Triggers

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To kind of piggy-back on the 3-parter I just finished, I want to step in and discuss triggers. Throughout my exercise in clarity and empowering myself to make the right decision in my everyday dealings, I started to notice all of the triggers that got me to the fork in the road in the first place.

Triggers are anything that can send you into a spiral. You are the loaded gun, and the trigger creates the explosion. Everyone has them, and recognizing them will help you have more control over your actions and emotions.

Triggers are insanely important within the realm of addiction. No matter in what stage of my addiction, certain triggers would bring me to need to fill myself up with my substance of choice. Those triggers that seemed to be most effective were comments from people I may or may not have misconstrued, a let down (like a lost job), comparing myself to people on TV or magazines, or even something as simple as location. But even if you’ve never experienced an addiction per se, look at some of your habits and see what comes before your need to act them out.

Triggers are creatures of habit. They come from our brains natural conditioned responses to save us from what it thinks is harmful. They are learned. If some girl says that you look fat in that skirt, and you went to throw up your lunch after so you could feel better, your brain starts to think that, in order to feel good after feeling bad, you need to throw up your lunch. If you keep doing this with the same effect, you are training yourself against yourself. You are teaching your brain bad habits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t UNteach it.

The Ace of Swords represents your mental force. It represents using your intellect to analyze the situation. Everyone possesses the ability to do this, but you must exercise this muscle. This starts with recognizing your triggers, and then doing what you need to help retrain your brain. If, for you, that looks like avoiding a certain route to work to help quit smoking, repeating a mantra to help you shift focus from a rude comment, filling your life with hobbies so you don’t reach for that fourth drink, or calling your sponsor instead of reaching for (insert paraphernalia here) then do it! There’s no right or wrong answer with triggers. Every journey is tailor made. But in order to embark on it, you have to make the decision to do the work. I invite you to try the exercise I did below and see what you find. It could be the first day you see things clearly. Stay witchy, friends ( *)

How Do I Get to Where I Want to Be?

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The World signifies wholeness; a complete circle. And that’s what we are all shooting for, right? To feel complete?

Well, after seeking out some less than desirable traits I possess and the woman I would like to become, we have finally come to the last segment of this three part exercise. Hopefully, if you got inspired and decided to do it along with me, your personal obstacles were brought to light as well as the goal you’re gunning for. Bringing this awareness to a surface level presents choices for you at many different times of the day. Now lets explore how to go make the right decision based on my shortcomings versus my inspirations.

 

Starting with self pity, if I found myself getting sour faced and ready to throw my hands up, I would take a breath and remind myself of Strength. It might seem dark, but through strength and patience you can endure. And the way that I would switch from self pity to patience, was through the work of repeating mantras to myself.

Blocking my heart and setting up walls is another fallback that I exhibit. But as the Ace of Cups reminds us to be open to intimacy and trust our intuition, we must break through the fear of being hurt first. To work through this, I have set intentions for the day, and when a choice faces me, I do my best to act openly and honestly, rather than working with anger and aggression to ward off harm. This one is a big one. But waking up and setting a true intention helps to keep this practice alive. It is very powerful.

The fear of having a lack of direction is a pretty complex one, because it isn’t easily pinpointed. The real problem is the anxiety surrounding the issue. The Queen of Wands lives a busy and active life, and since I want that for myself, I set goals throughout the day to achieve. I must go with the flow during the day, but setting a plan to achieve daily goals helps with the anxiety. Deep breaths help with the rest. Day by day.

Succumbing to anxiety is a big player in my pitfalls, but if I am ever to be as bold and original as the Two of Wands, I must first learn to trust my capabilities and be confident in them. There is no reason not to be; by this time I feel like I have proved to myself how much I can accomplish. But sometimes those voices in your head are better at keeping you down than lifting you up. So in order to combat this, I made a list of all of the times in life I felt that I had overcome something and then wrote how I did it (much like this exercise.) To see everything laid out on paper was visual proof that my anxieties are not as strong as I am, and reminding myself of that when I start to get anxious helps to quell the feeling.

