Making Your Self Care More Balanced

You’ve seen me talking a lot about “Self Care” on my blog, website, and social media.  This is because I truly believe that taking these small moments to care for yourself on a regular basis are really important in today’s busy and stressful world.  Most of us spend a lot of time working just to survive, and caring for others.  It seems like there is precious little time for self care, and society somehow has taught us that any time spent not being productive is lazy or selfish.  (This is especially true in American society, though I know other cultures place more value in down time and relaxation.)  I spent many years focused on working and raising my kids, feeling guilty any time that I wasn’t busy or productive.  What did that get me?  I was angry a lot, stressed out all the time, and lacking in a true connection to Spirit and my Higher Self.  I was cut off from my intuition, and thus cut off from being able to see the magick in life all around me. self care, self care tips

Eventually this resulted in both my physical and mental health deteriorating – causing even more stress!  “You need to take care of yourself!” wise people would tell me.  But truthfully, I didn’t know how.  I thought I was taking care of myself . . . but eating and bathing and brushing my teeth just wasn’t enough.  What more did I need?  Vitamins?  Exercise? What really was “Self Care” at it’s core?

self care, meditation, yoga, spirituality, self care tips I spent some time exploring this concept and finding that for me, Self Care needed to be balanced in three different areas.  I needed Spiritual Self Care, Physical Self Care, and Fun or Pampering Self Care.  If I just did one of these but left out the other two then I wasn’t really taking care of my whole self and all the complex needs of human life!  Spiritual Self Care came in the form of Meditations, Tarot or Oracle Card Readings, and learning about the Spiritual and Metaphysical things that interested me. Basically taking time to connect with Spirit, and develop my Spiritual Practice.  The Physical Self Care came by doing something that was healthy for me – exploring different herbal remedies and teas or tinctures, yoga practices, or making sure I was getting enough sleep.

Of course the basic self care of things like bathing, brushing my teeth, drinking water, etc needed to be included too.  For some people these things come easier, but if you have ever battled with clinical depression or anxiety you will understand that sometimes even these basic things get pushed aside and neglected.  Finally, the Fun, or Pampering kind of Self Care is needed too.  This is the kind of Self Care that people think of the most often, but also the kind that an be seen as selfish or a waste of time.  (I think part of that is because a lot of these self care practices have been sensationalized by capitalism and tend to be rather expensive.  Just think of how much it can cost to get a massage, get your hair or nails done, or spend time at a fancy Spa.)  There is also a tendency to think of these things as frivolous or a form of vanity – especially when the media is always pushing these stereotypical images of rich girls going to the salon; girls who are also in some way vapid, selfish, and vain.  This stereotype has made these acts of self care seem taboo or just silly to many working class Americans, but to be honest we all crave these activities on some level too.  This is because we really do need these occasional “treat yo’ self” moments!  We don’t have to shell out the big bucks at a salon or spa to do these things though.  We can take a nice relaxing bath at home, wear some fuzzy socks, drink some yummy tea and paint our fingernails for the same effect.  The thought I used to have was, “I don’t have time for that.”  That’s the trap though, because it doesn’t matter exactly what you do for Pampering – it’s the act of taking time for yourself that really makes a difference!

self care, self care tips, relaxation, stress relief tipsWhen you take the time to incorporate these three kinds of self care into your life on a regular basis, you are saying to yourself, “I am worth spending time with.  I am worthy of love and attention.” You are giving equal value to your Spirit, your Body, and your Self and in that way you are getting a more well-rounded and balanced picture of who you are and what you need.  You’ll still need to work and take care of others as you did before, but you’re more present and more energized for those activities, because you’ve taken time to recharge your batteries.  Not just the physical batteries that recharge with sleep and food.  But all the other parts of your being that need to be recharged too.

self care, tarot card reading, oracle card readingThe thing is, it took me a long time to figure this out, and even then I needed some guidance along the way.  Something to focus on helped, if I had a theme, or a specific challenge to work on or a goal for my self care.  Having accountability, or friends to cheer me on really helped too. I ended up wanting to help others with this self care in some way so I started reading cards professionally.  I also learned Reiki so I could help others with Energy Healing, and I sell and make other Self-care focused items like soaps, bath bombs, and mala necklaces for meditation.  Recently I was inspired!  I was thinking about all these things and how together, they could make a really complete Self Care package.  I know there are people out there like me, who know the importance of self care but may just need that little bit of inspiration and motivation to really take their self care deeper and touch on all three of these main areas each month.

