Why would I learn to read Tarot?

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “Tarot”?

A smokey, low-lit room with a man or woman wearing a turban?

Fortune telling?

Scam?

Unfortunately, Tarot readers tend to get a bad rap because of the way we’re depicted in Hollywood, and Tarot’s ability to help transform someone’s life is not often focused on. That’s why I felt it would be a good idea to take a moment to talk about the benefits of Tarot and how it can help change your life when you learn to read.

What is Tarot?

There’s a misconception that Tarot is a tool used to predict the future and tell people when/where things are going to happen to them. Personally, I don’t teach Tarot as a fortune telling tool. I believe that, as a human being, you have freewill; therefore, your future is not set in stone. You always have the ability to make a different decision and change an outcome.

For me, the Tarot is a reflection of energy. Each card holds a specific energy that can be used as a springboard to offer new ideas, ways of thinking, possible actions to take, etc. The imagery and symbols in each card evoke something within you that allows your subconscious mind to bypass the ego and shed light on your question.

The Subconscious and the Conscious Mind

Did you know that your conscious mind only accounts for about 12% of your brain? The other 88% is governed by the subconscious. The ego is a part of your conscious mind – it’s busy being logical, weighing different options, making decisions and thinking non-stop throughout the day. On the other hand, the subconscious governs your habits, beliefs, dreams and various bodily functions like your heart beat. It’s basically the equivalent of autopilot for humans.

This can be great because you won’t have to consciously think about pumping blood through your heart, but it can also be a hindrance. Have you ever tried to make a change in your life, but for some reason you keep coming up against obstacles or you just end up right back where you were? That’s the subconscious! It’s possible that there’s a belief hidden deep within the subconscious that’s holding you back. This is where Tarot has the chance to help you out.

Tarot and the Subconscious Mind

Ultimately, I believe Tarot gives you the opportunity to make the subconscious conscious. The conscious brain speaks in thoughts and words, but the subconscious speaks with symbols. That’s why dreams are typically never straightforward; they’re very symbolic.

A Tarot card is filled with imagery and symbols that the subconscious is able to relate with. From there, the subconscious sends up a message to the conscious mind that relates to the question at hand. This message can help shed light on what’s going on beneath the surface that you’re not aware of. It can help you uncover limiting beliefs that have been hindering your growth and provide new ways of thinking.

Once you’ve seen what’s going on within the subconscious mind, you’re able to shift out of autopilot and create new ways of being that are much more expansive. You’re more conscious about the actions you take and the decisions you make, which helps you to grow as an individual.

If you’d like to learn to confidently read Tarot and see for yourself how it beneficial it can be, I’m teaching a class at The Peaceful Peacock entitled Intrepid Intution: A Beginner’s Guide to Tarot. The class meets every Tuesday from 7-9PM, April 2-May 21. You can register by clicking the button below.

Mirror & Medicine: February 2019

This month’s mirror and medicine Tarot reading come to you from the Seven of Coins and the King of Swords.

Tarot Reading

The Seven of Coins typically signifies having patience, waiting for the seeds we’ve planted to be ready for harvest. But, it comes up in the reversed position for this month, which to me feels like impatience. This card is inviting you to take a look at the things you’re trying to push in your life right now. What are you trying to hurry along or force to happen?

It might seem like you’re bumping up against obstacles or setbacks because these things aren’t ready to come into the world yet. Like a plant, they need more nurturing and care. Also, by trying to force a specific outcome, you may be constricting the energy that’s trying to assist you.

The King of Swords reversed offers his medicine to help you move through this.. I often feel like the King of Swords is the most direct and to the point out of all of the Kings. However, in the reversed position it feels like he’s asking you to loosen the reins – relax into life a bit.

Regardless of how much we’d like it to, life typically doesn’t move from point A to point B in an instant. There’s many different stops along the way. Sometimes those stops take you clear off the path that you were expecting, and that’s okay. Give yourself permission to wander and explore unfamiliar terrain.

Rather than being dissatisfied with where you aren’t yet, take a look around you in the present moment. So many new possibilities and potential reside there. But, you close yourself off to them when you’re so focused on trying to create a specific outcome.

See if you can let go of your expectations this month and allow yourself to enjoy the journey.