Lastly, taking impulsiveness and taming it with moderation has proven to be a bit easier to do than previously thought. If I feel like I absolutely need to do something, I give myself 24 hours to sit on it. If I still find it to be just as pressing 24 hours later, than I will go through with it. But 9 times out of 10, it just isn’t that important.

These were my findings throughout the week. It proved to be very enlightening to me, and having everything come out so clearly by defining it out loud really helps to make the change. I hope you found some clarity in this exercise as well.

Now in closing, I want to share this awesome quote by Linda Evangelista:

“No one is born with perfect eyebrow.”

I love this quote because not only is such a great metaphor, but its so imperfect in it of itself ( It’s eyebrowS, Linda.) Your whole life is a journey and the way you want to live it is up to you. I intend to live my life up to my full potential, so when I see room for improvement, I go for it. Do I intend to be perfect? Absolutely not. But do I want to find happiness by minimizing my own negativity? You bet. So get your shapers out and start stenciling your perfect brow, because these are my findings from this week. Start finding yours. Stay witchy ( *)

What is Holding Me Back?

Hello witchy readers! Welcome to a three part series that is basically an open book worksheet in self- awareness. In this three-parter I’m going to sift through and discover some traits that I possess that are holding me back, traits that I admire, and how to move into my ultimate awesome self by employing some self help skills. I invite you all to do this along with me, cards or not.

Lately in my daily readings I have been having strong emotional reactions to cards that illustrate some of my shortcomings (no one is perfect,) and in the spirit of getting curious, I thought I would openly sift through the clutter in the hopes that it may help a few of you as well. Within this series, I’m going to be using cards to illustrate certain qualities. Not that these cards or qualities should be shamed in any way because of their context, but to help drive the point further.I want to make this clear: these cards do not definitively mean what I have associated them with. They are merely my interpretations to fit my life and my story. If they show up in a reading for you, they can mean something entirely different.

Now lets dive in.

So at first glance we see the suit of swords popping up frequently, one Major Arcana, and a reversed court card. The suit of swords deals with the mental level of consciousness; intellect, action, and change. Major Arcana cards represent large life lessons or obstacles. Kings represent a strong, powerful, male influence within the suit.

The Two of Swords represents how I block my feelings. After many bad experiences, I have created a wall around myself to protect me. Not in the way of healthy boundaries, but in order to not let anyone in. I see myself do this in the way of self sabotage.

The Ten of Swords represents how easy it is for me to fall into self pity. I have an easier time recognizing the triggers now, but when things are not going well, I tend to fall down the rabbit hole.

The Eight of Swords represents a lack of direction. This isn’t actually representative of myself, but it’s a trigger for anxiety. I feel as though if I don’t have a plan, everything will go to shit and the world will be set on fire. This fear is hindering at times.

The Moon represents being overcome by anxieties. This Major Arcana card also reinforces the previous in the theme of confusion. When my anxieties take a hold of me, I become completely derailed and focus only on the negative.

The King of Wands reversed is a big one for me. He represents impulsiveness. I have written before about acting with intention over impulse, and he is the inspiration. My anxiety drives me to act impulsively, and this is something I have been working on as of late.

 

At the end of the day, I do not want to be a closed off hermit who wraps herself in a blanket of anxieties and never experiences happiness because I am getting in my own way. While that is an extreme metaphor, if it weren’t for self help and doing the work, it’s not far from what could actually happen. Through tarot and self help, I am discovering (and can help you discover!) the biggest obstacles in the way of enlightenment and happiness. And the coolest part about this exercise is that these cards were all in my spread today when asking to show my shortcomings. The cards can be very honest when you listen properly.Stay tuned in two days for part 2 and stay witchy ( *)

Vanity’s Power

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Often described as a “shrinking violet,” the reversed Queen of Wands conveys the lack of confidence I think all women feel at some point in their life. With the age of selfies and social media upon us, expensive makeup and contouring, and ,of course, photo-shop, it becomes reasonable to have a compare-complex.

When vanity steps in, it isn’t because you have so much confidence and you pride yourself on looking your best. Quite the contrary. When one exhibits vanity, it is because of the obsession with looking good from fear of being ridiculed. Unfortunately, as women, it’s a fear we are all too familiar with.

