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You don’t get to the finish line and quit

You don’t get to the finish line and quit

I like starting things. Starting things is sexy and exciting, at the beginning of each new project things feel brimming with potential and momentum. I’m great at starting things! But you know what I’m not so good at?

….finishing things.

It’s true, and I know I’m not alone. A lot of people I talk with say that the hardest part of any work comes at about the 80% mark. By this point the initial enthusiasm has worn off and things no longer feels so sexy. By the 80% point you might be grappling with self-doubt or apathy or burn out. Maybe you’re even wondering wtf you were thinking when you started. Maybe you kind of want to give up.

A few years ago my friends and I used to do this silly workout DVD hosted by the trainer Jillian Michaels. Near the end of the workout routine Jillian says “you don’t get to the finish line and quit! That’s when you put in even more than when you started!” This line became a sort of mantra my friends and I would half-jokingly quote to each other, but silly as it is, this quote has stayed with me.

Right now I have a few projects languishing even though the finish line is in sight. One of those projects involves updating all of my Wild Unknown card interpretations – over the last year or so, I’ve updated all of them except the suit of wands. That’s only 16 out of 78 cards remaining…yet I haven’t touched the posts in months! Sure, I’ve been working on other things, but that’s just an excuse. The real reason I haven’t finished the posts yet is that…

FINISHING PROJECTS IS HARD. It’s satisfying, yes. It’s fulfilling, yes. It’s rewarding, yes. But it’s certainly not always easy. You’ve got to push through your resistance. You’ve got to remember why you started. You’ve got to keep putting one foot in front of the other (either metaphorically or literally). You’ve got to keep doing the work.

Steven Pressfield talks about this in one of my favorite books, The War of Art. Pressfield writes:

“The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we are about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got. The professional must be alert for this counterattack. Be wary at the end. Don’t open that bag of wind.”

So, comrades, this is a reminder for you as well as for me. I’m re-committing to finishing updating those Wild Unknown posts. It shall be done, I speak it out loud. What is it that you’ve been resisting even though the end is in sight? Speak it out loud, dedicate yourself to getting it DONE. Remind yourself that you don’t get to the finish line and quit! You CAN do this. Prep yourself. Crack yer knuckles. Tell resistance and excuses to take a seat. And press onwards.

We’ve got this.

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The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
Dealing with “stalker” cards

Dealing with “stalker” cards

Sometimes a certain card just does NOT want to leave you alone. If you’ve been practicing tarot for a while you’ve probably had this experience of seeing the same card come up again. And again. And again! A lot of tarot readers refer to these as ‘stalker’ cards, and today we’re going to talk about how you might effectively work with them.

When you notice you have a stalker card, the first thing I advise doing is checking in with your gut reaction. I’ve noticed when people talk about their stalker cards, they often have some dismay (“oh no, not the Emperor AGAIN!”). This dismay is an indicator that you have resistance to the message of the card. And as long as you’re in resistance to the message, it won’t be able to sink in, and the card will keep showing up. If your gut reaction to the card is to immediately groan, that is an invitation to look deeper.

I am of the belief that the only useful messages from the cards are the messages that are in alignment with my highest good, and the highest good of the universe. I affirm this belief often to myself, and it has fully infused itself into my tarot practice. If this resonates with you, it might be helpful to remind yourself of this belief any time you experience resistance to a card.

Stalker cards are never there to taunt you, to bring you down, to cause you harm. They are there because they want to offer you an important message, a message that is in alignment with your highest good. When you consider your stalker card, try looking at it through this framework. Approach the card with openness and curiosity. Set aside any notions that the card is telling you something ‘bad.’ Working with the assumption that the message will be supportive puts you in the right headspace to connect with that supportive message.

From here, I’ve found that journaling is one of the most effective things you can do to delve further into why a card keeps showing up. Here are a few prompts to get you started:

What is my initial reaction to seeing this card repeatedly?
What don’t I want to acknowledge about this card?
What am I afraid this card is telling me?
How can I reframe this so that the card’s message is empowering and useful?

