Sunday, 25 October 2015

Self-Development with Tarot: Assertiveness with the Queen of Wands.

Of the whole deck, the powerful, feminine energy that radiates from the Queen of Wands is my favourite. I know I say I love a lot of cards in the deck but if I had to choose one that I want to embody the most in my life it would be the Queen of Wands. She's the embodiment of feminine assertiveness and self-confidence.

Which brings me to the topic of this post. Being assertive is generally a difficult thing to do in our society, particularly if you are a female. Assertiveness in females is seen as being a bitch, self-confidence seen as being arrogant or "full of yourself.". Modesty and submissiveness in all aspects is pushed onto us females from when we are young. Everything tells us we should be quiet and modest to be a lady.

Assertiveness builds self-confidence and self-confidence allows you when to know the difference between passive, assertive and aggressive and when to apply your assertiveness to a situation and when to sit back and be passive. Assertiveness is being pro-active about yourself and standing up for your needs without neglecting or imposing on the needs of others. For example there may be problems within a relationship where the other party is behaving in a manner that hurts you, being assertive would be to talk to the other party, discuss with them the issue in a calm manner. If you were passive however, you would allow that person to continue hurting you, this damaging your self-esteem and causing stress and putting a strain on the relationship. If you were aggressive you would start a fight over the issue and end up sabotaging the relationship completely instead of working through the issues in an assertive way. 

There are many reasons why we are not assertive in our lives. As I mentioned above, women may be taught to be passive because they should be tending to the needs of others rather than themselves, this could also have some women wanting to rebel against societal norms and flip to an aggressive stance in order to claim back their voice. Men are often raised to be aggressive, feeling that their need to be dominant in all areas of their lives means demanding what they want, this, as with the example of women, may flip the other way around and they may want to not be seen as the dominant, aggressive man, rebelling against their upbringing they could become passive in order to show that they are "not like that".

There's also a greater societal reason for being passive. We're often taught that to be nice we must be passive and give everyone what they want. In turn we believe that our needs are sub-par to those of others and we give in to what others want or need for fear of appearing the bad guy or that the other person will walk out on us altogether, when actually the fact we are not being assertive in our needs causes stress, lack of proper communication and ultimately puts strain on our relationships and breaks them down.

Being assertive builds self-confidence and there's nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and considering your own needs in a positive and proactive manner.  Start small and begin learning to say no respectfully. Learn that it's ok to say no if you don't want to do something and that the other person should never make you feel guilty for saying no if it's not what you want. Learn to talk about your needs and feelings without being aggressive or blaming others but in a way that will allow them to be included in your feelings and let them know how they can help.

Channel the energies of The Queen of Wands by allowing the fire energy within you to be channelled through that queenly, feminine exterior. Rule yourself and your needs with the strong, assertiveness of a Queen who's fire allows you to be strong and dominant but who's feminine energy allows you to display that dominance and strength in a nurturing and loving manner. Respect yourself and others around you because you are worth it.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Devil: self indulgence, vice and facing fears.

Hello my Unique Unicorns!

This is going to be the first in a new series of posts will be combining the messages and meaning of the Tarot Cards with self development and self improvement. Hopefully these posts will allow you to tap in to the energy and messages of the cards to be able to develop and enrich your own lives with Tarot.

(Prisma Visions Tarot)

Today's focus is on The Devil card. The Devil card is all about facing demons in a very literal sense. Are you following the Devil down a dead-end road? When the Devil card comes up in a reading it's time to face your demons and see where you are going in your life. Perhaps you're placing too much significance in the material things in life, or over indulging yourself in life's pleasures, to the point it's compromising your life.

Sometimes we can really use the Devil's influence to look into our lives and see what our vices are doing to our state of mind. Perhaps our chase for material possessions has made us lose sight of the things that really matter. Does this ring true to you? Do you find yourself working 12 hours a day, to the point you have no time for yourself and your family and your daily life has no meaning. You just go to work to get money to buy that car of your dreams. When our focus becomes wholly on the material, our mental and sometimes physical well-being begin to deteriorate.

Touching on your physical well-being (as your body is very much in the material plane) the Devil card represents over indulgence of the senses and this could translate into eating too much and becoming overweight to the point of it harming your physical health. Now, I think all body's are beautiful, thick ones, thin ones and all in between ones, but if your over indulgence is contributing to poor physical health you need to respect your body and nourish it with good things. Of course treats are an important part of enjoying life, but eating lots of sugary snacks or fast food is not good for your body and could be an area to look at in your life if you feel The Devil is present in this aspect. The card could even present itself in your life as an underlying issue of disordered eating that you had never considered; you may be using this food to cover up emotions you don't want to feel, to comfort yourself in times of stress. This is not good for you and you need to find a way of confronting and dealing with your emotions in a healthy way. I will not go into eating disorders in a full way as all people suffer theirs in very individual ways and what information I can give you about my recovery may not apply to you but if you feel you may have one, it's advisable for you to go and speak to someone about it and begin to recover and respect yourself and your body.

