Inner Whispers

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Inner Whispers

Groundhog Day All Over Again

Clearing Out the Past

Yesterday, I spent a while clearing out my home office, getting rid of about a 6 centimetre stack of papers.  I was actually looking for some important documents (which I still haven’t found).  What I did find, though, was some stuff I wrote when I was first seeing an NLP coach, back in 2002-2003.

Some of it was funny.  I was single back then, having split with my partner of 8 years at the end of 2000 (literally the end – 28th December 2000).  So, we talked about what I wanted from a relationship, and from a partner.  Looking back at that, it was good to see how many of the boxes my husband ticks.  Interesting to note where he doesn’t match up (fortunately all aspects I’d put on my ‘negotiable’ list).

And I was moved to remember how worried I was then that I might never have kids, with the perspective that I now have two.  They’ve brought me heartache and joy, and I’m so glad that my worries in that regard were unfounded, even if I could never imagine the actual sorrows I would have on this path.

And What Isn’t Past

What really hit home most, though, was the many things I wrote about weight control and my feelings of lack of control and desperation.  On the one hand, back then I was bulimic, and five kilos heavier than I am now  (that’s about 11 pounds for you non-metric folk).  So, I’ve come a long way, physically and emotionally.  I’m much healthier on every level.

And yet, some of what I wrote then, I could have written yesterday.  In fact, I wrote some very similar things yesterday.  Writing about how out of control I feel.  Writing about having so many resources to help me, and yet still making the same mistakes.

Ironically, I now have even more resources than I had then.  I have years of psychotherapeutic study, some of it specifically on weight control.  I have myself trained in NLP, as well as being a qualified life coach.  I am a trained hypnotherapist.  I have years of work as a yoga teacher under my belt, and decades of experience with consistent exercise of many different kinds – aerobics, static bike, step, rebounder, weights (light and heavy), Pilates, yoga.  I’ve tried many different ways of eating – vegan, vegetarian, fishtarian, paleo, semi-fasting, omnivorous.  And I have the insight the tarot provides.

Yet, still I struggle.

Past-Present-Future

I wondered what insight the tarot could bring me, with the perspective of this blast from the past.  And so, a little adaptation of the simple Past-Present-Future spread, drawing from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot (Uusi, 2016).

My questions were, specifically: what can I learn from the past, what should I be aware of in the present, and what will help me moving into the future?

What can I learn from the past? – Two of Swords

This card, today and in this context, reminds me of a powerful meditation I did with the Two of Swords from the DruidCraft, maybe a decade ago.  A woman sits in front of a huge tree that marks the splitting of two paths.  The tree told me that it really didn’t matter which path I took, what mattered was that I keep moving.  Similar to a reading Ellen had at the weekend, really.

From all my many experiences and studies, I can learn that there is always more than one way to go about things.  And perhaps it doesn’t matter what I choose, just that I keep searching.  And perhaps this card image also suggests that I learn that different things work at different times, like the phases of the moon.  So, I need to honour where I am now, and get moving.

What should I be aware of in the present? – Eight of Swords

Ah, my own limiting thoughts, assumptions and beliefs!  The problem is not in what I do or don’t do, it is in how I think about it.  Well, I know that is pretty obvious, therapists and Buddhists alike will always tell you it isn’t what is happening, it’s how you are responding to what is happening, what you think about it.

So, I need to be more aware of my own thought processes.  In particular, I need to notice where I am tying my own hands, so to speak.

I realised, in thinking about the comments from friends about yesterday’s post (both the ones posted, and those made in private), that part of the issue is feeling trapped.  I feel like I have no control over certain events in my life at the moment, and that often drives me both to comfort eat, and to try to ‘control’ my eating.

What will help me moving into the future? – Eight of Wands

Following on from the Two of Swords, there’s a lot of movement here.  One of the things that has been bothering me is feeling powerless around our house move.  We’re supposed to be moving in 10 days time, but currently don’t have anywhere to move to.  Today, we saw another two possibilities.

To me, this card says to take action, to move forward, to make things happen one way or another.  If we have to accept somewhere that isn’t such a great location, or that doesn’t have exactly the right layout, well, we’re kind of up against the wall.  Better to move, to act, than to stay in uncertainty and worry.  If I feel like I’m being effective in other areas, I’m less likely to focus all my energy on food.

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15 Responses to “Groundhog Day All Over Again”

  • It’s not our realizations that seem to yield the most fruit but our humanity, isn’t it. Your moving post has reminded me of one I wrote a year or so ago on our ‘hungers’ and their source. It’s sat in my draft box unpublished. Might be time to have it see the light of day. Like you, I drew cards for the subject and the results were not what I expected.. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing so generously your own process.