Overcoming Resistance

I don’t know about you all, but last week’s full moon lunar eclipse threw me for a loop.

I spent the evening in my backyard huddled under blankets by a fire with my friends. I led them through a short full moon ritual where we reflected on our goals for the year and wrote down anything that wasn’t in alignment with those goals that was holding us back. Then, we tossed our papers into the fire to release them and let them burn.

I felt a sense of renewal and excitement about what lay ahead, but the next morning I was filled with doubt, insecurity and a major case of imposter syndrome.

You see for the past few months I’ve felt called to create a Tarot course for my local community; however, now resistance was popping up left and right. I doubted my ability to create this offering, and I doubted its success. I was finding anything and everything I could do to avoid starting to work on developing a course.

During this time I kept running across the idea that resistance comes up for many goals that are worthy of pursuit.

So many different articles, podcasts and conversations I had kept pointing to the idea that resistance shows up to show us where we have the opportunity to expand our capacity to love and accept ourselves. It shows us the boundaries of our comfort zone and gives us the opportunity to move past them. We can play it safe and stay in our box, or we can expand and heal ourselves by working through the resistance we feel.

When I looked at things through this lens, I saw that I was afraid of stepping into a leadership position. I was scared of being judged for the work that I put out there. And, I was afraid of being wrong.

When you uncover the root of resistance, you’re able to develop different practices to help you work through it.

I find prayer, affirmations, journaling and meditation to be super helpful, but something different might work better for you. Once I understood where my resistance was coming from, I was able to start working on my course. I’ve been taking baby steps as I begin this journey so that I don’t overwhelm myself. Resistance still pops up, but now I have various strategies to help me move through it.

Get curious the next time you notice resistance popping up in your own life. Where’s it coming from? What parts of yourself is resistance showing you need healing? What practices can you develop to help you care for those parts of yourself?

Stop your new year's resolutions from failing!

Did you know that 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by February?

Yes, even though you’ve prepped and planned to make changes to be the best version of yourself, it’s more than likely all that hard work will be for nothing come February. You’ll be the same person experiencing the same things, and you’ll be quite frustrated that none of your resolutions worked out.

Let’s talk about why.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

In today’s society of instant gratification, we’ve learned to expect things to happen very fast. When you’re thinking about the changes you want to make in your life, it’s possible that you’ve set goals that carry this same type of energy behind them. A desire for healthy living spurs a resolution to “run three miles every day." If that’s not something you’ve worked up to it’ll wear you out way before February.

Unrealistic expectations will derail your resolutions in an instant. Instead, try to take things one step at a time. Choose something that will have the most beneficial impact on your life and break down the various steps to getting there.

For example, if a healthier lifestyle is one of your resolutions you could commit to cooking two fresh meals a week. Eventually, you can raise that number to include even more. You’re more than likely to stick with it because you’ve broken it down and you’re not overwhelming yourself right of the bat.

The conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, you can say that you want to save more money, but if your subconscious beliefs reflect lack and scarcity, you’re going to have a hell of a time trying to succeed. This is because your subconscious, which governs your habits, beliefs, and emotions, makes up about 88% of your mind. You’ve got to get the subconscious on board for a change to happen.

Luckily, there are a variety of tools that can help you do this. By paying attention to the thoughts running through you’re head, you can start to get an idea of what’s going on beneath the surface. Start exploring where a specific thought or belief comes from. A Tarot reading can also help shed some light on subconscious beliefs, along with hypnosis, journaling or meditation.

Try being S.M.A.R.T

Being vague about your own goals isn’t going to get you very far; especially, if you’re not even sure why you’ve chosen them in the first place. There’s a lot of societal pressure to meet specific standards so you might feel compelled to create a goal that meets society’s standards, but not your own.

The first way to combat this is to connect with your “Why?” Why is this goal important to you? Do you want to save more money because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing? Or do you want to save more money because you’d like to go on that vacation to the mountains with your family next summer?

Another way to rid yourself of vague goals is to make them S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific: What is that you want? Be clear and concrete. (i.e., “I want to save $7,000 to take a trip to Europe by June 2020.”)

  • Measurable: How are you going to measure your progress? (i.e., “I’ll keep a record of my savings account each month.”)

