Do You Tarot?

Do you tarot? I'm a just beginner and that could be obvious as I may have errantly used that word as a verb. I'd wanted a deck for a long time but I couldn't find one that I vibed with until a friend showed me her deck from The Wild Unknown. Lordy, it is so beautiful, you just have to hold it to see what I'm talking about. So over the last five months that I've had it, I pull a card a day in my attempt to get to know the deck. It's become part of my morning routine, where I get in a quiet place, say a prayer and meditate on something. Usually that is on my gratitudes for the day, sometimes though, it is about my concerns for the day and then I usually ask the question, "What do I need to know about today?". It's like a non-affiliated Daily Reflections for your inner realm.

This week I pulled the SAME card two mornings in a row. So strange, right? After you get over that part, my next thought is, "Okay, I'm listening!" The card was the Four of Cups. It's a yucky card about greed and discontentment.

I've had money on the brain the last few weeks. I don't like to be here, I really don't. But Summer is almost here and so will be two years of sobriety for me. With that comes the questions, "Am I where I am supposed to be or should I be farther life, in business, in success, in money?" 

The card goes on to warn against taking things for granted and my knee-jerk reaction would be, "Wait a minute! I practice gratitude and mindfulness daily. I don't take anything for granted!" But the truth is, it is SO EASY for me to forget how shitty things were just a few short years ago. Am I swimming in abundance? My instinct would be to say, NO, because I'm not out of debt and I don't have a surplus in my bank account. But just a relatively short trip down memory lane shows me just how far I've come. I'm not selling my things at pawn shops, for instance. I'm not stealing my kids' money. I'm trusted with the credit card again. I'm not borrowing from friends knowing I'll never pay them back. I'm not taking money for services or goods and not delivering. I'm not making promises I can't keep. That's how far I've come. To not acknowledge that as abundance is doing myself a giant disservice. The cards reminded me.

The reading ends by asking, "What are you truly longing for? Name it." I didn't have to think about that for too long. Integrity. 

in.teg.ri.ty - 1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness 2. the state of being whole and undivided

Funny, it doesn't mention money.

So yes, I want all of my integrity back and that is happening, slowly and surely. But it is only surely if I stay sober. It is surely if I stay sober and keep walking forward, one foot in front of the other. And when I stop and look back and see just how far I have come, I can see that integrity builds this way. Am I swimming in abundance? I'd say yes, yes I am.

Here is a peek at my morning set up.

And by the way, did you know that amethyst is a sobriety stone? Get out, right? It guards against drunkeness and instills a sober mind. I shuffle with my non-dominant hand, divide in three's, restack and pull the top card. Invariably, the card I pull reflects some thoughts I've had in my mediation. It's pretty magical, if you like magic and all.

Do you tarot?



The Unruffled Live...Soon

I started this site because of another dream I had. The original dream was to have a space where like-minded women in recovery could gather, work on a creative project, share stories, maybe do some meditation, perhaps a little yoga and drink tea. There are places in my city that offer a few of these elements but not all and when they do, it always seems to be very wine-centric. The dream seemed kind of big, I didn't really know where to start, so I wrapped it up in a nice silk scarf and put it away in a drawer temporarily. In the meantime, I thought I would take that idea and give it an online presence because that was something I could do, an action I could take. I would still take the original idea out from time to time, look at it, say it out loud still because I just knew something would eventually present itself. And now, the time has come.

It is very much still in the beginning stages, but I'm happy to say that my friend Spike Gillespie has offered up her Tiny T Ranch in Garfield, TX as a workshop and healing space. The details are still being worked but the plan is to offer three hour workshops that will contain all the things I originally conspired for women in all stages of recovery. It's on a beautiful piece of property about 30 minutes outside of Austin, and all tollways lead there. How fun is this going to be?

Here is what I need from you! Are you in recovery and can lead a creative workshop around your expertise? And you live near Austin, TX? I will of course be teaching a few but I don't do it all well. Examples of this would be Paint Flowers! Or Hand Lettering! Intro to Watercolor! You get the idea. I'm also on the hunt for a yoga teacher or two that are in recovery. This way, we'll all be on the same page, speaking the same language. 

It's like the Universe said to me, "If I give you this idea, I want you to create every detail exactly as you want it to be", and This Is It. I am so excited! Can't wait to share the first event with you. It's all happening!! Big love.

What happens when the newness wears off?

What happens when the newness wears off of a project? A relationship? A commitment? What happens when the newness wears off of a diet, a New Year's resolution, a new year? What happens when the newness wears off of sobriety?

Does this happen to the general population? Are those of us in recovery the Special Adventure Seekers: Slayers of the Mundane? When I look back on my drinking years as a collective, it does look like Groundhog Day as there were no significant changes in my life, no upwardly mobile strides towards potential. But in the minute, day to day, I never really knew how my day would unfold after my first drink. No matter how unexciting it would be in reality, even if I didn't leave my house, it was unpredictable. It was reckless. And it kept me drinking. Do we just especially abhor repetition?