Occasionally I will draw one clarifying card to give me some further clues as to what my “stalker” card is trying to convey. If you choose to draw a clarifying card, I do suggest keeping it to ONE card… otherwise you can end up pulling card after card, and only getting the message more and more obscured!

When you’ve gone as far as you can relying on your own intuition, there is never anything wrong with using references. Check in with trusted books or blogs and see if they have any musings on the card that might spark something for you. I suggest limiting yourself to using maybe 2-3 resources – this is so you don’t get information overload and end up even less certain than you started out. Remember that the resources are there to offer fresh insights and draw out your own inner knowing, NOT to give a cookie-cutter answer.

There is another caveat here too: one of the worst ways you can react to a stalker card is by getting too hung up on figuring out what it means. Sure, it can be useful to read about the card on various books and websites. Sometimes doing some research and getting other people’s perspectives is EXACTLY what you need to figure out what your stalker card is telling you.

But it’s certainly possible to go too far with this urge to solve the puzzle! I suggest affirming to yourself that on a gut level, you already know what this card is telling you. Tarot works primarily by connecting with your unconscious mind. Sometimes you’ll see a card and on an unconscious “gut” level, it connects right away… but it takes a while for your conscious mind to catch on.

If you find yourself feeling frustrated or brain-foggy when you think about your stalker card, it’s a good indication that you need to give it a rest with the FORCING. Sleep on it. Meditate on it. Go for a walk. Maybe even set aside the cards for a few days to give yourself a chance to process. You want to get out of the “OMG WHAT DOES THIS MEAN I HAVE TO FIGURE IT OUT” frantic energy and into an energy of openness. Create spaciousness so that the messages of your stalker card have room to come forward.

A lot of what I’ve been talking about so far is applicable when you’re really not sure quite what your stalker card is trying to tell you. But it’s worth mentioning that sometimes a card keeps showing up even when you’re pretty sure you know what the message is. In this case, there are two possibilities. The first, and most common, is that even though you know what the card is telling you, you aren’t implementing it. In these circumstances, the stalker card is coming back as a reminder that understanding what it represents isn’t enough: you need to actually IMPLEMENT that understanding!

The second possibility is that even though you got the message, you now need to get a slightly different angle of that message. As an example, my latest stalker card is the Emperor. The first time the card showed up for me, I immediately knew what it was trying to tell me. I wasn’t in resistance, and I WAS trying to implement the message. When I drew the same card only a couple of days later, it was clear that this time the card had a slightly different message than the first time.

I hope this post helps! As often happens, there’s a lot more to say but we’ll leave it here for now. In conclusion, when you see a card over and over again, pay attention. Be receptive. Move out of resistance. It isn’t a coincidence that you keep seeing the same tarot card – that card has something to teach you, and with some patience and self-compassion, the message will open doors within you.

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The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
How to custom-create a tarot spread

How to custom-create a tarot spread

When I read tarot for my clients, I almost always use customized spreads. Putting together a spread can be an enjoyable creative process, plus it allows me to really hone in on each specific seeker’s needs. In this post, I’m sharing the process I use to create a tarot spread. It’s pretty straightforward, but perhaps it will be useful to someone!

Before I move forward with a reading, I always invite the seeker to share their story with me. When I first started reading tarot, I’d advise people to come into the reading with a specific question, but I abandoned that a few years ago. For my reading style, it has proven more useful to just ask what has led them to seek a reading, inviting them to share as much or as little as they’d like.

Once I’ve heard back from the seeker, I hone in on certain things they’ve mentioned that feel particularly ripe for exploration. This determines a lot of the spread positions I use. For example, if someone mentions they’ve been feeling drained and tired lately, I might include a spread position for considering the root cause of the tiredness, and perhaps another spread position for advice on navigating that energy. This is just about actively listening to what a seeker shares and using your intuition to hone in on correlating spread positions to integrate.

