Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year: Taking Charge

The Four Elements:

🌲🌲 Earth: Home and hearth, the physical body; physical health.

🌈🌈 Air: The mind, thought, observation; mental health.

🔥🔥 Fire: The spirit, action, passion; spiritual health.

💧💧 Water: Love, emotions, the heart; emotional health.

Time is a funny thing isn't it? Some moments feel like they will never end; yet now that 2018 is just around the corner, it feels as though time really slipped away from me again this year. Do you notice that, more so as you age? When I was in my 20's, it never even bothered me! I seemed to have all of the time in the world! I'm rounding 50 years old (eek) and my plans are to live well past 100 so I'm trying to have a better outlook...instead of thinking of time flying, I figure I have plenty of time left. :)

A new year brings the temptation for resolutions. Nix that! I was never a resolution gal. I like to think of self-improvement on a daily basis. But a new year is also a very good time to reflect on the last 12 months and assess if you are on the right path and if all of the choices you are making result in improving your life and your happiness.

Sometimes, a certain aspect of your life can seem out of control - and it's not always obvious what the root of this chaos is. During the last 3 months, my life was out of control after our friend, or former friend, I'm still on the fence...dropped his 2 dogs off and never came back. You all know how challenging that was for me and for Alex. Our routines were messed up, our finances took a hit, our peace of mind and tranquility disappeared. Alex developed pretty bad insomnia and my anxiety was through the roof.

I drew cards many times for help and advice. The element of water came up each and every time over the last few months. I knew that my emotions were in need of help but couldn't figure out how to help myself. Finally, I asked a different question to my Tarot deck and drew a fire card. Suddenly the light bulb moment happened. To restore my emotions, I need to restore my spirit. My biggest issue is being a people pleaser. It's not a good thing, though it sounds like it is. The problem is that I routinely put myself LAST. It does nobody any good, especially myself. I guess some bad habits born out of my upbringing will always stick with me. I have to always remind myself that I matter too and that my needs are just as important!

It's not the first time I've neglected my spirit and felt wackily out of balance! Once I dedicated some time each day to my spiritual health, poof! My emotions calmed, my aches and pains lessened and my mind stopped running me in circles. After I was able to find balance, Alex was able to stop worrying about me and he found balance too. The eight fur-kids are all getting along now, we love them all so much, we have a good attitude and we are being very firm in our decisions - we have a plan and we're sticking to it! It feels good! :)

Are you out of balance at the end of this year? Do you need to take charge of any area of your life?  Are you on the right path for you? Do you need a little guidance? Think about the elements and what they represent. I can draw an element card for you if you wish, then you can think about how this element represents something that you need to take charge of!

🎉 Happy New Year to everyone! I wish you all health, happiness, prosperity, peace of mind and love! 🎉

Friday, December 29, 2017

White Poplar and Aspen Tree Message

I've been really spending a lot of time with my new Oracle deck and I'm learning so much. I wonder if my high school curriculum were as interesting, would I have enjoyed school more? :)

I decided to draw a card today, just to broadcast a little message for today...and for the next few days, to think about the new year, the old year, what you'd like to leave behind, to change, to plan, to know, the usual food for thought! :)

The message of the White Poplar and Aspen tree is this: Let go of your leaves like we do. You will grow new ones. Go into silence as you prepare for winter. Stand tall. Prepare for the new cycle of the year to come, because it will always come.

This is how I think of this card: Accept what life has given you. Trust that you will grow new "leaves" as time goes by. Endure the hard, cold seasons of your life and learn from them...strengthen from them. Never lose hope or faith. Spring, warmth and renewal will always be there when you are ready to welcome them. We need to get through winter to really appreciate the beauty and joy of spring. 💚

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Martha's Christmas Future Card

Martha, as I said to Wisps of Words, I felt great peace and joy drawing a card for you. I hope you enjoy it, and please ask me anything!