The thrills I sought changed over the years: men, career aspirations, spontaneous dance parties, but they were all in an attempt to change how I felt. Fueled by alcohol, I wanted instant gratification. Be Here Now was never in my wheelhouse but Change This Now was my jam. So what can I do when zipping off my own skin everyday is not an option?

I suppose the most effective solutions would be to hop on a cross-country train with nothing but books and a journal or max out a credit card or have an affair or...drink. None of which are valid options. Next. I'm not going to say meditate and do yoga because (a) duh and (b) going deeper is not what I want when I feel this way and perhaps I'm not a good enough meditator or yogini to transcend this mortal coil, but I'm not. Long term goal noted.  

So this is a non-exhaustive list, all of which I've done, never all on the same day although that is not beyond comprehension:

  • Write myself right. Right about it, just like I'm doing. Hit publish. Make a connection. New connections are just the dopamine hit I need.
  • Drive myself to nature, since it isn't in my backyard, and go for a long-ass hike. Bonus if there are hills/mountains/water involved.
  • Start another fucking creative project. I need this like I need another oozing orifice in my skull but it really, really does the trick.
  • Watch a movie or read a novel. And by that I mean, NOT a documentary or a non-fiction book, suggesting I do life a different way. When I am at this place, I don't really want to be told what to do but I do want to dream about something different. Attraction rather than promotion.
  • Put on make-up and jewelry, fix my hair and go somewhere. Even if it's the bookstore, even if it's the library, even if it's a meeting or a cafe, go somewhere, bring my journal, spy on people, eavesdrop on conversations, make assumptions about other people's lives, observe, take notes. 
  • If all else fails or even if they don't fail, pray. Pray a new prayer, one you haven't used before or pray that same one, but louder, in a more distinct tone so that there is no mincing of words, "You take this, please."

I do know this, always seeking something new is exhausting, and ultimately unfulfulling. I've conducted 46 years worth of experiments and they've all eventually led me to the same conclusion. Sitting with something for a long time is where the real growth comes from. This is a brand new lesson for me and I'm still learning. And with everything we want to change, no matter how we try and circumvent this part, we have to do things differently than we did before. Change is the antithesis to stagnation and it will materialize if we do the work, more slowly than quickly, I've found. This life is new, these lessons are new and herein lies the thrill.

The Written Bloom.

I have always been a writer, as I have always written words down on paper. The thirteen year old angst-filled, self-deprecating words that were kept under lock and key morphed slightly to insightfully earnest, psychedelic-induced journaling (read: babble) of the college years. Both painful to read now, especially due to my insistence on perpetual uniqueness, but I guess that isn't really a unique experience either. But I wrote things down. And even though I was my only audience, it definitely informed any ability I have today. 

I am an introvert and introverts usually make good writers. I kept with the inconsistent journals and the occasional blogs but unfortunately, I could never take myself too seriously as the impulse to put ass in chair always came after several glasses of wine. Oh how sharp we thought we were. And we are all familiar with the posse of authors that got away with this but, ummm, I was not one of them.

Very insightful. Like Xanadu, right? If only we could read those last few words, I'm sure I was about to say something very important. So writing, just like everything I did, I could only give about 80% of myself, and that was a good day. 

Today, I'm still writing, as you can see. And it's legible! I'm even taking a writing class, although I still don't take myself too seriously. I really make mine akin to storytelling, and if you're brave enough to put your story out there, it can be a "me too" message in a bottle for someone that is isolating and feeling that perpetual uniqueness we've all felt. And still, not even necessary to experience the benefits of writing your story, even it stays under lock and key. Bloom away!


What brings you joy?

Time, or lack there of, was forever blamed for my lack of creative pursuits. And although I thought alcohol made me more creative, it really only made me more creative in TALKING about being creative, never in actually DOING the creative thing. I love the saying that you hear in recovery circles, "Sobriety delivers what alcohol promises". How true is that? Do something in sobriety that you couldn't do when you were drinking. Be the person you pretended to be when you were drunk. And it's like turning on the propeller. It helps to keep you on course. Bonus.

So what is that thing? Well, what brings you joy? What brought you joy as a kid? Start with that. Make something. Give yourself permission and don't feel guilty. We've done enough of the guilt thing already, we're done with that. The fact that you are here, that the Universe chose you to not be taken by this disease makes you worthy. Honor that, show up, give something back and do something. It's not just self-care, it can feed you and you deserve this nourishment. And the simple act of doing can often take us out of our heads so we can experience the simple joys of just being present.

My dream is to have a cozy place here in Austin where we can all sit around a big table and tell stories while we sew and sip on tea. And when we're done with our cute things we made, we can glam it up in front of a glittery backdrop and take pictures of each other in our new skirts and our new skin. Until then, let's meet back here and I'll share with you many, many ideas to jumpstart your creative pursuits and get you through any and all witchy hours. Okay?

To be human is to be connected. ---Pico Iyer