Sunday, June 29, 2014

Asking about Life

I live in a big city and, like most other big cities I would imagine, unfortunately we also have our share of homeless people and people sitting on the sidewalks in certain areas hoping for money. Years ago, I came across one with a witty sign that still makes me smile.

He had written on his sign: If you are afraid of change, leave yours here."

I was thinking of that lately and why some of us ARE so afraid of change. I certainly am myself more than I would like to be. I will admit right here to being a procrastinator more times than I should. So I thought I would ask this month more about that. About why people fear change and what the consequences of fearing and avoiding it might be.

I used an Oracle deck to ask. I used the Tao Oracle by Ma Deva Padma (who yes, is the artist of the Osho Zen Tarot as well). It's a very very interesting deck to me. It's based on the I-Ching. It's like half I-Ching and half cards.  And the deck is even used with 3 coins (which do not come with it).

I chose it for this reading as it is very much a deck about changes. And that was the topic of this reading. It is a deck that not only tells you the situation you are facing or the answer you asked for. It also tells you if the situation is in flux and changing and if so how to help it change in the best ways.

So here is what I asked for us this month, and what came up:

Question 1: What do you want to tell us about resisting change in general?

Card 1a: Obstacles  

This first card says that the first step when it comes to change, is that we notice some kind of obstacles in our lives. Whether it external or internal, the first thing we notice is that something is unexpectedly getting in the way. That's where it all starts. We notice a difficulty, something blocking us in some way. As the image shows, we can feel all at sea, tossed around a bit by forces we don't feel fully in control of (yet).  Like we are suddenly sailing off  in the wrong direction. And maybe we feel all alone.

This can indicate life situations that require you to suddenly veer off your intended course, or inner attitudes that you suddenly notice are holding you back or taking you away from where you really want to go. It can feel frustrating and hard to deal with at first. That can make us what to avoid those feelings or resist them.

But the gist of this card is that those feelings are meant to be temporary. They will pass if  you ride them out and accept them for what they are. The storm and it's confusion will always pass. All storms do.

This card is shown in transition here. This says again that that initial realization that change is needed, is just a moment in time. It , and the feelings it can bring are meant to be temporary things.  What it is meant to change into is:

Card 1b) Gathering Together

After we first realize something requires change,(the realization being only a momentary thing) that energy is meant to change into a gathering together of the forces we feel are needed to fix what needs fixing. This can take a number of forms. It can be a little resting period to gather your strength, a planning period to think out how to best get to where we want to be, combining forces with others (getting their advice or working together), a stepping back and trying to look at the big picture. It's a tricking down of the wisdom needed to move in the right direction. These kinds of activities help us be in a stronger position to create that change in the best ways.

The cards are telling you here, that the best way to move from A to B, to move from the initial realization the change is needed to effectively gathering up what is needed to create that change is to take the necessary time to think things out first. The cards are advising you that if you just change abruptly and suddenly, those around you may feel confused and react a bit defensively to something so unexpected. Change from a centered way is best as is keeping the middle ground.

Also the cards are saying to not be afraid to show others if you feel vulnerable. Change can make us feel that way and it is definitely OK to show that. We have all been there. Others will understand. And to not be afraid to ask for advice. What you learn in the process can be very strengthening and enlightening.

Card 2a: Flipped Work on What Has Been Spoiled 

This second card in answer to this question was a flipped card (a card that flipped out of the deck during shuffling). That says that it has a deeper meaning embedded in it that might become visible if you really stop to think about it.

This is a second case scenario. Something that has been damaged also requires change to repair and heal it.  If something hurtful was done or said, it can take a concerted effort to change things back to what they were before, to regain trust, and to correct mistakes that have been made.  

It says that these kinds of things especially need to be addressed as soon as possible. That if we cause someone pain, the longer we wait to address it the more resentment and negative feelings may grow.  These can spoil a relationship just as food left unattended to long in the refrigerator can spoil.

This card says that is something negative is happening within a relationship, of course that requires change. It also suggests the first step is to look within and see how your words and actions played out. And to try to see why they had the effect they did. 

This card is also shown in transition. This says that working on what has been spoiled is meant to lead back to:

Card 2b: The Gentle lead back to once more to mutual faith and trust in each other, to a new and deeper understanding, to a softer more sensitive approach to others in our life. That gentle understanding is what will most easily penetrate to the real truth of any situation or relationship. 

The cards say that in order to effectively work on what has been spoiled so that you can get back to that place of pure gentle connection and oneness, the first and most important step is to acknowledge fully within yourself that healing is required.

The next step is to fully commit to healing what needs it as well and as quickly as you can. That maybe be about correcting misunderstandings, but it can and often does include changing something inside yourself or your reactions to things.  Once you have made that commitment, things will start to change almost immediately. You may not see the effects immediately, but the shift will have started.  

Question 2: What happens when we do avoid change?

Card 1: Inner Truth  

When we do choose to avoid change, we also avoid facing situations that will teach us more and deeper inner wisdom and let us know who we are on a much deeper level. We are avoiding the very life lessons what could teach us so much about who we are inside and help us develop that and our inner strength more and more.

This card is saying that to turn our back on, and ignore, what needs change is to turn our back on the wisdom we can learn from our heart and inner selves. If we never ask our inner selves how to best create that change we never hear that wisdom. If we never follow our intuitive knowing on how to best proceed, it doesn't talk to us as often and we don't  hear it as clearly. 
In short, when we try to avoid change consistently, in so doing we become more disconnected from our inner truth. As we neglect it and try not to face it, we come to not know it as well.
There is no change shown in this card. It just is what it is. If we avoid change, we are avoiding our inner truth and inner self, period. 