Although I really like my spreads to be focused and concise, I also find it’s really useful to incorporate open-ended spread positions. Here are some common spread positions I use that can add value to almost any tarot spread:

  • opening messages
  • themes
  • challenges
  • strengths
  • advice
  • unseen factors
  • energy to release
  • energy to bring in
  • unconscious influences
  • conscious influences
  • current energy at work
  • advice on navigating current energy
  • lessons available
  • blessings
  • blocks
  • synthesis
  • closing messages

I’ve found that my ‘sweet spot’ for spread crafting is 3-8 positions. Occasionally I will do a bigger spread, but sometimes bigger spreads feel a bit too bloated for me. This is something that varies from reader to reader, so if you’re just starting out with creating spreads, play around and see what feels right for you.

Once I’ve selected all the spread positions, I then put them in an order that ‘flows’ so that the spread can read as a sort of story. That probably goes without saying, but as an example: starting with opening messages, then moving into the core spread positions, then perhaps rounding it out with more open-ended messages and a closing message.

At this point, some readers like to arrange their spread into a specific shape that fits the theme of the reading. I like this idea, but in application I honestly hardly do this – I usually just lay the cards out however they fit on my desk! But if you’re feeling particularly creative, it’s nice to find a visually appealing way to present your spread.

And that’s about it! At this point, the spread is finalized and the reading can commence. And if you’ve created a really good spread, you’re on the right track to offering a really powerful reading. Happy spread crafting!

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The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
How to Fear Dump (methods for surrendering fear)

How to Fear Dump (methods for surrendering fear)

There’s this interesting thing that happens to a lot of people when they start a creative project or embark on any type of positive life change. Maybe you can relate? It goes something like this: you get an idea. The idea excites you. You get ready to breathe some life into this idea and then… fears come swooping in like an angry swarm of bees. The exact fears look different depending on you and your situation, but they’re commonly things like:

I’m not good enough to do this.

This has already been done.

I don’t know where to start.

I’m going to fuck this up.

And on, and on, and on. I’ve been in this swarm of fears enough times (and worked with enough clients navigating these types of fears) that I’ve established pretty effective counterarguments against them. But your fears don’t always respond to counterarguments. Sometimes your fear doesn’t want to be reasoned with – it just wants to be heard and released. Hence, the importance of Fear Dumping.

The Fear Dump (let’s skip the bathroom jokes) is an exercise that I first came across in The Artist’s Way.The purpose of the Fear Dump is to first identify your fears, then surrender them. I suggest doing a fear dump right when you begin any project, but it can also be useful to do at any point fears threaten to stifle your progress. Once you have dumped your fears, you’ll feel energetically lighter and ready to move forward.

To begin, you’ll be doing some writing using either a word document or a notebook. Write FEAR DUMP across the top of the page, and then list every fear that is coming up for you. Remember that the idea here isn’t to “overcome” these fears, just to describe them. This simple act of diving into your fears, bringing them out of your head and onto the paper, can work wonders. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes your fears just want to be acknowledged. Writing them down is a form of acknowledgement.

Now that you’ve written out your fears, you are ready to symbolically surrender them. If it works with your belief system, you might set the intention to surrender your fears to the Universe or to a deity. The idea here is that you no longer need to be energetically responsible for tending to those fears. You are turning them over to a higher power. You are releasing. You are surrendering.

There is no right or wrong way to engage in this symbolic surrender, so do so in whatever way speaks to you. I have tried three different methods, and found all of them to be useful. The first and simplest method is to add a written affirmation of surrender at the bottom of your fear dump, such as: I release acknowledge these fears and release them to the Universe. I am no longer energetically bound by these fears as they are surrendered to the cosmos. It is also helpful to recite your affirmation out loud once you have written it down.

The second method is to create what Julia Cameron calls a “God Jar.” If the word god doesn’t resonate with you, you could interchange it with whatever framework speaks to you. Find a mason jar or other container. Label it “God Jar.” Then return to your written fears, cutting the paper up so that each fear is on one slip. Put each slip into the jar, and let this be a symbolic representation of turning your fears over to God. A bonus of creating a God Jar to is that you can keep it somewhere handy and surrender any new fears that crop up in the future.

