Read the blog

The Tarot Coloring Book: a review (and a giveaway!)

The Tarot Coloring Book: a review (and a giveaway!)

It’s hard to decide what to focus on when I talk about the Tarot Coloring Book. First, there’s the simple fact that it is a TAROT COLORING BOOK. That alone would probably have been enough to hook me. But wait, there’s more! It was written by Theresa Reed (the Tarot Lady), a beacon in the tarot community. And then there’s the multiple awesome things I’ve experienced while working with this book: a reinvigorated relationship with the cards, a mindfulness meditation, and a fresh creative outlet.

I’m going to tell you about this book today, and I have a copy to give away to one lucky person! Details on that at the end of the post.

The Tarot Coloring Book starts with a brief introduction that touches on the history of the cards and how to work begin working with the tarot system, making the book suitable for total beginners as well as seasoned tarot readers. At the heart of the book, all 78 cards from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot deck are presented in black and white. Each card is accompanied by a summary of the meanings and symbols.

How you approach things from here is entirely up to you. Perhaps you’ll want to use a traditional deck as a reference, using similar colors to the originals. Or maybe you’ll want to buck tradition and go for psychedelic purple skies. Whatever floats your boat!

At the risk of sounding like a total Hierophant, I’m choosing to stay close to the original colors. This is because the Tarot Coloring Book is one of the most efficient tools I have found for deepening a relationship with the Rider Waite Smith deck. A while back, I made a video describing the number one exercise I recommend to strengthen your connection to your tarot cards: going through one card at a time and describing every single detail you see. This is what the Tarot Coloring Book forces you to do – you are required to observe every angle of every card as you infuse them with color. If you are looking for a really engaging way to continue your tarot studies, you can’t beat this one.

Before I got this book, I was aware that coloring for adults has been a sort of mindfulness trend lately. I’d found myself browsing the coloring section at book stores and running my fingers over boxes of colored pencils, but I never ended up trying anything until now. As it turns out, the Tarot Coloring Book came into my life at a time when mindfulness was more of a challenge for me than ever (right after the US presidential election).

Cozying up to color tarot cards has now become a sacred space for me. My brain’s usual constant rumble of thoughts start to slowly even out as I select hues of pink, green and yellow. My inner state becomes more focused and spacious as I press pencil to paper. I experience that harmonious state of being present with the now, engaging my mind as fully as possible with the task at hand. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s probably as close as I will ever come to being a zen master.

The Tarot Coloring Book has also asked me to activate my sometimes neglected sense of visual creativity. Most of my creative work involves words: writing blog posts, writing interpretations of tarot spreads, writing social media posts and so on. Coloring asks me to shift into a different creative mode, one that doesn’t always feel natural for me but does feel exciting and magical.

As I described earlier, this book has proven to be effective for me on multiple levels. Even after years of working with the Rider Waite Smith deck, I’m re-imagining the imagery. During a period of turmoil in the outer world, I’m finding a more solid connection with my inner world. The Tarot Coloring Book lives in that sweet space between serious self-discovery and serious fun – and that’s a space I really enjoy visiting.

Giveaway time! I’m not even going to ask if you’d like to win a copy of The Tarot Coloring Book because of course you would. This one is only open to US residents (so sorry my worldwide friends! Shipping costs, ugh). To enter, all you’ve got to do is leave a comment on this blog post. So easy. I’ll draw a winner at random on Saturday, March 11 at noon Mountain Time.

If you want to cut to the chase, you can purchase your Tarot Coloring Book through Sounds True
or Amazon.

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


Unboxing the Linestrider Tarot

Unboxing the Linestrider Tarot

One of the more dangerous things about my habit of browsing endlessly through Instagram is the ease with which I discover new tarot decks. It was during one such session of looking through my Instagram feed that I first stumbled upon the Linestrider Tarot.

The use of white space, nature elements, and the somewhat surrealist imagery caught my imagination. The deck’s creator, Siolo Thompson, describes linestriding as “walking in two worlds – one foot in each to discover guidance.” Umm, sign me up!