Martha's Christmas Future Card:

Princess of Swords

Fairy Tale: Thumbelina

Once upon a time, there was a woman who wanted a child more than ever. A witch granted her wish and created a little girl for her from a seed, she was no bigger than the woman's thumb, so she called her Thumbelina. 

Living a human life didn't suit Thumbelina and she dreamed of living in the flowers and fields. Sensing her dreams, a toad came to her and took her away to his pond so that she could marry his son, but discarded her for her odd looks. Many critters did the same thing all summer long. Winter was on its way and Thumbelina grew scared of the cold. She met a mouse family who offered her a warm bed for the winter. During this time, she was encouraged to grow friendly with the mouse's neighbour a mole. Thumbelina wasn't too fond of Mr. Mole, but needed a place to live so she pretended that she enjoyed his company. One day while on a walk, Thumbelina stumbled across an injured swallow and nursed him to health. During the coldest months of winter, the mouse family insisted that Thumbelina marry Mr. Mole, this made her miserable because she felt obliged and trapped; but she agreed.

On her wedding day, she wished for someone to take her away. Just then, the swallow came back and offered to fly her away to a land that never grew cold so that she could live in the flowers. The swallow dropped her off on a flower where a little male sprite sat very lonely. They fell in love and lived happily ever after. :)

The Blessings that 2018 will bring:

Swords represent air, symbolizing observation and thought. Drawing a Princess card represents youth and vitality. It can also represent the birth of something...maybe a new skill, a new idea or a new activity. Maybe your drawing will take a new turn? Painting? :) 

This card hints that you will start a new stage in your life. I love that. I personally believe it has to do with your attitude and the way you think. Maybe you'll have ideas that will bring you more childlike fun, more whimsy. What you may have thought as a serious stress before won't even occur to you if you follow Thumbelina's message to just go for it! Fly away to what brings warmth to your heart, mind and spirit!

Another great symbol here is the Swallow. This brings renewal and hope. The Princess and the Swallow are reminding you to put your ideas first and have fun. Birds are observant creatures, and because you drew an Air card, I think another important message is to keep your mind open to opportunity and any kind of invitation that will help bring those ideas to mind.

Oh and just for fun, Swords represent the spring, the morning hours, a waxing moon and the colour yellow if you want to try to find some more meaning to this card Martha! :)

Wisps of Words' Christmas Future Card

I felt a lot of peace and joy when I drew the cards for you Wisps of Words, and for Martha too! I'm happy to have been able to do this! Ask me anything!

Wisps of Words' Christmas Future Card

Three of Wands

Fairy Tale: Hok Lee and the Dwarves

Once upon a time, there lived a very hard working man named Hok Lee. He was looked at with honour among his friends because he was a good man. But nobody knew that Hok Lee led a double life as a nocturnal thief. But fate does catch up and one morning, Hok Lee woke up with a swelled right cheek. The swelling kept getting bigger and bigger. The people who had looked at him with honour once, now saw him as a bad omen and wanted nothing to do with him. No doctor would see him and everyone suspected he was up to some kind of evil.

He saw a witch doctor in town who told him that for a very large sum of money, he would bring him to the dwarves who would cure him in the forest at the next full moon. The dwarves were not happy to see Hok Lee and told him to dance and he would be cured; but if he didn't dance well, he would be cursed. Hok Lee didn't make any effort to dance and left the forest. The next morning, his left cheek swelled.

Feeling humiliated, Hok Lee went back to the forest at the next full moon - having endured a month of hostility from the village. He asked the dwarves to give him a second chance and he let his spirit soar and danced marvelously for hours. Suddenly the forest went dark. He felt his face and he was cured.

Hok Lee danced all the way home, feeling gratitude and thanking the dwarves out loud with joy; and he vowed never to steal again. Instead he turned his life around to help other thieves change their ways and lead more honest lives.

The Blessings that 2018 will bring:

Wands represent fire - action, passion and spirit. Threes represent the trinity of life...which usually symbolizes maturation, fulfillment and achievement.

