Tag Archives: introspection

Character on the stage of life.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” -William Shakespeare

My one brother, at the wedding in October, told me that he had no idea how I did it. He was referencing my life and the hours I work and everything I do for my family. This is the brother I have always felt had his shit together the best. Of all our family, I thought he was the smartest, I thought he was the most disciplined, I thought he was the most organized and well respected.

Yet, here he was telling me that he had no idea how I did it, and my only answer was: I had to, I didn’t really feel I had any other options. Between loving my husband, and being raised that welfare and social programs were a necessary unwanted evil, as well as divorce being a last resort, I just knew it was sink or swim. I chose to swim the best I could, and I think most of us would aim for that.

I have played meek and I have played strong. I have played timid, bashful, and shy; yet also confident, outgoing and talkative.

I have played the hard worker, the dependable, the confidant. I have over-played my hand and underplayed my skills, but managed by the grace of God to be successful in my business and support my family. I have surprised and delighted many and disappointed probably twice as many. I have been well spoken and diplomatic, but other times I have inserted foot-in-mouth. I sometimes make the best joker, but other times miss the joke all together.

I’m a fierce warrior like Joan of Arc, that frequently wishes to run and hide, rather wishing for a better Knight to save me. And spiritually: Jesus couldn’t reach me for the burden of my childhood, so I found Shiva as an adult (really they are one and the same, 2 aspects of the same divine masculine).

I’m a mother who gave birth to two beautiful healthy children and helped a third start her life. I’m the father that fixes what’s broken, makes a better home, and provides for it all. I have lady parts, but men’s hormones and hair- just not enough of them to count for their benefits. I’m attracted to both, and want them all to love me and get along with each other.

I’m an animal lover guilty of having consumed more than my fair share of non-pets. I’m a creative artist that can do calculus, though a bit rusty at both right now. I’m an excellent massage therapist, and decent musician and cook.

Merely a Tool for Introspection

So for the last 15 or so years I’ve occasionally pulled cards for clarity on inner guidance. Tonight I had a couple of hours to myself and decided to do just that.

My husband has always found my card readings to be very entertaining, and needless to say I never read for others only me and him. I rarely use set layouts, and the deck of choice depends on the day. Heck sometimes I’ve even used more than one deck in a single reading- I remember one time I was trying to figure out something fairly complex and involved 4 decks at once. For me I listen to my inner voice for guidance, and if I’m looking for particular info I say that as I’m shuffling and picking decks.

Tonight my request for clarity was on all things of late. I set intention for the top row to represent 2 people (top left & center) and myself (top right) with supporting info along the bottom row.

I used a new deck that Nathan had recently ordered through Wish- just for fun & to see if it would be helpful.

I set the aforementioned intention as I shuffled & as soon as I “heard” my inner voice/thought-dialogue say “cut”, I did just that. Then proceeded to lay cards in the order intended while shuffling.

I got the following layout:

The lighting sucked and was making it hard to see, so I carefully gathered everything and moved to the bedroom with all the lights on. Much better, but as I was re-laying the cards a single card fell off the deck, so I included it to the side & took an individual picture.

At that point Buddy decided he wanted loves and made himself very comfortable with utter disregard to what I’d started. It was OK. I petted whilst I looked at cards and looked things up.

I always start with my first blush impression:

 I noted that the 3 cards intended for people matched their genders, but there was a 4th woman “Empress” in the supporting info cards- I had a guess as to whom that might be (my great friend helping plan backup birth solutions).

 I knew that the top left card generally has to do with illusionary limitations or restrictions, so that person was likely dealing with that in some way, which did make sense to me. 

I noted that an awful lot of the cards were upside down: not always a bad thing, it can simply represent an over arching theme of feeling like things are upside down, which I must say is accurate from my perspective.

I noticed the lovers card, which was unintended validation of a portion of my quandary.

I noticed a theme of financial queries, which again is unintended validation of related concerns- though I myself wish it wasn’t.

Finally, my extra card was a simplified traditional version of my life goal. Home and family and prosperity. Yet what struck me the most was the baby and dog. I’ve been “dogged” by thoughts and messages involving dogs since my healing dream last summer, and I’m pregnant with baby. Hmm.

The last thing of note was the big cat of strength. That of Big Cats, like the dog, has been a common theme for me, reoccurring very frequently since last summer.

Those elements of dog & big cat, they are not readily defined in tarot meanings. I suspect they are either representative of a real figure/being (adopting a dog, the mountain lioness that lives around us, etc), or represent personalities at play for me in real people. Either way, this reading only reiterated, not giving a clearer meaning on that.