  • Achievable: Is this goal achievable and realistic? Saving $7,000 by June 2020 might not currently be realistic for your budget. If not, revisit your goal and see how you can make it practical.

  • Relevant: Why does this goal matter to you? Think about your reasons behind it.

  • Time-Bound: Is your timeline realistic? What smaller goals can you set up along the way to allow yourself to celebrate your progress?

False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear is the big boogeyman when it comes to achieving your goals. It shows up in a few different ways:

  • You’re afraid of failing and letting yourself or other people down.

  • Your goal seems so large that you have no idea how or where to begin. Because you’re feeling unsure, you think it’s a better idea not even to bother trying.

  • You started taking steps towards your goal, and you’ve hit your first obstacle. That’s that, you think, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Fear is your ego’s way of keeping you safe. It comes from humanity’s prehistoric days when it was one of the only things preventing you from being lunch for a saber-toothed tiger. You don’t have to fight or flee a saber-tooth nowadays, but the feeling still pops up anytime you’re confronted with something that may be perceived as “dangerous."

You have to keep in mind that the ego perceives anything unknown as dangerous, so it activates your fear response. It feels threatened because it’s not familiar with the circumstances and it sounds the alarm to get you away from whatever it isn’t in control of. It doesn’t know whether this thing could actually be good for you.

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”

— Seneca

It’s up to you to decide whether you buy into the stories that the ego feeds you to feel safe again. No one will hire you, so it’s best you don’t start your own business. Everyone will think you’re a fool, it says. You have to ask yourself whether you choose to believe this thought. If you readily agree with it, ask yourself how you know it to be 100% true? You’ll probably see that once again it’s just your fear trying to hold you back.

Are you ready to make 2019 the best year of your life?

Making changes in your life may seem frustrating and scary, but it has the potential to be empowering and exhilarating. There’s no need to take a wrecking ball to your life and load yourself up with a ton of resolutions. Start small. Choose things that feel aligned. Know that change takes time.

Don’t beat yourself up when you encounter an obstacle or listen to that fear voice that tells you that you suck at life or things won’t get better. Expose that voice for the liar that it is.

Try getting S.M.A.R.T. with your resolutions. Celebrate your wins no matter how small.

You are more powerful thank you know. Believe in yourself and watch 2019 be the best damn year or your life!

Expect the Unexpected

About a year ago I was spending time writing down my intentions for 2018. Towards the top of my list I wrote that I wanted to open a space where I could offer in-person readings to people in my area. The only time I was able to offer live readings was at various events and pop-ups that I had been invited to.

As time progressed, it became clear that I didn't currently have the means to open a store. One might give up hope at this point, but I persisted in believing there was a space out there for me. "Maybe not now, but soon," I told myself.

It was about halfway through the year that I joined a new yoga studio by my house. I immediately fell in love with the place! The classes, instructors and the space were warm, welcoming and wonderful. I was invited to offer readings at a couple of their events, which I was grateful for. Then, about three weeks ago a miracle happened.

I was having a meeting with the studio owner when she invited me to rent their smaller studio space and use it to offer in-person readings for people. I could also host various Tarot events, workshops and classes. My intention had manifested!

I tell you this story because sometimes we have this habit of getting a picture in our head of exactly what we want, and we refuse to let it go. I knew what I wanted the store that I envisioned back in 2017 to look like. But, if I had held tight to that vision of having my own store and how I wanted it to look, I may never have received this new opportunity. 

Or, sometimes we hit a bump in the road (for me, it was not having the finances to start a store), and we turn away from our goals because it doesn't look like it's going to work out. That's when mantras like "If not now, soon" or "If not this, then something better" can really help us continue to manifest our goals. Whatever you do, don't give up hope! Expect the unexpected!

An Attitude of Gratitude

We're celebrating Thanksgiving this week in the U.S., and it felt appropriate to touch on gratitude.

It seems like some people are always wanting more, more, more, which is why they'd rather camp out in front of a store in attempt to get a "good deal" on something they possibly don't even need instead of spending time with their loved ones. Every year it's like there's a competition to see which store can open earliest instead of letting people spend time with their families and friends.

Instead of trying to cram more into our lives, why don't we spend this week reflecting on gratitude? We all have something to be grateful for, and when we take the time to notice those things, no matter how small, it can dramatically change our lives.