This card strongly symbolizes that you have learned from the past. The message is that you cannot change your past, but you can accept it and use it to develop new ways to use your skills and be creative. This is opportunity knocking, it's an energy card. Don't hide, accept what has happened and put your entire spirit into making your life good for you.

I saw this more as a present card when I read it, even though I thought about what 2018 would bring! But the more I think about this card, I think that the blessings that you will enjoy in 2018 are on the same track as the blessings you have been enjoying already. Whatever choices you make in the next year will bring you fulfillment. You know what you want and this card says that you have the energy to accomplish it! 

Dwarves are guardians of the Earth's mysteries. They have great knowledge, wit and speech. They prefer life in the forest than with the bustle of society. With that in mind and since this is a spirit card, perhaps you might bring more things into your life that feed your spirit through connecting with the Earth...maybe a daily walk, setting up a bird feeder to watch the critters; or some quiet daily meditation by a window; or just enjoying more of nature and the skies might be something that brings joy to your spirit and inspires you. Since the dwarves have wonderful knowledge and wit, have you thought of writing? Despite his early resistance, when he let himself go, dancing brought healing and joy to Hok the card is telling you to step out of your comfort zone and let your spirit soar...find something that makes you feel that gratitude. The action card suggests that you will follow through on some ideas and will enjoy the fruits of your labour! :)

Wisps of Words, if you want to try to think more about this card and the message: Wands represent the summer, the noon hour, a full moon and the colour red.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Ghosts of Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of my friends!!

Thank you so much for participating in my deep thoughts! 😉 I wasn't sure if I wanted to write a blog like this but I'm so happy that I did. I have been able to express lots of ideas and thoughts I have; and the most wonderful part is the feedback. I gain a lot of insight from other people - your thoughts and experiences get me thinking and it makes me a better person. So thank you! 💓

A Christmas Carol - a masterpiece (in my view) of the spirit of Christmas. Not just a great novel, it made several great favourite being the Mickey Mouse version!  But more than the spirit of Christmas and the lessons that Ebeneezer Scrooge had to learn, this is a good opportunity to contemplate what the Ghosts of Christmas represent! :)

My Christmas Past: I have successfully managed to rid myself of all of the toxic people in my life, that was one of the greatest accomplishments to date! There are a few thought processes that I'm in the midst of changing, though it's a battle, I'm conquering it day by day. But one thing I have been neglecting lately is my mental health management. In order to stay off pharmaceuticals, there are certain supplements, exercises and meditations that I must do daily to stay healthy. As my friends know, my challenge has been pet-related lately. I have put myself aside to take good care of our furry kids. With Alex's insomnia, I've been burning the candle at both ends and I have been suffering. But, as of a few days ago, I put my routines back into place and I'm already feeling so much better. No matter what crisis lands at my doorstep, I have to keep this plan in place. The idea that I have to put myself last is now in my "Christmas Past"!

My Christmas Present: Besides getting back to my mental health management routine, I do believe that the best things I do for myself daily is spiritual. I read Tarot cards daily and I contemplate life daily. I watch the skies and I really enjoy being out in nature. I hug my favourite tree too. :) I make sure that romance is part of my every day life as well and I'm lucky that Alex is the same way. All of these important things ground me and help me to enjoy each day and feel appreciation and gratitude for everything and everyone I have in my life.

My Christmas Future: For this, I can only hope for what will bless me in 2018! But to gain a little insight, I thought about the card I drew. I've mentioned that my favourite Tarot deck is all about fairy tales. Well the card I drew was The Summer Queen. The Summer Queen defeated the Winter Giant to bring 6 months of warmer weather to the earth to ensure that humanity wouldn't be extinct. After a fierce battle, the Winter Giant conceded to 6 months of cold weather and he retreated to the far north from spring to autumn. According to this tale, this was how people began the yearly cycle of planting, harvesting and resting. The Summer Queen was so adored by the people that she became known as Mother Earth.

