If you follow any yogis on social media, you’ve probably seen posts about the Himalayan Institute’sYear Long Meditation (YLM) initiative popping up this week. The non-profit organization committed to furthering education and experience around holistic health, yoga, meditation, and spiritual practice, has created a completely free platform to encourage people from around the world to sit in silent meditation each day for the next 365 days (a little less, since it started on July 15th).
This is the final #TarotTuesday post for a while, rounding out 3 months of this dedicated practice. I’ve learned a lot from tapping into my intuition and digging into some deeper inquiries. The cards often applied so directly to a situation, emotion, or theme — sometimes, like our card today, it felt a little too on the nose. But that’s what I love about a card pulling ritual: It forced me to look at myself and my life in an intentional way, giving me the space to work through whatever was in my way.
I enjoyed collaborating with my friend James on last week’s post so much, and I have another friend-inspired update for this week’s pull. #TarotTuesday is getting a little creative injection thanks to some sweet new decks I’ve received. They aren’t Tarot decks, per se, but Oracle decks, meant to offer a different type of reading. I’m wrapping up these 3 months of #TarotTuesday with a card pull from each deck.
This week is a guest post from my dear friend, James. We reconnected at our annual friend reunion, and discovered our mutual interest in reading Tarot. I thought it’d be fun to have him do the interpretation of this week’s card. I used my Fountain Tarot deck, and he looked at the same card in his deck from Robin Wood. The decks are different, so some of his explanation comes from the images on his card.
Yesterday was the new moon of Gemini, which holds a special place in this astrological twin’s heart. New moons are a time of releasing the past and setting an intention to manifest during the time until the next full moon. It’s a transition period, bathed in potential and possibility.
To honor this time, I chose a 2-card spread this week, asking these questions of the Universe:
This card reminds me a bit of the Game of Thrones finale, no? A little stabby?
Good news: There are no dragons. Bad news: You are being asked to confront something this week, to look it in the eyes and say goodbye. The Ten of Swords represents a final release, the letting go of a long-held belief, relationship, dream… whatever you’re holding on to that is no longer serving you.
So, I guess the GOT finale is kind of fitting. Don’t get me started on Bran.
This week’s #TarotTuesday is brought to you from the beach! I’m on a much-needed vacation (are vacations ever not needed?) with my family, but I’m still finding inspiration and ready to share with you. As I was shuffling the deck to set up my spread, a card jumped out of the pile. While it could just be my sloppy shuffling skills, in Tarot, when a card pops out of the deck, it’s considered to be the universe raising its hand with something to say. I’m listening, and here’s what landed (quite literally) in my lap this week.
This week’s card is all about manifesting dreams and turning visions into reality. Coin cards, also known as Pentacles or Disks, depending on the deck, have us dealing with the material world — the Earth element, our physical self, our possessions, and often times our work or professional life. They’re practical and help us relate to, create, shape, and transform our physical world.
The question I asked when pulling this card was “What is necessary to reflect on right now?” and the Universe answered with the Five of Wands. In this practice of Tarot, I’ve come to view my role as a bit of a guide, using my personal experiences as tools to help you connect more intimately with yourself. The synchronicity of the Five of Wands showing up in this moment tells me that the lessons I’ve learned are valuable and meant to be shared.
The Six of Wands is a fitting card to round out this month of Tarot: it’s all about celebrating your success and drawing courage and inspiration from your (or others’) achievements. Personally, I’m proud that I was able to commit to something for an entire month and not waiver — my track record with follow-through doesn’t always shine brightly… and this project took more coordination than I expected!
The Universe decided to stop yelling so loudly at us this week. After 3 straight weeks of Major Arcana (or “larger secret”) cards, we’ve finally got one of the suits with the Page of Wands.
In the Minor Arcana chronology, Page cards follow the Ten card and precede the Knight — they’re kind of like the teenage years, not fully formed, but well on their path. They can often indicate immaturity, naivety, or innocence. Wands represent fire and action; they’re connected to our primal energy, personalities, and ego. They offer us action, movement, and a way forward.
Okay, team... this is getting serious. We have another Major Arcana card for this week: Judgment. (Apparently, you can spell that with the ‘e,’ but it means you’re not American. Guess I’ve been British for my whole life.)
In the chronicle of the Fool’s Journey through the Major Arcana cards, Judgment follows The Sun — it asks you to be reflective and self-aware, looking back on what you’ve learned with an observant eye. The Fountain Tarot describes this card as a “reconciliation,” or an uncovering of the past to live a brighter truth.
April 9, 2019: The Sun. Like last week’s Tower card, the Sun is one of 22 "Major Arcana" cards in the Tarot deck, which follow the Fool's journey to enlightenment. These cards speak to the greater secrets of our lives and can indicate something big or significant. Two in a row… I’ll take it as a nod from the Universe that this weekly reading on the blog as a solid choice!
Use of Tarot cards dates back to the 15th century, when the decks were used to play games, much like we use a standard deck of cards today (people also still play games with Tarot cards, too!) There are many variations in Tarot decks, based on region and purpose. The most common decks used for cartomancy, or card-reading, are the Rider-Waite deck, Tarot of Marseille, and Tarot of Thoth.
