I'm back from my month-long hiatus. Close enough, right? It's been almost a month. I have to say, I'm glad this summer is ending. I always seem to struggle during the summer. Parenting has not been easy, but there have been some good things. Overall, though, I always feel better around the equinox, whether spring or fall. I've also just felt tired, burnt out and having lingering stress/physical issues. Even so, one shining gem is that I've been reconnecting to my visual art as an outlet. This is cyclical, for sure, as I have bouts of wanting to paint, but it's notable in that I haven't had this desire much at all for the past five years, about.
As I told my dear friend recently, part of the reason for this resurgence of painting is that money has been tight and I haven't really been able to afford to do much else. Any money I had was (perhaps futilely) spent trying to provide an array of activities for my daughter over the summer...within reason. But, assuming you have a few materials, you can make art without a ton of expense. I happened to have some wooden art boards (ready to hang!), and I also made a handful of hand-painted pins and pendants, though I haven't sprayed the clear coating on them, nor attached any jewelry findings. The fact remains, though, that I managed to create some visual works of art, possibly fueled by my own angst and boredom. If you're curious to see my art website, go ahead!
So, it doesn't surprise me at all that I received these two cards. The 'Excess' card is very reminiscent of the 10 of Wands, isn't it? The heavy weight of something lingers and you just want to throw it off. This can relate to worries and anxiety as much as responsibilities. Mostly I've been parenting, cooking, cleaning, the usual. But I guess I've just felt like I'm going through the motions a lot of the time. I've wanted to shift gears, to feel some relief, or feel less burnt out. I'm tired of dealing with the same old problems, both health-wise, with my daughter, and in general. So, my task now is to continue to follow the path of my creativity, or any other concept that seems useful to me now. Sometimes the heaviest burdens we carry are the fears that we'll never do or be anything new or better, that we'll just drag along, not really feeling like we're doing that well, or that we're just running up against the same issues over and over. That's why it is so important to take a new perspective or try something, even if it's not necessarily going to help.
Here's a quote from the Excess card, showing the energy behind it:
"Life becomes more energy efficient when we are in touch with our own natural rhythms and needs. Whether you call it meditation, reflection, or contemplation, it's vital to take the time to be alone to see and feel what is true for you in the here and now. It's also healthy periodically to ask yourself questions like: What are my real intentions as a partner...as a co-worker...as a human being? Am I functioning like a robot, or from my truth? Am I living in accord with the laws of nature? Every time we reconsider where we're really coming from in our lives we realign with truth."
Good questions, and points. I know I often come from an artificially anxious, amped up, tense or expectation-filled place, and this can become a huge force of habit! I would love to slough off all those excess expectations of self, others, and more. That's what I'm working on, among other things!
The 'Before Completion' card is the last card in the Tao Oracle. I think, symbolically, it points to my daughter going back to school (yay! I made it through the cantankerous summer!) but also asks me not to quit before something good comes of any efforts I've made. We may assume, at times, that what we're working on is of no consequence or that we need to be doing more or some other questioning, doubtful mind frame, but often we've been working steadily toward a goal, not realizing we're almost there! Have you all seen the graphic floating around Facebook with the guy and his pick axe who gives up just before he gets to the gold, and he's inches from it? While in the top frame another guy is going full speed ahead, with confidence, and will likely reach his goal? It's a good thing to remember. Forward motion can cut through a lot! Here's that image:
Anyway, this post is longer than I wanted it to be! I could go on and on about my summer and psychoanalyze the crap out of it (good and bad and in-between) but...nah. Instead, I'll try to take the advice in the 'Before Completion' card, which is as follows:
"When any undertaking reaches a point of near completion, it is natural that there is a moment of wavering. So don't be frightened off track by the wobblies! This is how nature works. Just remember to be gentle with yourself during this shaky time."
Though, despite this, the card also cautions against action simply for action's sake:
"Carrying on despite signals that urge a change in plans would be foolish. Be ready to alter your approach, and be creative in your thinking. Do not act simply because you're being pressured by others, or driven by your own impatience. A firm footing is needed before you take the next step. A cautious approach that nevertheless shows resoluteness and grounding in spite of difficulties is what is needed now. Some may be impatient with your apparent lack of progress, but there are others who will respect the choices you've made."
That was a pretty long quote, but I like it anyway. So...that's it for now! I hope you all are having a good end of Summer, or Winter, or whatever else is happening where you are. I hope goodness and clarity follows all of you wherever you go.