I love that I drew this card. I feel like I'm getting the message that my garden will flourish this season as long as I plan it well and nourish it all summer. :)

What about you? Do you have things to leave in your Christmas Past? What do you think you're doing well right now in your Christmas Present?

Would you like me to draw a card for your Christmas Future? I'd be so SO happy to do that and give you my thoughts on the meaning!! :)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice - Return of the Sun!

A lovely Winter Solstice to you all!

I love this day. I love all of the seasons and the holidays, but this day is so special because it marks the end of the dark season. I am someone who needs her sunshine, so the hope of each day lasting just a little bit longer is great for my spirit! Especially as we enter the coldest winter months here in the Laurentians. I tend to get a little bit of cabin fever by end of January and having the longer days and the bright sunshine really helps to lift my mood. Not to mention, I'm this much closer to porch season!!! :) Eegad, and bug season...okay I'll focus on the good stuff lol!

Many people talk about gratitude and the benefits of feeling it. I think that feeling grateful is a gateway to true happiness. When I feel grateful for what I have in my life, it makes the past traumas fade away and the plans for the future more realistic and attainable. Not very long ago, I had zero gratitude for my life. I felt like I was dealt a bad hand and all I could think about was how I could get out of that mess. The past was suffocating me and my desire for a different future was tormenting me. Of course, a lot had to do with depression. 

But once I was able to manage that issue, I started to slowly shift my way of thinking. I started to write a "gratitude journal". Every night before bed, I wrote down at least five things that I felt grateful for that day. At first it was forced, didn't feel natural at all. But after a while, I came up with dozens of wonderful things that made my day bright and warm. Practice makes perfect so to speak!

Now I live with gratitude. I'm so appreciative of Alex, the pets and the home we have. I'm grateful for my hobbies, my talents and the comfort I create. I'm so grateful for nature and being lucky enough to live up north. And during my best moments, I even feel grateful that I live in this noisy little village because it beats the worse noise in Montreal! 

What brightens up your day? 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Domestic Bliss

I feel like this sometimes! I've really created a different kind of life for myself the last few years. Everything is different from....whence I came. (I've been waiting to use that word lol). Really though, I've built a cozy, quiet, hermit-style life here with Alex and the pets. When I step out my door into society, I feel uncomfortable. The realities of living in our world can be depressing and violent. To me, reality is more insane than insanity. Hmmm...that's a noodle-scratcher.

I gave up television about six years ago and I rarely if never read the news. I know what's going on in the world, but I refuse to get caught up in all of it now. A former friend of mine was really big on politics and current events. She called me ignorant because I didn't really care about everything that was considered "newsworthy". I told her I'm quite content being ignorant. Obviously it was a clash of personalities and that friendship fizzled! Even though it didn't affect me personally here in Quebec, 9-11 really traumatized me. I was working at the time at a day-trading firm and we had CNN on 24-7. I was glued to that station for weeks and since then, I'm ultra-sensitive to tragedies and war. My heart went out to all of those people who suffered to the point where I was having a hard time dealing with it emotionally. I don't mind being ignorant to save my emotional health anymore. 

When people start talking about current events, I feel myself drifting off and thinking about what seeds I'll be planting in my garden this spring 😪. I do my best impression of staying interested, but it's no use...I just don't care enough. I can talk about bread baking 'til the cows come home, but the subject of foreign affairs is like a sleeping pill.

I came up with this Tarot spread recently and it got me thinking a lot about how I live my life. The last question especially. I used to always live for the future, and that makes the present unbearable. When I shifted things around and started to live the way I wanted to, I really felt like I was finally "home". I still have dreams for my future with Alex that I'm working towards; but I'm making it a point every day to enjoy what I have NOW. As the saying goes, you never know how long you'll have it, so seize the day. My philosophy is leave the past where it should be, live and enjoy life now and work for your future dreams. Usually I do all of this very well, though sometimes the past gets lonely and needles me down memory lane, until I tell it to buzz off and bug someone else for a change!