That’s how I was inspired to bring you these Self Care subscription Boxes every month!  Including a card reading and some kind of meditation or ritual each month, along with some tools for Pampering and self care like a Bath Bomb, herbal tea, and possibly more, I want to offer you a well rounded package to help you take your Self Care deeper.  So I’ll be offering four different size packages each month.  You can decide what size package you want each month – or even to order at all that month!  You’ll get your personal card reading (by email) and then your package with other goodies that will encourage you and inspire you to spend some quality time with yourself!

I’ll have a fun spiritual theme every month, and special info to help you get the most out of your self care package!  So what do you say?  Are you ready to join me?

Sign Up for June’s Subscription Box Here!

 

Death (Tarot) and The Scorpio Full Moon

The Full Moon in Scorpio is coming up on May 10th and this full moon will be a particularly intense time for doing some Shadow Work.  Shadow Work is the concept of taking a close look at the parts of ourselves that we don’t willingly show to others… or even like to admit to ourselves.  Scorpio energy is all about this Shadow aspect of the psyche, as well as the shadowy aspects of culture and life in general.  In Scorpio’s influence, we are drawn to the darker aspects of life – such as death, the occult, endings, and anything that is mysterious or unseen.

Death, Tarot Card, Tarot Card Meaning, Death Tarot Card Meaning, Scorpio
Death – Rider Waite Smith Tarot

The tarot card associated with Scorpio is Death, and the archetypes and symbolism of this card resonate with the Scorpio Energy that we’ll all touch in some way during this full moon.  To make the most of this Full Moon and the deep soul work that can be done here, let’s take a closer look at the meaning of this tarot card.

Key Words: Endings.  Transitions.  Elimination.  Fate.  Inevitable Forces.  Cycles.  Sweeping Change.  Transformation.  The need for Liberation.  Severance.

 

There are certain changes and transitions in life that cannot be avoided.  The most obvious of these is Death – no matter what we do to try to avoid it, death is inevitable for us all.  Death holds the greatest mystery of all, although we have many theories and ideas about what happens after death – there is no way of knowing until we experience it.  We all die alone – meaning that even if we are surrounded by loved ones, we alone pass over into whatever lies beyond, and no one living can travel that with us.  For these reasons, death is feared . . . if for no other reason than it is a great unknown, and humans tend to fear the unknown.
From what we know of death in this physical world we have ascertained a few key things: 1) it cannot be avoided, and 2) it is part of the great cycle.  As we observe the decay of corpses, we have found that this decaying matter still holds within it energy – that is transformed through the process of decay and eventually becomes something that is useful to new lifeforms.  This basic cycle of life was observed by our ancestors and thus death became also associated with the possibility for new life.
In our lives, there are many cycles and changes that occur that are death-like in their patterns and symbolism… and these changes are what the Death card of the Tarot is usually teaching us about.  Some things are inevitable, and no matter what we did we couldn’t have prevented these things from happening.  But, like death, we usually have to pick up the pieces and move on. Then we usually find that after this profound change we have something new that grows – a new attitude or belief that has grown in the wake of this catastrophe.  Or a new journey of some kind that we wouldn’t have been able to take if the previous one hadn’t ended.  These are the moments embodied in the Death card.

the tornado approaches Dorothy’s House in “The Wizard Of Oz”

If you have ever been caught up in the path of sweeping change, going through the unavoidable and have been left somehow changed after the fact, you have experienced the energy of Scorpio and the Death card.  Perhaps this Full Moon is bringing about the culmination of some of these changes.  Or perhaps this is the perfect time to finish the Soul Work that you have been avoiding or putting off.  Sometimes we have these Death-card like things happen, and we put off really completing the cycle as we cling to what is trying to shift away.  There is that fear of the unknown again…. and as scary as it might be to let go and step in to the unknown, this needs to happen.  Otherwise you just get stuck in the stagnant, stuck in the decay – and don’t let yourself move on to what comes after.  Yes, we have to go through the murky swampy bits first though.

