Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do unto yourself as you would like to do unto others?

Today's cards are an interesting extension of yesterday's. We have the Five of Pentacles again, the Seven of Pentacles, and the Charriot. So, today, we don't talk about being nice to others. Instead, we talk about being nice to ourselves. Particularly and especially if you have any health issues, take care of yourself today. Turn all that kindness we talked about yesterday toward yourself. What do you need to feel cared for today? Whatever it is, indulge. You're absolutely worth it. That is what the Seven of Pentacles is all about. It tells us that we must rest and recharge after a harvest. Have you worked your butt off? Take some time to regenerate it. Not everything has to get done today. Some things can wait. If you will feel better and rejuvenated if you wait to do some of the things on your list, then do so. It's ok.

In Julia Cameron's book, the Artist's Way, one of the exercises she has you do is create a poster that says the following words: "Treating myself like a sacred object will make me strong." She couldn't be more right. If we treat ourselves like the sacred beings we are, if we are careful with our bodies, our thoughts, and our feelings, if we expect and demand respect (both from others and internally) then we can become strong enough to rise to the greatest challenges and meet them with grace and style.

See, the Five of Pentacles means kindness in the face of suffering. If you feel like a part of your life is causing you to suffer, address it. Do something about it (or accept that this is how things are for now, but let go of the anxiety around it). We aren't meant to suffer, I don't believe. Even though Buddhist thought teaches us that hopelessness and suffering are the paths set out before us, I think those are misleading. In her book, "When Things Fall Apart," Pema Chodron gives the only Buddhist definition of hopelessness that I can get behind. She says, "Hopelessness is the release of all hope for an alternative to the present moment." In other words, what causes suffering is the desire for things to be other than the currently are. That dissatisfaction with where we find ourselves is what causes us pain. That makes sense to me. However, where I differ with Buddhist thought is that while I want to accept where I am and be at peace with it that doesn't mean that I can't work to enact change peacefully and loving (and heck sometimes not so peacefully and lovingly, if that's what's needed). So, what I ultimately want is to work for change from that well of centered stability.

That brings us to the Charriot. The strength we get from having rested and been kind to ourselves is what the Charriot is all about here. It is the external expression of our own strength. It is forward motion from a place of power. So, rest, relax, and then when the time is right, you will once again kick butt. But, like a shaolin priest, you will do it from a place of peace a la Kwai Chang Caine of Kung Fu.

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