It's been a long, weird month away from my business and from you, my amazing tribe. I've had a few personal emergencies that threw me totally off my groove and left me putting out some fires - including, at one point, a full-scale top-to-bottom cleaning of my apartment! I suppose it's only fitting, with Halloween and Samhain (the New Year for a lot of Pagans) only a week away. And it's left me thinking about clutter of all kinds: the physical kind, the mental, and even the spiritual.
You don't have to be a hoarder - or someone in a long-time battle with cleaning, like me - to suffer from a buildup of junk. We're reluctant to get rid of things that no longer work for us, to create new systems for our lives, to streamline the world we live in. In honor of the upcoming new year, here are five ways you can cut down the clutter in your life - and feel like you're getting a whole new start!
1. Keep, Store, Toss
Everything has a purpose, but sometimes it can wear out its welcome. Go through your house and take a look at what you have in storage, laying around the house, or in your closets and dressers. Decide what you use all the time, what you need to put in storage (for me it's the books I can't bear to get rid of), and what needs to get donated or thrown out.
2. How's That Working For You?
But this isn't just about physical "stuff"! Spend about a week keeping track of your day, from what you do at work to how you spend your evenings when you've got a moment to yourself. Where are your breaks too long, or too short? Is there a way to cut down on the time your work takes? How effective are you at what you're doing, and is there another way to make it easier?
3. Make Some Sacred Time
It might sound ridiculous to add one more thing to a packed and overwhelming day. But if you're reading this blog, chances are you have a spiritual path you follow and you know how important it is. Set aside ten minutes for some kind of daily ritual: meditation, exercise, yoga, daily devotions, or prayer are just a few of your options. Taking time out for your connection to the Universe gives you clarity and discipline, and most of all, it lets you know you're part of something bigger than yourself. You matter, and we all need that reminder sometimes.
4. The Power of Three
At any point in time, I've got twenty different things I keep meaning to get to "someday". The trouble is, those "somedays" can clutter up my mind and leave me distracted with half-baked ideas, vague plans, and guilt when I don't achieve half of what I wanted to. Pick just three things to get accomplished in a day, and make them your goals. If your goals are long-term, pick three small things you can do to accomplish those goals. Write them down, put the list somewhere you can see it, and commit. When you're done with that list for the day, you can tack on more if you need to, but this will help keep your life streamlined and clear.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help
It can be hard to ask for help - but sometimes it's what we need. When everything gets overwhelming, there are places to go. Life and spiritual coaches can help you get a handle on the day-to-day. Friends and family can give you a new perspective, or just a sounding board if you need it. It's scary to admit you don't always "have it together", like you're making yourself vulnerable and opening your life up to visitors all at once. But sometimes, just getting it all out in the open can leave you feeling clear and refreshed. And two pairs of hands can work much faster than one.
Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, and clutter-free week!
Well, we're at the end of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I've successfully written 31 different posts relating to Tarot, history, fear, motivation, diversity, creativity, and my continued ridiculous love for Leonie Dawson
This is a huge thing for me, because while I love my blog to pieces, and I love everyone I've met through it, sometimes I slip up. I don't write a post every day, so I write extra posts and backdate a day or two. I don't always promote every post perfectly. Some of my ideas have been great, some not so great. I could write for a month or ten years, love it no less, and still have it be a learning process. So accomplishing this, having everything to show for this month, is a big deal for me.
Why would I tell you this when I'm a life coach? When I use my gifts as a Tarot reader, along with creative exercises and a guiding hand, to help others to learn, plan, expand, and grow? Because it's okay.
I have ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. That means things like schedules, repeated tasks, and details are sometimes difficult for me. I've had to learn, over a long period of time, that Getting Stuff Done and Being Organized doesn't come as easily to me as it does to other people.
That means I've done more to learn how to make it happen for me, what works and doesn't work, what fits into my personal rhythm and needs. And that means I've learned how to make mistakes: with acceptance. Understanding what happened, and how that's where I'm at. Resolving to take what I've learned, and try again tomorrow.
I've had times in the past where I'd decide that overnight, I was going to be a master of everything. I'd plan to work my tail off until my house was sparkling, my eating habits were flawless, I'd accomplished four or five different projects and still have time to read a book about spirituality or self-development at the end of the day.
That just doesn't work
. Even when I finished most of what I planned to do, I was exhausted. The things I loved felt like chores, items on the checklist of life rather than something that could genuinely benefit me and be enjoyable. And the stuff that wasn't so great? I'd punish myself over it - until I learned that not only was this biologically supposed
to be difficult, but learning it was a process
So I set a few things to do each day. I broke it down and made it simple for myself. I slowly chipped away, and I kept moving forward. No punishment, no judgement. If I had an unproductive day, I'd look at what happened, and I told myself I'd do better tomorrow.