The third method I’ve used is good old fashioned fire. Take your list of fears and burn it. Set the intention that as you burn this list, you are surrendering these fears back to the primal forces of the universe. 

Keep in mind that Fear Dumping can be really liberating, but it doesn’t always eradicate your fears right away. Any creative person will tell you that fear is a constant companion. It’s not realistic to try to be fearless. Instead, your energy is better spent on acknowledging fear and affirming that you will not be its prisoner. Remember that you don’t work for fear – fear works for you. And since you are the boss, you can choose to surrender fear as often as necessary.

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The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment

The Moon is one of my favorite cards in any deck (even though I try not to play favorites, each card is important to me in its own way). I came across a quote from Rumi this week, one I’d never heard before, and it felt very in alignment with the tarot’s Moon archetype:

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.”

The concept of bewilderment speaks to me always, lately stronger than ever. I think it’s something we are craving as a collective right now. There is a way of being that is other than clever. Human beings like to pretend we are civilized. We like to act civilized. We are afraid of bewilderment because we confuse it with being rabid or insane or scary or gasp, just not knowing everything (not to know – the HORROR!). And to be fair, sometimes bewilderment does contain a hint of those elements.

But bewilderment is also about being in touch with primal rhythms, it’s about remembering that what we call “reality” is only one aspect of the Big Picture. Bewilderment is about being in touch with magic, synchronicities, the collective unconscious. 

And bewilderment is also about forgoing attempts to know everything. Cleverness, although not without merit to a fully functioning human, is about attempts to understand. Cleverness is about conceptualizing, analyzing, keeping yourself at a cognitive distance from the direct experience of being human. And bewilderment is about eradicating that distance, about immersing in that direct experience.

There’s a lot more I could say about this, but even trying to write this post is in some ways an attempt at being clever. I don’t know how to explain everthing I want to say here, I’m at a loss of putting out further words to convey any point. And that’s okay, it’s necessary, it’s part of embracing my birthright of bewilderment. 

Sign up for weekly updates and get the free ebook,
The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
I love my noisy mind

I love my noisy mind

I meditated every day during June, and here is the main thing I learned: for me, meditation is not about silencing my mind. Meditation is about being less attached to my thoughts, stepping into a state of awareness, not assuming that my thoughts are what defines me.

I’ve gotten frustrated in past attempts at meditation because I am rarely able to completely quiet my thoughts. In fact, sometimes when I sit down to meditate my thoughts intensify. Even though in my (very brief) studies of meditation modalities, I’ve seen it said that meditation is NOT about stopping the thoughts, it’s about less attached to them, letting them pass like the weather. Even so, I’ve always felt like I wasn’t “doing it right” because my brain often insisted on being so loud during meditation.

During June I started attending a weekly meditation class. This teacher uses iRest meditation (iRest = integrative restoration) which is a modernized, westernized interpretation of traditional yoga nidra. One thing I really like about this approach is that we are not guided to let go of our thoughts. Instead, we are guided to become deeply aware of our bodies. When I am able to connect more with my body, I do very much find that my thoughts are less overwhelming.

This all probably sounds quite “duh” to anyone with more meditation knowledge and experience, but it’s been a big shift for me. Most of the meditation I’ve tried in the past was in the framework of focus on the breath, let thoughts go. But I’d often find myself sitting there thinking about letting thoughts go, then thinking about how I wasn’t letting thoughts go, and basically getting deeper and deeper into a mental wormhole quite counter to the entire point of a meditation practice.

And on a personal level, I’ve also been working on simply accepting the fact that I have a noisy mind. The noisiness inside my head is something I often try to resist, and sometimes it is not an ideal experience (hi anxiety). But on the otherhand, the noisiness in my head is also what leads me to contemplate life in deeper ways. It is what leads me to question, to experience, to create. 

