opportunity. After all, they are only in it for the fun.

A fellow artist was faced with this challenge today:

The storm came, the shelves shook, and a mess ensued. She awoke to a muddy disaster. She called for help, outside the box of her frustration and pain, and discovered that others had experienced their own disasters, and had found new ways to create beauty from them. They had looked for the opportunity in the mess. They had changed their stories and created beauty from failure.

What if this principle of finding joy and creativity inside the mud puddle applies to every area of our lives? The job ends, leaving room for new and better opportunities; the breakdown of a marriage leads to true love; the illness teaches you how resilient you are, giving you the strength to pursue a long-abandoned dream. Life’s disasters can open the door to possibilities never before imagined – if we will let them. But then, it all depends on what story you tell.

“Remember, you write your own script, so make it a masterpiece!” 

Marisa Peer

The only truth in life is the story you tell yourself.

You might want to read that again.

Now, imagine turning every story on its head. For instance, a friend of mine told me that when someone is driving haphazardly around her (too fast, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, etc.), she thinks, “That person must have a serious stomach illness and they’re looking for a bathroom; or perhaps they are trying to get to the hospital to say farewell to a loved one before it’s too late.” Actions easily interpreted as inconsiderate, reckless, or even hostile can be instantly transformed into a story that moves me to compassion and empathy, away from anger and frustration. 

What kind of world could we create if every person assumed the best of everyone else, and even went so far as to find a silver lining in every situation? It would certainly make for a beautiful life story, wouldn’t it? A masterpiece even.

I’ll bet money that there is a disaster going on in some area of your life right now. It may be small or large, it may have gone on for years or just happened this morning. I am here to tell you that you have it in your power to tell whatever story about it you would like. It’s your story so the sky’s the limit! Why not make it a good one?

I challenge you to rewrite the story of your disaster – even better if you can find a silver lining. Have fun with it! Let me know what happens in the comments.

Namaste and thanks so much for reading,

~C

November 1, 2019 CheerPeppers post.

NaBloPoMo According to Ra

Tomorrow a group of bloggers will begin a new journey led by our fearless dino-sister, Rarasaur. November is traditionally a writing intensive month. I have no clue how it all began, but NaNoWriMo is a tool many writers use to push themselves to write, track their progress, and hopefully come up with their next great publication – all in the space of 30 days.

Now, it took me 4 years to complete a novel of approximately 92,000 words from beginning to end – I have a writing prompt from the King of the Matticus Kingdom to credit for that. It was difficult enough to finally make my way to a published work on Amazon … I cannot imagine the stress of trying to complete a novel in one month (the years of editing to follow notwithstanding). However, I have enjoyed the way that Rara takes us outside of that box to offer a challenge I can really sink my teeth into. This year is even more gratifying because it is designed to give us ample time to write, read, and comment (10 days of each). 

In 2015 I participated in NaBloPoMo, and it was quite the experience. I even surprised myself that I was able to pull off a blog post every day. Some stuff has happened since then like grandkids, pickleball, acrylic pouring, a divorce, and 2 moves (one last November, coincidentally), I simply have not found the time to jump back in. I am hoping that this challenge will spark some ideas to get me moving in the direction of the sequel to The Mists of Tir Na Nóg. Never mind that very soon I’ll be moving again.

I hope you will stop by and comment from time to time this month. It’s always nice to know that someone is walking by my side. Who knows? You might get inspired to jump on the Cheer Peppers bandwagon yourself. 

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Namaste,

~C

That Pesky Shadow

Of late I have been reminded that the only way forward is through. The real problem comes when I want to bring some of myself and leave the ‘unwanted’ pieces behind. My daughter wisely says, “Everyone has to come if anyone is to come.” In the same way, all of me must go if any of me is to go.

Today I participated in a collaborative Facebook live with my dear friend and fellow light-worker, Delia Beadle. Delia founded Spirit Bear Rising, a Facebook group dedicated to helping the ‘woke’ community move forward. It was a joy interacting with her regular viewers. I even pulled a few cards, which is always fun. Two of the questions that came up today gave me pause. They were common enough. One had to do with success, the other with being ‘on track’. When Delia read them, I stumbled inwardly, as if a languid stroll had been interrupted by the tip of a rock against my tender big toe. The questions gnawed at my mind long after the live was over.

On a seemingly unrelated note, this evening I rifled my way through a ridiculous number of emails before deciding to read the weekly edition of Winning Writers. At the very end, I found this little gem:

And the priestess spoke again and said: Speak to us of Reason and Passion. And he answered saying:

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite. Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.

But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.

If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction. Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.

Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows—then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”

And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky,—then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.” And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.

Reason and Passion: An excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Suddenly it clicked. During the live, I explained that to answer the question about job success would require a definition of the word ‘success’. For example, in March I took my last job as an administrative assistant and am counting down the days until it ends (July 31!!). I am not retiring. I decided to quit. It is doubtful that many – if any – would call my decision a success. After all, I make good money doing something I excel at. But quitting a job I hate, with no prospect of income on the horizon might be the greatest definition of success for me right now that I can think of.

Using that example, I asked the querent to take a different tack. Maybe the journey is not about success and failure but growth. Despite my explanation, I still had the nagging feeling that something more was at play. The words ‘on track’ gave me my next clue. What does that phrase even mean? If our life’s journey is the track, how can we possibly get ‘off’ of it?

We are human beings, bound by the limitations of physical time and space. The path we walk is defined by our current individual interpretations of vague, half-remembered past experiences etched into our subconscious minds long before we reached the age of rational thought. The implication in the question is whether or not the chosen path is right. But what do the words ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘on’ or ‘off’ even mean in this context? The path I walk is my path, right, wrong, or indifferent. It is my reality, my truth. I am certainly ‘on’ it, whether I like it or not. And if I am on it, then I have chosen it. Perhaps I am unable to see another path, or perhaps I see all of them, but can only choose the one I am on.

These words: success, failure, right, wrong, on and off have got me thinking again about the deep-seated need we humans have to form dichotomies. I read somewhere recently that our dualistic ideas stem from the notion that our lives have a beginning and an end. In a way, they do, but only as viewed from the physical sense of birth and death. The fact is we are so much more than these earthly shells we currently occupy. (My daughter would add that we are stardust incarnate. 🙂 )

Some of you know the impact that Marisa Peer has had on my life this year. Learning to espouse the phrase “I am enough” has literally begun to transform my life in ways I never could have guessed. Questions about success or being ‘on’ the path bring to light our need to qualify and quantify our lives into something worthwhile – something good, something others will agree was successful. But what if just being here is enough?

How quick we are to judge ourselves, our thoughts and actions, even the paths we choose. We seek comfort in categorizing everything we perceive into a neat little package we call good or bad, right or wrong, on or off, light or darkness. But what if the path is none of those things? What if we are none of them either? What if our path is just that – our path – without qualification or the need for justification? What if everything in our experience – even us as human beings – just is. Beyond simplistic definition. Beyond dualism. Beyond imagination.

Perhaps the greatest challenge we will ever face is the discovery of the truth that we are both light and dark, good and bad, rational and passionate. What would our lives look like if we recognized that all of those seemingly disparate parts have indeed been packaged into one harmonious whole, and that all we are required to do is joyfully walk the path of our amazing, incredible, glorious life experience?

What a wonderful world that would be.