I've gotten to a point where my home life is the most important thing to me. I'm building a home where I never want to leave! Alex and I don't have the house we want, we're still renting, and honestly the village is still a little too populated for our liking, but we are making this place a home as best we can. We dream about living on a property that's only accessible by canoe in the summer and snowmobile in the winter! Oh and a mote with a crocodile pit would be nice lol... But we aren't the types who need other people in our lives, we're so content with each other and with our pets. Even the monthly trip to the grocery store is nicknamed "the dreaded shopping day" lol...our goal is self-sufficiency, but we are realistic too. We will always have to sneak our way into society once in a while, as long as we quickly get back to our haven, I guess that's okay.

There is a trend towards homesteading and self-reliance lately. The reason could be financial, or it could be societal. Some want that lifestyle for philosophical and environmental reasons. Or they want a quiet life where they can choose when and where they interact with society too. For us, it's completely about a quiet, reclusive life surrounded by nature. We don't need a lot of money or material "stuff", but we do need the basics and a tranquil surrounding. 

What about you? Has society worn you out to the point where you dream of a hermit-style life like me? Are you more of a hustle and bustle city dweller? Or are you somewhere in between? What is your dream life, are you living it? I think I'm living it more or less, there are a few big changes coming up, but home is where my heart is. To my detriment or not, my heart rules me, so home is where I never want to leave.

Friday, December 8, 2017

What Is A Promise?

With all of our stress lately from having the extra pets and being left wondering how long we'll have to care for them, I've been focusing way too much on the people in my life who have lied to me, broken promises and broken my trust. I hate that my mind is veering towards those bad memories, but I guess it's my way of trying to come to terms with my current situation. I'm always trying to see the bright side, but the darkness is creeping in more than I like lately and writing about it helps. I hate being negative, but sometimes positivity escapes me.

So, I ask you, what is a promise? 

This is something I struggle with and have struggled with since I was a child. If someone says they will do something and they find an excuse not to, did they break a promise? Or if they vow they won't do something hurtful again, and their anger takes over, resulting in them causing hurt again, is it forgivable because they couldn't help themselves or because they are family?

My mother used to always say "just accept the fact that you can't choose your family". Yes, she was right, but she said it meaning that family could do whatever they wanted to you and you had to forgive them. I couldn't choose them, but I chose to leave them.

Here is one I've heard a zillion times: It was never really a promise because they never said the exact words "I promise". Do you give them a second chance and the benefit of the doubt that the excuse is legitimate? Are they justified in letting me down if they apologize but don't make up for it?

And what if this becomes a habit? Am I to blame by placing too much trust in people when they say they'll do something, then feel so disappointed when they don't? Or does the habitual excuse-maker not take what he or she says seriously enough to follow through? If I keep trusting, am I the fool? Is it time to leave them behind?  Aaargh!!!

This is what goes through my brain when I lack gosh, it feels like I'm thinking too hard, maybe my migraine wasn't hormonal maybe it was "over-thinkish" lol...I'm sure there are varying answers to all of these questions...I wish I didn't question everything so much, I drive myself batty at times! :)

I am someone who actually listens to everything people say to me. I remember things that have been said or discussed for years, good and bad. If someone says they'll do something, then they don't, I wonder if I'm to blame because I get my hopes up too much.

I know I can't change anyone, I can't make anyone act when they say they will, when they promise they will. I can't make anyone see the value in having integrity and trustworthiness. I often wonder if people break your trust because they simply don't care that you are in their lives and they are waiting for you to walk away from them and be the "bad guy".

Problem is, no matter how much I tell a person how they are losing my trust; or how much I desperately want to, if they don't want to change, it will always happen if I let it. If I continue to let it happen, the trust and confidence I have in that person slowly chips away. At first I feel hurt and let down, but the more it happens, I get to the point where I just don't take them seriously anymore and I wonder why I bother even thinking they should be in my life anymore.