And when I got the website made, the class finished, the story written, I'd be able to look at it and say: "I did that."
Congratulations to everyone else who completed the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and to anyone worrying about what they haven't accomplished: nothing is impossible. The only way you could ever lose your way is to stop moving completely.
The card for this week is the Ace of Wands, and again it's reversed, showing a lot of blocked energy in terms of focus, drive, and creativity. The things that are blocked in our lives are often the things we most need to unblock and learn. To me, that's why one of the interpretations of Tarot reversals is to pay special attention to the card and bring it into focus in your life.
The deck this week is the Forest Folklore Tarot, a deck by illustrator Kessia Beverley-Smith that draws inspiration from the New Forest in England. All the Wand cards in this deck have the same blonde, dainty fairies as shown in this first card -- which is interesting to me, because I'd have taken that kind of coloring for an Air fairy, and I've seen horses used to represent Earth. Associations are often so subjective, which can sometimes make them hard to navigate when you're using them to perform magick, or even to inspire you personally. But they can also lead to some really cool outside-the-box thinking.
Because I look at that image and I see a very powerful, spirited, free animal standing as a backdrop over the very beginning of the Wands cycle, a small light of inspiration and spirit that will soon grow and increase. I'm going to be starting a group read of The Fire Starter Sessions soon, and I'm really excited to see what changes it creates in my life and my business. I do have dreams and visions for my life, visions I want to create - but it's so easy to get our way blocked by the fear and the overwhelming choices. We don't know how to just keep moving forward in a continued exercise in growth.
But the beauty of the Ace is that it'll soon expand into two, three, four wands crafting the foundations of active and inspired life. The trick is to keep that spark ignited, to keep moving forward and not be crushed by the overwhelm of it all. I had something told to me in a dream once, that I've kept with me forever since:
"Don't worry about where you are right now. Just keep going."
When talking to a friend about some tough memories, she said something to me that I have the feeling is going to stick with me a long time.
"What's the story you're telling behind that?"
We all have stories, she explained. Not the stories that really happened, the ones that are actually a part of our history. But the stories we tell ourselves, the ones that come up in our memories and play tricks on us.
"I wasn't good enough, so I failed."
"Their lives are perfect; I wish I was like them."
"I ruined everything, and now they hate me."
Maybe, as an anxious or sensitive person, you actually say it in those words. Maybe you don't realize that's the way you see it, but you might as well be saying it in the back of your mind. Our lives go through a filter, where we see the circumstances as a play - and the ending is whatever we decide to believe about ourselves. And often, the impressions we leave are strong and can be unforgiving.
Look back over the stories you tell yourself, and find one that stands out as an old regret. Then rewrite it. Pick out the parts where you did well, and the parts where you could have done better. Then rewrite the ending. Create the final act where you release your pain, climb the next hurdle, prove yourself and believe you deserve it.
You're already writing your story. Empowerment just means consciously creating a new chapter.
For this week's Card of the Week, we have the Ten of Pentacles reversed, from the Babylonian Tarot by Sandra Cicero.
I really like the simplicity of this deck's style while adding a lot of details that add depth to a reading. While I don't know anything about Sumerian cosmology, the illustration for the Ten of Pentacles (which is given the keyword 'completion' here) puts me in mind of the Kabbalah's Tree of Life. The hawk at the top of the tree, and the snake at the bottom, put me in mind of "as above, so below", the idea that the heavens are reflected here on earth and vice versa. On a more mundane level, I think it's only too appropriate that there's often a lot of plant imagery in the Pentacles suit. It's the card of practical, solid things, and of growth in the earth, so what better symbol for the culmination of all that than a tree?
Numerology-wise, the Tens mean the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. When you're dealing with the Ten of Pentacles, you're looking at a stable home or family, a job with a solid foundation, a business established and thriving. But if we're keeping the tree metaphor in mind, it's like fruit that's ripe and ready for harvesting. We reap the rewards, but that doesn't mean the tree stops growing. We tend and care for it, getting ready for the next cycle of growth. And if we don't pick the fruit in time, it grows overripe and we miss our chance.
I think that's the reversal coming into play - letting your stability turn stagnant or useless, not turning it into a fresh cycle of new growth. Or you could not recognize the good thing when you have it, and fail to take advantage of or appreciate it.
This week, think about the elements of your life that are exactly where you want them to be, completely satisfying. Are you practicing gratitude for the blessings in your life? And are you staying where things are prosperous and safe, or are you preparing yourself for the next challenge? The only constant in life, after all, is that we're always continuing to grow.