Dorothy steps out of her house, into OZ for the first time. from “The Wizard Of Oz”

So, with this Full Moon there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t get stuck in the murky mess of death, and can help this process move along.  Taking Action:  Ask yourself if you are concluding any unfinished business or bringing something to a close.  What do you need to do to end this chapter?  What do you need to do to eliminate the excess, or throw off old patterns that aren’t serving you anymore?  Do you need to cut ties to certain people, a job, or a goal that just isn’t working out?  How can you get back to the basics and the bare essentials in your life?  In what ways can you “start over”?  In some cases all you are really needing to do is accept your fate.  Accept that this is how things are now, and allow yourself space to grieve or feel the anger and loss, and then you’ll be able to begin to move on later.

You can explore all of this through thought and meditation, but I would encourage you to write things down.  Keep a journal of your thoughts and realizations, make lists of the things you need to DO and commit to doing them.  Work through your thoughts and feelings by writing them down.  Here are some journal prompts you can use to get started (or use the questions from the previous paragraph)

  • What am I feeling very intense feelings about right now?
  • What do I need to let go of?
  • What is my basic support system through a transition?
  • What is being transformed or changed?
  • What do I need to liberate myself from through the power of change?
  • What new growth will be possible through this transition?

Affirmation:  “I allow transformation and renewal in my life by letting go of all that no longer serves my growth.”

If you’re ready to show up and do the deep work that you need to do for your Soul’s growth, the Universe WILL show up to support you along the way!

If you want some help with this Shadow work, I am available for Tarot Readings!  This Full Moon Reading might be just what you’re looking for in terms of direction and support as you journey.  Be sure you sign up for my free newsletter to get updates about blog posts like this one, and other deals and special offers!

Full Moon Blessings,

Wendy

New Moon In Capricorn and our New Year’s Resolutions

New Moon Blessings!  The moon entered it’s New phase around 1:00 am Thursday morning, in the sign of Capricorn.  I made this graphic to show some highlights of the Moon Cycle we just entered.

Time for dreaming and planning! Dream Big! This New Moon is a good one for your dreams & intentions for the whole year. Especially with things regarding your personal growth and pushing yourself to be your very best. You know that feeling of being motivated to change or better yourself that happens around New Year every year? It is largely from the Capricorn new Moon that happens right around our calendar new year.

Capricorn energy is all about self improvement – pushing yourself to do better, achieve more, and improve your status in life.  Go ahead and dream big and set those lofty goals for the New Year!  Capricorn lets you see your ultimate potential.  However, it is good the remember the Capricorn method of achievement is not one of instant gratification.  “Slow and steady wins the race” seems like a very Capricornian phrase.  Build on your goals and habits slowly.  Perhaps think in terms of what small changes you can make, and then work on adding one small change or habit every couple of weeks.  Give yourself time to solidify one habit before jumping into the next. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn and is known as the great tester or the lord of Karma, so don’t expect these goals to go unchallenged!  Capricorn’s lesson is often about flexibility and adaptability.  If one method isn’t working, ditch it and try a new approach.  If one habit isn’t sticking, change that up too.

January is named after the Roman God Janus, who is guardian of doorways. He has two faces – one looking back to the past, and one looking forward to the future. As we pass thru the door from one year to the next, we look back with a degree of honesty about what didn’t work. And look forward and see potential within ourselves and want to push ourselves to be our very best. (a very Capricorn mode of thinking)

But to use the adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” it is good to remember as we set goals that positive changes that stick are made slowly and gradually with great care.
Mercury is still retrograde, but will go direct again a few days before the full moon. That will be the perfect time to begin making changes or starting new things that relate to your goals.  From now until the January 9th, focus on pinning down exactly what your goals are.  Create some positive affirmations or a sankalpa to repeat daily to help you feel good about your goal.  You may even want to create a Vision Board or Dream Board… it’s up to you.

Write down your goals and then write down a list of the small changes you can make to acheive this goal.  Don’t try to jump in fully and make all these changes at once!  Just pick a starting point and be ready for it once Mercury goes direct!  Meanwhile your positive thinking and dreaming is planting the seeds during the new moon.

I found this great graphic at Energy Muse showing how to follow your intention and goal setting process through the moon phase… starting at the new moon and ending at the dark moon (and then repeating again.

Best Wishes for a lovely Moon Cylce and a Happy New Year!