Card 2: Peace (11)

This second card here says that when we try to avoid facing change, we are "avoiding" peace, harmony, balance and our sense of well-being. When we sense something needs change, it is there and it is real. It needs change. And we know it, we can feel it.
Something is out of balance, out of whack, wrong, and stuck where we don't want it to be. If we avoid it it continues to stay out of balance and things continue to feel wrong and stressful.  That stress is a result of our knowing things our wrong. It is what is meant to push us to change. But if we ignore that, well things are not going to feel peaceful or balanced and feel as they should. Because things are not peaceful and balanced and as they should be. And inside us we know it. And things feelings are what is there to remind us that change is needed to get things back to their normal place, where they FEEL right again. 
That is their purpose, they are meant to remind us. So avoiding change is not the most peaceful or easy path in the long run, even though it may seem to be.  
This card also is not shown in change.  It simply says that as long as we choose to try to avoid change, we are not going to feel at inner peace. Things are not going to feel harmonious and balanced. And we won't feel a sense of well being in life that life is running just as it should...because it won't be as long as we choose to avoid what needs change.

Question 3: What happens when we don't avoid change?

Card 1a: Difficulty in the Beginning  


Yes this card is an acknowledgement that change is not always easy. But the card IS called Difficulty in the Beginning.  It does not say things will stay difficult.
As you can see, this card says that when we first try to create change, there might be some doubts and fears. A new situation means by its very nature that there are some unknowns there, we can't always predict how people will react of the outcome of our efforts. We may feel awkward and unsure of ourselves, perfectly normal and understandable in situations where we don't know how people may react and cannot be sure of the outcome of our actions.  
We may feel vulnerable if we are in a situation unlike anything we have faced before. Maybe afraid to come out of our shell and show and be our real selves. Naked and unprotected, as shown in the card image. These are the initial feelings that could make us want to avoid that change. 

BUT, this card is shown in flux. It says that if we accept those initial feelings as normal and face them, then we can reach:

Card 1b: The Turning Point

The point where things start to turn around. Where we know inside us that the timing is right and that now is the best time to deal with that needs that change. Where we know we are ready inside to start that new cycle of change and to put what you need in to create a steady improvement in the situation. 
This card says that there is a natural timing to all things. And that when we are ready to start creating that needed change, there will be a pause. A moment in time where we stop, take a deep breath and tell ourselves we are ready to start. Now. Now is the time and we know it. It's that moment of knowing that all is right, and you are ready inside.  

The cards says that to the best way to get from that point of feeling a bit vulnerable and insecure and frightened to the point where you know inside now is the right time and you are really ready to create that change is to engage your sense of patience.
To know things will take some time and to be prepared not to expect overnight results. And that  If we expect to see immediate results or proof of change,  for things to change more quickly than they can, we may get disappointed and think our efforts are not succeeding , when in reality we may be doing very well.
Also, to  remember that when things are allowed to happen gradually, there will be lots of time and opportunity to correct and adjust as we go. That means that mistakes along the way can be corrected. So maybe it is not so important after all to know in advance the outcome of our choices, if we can change paths along the way.  

In the end, if we do our best it will be plenty good enough. No one can ask more than that of us, even ourselves. And if you try to work towards what we want in authentic ways that are true to who we are and aligned with our own personal type of inner beauty, then we always win
Card 2a: The Taming Power of the Great  
This card says that if we don't  avoid change in our lives, we will develop greater self-discipline from facing what was not easy for us. It will strengthen our inner focus, strengthen our characters, help us know our true inner selves on a deeper level. And naturally to realize our potential more profoundly. 
Not a bad answer right there! It says that by facing what needs change in our lives head on we learn more and more to be aware of our real selves more and more fully even in harder times that require change from us.  We learn to stick to our principles and our true inner selves when faced with opposition. To stick to our inner truth and who you are inside no matter what.  Those are some valuable lessons right there.
And this in the end, leads to:

Card 2b: Decrease

Which seems like a strange place to go from the last card LOL, but it does make sense. What the two cards are saying here is that if we work to change what needs it in our lives instead of avoiding it we get a deeper and deeper knowledge and understanding of who we really are inside.  And that once we do, there is a decrease (a dropping away) of what we learnt along the way that is not really part of the true inner person we are inside.
Any baggage drops away more and more. Any beliefs that we were taught growing up that do not accurately reflect truth or how we are inside decrease....And we are left with a purer version of who we are meant to be. A lightened version of us once what has been holding us back and weighing us down. It's a positive decrease, a decrease in negative things we have been holding onto unnecessarily.  

The cards here say that it is a natural process that as we grow in self-awareness, what we are holding onto that is not authentically us drops away. So any heightening of self-awareness leads to this transition. The more clearly  we know who we are, the more we realize who we are not. 
They also say that to heighten this process and help it along, it would be helpful to feel an awe and humbleness for the process. When facing experiences with the capacity to help us see deep inside, this trip can lead you to look and accept at any vulnerabilities or limitations. After all no human being can ever be perfect, so we all  have them and it is part of what it means to be human.  Ask for guidance in you need it. And if you can accept what is and learn and grow from it, the rest will melt away and you will be left with a purer version of you that will let your true inner self shine more brightly out into the world. 

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