I’m planning to continue my daily meditation practice for the forseeable future, but not with the goal of eradicating the noisiness of my mind. It is useful to create distance from my thoughts, to be in my body, to know that I am more than my mental ramblings. But I’m also embracing the fact that alongside all the noise, my brain also makes a pretty damn beautiful symphony. 

Sign up for weekly updates and get the free ebook,
The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
Engage with the world while you’re here

Engage with the world while you’re here

I told myself I’d write a blog post every day this week but I skipped yesterday. It was Saturday, and I was out in the world doing many things: reuniting with a friend I haven’t seen in nearly two years, attending a Families Belong Together protest, making vegan chocolate chip cookies, attending a backyard concert and potluck, and then hanging out in front of a firepit with friends. Whew! That was a lot for one day. But it was a good day, full of nourishment and connection.

A couple of years ago around this time I wrote a post about going “without” aka taking a break from introspection. There’s something about this post-solstice time of the summer when the days feel so long and radiant and warm that makes me want to get TF out of my own head for a while. Not because I’m trying to avoid inner work, but because when you’re a naturally introspective person it is actually possible to overload on the whole “going within” modality. 

Going to the protest was especially re-energizing. I’ve certainly been upset over the current events in America. Getting together with people in person(instead of just yelling at each other on social media) felt really important. It is always encouraging to see the vast number of people who are willing to come to an event in support of what is right. Even if it was just in a small way, I’m glad I was a part of that. 

What else? I’m sitting out on my porch as I write this. My husband is next to me reading. My mutt, Sokka, is resting between excitedly squiggling his butt at anyone who walks by. I’m about to start sipping an herbal tea cold infusion. This world is not a perfect place, but it is the place I find myself in right now, and I want to engage with it while I’m here.

Sign up for weekly updates and get the free ebook,
The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
Making space for life to talk to you

Making space for life to talk to you

I’ve been somewhat of a straggler when it comes to technology. I remember being annoyed when text messages first became a thing, and for several years I was always yelling at my friends to quit texting me because my cell plan only included something like 30 texts a month! Once it became clear that texting wasn’t going away I increased my plan, and these days unlimited texts are just the norm and phone calls are the weird thing. 

Then smart phones became a thing and I avoided getting one until I started my business in 2014. At that time, an employee in the phone store mentioned to me how common it is for people to drop their phones in the toilet. I replied incredulously “What? The toilet? Why on earth would anyone have their phone with them when they’re on the toilet?” Um, yeah. It took me about two weeks of owning a smartphone to be scrolling through it every time I took a pee. I get it now.

And one of the most famous Carrie quotes in my group of friends came from way back in 2005. We were out and about, and people kept insisting on taking pictures with their digital cameras (this was before camera phones, of course). I was getting annoyed and declared “I swear, we spend more time documenting our lives than actually living them!” Oh, 2005 Carrie – you were so young and full of hope.

Look, I’m not trying to act like I’m above our cultural norms, and I’m not trying to act like pointing out how much we use technology is a revolutionary statement. We all know that as a society, we are very invested (some would say addicted) to technology. But there’s also a lot of good things about this stuff. Like, 2005 Carrie complained about digital cameras, but 2018 actually enjoys taking photos for Instagram (sometimes). And the introvert in me loves that texting and emailing lets me avoid the awkwardness of phone calls. So yeah – my point is not “technology is baaaaad!”

Here’s what my point IS, though: in the past few years, I have personally realized that there is less and less space for life to talk to me. I am as guilty as anyone of using my phone to fill up small pockets of time: I’ve been known to scroll through it on the toilet, or in line at the grocery store, or waiting for my food to come at a restauraunt. 

These little innocuous periods of time seem unimportant, but I can remember a day in which they were spaces for life to talk to me. Instead of getting into a phone vortex, I would people-watch while waiting in lines. Or daydream about the novels I wanted to write while taking my daily dump. Or, you know, actually TALK to the people sitting with me in a restauraunt.

