Posts Tagged ‘Tarot’

“Is the life I’m living the life that wants to live in me?” – Parker Palmer

(I’ve not been posting very regularly. That’s not new for me. I don’t subscribe to the “rule” that one must post to their blog at least four times a week. After a full morning of journaling, meditation and a hike, there’s not often time for me to write the kind of posts I like to write. And, this month something more is up for me.)

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the Tarot Pilgrimage I attended in January. It’s a day-long event with Pamela Eakins of Lightning Spiral Mystery School where we go through an intuitive process and draw one card for each month of the upcoming year. My card for October is a very special card called The Secret Card.

I’m also studying the Tarot seven cards this month. So, I asked Pamela for guidance in working with both of these at the same time. She advised me to create a vision quest for myself.

Then I met with friend and colleague, Robin Jones of Success Becomes You who is assisting me with my marketing plan development. His first assignment was to review the vision story I wrote for my original plan in early 2004.

OK – I get the message: Vision Quest!

Visioning and imagination are gifts of mine. It’s not hard for me to imagine a wide range of possibilities and fill in each and every one of them with a finely focused vision.  Where I have trouble making distinctions is between what I can see and what I really want.  After a day of working on a vision story, I will find myself crawling into bed with the thought, “Do I really want that? Wait…what about…?”

I pulled out my old vision story from 2004. It was delightful and tough to read. The people included in it have completely disappeared from my life. While I’ve grieved the loss, I also know that it was meant to be. I’ve achieved some of my goals and dropped others entirely.  I have changed and so has my focus.

What surprised me most was the wording; how small I was holding myself while supposedly “dreaming big.”

For example I wrote: “I have achieved a balance of working for enough income to support my lifestyle, which is comfortable and not extravagant and time to work on my own creative projects, some of which produce income and some of which do not have to produce anything other than satisfaction of self-expression.”

You might ask, “What’s wrong with that?” Here’s what I notice.

  • It implies work and living my life are separate entities to be put upon a scale so as to get equal attention.
  • It assumes work is less pleasurable than and something other than living.
  • It assumes there is no freedom in working.
  • It exposes a belief that I can only expect to make so much money as a payoff for this balance and puts an unspoken ceiling on the amount.
  • It also strives to protect my creative output from being work or anything other than self-expression.
  • It exposes my belief that my creative activities cannot support me on their own (starving artist with a day-job syndrome).

Bottom line: it says, “Don’t expect too much.”  It’s a hedge against disappointment and, I suspect, since we did this in a group workshop, a hedge against looking like a failure if I don’t achieve my goals or looking like an idiot for thinking I could achieve more; that I might have that much to offer.

A place to contemplate (Kathy Loh)

A place to contemplate (Kathy Loh)

Writing a vision story is a brave and vulnerable act. We are saying to ourselves and the world, out loud and in print what we really, really want from the bottom of our all too often scarred and hurting heart.

We are saying, “This is what I love to do, the passion that calls to me and the beauty, the love, the joy, the fulfillment I want to experience every day. Here’s the meaning, the inspiration, the laughter I want to bring to others and my life and I want to be paid for it. I get to have full faith that I will have a roof over my head and food on the table.  I dare to dream that doing what I love is not a sacrificial act upon the altar of food stamps and welfare.  I am declaring out loud that what means the most to me is valuable and that the pursuit of that life I’m dreaming is not only possible; it is a birthright. I dare to believe that following my bliss is my greatest legacy.”

In other words, we are saying:  I matter.

When I can say I matter, then I have to own responsibility for my impact.

When I own responsibility for my impact, I can stop reaching for control or a sense of false power with manipulation. I can stop blaming others and circumstances for my reality.

I get to start PLAYING.

This is huge …read it again.

I get to start PLAYING in the mystery, because everything now is just feedback. It’s not about me being worthy or unworthy, good or bad, better than less than.

When I become responsible for my impact and I am playing in the mystery and everything is just feedback, then I am ever more consciously creating my reality. I say consciously because we are creating our reality all the time and a lot of it unconsciously.

So here’s the jist of my vision story. It’s called evolution, because it changes as I grow. I don’t know what the end looks like. I only get this picture of doorway after doorway opening up and the hallway I’m traversing is in the midst of some huge galaxy in the middle of an ever expanding universe.

The balance I am looking for is mindfulness and checking in with myself now and now and now each step of the way.  What matters to me as I travel is whether or not I am in alignment with my bliss and how I am relating to my fellow travelers; am I honoring, loving and valuing myself and extending that same generosity and compassion to all living creatures?

That’s the starting point for my vision quest and my vision story.