For the next week (and hopefully beyond!) see how it feels to jot down three things you're grateful for right before you go to sleep. End your day on a high note. If you want to go even further, have a conversation with your spouse, a friend, or family member about those three things. Ask them what they're grateful for from their day. 

Also, take a moment to pause the next time something awesome happens and express gratitude. You can send it to the Universe, God, Spirit, whomever/whatever you want. It might start to feel like a little energy boost throughout your day. Sometimes, I'll try to notice the small things and express gratitude for them (i.e. "Thank you for this warm sun. Thank you for that gorgeous flower. Thank you for this quiet moment.")

You might be saying, "Garrett, this is so cliché," but I promise you it works. Actively expressing gratitude has changed my entire outlook on life and has helped me to welcome in some pretty impressive miracles. I challenge you to try it out and see for yourself.

Mirror and Medicine: November 2018

I recently picked up a new two-card spread that I really like from Danielle over at Oak Moon Tarot. It’s called the Mirror and Medicine spread. The first card represents the mirror. It invites us to examine the space we’re currently inhabiting. It’s a look at what’s going on and where we’re headed. The second card represents the medicine. It’s something to aid us during this time. Perhaps it introduces a new way of thinking, an action to take. It helps us see through any illusions straight to the Truth of any matters.

This week I did a reading on behalf of the Collective to see what the mirror and medicine is for the month of November. We received the Eight of Wands as our mirror and The Fool as our medicine.

November 2018 Tarot Reading

The Eight of Wands indicates that this month is a time ripe for stepping into your power. Things may feel like they’re moving quickly, and you might feel like you have very little control. The Fool asks us to trust that movement, to trust that we’re exactly where we’re meant to be at any given time.

There’s a really great quote that I recently heard that came to mind while reading these cards. I can’t remember who said it or where I heard it from, so I apologize that I’m unable to attribute it to anyone. I don’t remember the specific wording, but they basically said that if you leap from a cliff you don’t turn around and try to grab the ledge after you’ve jumped.

To me, this is a call for confidence. There’s so much forward motion in these cards, and you might scare yourself if you start looking back. Trust that you’ve done the work necessary, and leap wholeheartedly into this month with confidence. Deep down you know what feels aligned; you know what feels best for you.

There may be people who try to pull you back to the safety of the ledge. Heck, your own ego might even try. But, The Fool cautions you to pay those people no mind. Allow yourself the freedom to soar.

Grounding Your Energy

This past weekend I attended a Rest and Replenish yoga event at my yoga studio. Basically, it’s a beautiful evening practice where we do yoga by candlelight with live music and enjoy a gong bath during Savasana.

I had never experienced a gong bath until the first Rest and Replenish event that I attended a couple of months ago. They are amazing, and I highly recommend it to everyone. During my first one I could feel my entire body vibrating, and at times it felt like I was floating above my mat. During this most recent gong bath I had a very strong message come through - “you need to ground yourself.”

It was right on. Lately, I’ve felt very scattered and not truly present in my body or the moment at hand. I pulled a card from Alana Fairchild’s Earth Warriors Oracle deck asking, “How can I best ground my energy?” and I shared its medicine on my Instagram. A lot of people seemed to resonate with it, so I thought it might be beneficial to share some techniques and practices to help you ground your energy any time you might be feeling a bit too airy. I’ve included some of the things that people recommended to me on Instagram.

Stand Barefoot on the Grass

Something that I like to do in the mornings is go outside and stand barefoot on the grass. I imagine roots sprouting from my feet and descending deep down into the earth.

Meditate Against a Tree

You can do this one barefoot, too! Basically find a nice sturdy tree and sit with your back up against its trunk, allowing it to support you. You can either sit cross-legged or put your bare feet down on the earth. Visualize the roots of the tree bringing nourishment up from the earth along your spine. Allow anything that’s not serving you to drain out of your body and into the earth to be transmuted into love.

Go for a Walk

Multiple people recommended walks to me because your feet are literally connecting you to the ground. See how long you can remain present, taking in the sights sounds and smells.

Yoga

I talked with my yoga teacher about grounding, and she recommended becoming aware of any points of contact with the floor during yoga. For example, notice where your fingers, knees, forehead, palms, feet, etc. connect to the ground.

