This is a free write of thoughts rolling around in my head. An exploration of ideas. This is me trying to clarify my sense of self at this point in my life. I didn’t do any of this last year or set any resolutions. So this is me renewing and expanding my resolution to discover my best and authentic self that I had originally set back in 2017 and 2018.
Creating a safe environment for people to discover, explore, and express who they are in their current evolution wherever I happen to be.
I came to realize my “why” while dating Tuxedo Cat’s father last year. It has been slightly modified since then, but the essence of it remains the same.
Each person is an intelligent free-agent, capable of independent thought and unique emotion, who deserves to be treated with grace, dignity, respect, and compassion in all things, in all places, and at all times.
I came to realize my creed while living with my aunt in Texas. I was 19 years old at the time. It was solidified while taking a business course in college around 2006 or 2007. It hasn’t seen any changes until today. I added the word “grace” to it and changed “individual” to “free-agent”. Somehow I feel these changes crystallizes the philosophy I’m trying to convey.
Embracing Chaos Theory
Life uses messes to get to well ordered solutions. Life doesn’t seem to share our desires for efficiency or neatness. It uses redundancy, fussiness, dense webs of relationships, and unending trials and errors to find what works. Life is intent of finding what works, not what’s “right.” It is the ability to keep finding solutions that is important; any one solution is temporary. There are no permanently right answers. The capacity to keep changing, to find what works now, is what keeps any organism alive.
~ Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers, 1996
Found this quote when looking up chaos theory as I started up this blog and it resonated deeply with me. Life always finds a way to do what it needs to do. Always.
In a weird sort of way, I see this quote as a seed for a mission statement, but it hasn’t fully germinated into one yet. I just know that I like this quote because it very much embodies my approach to life.
Higher Self and Dark Night of the Soul
The Higher Self is more than just a spirit guide. How you define the Higher Self depends on your belief system. As for me, I believe that the Higher Self is the greatest and truest self. So what does this really mean? It means the integration of the Ego, the Alter Ego, and the Golden Shadow into one true expression: the authentic self.
Why does this matter?
Once again in my life I feel lost. I worry I have lost sight of myself in some ways, like I am not living my true path. I don’t feel like I am being the best version of myself. I wish to reclaim it and steer myself back on course.
My Higher Self
I know who my higher self is, but I have never drawn cards for her.
Three of Cups
This is a highly social being, full of joy and exuberance, that enjoys the pleasures in the company of others.
This is a being that understands the power of transformation, the pain of loss and recovery, the need for integration that comes with rest, and is able to guide and usher in this entire process.
Six of Pentacles
This is a highly resourceful being that understands and manages resources well. Due to this, she is able to give and receive without fear.
I believe my tarot birth cards represent my ego since this is the outward presentation I typically show to the world from day to day. Or at least, I feel it is accurate.
This is a disruptive personality since this is someone that will tear down outdated structures to make room for the new. This is someone that will question everything, even the things they know and do. This is also someone that is likely to get sudden flashes of inspiration at times.
This is someone with ambition and drive with the willpower to make it happen when they have themselves internally in alignment. Once they are clear on their vision and their intention, they become an unstoppable force.
Queen of Swords
This is where the heart and mind become one with wit and perception. They are fully capable of thinking in balance with both and are able to perceive a great deal of the world around them. It is because of this they are able to find the humor in everyday life.
The Alter Ego
I’ve done an alter ego reading before here.
Ace of Swords
This is someone who is intelligent and lives in the vitality of their truth at all times. They are willing to seek out the truth in all things. They have the courage to speak their truth directly as the need arises. This is the transparent life of authenticity in action.
King of Wands
This is someone who holds a clear vision for the life they want, plans for it, and sets it into motion with assertive authority. They set distinct boundaries around what they want to preserve this vision as well.
Knight of Wands
This is someone who is bold, charming, and adventurous with a restless energy. They are not afraid to make decisions or to take action. They need to be on the move and interacting with the world on some level.
The Shadow Self
The shadow self is all the parts of you that you reject, ignore, or fail to consider about yourself. These are the parts of you that are hard to face at times, but are the parts that crave your love, understanding, and acceptance the most. And when you do and not just embrace these parts, but master them… they are transmuted to golden light.
Each aspect of the self has a shadow that must be embraced and transmuted to gold.
