Monday, September 12, 2011

Taking Our Own Medicine

It's been a while since my last post, summer with various commitments and distractions, personally and in terms of both work and community involvements was a whirlwind for me. It's nice to have a day to reflect on that and to be back in a frame of mind to write and share, sorry I've been away so long.

Often the things I post here arise out of questions that come up frequently, both in my own personal journey and in the issues I see others working with. We are moving through times of great change, not only in our circumstances, but also in how we are having to deal with these things. Priorities change and our self worth comes to be reflected in things differently.

I sometimes have my own struggles and times of doubt, I'd hardly be human if I didn't (and those who know me personally will assure you I'm VERY human indeed). I have the enormous privilege though of having work that I love and in that work the opportunity to learn in the doing and in the growth of others. In the nearly 30 years I have been a reader, I rarely take time off. Even in times of personal loss or setback, my job has helped me find direction. Being self employed too, time off comes when time off comes. There are slow periods and it always seems that these come at points where I need to shift gears, learn in other things or have time for solitude. It works out usually. Sometimes this has worried me but less so in the last few years. I've found a little more trust in my own resourcefulness.

A few years ago during such a period I decided to go back to school in my free time for a little upgrading. This led to a little side job in an adult learning environment. I had the great experience of being in the midst of many people from all over the world that were trying to improve themselves. I still like to do little side things like that from time to time, sometimes on a volunteer basis and occasionally during leaner seasons out of necessity. These are all things I bring back to my job as a reader.



I also have done a fair bit of community work on committees. They say if you want to face your imperfections, see where you need to grow (and grow up) get on a committee. That's very true. Being self employed I need the occasional experience of working with others and even sometimes getting a come-uppance. The last few years I have made some very good friends and done a lot of growing (some of it with the odd ego bruise or two). Through it all my work is a constant. Having these experiences makes me more fluent, able to relate and be intuitive to similar things for others. To empathise and to also then take my own medicine in seeing what's right for someone else. We all have blind spots, some of these things, the more egoic things, can seem to be glaring to a bystander. I try to follow the maxim that the irksome things in others are usually touching some nerve within myself. Being open, understanding and compassionate is a two way street. When I have the opportunity to be compassionate to others going through stuff, I can be more easy going with me. I try to be accountable and when I make a mistake or blunder, to stay in the game. Usually this is where I do the most growing.

My best friends are the ones that are able to take me with a grain of salt. When I get riled up they're able to look at me and say "oh you get this way", and they've taught me to do the same with me. That's the two way street. Part of why Tarot is such a useful tool is that it's archetypes reflect human experiences that we all have in different ways. I call reading an art form because like all creativity it is a sharing. A way of appreciating others unique experience but at the same time saying we are not alone, others have come through this too. I find great comfort in that.

An article that expresses some of this far better than I can and that I have benefitted from greatly (as well as many other things the author has written) can be found at:
Developing An Unconditional Friendship With yourself -by Pema Chodrun, Shamhala Sun Magazine, March 2011