Visualization

This comes from one of my new favorite books, The Green Witch. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Feel your energy. Visualize a green light radiating from your chest. Then, visualize a tendril of that green light moving down through your abdomen, pelvis, legs, feet. See it moving down into the ground, rooting you to the earth. Then, allow any excess energy to flow into the earth or, if you’re feeling drained, see Gaia’s loving energy coming up the tendril and into your body.

Meditate with Crystals

Crystals, which naturally come from the earth, are a great way to ground your energy. Personally, I love meditating with Smoky Quartz, Petrified Wood, Hematite and Red Jasper.

I hope this list has given you a couple of new ways to ground your own energy. If you have any other suggestions, please send them my way!

Adventures in Feng Shui: Creating a Bagua

Recently, I was listening to one of my new favorite podcasts (Mind Your Business with James Wedmore), and he did an interview on Feng Shui. Personally, I didn't know much about Feng Shui beyond the fact that it had to do with balancing the energy in a home or space. After listening, I felt so inspired that I wanted to learn more. James interviewed Karen Rauch Carter, who wrote the book Move your Stuff, Change Your Life. I snagged a copy of the book, and over the next few months I’ll be sharing my journey using Feng Shui.

The first thing Karen recommends to do is to take an inventory of what is currently working really well in your life and where you’d like to experience improvement. So, I sat down with my partner, Sean, and we discussed our intentions and where we’d like to improve. Next, we used our floor plan to map out the Bagua. Basically, the Bagua is a map of the home that corresponds to nine different life situations. They are: prosperity, fame and reputation, relationships and love, family, health, creativity and children, skills and knowledge, career, helpful people and travel.

Feng Shui Bagua

The theory of Feng Shui seems to be that if you’re experiencing imbalances in an area of your life, they correspond to imbalances within that specific area of your home. You can use different Feng Shui cures like light, sound, living things, weight, color, moving objects, symbolic objects, the elements and electric power to bring that area of your home into balance; thus, helping to cure the imbalance in that area of your life.

Looking at our Bagua, we noticed that there was a piece missing in the Prosperity and Family gua because of the way our home is shaped. Karen recommended many different cures to complete these two sections, but the one that resonated with me the most was burying a crystal where the two walls would intersect in our yard. I used a piece of clear quartz and buried it with the intention of completing our Bagua.

I’ll be following the book, so the first area I’ll be working on over the next week or so is the prosperity gua. I’ll share some of the cures that we incorporate as well as their results as I go along. I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us, and I’m excited to share with you all.

Focus on Possibility

I feel like the Law of Attraction is getting a bad rap lately; mainly, it seems to be due to a generality that it’s all about “positive thinking”. Want more money? Just think positively and tell yourself you have tons of money, and all will be well, right? No, not exactly. I believe it is a bit more complex than that.

Everything originates from a thought, and each thought holds a specific vibration. This is where I feel like most people stop and get the idea that the Law of Attraction is all about positive thinking. To me, it’s about being open to possibility.

I recently listened to an episode of The Yes Effect with Shelli Varela, and she said something that stood out to me – “Don’t focus on logic. Focus on possibility.” Sometimes when we are working on manifesting something in our life we focus on “I want ________” Inadvertently, this also puts out the vibration “I don’t have ________.”

Shelli talked about how we can shift our focus from “I want…” to imagining possibility and how we will feel if that thing were to manifest in our life. This brings our emotions into play, which act like powerful magnets, helping to draw our intentions into reality. Also, when you open yourself up to possibility, you’re more likely to notice the various signs or opportunities coming from Spirit.

It’s important to remember that we’re the co-creators of our lives. When we’re focusing on possibility, we begin to receive intuitive hits that guide us. This is when we begin taking inspired action based on the guidance we receive, which helps us to level up, acquire new skills, and learn lessons that bring us into vibrational alignment with that which we desire.

Now, this does not mean that everything is going to be sunshine, rainbows and puppy dogs. When we go about working to manifest something, there may be new skills or lessons we must acquire or learn in order along the way. These new things might challenge us and will probably push us beyond our comfort zones.

When we encounter these challenges, it’s important that we don’t just ignore the discomfort and believe we can positively think it all away. Sometimes we have to work through our stuff. You can’t just put a bandaid on a gaping wound, so it’s important to treat any pain or trauma with the love and respect it deserves.