Perhaps most importantly, it is now harder to make space for any daydreams or insights waiting in the ether to come through. When I’m sucked into the whirlwind of a phone, I’m in a state of distraction. It’s never about connecting more deeply with the present moment, it’s always about withdrawing. Sometimes it’s even about pushing away the discomfort of, gasp, having nothing to do for five minutes. 

Lately I’ve been trying to ease out of the habit of automatically picking up my phone in any tiny spare moment. Honestly, the urge has become so engrained that lately I’ve taken to leaving my phone out of reach so that I don’t even have the option. I doubt I’ll ever swear off technology entirely, because I do enjoy the connection and creativity it can bring. But it certainly has an oversaturation point, and that’s what I’m trying to address here.

Because I want more space for life to talk to me. I want to be open to the little messages from the universe. I want to be aware of the sights, sounds, sensations and smells of each present moment. I want to feel alive and present, not distanced and distracted. This isn’t a want that is manufactured by my ego. It is a craving of my soul. So I guess I’ll keep trying to make more space for life to talk to me.

But first, let me go see how many ‘likes’ my latest post got on Instagram…

Sign up for weekly updates and get the free ebook,
The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.
How to stay informed without losing your shit (part two)

How to stay informed without losing your shit (part two)

If you missed part one of this series, you might want to read that first. Or, just be a rebel and read this one right now! We’re talking about how to stay up to date with the news of the world without totally falling apart in the process.

Don’t jump ten steps forward.

When you hear bad news, your brain might automatically start future-tripping into all of the possible ways this could play out from here. And when this happens, you tend to imagine only the terrible things that might be coming. It’s a Nine of Swords type energy.

Look, I’m not going to tell you to “just be optimistic.” There are scary things happening right now, and being concerned for the future is natural, and to an extent, healthy. Being aware of what is not going well and considering the real implications that could have on the future is necessary.

What’s not necessary is always assuming the worst outcome. What’s not necessary is jumping ten steps ahead and living as though your imagined worst case scenario is a given. When you let yourself obsess about what might happen, you can easily become paralyzed by despair. It renders you unable to live in the present moment, and it renders you unable to do anything that might be in service of a more positive future.

Pay attention to good news too.

It is a psychological fact that our brains focus more on bad news than good news. This is a survival tactic – you need to be aware of threats in order to survive. I have found that I sometimes have to remind my human brain that, hey, there IS some good stuff happening in the news lately. You might not see it splashed across as many headlines because it’s not where attention naturally gravitates, but there is a lot of good stuff happening every damn day.

Do you need a little good news right now? Here are a few pieces of good news (taken from this video. Please absorb them and remember to seek out evidence that the world is a good place, and is in many ways becoming a better place.

  • Charitable donations are at an all-time high.
  • Several terrible diseases, including polio, now pose almost no threat to humanity.
  • The percentage of people living in absolute poverty is the lowest it has ever been.
  • The percentage of kids in school is the highest it has ever been.
  • Literacy rates are the highest they’ve ever been.

There are lots of reasons to feel optimistic, grateful and encouraged, REMEMBER THOSE TOO. Pay attention to good news. Remind your human brain to do this often. On a somewhat related note…

Take a broader perspective.

It is easy to get so swept up into the constant barrage of daily news. But to be a whole, functioning and spiritually sound human being, it is necessary to give yourself permission to step back and adopt a broader perspective. There are several different levels you can take this to:

A broader perspective on your own life. What myths resonate with you? How and why do you belong to this time and place? What purpose do you find in your life, what lessons does this time in history hold for you?

A broader perspective on human history. Read books that were written ten, fifty, a hundred years ago. Read ancient philosophy. Visit natural history museums. Commune with your ancestors in whatever way speaks to you.

A broader perspective on the universe. Look up at the moon as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Look through a telescope if it is available to you. Consider the vast scope of planet earth, our solar system, the milky way, the unfathomable expanses of the cosmos. Sit with your astrological chart and the cosmological perspectives it offers on your current incarnation.

Give yourself time to process and integrate the news.