There was a time when I bought decks willy-nilly, but these days I have learned to somewhat reign myself in. I have my tried and true working decks, and in order for me to buy a new deck now it has to really speak to me. This is what I told myself when I first saw the Linestrider Tarot, and I did manage to hold off purchasing one for quite some time.

But alas, after the holidays this year I decided to treat myself to a couple of new decks, including this one! And in this video, you can see me unboxing the deck for the very first time and sharing my initial impressions. Upon first glance, there are some things I love in this deck…and there are some things that make me go WTF?! Riveting, I know! Check it out:

 

 

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


Tarot just bitch slapped me about my upper limit problems

Tarot just bitch slapped me about my upper limit problems

A couple of days ago I felt inspired to give myself a reading with the Fountain Tarot. I didn’t have a set focus area, I just had this strong intuitive sensation that I’d get a really powerful message. I turned over my cards, expecting to have an instant connection with the insight they would bring forward.

I drew the Six of Wands, the Six of Pentacles, and the Hanged Man, all in reverse. I turned the cards around, telling myself I wouldn’t use reversals since I’m still getting used to this deck (I later realized this was a mistake – the cards were reversed for a reason).

Uhhmmm…well, at this point, my intuition broadcast crickets. I stared at the cards, running over various textbook interpretations in my brain, but nothing seemed right. I felt disappointed – when I get that sensation that a reading is about to be really powerful, it’s never been wrong before. But I thought maybe this time it was.

This gave me an unsettled feeling. My rational mind assured me that this was all because I was working with a new deck, but deep down I felt like there was SOMETHING right in front of my face that I was missing. I even put the call out on Instagram to have people chime in with their thoughts on the reading! I got relevant and helpful comments there, each of which served as a compass to point me closer to my own understanding, but I still wasn’t quite there.

The next day, as I was preparing breakfast and not thinking about tarot whatsoever, the message from this reading suddenly CAME to me, crystal clear: I’ve got an upper limit problem.

There is a book about this topic, I haven’t read it (yet). But here’s my understanding of how this works: we all have an unconscious limit of how much “good stuff” we think we deserve. When we start having some success that approaches these unconscious limits of what we believe we should receive, we halt our own progress without realizing we are doing so. We start sabotaging ourselves, effectively suspending our ability to make further progress.

Well, holy damn fuck. THIS is what the cards were trying to tell me: The Six of Wands showed some of the good stuff and success I’ve recently experienced. The Six of Wands showed how I’ve been pressing up against my own limits of how much good stuff I’m capable of receiving. And the Hanged Man showed how this has put me into a pattern of stasis. The reversals hinted at why I had such a hard time circling in on the message – my conscious mind was still resisting acknowledging that this has been happening.

Once I’d been smacked over the head with the revelation that I’m experiencing an upper limit problem, so many things made sense. Here’s just one example.

When I offered my New Year tarot readings at the beginning of the year, they sold really well. Like, WAY better than I expected. It was awesome and amazing, and I was so grateful. I was riding the high of success, doing the work that I love to do, and feeling like my business was reaching a new level of goodness.

But then, during the last week of completing my purchased readings, I got sick. I hardly ever get sick, and when I do it usually just lasts a couple of days. But not this time! Nope, I was knocked completely on my ass for several days, and even once I could function again it took an entire MONTH before I was back at 100%. This lingering illness made it so I was incapable of taking the momentum at work in my business and channeling it into further good stuff.

Now, I’m not saying that colds aren’t caused by germs and whatever else. But I can’t help but believe that this lingering illness was linked to my upper limit problem. At an unconscious level, I saw that I was succeeding, and that success was getting too close to my unconscious allocation of what I deserve. And so I got sick, in order to stay in my status-quo level of success.

Your unconscious upper limits are established in various ways. They might be influenced by your innate personality, the things you learned from society as a child, your fears and ego, your karma, and so on. Considering where your upper limits come from can certainly be useful, but it’s even more useful to focus on how you can move through them.