So, then I looked up details. I felt the clearest most easily understood definitions of each card were the ones I found through Biddy Tarot, though I did look at several other pages in my process.

I must say after reading each meaning especially considering the reversed meanings, I do feel like this was a helpful reading. It does give me some clarity.

And yes, “strength” reversed in my own spot is accurate: I do need to stop doubting and second guessing myself and relax back into my inner knowing and resulting strength. That really was the basis of even taking these couple of hours for introspection. I knew I’d  slipped in that realm, and having a physical validation of that helps.

So, regardless of the accuracy of the rest of the cards, I’m walking away with: keep listening to my inner me, and keep reaching for that 10 of pentacles/coins happy ending gift. I’d totally take the dog, dome home, and extended family living happily ever after. More trusting and more patience. Things will get better, one way or another.

May all of you find your personal tool(s) of introspection and reliably connect with your inner self.

Creative relief.

Still no new home.

 Cats dwindled down to 3 again. One, sick from old age, was euthanized to prevent pain and suffering. Being she was having difficulty seeing, showing signs of kitty dementia, and when she tried sitting, couldn’t actually fully sit (kitty hip dysplasia) and be comfortable. We knew she was miserable. Our hearts went out to her as we helped her find a path back to god.  Salem our older male disappeared outdoors and after 2 months of searching and examining found similar stray cats we’ve given up. Social media gave us hopeful leads, but alas none were Salem.

The  2 others never took to being indoor kitties and were rehomed to a farm cat rescue where they’ll be happy as clams and well fed  in their preferred environment. 

That leaves Buddy and Missy (the brother & sister kittens) and Priss (my old fat calico). 

Buddy & Missy cuddling ( they’re the same age at about a year old, but Buddy has gotten much bigger and stockier). They are so adorable!:

The only recent cute shot of Priss I have, she was thoroughly enjoying lap snuggle with Anya.:

 

For the holidays, we have one tiny undecorated table top tree out, and so far Anya is the only one to have gifts, having gotten to use all the Walmart gift cards to buy new clothes.

So, Monday when I had my first actual day off in ages, I decided to be creative. $40 in supplies (including raw balsa wood boxes) and hours of work later, I made 2 beautiful portable altar boxes and a set of mini elemental candle holders. 

The idea was spawned from a borrowed set. The friend that helped me gain insight into my connection with the boy had loaned me hers knowing I’m never home for meditative space anymore. After almost 2 months of using hers it was time to get creative and make my own. Nathan got a box of his own as a gift.

It was much needed creative relief, and yielded beautiful results that I know at least that I’ll use.

The mess I made of our bedroom trying to work in tight quarters:

The green box left of buddy is the borrowed inspiration:

Nathan’s box with his favorite motif on the top:

inside:

outside top:

My box, Inside:

My box outside(s):

& the tiny candle holders:

I even got tiny statues of Ganesh and Shiva for both boxes. I want Kali ones too, but haven’t found those yet.

Being creative literally is not only enjoyable for me, but helps clear my head completely. I lose time, and don’t eat- not because I’m starving myself, but because my brain doesn’t even think about getting hungry. I don’t watch the clock, and I’m always surprised at how much time has passed. It in and of itself, it is often meaningful and meditative giving my brain a much needed tiny, tiny vacation. When all is done and my brain returns to “reality”, I get starvingly hungry very quick and then crash from fatigue. This instance was no different and was welcomed acknowledgement of my creative mini vacation from life.

I do have to confess that the insides are decoupaged papers, and the outside circular patterns were stencils that I then repainted over to cleanup edges. I could have done them manually, but it would have taken even more time to sketch out the designs and paint them completely from scratch. It’s something that I chose not to rush, knowing it was my only chance to complete the project anytime soon. Besides that I love the look of the metallic paints, and I’m super  grateful that I had beautiful custom altar boxes for the two of us by Yule. They’re perfectly appropriate.

The only little one left, that I need to find at least one gift for, is Ian. In theory that’s the easy one.

As much as I’d love to get gaggles of goodies, I simply can’t bear to cram anything else into our current situation. So gifts will wait for the New Year and a new home (& I foresee new organizational furniture first too). Besides I still want to get those beds I’ve had my eye on for ages. We’re all over sharing bed space with a tossing, turning toddler.

Beyond that, I got to play Santa for a friend that needed the emotional relief, if not the actual financial relief. I had great fun, and it felt really good to do something significantly good  for someone else. I’m very appreciative of that and hope that my future holds the ability to do a lot more of that.