Personally, I choose to believe in the power of possibility. When we imagine what’s possible, we ignite an inner fire that drives us forward. Potential obstacles don’t seem so scary because we’re fired up and ready to go. We’re more open to explore and try new things that could help us manifest our deepest desires.

Please know that I do not claim this to be the end all be all. This is what has worked for me, so I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it helps you too. As always, take what resonates and leave the rest.

Peace Amidst Chaos

This week I pulled a few cards for us, asking "What message wants to come through at this time?" We received the Seven of Cups, Knight of Swords and Four of Swords.

Tarot Reading

To me, the message that comes through is about the sense of overwhelm we may be feeling in today's society. There's so much going on right now with everyone and everything competing for our attention; it might appear to the outside observer that the world is a bit chaotic. There's a barrage of breaking news alerts, ads, and all sorts of things happening in our personal lives that can make it difficult to even hear ourselves think.

It's during times like these that we're being called to practice discernment. Does it serve us to follow the flock and get so worked up and involved with everything that's going on? Or, could we be of better service if we pause to consciously decide whether or not a particular situation warrants our energy?

We don't have to be so reactive to everything. We have the opportunity to choose how to proceed. One of the best things I ever did for my self-care was to delete Facebook and Twitter off of my phone and unsubscribe from all breaking news alerts. I get to decide when and where I want to check any news or engage on social media.

The Four of Swords asks us to turn inward and honor what feels good. For me, I felt called to delete Facebook and Twitter from my phone and unsubscribe from all breaking news alerts. It felt so draining to always be so connected. Now, I decide when I want to engage on social media or read the news.

Perhaps you don't resonate with disconnecting like I did. Find another way that allows you to practice your own form of discernment. When we're confronted with chaos we need to have a system in place that helps us to consciously engage rather than being so reactionary. Experiment and see what feels best for you.

Setting the World Ablaze With Love

The idea of working with others has been coming up a lot in my personal readings lately. I've been sharing these readings on Instagram, and it seems like the idea resonates with quite a few people right now.

Originally, I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this week. However, Spirit seems to keep bringing this idea of "stronger together" up, and I feel like it's important to discuss; especially, in today's climate.

There's a lot of fear running rampant in our society right now. Rather than working to understand and solve difficult problems, people immediately start blaming each other or lashing out. We call each other names, cast others as villains, or even cut off any type of connection whatsoever. We continue to perpetuate the illusion that we're all separate when the Truth is that we're all one.

Right now is a pivotal moment for us. We can continue living in a fear-based mindset, or we can choose Love. We can choose to reach across and build each other up instead of tearing each other down. When we're met with ugliness, we can send Love in return. And by doing so, we not only raise our own vibration, but the vibration of the collective. In Truth, we are all one.

The more those of us sharing our Light come together, the further our Light will spread. If you have one candle in a dark room you might have some nice ambiance, but the room probably isn't lit up too well. But, if you put a bunch of candles in a dark room you can completely illuminate it.

The world needs you to share your Light right now. Whatever it is you've been called to do – write, perform, teach, compose, create, etc – please do it. Reach out and connect with others. Ask for help when it is needed. Also, let's let go of the idea that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

For the past couple of months, I've been working on a guided meditation. I had no idea how to create a meditation when I started, but I felt called to do so. I trusted that the Universe would guide me and provide help when I needed it. When I got stuck (especially learning to use new computer programs and equipment) I reached out to a few different people who were more than happy to help me solve the issues I was experiencing.

I could have experienced endless frustration trying to figure things out on my own, but I was led to specific people who could provide the solutions I needed. Now, I'm able to share this wonderful creation with the world; it's like adding one more candle to that dark room.

How can you share your Light this week? If you're feeling stuck, who can you reach out to for help? Maybe you're not being called to create something just yet. If not, try sharing your Light by just being kind. The world needs more kindness, and it's up to us change that. Because when I share my light and you share yours, together we can set the world ablaze with Love.

A Simple Practice for Conscious Living

The energy this past week has been fairly interesting for me because I've had quite a few old patterns pop back up. 

I noticed that I was slipping back into a scarcity mindset surrounding money, which I thought was long gone by now. I found myself starting to compare myself to others. And, I noticed that at some points I was judging myself or other people.

