Plan as though you’ll live forever. Live as though you’ll die tomorrow

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell

To plan for a good future is not only smart, it’s preferable. Planning helps us to:

  • compare and contrast our past mistakes with our future goals as to not repeat the same mistakes over and over again
  • meet goals
  • function within our society
  • navigate relationships with other human beings

Without a plan, you are putting yourself at risk for:

  • stagnation
  • selfishness
  • unnecessary pain/failure
  • redundancy
  • feelings of meaninglessness or complacency

With a plan you are putting yourself at risk for rigidity, unrealistic expectations of control and fear.

It is possible to have a plan without experiencing these thing. You just have to know when to abandon or adjust the plan to better fit life’s events. Changes and events happen every day so your plans need to be reassessed, evaluated and adjusted every single day.

So plan now, change your plans and change them all over again until you reach your goals and see your dreams realized.

Never giving up on your dreams means giving up the inferior things that no longer serve you and your purpose.

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2018 Chinese New Year Predictions for the Goat

2018 is the year of the Brown Dog. Since I am a goat, this is a summary for all you goats out there!

 

From karmaweather.com:

CHINESE NEW YEAR 2018′ SUMMARY FOR THE GOAT

In 2018, the Goat (Sheep) learns to say no and manages to prioritize his personal goals for himself against the desires of his loved ones. He also realizes that he must rely only on himself to advance in life and succeed in his projects.

Score of the Year of the Earth Dog 2018 for the Goat: 6/10
Chinese New Year 2018’s resolution for the Goat: “Re-assessment

From Chinese Fortune Calendar:

When Sheep meets the Dog, the Dog will guide the sheep looking for the goal of the life. The modest and hard-working Sheep receives the big rewards.

Career: Sheep is in the Earth group. Wood represents career to Sheep. Dog is in the Earth group. There no Wood inside the Dog. Dog won’t directly bring you career opportunity. Or you won’t focus on the career development during the cycle of the Dog. Both Dog and Sheep are the same element of Earth. They can be career partners. Dog will help you to solve the problems and relieve the pressures at work. Following Dog’s leadership, you will have good income and job opportunities. Therefore, your career luck will be good.

Job Change: You will figure out your career goal. The new job opportunity will appear. If there is a promotion chance for a challenge position, then you can consider accepting it. The new challenging job is definitely required work harder. But you should show your capability of workplace adjustments and adaptations. Then you can slowly overcome the obstacles to accomplish your mission.

Wealth: Sheep is Earth. Water is afraid of Earth. Water represents your money. Dog is Earth without Water. Dog won’t bring you a chance to make a big fortune. Dog is related to the mountain. When it rains, however, mountain Dog will collect rainwater to Sheep. That means Dog brings money opportunity to Sheep once for a while. What you have to do is to follow the leadership of the Dog. As long as Dog makes its fortune, Dog will share it with you. For example, Dog has a big business project. Dog can give you a subcontract of that deal.

In general, your money luck is good. Since no Water inside the Dog, your money luck won’t constantly come. Having a good income, Sheep is easy to lose itself and pursuit for an extravagant life. If you are too greedy to receive the filthy lucre, you might encounter the trouble as huge as the mountain.

Love: Sheep and Dog can get along well. But they have only friendship without romance. It’s difficult for them to have speedy love relationship. In order to improve your love opportunity, you can ask people born in the years of Horse to help you. Horse and Sheep have attraction relationship into Fire. Horse and Dog have attraction relationship, too. Three of you together can have a good harmonic atmosphere when talking the subject related to Fire subject.

If you are single, then you should increate your social activities. Your lover might appear around your new friends. If you are in love, then you need a little bit patience for your slow love development. If you are married, then you probably will spend more time on career, siblings or financial investment. The time with your spouse will be shorten.

Social Circle: Your people relationship is fine. If Dog steals your show and opportunities, then you still have many other friends. Sheep is Earth and contains some Wood and Fire. Sheep can get along well with friends of Wood and Fire. Your Wood friends are Rabbit, Tiger, Dragon and Pig. Your Fire friends are Horse, Snake and Dog. As long as you want to show sincere, sympathetic, humble and understanding attitude to people, then you will received the recognition from the group.

Quarrel: If you have quarrel, dispute or litigation with someone, then this case will drag for a long time. Both Sheep and Dog are in the Earth group. Dog is Male Earth and Sheep is Female Earth. Dog has higher momentum. Sheep is good at resisting the high pressure. That will be a long battle, if nobody wants to give up. Because you cannot bring up a good reason to win the argument, it is best to reconcile with your rival as soon as possible. If you really encounter the big trouble, look for the person born in the year of Horse to help you. Horse will act a very good mediator between Dog and Sheep.

