Chariot: Finding Your Way No Matter What

It’s not what happens to you that makes up your life. It’s what you do with it

Struggle never lives outside you. It doesn’t matter, if you are the rightest of right. It doesn’t matter, if your case is irrefutable and the world wholeheartedly agrees, you’ve been wronged.

Because no matter the issue, suffering over any issue doesn’t serve YOU.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with feeling hurt, frustration, anger or sadness. Whatever you feel can serve, actually–as long as it’s a stepping stone from feeling whatever it is to feeling a little better. That’s the secret, right there. Whatever feelings you’ve got, embrace them with the idea they are one step on a path to feeling better.

The caveat, though? The act of feeling better cannot be contingent upon the external circumstances, over which you have no control. Which leaves you with nothing but your own perspective to work with.

Because what if all those stubborn “others” won’t cooperate? If you NEED others to do something in order to feel better, you’re screwed, plain and simple. You can only control YOU (and sometimes, that’s a challenge unto itself).  Now, one’s own emotions can be managed for sure, but it takes practice. It takes intention. Mostly? It takes a dedication to focus in a way that brings relief irrespective of anything external.

You can focus on what’s wrong and how wrong it is. Nobody would blame you for it. But it gets old after a while and it tends to feel pretty terrible, at least in my experience.

Or you can do your best to tune in to what works–on the topic or an entirely different one, for that matter–and count the rest as “not so interesting.”You don’t have to fight your way through a problem to improve it. You have to improve your vibration. There are infinite ways to raise your vibration and leave your energy brighter and it doesn’t matter which one you opt for. Just pick one, whichever is easiest, and run with that!

This is using the power of focus to your advantage.

This Week in Tarot

[bctt tweet=”He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. -Marcus Aurelius #Quotes” via=”no”]

Much like joy, I consider harmony to be an inside job. But then again, I consider everything to be an inside job!

These cards do create a quite harmonious pairing. We have the Chariot from the Good Tarot, and one of my favorite flowers, Phlox–Unanimity and Harmony–from the Botanical Inspirations deck.

It’s a good week to use your power of focus. The Chariot suggests intentional direction–the driver steers both her light and shadow powers (white and black horse) consciously. The different parts of who she is are harnessed to work together in making progress towards a singular destination.

Often with the Chariot, people will reach a goal through indirect routes. They may go around an obstacle or take a side path, but they don’t lose the way because they retain solid focus on the end goal. The roadblocks are a non-issue to the Chariot driver. Because the Chariot is never about HOW or WHEN or WHY we get to wherever we’re going. The Chariot is about continuing on towards the goal, regardless.

BarbeeAnne / Pixabay

As I write this, a mess of grackles appeared, clamoring at the feeder outside my window. Grackles (for me, at least) are a reminder look at how emotions color thinking. Their iridescence surrounds their head, where all the important stuff is going on. Grackles don’t require perfect conditions to thrive–they are highly adaptable. They are also known for dipping their food in water to soften it. We can deal with tough issues the same way, consciously guiding our thoughts to “soften” the harshness, making it all easier to go down.

To “do” Grackle, make the best of where you are. Acknowledge the importance of your emotions. Be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstance and soften up any harshness wherever you can. Make the best of what you’ve got.

While struggle doesn’t lie outside you, it’s good to remember: neither does the harmony. Generate your harmony within. The outer harmony follows.

Hook up with Dix to get a leg up in reclaiming your inner harmony.

Spirit Animals: Grackles

I recently retired from tech work, after…I dunno. Eighteen years? A long damn time.

When I first started, the web was still pretty new to the mainstream, and the potential got me fired up. I could help people connect, share their stories and ideas! The whole notion of global access was an utter game-changer. And I could offer this incredible opportunity to everyday people. How powerful is that?! I was excited enough I struggled through endless hours obsessively poring over code and reading technical tutorials in between waxing poetic about how cool it all was.

I was going to learn to do this and do it well.  And do it well I did.

There were no blogs back then. It was a different world. Eventually, the bar lowered dramatically for self-publishing (a good thing–usually). The work I did wasn’t as pivotal. But still, I kept learning and coding and consulting. I kept looking to serve as Virgos do, and I was good at it.

But somewhere along the way, so gradually I did not even notice, my once-mission morphed into obligation. The work became weight. I still considered myself blessed to be free the confines of a traditional office job. But I wasn’t excited about the work itself anymore. Gifted an opportunity to begin work in the Woo-Woo world, the difference became palpable.

I was enthusiastically building my spiritual practice while quietly planning my pixel-pushing escape. But even as I got close enough to sensibly make the full switch, I didn’t. Even the thought was terrifying.

What the Hell, Dixie?

It wasn’t until I actually took that leap of faith that I finally got it: web work was my last cloak of mainstream respectability. That’s perhaps an ironic admission for a pink-haired chick decked out in tie-dye. That business was what stood between me and the judgement of the mail man, the bank teller, the world at large–and yeah, the family.

Funny thing. My cloak of respectability was incredibly sheer. Three seconds plugging my name in a search engine is all it would take to see right through it…still, I spent an excruciatingly draining week to broker the hand-off of my web business. My “sanity breaks” out on the front-porch garden were well-populated by Grackles.

Hello, Grackles!

Grackles seem like they’d be related to crows or blackbirds, but they are not. They’re actually part of the meadowlark and oriole family of birds. From a distance, you can easily miss the gorgeous iridescent coloring. People often don’t see these birds for who they are. Grackle’s bright yellow eye with the tiny black pupil seemed like it could eerily pierce even intricate illusion.

Are you looking past superficial appearances to see what really is? 

Grackles are known as very intelligent, playful and happy birds. Their colors show  us emotion, the color of life. For many grackles, the lovely coloring is especially pronounced around the head.

photo by ibm4381

Are you conscious of your emotions and how much emotions color your thinking?

Grackles often congregate in large numbers before dawn or after sunset on tree branches, wires or roofs, in groups sometimes known as “annoyances.”  They may sing and caw for a long time with their distinctive calls before moving on to a new congregation. Their call is often compared to a rusty gate. But you know, even a rusty gate cannot be heard unless it’s being opened.

Are you all talk, so much that it may be annoying? Are you talking or doing?

They are known for bravery and resourcefulness, not being afraid to approach humans for food.  They may follow plows to catch  mice or wade into water to fish. They forage expertly and thrive because they have adapted to cities and humanity’s changing habits.

Are you active in solving problems and seeking what you need?

Grackles have a hard palate that helps them crack open acorns and other tough food. Even so, they have the unusual habit of dipping hard pieces of some types of food in water to soften it up before eating. They also teach their offspring to do this.

Do you attack tough problems, consciously guiding emotional states to “soften up” life’s challenges? Do you provide an example to others in doing so?

Grackles like to nest in pine trees–and the scent of pine calms emotional states. Their nests are hidden, providing safety.

Do you maintain a safe space for working through emotions?

Grackles remind us to take stock of our feelings, and question whether or not those feeling are blinding us to truth. They point out areas where we may be pointlessly rehashing woes instead of acting on opportunities for resolution. They remind us to be brave and go after what we need, while maintaining a safe, home base to process.

Grackles emphasize the impact of our own choices on joyfulness–and those who may follow our lead. They encourage us to actively take care of ourselves while adapting to changing circumstance.

They remind us–okay, they remind ME–to look for the shine and cherish with gratitude all the beauty life holds.

Thank you, Grackles.

 Do you see Grackles?