I’ve encountered upper limit problems before and managed to transcend them. But the thing about upper limit problems is that they tend to just keep on coming. It’s kind of like leveling up in an endless video game. You pass one level boss, but then you have to get past another, and another, and another. That’s how upper limits are.

Realizing that you have an upper limit problem is only the first step – but it’s a pretty powerful step, and sometimes it’s actually the HARDEST step. Now that I’ve completed this step (go me!), here’s how I’m planning to proceed.

I’m going to start by continuing to make my unconscious upper limits known to my conscious mind. This will happen through journaling, more tarot pulls, dreamwork and meditation. Once I have greater clarity about what my current limits are, I will continue the work to rewire them. This happens through affirmations, energy work, and catching myself in self-sabotage and redirecting my behavior.

Working through upper limits, like any type of self-discovery process, is complicated and unique to us as individuals. It’s a tough road to travel, but it’s the road that leads to a more meaningful, empowered and magical life. And so here I go, devoting to that road once again.

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


14 questions to ask yourself (and your cards) about love


Dreaming Way Tarot

 

So, to be honest, I’m not that into Valentine’s Day. But I AM into the concept of LOVE! You know, though, love is a complicated and open-ended topic. On Valentine’s Day we tend to focus more on romantic love, but it’s important to also consider the more expansive implications of love. This can be tricky to do, though, as we don’t even have one set “definition” of love to get the inquiry going. Exploring your relationship with the concept of love sounds worthwhile in theory, but where to begin?

With this query in mind, I came up with a list of questions to inspire you (and me) to explore the concept of love, using tarot as a prompt. To get the most out of this exercise, I suggest drawing cards AND journaling on each of the questions. I’m going to be drawing cards at random for these prompts, but you could also consciously select cards to answer each question, if you’d prefer.

I’ll share my cards and thoughts with you here, but of course yours will likely look quite different from mine. Love does not have one fixed definition, we are all touched by this concept and interact with this concept in different ways. I hope you’ll try this for yourself and that these questions might give you a more holistic understanding of your relationship with love.

What can help me define love?

I drew the Three of Wands.

Love is the force that gently draws me forward. Love invites me to explore the world, to explore my own psyche. Love is what keeps me facing the sun, facing possibilities. I can define love as the energy that points me towards what is interesting and powerful and worth discovering in this life.

How can I increase my ability to receive love?

I drew the Three of Swords.

Love and pain are intrinsically linked. If I want to receive love in deep and profound ways, I have to accept that I will also receive pain in deep and profound ways. When I try to filter out pain and only receive love, I weaken my ability to perceive any emotions. As Khalil Gibran said: the more deeply that sorrow caves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

How can I increase my ability to give love?

I drew the Five of Wands.

Instead of being nit-picky, I can work on accepting and loving people for who they are. It’s important for me to check my tendencies to lash out at the perceived flaws I see in other people. To give more love, I need to accept that sometimes the people I love the most are also the people who can really drive me nuts. People are not only deserving of love when they live up to some idealized version of themselves that I’ve built up in my head. Instead, I can give more love by being willing to give love even when I perceive people as being difficult and annoying.

What might stand in the way of love?

I drew the Five of Cups reversed.

Unconscious feelings and beliefs telling me that I am not worthy of love stand in the way of love. The fear of sadness, the lengths we got to avoid sadness – these things are more effective barriers to love than the actual sadness itself. Sometimes despair can feel very pressing, the experience of despair can be so visceral that it seems as if love will never again break through. But love always does break through, and is present even as a barely discernible undertone even when despair feels utterly prominent.

What is unexpected about love?

I drew the High Priestess.

Love is a great shapeshifting mystery. There is more that is UNEXPECTED about love than that which is expected. Love deftly moves beyond expectations. Love is not restricted to cliches or traditions. Love is a pulse, a heartbeat in my individual consciousness that mirrors a pulse in the universe itself. How this pulse manifests is infinitely variable, and almost always unexpected.

How might hurt and love be reconciled?

I drew the Two of Pentacles.

