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Non-Judgemental XX Judgement

As you’ve probably noticed (hello, anyone out there?), this is no longer a “weekly card” feature.  It’s a “whenever I can make the time for it” feature.

And hey, no judgements.

Except this one.

I much prefer Aeon to Judgement as a title for the XX Major card (which we’ve seen before).

We’ve got all those geological ages – Pleistocene, Jurassic, Cambrian and all that lot that you remember from Science classes or cinema dates.

We define what our seniors patronizingly called “stages” by the big things that happen.

And XX Judgement – or Aeon – lets us know that we’ve completed one of our own defining eras.

At the end of eras new things evolve.  Or, for us, new characteristics and potentials are revealed.  From behind the veil.

Most of us have places where the froufrou is hiding our real selves.  “Putting on the dog”, we used to call it.  XX Aeon describes us when the froufrou is a true expression of ourselves or it’s just g.o.n.e. Gone.

We have a sense of black and white about what’s our “job” and what’s somebody else’s, of what we want to do with our time, of where our mission lies.  Rather than dress things up to flesh them out, we’re deciding me/not-me much more in line with our true nature, our true calling.

So dress yourself up, take yourself out for a stroll (minus the dog) and have at your new era.

Map Reading 101

Last month a friend and I took in a beautiful, horrific, brilliant, disturbing exhibit based on one of my favourite works of art, James Whistler’s Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC.

1510 Peacock

Whistler Peacock Room

Amoung all the other thoughts provoked was one about how we react when the road we’ve taken doesn’t lead us to our expected destination.

We don’t start out to create things that get spoilt or aren’t appreciated or lead nowhere – or, worse, to big problems.  We’ve got a much more positive vision at the start of anything we put in motion.

(And if we don’t, then what the hell are we doing?)

We can get carried away by our projects, whether it’s creating a work of art, getting a pay raise or promotion, finding a new way to addresse social justice inadequacies, answering health challenges . . . .  Some are about life changes, others are less far-ranging in time and impact.   We forget that any project, no matter how important, is only a single aspect of our life.

1510 Peacock Remix

Waterston Filthy Lucre

So how do we respond to road blocks?  Changes in parameters?  Shifting reality?  Do we destroy our greatest achievements with our own rigidity?

What are the elements of your life that could use a brush up this month?  Where have you moved from the beauty of the Peacock Room to the degradation and decay of Waterston’s Remix?

What’s That Smell?

I’m going to get perilously close to an attitude I despise, detest and avoid (can you tell I don’t like it?): blaming the victim. Stay tuned, because that’s not the point.

Are you putting up with a whole lot of poop in your life these days? Is it sticking to the soles of your shoes on the way into the house? Have you taken to wearing boots? Are you now dabbing fragrance on your upper lip because it’s really piling up?

Why do you allow life to treat you that way?

Okay, I totally get that there are circumstances beyond your control (I’ll get to those). And I applaud your adaptive behaviour so that the impact of the scheisse is less personally damaging. But really, why are you putting up with that shit?

There are a lot of places in our lives where we’re used to taking the lemons we’ve been given and turning them into slices for Long Island Iced Tea. Or lemonade, if, like me, you can drink just fine, but the recovery time’s not worth it.

If you’re living a cliché, you know you’ve swallowed society’s voice whole hog. Meaning, the squealing is drowning out your own whisper.

What if you start throwing the lemons back? Swing a bat to send them flying. Hell, get all Sharknado on them and use a chain saw. (Pop culture just cracks me up sometimes.) Too much of a scene? In the world according to who? The squealing hog?

And what about those places where you don’t get any say in how life treats you? When circumstances are out of your control, you know it’s only you who gets any say about your attitude. Where is there room for a productive, “you are NOT treating me that way” approach?

So, you’re stuck with those lemons. Or sharks. Or chainsaws. It’s not what you wanted, but what can you do with it? No need to get all Pollyanna. Or superhero/ine. In fact, see last month.

1509 Monk_Tigers

Promote yourself to co-director. At the very least, even in your worst nightmare scenario, there’s always a strawberry. Question whether you really have to put up with all that shit and find the ways that life can treat you better.

I think I just found another blessing for people I don’t really want to bless: “May you never be stuck between two hungry tigers.”

Yoga Thoughts

How much fun is this? from 1967’s Easy Come Easy Go Thanks to Bobbie Long for pointing me to it

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Owning Emotions

1508 Owning Emotions

What makes a grown-up? Or a spiritually evolved, enlightened person?

Is it someone who never swears in traffic or gets overwhelmed with big life challenges or sends out invites to the pity party of the century?

It’s easy to tell someone “you shouldn’t feel that way” when you’re outside the situation. Perhaps one measure of a grown up is allowing others to feel their feelings, and staying with them while they do.

My sister-in-law has a wonderful measure for her kids (now grown and having kids of their own): it’s okay to feel what you feel, it’s not okay to dump it all over everyone else.

So what happens when you dump your feelings all over everyone else?

Maybe it’s a measure of how much you’re trying to carry. Maybe it’s a measure of how uncomfortable your feelings are.

How about you give yourself a big bundle of credit for being emotionally honest? And then find the grown-ups in your life who will let you experience your feelings in the safety and support of their non-judgemental presence, until you’ve finished the process.

Perhaps spiritual evolution and enlightenment includes the knowledge that sometimes life really truly sucks – or, as a beloved friend, long gone, used to say: this pounds sand! Or is incomprehensible. Or hurts like hell. Another acquaintance wisely advises that we keep on going straight through hell, rather than taking the scenic route. Sometimes even the direct route seems endless.

Sometimes spiritually evolved, enlightened beings are drowning in their severe challenges. At the very same time that they’re looking and acting like a drowning rat, they are spinning off brilliant responses to those challenges, creating their new selves, blinding us with the beauty of that creativity.

Grown-ups, spiritually evolved and enlightened people, can contain the paradox.