Ritual For Releasing The Past

The days of the Waning Moon (from right after the Full Moon to the New Moon) is the perfect time to think about releasing anything in your life that is holding you back.  This can be a thought pattern or attitude, an addiction, or even a toxic relationship that has come to an end.  It can be really helpful to symbolically enact the release and removal of this from your life with a ritual.  The more days in a row you can perform the ritual the better – your attachments didn’t form in one day so it will take more than one day to release them!  Here’s a simple ritual that includes candles, visualization, meditation, and affirmations.  I’d say start this at least 7 days before the New Moon, but if you wanted to go for longer than that it will work just as well (I’m feeling that magick number 13 would be perfect – a 13 day ritual for releasing the past sounds very witchy and powerful!)

What you’ll need;
  • 2 candles (one black and one white is preferred, but two white candles will work just as well)
  • a lighter
  • a safe place to burn your candles and meditate (altar space)
  • a paper & pen to write your affirmations

Optional;
You may decide to add a few things, but remember it’s your intention that matters the most!  If you feel like you want to add a few things here’s what I would recommend:

  • Black gemstones to absorb negativity and provide protection
  • A picture or other representations of the person/attitude/activity that you are trying to release.
  • A picture or representation of yourself – ideally something that represents you as being free, healthy, happy!
  • Banishing incense or banishing oil
  • A journal to write down thoughts and feelings as they arise.

On the first night of your ritual, think about what it is you want to release or remove.  Think about how the energy of that experience brings you down, and how you will be more free or happy when it is removed from your life.  Define in your mind very clearly WHY you need to release this.  As I said before – it could be anything from a toxic relationship, an addiction, a negative behavior or a negative thought pattern.  Chances are you already know what it is you want to release if you’re reading this!  Just take some time to define and clarify WHY you need to do this.

Take one candle and hold it as you think of what or whom you are releasing.  Send all of those “yuck” feelings of frustration, fear, anger, etc into that candle.  You can inscribe a word or some initials on the candle if you want to.  (helpful if both your candles are the same color, you don’t want to get them mixed up!)  Will call this the “Past Candle”.  Think of an affirmation that helps empower you to release everything that is represented by that candle.  It should be a positive affirmation.  Something like “I release all desires to smoke”, or “I fully let go of this toxic relationship”.  Give yourself time to think of a good affirmation to affirm that you are letting go of this.  Write it down on a piece of paper and set it on your altar next to the “past” candle.

Next, take the other candle, the one that will represent you being free.  Hold the candle and think about all the positives that can come from releasing the past.  The health from releasing an addiction, or the freedom from releasing a toxic relationship, and the happiness from embracing a more positive thought pattern or attitude. You can write a word or your initials on this candle as well.  We’ll call this the “Free Self” candle. Think of another affirmation that empowers you to embrace this new energy.  Something like “I Am Free”, or “My positive attitude carries me forward”.  Place this paper on the altar next to the Free Self candle on your altar. 

All of this is just done the first night.  After the first night you will already have your affirmations and the candles infused with your intentions

Now you’re ready to move forward.  Place both candles side by side on the altar.  Your “Free Self” candle should be on the dominant side (your right side if you’re right handed) and the “Past” candle on the non-dominant side.  Place the affirmations next to or in front of the candles where you can read them.  If you have other representations, place them on the altar too, on the side that goes with the candle of what they represent.  (example; the picture that represents your free/happy/healthy self goes on the side with the “Free Self” candle)

When you are ready, light both the candles.  Sit and meditate again on what you are releasing and why. Light any incense you might have.

Carefully move the Past candle about 1/2 an inch away from the Free Self candle.  As you move it, read the affirmation you wrote out loud.  Focus on the feeling of relief that should occur as you move the candle away and say the affirmation.  Breathe and repeat the affirmation as many times as you feel necessary.

Next, move the Free Self candle 1/2 inch in the opposite direction, away from the Past candle and read that affirmation out loud.  Again, focus on the feeling of relief as you move the candle and speak the affirmation.  Repeat the affirmation as many times as you feel necessary. 
If you want to, and you have them, you can place one or two black gemstones between the two candles, creating a barrier between the two. 

Meditate for a couple minutes on your desired outcome – the relief, the freedom, the positivity.  Inhale the positivity, and when you exhale focus on letting go of the negativity.  You may journal your thoughts and feelings at this time.