This echoes the themes brought up by the Three of Swords. Hurt and love must coexist. One cannot be banished without dragging the other one along. I can work on consistently evaluating how I am managing both of these energies. I can become more aware of which I am paying more attention to in a given moment, I can attempt to ensure that they are working together instead of at odds within me.

In what ways has love transformed me?

I drew the Six of Swords reversed.

Love has taken me to hell and back. Love has thrown me for a loop. Love has led me to great confusion and powerful insights alike. Love has asked me to go beyond the peripheries of my own awareness and consider the greater linking of all things. Love is taking me for a ride, and that ride is called life.

How has my understanding of love evolved?

I drew the Nine of Wands reversed.

Without realizing it, I used to approach love with great caution. I didn’t want to bring too much of myself forward. I didn’t want to risk getting hurt. And so I showed up in measured ways, cautiously assessing the situation. Instead of letting myself tune into my true self and softly unfold, I approached love with calculated strategy. I didn’t know I was doing so.

Now, my understanding has evolved. Love is not about avoiding parts of myself. Love is not about presenting a facade. Love is not about carefully measuring out how much of ME to bring to the table. Instead, love is about liberation. Love is about expression. Love is about being who I am, being open and curious about who others are, and leaving room for things to continuously expand and evolve.

What masks look like love – in other words, what might be mistaken for love?

I drew the reversed Ten of Cups.

Love wears the masks that society has placed upon it. Society says that love is about marriage, children, white picket fences. And of course, sometimes love is vibrantly held within these definitions. But these things do not always reflect love. Love goes beyond definitions and structures. Love is boundless, showing up in all sorts of ways, moving to its own rhymes.

What unconscious emotions can love evoke?

I drew the Nine of Cups reversed.

Love can lead me to a more direct understanding of what I really want. Love asks me to sit with what I think I want and see how that lines up with what actually makes me happy. Love asks me to consider what I thought would bring me fulfillment verses what actually DOES bring me fulfillment. In this way, love is a teacher that brings me into a more refined and nuanced understanding of the emotions lurking beyond my surface.

Where is the need to love MYSELF more consciously?

I drew the Eight of Pentacles.

Lately, I’ve been working to love myself in very concrete ways: by eating lots of vegetables. By engaging in the activities I really care about. By working on my business. By keeping the promises I make to myself. I can show myself love through my direct actions, by approaching these things with not a sense of duty but a sense of devotion.

Where is the need to love OTHERS more consciously?

I drew the Ace of Pentacles reversed.

Sometimes it feels awkward to reach out to others. I do often fall into the trap of wishing someone else would take the initiative. It can make me uncomfortable for me to take the first step, to set the plans, to be proactive. But by being willing to be the instigator, by showing a concrete commitment to keep up connections, I can bring more consciousness to my love for others.

What beliefs about love should I re-evaluate?

I drew the Nine of Pentacles.

Love isn’t about appearances. Love isn’t about how lavishly someone praises me, or even how much they validate me. In fact, I often learn more about love from those who challenge me (as described with the Five of Wands). I can reevaluate any notions that love is supposed to keep me safely grounded in my comfort zone. Love is there to build me up, and the process of being built up doesn’t always feel comfortable.

How can I align more authentically with love?

I drew the Knight of Pentacles reversed.

Instead of focusing so intently on myself, on my own insecurities and issues…I can align more authentically with love by focusing more on others. By setting the intention to encourage those who need a boost. By remembering to let people be who they really are instead of who I suppose they should be. As I give other people the support to align themselves with love, I also give myself the ability to align with love.

***

If you answer these questions for yourself, I’d be quite interested to hear any insights you’d like to share. Feel free to leave a comment on the post and let me know.

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


I hope. I despair. I hope. (a ramble)

pictured: Lumina Tarot

Hi friends,

This is going to be a conversational post. Not sure where I’m going with it, but it’s been a while since we’ve talked and I’d like to catch up. So instead of writing a more typical blog post with a theme or thesis, we’re just going to chat today. Cool?