I heard a comedian the other day saying that, on a night out, “at that moment, it was like reapplying my lip liner was my key to eternal happiness.” And isn’t that so poignant? That when we have an unflattering cow lick right over our bad eyebrow, we obsess on it and flatten it down so much that our hand looks permanently glued to our head? Because that is way more attractive, right? And because being attractive hinges on our right to happiness?

I am going to be 100% honest. Not only was I extremely into my looks (hair extensions, lip injections, fake nails) but I still am. I love looking like a Barbie doll because it makes me feel good. But what has switched in me, because I found the ability to love myself the way I am, is that I can go to the grocery store after a work out and not hide in shame because my eyebrows aren’t penciled in. In fact, the other day my cat scratched me on my face, and instead of cowering and crying in my room for days because I looked like a Disney villain, I shrugged it off and held my head high because life is life and shit happens.

To be completely and utterly a victim of vanity is not just wanting to look good. It’s another obsession. It takes you from being confident enough to wear a bright shade of lipstick to contouring your face to look like a different person. It takes you from trying out the new lip plumper in Sephora to suction cupping your lips a la Kylie Jenner. It takes you from eating healthy to starving yourself while wearing a waist trainer. It takes you from a few hours of yoga a week to purging your lunch.

Its a slippery slope, and I did ALL OF THESE.

Girls, we have it hard. We are held to a ridiculous beauty standard that is only attainable when one doesn’t have a normal life, but a life where money is available only to make you look better. When you are equipped with a personal trainer, plastic surgery, juice cleanses, facials, and a beauty squad of 20 to contour the fuck out of your face and blow out your hair miles high, it’s pretty easy to look like a bombshell. But more importantly, our beauty should come from strength and intuition, because ladies, we have that in spades.

So check your vanity. Does it have a stranglehold on you? Instead of giving you the key to happiness, does it actually get in the way because you’re so obsessed with it? Ask yourself these questions and do a little digging. Stay beautiful and stay witchy ( * )

 

Rationing Your Time

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Good afternoon witches! As some of you may have noticed, my blog posts have becoming more infrequent. While I used to try and post as often as possible, the time has come for me to spread out my writings in order to preserve the quality of my content.

Which brings me to the Ten of Wands. Today we’re looking at a reversed card that signifies the process of holding onto a burden that is unnecessary. Biting off more than you can chew and finishing the bite out of pride. This kind of behavior is silly and ends up working against you by burning you out.

This blog was originally made to be a writing project for me to spill my guts, while using my influences of tarot and self help to allow me to move my message in a personalized manner. As I would like my posts to exhibit an air of passion over obligation, I am taking a step back from writing when I have nothing to say. I want this page to have content full of worth rather than filler pieces for when I have writers block.

Essentially, this post is to apologize, inform, and explain the gaps in my writing. I will still be posting multiple times a week, but only when it feels organic and there is a subject worth writing about.

I love you all and thank you for following. Stay witchy and stay reading ( *)

Tackling Obsession

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Uh oh. Here’s that scary Devil card again.

However, today, we’re going to use it to illustrate obsession.

This card is not “bad” by any measure, but it is truly enlightening. It is the perfect metaphor for obsession. Being bound by mental chains of fixation on one thing or another is quite debilitating.

When we obsess, we lose sight of everything else around us. We are the horse with blinders on, only staring ahead at the thing we desire most. And that thing may even change routinely, but when the obsession is present, nothing else is.

I have a problem with obsession. From the tiniest of things to large scale life goals, obsession is something I have struggled with for most of my life. It stems from my need for control: if I put this in the forefront of my minds eye, it can’t go anywhere or do anything until it is achieved. It cannot change or be forgotten if all I do it think about it.

As unhealthy as that is, in earlier years I convinced myself that the obsession begat ambition. That it was fuel for the fire. And in my rationalizing my obsession, it became ok to do with everything in my life.

However, the stark difference between obsession and goal setting, is that goal setting doesn’t interfere with the rest of your life. Goal setting makes room for many aspects in it, while obsession demands full attention.