When you feel you are done, say a simple prayer.  Ask God/Goddess, or your Guardian Angels, your Spirit Guides, or your Ancestors to support and protect you.  Ask that this releasing of the past harm none, and affirm that this is for the best for all people involved.  Extinguish the candles, but ask that they remain burning on the Astral plane until you return.  Leave everything as it is on the altar.  The next night, you will return and repeat this exercise.  (Light the candles, move the Past candle 1/2 inch away and say the affirmation, move the Free Self candle the opposite direction 1/2 inch and say the affirmation)  Don’t forget to visualize, and focus on the feeling of relief!

Repeat every night until the New Moon.  It should take about 10 to 15 minutes each night, just a bit longer on the first night to prepare.  On the last night, take the affirmation you used with the  “Past” candle, and burn it.  Say the affirmation one last time and extinguish the candle.  Take the ashes of the burned paper, and the extinguished Past candle outside.  Bury them both in the earth,  preferably at a crossroads where their energy will be scattered and carried away from you.  Imagine this like a funeral, and say your final goodbyes to the Past!

Remaining on your altar is the “Free Self” candle and affirmation.  You may continue to meditate with this candle and affirmation after the New Moon, but now you can surround it with flowers, brightly colored gemstones, and representations of your freedom and new beginnings.

FlyLady, Pagan Style! Welcome Letter

For those of you who don’t know what FlyLady is, it’s an inspirational website designed to help you clean and de-clutter your home and your life.  It helps you create routines that work for you, your lifestyle & your family to help housekeeping become stress-free and something you just do naturally and daily rather than something you put off until the last minute and then stress about when you have company coming over.

I have found the FlyLady system to be a wonderful and positive way to get my life in order, although admittedly, I haven’t followed it as closely as I could have!  I have “fallen off the bandwagon” more than a few times!  Yet one of the great things about FlyLady is that you can jump back in at any time!  With FlyLady, I always know exactly where to start!!

Over the years, I have found ways to integrate my spirituality into my household cleaning.  Wait, did I just say that House Cleaning is Spiritual?? Yes, it can be!  I am a Pagan, more specifically an eclectic Neo-Pagan, meaning that I draw from MANY spiritual paths which focus on Nature and the natural cycles of the world we live in.  For many Pagans and Witches, our homes are the central place of our worship, our spiritual learning, our meditation, etc.  Since we don’t have Churches to go to, and we don’t limit ourselves to only experiencing nature when we are outdoors, it makes sense to think of our homes as our “Temple”, or our Sacred Place.  Many Pagans and witches also believe that their spiritual path is a Lifestyle, not just something they do once a week or on the Blessed Sabbats or the Full Moon.  I have found through FlyLady and my own spiritual path, that even the mundane, daily tasks that come with being a wife, a mother, and a housekeeper, can be beautiful parts of my daily Spiritual Life, and I wanted to share with you some ways that I have done this.

I will be going through the different aspects of FlyLady, and talking about how I apply them to my own life as a Pagan.  Today we begin with The Welcome Letter!

When you first join FlyLady you get a Welcome Letter. (and by the way, if you follow my blog, please join FlyLady or at least bookmark the FlyLady website for reference!)  This letter explains the basic idea behind the FlyLady program and how it works.  Please click the Link and read the welcome letter for yourself!!

The first thing you read is what FLY means.  It means Finally Loving Yourself!  All the great spiritual teachers of our time and times long past have taught us that without first Loving Ourselves, we cannot truly love others.  Buddha, Paramasana Yogananda, The Dalai Lama, Ghandi, Jesus, Doreen Virtue, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Sonia Choquette, Louise Hay, Starhawk… to name a few; all teach us that when we truly see ourselves as Divine Children of God/Goddess/The Universe, we begin to truly love ourselves and then the flow of love to others and from others comes more naturally!  With the basic Law of Attraction, if we Love Our self, we invite Love into our lives.  This isn’t meaning a type of love that involves vanity or a feeling of self-importance in that we are better than anyone else.  We are all children of the Divine!  But if you don’t love yourself the way you love your own children; unconditionally – then you block the flow of true Divine Love from flowing to you and through you!  Without loving yourself, you are constantly criticising yourself, seeing the negative instead of the positive.