Otherwise, I just keep trucking. Day after day, work and more work. I’ve worked 32 out of the last 35 days, and the only 2 days off in the near future are Christmas Day  and January 2nd. This schedule is already old, but until the divine manifests whatever it’s been trying to tell me about, it’s pretty much my only option.

 I’m grateful for the work and the income it provides, but I’ve had many conversations with thin air about how it’s not really my ideal, far from it in fact. 

I really hope that whatever is gestating in the ethers brings relief and moves me much closer to my ideal. I’m hoping the messages I’m getting about Valentine’s Day time frame (including my birthday) are clues of that something good, but I simply don’t know. Just that February is important somehow. Looking forward to better days.

If nothing else my garden is doing great. 

You may have noticed a lack of updates about the physicality of our lives. It’s because there is precious little to report. I’m doing my best to not be upset about that.  It is what it is. “I am where I am and it is ok. It has to be because it’s all I’ve got. ” – Abraham Hicks

It’ll sort out in time,  especially since I’m staying buoyant more and more. I’m going with the flow more these days than previous,  so it has to improve eventually.

Anyway, in the meantime.  I’m enjoying garden happiness.

Radishes & herbs. The thyme & parsley are doing the best,  but I’ve got a little cilantro and sage as well.

The beans and snap peas did so so. & everything else is right in the middle of its growing season. 

My flowers are starting to be pretty…

& I’m enjoying watching the birds on the feeders,  but I’m apparently not even a decent wildlife photographer. So you’ll have to take my word for it. 

I’ve seen cardinals,  bluejays, other jays, nuthatches, your usual chicadees and finches. Momma Carolina Wren nested in the birdhouse again this year. Gold finches & orioles. There’s some kind of small brown & rainbow esque bird I see occasionally,  and lots of woodpeckers of a variety.  I’ve seen some beautiful barn owls & I can hear a great horned owl every night. Though a schreech owl can also be heard at times.

I’ve seen kestrels, peregrines, gryfalcons, some kind of dark hawk I think might have been a Harris hawk. Oh, and lots of vultures, there are about a dozen within a mile of home and they’ll often fly as a group.  The houses have been buzzed many times. It’s really neat. 

We had to fortify the coop from a raccoon that ate a few chickens.  Opossums, rabbits, skunks,  and squirrels abound. I thought I felt the big kitty watching us at night for a couple of weeks,  but even that sensation is gone now & I never did catch sight of her. 
Otherwise, it’s just peaceful and I’ve taken advantage of that a few times now. More time for introspection in a positive way. 

Finally,  on another note,  my post from yesterday: something else occurred to me. “It’s not just me, it’s my whole life,  my whole family”. Yes,  that is who we are in a nutshell.  It’s good to know all of that about someone.  It’s good to meet someone’s family to get a clearer idea of things, an understanding of motivations,  how someone is likely to interact with others, and even how they were raised so to see how it might affect life decisions and really everything about a person. It helps to know how emotions are shown, or not; expectations that are built into family  dynamics,  communication skills/ interactions,  and even basic functions of daily life. 

I’d like that very much.  I’d like to know all of that and more. I know that’s complicated though and may or may not ever happen with anyone at this point. 

  I met Anya’s mom’s family when I was still just “the new girl”. They totally disregarded me as anything to be concerned with until Amy got sick.  Yet after Amy passed they finally accepted me as a mom figure in Anya’s life.  Things are mostly ok now. 

I met Nathan’s family early on and they liked me right away.  It did provide lots of clarity and understanding and still to this day does at times. 

Nathan met my family.  I think they liked him fairly well as an individual,  but they were very forthright in their dislike of me choosing to marry him.  He was too old, too black, too poor, and previously married with a child is always a bad idea.  To this day I know that my family dwells on my marrying him as having been a bad choice. Yet 14 years later, 8 of marriage,  I’m still in love with him,  even with all the struggles and woes. If I could change one thing it’d have been more money, a lot more.  If 2 things,  it’d be more time freedom.  Neither of those would have changed my relationship with Nathan,  only made it easier to enjoy more time with him doing more exciting and fun things.

