Orange, yellow and white pansies, by Cheryl
A really focused week for me always begins with a pause to consider what I actually want to address. I don’t know about you, but my potential to-do list is so long that a team couldn’t get it all done in one week! And that’s OK. I like having plenty to do. But I don’t like feeling overwhelmed, stressed, confused, alone in this mess, like it all has to be done right now, or feeling like I will never get it all done. I never will get it all done – that is a fact – but, I would like to take care of those things that really matter to me.
Part of my beginning of the week pause usually includes drawing oracle cards. I use oracle or tarot cards because they help me to contact my more spiritual self, and also to ask for guidance from a bigger picture Mind. Without them I can get lost in left brain “should-do’s” and misery. You know, all those stories about how I’ve failed and lost and – that’s right – will never get it all done! My deeper self (and yours too) knows what actually matters. Sometimes I forget. Here are a couple of oracle card spreads to use for insights about your week ahead.
Simple Weekly Spread:
You will choose three cards, from a tarot or oracle deck, whichever you prefer.
Card 1 –
What do I need to know this week? (Other options are “What do You want me to know?”, or “What do I need to know about work?”, or any other topic that is up for you this week.)
Card 2 –
Tell me more…. (What else do I need to know? Or is there more to know about the first card that will clarify matters. You can ask this and draw another card any time you feel you want more clarity.)
Card 3 –
What is my potential for this week? (If I work with the cards above, what is the possible outcome for me?)
Days of the Week Planetary Energy Spread:
This is a longer spread (seven cards) based on the planet that rules each day of the week. I created the questions from my sense of the energy of each planet (you can look up the astrological meaning of each planet and create your own questions too). I prefer to draw the cards all at once on Sunday or Monday, because I ask about the whole week ahead. But you could draw a card each day instead and just ask about that day. Here is the spread:
Monday is the Moon –
What do I need to know, or heal, emotionally this week?
Tuesday is Mars –
What action is beneficial for me this week?
Wednesday is Mercury –
What communication is needed this week?
Thursday is Jupiter –
Where am I ready to grow, or expand, this week?
Friday is Venus –
Tell me about love in my life this week.
Saturday is Saturn –
What responsibilities benefit me this week?
Sunday is the Sun –
Where can I shine this week?
I really like both of these spreads and find I get great information and help from them. I hope you find them helpful too – or that you create your own oracle spreads – they’re fun to make and then you can ask about just what you want to know.
Happy New Week!!
Flower Dreams by Cheryl
Just a little reminder for the Dreamers out there. Love to you all!
And I hope you enjoy this song sung by Emma Stone from La La Land.
Hydrangeas, by Cheryl
For this Goddess Friday post I drew a card from one of my goddess oracle decks to share with you. My intention was to draw a card with the Goddess who could be of help to everyone who reads this post. And I drew one of my favorites:
The Warm and Healing Sulis!
Sulis, like many other ancient goddesses, has transformed over the years, and the origins of her worship are hidden in time. She was the Celtic deity of the healing warm springs at Bath and her name means either eye/gap or sun. When the Romans came to Britain they syncretized her with the Roman goddess Minerva. She is the life-giving mother Goddess of healing waters, nourishment, vision, the sun, and, strangely, of curses (tablets were found in her springs that requested justice or vengeance against theft). It’s theorized that her aspect as a sun goddess took her to the underworld in her travels each day, so that she was a Goddess of light and darkness.
My favorite approach to the energy and wisdom of Sulis is from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky (it is also the card deck I used for this post – you can see the card image below). Amy sees Sulis primarily in her aspect of offering warm healing waters, and in understanding the depths that create illness in order to heal.
“Illness is a way for us to come face-to-face with what is no longer working for us and change it. Have you been ignoring your own deep requests for more time, more space, more attention? Perhaps you have been too busy attending to everyone else’s needs and putting your own last. Perhaps illness is the only way out of a messy or painful situation. Do you experience any resistance to being in the dance of illness/wellness? Any blame? Regardless of what brought you to this dance, you are here and you need to put everything aside that doesn’t nourish and support your healing.” Amy Sophia Marashinsky
I have never been to Bath, but I do know about the healing properties of water. We all do! Drinking a warm beverage, taking a hot shower, relaxing in the tub, going to the ocean, taking a swim or a paddling a kayak in a lake, watching a river flow – all are supremely delightful ways to find healing. And as Amy says, to experience the healing of rest, warmth, time, nourishment, and space we need to give our healing (and our staying healthy) priority.
