Take a Break!

surf pictureI’ve just returned from vacation with my family, and I’m feeling good! It was just a week away, and it was nowhere exotic, just staying with my Wife’s family in Michigan, but we needed it. Even though I still have unpacking to finish, and I realized that my daughter doesn’t go back to school for another two weeks, I do feel energized. This led me to give some thought to the role that vacations have in our lives.

Many of us, especially in the United States, work too much and play too little. A lot of people have become used to going into work early and returning late, giving up weekends and not taking enough vacation time. Even when we get time off, we’re still connected to our work by mobile devices that can (and do) interrupt us at any time of day or night. I’m convinced it makes us less productive.

So what constitutes a vacation? It doesn’t have to be sun, sand and surf (we spent one afternoon by the shore of Lake Michigan, and I soon left the rest of the group to go for a walk because I’m not especially into simply laying on the beach and the sun was just relentless – even so, I still got sunburned!). It was lovely not to have to cook and to have relatives to look after my daughter.

There’s an expression, “A change is as good as a rest,” and I’ve found that to be true. I didn’t do any tarot readings and kept my online time to a minimum. I continued work on some music I had been writing, and started a brand new piece. My business didn’t collapse! In fact I had some new ideas pop into my head, and I wrote them down for later consideration. Changing things allowed me to recharge my batteries, so I have the energy to enthusiastically tackle what needs to be done upon my return.

Sometimes, when you’re faced with a lot to be done, the answer is not to work harder, but to take a break, so you can work smarter when you get back.

Have you taken a vacation recently? How has it helped you? Reply here and let me know.

Advertisements

New Year Resolution Round-up

Something a little different today: I’ve been thinking a lot about New Year Resolutions. Whether you made a resolution and were unable to stick with it; if you didn’t make a resolution (it’s not too late to set a goal!); or if you just want some general help with goal-setting, I’ve collected together some articles from around the web that may help. The easiest way to check them out is to look at the Pinterest board I’ve set up (but you do have to log in or join Pinterest to access it) and linked to below. The advantage of this is that you’ll automatically find any other articles I find after I’ve published this post. Alternatively, you’ll find the links listed individually below.

Why 90-Day Goals Are Better Than Year-Long Ones – Trade shorter goals for year-long ones, for greater success in keeping new habits.

Sarah Dawn Designs: New Year Resolutions Printables

Free Printable: Family New Year’s Resolutions & Year-in-Review – Look back on your year and make goals for the year ahead – the “I want to try” and “I want to stop” categories are great ideas.

29 Things to Remember for the New Year – Small things, but good reminders.

50 Simple and Smart New Year’s Resolutions – We tend to bite off more that we can chew with New Year’s Resolutions. Here are 50 Simple and Smart New Year’s Resolution Ideas that are easy to implement.

Setting Goals – Helpful steps to make it easier to reach your goals.

Here’s What You Should Do Instead Of Making New Year’s Resolutions: Rememberlutions. Such a nice idea for an alternative to making resolutions.

Questions, Questions… and the BIG Question!

Having returned from a vacation at the beginning of last month feeling refreshed and enthusiastic to get back into the swing of doing more readings, I decided a challenge was in order. On both my Facebook tarot page and on my personal Facebook timeline, I asked friends, clients and potential clients the following:

Is there anything you’d like to know about tarot, about the way I read tarot, or anything like that? Do you have any reservations or even fears about tarot? Don’t be afraid of asking “stupid” questions. I don’t want you to be embarrassed about asking me anything, but if you don’t feel comfortable about sharing it here, please feel free to send me a private message instead.

Question Mark ImageI didn’t know what to expect, really. My main goal was to find out whether there was anyone out there who was wondering whether they should ask me for a reading, but was hesitating for some reason.

Little did I know that an old school friend was going to try to turn the challenge around, by asking the following question:

Go on then: “how does it work?”

To be quite honest, I don’t think he expected me to give a serious answer. But I think he (and anyone else reading the post) deserved one. This is how I responded:

My “flip” answer: Very well! 😉

I think that if you ask 20 different tarot card readers this question, you’ll get at least 10 different answers. I can only tell you how I *believe* it works. At least this is how I reason to myself it works, because it fits into my belief system:

I believe that when you communicate with someone, your subconscious automatically collects a whole bunch of information from that person’s subconscious. But that information is often very difficult for most of us to access in any meaningful way.

Here’s where tarot cards come in. To me, the images on the cards act as a focusing tool. They prompt me to access certain elements from all the information my subconscious has collected, that are relevant to the question a client has asked me.

It’s a little more complex than that, because I not only look at an image on an individual card, but also what I see as interactions between images on different cards, but I’m sure you get the idea.

I personally do not claim to be psychic and I don’t believe there to be anything “magical” about the cards, although the results often make it seem that way. Beyond that, these days I try not to think too much about how it all works, because that distracts from the readings themselves. Which work “Very well!” 🙂

What matters the most to me is getting meaningful advice for the people who come to me for readings. It really doesn’t matter whether or not they agree with me about how tarot works, as long as they find what I reveal to them to be helpful. Having said that, and as I brought the subject up here, I would love to hear back from you on this subject. How do you believe tarot works?

Music To Read Tarot By

If you’ve read earlier posts or spent some time on my website or Facebook page, you probably understand that I’m not your “traditional” tarot reader. I don’t shroud my readings with mumbo-jumbo new-age nonsense.

Music is a big part of my life. I once had intended to become a music teacher. I compose music, I play, and of course I listen to a lot of music. So what do I listen to when doing a tarot reading? It’s your traditional, new-agey meditation/spa music! I find that the washes of sounds without too much of a beat help me to focus on the cards.

At some point in the future, I may very well create some of these types of tracks myself and make them available. But there is a wealth of it out there, on various music streaming sites, for example. There’s a Spa channel on Slacker.com and AccuRadio and other sites also have similar channels available. This music is suitable, of course, not just for giving tarot readings, but also for any time you need to relax or focus – meditation, contemplation, concentration or relaxation. My only word of warning is that some of these streaming sites occasionally play audio advertisements, which can be very jarring.

Another option might be YouTube. I’ve found a bunch of collections of interruption-free meditation music with a few simple searches. Here’s one to get you started:

If you find some other sources you recommend, please do feel free to share them in the comments. And don’t forget to check out the comments, to give you some more ideas of places to find some of this great music!