Another message I feel is within the Devil is holding on to things that no longer serve you or that hurt you, for example, relationships that are hurting you but you continue to beat yourself up by staying around those people who don't care about you and are only using you for their own gain. We touched on this with the previous post so I will not go into detail with this, but often we hold onto relationships that hurt us for self-indulgent reasons. We follow these people like we follow the Devil, with empty promises of good things only to find them devouring our souls instead. Sometimes there are just people in your life who will only hurt you and no matter what you do or how much you believe in their good deeds, and they will continue to do so time and time again until you decide enough is enough. It's better to let these people go. It doesn't make you a bad person to want to put your own needs and emotions before the people who care only about what they can gain from you. Watch out for emotional vampires before they suck you dry.

On the flip side of things The Devil can also signify your lack of self indulgence. Are you the person in a cycle of working, eating, sleeping, working, eating, sleeping? If so then you need to look at where you can add fulfilment into your life. Even if it's just reading a book for 5 minutes before you go to bed. Everyone has to be able to do something with their lives that is self indulgent at times. There's nothing wrong with making yourself happy and if you've fallen prey to working yourself to the bone you're certainly in need of some self-indulgent pampering! Part of having respect for yourself and your body is being able to give yourself some needed self-care. Neglecting your own happiness is not only detrimental to you but to those you care about as well. If you are someone who fails to care for themselves and do the things that make you happy, give yourself permission to engage in hobbies and pursuits that give you a sense of joy and fulfilment! You deserve it!

How do you feel the Devil effects your life? Do you feel as though you are overly self-indulgent to a point that it is hurting your mental and spiritual well-being? Does your obsession with material possessions prevent you from enjoying the more spiritual and natural parts of every-day life and leave you feeling envious of those who appear to "have it better"? Or are you one of those people who neglects your own happiness and fails to ever indulge yourself and therefore needs more self care? How do you feel The Devil represents the journeys through life and self-development? I would love to hear your impressions!

Much Love

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Give yourself permission to let go of the stuff that holds you back.

I have been having an eye opening past few days that have really been making me think about the decisions that have to be made in my life in order for me to be able to move forwards with myself and look towards the future. One thing I know I need to do is to learn to give myself permission to let go of the things in the past that still continue to hold me back. I, like most, have been through a lot of things in my life and a lot of them still sit with me, still hold onto me like ghosts that won't let me go. I know I need to throw them off if I ever want to move forward but that's easier said than done.

There are a lot of things that you will go through in life that will affect you and will be very difficult to get rid of but the things that you are holding onto are preventing you from living the life you deserve to live. I'm not talking about just past experiences, past mistakes, but relationships too that you're holding onto, clutching at for dear life when they are doing nothing but hurting you. If there are people in your life who don't care about you, who bring you down, you are absolutely allowed to let them go.

There gets a point in life where you need to be selfish. There is nothing wrong with being selfish sometimes. That word is shamed and put down to mean that if you think about yourself for once that it's bad but it's absolutely not. Sometimes you do need to put yourself first and think about your own needs and there's nothing wrong with that. I think we get caught up in catering to other people that we forget that we are worthy of and deserving of nurturing and sometimes only we can cater to our own needs and nurture ourselves. At the end of the day we count on ourselves to create our own happiness and if we are holding on to experiences, mistakes and relationships that simply hold us back and pull us down we are never going to live happy lives. There's nothing wrong with wanting to pursue our own happiness. Looking after ourselves doesn't mean we stop looking after others and we can absolutely find a balance between the two and staying in relationships with people who hurt us is not a healthy balance.

Sometimes you need to sit down and really think about the things in your life that is holding you back. Are there relationships you have at the moment where the person seems to do nothing but pull you down and insult you? Does a person in your life only talk to you when they need something, only associate you because it benefits them? Do you find yourself stopping yourself from doing things that make you happy because you are thinking about times in the past when things have gone wrong? Are anxieties about your past stopping you from progressing to your future? Now is the time to think about those things and give yourself permission to move past them. Sometimes you may need professional help to move through past issues and this is absolutely ok, go and seek that help that you need. If there are people in your life that you need to let go of, you can begin making steps to gradually distance yourself from those people and get out of those relationships. Sometimes this may be a relationship that is more serious such as family or partners, in which case this could be an opportunity to sit down with those people and talk about the problems you are having with them. If they aren't willing to change then it's best for you to cut ties with them, but I have found that, more often than not, those people care enough about you to want to change and just didn't know that their behaviours had been an issue for you.

So here it is, here is your time to change your life and cater to your needs. Here's your opportunity to allow yourself to move forward, to work through whatever issues are keeping you connected to things and people that prevent you from living your life. You deserve happiness, you deserve to surround yourself with people who care about you, you deserve to have the future you want. Don't ever forget that.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Stop normalising your negative self talk.