Do you give your wellness priority? Do I? I know that I’ve had illnesses that were absolutely because I needed to rest and take a break from my life. How about you? And I would say that, at times, that was completely fine with me. I pushed when I needed to push, and when I couldn’t do it anymore my body gave me an “out” that the people around me could understand much more than saying I needed to take time for myself. Taking time for ourselves isn’t exactly condoned in our culture, is it? Still I would like to heal the cycle of Illness/Wellness and learn to make choices that allow me to say, “I need time for myself, I need to rest, I need a break”, before I get sick!
I’m getting much better at it. How about you? Here’s to nourishing your wellness with love and caring, and some warm water perhaps. You can always ask Sulis to help you to know when you need to rest and/or to practice healing behavior for yourself. I certainly do! She’s a warm, gentle guide who can also help you see what you do that is shadowy and leads to feeling unwell.
I’m wishing the very best health and wellness for all of you!
Love and Healing,
Sulis from The Goddess Oracle, Illustration by Hrana Janto
Valentine’s Flowers for You!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Here is a little post I created several years ago because I believe the greatest romance you can have is with yourself and your beautiful life. I post this every year – so you may have already read it – but it bears repeating, I think! I invite you to enjoy some romantic self-care this month, year, and all of your delicious life!
Romance & You (Or…How to Enjoy Delicious Self Care)
The most important relationship you will ever have while you’re here is with your sacred and delightful self. Romance is a way to look at life and a way to experience it that invites love into a relationship – even one with yourself! Here are some ways to invite romance into your life. I’ve divided the suggestions by different definitions of the word “romance”. Choose a few ideas that sound like fun and add them to your life soon!
- Write yourself a love letter. What do you love about yourself? What nice things do you say to others that equally apply to you (but you never say them to yourself)? What praise do you long to hear? Give yourself this gift of love and then mail it, sealed with a kiss!
- Care for yourself with abandon! Get that checkup you’ve been putting off. Take a dance class. Give yourself time to go on a photo shoot or paint in the garden.
- Say only kind words for a whole day – to everyone, yourself included. At the end of the day how do you feel? If you forgot to be kind at some point – be kind to yourself about that too.
- Look for love all around you – you’ll find it. Is a gorgeous sunset a love letter from God? How about the care a cook puts into a meal made for you, is that love? A hug from your son, a text from a friend, the smile a stranger gives you – all love.
- Look at yourself in the mirror, blow kisses, tell your beautiful reflection that you love her.
Idyll (a pleasurable or romantic interlude):
- Visit a beautiful flower or botanical garden.
- Take a walk in a lovely place. Soak it in. Saunter, really enjoy yourself.
- Tour a romantic home (or get Romantic Homes Magazine). How can you make your home more romantic? What’s a romantic home to you? Cozy and sensual, lace and white paint, pink and flowers, velvet and shiny wood, candles and a deep tub? Create romantic home experiences and vignettes for yourself.
- Visit an art museum and look for the romantic paintings. Which ones make you feel deeply that life is beautiful?
- Go to a farm market and revel in the colors and fragrances. Buy a beautiful apple – a symbol of love!
- Indulge in delightful daily rituals like a cup of tea and 20 minutes of quiet, time in nature, a gentle yoga practice, meditation, or connection with a lover or friend.
- Set your table beautifully for a meal – even if it’s just you eating. Put on music, really relax and enjoy your meal. Create a little romantic interlude!
- Take time for yourself: make something, take a class on something you love, play an instrument, etc.
- Enjoy a spa day. It could be at a spa, or you could do it in your own home. I like to give myself an afternoon off each week (sometimes on the weekend, but preferably during the week if I can) to relax, give myself a spa treatment, and attend to my favorite rituals like journaling or creating something.
- Make a romantic music playlist – beware the sad romance songs, unless that’s what you enjoy. Find songs that make you feel loving, passionate, flirtatious, pleased, empowered, sexy.
- Read novels or memoirs that tell a story of love that’s uplifting and fun, they don’t need to be about a typical romance, but they may.
- What are your favorite romantic movies? Make a list and stream them – it could be a marathon! Or watch one a week for a romance injection. Some of mine are: Roman Holiday, Indiscrete, While You Were Sleeping, The Holiday, Mamma Mia, Waitress, Amelie, Moonstruck, About a Boy, Emma, and The Philadelphia Story.
