Cheerful Sunshine Tarot

By Belle | Filed in Spiritual, Tarot Cards

A faster tempo to the Tarot reading today, I guess the coffee must’ve kicked in a bit more. Enjoy! I hope you find some tidbits of inspiration for your spiritual journey…

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Talkin’ about Tarot…

By Belle | Filed in Uncategorized

A written out Tarot reading, 4 x 4 x 4. Using the Chrysalis Tarot deck, Paulina Tarot, and the Animal Wisdom Tarot.

Looking at each card and offering my interpretation. Also, thinking about the spiritual concepts that the card reminds me of. I found these Tarot cards reminded me of spiritual path ideas that I want to remember for my own path.

Golden Flower, Temperance Card

The mirror image of the fish reminds me of the microcosm/macrocosm idea. Nature is a circle that regenerates. Reaching through the mirror to balance out personality traits. Staying close to center because being off balance at the top flips back to the bottom quicker and more easily.

The fish thinks the fish bowl is everything. But she is just seeing a reflection. She is only noticing how she perceives the world because of how she grew up as a kid. The golden flower reminds me of the sun. The sun shines equally on everyone and everything with no sense of competition. Everyone has access to energy and a sense of personal power that is wholeness.

8 of Stones card

First impressions: Celtic cauldron of life; spiral journey of dream travel; primordial animal figures. I think of relating and how we approach each other. Perhaps there is a way of seeing into the eyes and the heart of each person in a gentle and respectful way. To meet each other in this way, we must carry our own sense of dignity and personal power in a balanced way. Meeting life with dignity and trust. Stonehenge type place is pictured in the card. Reverence for life and Nature. Tools pictured in the card: tools are merely instruments of our own creativity. We choose how to use the different elements of life.

4 of Mirrors card

vanity and self-centeredness. The mermaid is surrounded by mirrors that appear to have been placed to point directly at her as she fixes her hair. This is the wrong focus to life, or it is at least superficial and creates a life that focuses on the social ego only.

Queen of Scrolls, The Weaver card

This card contrasts with the vanity card above. Which came up recently in another reading as well. The Queen of Scrolls is a wise woman who carefully and thoughtfully, with a sense of well being, weaves her life and her sense of the world into existence. She is a very grounded and balanced person who creates and meets with success on her own terms.

Knight of Cups card (beginning of the Paulina deck)

The choice between being a show off or being noble. Staying true to yourself or giving in to wanting to impress others all of the time as your only mode of self esteem.

The Devil card

Tied to your own vices and bad habits. But you are free to notice and free yourself from this type of chain at any point, whenever you want.

7 of Wands card

Choosing not to participate is most likely a mistake.

9 of cups

Comfort and elegance. Love of life, living the good life and enjoying it.

Whale, the All-Encompassing

Whales are said to hold the collective memory of the Earth in New Age books. This whale looks like she is sailing through an ocean of consciousness.

We underestimate the whales and dolphins and other creatures. We mistreat them as a human community. We don’t see the interconnectedness, and we are hurting each ourselves too in the process of destroying the environment. This has been said before by many.

Orbs or plants shown in the card? This is a mystical whale. She is wise. She sings and she swims where she chooses to go.

6 of Fossils, Gorilla

Sharing a gentle and friendly community.

10 of Fossils, Dog

Love, Friendship

6 of Shells, Manatee

Friendly, pleasant, comfortable, brings good tidings.

Message from the Manatee card: enjoy! relax!

I enjoyed writing these reflections on the 4 x 4 x 4 Tarot reading. There are a lot of current ideas circulating through my mind that ended up coming through as I interpreted the cards.

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Blissful Knitting & Music

By Belle | Filed in Uncategorized

This afternoon I am starting to knit a new project. It is a shawl pattern called “rising sun” from Ravelry.

I listened to these albums today while knitting:
The album Visions by Grimes.
The album A Posteriori by Enigma.
The album Upside down Mountain by Conor Oberst.
The album Saltbreakers by Laura Veirs.

I’m happy I listened to albums as a whole. Usually I have my iPod on shuffle. It is nice to change the music listening up a little.

I noticed a very blissful feeling as I was knitting and listening to Grimes. The knitting pattern is a moderate challenge but super fun. My feeling of blissful contentment was amazing. Sometimes it seems like life unfolds in just the right way. It’s like life takes the elements available, and “knits” them into a pleasant experience.

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There comes a time, as you read your 10th New Age book with a look a shock and disbelief on your face; it is the time to move on with your life. Find greener and more realistic pastures.

I will always have a place in my heart for intuitive and spiritual books. I will probably continue to study Tarot ideas as well. But I find myself beyond the point of being incredulous.

I think I need to be true to the reality that is current and realistic to me. I know what that means based on how I grew up, who my friends and family are, and what we enjoy discussing. I was enjoying reading a lot of far out stuff. But I’m to a point where it’s a bit ridiculous, and I simply can’t believe it.