The past couple of days were a difficult time for me. My body image was never particularly good, I've been through horrible eating disorders that have had me destroying my body to a point that I was at deaths door and yet couldn't see that it was a problem because I was still in the normal BMI range; anyone who suffers from a "real" eating disorder is emaciated right? I'd done such a good job at hiding it from the people around me that I had hidden it from myself too. Purging 6x a day on average was something I'd done for so long that I thought it was a completely normal practice, even though my teeth were falling out, my hair came out in clumps and I was weak, dizzy and disorientated every day. I think that is a big problem for a lot of people, not just those of us who suffer from eating disorders, finding normality in our self abusive behaviours, one of the main ones being our negative self-talk.

Once you begin to see your negative behaviours as normal they begin to get deep seated inside yourself to the point that they become very hard to shift because they become a part of you. I know one of the biggest issues on my road to recovery with my eating disorder was finding out who I was without the disorder. I was diagnosed at 17 with Bulimia but had had these issues for a long time prior, for the entirety of my teenage years and spilling into my childhood as well; though these things were odd behaviours they were still things that eventually developed into a full blown eating disorder. The part of my life that should have been reserved for self development was taken over by the development of an eating disorder. I felt that all I was was the negative self-talk voice in my head.

Negative self talk is something that I have been plagued by as long as I can remember, even in other aspects of myself than the eating disorder. I'm a real perfectionist and even though I absolutely love writing stories and being creative my perfectionist voice kicks in and tells me that because it's not "perfect" it's not good enough. But what is perfect really? When negative self talk comes in one thing that really makes me think is "would I say this to my best friend?" Would I say that my best friends work is sub par or that it looks stupid? Would I stand in front of my best friend and call her fat etc? I would never do that. I think all my friends are gorgeous, talented and intelligent people in their own special ways but then I say these horrible things to myself. Shouldn't I be my own best friend?

Of course you should be your own best friend! The people in your life enrich it for sure but you are the creator of your own world and your own happiness and you have to be with yourself for your entire life. You are the main person in your life. At the end of it all you have to find happiness in yourself and appreciate yourself and all the things you can do. You are a superstar and the only one of you that there is. You are good enough. You are worthy and that negative self talk needs to go.

Stop normalising your negative self talk. It's not doing you any favours. Whenever you find yourself giving yourself negative self talk you need to stop and think. You need to stop what you're doing and really evaluate what you are saying to yourself. Sit with that feeling for a moment and then start thinking about the reasons why you are saying these things to yourself. For example, when I start thinking about how something is happening because I'm too fat I have to sit down and think about what is really the problem and most of the time I realise that it really isn't because I'm "too fat". We need to take back our inner dialogue and reclaim the parts of our brain that are our own worst enemies and fill them with cleansing light. Positive affirmations, meditation, journalling all the things that you did each day that were achievements or positive or whatever; anything that will make us fill our brains back up with self-love.

Our society conditions us to hate ourselves. There are multi-billion pound industries based on making us feel like crap, based on feeding into the negative self image that we are building up over the years of our life. Our society feeds on us feeling bad about ourselves and we need to stand up for them. Don't feel guilty about complimenting yourself. If your ass looks good in those jeans, own that! If you paint a gorgeous picture, own that! If your acheivement is to get out of bed on a morning where you really really would rather hide under those covers and wallow in your self pity then fucking OWN that! When good things happen you are allowed to feel proud. You are allowed to love the skin you're in. You're allowed to look at your body and appreciate all the things it does for you on a daily basis and, god forbid, love it. Stop normalising negative self talk, it isn't normal, it's toxic and you don't need it in your life anymore. You deserve to be your own best friend so own it. Own yourself. Own your life.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Tarot Card Spotlight: The Sun

Upright: I love the positivity this card emanates. It's a shame that it doesn't truly bring the sunshine out into the sky, (especially on this overcast English sky!) but it might as well have. Even talking about this card makes me bubble with positive energy. If you are looking for a definite answer to a question then The Sun certainly means a big, fat yes!

When The Sun appears in a spread, get ready to welcome success and positivity into your life. You have earned these good things and so it's time to bask in this good feeling. You are totally given permission to regress into your inner child, let your hair down and have some fun because you've worked so hard to get to this point and The Sun is shining down on you right now.

You may be feeling extremely creative right now, it may be that you are creating some of the best works you've ever done at this time. It's certainly a good time to begin new projects as they will be mostly a big success.

You are carefree, feeling the positive vibrations of all you've accomplished in your life so far. Let The Sun's rays penetrate your skin and warm your soul and your shining light will attract those around you and allow them to feel the positive happiness you are radiating right now.

Reversed: The Sun is full of such positivity that even in its reversed position it still means good things, just possibly slightly less overwhelmingly good! It may be that there are some worries in the back of your mind that could be tainting the good feelings you're experiencing right now. What you really need to do in this situation is decipher whether your worries are for good cause or just something your mind is creating to rain on your sunny day.

You may be feeling a slump in your self confidence and self esteem. Something may have knocked you off your perch; you're not rock bottom right now but you may be feeling just a little bit self conscious. There may be a feeling that you are not letting your inner child out to play, or pushing down issues with your inner child that you need to address. Stay positive and don't let things cloud your sunshine. Take a break from your projects for a moment to allow your creativity to flow once again and you'll be feeling the rays of The Sun soon enough.