Three of Cups
The shadow side here is the shame and guilt felt in perceived lust, over-indulgence, greed, and excessive pleasures.
The first thing that needs to be asked here is, “How much of this is truly mine to carry?”
How many of us have called something a guilty pleasure simply because we perceived it as frivolous or childish? If it brings us joy and does no harm to anyone, including ourselves, then we have every right to claim it fully it as our own.
However, if it is causing harm or problems in our lives then we do need to reign it in. All things in moderation and balance. We do not need to lay our lives to ruin thanks to things like addiction and escapism, after all. Nor can we be all play and no work either.
We all have the right to be sexual beings. We all have the right to fun and simple pleasures. What we cannot do is to allow these things to bring us to self-destruction.
The shadow of this card, point blank, is fear. Fear of loss. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown that is coming with all of that. The greatest strength one can ever have is the courage to move through this fear with grace and ease.
Six of Disks (Pentacles)
The shadow here is pride and taking things for granted. When it comes to managing resources, it’s important to maintain an attitude of gratitude and an abundance mindset.
Remember that everything is energy that can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transferred, transmuted, or transformed. So it all comes from somewhere. Ultimately, it all comes from Source energy. We ask, and Source delivers. So in this sense we need to be ever grateful and respectful for that. In this light, each person serves a role in answering that call we send out into the Universe. So again, we show gratitude and respect.
We also need to be willing to deliver and give without fear or resentment for the very same reasons mentioned above.
The shadow this one is blind destruction. Tearing apart for merely the sake of tearing apart, due to arrogance or having become too comfortable with the chaos. Sometimes this is also the act of self-sabotaging or self-destructing led by fear or unworthiness.
One must always be aware of what you’re deconstructing and why. It’s also critical not to be blinded by inspiration. The way you see things isn’t the only way to view the world.
The shadow here is two-fold. The first is delusions of grandeur at worst or insensitivity of others at best. The second is misalignment of intentions with your actions, when what you’re doing is no longer leading you in the direction of what you truly desire.
To address the first one comes with the understanding that you can step into your power without needing to crush or weaken the power of others. Your light can shine just as bright in the presence of others. You do not need to be the lone star in the sky nor does it mean that other stars make you invisible. Stay in your lane. Do your own thing. Everything else will take care of itself.
This leads to the second one. Focus on yourself and what you need to be doing to grow, develop, evolve, and achieve your desires. The moment you sink into the pit of people-pleasing or fussing over what other people should or shouldn’t be doing is the moment you start running yourself into walls. Again, stay in your lane. So your own thing. Everything else will take care of itself.
Queen of Swords
The shadow here centers largely around the merging of the mind and heart. Care must be taken to not allow emotions to rule thought entirely. Care also must be take to not allow the mind to shutdown emotion. They both must be permitted to flow fluidly in tandem openly without guilt or shame.
Otherwise what happens is you become inaccessible to others. This is because of cold, cruel, and deceitful behavior that erupts from the imbalance. Whether the behavior is conscious or not it doesn’t matter, the damage it causes to others and the relationships you have in your life remains the same.
Keep in mind here that being inauthentic is a form of deceit and can be just as harmful as intentional lying. The same is true of a lack of transparency when it is needed. Be willing to step into your power through the vulnerability of an open heart and mind.
Ace of Swords
The shadow side here is being critical without being constructive. Even though it may be logical and true, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s cutting, cold, cruel, an unhelpful to others. Be gentle with your criticism and when you deliver it, always offer suggestions on how to move forward in the future. Yes you need to speak your truth, but always act with kindness and integrity.
King of Wands
The shadow side with this one is tyranny, egoism, and intolerance. Beware of self-interest becoming the measurement of morality. Remain aware that your way is not the only right way to do anything in life and that it is never okay to force anyone to bend to your will or vision by any means.
Here we find the strong warning that might does not make it right, nor do the ends justify the means. Be mindful of why you are doing whatever it is you are doing in the moment. Do your intentions align with your actions and ultimately with the long-term goal of your vision?
Knight of Wands
The shadow for this one is the restlessness leading to impatience and dissatisfaction. This can create an insatiable need for novelty, causing burnout in the long run. Once again, care must be taken to focus on moderation and balance in all things.