What’s yours?

copyright(c) October 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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As promised…here is the follow-up to that story about the internal meeting of Body, Mind, Spirit and Heart:

I love Sundays!

On Sunday, I get to begin working with a new Tarot of the Spirit card as part of my 10 Powers lessons with Lightning Spiral Mystery School.

On Sunday, I get to tune into my Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Webinar

On Sunday, I can do whatever I want, even eat waffles.

On Sunday, I think I have this amazing amount of time to do all the things I want to do. I generally end the day wondering what happened. Where did all the time go?

On Saturday, I tackled another several boxes of paper; those boxes I mentioned in a prior post that have followed me around since my divorce several years ago. I’m pretty proud of the progress I made.

I’m pretty proud of the amount of stuff I recycled. I actually tossed magazines that are not the newest issue even if I haven’t read them yet. I have to admit, it made my heart race, but as the paper hit the bottom of the bin I felt a huge sense of en-lighten-ment.


From Tarot of the Spirit Deck by Pamela Eakins PhD and Joyce Eakins MFA
(c) 1992  U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Image used with permission

Sunday morning I did a meditation upon my new Tarot card: 5 of Wind (Fear). In my mind’s eye, I kept seeing the image of one particular file and the title on its tab. Without naming names, I will tell you it holds notes from a teleseminar on a particular method for busting old beliefs.  It’s the perfect example of files I have kept that I never look at again.

In fact, I have so completely integrated the many coaching and healing tools I’ve been exposed to over the years, that I don’t really coach by-the-book anymore. I use or create whatever is needed in whatever way it comes in handy. I mix it up and it’s all improvisational. I actually have a preference for working that way, though my mind keeps thinking I should be more structured and organized. Oh gosh, that’s the story of my life.

In the meditation, I had a conversation about fear with the guardian Wind Brother (part of this Tarot deck). What a great coach he is. Here’s how the dialogue went:

Wind Brother:  What are you afraid of?

Me:  I’m afraid of losing ground. I fought hard to make it on my own and reach the survival level doing work I love. I don’t want to lose the ground I’ve gained. (I saw myself on the face of a cliff. My hands were holding on to the top edge and my feet were resting on a tiny ledge. I was one good hefty pull-up from being on top.)

I’m afraid of losing the clients and creature comforts I have now. I’m afraid of losing all the learning in which I’ve invested time and money; all the learning which I imagine lives in those files.

Wind Brother: What do you want?

Me: I want to be up there on top of the cliff, running free and enjoying life to the fullest. I want creature comforts, yes, and more; freedom, mobility and I want to contribute.

Wind  Brother: Then why don’t you climb on up?

Me: I’m afraid I’ll fall all the way back.

Wind Brother: So what?

Me: I see myself fall and what it means is I will have 2 or fewer clients and empty file drawers and I realize that the fall was about 4 feet down. I also realize that I can’t lose the learning, the experience, the wisdom. I burst into laughter. I laugh so hard that I can’t stop for awhile.

This is a “struggle of the intellect” as Pamela Eakins, PhD writes in the book Tarot of the Spirit. It’s all a big smoke screen. Ooga booga kind of stuff.  I’ve saved the financial padding to take some risks. So, I can’t fool myself that it’s about money. It’s about fear and it’s about pride.

Oy, pride…

So, let’s see…shall I let my fear of losing pride, of backtracking a bit, of falling to the bottom of the cliff and landing in a place of a few clients, a lack of neatly filed folders of information (I mean is this absurd or what?) keep me from following my heart and doing my work in the world?

I think NOT

Heart, I’m listening!

Lift me up Wind Brother!

We’ve got to ask ourselves the “so what?” question. We too often collude with ourselves and others by not questioning the logic, the scary if-I-do-that-then-drama scenario.

No matter how bad it sounds, how horrific a picture you’ve painted, ask yourself “so what?” See where it takes you.

I will tell you what I know about the so-what trail in an upcoming post.

Copyright (c) August 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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My tarot card for the month of July (as pulled during my January Tarot Pilgrimage for the year) is Death. As scary as it first seems, the Death card is actually perfect for me right now. It is about endings; things that need to be completed and left behind.  Regarding this card, Pamela Eakins, PhD writes in Tarot of the Spirit, “…something in your life is dying. Some structure, pattern or form that you created, or with which you have been involved, is disintegrating or dissolving. This is necessary, of course, in order for new birth or transformation to occur.”

I’m paying attention to what’s dying and what is being born. What wants to leave me, even if I try to hold on? What’s coming to me? Pay attention and intention. Vision quest it.