Health: Both Sheep and Dog are in the Earth group. Anything related to Earth will impact your health. If Earth is too much for you, then you should pay attention on your stomach and digestive system. If Water is too less for you, then you should pay attention on your kidneys, bladder and the urinary system. Sheep contains some Wood. If Earth is too strong and Wood is too weak, then you should pay attention to the liver and nervous system. Suggest you to often visit park, lawn, lakeside, riverside or beach to enjoy the fresh air.

General Fortune: When the opportunity knocks, don’t let it slip. Build more confidence to achieve your goal. Your persistent efforts can extend your luck to the next cycle.

Chasing Highs

As human beings, we all chase highs in one way or another.

We chase dreams of:

  • rewarding relationships
  • love
  • children
  • success
  • money
  • physical attractiveness
  • peace
  • respect
  • accomplishment
  • strength

We believe that once these dreams are realized that we will feel happy. Realization of the dream does feel good but for how long? A day? A week?

We chase bigger and more difficult dreams to make the high last longer and longer. “Once I find the love of my life, then I will be happy.”Once I have a family, then I will be happy.” “Once I’m out of debt, then I will be happy.” “Once I find my calling in life, then I will be happy.”

First of all, you don’t know how you will feel or how long it will last.

Second of all, by chasing what does not exist yet, you are essentially creating chronic dissatisfaction for yourself.

Lastly, happiness is something that does not come from external things, people or achievements it’s something that comes from acceptance and observation occurring within us.

How many times have you been in wonderful places but still felt dissatisfaction? How many times have you been surrounded by less-than-optimal situations but still felt happy?

It has nothing to do with the outside, it has to do with how we interpret our realities. It’s how we connect with the truth and make peace with it no matter what it entails.

It doesn’t matter if we’re ill, wealthy, beautiful, forgetful, anxious, and fat. It only matters what we think being ill, wealthy, beautiful, forgetful, anxious and fat means to us.

If you were on vacation and had the time of your life and gained 5 lbs are you going to be depressed about it? No, because the 5 lbs reminds you how wonderful your vacation food was. If you have been sitting on a couch eating cartons of ice cream, watching sappy movies and crying for a week and you gain 5 lbs, you’re going to hate looking at the reminder of your misery.

Everything in life is relative. We only experience things based on our senses and our mind interprets those senses.
But our mind is a sense all in itself.

Our mind is capable of manifesting experiences that haven’t happened and stimulating real physiological responses to those experiences. We can imagine being in love and feel our heart race and warm fuzzy feelings creep up our torsos.

We can imagine someone offending us and start to become infuriated. Our mind is ingenious and limitless but it can be fickle and sensitive. It’s OK to let our minds wander and dream, as long as we do not under-appreciate, despise, deny or ignore reality.

Our dreams are beautiful but so is the reality in which they are based upon.

“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
― Mary OliverNew and Selected Poems, Volume One

 

 

 

What is the Meaning of Life?

The question plagues us only in our darkest hours because in those blissful moments when all we can see is beauty… we already know.

I have spent the last two days, eating myself sick, lying on the couch, neglecting my pets, friends and family, avoiding my responsibilities and feeling apathetic towards my life. No thing had meaning. No thing had worth or pleasure associated with it. Everything felt impossible to digest or comprehend.

This morning, I woke up feeling the residual pain and discouragement of the days preceding. Determined not to continue with another day of misery and wallowing, I tried to meditate. My dog ate all my cat’s food while I sat and when I called her to be in my presence, she licked her lips so loudly, almost bragging that she had enjoyed what was not given to her, that it infuriated me further.

I begged for an answer to my problem.

“What do I do?” I asked.

“Tell me what to do, please.” I pleaded to the Universe.

No response.

I continued with my day hoping for an answer to appear. I started reading quotes about what others believed the meaning of life to be. All were profound but none of them struck me the way I needed to be struck.

Then, as I came across the following quote, I laughed.

“The literal meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself.”
― Albert Camus

Then I thought to myself, our meaning is there whenever we are not depressed and contemplating ending our lives. Our meaning is whatever brings us joy, contentment, happiness, bliss, purpose, love, peace.

Our meaning is whatever makes OUR LIFE worth living. We do not ask the meaning of life when we are happy because we do not care. We’re too busy experiencing it. We’re too busy creating it. We’re too busy appreciating it.

Philosophers have the most beautiful minds but think of their misery. Finding meaning in everything does not bring you joy. Creating meaning in everything does.

To find something insinuates that it is lost. To create something insinuates that it can be made, arranged, drawn, formed…

Stop searching. You have everything you need to create a meaning that suits you.