One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is the cycle of despair and hope. I read something on one of my favorite websites (Brainpickings) that keeps circulating through my psyche, a quote from Maira Kalman: “We hope. We despair. We hope. We despair. That is what governs us.”

Certainly, this juggling of hope and despair has been a hallmark of 2017 for me already. And if I follow the thread closely enough, I can see that this was also the case in 2016 and for much of my adult life, truly. Because this movement between despair and hope is a hallmark of the broader human experience.

Let me be clear before I go too much further on this train of thought: my life is good. For that, I am immensely grateful. I am safe. I am privileged. I have cuddly cats and a rascally pup and a solid partner. I still have valid struggles, but I also have perspective. This said…

There have been reasons to despair lately. I see them in the daily news, I’m hit with them afresh with each vile surge of the new US administration. I have despair for my country, for my world, and for myself.

But alongside of that despair, I have seen the reasons to hope – and I’ve seen my relationship with the concept of hope itself become more nuanced. Hope does not have to be wishy-washy. Hope does not have to be passive, vague. Hope does not have to be disconnected from reality. And hope does not have to be naive.

There are certain lessons I’m presented with time and time again in this life. Even when I feel like I “get” it, these lessons show up again and again, in all different angles and guises. One of my recurring lessons is the importance of being fully present with ALL of life. It is not possible for me to fully present for hope unless I am also fully present for despair.

There are a few reasons I’ve ghosted out of the blogging game lately. I guess mostly they have to do with the despair scale seeming so overwhelming at times. There have been moments that the despair feels so gripping that trying to write a business as usual blog post about reversed tarot cards or some such thing has seemed a little trite.

I may not have an enormous platform, but I think I’ve crafted out an avenue to bring value to other people through what I do. I’ve also realized that when it comes to anything involving my business – this blog, my social media posts, and my client work – I put pressure on myself to consistently show up as my best self.

And by default, perhaps on an unconscious level, I’ve told myself that my best self is NOT the self who despairs. My best self is the self who hopes! My best self is the self who has a well-crafted message of wisdom to offer. My best self is the self who feels courageous and proactive and empowered. I’ve only just now realized that I’ve believed this – I’ve been running on an unchecked belief that I’m only my best self when I am holding the energy of HOPE.

I guess tonight I’m wondering…what if I’ve been misguided about this? What if my best self is my whole self? My best self might also be the self who doesn’t know what to say, who rambles, who gets awkward, who feels terrified and uncertain.

Both of these selves are me. They are really part of the same self. Both are true.

Maybe I can stop putting so much pressure on myself to only and always show up with hope. Maybe the most important thing is that I show up with truth. And the truth is that I do hope. And I do despair. And then I hope again.

“There is no love of life without despair of life.” -Albert Camus

Okay. And with that, I think I’ve effectively broken the ice to get myself back into regular posts.

Yours truly,

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


The importance of stepping fully into yourself in 2017

Hi guys,

Lately I keep thinking about this quote from Gabby Bernstein. She says “don’t dance around the perimeter of the person you want to be. Dive fully and completely into it.”

I’m a proponent of this idea in general, but the concept seems supercharged right now. We’re heading into a new year – and that’s always a time ripe for transformations. But is it just me, or does the new year energy seem SUPERCHARGED this time around?

In this video, I talk about why it’s more important than ever to step fully into yourself in 2017.

Oh, and a couple more things I want to tell you guys! Setting Your Theme For 2017 tarot readings are now available. The early bird price is $35, the standard price of $40 will kick in on December 22. You can book yours now to take advantage of that early bird pricing.

Last thing: I’ll be on a blogging break for the next two weeks. I’ll still be hanging around Instagram, though! I take this blogging break every year, mostly so I have more time to devote to completing your new year readings.

Cheers to being more bad ass than ever in 2017,

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


Review: Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand

First, a confession: I used to be kind of dismissive of Lenormand as a system. But when I saw pictures of Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was almost the same feelings I had when I discovered tarot. The cards seemed so mysterious yet intriguing, with evocative titles like the Anchor, the Key, the Lilies.