I’m aware that the structures and routines I built that helped me survive these last few years are ready to be revisited and dismantled. The time of licking wounds and healing is ending and I am reorganizing my life to accommodate the work I want to do in this world. I’m visioning my next creative contribution.

This is a good time for purging my environment of items I no longer need.  I have a relatively travel-free month, the days are long and I have a deep desire to regain some  floorspace from the many boxes I’ve never unpacked.


(Card from Tarot of the Spirit Deck by Pamela and Joyce Eakins.
Copyright (c) 1992 U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Used with permission.)

Yesterday, I dipped a toe into my past and waded through two boxes; boxes that have housed “file later” papers neatly organized into hastily labeled grocery bags, for about four years now. When I was in the process of divorce and I moved into two rooms in a friend’s house, I had little desire, not to mention space, to attend to filing. Yet, it seems, I had plenty of interest harvesting and preserving anything that might inspire, inform or come in handy in a future I could not forsee. It was precisely because I could not predict it and because I am a creative thinker that everything seemed somehow useful. Everything held potential.

Add to that, the things with which I could not yet part; letters, notes, items from my cat, Stella, that I had to leave behind (long story) and documents that one keeps that prove the mortgage was paid off and various financial obligations have been met. I kept these because I was the silently designated keeper of these things in my marriage. I also resisted filing because I was the administrative assistant designee as well and it all left a bad taste in my mouth. I rebelled and thus, created for myself one heck of a clean- up job.

Opening each box is like opening a carton from the back of the frig. I am not sure what might be in there or what I will experience when I open it.  Some of it hit me hard. Stella’s collar, for instance and realizing she is 18 years old now, if she’s even still alive. I don’t know, because I’ve been purposefully deprived of any information about her. I sat there holding that collar close to my heart, as if holding her, and I had a good cry.

No wonder I’ve avoided these boxes. They are full of good-byes; good-byes to people, pets, homes, loves and most poignantly, good-byes to various iterations of me. Carrying out this task to completion means sending papers to the recycle bin and the shredder; a final good-bye.  Only the choice bits will actually find a home in the filing cabinet.  I have a little more clarity than I once did around what I need for this next leg of the journey.

Yes, there are some hello’s as well, some amazing finds that I will write about another day. Today it’s about good-bye and honoring the courage that transformation requires.

I’ve been on a heroine’s journey ever since I decided to get divorced. I packed all my things (well, 50% of them by California law) and set sail in uncharted waters armed with a vision, faith, determination and no small number of allies. I got really, really lost along the way. I wandered all over.  I visited many interesting islands; Lucid Living, Leadership, Shamanism, Soul Retrieval, Reiki, Sound Healing, Yoga of the Voice, Medicine Wheel Ceremonies,  you name it. I was gone as much as I was home and when I was home, it felt temporary. I traveled in my VW Camper and lived in and out of boxes.

I got braces and I grew my hair out from 1 inch to 15 inches. I was experiencing a second adolescence, but it wasn’t about the fun stuff,  it was all awkwardness. I was grieving, crying nearly every night and I had the dark circles under my eyes to prove it. Just as things got better, my father died.

It all really hit home yesterday as I went through the boxes. I found an 8×10 photograph of my Reiki group in Bend OR with William Lee Rand. I looked and looked at the picture, but I could not find me. I wondered if I took the photo and didn’t get in it myself. Then, I saw her…the she that is and used to be me; front and center. I did not recognize myself with chin-length hair, bangs, sallow complexion and very crooked teeth. I still have a hard time believing it was me.

I recognize myself in pictures prior to those years and I recognize myself in pictures from the last two years..but in pictures from that time in between, no. Who is she? My heart is filled with such compassion for her. Those lost years, the un-recognizable years, are the goo stage of metamorphosis. I recognize the caterpillar and I recognize the butterfly (even that took some time), but the chrysalis years are a mystery to me.

Who are we when we don’t know who we are? In the chrysalis stage we are re-cognizing ourselves while being unrecognizable.  We have to become unknown to ourselves so that we can create ourselves anew.

So, I wasn’t lost, I was hibernating, disintegrating to reintegrate, transforming. All the ingredients that went into that re-integration give me the heart-vision of compassion with which to see my journey, every step of the way in every direction I look.

The me I could not recognize in the picture is probably the closest to my heart. She is the one who had the courage to continue onward. She is the one who held steadfast in faith and reached out to her friends for help. She is the one who doggedly and creatively grew her business on her own in the face of potential poverty. She is the one who developed a deep and abiding relationship with Nature and Source. I could give a rat’s behind what she looked like. Her heart is pure gold and she taught me surrender and self-acceptance.

She brought me to the shores of Grace and that’s something worth “dying” for.

Copyright(c) July 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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