Some of the stuff I mentioned above ties in here as well. It seems like these days we’re constantly being pelted with new pieces of news. The news moves so damn fast that it already sometimes seems hard to remember what we were freaking over a week ago or a month ago.

You need time to sit with what is happening and process its implications. If a piece of news hits you with a particular gravity, allow yourself to step away from the TV or computer and process it. You might do this by journaling. You might do this by talking to a friend – in person, preferably – we all need more face-to-face contact these days. You might do this by crying, or meditating, or going for a walk. Whatever works for you, give yourself the space to process.

I’m like a broken record with this, but it’s worth saying again. It is hard for you to be conscientious, effective, centered and productive if you’re frazzled and falling apart. Taking care of yourself in troubled times is NOT SELFISH, it is necessary. We need you to be well so that you can keep being a force for goodness, equality, and justice in our world.

Take action in your own way, when you are ready.

In the past few years, I’ve noticed an increase in people on social media trying to dictate to the rest of us precisely what actions we should be taking. Sometimes this is good – I appreciate that well-informed people can push us in the right direction and ask us to contribute. But I am weary of implying that there is only one right way to respond, only one proper action to take in any given situation.

Feel into your own heart and soul. Ask yourself what actions feel in alignment for you. What actions can YOU take that come from your heart? What actions can you take because you feel compelled to do so (not just because someone on Twitter said you should)? A few ideas of actions you might choose to engage in. But do not feel that you HAVE to do any of these things. Trust that you are a good person, and do what is in alignment for you.

  • Calling, emailing or faxing your representatives (if you live in the US).
  • Volunteering your time to causes that matter to you.
  • Donating your money to causes that matter to you.
  • Praying.
  • Sending love and light.
  • Amplifying marginalized voices.
  • Seeking further education on issues that matter to you.
  • Making changes to your lifestyle that reflect changes you want to see in the world.

Keep creating our new story.

One of my core philosophies is that human beings are natural storytellers. So many aspects of our existence that we take to be facts are actually just aspects of either our personal or collective stories. Much of the upheaval we are seeing in the world today is the crumbling of our old collective stories. Those stories are fading away at a rapid pace, and perhaps we are here at this time to help create the as yet unknown new story.

The crumbling old story is one of human dominance over nature. It is the story of patriarchy. It is the story of racism. It is the story of corporate greed. Even as this story is dying around us, it is still currently trying to claw for survival, and it does so in more and more atrocious ways. But it is glaringly obvious that this story is no longer working, and even if it tries to cling on a little longer, it is simply not sustainable.

We do not yet know exactly what the new story will look like. But perhaps all of us are here at this time for a reason. Perhaps we are here to be creators of the new story. I already see evidence of the new story emerging around us. And even though the details are taking shape, the new story is one of heightened awareness. Greater consciousness. Justice. Equality. Care. Tenderness. Honoring of each other and honoring of our shared planet.

We need YOU here to keep creating this new story. So stay informed, yes. But also: do what you need to do to stay in your magic.

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

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All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
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How to stay informed without losing your shit (part one)

How to stay informed without losing your shit (part one)

During the last few months of the vitriolic US presidential election, I started a descent into a very dark place, a dark place worsened by constant exposure to bad news, then more bad news, then worse news. I’m still trying to fully pull myself out of that dark place to this day. I know I’m not alone in this because it’s something I see coming up frequently for friends and clients. We want to be informed, we are devoted to staying woke…. but sometimes it feels like we might lose our last shreds of hope in the process.

Leading up to the election, it was not abnormal for me to spend 3 or more hours a day scrolling endless news articles, opinion pieces and social media posts related to current events. I would walk away from this haze of scrolling feeling dazed and energetically frazzled. Perhaps worst of all, I wasn’t really giving myself the proper space to process the news, to contextualize it, and to figure out how to respond consciously to what was happening in the world.

Ironically, what begins as a desire to stay informed can easily spiral into over exposure and hopelessness. And when you’re feeling fatigued and hopeless, how the fuck are you going to live a meaningful life and contribute to the betterment of society? What point is there to consuming all of this news if it doesn’t translate into truly increased awareness and real world action?