Letting go

“It’s only heavy when you hold it. But if you let it go, it’s got no weight at all. What heavy things have you got in your life right now? Job? Cancer? Relationship problems? Money problems? Is that heavy? It’s only heavy when you hold it. So why on Earth can’t we let it go? Why can’t we throw it away?”
– Ajahn Brahm from Four Ways of Letting Go | 09-04-2010
In this talk he gave 4 Ways of Letting Go and they were:
  1. Throw things away: the past and the future
  2. Learn how to be content
  3. Give expecting nothing back in return
  4. Have a Teflon mind

This beautiful soul had so much to say that touched me deeply. We are always holding on to things that hurt us. Carrying the weight and baggage of so many failed attempts, relationships, events, losses, future perceived failures, etc. that we are weighing ourselves down and preventing ourselves from enjoying life right now.

Our lives are beautiful. It doesn’t matter what our lives include. There is beauty in every thing and everyone because we are all connected as part of a bigger picture.

 

I’ve spent the majority of my life convinced that there is no higher power. I still do not have an opinion on the subject. I don’t need one. My feeling right now is that I am one with everything that surrounds me.

That feeling brings me peace of mind.

Do not let the things you have learned interfere with knowing the truth.

Ajahn Brahm spoke of this. He was not referring to “The Truth” in terms of more knowledge or trivia but universal truths:

The truths about loving others and existence unconditionally.

The truths about treating all things with equanimity.

The truths about sensory experience that surrounds you every moment.

Watch the talk! It’s very enlightening and peaceful.

The Fool

“The Fool Tarot card is a card of potential, new beginnings and innocence. This Tarot card shows the highest potential for your life, reaching a state of renewal and new beginnings, where each day is an adventure and each moment is lived to the fullest. The Fool card represents the beginning of all creativity and a desire to accomplish new goals (or to, at least, start the process of working towards those goals). The Fool indicates that anything can happen and the opportunities are just waiting to be taken advantage of.

In a Tarot reading, the Fool represents the need to set forth on a new journey, one that is completely unknown and will take you to uncharted territories. The Fool is all about new experiences, personal growth, development and adventure. The Fool Tarot card asks you to take a ‘leap of faith’ and to trust in the Universe in that if you begin a new journey, you will find success. This Fool lives a carefree life, free from worry and anxiety. He does not seem to mind if he does not really know what lies ahead.

The Fool Tarot card may represent a choice to be made—one of vital importance. However, there are always many different options available and the choice must be made wisely. If you are facing a decision or moment of doubt, the Fool encourages you to believe in yourself and follow your heart no matter how crazy or foolish your impulses may seem. This is a time when you need to truly ‘believe’ and have faith in where the Universe is taking you.

The Fool is an excellent Tarot card to meditate on if you are experiencing a lot of fear in your life. The Fool enhances courage, risk-taking and the creative expression needed to open up new areas in your life.

The Fool is always whole, healthy and without fear. He is the spirit of who we are, the spirit expressed and experienced as wonder, awe, curiosity and anticipation. We never know what is in the future but like the Fool we must blindly go forward. You need to trust that you are a spirit born into flesh to enjoy life and grow in experience. Take a chance and see what happens (biddytarot.com).”

We begin our lives as fools. Naive, innocent and completely absorbent of all that life has to offer us. As time goes on we begin to protect ourselves, our feelings and others based on what we perceive as dangerous, frightening or likely to harm us.

This innate ability comes to us with good intentions and purpose. We need to be afraid of the hungry lion because maybe it will maul us. Is there a chance however, that if we provided food and love to the lion, the lion would have no need to maul us and therefore we wouldn’t need to be afraid?

What is accomplished with fear can be accomplished with love. Fear is faster but love is more effective for both the giver and the receiver.

What’s more is we can allow fear to come and go like waves on the shore but we do not need to cling and revel in it thinking it will protect us from the depths of the sea.

Fear is temporary, like grief, pain, happiness, excitement, anxiety, hunger, and every other emotion we experience as human beings.

We shouldn’t hate, dislike or discount fear. We can appreciate it for directing us towards a certain challenge, let it go and replace it with love.

I came to a certain realization recently (many actually) which included what love truly is.

It is rare that I quote the bible but in this case it says it best:

5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.

-1 Corinthians 13:5-7New Century Version (NCV)

There are so many songs, poems, people, messages that encourage us to believe that:

  • love is dramatic because it is passionate
  • love hurts when it is unreciprocated
  • love is dangerous when given to the undeserving
  • love is frightening
  • love makes people do “crazy things”

but that is not what love is.

What is described in these statements are fear. Fear of losing control, fear of being judged, fear of not being enough, fear of losing someone or something, fear of being “taken advantage of” and fear, although an acceptable emotional, is selfish. Love is not selfish.

This is not to say that we cannot love someone and still be afraid. It is to say that our “being afraid-ness” is not about them, it is about us. There is something within us that we need to heal, a whole that needs to be filled, or a truth that needs to be realized.

Love can be given freely, with or without being spoken, with no negative consequences.