When you FLY, you embrace the positive and develop a desire to bring more positive into your life.  When you FLY, you want to eliminate the negatives to make room for the positives.  Maybe you have too much clutter.  Maybe you keep a clean home, but neglect taking care of yourself.  Perhaps you are really good at keeping parts of your home clean and orderly, but there are certain areas that build up and become a source of stress for you.  Maybe you procrastinate and let things build up to the point where it creates stress and a burden upon yourself and your family.  When you FLY, you look around your home and you think, why I am I letting myself – a beautiful Child of The Divine – live in chaos?

FlyLady’s Welcome Letter explains that by taking one step at a time, the program will help you build daily routines and weekly plans that will help you run your household more efficiently, thus relieving yourself of stress.  If you embrace the ideal of FLYing (Finally Loving Yourself), then the desire to do this grows stronger.  Building routines takes time, and patience with yourself.  You have to work on developing new habits, slowly, piece by piece; trusting that eventually you will overcome whatever difficulties you may face.  The FlyLady program will help you develop these new habits and new routines, or build on the routines you already have in place.  It starts with the BabySteps, and onward to Daily Flightplans and weekly “Zone Missions”, all of which are described in detail on the FlyLady website but I will (hopefully) also cover here – with a Pagan Twist!

Whether you are new to FlyLady, or have been doing it for awhile, take some time today to think about how you Love Yourself.  Are you really acting in ways that show self-love?  Are you being really hard on yourself, criticizing your failures and shortcomings?  Think about your inner voice – is it Loving towards you, or mean?  Would you talk to your child the way you talk to yourself?  How is your self-love reflected in your Daily Life at home?  Are you avoiding things that stress you out?  Is this avoidance just creating more stress and more critical self-talk?  The first step to changing negative self-talk to positive self talk is to be AWARE of your self talk.  Listen to your inner voice, and when you find it being un-loving to yourself, stop and think something positive instead.  Changing your self-talk is something that will take time, and take practice, starting with Awareness and Intention!

Here is a wonderful video of affirmations that will help you increase your self-love, by Doreen Virtue. 

Hestia’s Weekly Musings – The Hanged Man

Here’s your weekly reading from Hestia’s Muse! I draw a card at my Kitchen Altar at the beginning of the week, asking Hestia (Goddess of The Hearth & Domestics) what advice she has for me for the week ahead.  I also ask that the message I receive will be something that my blog readers will also benefit from.



My kitchen altar, with this week’s cards.

This week I did a comparative reading style, comparing the same card from 3 different tarot decks.  First I drew randomly from The Kitchen Tarot and then found the matching card from The Housewives’ Tarot and the Epicurean Tarot.  Our card of the week is The Hanged Man.

Left to right, The Hanged Man from; The Epicurean Tarot Recipe Cards, The Kitchen Tarot, and The Housewives’ Tarot

Hestia’s Message;
This week you need to look at things from a different perspective. Things that haven’t been working for you may need to be approached from a different angle, or given more time. Make your chores and goals turn into acts of active meditation and practice awareness. Break down your goals into smaller portions and work on things one at a time. Use your timer and clock to give extra focus and awareness to your tasks this week, and if something isn’t working out, consider “hanging it out to dry” for now, until the timing is right!

Affirmation for the week:
“I will connect to my highest values and see the world through my own eyes”

Meditation for the week:
“From the place of humility comes inner strength when the brash ego has faded.”

The Hanged Man says;
You are now placed in a position where you have to look at life from a whole new perspective; think about why you are here, how you got here, and what events and actions have shaped your life so far.  What can you take forward with you from here, and what do you need to sacrifice?  Be brutal and honest in your assessment, and don’t be afraid of letting go!”