One might ask themselves, "What the hell is happening?!" It was like a superhero movie when the hero thinks they've vanquished the villain, but they've actually gone away and gotten stronger.

But, there was something different this time. Instead of simply sliding back into those old patterns, I was conscious of them and I had an entire arsenal of new tools at my disposal. I was an observer of my thoughts rather than letting them narrate my story, so I was able to notice when something was out of balance, and use the tools I have to bring it back into balance,

I immediately started sending love when I noticed that I was judging myself or others. I began to take stock of the abundance that was already showing up in my life when I noticed scarcity creeping in. If I compared myself to someone, I would pray for their continued success and happiness.

When I switched over from a fear-based mindset to a love-based mindset, I felt so much better. I felt lighter, happier, and freer. I was determined to not let fear hold me down.

Honestly, I feel like the thing that helped me noticed these subtle shifts the most is meditation. People seem to have a misconception that your mind must be completely blank to meditate "successfully". However, I feel like the point of meditation is to observe the thoughts with non-judgement and then let them go.

Rather than continuing down a rabbit hole with a specific thought while meditating, notice that you've been distracted and return to your breath. We do the same thing in my yoga class – if we notice the mind wandering during practice, we bring it back to the present moment by bringing our focus back to the breath.

The more you meditate, the more you build this muscle, and the more it's able to help you out in times of stress. Rather than allowing your mind to run the show, you begin to observe what it's saying and then return to the present moment. This allows you to make the conscious choice of what is showing up in your life.

When you feel stress, anxiety of fear creeping in this week, take a moment to pause and reconnect with your breath. Biologically, by taking a deep inhale your nervous system and brain will begin to calm down; thus allowing you to think clearly and consciously.

Disconnecting to Connect

"I am present."

A couple of weeks ago I was at a Starbucks waiting for my order when I looked around and noticed that the six other people that were waiting had their heads buried in their phones. I passed by a few more people as I was leaving and they were all doing the exact same thing – walking with their heads down, barely noticing anyone around them because they were involved with someone on a tiny screen.

This got me thinking – we have more opportunity than ever before to connect with each other, but it seems like we're becoming increasingly disconnected. People would rather be plugged into their device instead of interacting with the world that's right in front of them.

Now, I've been guilty of this too. There have been plenty of times I've been walking somewhere and checking Instagram at the same time, or I've been out with friends and taken my phone out. However, about two weeks ago I decided to challenge myself. I wanted to change my habits so that I could stay present and connect with people.

I set a few guidelines for myself. My phone and computer had to be turned off 1-2 hours before going to sleep, and I wasn't going to turn them on again until at least an hour after waking up. I had to buy a real alarm clock so that my phone wasn't my alarm, and all of my devices were charged in our office instead of the bedroom. In fact, I set my phone to charge on top of my computer and then placed a Selenite pyramid on top of them to cleanse their energy overnight. I also decided that I wouldn't check my phone while walking to/from places or while I was waiting somewhere.

These guidelines might sound simple, but it has been quite the challenge. It has taken time to adjust and not automatically reach for my phone while waiting for something or walking somewhere. But, things are shifting and I'm seeing the benefits.

For instance, I've become much more conscious of when and how I use my phone; I'm not at the beck and call of a ring or vibration in my pocket. My attention span has lengthened, which allows me to have better focus and actively engage with people on a deeper level. My appreciation for nature has grown. I've also noticed that my mind doesn't seem to chatter as much and, if it does, I'm able to notice it and return to the present moment much more easily.

It's still a work in progress. Sometimes I accidentally forget, but I've been working with the mantra "I am present" to help.

I feel like if people took the time to be conscious about their device usage and spent more time connecting with the world around them, we'd have a totally different world. We'd have more empathy and compassion because we'd recognize our shared humanity. Imagine the difference in a person's day if you smiled at them, said hello, or gave them a compliment instead of standing or walking by them glued to your phone.

Get honest with yourself and your own habits. Do you feel like you're spending more time on your phone than with the people around you? If so, how can you cut back and change that? Give it a try this week and see how it feels.

 

The Power of "What If?"