- Write a poem about some delight or passion. Try a Haiku if you feel concerned about your poetic ability. (Here is a how-to link for Haikus)
- Write a 6 word memoir. Make it juicy, hot, romantic, sensual, passionate, or loving.
- Rewrite your sad story (the one you keep telling) as a romance. Often old romance stories were adventure stories as well. Sad things happened, there were villains, and there was excitement, but love and good won out in the end. How can you spin your life experience as a romance? It’s really fun to try this and can make you see your life in a whole new light.
- List your passions. Do you have any? I used to think I’d given all that up to become an adult, but they began to show up little by little as I coaxed them out of hiding. There are often “rules” we start to believe that say we can’t have our passions, or they’re childish, or dangerous. Don’t listen to that voice! We’re going for romance and passion is invited.
- Look at your passion list then take a small step to engage in one of your passions. Love baking but don’t want to eat it all yourself? Find friends, family, neighbors, etc. who you can delight with your excess deliciousness. Then bake away!
- Is there something you love to create? A painting, photograph, jewelry, a lovely home, etc. Set aside time to indulge in this beautiful and messy interest. Making things is creative, and sensuous, and life affirming. All good for you! You can make it for you or for someone you love. Perhaps it could become a passionate new income stream.
- What’s special or meaningful to you and expresses your passions? Treasures you’ve collected on travels? Photos of loved ones? Your favorite jewelry? Display these or take time to enjoy them regularly: wear them, share them, play with them.
- Compliment yourself wildly. Tell yourself how fabulous you are. Wink at yourself in the mirror. Laugh at your own jokes. Flirting is playful, light fun. You can share that with yourself.
- Take yourself on an ideal date. This is probably not dinner and a movie, though it could be. Go on a midnight cruise, skinny dip on a full moon night, wear that sexy dress, take a rumba lesson.
- Flirt with a new love interest. Is it birdwatching? Pottery? How about learning Italian cookery? Give it a whirl, see if there’s something exciting there.
- Actually flirt with someone, the UPS guy, the cute barista. Keep it light; flirting is fun, free, and no strings attached.
- Try the library…really. It’s a great place to find new interests to flirt with! Look for new authors or books full of beautiful images of gardens, fashions, interiors, or art. Browse for new interests. Or you could even look for romance novels. Try the old classics. Here are some of my favorite classic romantic(ish) authors: The Baroness Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Elizabeth Von Arnim (The Enchanted April), Jane Austen (of course…), Alexandre Dumas (Count of Monte Cristo, Three Musketeers), Miss Read, and Georgette Heyer. You could also read the romantic poets like Robert Burns, John Keats, Thomas Moore, and Elizabeth Barret Browning. Have fun!
An attraction or appeal to the emotions and/or senses:
- Buy a gorgeous plant or flowers for your office, home, or both; extra points if they smell heavenly.
- Eat your favorite foods, take time to really enjoy them. This is a special romantic treat, indulge!
- List some simple, luxurious pleasures you enjoy and then do those things with joy, regularly.
- Leave little notes around to discover each day. They could be poems you love, or notes of encouragement to yourself, or beautiful images.
- Wear sensual clothing – clothing that feels really good and looks great on you. Maybe it’s a bit flirtatious or luxurious. That shirt that’s amazing, but too good to wear – put that thing on! Enjoy being a Romantic.
- What appeals to your senses? The smell of coffee in the morning? Singing birds? Ocean sounds and smells? Add that to your life in some way. Give yourself gifts of the senses: beautiful views, delicious fragrances, luxurious textures. You can even fake it and enjoy it. I don’t have a fireplace in my current home, and I love the ocean, but I live in Iowa. So, I bought a DVD with bonfires on the beach – just high quality images and sounds of fire and ocean. Yummy!
- What experiences create positive emotions in you? Do those things. Make a list.
- Set up a romantic haven for yourself in your home: a comfy chair, soft throw, beautiful lighting, flowers and a candle, fresh bedding, a favorite book to read, love notes, etc.
There you are – a fairly comprehensive list of ways to add romance, sensuality, flirtation, enjoyment and love to your life. Go forth and Romance Your Life!! And enjoy it too. Love is the answer (as someone fabulous once said) we tend to forget that, or think it needs to fit in a heart shaped box, but Love is the thing that makes it all work, and of worth.