Maybe truth is in the eye of the beholder. Truth and reality is an understanding, and an agreement between you and your friends and family.

Thanks for all of the spiritual and New Age readings, it has been fun. But I have decided that it is time to carry on with my life. Which means I will stop seeking far out answers, “let the mystery be,” and focus work on my real world projects.

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I’m feeling a lot of personal emotional pain over my ordeal of suffering with bipolar disorder. My having this diagnosis, it feels like the ultimate social taboo. It feels like I have officially done something “wrong” and that the punishment is to feel shame and disrespect for myself.

I refuse to give up my positive sense of self. Going crazy was the experience that I faced during some years past. Deciphering which thoughts are delusional and which thoughts enhance my sense of well being in a positive way is part of the ordeal that I must face. But I refuse to think less of myself. I will not hide any aspect of who I am.

There’s a certain perceived “ugliness” to insanity, and this is within a culture that is interested in putting a pretty facade on things as necessary. I refuse to attempt to make my life story “prettier” than it really is.

I’m proud of myself for facing the depths of insanity and emerging years later as myself again. Facing insanity is never going to get me an award or any type of special social acceptance. But I’m not going to downplay any part of my life experience.

Being a human being isn’t about being perfect, or living up to some ideal, or avoiding being “ugly” at all costs. Being a human being is about making mistakes and learning how to thrive despite all of those mistakes.

I do not regret any part of my life path, and I also refuse to be embarrassed or ashamed of any part of my life path. At the same time, now that I know the ways that I thrive in life better, I think I will continue to demolish any perceived sense of social boundary. I’m simply not interested in walking the narrow path of social acceptability.

Being insane is excruciatingly painful. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But healthy methods of breaking the crazy/sane boundary are still available. Years after my huge struggles, I now know that I feel much better in life when I am able to think for myself and create positive outlets for expressing myself. These positive expressions could take the form of music, ecstatic dance, writing, visual art, and many other forms.

The fact is, I can’t fit within the social norms that I learned and internalized as a child and as a young person. I am having to create new avenues for myself by learning new things, such as new philosophies and new art forms, as I go forward.

Maybe I will always think of myself as a crazy person. I’ll be standing just outside the city limits, just outside the social norms that everyone else is following. My health and well being are important to me, so I will allow myself to release that tension of trying to live up to a certain false ideal. But I refuse to stop thinking for myself. I will think for myself, and I will dream my own dreams.

I am so proud of my life. I’m not proud of my life because of any certain tangible accomplishment. I’m proud of my life because it is entirely my own. I’m proud of my life because I have discovered the ways that I thrive and I have molded a new sense of sanity for myself. I’ve learned so much through my life experiences.

What would I wish for others? I would wish that everyone loves who they are and what their life path has been, on their own terms. I would wish that whatever you consider an “ugly” or a disgraced part of yourself, that you eventually love and respect that part of who you are as well.

Maybe I’m late to the idea that nothing is supposed to be perfect, in some false sense of the term perfect. I feel like I started out life as a porcelain doll. That facade shattered into a million pieces, and that process was painful. But now I discover that there is a more natural way to be myself, something like a tree that has roots and green and is always growing in new ways.

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Healing elements of my life…

By Belle | Filed in Peacefulness

I wanted to share some positive and peaceful elements of my daily life.
These things are naturally healing to me…
… soothing music …
… listening to my favorite calm songs …
… drinking warm coffee or warm tea …
… hearing the little sounds of everyday life …
… a glass of cool water …
… sunlight filtering through the windows …
… the warm glow of lamps on a cozy evening …
… smoothly settling in to a Yoga practice and feelings my muscles stretch and release tension …
… reading a few passages from Thich Naht Hanh books, his tone of writing is very calming …
… reading passages from the beautiful books I have that are soothing and calming …
… sitting down and not having the urge to do anything at all. Just allowing myself to enjoy being in that state of peacefulness …
… naturally easing into a meditation as I sit …
… speaking with family or old friends and feeling understood …
… the smell of candles, incense, coffee, good food …
…sitting with my cat Ginny while I knit …
…. sitting calmly outdoors by the lake, observing Nature without any thoughts in my mind …
… Trees …
… Birds …
… a warm breeze on a sunny day, fresh air…
It seems like life is actually more about a quality of being and a quality of presence. I often forget how to feel peaceful. But I keep returning to elements of peacefulness. Just sitting by the lake with a warm mug of coffee won’t make you feel great necessarily. You have to meet the peaceful environment with a sense of peacefulness from your own being.
I really enjoy thinking about things. But I have to admit, the times when I am the happiest and most content are the times when I feel peaceful without any specific thoughts going through my mind.

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Belle with pink shirt

 

I’m a beautiful person. So are you. Our beauty is not diminished by life’s challenges.