I was highly skeptical when I first started my spiritual journey several years ago. I found myself thinking, "What do you mean that love, peace, happiness and abundance are my birthright?! I have about $50 in my checking account. You're crazy!" I wanted to believe in this magical Universe so badly, but I found it incredibly difficult since my circumstances didn't reflect it.

Luckily, the first book that I ever read on the subject was E-Squared by Pam Grout. In the book, Pam takes you through nine experiments that you can do to prove to yourself that your thoughts create your reality. I felt my excitement growing as I started seeing results in my experiments, but I was also terrified that one of the experiments wouldn't work for me and the whole thing would be a waste of time. Every so often that little voice still pops into my head causing me to doubt myself. I feel like it's because he knows that his days are numbered and he no longer controls my life.

I've been reading a lot of Marianne Williamson's work lately, which I would recommend to anyone who's not already acquainted with her. She talks a lot about leaning into love and God (The Universe/Source/Divine Energy/Etc.), and allowing ourselves to be a channel for miracles. I recently finished reading her book, Everyday Grace, and after I finished I noticed that little doubtful voice starting up again.

As soon as he started questioning what I had just read I very clearly heard another voice say, "Yes, but what if?" What if Marianne is right? What if the Universe is conspiring on my behalf? What if Love really is the only real thing in the Universe? What if miracles are happening all around me and my task is to align myself with Divine Love?

Suddenly, those nagging doubts had stopped and I felt my entire energy shift. It was a massive spiritual "AHA!" moment. I feel like we open ourselves up to infinite possibilities when we get curious about something. We tear down the walls we had built before and we look beyond where they once stood.

Imagine the possibilities if you approach life with these two words in mind – "What if?" Next time you hear doubt popping up, take a moment to pause and question yourself. You'll never amount to anything. "What if I do?" The Universe isn't conspiring on your behalf "What if it is?" Then, start to explore that. See it. Feel it. Live in that energy for a moment and notice how it affects you.

It might only be a subtle shift at first, but trust that it is powerful. You are literally starting to change years of programming when you look at the possibilities before you instead of indulging your fears. The coolest part of all of this is that when you do this work yourself, you're also shifting the collective energy. You're changing the world! Awesome, right?!

Try it for yourself this week, and let me know how it goes!


Need help understanding your doubts and fears?

If you'd like to gain some insight into what's been holding you back lately, consider snagging a reading. Together we'll examine how your doubt and fear might be impacting your life and develop a plan to help you overcome them.

Tarot Reading: Breaking Through the Darkness

Today I felt called to pull a few Tarot cards to see what messages wanted to come forward for the collective, and we received the Nine of Swords, Five of Pentacles and King of Wands. I feel like this is a beautiful message for us, so let's dive in!

There are times in our lives when the stress and anxiety we feel can be overwhelming. It seems like the mindless chatter plays on loop - "You're not good enough. Who the hell do you think you are?", "They're going to find out you're a fraud.", "There's no way you can afford that." And, we let these thoughts keep us stuck in a vicious, unending cycle - a slave to our mind.

Because our fearful thoughts are stuck on autopilot, we end up seeing those circumstances manifest in our lives. We stop putting ourselves out there because we don't feel good enough or we feel like a fraud. We can't seem to get ahead with our money stuff because something always comes up. We end up in this place of unhappiness, not seeing beyond our current circumstances.

However, there's another way. You can tap into it by recognizing the Light within yourself and accepting just how powerful you are. Now, please don't think I'm telling you just to "stay positive" and all will be well. 

The mystic does not deny the darkness, in ourselves or in the world, but affirms a light that lies beyond it. And we have faith the light will prevail because we have faith that light is our true identity.
— Marianne Williamson. Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles

Denying darkness does you no good. Allow yourself to work through any pain you may feel, but also affirm the Light within yourself and beyond the darkness. Soon, miracles will start to happen. Your faith in your Light severs the chains holding you captive in fear. You'll start to see the inherent goodness in others and you won't get swept up in the fear that's running rampant in today's society.

Your Light is pure Love; let your Light be your guide. If you find yourself slipping into old, fearful thought patterns, gently remind yourself that "Only Love is real." Tune in to the Love and Light that exists within you and acknowledge that you have the power to change your circumstance right here and right now.

If you feel called to do so, try journaling this week with the prompt: What fearful thought patterns are holding me back from sharing my Light? How can I embody my Light more fully?