I am far from an expert on the Lenormand structure, but if you’re not familiar with the system I’ll tell you the bare details. It’s a more minimal system than tarot, containing 36 cards. It’s also a much newer system: incarnations of tarot date back to the Renaissance, while Lenormand only came on the scene in the early 1800s. Lenormand cards are traditionally read in pairs of two, offering messages about fate and the future.

I find Lenormand lends itself more to straight up “fortune telling” rather than the psychological soul-diving I associate with tarot. Fortune telling has gotten kind of a bad rep in the tarot community. A lot of tarot readers (myself included) are quick to assert that we are NOT fortune tellers; we offer advice and guidance, NOT predictions. I do believe that the psychological and spiritual aspects of tarot are the most meaningful guides for human lives…

But I sometimes…just for fun…I dip my toes into the “what might the outcome be” pool. I do this with a light heart – I don’t consider myself a psychic, and I generally don’t see much point to predictions. But when I’m looking for this kind of straightforward info, I find Lenormand a fun and insightful tool. You could say tarot is better at asking the question “why” and Lenormand speaks to the question “what.”

This particular Lenormand deck drew me in with it’s repurposing of Pamela Coleman Smith’s art (Pixie, as she is widely known, completed the art for the original Rider-Waite tarot deck). Now published through US Games Systems, this lenormand deck was originally self-published by the creator, Edmund Zebrowski. The Little White Book describes an smile-inducing tale of how the deck came to be, including the deck creator spinning a myth about a consultation with Pamela Pixie’s spirit.

And you’ll certainly recognize the art in this Lenormand deck if you’re familiar with the iconic Rider-Waite tarot deck. This Lenormand is a sort of collage, pick and grab, resize and replacement combination of elements from Pixie’s art (mainly derived directly from the tarot deck, but some of her outside projects are incorporated here as well).

It’s great fun sifting through these Lenormand cards and discerning for yourself where the images originated. Zebrowski certainly got pretty creative with some of these combinations! For example, the Garden alchemizes images from the Ten of Pentacles, the Queen of Pentacles, Nine of Pentacles and Ace of Cups. I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for all the details in the Rider-Waite tarot by using this Lenormand deck.

The cards are smaller than traditional tarot cards, and come in a lovely tin – great for withstanding being tossed into bags and lugged around. The card stock is good, not too glossy, although they can be hard to shuffle due to their small size.

As I’m still a n00b with the Lenormand system, I do rely heavily on the Little White Book. I will admit I normally find LWB’s insufferable and wholly ignore them, but this one is quite good. Even the packaging is nice, the LWB looks like a miniature book. For each card, the energy is described, along with keywords, general meanings, meanings related specifically to love and career, timing and image origins. It’s a lot of info, and it has added a LOT of depth to the readings I’ve done with the deck.

The deck is described as “charming” on its packaging, and I can’t help but agree that charming is just the word for this deck. It has a certain mystique to it, retaining that je ne sais quoi of the tarot deck – yet it stands on its own as a separate, wholly unique creation. If I had to describe the deck’s personality, I’d say she’s like Mary Poppins: curt and no-nonsense, but still imbued with a lot of magic and originality.

Purchase your Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand from Us Games Systems.

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


What my puppy is teaching me about purpose

If you follow me on Instagram, you may already be acquainted with the newest, fluffiest member of my family. This is Sokka (pronounced Sock-uh), an Australian Shepherd lab mix my husband and I recently adopted.

Living with a dog was uncharted territory for me until this guy came home to us a couple weeks ago. Yep, it’s true – I’ve been alive 31 years and I’ve never really lived with a dog, just kitties! I knew I’d have to learn many things once the pupster came home: how to teach him to sit and stay and poop outside, how to help him become friends with my two cats, even how to feed and groom him. And I’ve certainly been learning all that stuff.

But I’ve been learning one thing from Sokka that I didn’t expect to learn. I’m learning how important it is for an thoughtful, curious puppy to have a purpose.

And that’s led me to consider how important it is for a thoughtful, curious human to have a purpose.