The way I deal with my obsession is by using an exercise tailored to the root of my problem. I fixate because I’m afraid I will forget, and therefore fail. So in order to not forget, when I find myself becoming fixated on whatever it is, be it a healthy diet, new pair of jeans, a morning routine, or even the pursuit of love, I write it down. Once it is written down in a list or a notebook, something I regularly look at, it cannot be forgotten. It now exists in stone, and frees up my mind from all of the worries and anxieties associated with obsession.

So if you find yourself fixating on something, try to figure out why it is so important, and try to soothe your mind based on what you find. Obsession is wasted energy, and there is so much out there that deserves your attention. So be frugal with the amount of energy you spend, and stay witchy ( *)

Why Pity Parties Don’t Work

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In the Five of Cups, we see a man cloaked in despair. He is focusing on three spilled cups in front of him, and is unaware of the two cups,still full, behind him.

And that is Lame Ass, amiright?

Pity parties can be fun for a hot second, like when you really just need to be dramatic and let it out. But there is a clear and evident time for when to end that shit, get back on the horse, and be thankful you still have those two full cups behind you.I know that it is hard not to feel bad and sorry for yourself, but when you do, you are wasting precious, valuable time you could be using to bounce back.

Grief is real and should be felt. Sadness is a true emotion and should be treated with care. But to sit around and whine about how bad things only happen to you and that you’ll never heal from this setback and that life is too hard is just plain annoying. None of that is true and to lower yourself to that level is insulting to your insides. You should get real with yourself and realize that no matter how bad your situation is, there is someone out there with it ten times worse who has already shaped up and is on the road to recovery.

When my little dog, my best friend in the world, passed away, I was the Queen of Pity Parties. Not only had I been reigning royalty in the court for years beforehand, but once we had to put little Max down, my title was stronger than ever. I walked around mopey, convinced that no one had it as hard as I did (a privileged, attractive, white female growing up in one of the biggest cities in the world.)

I didn’t actually grieve. I was sad, of course, but the sadness was just stagnant because I didn’t know what to do with it. I used that sadness as a crutch, because I was already just unhappy altogether. My dog passing away, which, in a vacuum, is sad as hell to begin with, was compounded with all of my other “stuff” and blown out of proportion. Because I was looking for any excuse to feel bad for myself, I took it to a whole other level and basically demanded attention from people through it. Which is super fucked up (R.I.P. Maxy Boy.)

So the point is, there is a stark difference between grief and feeling sorry for yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself takes away from the actual incident and inhibits your ability to heal. Grief and sadness are normal human reactions and are necessary for growth. Self-pity is a crutch. Clarity through healing is an open door.

So get up off that floor and dry your tears. There’s always a way out, and it starts with you taking the focus off of your pain and putting it onto your healing and the resources your still have. Those are your two full cups. Remember that, and stay witchy ( *)

 

 

Why Couple Tarot and Self Help?

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The Page of Cups symbolizes the realization of a new part of yourself; the start of your journey in listening to your intuition.

And isn’t that what the journey of self help is in a nut shell?

I’ve recently gotten many questions about this. What does tarot have to do with psychology and personal development? One seems to negate the other. Behavioral science versus “magic” and psychic abilities? Don’t they work against each other?

Well the short answer is no.

Tarot cards are just cards with pictures on them. It is our intuition and interpretation of them that give these cards any meaning. They are not dark forces that cast a shadow on our future. They are merely the vehicle from our subconscious to our conscious explanation.

Think of the Rorschach test, or word association. These are common tools psychologists use to gain deeper insight into their clients. Similarly, the cards work for your clients through pictures and symbols.

If I were to turn the Lovers card over to two different people with two different experiences and two different current romantic standings, it would mean two different things. Same with the Death card, or the Devil.

And those cards have very powerful meanings. If we take something like the above card, the Page of Cups, which loosely represents new beginnings in a creative and emotional sense, it could mean many things for anyone! The real magic comes from our intuition, and what frame of mind we place these cards in.