When I emerged from the mental hospital years ago, I was heavily medicated and literally drooling. I wasn’t really myself. In the quest to diminish my huge mania, a lot of other parts of who I am were diminished as well.

These days it is not quite as evident that I have emerged from bipolar disorder treatment. However, I remember still how horrible it was to feel the emotional pain and misery of mental disorder and bleak hospital settings.

But I’m not going to stop there. I’m not going to stop at remembering myself at my worst. That wouldn’t be an accurate portrayal of who I am.

I’m a wonderful person who is capable, intelligent, and creative.

“Selfie” photos can be kind of silly. But they can be life-affirming too.

I can see who I am. I’m not a monster. I’m a beautiful person, in body, mind, and spirit. You are a beautiful person in body, mind, and spirit too.

I’m sharing these personal thoughts and observations for a few reasons. First, perhaps someone else out there will be encouraged to find the glimmers of light on their own difficult life path. Second, I refuse to hide parts of who I am. Even those parts of my life path that fell outside the scope of social acceptance were still my authentic experience at that time.

Sending you Love & Light!  ~ Belle

Belle with sky

 

Belle with moving boxes

 

Belle with scarf

 

Here’s a good book if you are interested in reading about this topic further:

Book

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Skeleton Ladies…

By Belle | Filed in Uncategorized

I feel like part of the deal with society demanding that women are more acceptable when they are skinny is about taking away women’s sense of their own personal power. If society says in different ways that women “should” be skinny, this is a state that means women will literally be physically weaker and taking up less physical space. Obviously I think this societal crap is horrendous.

Fortunately, each individual can take back her own personal power at any time. But it is still sad that women have to often fight such a stupid battle instead of being surrounded by love and support instead.

Hopefully this idea that women are supposed to be skinny is dying out over time.

In my own life, I have felt like disappearing rather than staying and being present to judgment or criticism. I have hardly been aware of my own power and strength. I felt like it was easier to disappear and not fight for my own rights and dignity and respect at all.

Maybe it is just me, but I haven’t met as many kind hearted people on my life path as I originally would have expected.

I still don’t really feel like fighting. But I do claim my full power and strength. Sometimes this means standing up to people who are rude.

I will not disappear. I will walk my life path as the strong and open hearted person who I am.

Women are warriors in all kinds of different ways. And we deserve to live in a society that treats us with the unconditional dignity and respect that belong to us.

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Tarot Extravaganza… ; )

By Belle | Filed in Spiritual, Tarot Cards

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How I Feel…

By Belle | Filed in Bipolar Disorder

There is a big difference between respecting myself and having a certain type of pride that is associated with arrogance and a certain sense of “keeping up appearances” or something like that.

I just had to renew my drivers license. Under medical conditions, I needed to self-report if I have any condition that could impair my driving. I do have a medical condition that could impair my driving if left untreated, so I clicked “yes.”

For some reason it was emotionally painful to see bipolar disorder listed alphabetically between autism and cerebral palsy. But that’s a stupid kind of pride. I’m not better or worse than anybody else based on my medical conditions or anyone else’s medical conditions.

If I hadn’t been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, if I hadn’t spent time in the hospital at age 19 and in my early twenties from bipolar disorder and the severe episodes I’ve had because of it, I would be an extremely arrogant person. I would probably consider myself “better” in some way from other people. I would feel a sense of relief that I was somehow superior to those who suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. I’d be like, “thank god I’ll never be that insane,” “thank god I’ll always be a normal and socially acceptable person.”

Because I spent time in the hospital while being completely out of my mind, and I remember those times mostly clearly, I must face down the social stigma of “mental illness.” I personally still have the capacity to undermine myself because for 18 years I guess I must have been pretty darn arrogant. I guess I thought I had it all figured out.

Purely from the standpoint of understanding people better, being a better person in a real and compassionate way, I am a much kinder person because I had to suffer from severe bipolar disorder episodes. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t socially acceptable, and I wouldn’t wish insanity on anyone.

Although my mind is a bit patched up at this point, I still have a beautiful sense of dignity. Not because I’m really so great or something, but simply because I am a human being. I was born with innate dignity, and I deserve to respect myself. I have a duty as a human being to have compassion and respect for all other human beings. It’s a joke to think that education, or some type of imagined social standing, makes anyone better than anyone else. I don’t think that’s such a spiritual belief or idea. It’s common sense, and basic human rights.

Not very many people wander over and read my blog. But if anyone does, I am not afraid to share my ideas on my personal experience with bipolar disorder or insanity.

It’s still a very private and personal topic to me. But on the other hand, when we don’t speak up about things that are important to us, could that be a way of living with a sense of shame?

I refuse to second guess myself or otherwise undermine my own life because of being afraid of other people’s ideas about bipolar disorder or mental illness.

Thanks for reading. I’ll probably write a few more blog posts about this topic. It’s pretty refreshing for me.

 

 

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