In ways I didn’t know to expect, Sokka and I are very much alike. If he is left to his own devices without a constructive purpose, he will find decidedly more destructive ways to stay occupied (such as chewing on my slippers, chasing the cats, or eating poop).

And I’ve been realizing that I’m… kind of the same way. If I don’t have a constructive purpose, I also gravitate towards less savory behaviors (such as cynicism, dicking around online, or eating too much chocolate).

Neither Sokka nor myself can really thrive when we are aimless. As a dog, Sokka is innately wired to be productive: herding, solving a problem, playing a game. He takes noticeable joy in every opportunity to learn about the world around him (you should have seem him discover snow, which is now one of his favorite things that exists). It’s not in his nature to sit around doing nothing. He wants to be exploring, learning, engaging. He is at his happiest and best when he has a purpose.

I’m the same way. When I reflect on the times that I have felt the most satisfaction and happiness, they’re always times when I feel like I’m doing something purposeful. When I’ve put in a solid days’ work doing readings for clients, or when I’ve spent some time writing, when I’ve taken direct action towards accomplishing a goal…those are a few of the times when I feel the most aligned.

A purpose can be very broad or very specific. I could decide my life purpose is something open-ended, such as to heal and expand. I could decide my daily purpose is something quite specific, such as completing three tarot readings. I could decide my purpose in this particular hour is to write 500 words, or just to write with no quota. We can define our purpose however we want – the important thing is just that we DO define it.

There’s one main thing that I get hung up on when it comes to defining a purpose for myself, and I’ve seen the same phenomenon in my clients. I tend to get stuck by worrying too much about focusing on the “correct” purpose. Like, right when I tell myself “okay, Carrie. Your main purpose for December is to focus on building your new website,” another part of me replies, “but is that really what I should be doing? Am I even capable of building a website? What if I do it wrong? What about all the other goals I have, shouldn’t I focus on one of those instead?” And so on, and so on, until I utterly derail myself from gaining momentum on the task.

What I really admire about Sokka is that he doesn’t get bogged down by the inner critic and doubts that humans do. If I offer him his rope toy, he happily accepts that his purpose is now to play tug-of-war. And if after a few minutes his puppy attention deficit distracts him, I can easily remind him by waggling the rope that THIS is his current purpose.

This is one thing that is truly challenging about being a human. Many of us are privileged with a lot of influence over defining our purpose. But at the same time, many of us resist this autonomy, because autonomy is hard! Having a say in defining your purpose requires you to develop the right blend of self-discipline and self-love. It requires you to ask tough questions of yourself, and to regularly engage in thorough self-inquiry. It requires you to experiment, risk failure, and come face to face with your most gnarly inner demons.

What’s easier is having a church or a parent or society define our purpose for us, and then simply sticking to the status quo. Some people can find genuine happiness that way – but myself and others like me feel called to walk our own uncharted paths. And defining a purpose on your own terms is not easy! There’s often no rule book, no footsteps to follow. I think this is why some of us struggle with self-doubt and clarity around defining our purpose.

Sokka is teaching me how liberating it can be to quit over-complicating things, choose a damn purpose and then just FOCUS on it! Forget perfectionism, forget worries about making the right choice. Just pick something and tell yourself “this is my purpose right now.” If that chosen focus really does start to feel wrong, you can always re-define your purpose at any given time.

This is because we humans drain SO much energy by refusing to choose a purpose, or by doubting our choice, or by criticizing ourselves every step of the way. I’m asking myself to follow Sokka’s example: keep it simple, focus on something, re-direct yourself when you get distracted, find joy in the process, and move on when you’ve done what you need to do.

It’s really that straightforward – dogs know. Humans are the ones that need reminding!

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


My oracle & lenormand deck collection – 2016

Last week I put up a video showing you guys my tarot deck collection. Well, guess what?! I have more decks! Here you can take a gander at my “other” decks (oracle and lenormand).

 

 

Until next time,

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


Carrie Mallon

Header art by Annie Ruygt

All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017 

Sign up for weekly updates