    Reply
    • I hope you do post that, Rose! I for one would be interested to read it 🙂 I’m glad that my sharing moved you, I think so many of us struggle with similar issues, and often feel alone in it…

      Reply
  • Hmmmm…… I see a lot of familiarity in these cards!! Since having three kids and getting older I certainly have more meat on my bones than I used to. I struggle with both wanting to lose 10 or 15 pounds, and not wanting to do much to achieve that. I eat well and walk pretty regularly, but on some level I am always wishing for a stark change. Sometimes, like your cards, I wonder how much of this is about just getting out of my head (swords) and getting active (wands). Several weeks ago I played softball for the first time in ages and had such a good time. The next day my body was so sore (clearly, walking isn’t working out nearly as much of my body as I’d hoped!). I sometimes find myself longing for a lifestyle that required more of me, physically, so that I could get a “natural” work out 😉 But that wishful thinking doesn’t solve anything. Anyway, I appreciate you sharing all of this, and I wish you much luck with your move – especially because so much feels “up in the air” around that for you! Sending many good thoughts your way : )

    Reply
    • Hi Olivia,
      Thanks for the good wishes. The house issue has finally been sorted – three days before we move!
      I remember you writing about how much you used to love softball, last year (or even before), when one of your kids was trying out for the team. Interesting that you finally got around to playing again yourself, and enjoyed it so. Still, I really understand how hard it is to schedule in regular things for yourself during “family” time :/

      Reply
  • This is very relatable. It was only a few months ago I came across my own musings from about a decade ago and my first thought ‘Oh fuck, I thought I’d changed more than that!’ lol I hope you get the housing situation sorted quickly and smoothly. Sometimes, we need others to help us see exactly how we have changed and where the opportunities and pitfalls lie… Reading for ourselves is great but so is spiritual direction from a trusted mentor. I just have to find one I trust first 😛

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    • Ha ha, yes, it felt just like that! And yes, spiritual mentors are not a dime a dozen 😀 Still, direct connection may be the best, anyway…

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  • There is a saying in recovery groups that addiction is a sleeping tiger. No matter how many years of being clean/sober, it waits patiently. Some people want to do battle with it, to kill it so they don’t have to worry or deal with it any more. But since it is a part of us, that is impossible. But we can befriend it and treat that part of ourselves with compassion. I don’t mean give it what it wants, but treat it respectfully as a part of what makes us “us.” For instance if your little one is up a 3 am and you see he has completely destroyed his room, you aren’t going to call him a stupid little $h!t and say you hate him. Sure you will be frustrated and may give him a time-out period, but you will love him in spite of all of this. Love even that part of you that you feel frustrated with. You may have to say out loud, “This isn’t healthy, so I’m not going to eat that. But we can take a few minutes to do something fun or pleasant.” It’s just developing a new, kinder relationship with that part of yourself. It keeps us from adding more stress to our already stressed out lives. (Not sure if any of this makes sense to you – sorry!)

    Reply
    • It’s interesting you say that, Bev. I recently read something where the writer went on a lot about removing the disease of addiction at the root, and what a big deal that would be. There’s a bit of me that doesn’t feel it’s a disease in the first place. But that the underlying psychological issues can be a sleeping tiger, that makes a lot more sense to me.
      I’ve often thought of it in terms of the Strength card, and meditated on it as such. Fits your sleeping tiger metaphor to a tee 😀

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  • A blast from the past: I am often amazed, when I revisit my old journals from years ago, how the same issues and themes are still reoccurring in my life right now. Perhaps it is because we are on a spiraling journey instead of a linear one. So again and again we are confronted with the same challenges and each time around we approach them a little bit differently,
    I trust that somehow everything wil be okay in the end and until then I will keep you and your lovely family in my prayers
    Hugs Ellen

    Reply
    • Yes, a spiral journey for sure! And so long as we keep moving, at least we won’t be in exactly the same spot, even if it kind of feels like it.
      At least the house issue has resolved – three days ahead of us moving. Now, we just need to pack, and transport, and unpack, and figure out our new routines, and… Okay, I’ll give myself time 😀
      Hugs to you, too, Ellen!

      Reply
  • That Two of Swords–I’m always saying that you could do something at least 20 ways and that you have to pick just one way. Even if you pick the “wrong” way, the way that manifests more difficulty in your life, you’ve made the choice. When you think of one human and all the choices and different paths to take, there are thousands of ways your life could end up, many of them unpleasant. We wouldn’t live at all if we got stuck making a choice.

    What Ellen said about journals–my God, re-reading my journals I keep rabbiting on about the same things over and over and yet I have changed and I do make different choices and one of these days I’ll reach critical mass with one thing or another, and will disappear as an issue.

    I was also thinking with regard to moving that the 8 of Wands that the energy will push you forward, despite fear, despite the seeming lack of a place to live. This happened to me and I could tell that I was being pushed along even though I had nowhere to live. You could try what I did, live in an inexpensive motel with a kitchen and put your stuff in storage until the magic location appears. That would be fun with two kids. 😉

    I would like the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot–my kind of thing but it’s just too expensive. I am really enjoying your posts with it.

    Reply
    • Yes, amazing to think about all the branching paths of all the millions of lives on the planet. Sometimes, I wonder how many would, in some strange way, end up at the same point, having gone a different route to get there…
      And yes, I saw the Eight of Wands both as the energy moving us forward, but also as a spur to put my energy into it. I did, and we’ve managed to get everything sorted. Well, still have packing to do, but we’re all on schedule to move tomorrow 😀

      Reply
  • Wonderful post, Chloë! I still remember when I burned my journals from earlier in my life, but I can also see the benefit of looking back. I also remember the hectic life of caring for small children and feeling like I was always in the background, and the extra effort involved in doing any major project like moving.

    Thanks so much for sharing this and for your inspired modification of the old past-present-future spread. We will all benefit from your experience and your wisdom. The Tarot is definitely calling for getting moving, and I will take that as a message for me as well. 🙂

    Reply
    • Wow, I can see the power in burning old journals, though a part of me cringes at the thought of burning written-on paper! I did get rid of some of my old notes, but some I decided to keep. Will be interesting to see how things change between now and when I next stumble upon them 😀

      Glad you liked the modification of the p-p-f – it felt more empowering to me that way 🙂

      Reply

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