Lots and lots of Love to you, my dear Reader.
Summer Garden Memories
I’ve spent a lot of time talking and writing about Word of the Year over the last few years (you can find those posts here), it IS, after all, one of my favorite tools for awareness, growth, and fun! Today, I just want to share a very quick tool for optimizing your Word this year.
Each day, take your Word and then add another word to it. This is the theme for your day.
My main Word of the Year practice so far this year has been is to add a word that I want to experience to my Word of the Year – Unlimited. So, for example, today is Unlimited Caring. This is pretty fabulous, because I not only learn about my Word Unlimited – I can experience it tinted with Caring. I can look for Unlimited Caring in the world, I can look for it in myself, and I can choose to experience it, and be it, and offer it. I can think about what Unlimited Caring is, how it feels, and what it looks like.
And if you want to take it a step further you can create journal pages about your Word and the theme of the day. To start, I create a collage on one journal page by choosing images that feel like Unlimited _________ (the word I’ve chosen for today). Then I write about what I see and what I intuit from the collage about this theme for me. Below is my collage for Unlimited Prosperity.
Journal page for Unlimited Prosperity
And that’s it! I’m finding it to be a really profound and interesting practice. If you’re looking for more ways to engage with and learn about your Word of the Year I have a free e-course that has lots and lots of ideas for you!
I hope you’re enjoying your Word of the year journey! If you don’t have a Word of the Year and want to check it out, Susannah Conway and Christine Kane both have helpful guides.
Happy Word Play!!
(Note: There may be some Words this practice doesn’t work with, but I tried it with all of my previous Words and it worked pretty well. Even the word Soar – free, high, happily, with love, etc. – was doable.)
My Hearts for Valentine’s Day
It’s Not Too Late to Create!
I’ve been playing with paper and fabric over the past couple of days. It’s a gift to create things with your hands and play with different materials. A gift I often don’t allow myself time for – how about you? And since the weather here is so bad that I can’t go out, it’s also a great time to practice something I value – and that is using what you have! It’s quite close to Valentine’s Day, but it isn’t too late to make something to decorate your home or to give to a friend for that special day. These little projects cost me very little time and no expense since they were made with things I had around. I like how that forces you to be creative in a different way. Below I’ll be sharing my quick (and free to me) creations This isn’t a how-to post so I will keep it brief, but if you want more information on how I did anything please drop me a line! (You’ll find my email address below.)
I whipped up 6 of these last night after dinner. It was so much fun!! And I remembered how much I enjoy simple sewing. I had to use fabric I had around, which was a bit of a drag as there isn’t much here, but then I saw it as a quick way to decide what to do – those limitations can be useful! I had wanted to make some hand sewn hearts embellished with yo-yos, but as I was completely lacking some vital components I settled for just the yo-yos. And I had a very pleasant evening playing with fabric and making a few pretties to add to my home for Valentine’s Day.
These are made from paper, and more paper, and glue or double stick tape. I also used my collection of vintage Valentines to decorate the hearts. I wanted something fun (and fun to make) to hang in my office to celebrate the day of hearts, and flowers, and love. But these could be attached to a card to create a handmade Valentine, or taped onto a gift instead of being used for decoration.
To begin I drew half of a heart on folded card stock and cut that out to make a template for my hearts – then I just traced that onto the paper I wanted to make a heart ornament from and cut it out. To make the scalloped borders I hand drew a larger scalloped heart onto the coordinating paper and cut that out, then I glued the two hearts together. I added a copy of a vintage Valentine (with glitter, of course!) to most of my hearts, though you wouldn’t need to. I also used silver cording to create a hanger for the heart by taping the cording in a loop to the back of the heart. I added another heart to the back to cover the hanger and finish things off.
The front of one of the decorative hearts, before adding the vintage card.
The back of one of the hearts after adding the hanger loop.
Another finished heart – this one with just glitter.
I had a blast making these little projects and it’s fun to share them with you! I only hope they remind you to take time to play and make things with your hands. Happy Tuesday! And I’ll “see” you tomorrow on my 30 Days of Blogging Love challenge. (Oh! And you can reach me at my email address email@example.com with any questions or comments – I do love emails from you!)
PS: You can see close up’s of all of these projects in my Instagram account.