Along with the King of Wands, this is where a foul temper can run amok. Unlike the king, however where it can explode intermittently, here it tends to be a slower and longer burn. This not like the icy temperament of the Queen of Swords that keeps score cuts quick for every offense when hurt or angry either. This is more of the blind, destructive rage that wrecks havoc on everything in its path.
If the collective shadow grabs hold of any anger, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, or pain there is an an incredibly high risk for extremely destructive and sabotaging behavior to erupt through. It’s imperative to name, claim. and allow all emotions to flow through healthy channels in order to transmute them into higher and more joyful frequencies.
The more we try to deny what we feel and the more blame we try to place on external factors for our behaviors, the more power we give to our shadow selves and the lower our frequencies become.
The Golden Shadow
Transmuting the shadow into gold.
The Eight of Wands here shows that the only way to merge the two and bring this facet forward is by actually getting out there, being social with others, and practicing these skills. Balance and moderation only comes through action, but the same is true with joy, fun, and friends.
To merge the light and shadow aspect of Death, the Seven of Pentacles reminds us that all things in the Universe, including ourselves, moves in seasons and cycles with divine timing. We need patience, not fear, to move through these cycles with grace and ease. When these transitions come, it is a time to pause, rest, reflect, assess, and adjust. This is not a time to panic or fret, for the work is already done and good things are coming. Trust yourself and the Universe.
The Five of Pentacles reminds us that we are never truly ever alone in life. So release any pride, fear, and shame in order to fully give and receive. Release any attachments to whatever outcomes you hold. You are only responsible for the effort you put in.
Remember always that the truest expression of love is the mutual meeting of needs, not power plays – which are ego traps. Walk away from these traps. Walk away from those that are stuck in these traps. Don’t participate in them since over time they will erode self-worth and self-love.
Reclaim your true power and express gratitude for the opportunities you have in this life to share these exchanges with others.
The Devil here urges to be ever mindful of toxic behavior, in the Self and in others. This above all else must be broken down and removed from your life.
Always be asking yourself, “Is this healthy for me?” Trust your instincts with this and how you feel before, during, and after situations. If someone or something isn’t healthy, then things needs to be changed or cleared away immediately. Otherwise you end up in a destructive spiral of chaos, confusion, and despair.
There is no other way around this. It doesn’t matter if it’s your behavior, the behavior of another, or simply an environment of some kind. You cannot become healthy without making changes. Period. And while you cannot control external factors, you can control your response to them.
The King of Swords is all about clarity and discernment. When you know exactly what it is you need, want, and intend then you are better able to express and manage all that.
By having this clarity, you will also possess the capacity within yourself to hold the space that others need. You will be better able to discern what to do with the information you receive as opposed to simply reacting to it.
In this way you’ll be able to stay in your own lane while still serving others.
The Seven of Cups here reminds you that whatever happened in the past and whatever is happening now, you always have options to choose from. You are never stuck in a box, trapped, or resigned to any course of action.
Life is a very fluid experience that is constantly in motion with opportunities presenting themselves in every moment if you are willing to seek them out. In fact, the Universe invites you each day to get up and participate fully with the perception you possess to do just that.
Don’t focus on the past or future, focus only on the present and what is available to you that is in alignment with your true path right now.
When it comes to speaking your truth or addressing issues, the Seven of Wands urges you to take the initiative and stand your ground with integrity.
You need to remain your true authentic self in all things. When delivering criticism, make sure it is constructive with a means to move forward and not just an effort to cut people down – including yourself.
To overcome any tendencies stemming from the tyranny, egoism, and intolerance of the King of Wands facet, the Ace of Cups urges you to always act from your heart space. Everything you say and do needs to come from a place of love. Even when you are acting upon your own goals, your intentions need to be born from love.
Remember that boundaries is never about the control of others. It is always about your response to others. A boundary is also the zone in which you can also love the Self and the Other.
Strength takes center stage here in terms of taming the reckless and destructive shadow of the Knight of Wands. Be patient – not just with others, but with yourself as well. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself as you endure whatever it is you are facing at any time in your life.
Make sure you are allowing yourself to feel whatever emotions you are having in the moment rather than trying to escape from them with wild abandon. Permit yourself to flow in the now with grace and ease. Doing this will prevent many emotional eruptions, meltdowns, and shutdowns.
When they do come, allow yourself the grace to recover. Make amends swiftly when required. Be courageous in your vulnerability. Permit yourself to learn, grow, and glow away from old patterns that are no longer helpful.
