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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

About that Card Reading Stuff

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Last week my dad asked me a question that I've been dreading: "What's all this card reading stuff you talk about?"

To which I replied, "Oh! You've been on my website. Thank you!" Of course, that wasn't really an answer. The answer turned into a 2-hour phone conversation--probably the longest we've ever had. And it was great!

You see my dad is an engineer. He is one of the most logical people I know. He likes things to be concrete with solid scientific data. Cards don't really fall into that realm.

When I decided to speak up more about my card readings and add them to my website last year, I knew he would see it eventually and I knew it would require explanation. I had that "wait 'til Dad finds out..." dread. Because apparently I'm still 10.

What I told him is that cards to me are a wonderful conversation starter. Not in the "hey, Dad, let's talk cards" kind of way. Rather in the conversation with your inner self kind of way.

When I pull cards, I'm not looking for answers to what car I should buy or where to invest my money. (Which I'm pretty sure was his main concern.) I think most card readers would agree that it's not about that. When I pull cards I'm looking to find out more about myself, what I think about a situation I'm in.

How do I do that? I look at the words and the images that come up. What do I notice there? What do the words mean? What do they make me think of? Does it spur any ideas for things I could do or how I could behave better?

Often I'll journal about the cards and see what unfolds. The cards are great at pulling me out of my own head. They offer the "huh, I didn't think about it that way" factor. It's a great way to break through blocks and dodge self-imposed limits on my thought process.

That's why I love cards and why I've collected them for almost two decades. And it's why I love pulling them for other people--to give them their own conversation starter, a way to break through their own blocks, and get better acquainted with themselves.

In the end my dad said he didn't think it would work for him because he's too skeptical. I lovingly agree. But hey, if I can explain it to him, I can explain to anyone. Except maybe my grandparents.

If you're curious about cards, I'd be happy to do a reading for you. Hop on over here. They also make great gifts. I've just opened up 2016 Year Ahead readings, so you can enter each new month with a fresh card to consider. You know, in case you have a particular person to shop for who already has everything.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Planner You Want for 2016

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I love planners. Love them. I like having a tangible, pen-to-paper, flip-through-able planner for collecting my thoughts, to do items, deadlines, birthdays, and reminders.

Sure, I use my Google calendar for scheduling. It’s easy to add appointments on the fly since I almost always have my phone with me and I would definitely be lost without the dinging sound to remind me that something is coming up.

But my everyday tasks and intentions go in my planner. It helps me tick through my day and make sure the big important stuff gets done.

In 2014 I used the Erin Condren planner—perky, colorful, spiral-bound, with tabs to divide the months, and both monthly and weekly page layouts. That was definitely a good choice.

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This year (2015) I went for Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner—sleek, hard cover, with monthly and daily pages. But those daily pages? Those are special. Each day left space at the top for me to write my core desired feelings (ease and usability, comfort, kindness, sacred in the everyday), a section for lists which I used for my to-do’s and appointment reminders, then a declarations section, which is where the real magic began.

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The declarations section had space to set intentions for different aspects of life: livelihood & lifestyle, body & wellness, creativity & learning, relationships & society, essence & spirituality. It asked what I was grateful for, what I wanted to experience, who I wanted to serve, and with whom I wanted to connect. These little prompts started my days off in the right frame of mind.

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Between each month there were more prompts to review what went well and what didn’t from the previous month and to refocus on goals and overall intentions.

The Desire Map Planner isn’t just an agenda; it’s a navigator. Am I on the right path? Am I working toward the right things? For the right reason?

If you aren’t already familiar with Danielle LaPorte, she’s pretty amazing at helping you unlock your true desires. She’s also amazing at designing things. She has been asking Desire Map Planner users all year what they liked, what they wished it had, what they want more or less of, and she used all of that to redesign it for 2016.

It still combines lists and calendars and intention-setting prompts, but this year it is spiral bound. And you can choose from daily or weekly pages depending on how you prefer to plan. And it’s beautiful.

I’ve already ordered mine and can’t wait to organize myself with it in the coming year. Until then, I am still filling up my 2015 Desire Map Planner. This planner and I have been through a lot together this year and it’s still helping me take on the day.

Check it out here if you are looking for an amazing planner for 2016. I imagine it also probably makes a great gift.

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Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links. This is a product I have used (and currently use) from a person who consistently puts out high-quality kick-butt stuff. I share these links because I truly use and love Danielle LaPorte’s work, books, and planners.