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Routine & Ritual

November 8, 2018

Let's spend some time considering self-help books.  Hate 'em or love em' self-help books are a huge industry.  A simple google search pulls up dozens of articles about how self-help is a BILLION dollar industry.




Don't get all butt scrunched just yet.  Yes, I'm sure folks have been tremendously helped by these books.    If they were actually helpful... why is there a stack on my nightstand? Why are so many of them half read?  Why do we need more? Surely the volume available is applicable to just about every issue, right?


I understand no two people are alike.  It makes sense to offer many authors techniques on self-help to accommodate a varied audience. I'll admit my own stack gravitates toward the woowoo-white women-positivity forward authors.  Maybe what we need is more variety of authors.  Thats a whole other discussion.




So back to what I was getting after, self-help books as an industry.  Next time you are scrolling through social-media pay attention to the advertisements.  Chances are you will notice a pattern.  The influencers you follow have followers, and perhaps they are cross-posting about a book, or a person who happens to be an author.  That's how they get me at least.  I've been considering a few books.  I stopped.  What about the books I already have.  The half read stack I just couldn't commit too.  Perhaps that says more about me than any book might point out.  Sometimes it-is-what-it-is.  It doesn't need fixing, and it's time to just move on.  It's time to stop fighting against everything, find a little flow and work with it, instead of against it.  

I feel like we as a culture waste SO much energy fighting against what we consider 'less-than' desirable.  Productivity is thrown away into these tasks, exercises, and books to change who we are.... Do we even know who we are? Have we taken the time to sit down, dig in and chew on things.  I mean really chew on things.  Sans input from anyone else.  No outside opinions.  No Dr. Google, no FB or Insta to mull it over with.  Just really take a day or a month to live something.  See how it feels for and to us? It might not be pleasant, no big deal, let go of  and move on.  

Can't move on from who you think you are?  Check your Ego.   When it comes down to it, we are a mass of bacteria, we have basic needs.  Shelter, eat, sleep, reproduce, create.  These are the things that make us human.  The other stuff... well, it's all just stuff.    Ego is the filler, the story  you give yourself, and share with others about who you are, what you stand for, believe in, fight for and promote.  Ego is also the story you think others think you are.  Re-read that.  Ego is the story you think others think you are.  It might not even be accurate.  Not one thread of that story could be legit, and here you are bending over backwards to feed this image to folks.    

I don't believe life was meant to be that serious.  It's great that we've got higher thinking, don't get me wrong.  The inventions and innovations we've got are really cool, useful and even save lives.  But I believe that when it comes down to self-help, it's more simple than that.  It's stripping away the ego, to figure out what FEELS good.  Not what we think it should feel like because our ego tells us this, or that.  No.  Way more simple.  

As you go about your day, ask yourself, how does this feel? Quiet that ego,  you'll probably have to snap and growl it back into it's cave... but try it.  You might find yourself laughing at how incredibly trivial past stresses have been.  After all, life is pretty funny.  And, for the love of it, you probably don't need another self-help book, try the stack you've already got, or borrow mine. ;)  

So, I meditated for a while on the question ' What can we do to heal?' We meaning a very general everyone. So, I shuffled the deck, tossed the cards up and some flipped up.  Usually I select cards, or sometimes they fall/jump out of the deck and I know thats what I need to go with.  This time it was a literal toss-up.  And I shit you not, the first card face up on top of the stack (Brian Froud The Faeires Oracle Cards set).... The Singer of Healing.  Card 10 is all about healing deep wounds that can destroy or life and morals.  Appropriate, right?! We all know healing takes some effort, and this card says no different, I am happy to report, this card was meant for us, for this most, and to work on.  " the end is is simply letting go and opening up....Learn everything you can from others; there is a lot of good information out there.  Just keep the essential simplicity if the process in mind and you won't go far wrong"  SIMPLICITY.  See? Feel free to dive deep, explore, but don't stay down too long.  There's plenty going on, who knows, by the time you figure it out - it could have changed!  

A second card also came along for today, The Singer of Courage, card 8. It represents bravery, sublimation of fear and moral strength.  " no courage is needed to be unhappy and self-pitying" .  This card was reversed representing that we need to address "fear".  So much of fear is an illusion, a bunch of what-ifs and non-events.  We need to dig in and explore what we are really afraid of.  This suggests "What can I do to open my heart to courage so when I feel fear, I can follow through on what I want and need to do?"  Remember, it'll take some real digging to figure out what you REALLY need/want.. but here's a hint:  It's likely some brand of the opposite of what you tell others ;)

Our final card is The Singer of Transfiguration.   Transformation, Transcendence and metamorphosis are the general modalities of this card.  I believe if we can follow through on the first two cards, then we can head through the gates of transfiguration.  I suspect this gate is one we pass through over and over again, similar to coming home from work every day.  "Jackpot! This card in a reading signifies the joy of success after a time of struggle.  A new way of life has been accepted and is being integrated" Enjoy this realization friends.  

The appropriateness of these cards is not lost on me friends, I about lost it when selecting these because I couldn't believe (and how I know better than to think that! Hah!) how well the energy of the universe is listening today.  Life is so much more simple than all the rules, plans, jobs, arbitrary 'stuff' we manage to fill it with.  It doesn't always feel that way, and admittedly I occasionally get swept away in throes of despair, and confusion about it.   So I have decided to spend more time dancing.  Alan Watt's is right about that - we don't spend nearly enough time dancing and deedle-deeing because it is simply  joyful.  




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