Happy December, darlings!
We’re fully into the holiday months now and tumbling towards the Winter Solstice! The weather’s getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. Even here in Southern California we finally got ourselves a little drizzle! It’s lovely and finally feels like Fall, even if it’s almost Winter! It’s a good time to make sure that you’re soaking up every minute of light and cuddling in for warm nights.
Did you pause to take up some space last month? I hope so! If you didn’t quite get to it, I invite you to go back and check in with how you should be taking up some space! It’s never too late! Returning to the Starfish Spread will be a good way to settle in for this month’s practice of cultivating our gifts.
That’s right it’s gift giving (and receiving) season! And while I’m all for a little retail therapy now and then (Btw, here are some great options from the LRT Team!), there are so many other ways to cultivate our gifts! So in between all of the sales and wrapping paper I’m inviting you to a seven-day practice. Just one week out of 52, to live with a little more attention and intention towards the gifts you already have and the gifts that you want to nurture.
Cultivating your gifts: 7 day practice
The idea is to pick a week – just one week and really commit to this practice. Hopefully, you can get it somewhere around the year turning over but you can come back to this practice at any time. It’s part brainstorm, part gratitude, and part intention setting. It’s a little peek into a life where we make space for ourselves and delight in the gifts to which we already have access.
Day 1: BRAINSTORM
As soon as you started reading you might have immediately known what it was you wanted to create more space for in your life. Some of you might have looked wearily out over gifts left unattended to for so long that it seemed like there was just too much weeding and watering to even get started. Some others of you might have taken a small gulp wondering if there were gifts to attend to? No matter where your experience landed in all this, I can tell you, you do have gifts; they’re ready for cultivating, and you only need to start!
Don’t get caught up with details at this stage. Just start throwing out ideas. What are some gifts you know you have? Are there any interests that keep getting put on the back burner? Are there some self-care practices that you’ve been looking to build? Write them all down! Need some ideas or guidance? Pull, out your favorite tarot deck. If you have more than one, think about which one feels gentle and supportive. This doesn’t have to be the ‘knock you on your ass with the truth kind of deck, this can be the one that you cuddle up with over a cup of tea and some gentle guidance.
I picked up this Sun and Moon Tarot deck on a whimsical adventure day with my partner. One of those magical free weekends where we just decided to hop in our car and take a drive somewhere scenic, a day when we were feeling all the lovely gifts of the Southern California weather and some openness in our schedules.
Don’t get me wrong, I love myself an angry social justice and identity politics infused deck as much as the next queer 🙂 but it’s also quite lovely to envision my spreads floating in a lotus, on the lap of my love, in reflective waters. I don’t sit with this deck nearly often enough and it was just the ticket for this! I chose to power mine up with a House Blessing Candle and this heart and agency powerhouse of stones: Rose Quartz (Comfort), Tiger’s Eye (Courage), and Obsidian (Grounding).
Then I simply pulled two cards. One for where I should put my attention and another for guidance around this practice.
Day 2: GATHER & SETUP
This day is for planning and organizing! Pick one of your ideas and start to work out the functional pieces of the cultivation process. If you’re a planner then you’re welcome to create a short and/or long-term plan, but what we’re looking for in this exercise is simple and present: What can you do in the next 3 days? Yes, even if your plan is to cultivate your gift of reading weather plans and getting your commercial pilot’s license, there’s something you can do in the next three days! I bet you have some major googling and researching ahead of you! So set aside some intentional time and set up your space. Tape some sky pictures around your desktop and make yourself a playlist to soar to!
I realized how happy I was when I lived in spaces where I could just ‘art’ on my walls at any moment as the inclination hit me! My walls became these lovely galleries! They were filled with tokens from my adventures out in the world: scraps of sketches, inspirational quotes, and nights filled with cold drinks, slow tarot pulls, and family music sessions. They became snapshots of when I honored and cultivated all of the gifts I already had around me.
I haven’t quite managed a full wall in my current space, but you might have noticed I’ve taken to some doodling this month and have been Pinteresting the heck out of lettering tutorials. This was part of my intentional gift cultivation practice this month! I’m also planning on gifting myself some time with Beth’s Alternative Tarot Course. 🙂
Day 3: PRACTICE 1 Hr
Day 4: PRACTICE 1 Hr
Day 5: PRACTICE 1 Hr
Day 6: REFLECT
Now is the time for some pause and reflection. How do you feel about your gifts? How do you feel about your ability to make time for yourself? How has your gift grown? Has it opened up any new paths? What was it like to live a life where you made intentional space for gratitude and nurturing yourself and your interests?
Sit with your reflections from yesterday. How does today feel without that carved out hour? Did you continue your practice because it felt so good? Is there a way you can set aside this type of intentional time for yourself, or maybe shorter periods of it? Do you need another tarot pull?
Wishing everyone a gift filled December as we head towards 2018! I feel so grateful for our shared Sunday Spread practice! I hope you’ll find a week to cultivate your gifts this month! See you all in the New Year!
Featured deck: Sun and Moon Tarot by Vanessa Decort
Traci (She/They) is a therapist, yoga teacher, life coach, and human in progress. They offer in-person/online therapy and life coaching services from their private practice in Fullerton, CA, USA, run the educational resource hub Queer University, and write love letters by request at Shame Kills Love.
Sunday Spread: Simple Tips for Not So Simple Lives is their offering to this wonderful alternative playground of tarot. It will be filled with a monthly collection of simple self-care ideas, intentions, and rituals for the beautiful chaos that we call life.