A Closer Look;
The Kitchen Timer
From The Kitchen Tarot by Susan Shie and Dennis Fairchild
This card indicates a lot of false starts and / or compromised situations.  As we have just had the start of our New Year, many of our minds have been on resolutions and goals.  This week we may find ourselves slipping back into old habits, or realize that some part of our resolution was unrealistic.  This card urges us to take a time out and step back from our frustration.  We may need to break down our goals into smaller, more reasonable and attainable “mini goals”.  The Hanged Man is a card that urges us to take a new perspective and as represented here by The Kitchen Timer it may be a good time to look at our time management skills! it’s still a good idea to keep working on breaking those old habits . . . but maybe the way you originally thought of doing it isn’t working out.  I’m reminded of The FlyLady’s method for housework and organizing.  She teaches that the only way to get organized is by breaking it all down into Baby Steps, taking one day at a time and slowly developing new habits one at a time, then adding in a new habit every month or so.  She also encourages the use of a kitchen timer!  Set your timer for 15 minutes and work on that goal until the timer goes off.   Sure, you might not finish your whole project in 15 minutes, but now you can take a break and re-evaluate your progress.  Figure out what’s working, and what’s not.  Celebrate the progress you made.  The timer also helps you stay focused on one task at a time, and that kind of mindful awareness is a big message of The Hanged Man, no matter what deck you are using!

The Hanged Man
From The Housewives’ Tarot by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
The Housewives’ Tarot always has a way of putting a humorous – if not dark – perspective on the Tarot.  Here we see a Housewife hanging out her laundry to dry – and while she’s at it she’s hanging that no-good husband out to dry for awhile too!  This card relates to the epiphany that comes from hardship.  Once you realize that something isn’t working right in your life, you have that “A-Ha!” moment when you realize you need to change something.  You may need to wait for the timing to be better (waiting for the delicates to dry on the line), or distance yourself from a toxic situation or person.  Whatever it is that’s bothering you, a little time and change of perspective might be just what is needed!

 
The Hanged man’s Upside-Down Cake
From The Epicurean Tarot Recipe Cards by Corrine Kenner
This deck lovingly pairs a recipe with each card of the tarot.  Often the recipe will in some way represent the card, and can make the act of cooking or eating into a time of mindful active meditation on that card’s meaning.  Here is a bit of a twist on an upside-down cake, cooked and served in honor of The Hanged Man;
“The Hanged Man looks at the world from a perspective that’s entirely different than the one most of us are used to.  Change your outlook with this surprisingly easy, exceptionally tasty dessert.”
 
 
 
  • 8 to 10 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Place apple slices in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice.  Add walnuts
In a large deep cast iron skillet, melt the butter.  When melted, remove from heat and mix in the brown sugar. Place the apple slices and walnuts in layers on top of the butter/brown sugar mixture in the cast iron skillet.  Do not stir.  Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the 1/4 cup softened butter and the milk, mix well.  Add the egg and vanilla, mix well.  Pour the batter gently over the apples and walnuts in the cast iron skillet. 
Place in preheated 350 degree (f) oven for 40 minutes.  Let the cake cool on a rack for 5 minutes before inverting onto serving plate.

Meditation – Affirmations to help you meditate

Meditation – Affirmations to help you meditate

MEDITATION

Affirmation 1: “I cherish my meditation times.”
Affirmation 2: “The Wisdom I seek is within me.”

Meditation;
“At least once a day I sit quietly and go within to connect with the wisdom and knowledge that is always there.  This wisdom and knowledge is only a breath away.  All the answers to all the questions I shall ever ask are sitting there waiting for me.   Meditating is a joy for me.  I sit quietly, take a few deep breaths, relax, and go to that place of peace within.  After a little while, I come back to the present moment refreshed and renewed and ready for life.  Every day is a joyous new adventure for me because I choose to listen to my own inner wisdom.  This wisdom is always available to me.  It comes from the essence of that which exists behind the universe of time, space. and change.  When I meditate, I connect with the deep inner unchanging part of myself.  Here I am energy.  I am light.  I am the answer already arrived.  I am Eternal Beingness being here now.”

~ From “Meditations To Heal Your Life” by Louise L. Hay

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I’ve recently joined a group of others in a challenge to meditate every day for 100 days. Our goals in doing this are; 
*To develop a habit of meditation, making it a part of our daily life.
*To deepen our meditation practice and get better at it.
*To explore different styles of meditation and find what works best for us.
I’ve shared a couple affirmations here to help anyone who wants to meditate more. It’s easy to let the negative self talk discourage us.  How many times do you say to yourself; “I just don’t have time to meditate.” Or “I’m just not good at it, it’s so hard to clear my mind.” And “I can’t sit still that long, it hurts my back.” Etc.
When you find yourself thinking this way, replace those thoughts with positive affirmations like the examples given above. Make your own positive affirmations to help you feel confident about meditating, and share them here in the comments!