Anyway, just food for thought, I'm feeling better already letting this out! :)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rapunzel's Tower

Most people will know the fairy tale of Rapunzel. The lonely trapped young girl whose long hair was the only way anyone could climb up to her window in the tower where she was kept.

My Tarot card deck is called The Fairy Tale Tarot. I relate so much to fairy tales, I just love their meanings...not the Disney versions mind you, the original tales. Rapunzel signifies feeling trapped, longing for your "happily ever after" but not having the confidence to take the next step.

Are you Rapunzel? :)

I was for a long time. In 2003, I had a pretty severe burnout and the nine years that followed were what I refer to as my "hell on earth" time. I lost everything that year: my car, my condo on the mountain (that was the hardest hit, my very first home!), all of my "toys" (tools, electronics etc)...I was forced to move to a loud crappy apartment back in Montreal. I felt trapped by my condition, I couldn't see a happily ever after. I remember my p-doc (that's psychiatrist) telling me in 2003 that the average length of time it takes to start feeling better after burnout is 7 years. It was quite shocking, I didn't believe her. She was a great p-doc though, she fought with our workman's compensation board here to convince them that due to the events leading to the burnout, my quality of life would suffer for the rest of my life. Again, I didn't believe her. Maybe it was more like I couldn't believe her.

But...after enduring all that challenge and difficulty, I finally realized in 2010 that this was it. I was so grateful for my income but very bitter about having to live with mental health illness. I had to accept what was going on and live with it; and work really hard to manage it. The other option was to continue living like a drugged-up zombie, sleeping 14-18 hours a day and zoning out to The Weather Network for the rest of the time. This was not a life and I knew if I didn't make changes, I wouldn't be around long. In fact, I'd made a secret pact with myself that when my pugs died, I probably would too. I hope that's not shocking to anyone, but this is the reality of what many people with mental health illness live with. It's quite unbearable. 

I decided to spend a few days just thinking, researching and reading about people who had managed to come out of the dark pit. I made my decision, I wasn't going to let the burnout and my condition kill me. That's when I decided to go off meds, which took almost 2 years in total.

I started to think of my situation, how trapped I felt. But after only a few months of lowering the doses of meds, I started to really think clearly. I started exercising again and lost 97 of the over 100 pounds I'd put on because of the meds. I got my finances in order, I got my teeth fixed (I had 8 broken teeth from constant grinding) and I moved from Quebec to Prince Edward Island for a fresh start - I only brought me and the pugs, and anything that fit in my little Hyundai at the time! Being in a completely new environment (from mountains to the ocean) was the key to making my changes, because I had extra motivation. I did have difficulties of course, and times when I wanted to run back to the p-doc for renewed prescriptions...but I held on. I moved back after a year though, I couldn't handle not being in the mountains anymore.

After 19 years of being single, at age 43, I decided to start dating again in late 2011. That experience will be for another post lol...anyone know first hand about how crazy online dating is??? I had to be 100% honest and I wrote about my burnout, the depression/anxiety that I was managing, and what I really wanted in life and in a man. I figured I'd get zero hits, but surprisingly a lot of men found my honesty refreshing. I met Alex in 2013 and that was all she wrote. :)

Being trapped by near-bankruptcy and mental health illness is frightening. You can't spend money, you can't get money and you're too sick to find your energy - it's like you are completely trapped and cannot make any changes to your situation. In the end, my p-doc was right, but in my case it took about nine years for me to really feel confident and whole again, despite the daily struggle to manage things.

You've heard the question: "If you went back, would you change anything?" To me, that's extremely thought provoking because if I never burned out and suffered so long...would I have met Alex? I'm the happiest I've ever been, but I can't bring myself to say "yes, I'd do it all over again". I'll take a pass on that question! What about you? Are you trapped? What can you do to find a way out? Were you trapped in the past and how did you manage to turn things around? And...would you do it all over again? ;)