Once that is realized, the rest is a lot more work!

So now, anytime I feel afraid, angry, defensive, uncomfortable at someone I love, I realize that there is something about myself I need to meditate on. It’s a daily struggle that sometimes seems insurmountable but with each conquest, a peacefulness comes that makes living life so much better.

Hummingbird

I want to be a hummingbird.

Without any fear of falling while always searching for the next sweet nectar the world has to offer me.
Floating in the air with beauty and grace. Untouchable by all except those I choose to land on. Living among the clouds, flowers and branches, forever buzzing away from the speed of my magnificent wings.

Perhaps one day, if I try my best, when this life is over. My next life can be as a hummingbird.

Be yourself

You say, be yourself.

Don’t try to change yourself in an effort to please me because then you will never be happy and I will either love you or I won’t.

This requires that I not only know who I am but that I am also comfortable enough with who I am that I do not feel a need to change it on a regular basis depending on which way the wind blows or if someone suggests a more appealing way of being.

You tell me to be myself and that you will eventually come to love me or not.

Unfortunately for us both, “myself” doesn’t believe true love is something that takes struggle to come to fruition. True love I believe exists whether we try for it or not. The trying is in maintaining it: Feeding and watering it once it’s been planted.

If I believe there is a seed there growing and you aren’t certain the soil is viable, we cannot coexist as lovers.

“Myself” is not hard to admire but “myself” is hard to love deeply and meaningfully. I am:

  • needy but generous
  • ambitious but flexible
  • overly verbose and outspoken
  • promiscuous but loyal when I say I will be
  • honest but harsh
  • moody and emotional but passionate

I am not easy to love but I know someone out there will love me. “Myself” is hurt, tormented and pained at the fact that you cannot seem to do that. I am not about to allow you to hurt me, because “myself” is also not a doormat, masochist or martyr.

So unfortunately, now, in order to be myself. I have to let go of what could and would be true love, if only it were reciprocated.

It is not reciprocated.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but today brings sorrow and disappointment. If only for a moment…

New Relationship Spread

I love to read Tarot. I decided to create a personalized spread for an evolving relationship I’m currently in.

Every relationship, has strengths and weaknesses and its the ability and ease of blending those characteristics that makes us successful or not.

So, this is what it looked like:

20171110_060922

At first glance it is very important to note that every card was Major Arcana, meaning this reading had a lot of power and certainty behind it. The Major Arcana hold more weight in many ways than the Minor Arcana and there are less of them in the deck.

Greatest Challenge: The Magician

Traditionally, The Magician card is about directed focus of energy to create pure action. Some describe his wand as representative of pointed, direct and focused effort which actively forces action. Anything he puts his mind to, he does.

He doesn’t just dream things to be so, he makes them so.

The Magician appears in times of transformation and new beginnings. It’s about allowing and exacerbating change in a positive direction in order to realize your dreams.

However, in order to do so, the card advises “to be focused on a single goal or purpose at this time …to channel all of your energy, tools and resources towards this one goal. Commitment to the task is essential and as such, you will need to eliminate any distractions that will take your focus away from what you want to achieve.” (cited from biddytarot.com)

Since this card falls in the position of Greatest Challenge, it’s easy to see that the following are predicted to be challenging:

– concentration on one thing to excel
– change
– pure action

Greatest Strength: Strength

The strength card is not about physical or external strength but about taming your inner demons and psychological strength by patience and tenderness.

The woman is the traditional deck is holding a soft hand to the lion’s mane. It is with kindness, acceptance and patience that we tame our inner beasts.

Overall Outcome: The Sun

The Sun is all about Enlightenment, realization of dreams, love, goal achievement and truth. It’s generally an optimistic card because it proceeds The Moon and many other pessimistic stepping stones. The Moon is about separating what’s real from what is an illusion and accepting what is. Once you’ve done that, you may stand in the sun and revel at all there is in your path.

Obviously, this is a very positive card to be in the position of “Overall Outcome.”

Please use this if you are trying to decipher a new relationship or just want to see what happens!

Need me

Give me attention. Give me love. Enjoy my presence, body and mind.
Tell me I’m beautiful, intelligent, worthy, sexy, interesting and perfect.

Make future plans with me to go places and call me every morning.
Tell me that you dream of being with me forever.

It’s still not enough.

Tell me you want me and have feelings for me. Tell me you could see yourself having babies with me and growing old together.

It’s still not enough.

I want you to need me. I want you to need me like the air you breathe and the blood that pumps through your veins. I want you to feel my soul, my energy, my being, flowing through your body like a bolt of lightening bringing you back to life.

And when I’m gone, even for a day, I want you to long for me. Crave me. I want you to feel as though part of you is missing.

And when that day finally comes, when you realize I hold the key to your completion, I’m afraid that it will still never be enough.