Once the election was over and the reality set in that things were only going to get scarier on a national and global scale, I knew I had to do something about the way I’d been consuming news. I started slowly but surely creating some boundaries for myself, and I’m still fine-tuning them to this day. What do you know? Now that I have some healthy boundaries in place, I am actually better informed, more capable of processing information, and still able to maintain some semblance of centeredness and hope.

Here are a few of the boundaries that have been useful for me:

Ask of any news source: “is this trying to inform me, or is this trying to win?”

A few months after the election, I saw this video (which you should totally watch because it features DOGS) from one of my favorite people on the internet, Hank Green. In this video, Hank says:

“We’re being asked to pay attention to a lot of different big things at the same time. The way that we’re fed content about what’s going on in the world right now is inefficient, and it’s overwhelming, and it’s manipulative. Too frequently now, the people who are tasked with trying to inform the public are trying to win rather than trying to inform, and that is something that I’m getting super sick of.”

When I heard this, I was like “hoooollly shit. Soooo true.” So much of what masquerades as news is actually just clickbait, purposefully designed to be inflammatory and prey upon emotions. Because humans are driven by our primal feelings, we sadly are more likely to engage with content that is designed to win – be that winning money or winning by denigrating the “other side”. So now, before I consume any news, I try to ask myself if what I’m engaging with is actually set up to INFORM me.

Structure your daily news intake.

This is especially important if you are, like me, a highly sensitive person. A few years ago I had no structure around the news: I’d randomly find myself logging into social media and clicking through random articles throughout the day. Sometimes I’d even check my phone first thing when I woke up. This was wreaking havok on me, making me useless to myself and society. So no more of that crap!

Here’s what my structure generally looks like now: I wake up and either meditate or go for a walk first thing. Then I have breakfast while going through my planner and mapping out my day. THEN – once I am spiritually and physically nourished – I check the news. I try to only give myself a certain amount of time (usually around 30 minutes max) to get caught up on current events. I will admit that I often end up scrolling through Twitter in the afternoon and get swept up in the news again, but I at least try to be structured about how much time I spend doing this. Which leads into the next point…

Be wise about your news sources.

We all know that certain news sources are biased towards one political spectrum, and it goes without saying that choosing news sources with as little bias as possible is ideal. My personal go-tos are PBS and NPR. NPR has a daily podcast called Up First that I listen to frequently. It’s only about 15 minutes long, so it’s not too overwhelming, and they do a pretty good job of describing what is happening without getting too swept up in commentary. PBS has a weekly political news digest that I receive via email. I also check NPR’s main homepage once or twice a day.

Differentiate between opinions and facts.

I really do believe it is important to be educated and aware of what is going on in the world. However, we have a strange culture around news right now. A lot of what we consider to be “news” is actually just someone else’s opinion on the news. Sometimes I find myself reading endless opinion pieces, or scrolling through people’s scathing political burns on Twitter, or watching politically minded comedians (ilu Stephen Colbert) and telling myself that this is all a part of keeping up with the news. But, uh, in reality…that’s keeping up with people’s opinions on the news, not the news itself.

There are times when I benefit from taking in other people’s perspectives. Sometimes another person’s thoughts can help me consider my own thoughts more deeply. So I’m not completely opposed to sitting with external opinions on current events by any means. I’ve just found it’s important for me to distinguish between “the facts” and “the opinions.”

Speaking of other people’s opinions, there is a masochistic part of me that wants to read the comments on every news article I encounter. People, do not be like me! Do not read the comments! When you read comments, you will probably wade through 99 garbage opinions to maybe find 1 helpful perspective. I need to get a lot better at following my own advice on this one.

…continue reading: part two.

Sign up for weekly updates and get the free ebook,
The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion


Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

Archives

Creative Commons License
All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017
I am part of Amazon's associate program. If you purchase items linked in this site I will receive a small kick-back.

Carrie Mallon

Header art by Annie Ruygt

All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2018 

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