Each week for the month of April, I’ll pull a card from the Fountain Tarot deck with the intention to understand what messages are important for us the week ahead. You’ll receive an email (like this one) with the card pulled and my own insights, and I’ll encourage you to reflect on how the card connects with you — feel free to share your thoughts on my Instagram, where I’ll also post the card and my interpretation.
How often in your life do you think the words, “Ugh. I have to do this,” feeling totally beholden to your situation. That all-too common feeling locks us into our obligation-victim-self, and once we’re there, the only way out we see is to change, remove, or delete the entire situation. But, here’s the magic: You have the power and potential to pull yourself out of that whole with one simple ingredient. Choice is the way out of the victim space, the way to step into your life with full empowerment. And you can do it right now.
I’ve been teasing a lot of “new. exciting things in the works that I can’t quite tell you about yet,” which really means they aren’t set in stone, and I don’t want to speak out of turn and/or commit myself to something that won’t happen.
There’s a lot to unpack in that statement, I know. If I were coaching myself, I’d have a lot of questions. Namely: “Why?”
But because it’s 7:45am and I have a whole day to get through, I’m going to switch gears into something I can tell you about. Something I’m so excited about. Something I didn’t know I needed but can’t wait to star
I’m always amazed that libraries exist. I love books. I love reading. I love reading books for free! I also love places where everyone agrees to follow specific rules, like the Southwest Airlines boarding policy, at concerts where everyone sits instead of stands, and whispering in a library. And the quiet part is especially soothing: You walk in off a busy street into hushed human decency. Plus I get to hang out with other people without being overstimulated... an introvert’s dream!
Happy fall, friends. While I always insist that I could live in an everlasting summer (hello, Southern California), I am feeling ready for cooler temperatures and changing leaves this year. That special crispness that comes with October always makes me feel more comfortable in my skin, closer to the people in my life, and ready to recharge after the chaos of summer.
As I teased a little over the summer, I had the privilege of getting to lead a set of workshops for the Penn State Schreyer Honors College orientation last week. I graduated from the SHC in 2010, and I attended the very first ever orientation 12 years ago, so it was exciting to get back on campus and see how that event has grown over the past decade.
“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” – Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. Shoutout to one of the best movies of all time, even if Tom Hanks plays a highly problematic dude (it IS a 90s rom-com, after all) who essentially catfishes a girl for the entire movie and we love him anyway? Do we? Should we? #Ugh. But back to what I meant to write about before the patriarchy got involved (as it always does)… taking shit personally.
Anyone ever notice how June is the fastest month of the year? Maybe it’s because it always starts with my birthday, rolls right into an annual camping weekend with friends, and then inevitably involves some other kind of travel until it suddenly it’s the 4th of July, and I’m looking around like “WTF? Where am I?” like I just woke up from one of those dead-to-the-world coma-naps.
In case you missed the 8432875 times I’ve said it over the past week, today (!!) is my 30th birthday. Despite the joy I possessed at age 3, I am not usually a big “OMG PAY ATTENTION TO MY BIRTHDAY” kind of person, but I guess I have been milking this one for a while -- at least in the sense of treating myself… whoops.
As an instructor, I get asked a lot about how I exercise when I'm not teaching classes. My schedule right now actually requires me to break a sweat and do the work 3 days a week. When I'm up there on the bike, or in the hammock for Air Fit, or on the mat for pilates, I'm exercising right a long with you -- as opposed to when I teach a power yoga class, where I'm mostly walking around or just moving my arms (but also probably sweating, because I AM A SWEATY PERSON).
Last week was my family’s much-awaited trip to Myrtle Beach, and I shockingly didn’t have great cell phone service OR wifi, which I saw as a sign to take an actual break from the Internet for a few days. It was blissful to be far away from the pings of emails and social media notifications, but it also left me totally bombarded upon return. (We also ended the vacation with the wedding of my husband’s best friend, which sort of shocked the beach vibes out of the system — and left us with some sleep deprivation.)
I argue that everything in life can be broken into 2 choices: do it or don’t do it (which also leads me to some really shoddy probability theories, even though I took 4 statistics classes in college… oops). You always have those options: Yes or No.
We’ve all “had that friend” who has an issue you both know she needs to deal with but she just keeps going ‘round and ‘round in circles, complaining and whining but not making any actual progress because the whole thing feels way too big and much to serious. (Yes, I’m talking about you.)
If you're reading this from the northeastern part of the country, you're well aware that spring has decided to be fashionably late. Like, it snowed on April 16th kind of late. Ugh.
I'm deeply affected by the weather. Rain, cold, snow, and gloom seem to seep into my soul and leave me feeling glum, tired, and generally unmotivated. Not unlike a cat who searches out the tiniest beam of sunshine from a window, I want to bask in the warmth of bright, shiny days. I wake up feeling energized and ready. It's no shock that all of the vacations Brian and I have taken in the past 3 years have been to a warm climate with very little rain: I'm my best self in the sun.
This week’s coaching course focus is habits, and while I have SO MANY THOUGHTS about habits, I’m saving those for a bigger moment. But the broader context of habits is this: We have the power to change.
Ha. That’s a big, head-y concept, and one that I could wax on for days. But what it means in my life today is that I always have the power to choose and to change, and when I’m feeling stuck or overwhelmed or even “just a little bit off” – which feels like the normal these days – I can take little steps to make positive changes and put myself into a better place.