I personally think that even if we’re  somewhat astranged from family- as in my case, we never really escape the fragments and remnants in our psyche. It’s definitely an ongoing connection that shapes who we are as people. I have already thought through introducing poly life partners to my family. It wouldn’t be easy, surely very complicated, and  I’m certain it’ll go over pretty much the same as it did with Nathan. However, I also feel my family would have the right to at least know,  they raised me, they need to see how their influences turned out. But more importantly,  my partners have a right to know that same information.  My partners have a right to know the complexity of what they are committing to, because I am a sum of all of my life experiences and family  interactions. My family is inherently part  of me,  for better or for worse. I hope that Nathan and I will one day have life  partner(s) willing to go through the uncomfortable experience of meeting my family, and the slightly less uncomfortable journey of meeting Nathan’s family. It would go miles for helping us all understand each other,  but it would also show they are guinenly committed to being a part of mine & Nathan’s family. That is priceless. 

Rain, Kahlil Gibran Quotes, & Abraham

This morning started with a jab to my full bladder by my 2 year old.  I didn’t want to wake up to begin with,  sleep was good.  I launched straight into cranky. 

No wonder Ian then didn’t want to listen to me or cooperate. He’s such a good mirror. 

After using the restroom & getting him changed & also using the toilet,  I sat out to release the chickens from their confinement. More grumbling over trash & recyclables scattered about. 

Ok. Chill the F out. Oh no,  too much to ask. 

 Breakfast & TV, Ian still not listening, & Nathan asking me what’s wrong.  I didn’t have a good answer. 

He pointed out I get grumpy every time Anya is gone.  I couldn’t argue.  She’s gone until Monday, for fun in the Ozarks with friends.  I’m jealous,  I’m frustrated over the loss of help with Ian,  but more I’m just missing someone I love. Step-mom or not,  we’ve been connected for all 12 years of her life.  I’ve watched her grow up, helped her as much as I could,  taught her things,  experienced the joys and everything else of childhood. Most of my actions over the years linked back to supporting  Nathan and Anya and helping keep their relationship and our family intact. I love her,  & so I  miss her when she’s gone.

The TV was shut off. Ian and I needed a reset.

Then the rain  began.  Dark, dreary, but cool & cleansing. Ian & I watched from the sofa.  All the “noise” was coming from either  Ian or the rain hitting the house. It was more peaceful. I decided to check the emails that’d come in earlier.  

The Abraham email reinforced what Nathan pointed out.  I need to find my happy.:

The standard of success in life isn’t the things. It isn’t the money or the stuff — it is absolutely the amount of joy you feel.

Excerpted from Lincroft, NJ – Tuesday, October 15th, 1996

Our Love,
Esther (and Abraham and Jerry)

 I’m not too far in the hole,  really just a bit cranky, so it shouldn’t be too hard. 

 Then I started reading another email where the blog author was looking at herself,  avoiding judgement,  and how difficult that was.  I  felt that one.  Her non-judgemental writing was beautiful and I could see how her tune  changed, her vocabulary was so much more beautiful,  and I could feel the shift. Is that why it’s so hard to do?  To shift mentally from one extreme to the other, that’s quite a leap. The mental energy required to do so must be why it feels so daunting and difficult. Yet the results are so worth it, her straight forward description was so beautifully written it caused me to get choked up imaging what words I might use to describe my physical self.

Then the last email brought me to tears. It was: 

Inspirational Kahlil Gibran Quotes – Logical Quotes 

http://www.logicalquotes.com/kahlil-gibran-quotes/

I was unfamiliar with this author,  but the words were so intense. I immediately thought of my friend who’s out east right now. I’m missing him so much. The Kahlil words tugged at my heart. Despite having messages,  and faithful confidence,  I found myself feeling pangs of sadness.  I felt disconnected. I felt that he’s so out of reach right now,  and all I want to do is hug and hold him close.

Yet some of the quotes spoke  of love made  in difficult times,  and I immediately thought of Nathan.  Our love is so strong  because of our ability to endure. I can’t imagine a world without Nathan in my life. He’s supported me through the most difficult and intense depression, he’s kept me from the brink of suicide.  He’s walked through every change with me and held my hand and done things himself just to support my journey of finding mental health.  He’s benefited from all of that,  but it would not have happened if not for our bond of love. I’m ever so grateful. The joyous moments are there too, but Kahlil is right in that the difficulties endure in memory.  His love and support in those difficulties means so much more because he could have given up on me and walked away. He chose to keep coming back,  he chose to support me through thick and thin,  he made love matter more. That is priceless. 

So this morning is full of love and introspection.  Ian is 2. I love him,  and I know he loves me even though he has a really ‘strange to me’ way of showing it. So I’m sitting with the quotes,  feeling the feelings, acknowledging they all stem from an original feeling of love. Perhaps as I focus on and resonate with that love,  my day will improve.  Then, if the rain  clears I’ll show you my garden. It will be a good day regardless.