If you are going through a breakup, or another emotional time in your life, your world will be clouded with thoughts of this event. Everything you see you will relate to your pain. Similarly, if things are going well, you will relate certain cards to your successes.

I truly believe in tarot, but not that the cards are magic. I believe in the transference of energy and the intuition of the reader to the querent. But I also believe that we make our own destiny, and that is when we take the cards meanings and match them up to what we envision our lives to look like. Whether that is positive or negative is all up to you.

So, when looking for an answer, be it with tarot or self help (or both) use your gut as your guide. We inherently know when things are wrong, but sometimes we go through the motions because pain seems normal to us. Trust that initial intuition and you will pull through. Just remember to stay witchy ( *)

What Does Taking Care of Yourself ACTUALLY Mean?

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When we go through hard times, people like to reach out in comfort and say “Just take care of yourself.” People throw around this phrase often, but when you are lost, hurt, and seemingly alone, it’s hard to understand what that actually means.

After my infamous breakup, I found out that I had lost myself so much that I needed physical, step by step instructions on how to bounce back. I didn’t know up from down, or how to operate in a “normal” way. And when people said this shit to me I just looked at them confused.

My world was physical. So I took it to mean that I should get back into exercising and change my diet. Take bubble baths and paint my toes. Do weekly face masks so my skin could be radiant. Basically things to make me an attractive mate to someone new. At least that is what it meant to me.

But when all of these superficial band-aids left me feeling just as empty and confused, I started to look deeper. When was all this “taking care of myself” bullshit going to manifest into a new and perfect life? Why wasn’t this working for me??

Well, when people say “take care of yourself” (and sometimes they don’t even know this) they mean to take care of that sad little girl inside of you that got you in this mess in the first place. They mean to stroke her hair and tell her its OK. And you do that through therapy, group meetings, extending your education, starting hobbies, all in the pursuit of getting to know her.

Be your own High Priestess. Be the guardian of your own subconscious. Hug yourself when you feel sad and ask yourself what is so painful.

I reflected on my life today while doing my morning yoga practice. Not but a year ago I was sleeping until 4pm, rolling out of bed to touch up my smudged winged eyeliner, and throwing on whatever I could find to get to work. Then I would drink all night, make an ass of myself, and do it all over again the next day.

Now I wake up early, make some coffee while I watch the news, exercise, practice tarot, learn German, and write, all before I get to work. I have an actual DAY to start with hobbies I enjoy. I read on the train instead of fluttering hungover eyes trying to stay awake. I live with purpose because I cherish myself. I’ve built a multi-dimensional person who has a well rounded life. All because I woke up, got to know my inner sad girl, held her hand, and worked with her to create a life of our own. No longer do I waste away in sadness, looking for my missing piece. I have all the pieces. Just not all of them were taken care of.

So when people tell you to take care of yourself, look inside at all of the parts of you and see who is crying out for attention. That is what you take care of. The superficial stuff is just that. Superficial. Although, a bubble bath never hurt anyone either. Stay witchy, and take care ( *)

Giving Acknowledgement and Love to Your Inner Critic

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We’ve visited this card before. Strength. The woman, strong and compassionate, tames the lion in her lap with her peaceful energy.

This is how I want you to look at your relationship with your inner critic. You are the goddess atop the beast. The lion is your inner critic; the manifestation of your fears. You can tame this wild animal but only with compassion and acknowledgement. By shutting out your inner critic, whipping the lion and beating it down, you only anger it to come back with more intensity. If you recognize that your inner critic is actually your fears trying to protect you, just in a very negative way, you can address it with kindness, and choose to listen to the stronger voice within you.

Your inner critic is a part of you. It is your own voice. And in self love, we need to love EVERY part of ourselves to give way to growth. By telling our inner critic to just go fuck off, we aren’t addressing why we’re having those thoughts in the first place, and we can’t, therefore, get curious enough to replace them with kind ones. In self discovery, we need to acknowledge all of our little bits and pieces to see why our machine runs the way it does. Only then can we give ourselves some upgrades.

So get curious and compassionate. Let your inner critic exist while choosing not to give in to the negativity. And as always, stay witchy ( *)