Who is this Person?
Now that I’ve explored the different aspects of my Self, it begs the questions:
- “Who do I want to be?”
- “How do I live the life of this person?”
Obviously, I want to live in my light.
Traits of this Person
- Sociable with Healthy Relationship Dynamics
- Enjoys Herself and Life while Expressing Gratitude
- Understands and Honors the Cycles and Seasons in Life
- Transitions with Grace and Ease
- Manages Resources in a Healthy Manner
- Gives and Receives without Pride or Fear
- Accepts and Brings Change when Necessary
- Trusts Herself and the Universe
- Recognizes Her True Path with Clarity
- Allows Others to Follow Their Paths
- Greets Life with an Open Heart and an Open Mind
- Remains In and Accepts the Now for What It Is, As It Is
- Operates with Integrity in All Things, at All Times, and in All Places
- Speaks Her Truth as the Need Arises, but does so with Kindness
- Sets Firm Boundaries to Preserve the Vision She Holds for Her Life
- Speaks and Acts from a Place of Love in All Things, at All Times, and in All Places
- Has the Courage to Decide, Take Action, and Step into the Unknown
- Has the Courage to be Vulnerable and Allows Emotions to Flow as They Are
Some of these already address the merging and transmuting the Shadow to gold, but I want to quickly go over them again for anything I might have missed.
Additional Traits of this Person
- Gets Out There in Life and Puts Her Skills into Practice
- Takes the Time to Pause, Reflect, Assess, and Adjust
- Remembers She is Never Alone and is Safe to Ask For Help and to Offer Help
- Does Not Tolerate Any Kind of Toxic Behavior from Anyone
- Knows What She Needs, Wants, and Intends with Clarity and Discernment
- Holds Space for Those that Need It, including Herself
- Recognizes that Life is Always Full of Choices, including Inaction
- Stands Her Ground while Remaining Authentic and Constructive
- Understands that Boundaries are about Accountability and How to Respond to the Behavior of Others, Not the Control of Others
- Understands that Boundaries also have Layers of Permeability
- Too Rigid = No Connection, No Flow
- Too Soft = Flooded, Overwhelm, Enmeshment
- Middle Ground = Connected, Stable Flow
- Understands that All Things are to be Endured with Patience and Compassion
Feelings of this Person
- Trusted and Trusting
- Loved and Loving
- Well Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, & Spiritually
Behaviors of this Person
Looking at each feeling, list out self-centric behaviors that create this feeling. It’s important not to center these behaviors on others. Happiness that comes from within cannot be taken away.
What makes me feel Joy?
- Doing at least one thing I love to do without shame or guilt each day.
- Writing about things that matter to me
- Reading tarot to assist others
- Dining with good company
- Consuming uplifting music and media
- Social gatherings with good food and good company
- Learning new information and skills
- Being out in nature – especially with the trees
- Creating many forms of art
- Playing games
- card games, tabletop games, and video games
- Making room in my life for something new or different each week.
- At least once a week do something outside my typical daily routine
- Meeting new people that I vibe well with.
- Going to events and gatherings centered on activities that bring me joy
- At least one event or gathering each month with new people
- Going to events and gatherings centered on activities that bring me joy
- Feeling Rested, Well, Loved, and Loving.
What makes me feel Peace?
- Feeling Trusted, Supported, Rested, and Well.
- Removing myself from those that persist with toxic behaviors and dynamics.
- Removing myself from toxic environments and situations.
- Avoiding toxic conversations and behaviors.
- Addressing needs, emotions, and issues as soon as they arise rather than avoiding them or stewing on them.
What makes me feel Confident?
- Feeling Peace, Trusted, Loved, Rested, and Well.
- Taking care of my personal hygiene daily.
- Taking care of my appearance daily.
- Trusting in myself and in the Universe in all things.
What makes me feel Productive?
- Having clarity regarding what my personal goals are.
- Setting and reaching personal goals.
- Having a clear plan to follow in order to reach goals.
- Managing the resources available to me in the moment to reach goals.
- Feeling Supported and Trusted, and Trusting.
What makes me feel Connected?
- Avoiding empty small talk, gossip, and problem focused conversation.
- Remaining open minded and open hearted as I hold space for others.
- Surrounding myself with those that are open minded and open hearted as they hold space for me.
- Surrounding myself with those that embrace my authentic self.
- Feeling Loved, Supported, Trusted, and Trusting.
What makes me feel Trusted and Trusting?
- Keeping my word in all things with all people, including myself.
- Being honest and transparent in every interaction that I have with others.
- Remaining in my integrity whether I am alone or with others.
- Remaining transparent to myself and others regarding my emotions, thoughts, intentions, and actions.
- Instead of assuming anything, I ask questions to avoid misunderstandings.
- Understanding and Living in Brenè Brown‘s BRAVING components of trust:
- They are clear, held, and respected on both sides at all times and in all things.
- Your word is your bond: you do what you say you’re going to do over and over again.
- When you make a mistake you acknowledge it, apologize for it, and make amends for it as soon as possible.
- No gossiping. Ever. What people tell you isn’t yours to share with anyone.
- Brenè Brown: “Choosing courage over comfort. Choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast, or easy. Practicing your values, not just professing your values.”
- The ability to give and receive help without judgement. Real trust doesn’t exist unless help is reciprocal and non-judging.
- Assume the most generous thing about their words, intentions, and behaviors when trying to resolve issues.
- Surrounding myself with trustworthy people who understand and live by these principals.
- Feeling Connected.
What makes me feel Creative?
- Feeling Peace, Rested, and Well.
- Listening to uplifting, energetic music.
- Having the space to safely explore my creative expression.
- Spending less time on social media and surfing the net in general.
- Surrounding myself with creative thinkers who have the courage to express themselves and allow me to do the same.
What makes me feel Helpful?
- Having skills that add value to the lives of those around me.
- Surrounding myself with those that are trusting enough to ask for and receive help.
- Surrounding myself with those that express gratitude to others, not just me.
- Feeling Trusted and Supported.
What makes me feel Supported?
- Surrounding myself with people that believe in me, my dreams, and goals.
- Spending time with people that understand me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Investing time and energy into those who are willing to help others, not just me.
- Surrounding myself with those that give constructive feedback.
- Feeling Trusting.
What makes me feel Loved?
- Surrounding myself with those that respect my needs and emotions as they are.
- Surrounding myself with those that allow me to vulnerably express my needs and emotions as they are.
- Surrounding myself with those willing to mutually meet needs, not just mine.
- Surrounding myself with those that understand and honor any need is non-negotiable, but how and when those needs are met is negotiable.
- Surrounding myself with those that respect and honor my boundaries.
- Feeling Connected, Peace, Supported, Helpful, and Trusted.
What makes me feel Loving?
- Respecting the needs and emotions of others as they are.
- Allowing others to vulnerably express their needs and emotions as they are.
- Being willing to mutually meet needs of others.
- Remembering and honoring that any need is non-negotiable, but how and when those needs are met is negotiable.
- Respecting and honoring the boundaries of others.
- Feeling Rested, Well, Connected, Peaceful, Supported, Helpful, and Trusting.
What makes me feel Rested?
- Feeling Peace and Joy
- Practicing good sleep hygiene.
- Listening to my body and paying attention to when I’m overdoing it.
- Getting the respite I need.
What makes me feel Well?
- Feeling Peace, Connected, and Rested
- Taking any medications and supplements as needed.
- Attending to and nurturing my physical needs:
- Diet and exercise
- Setting up and going to medical appointments as needed
- Staying hydrated with water
- Attending to and nurturing my mental needs:
- Setting up and going to med clinic and therapy appointments
- Challenging my mind with new knowledge and activities
- Attending to and nurturing my emotional needs:
- Practicing Emotional First Aid as needed
- Name and Claim the Emotion
- Sit With and Feel the Emotion
- Decide upon the Appropriate Action for the Emotion
- Setting up and going to therapy appointments
- Keeping an emotional exploration journal
- Keeping a mood tracker each week and making adjustments as needed
- Practicing Emotional First Aid as needed
- Attending to and nurturing my spiritual needs:
- Daily meditation each morning and evening
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Keeping a manifestation journal
- Getting out into nature daily
I’m sure these lists will evolve over time as I continue the journey of self discovery. Many of these behaviors I’m already doing or working on, so adding the new ones into my daily life will be easy.
What are you plans, intentions, or resolutions for the new year? Let me know in the comments below.