I need a dose of reality

In recent weeks, I’ve felt very quiet. Not in that good – though often destabilising – introspective way, where you purposefully take time out to sit with thoughts and feelings. More in a sad way. I’ve felt low, listless, unenthused. At moments I’ve wondered if I’m hovering on the edge of a depression that’s been seeping in for months.

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It’s been a very strange year. Though there have been many beautiful and brilliant moments, I feel like my wellbeing has been on a slow but steady decline. Em has been away much of the year and yes, that’s had an impact, but it’s more internal than that.

On the one hand, 2015 has been an incredible year. This was the year my business, Little Red Tarot, became sustainable. Though I’m not rich, I now make enough from my tarot work to get by, have a few modest treats, and save a little too. It’s taken a huge amount of work to get to this stage and I’m excited and proud of myself.

On the other hand, this work has taken a heavy toll. On the surface, I adore writing this blog, doing tarot readings, writing for websites like Autostraddle and building online courses and communities.

But what do all of these activities have in common (besides tarot)?

They’re all carried out sitting at a computer.

And I think I’m reaching the limit of being able to do that every day.

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In my mind, I’m still a healthy, active person with a wide range of interests and hobbies and a lively social life.

In reality, I spend hours every day at my laptop or in my studio. I can feel my limbs becoming wooden, my back aches, I have a shoulder problem from mousing and I’m pretty damn unfit. I drink too much coffee and eat too much toast. Sitting at a computer, typing, staring at a screen, barely moving. Too much of this has brought me down.

This isn’t a moan – I’m not asking for pity. I’ve thrown myself into building this business and for two years have truly loved it. I still do love building and running it. I’m an obsessive person and work best when I totally immerse myself in what I’m doing. But I’ve made too many personal sacrifices and when I didn’t listen to my body, my heart began to complain. That’s what’s making me sad right now.

It’s time to listen, and to take my heart’s advice. It wants me to get outside again, to feel the seasons more actively, to move and create – not just the digital work that I love to make, but physical art, with my hands, with earthy, real things.

It wants me to see my friends and prioritise face-to-face conversations, hugs, shared space and find energy in those things.

It wants me to read books, to absorb words and ideas and feelings from paper I hold in my hands.

It wants me to dance.

Today the temperature dropped by ten degrees – it’s five above freezing and the coldest day of the year so far. I’m alone on the boat – except for Cally-dog and the cats. A wild storm is lashing the boat and because our ropes are a little to slack, Empress is riding waves, occasionally bashing into the side. The fire is burning high and it’s warm inside.

I reach for Em’s Wildwood Tarot. They’re still sandy from an evening trip to the beach for summer solstice. Leafing through the gritty cards, I pull out Balance, The Pole Star, and the Three of Stones. A deliberate reading with chosen cards. Balance (Temperance) for the intertwining elements of myself, each given equal attention. The Pole Star, for coming back to what matters to me, for finding that kernel of soul to guide me when I know that change must be made. The Three of Stones, for earthy creativity, for feeling what I do, as well as seeing it. For my life outside of the screen.

The storm rages on. I stoke up the fire and sit with my cards. This change is long overdue.

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5 comments

  1. Ellen says:

    My dearest Beth
    What a deep and heartfelt post. I think it is awesome that you follow the call of your heart before sinking to deeper and deeper into the black hole
    Enjoy the simple things of life; the real things and be well
    Hugs Ellen

  2. Euphro says:

    Beth,
    I know you only through your blog and your tarot course, yet I feel like we could sit down with cups of tea and talk for hours (as I’m sure most of your readers feel). Your work is really important to me– I always come away from your posts and lessons richer than I was before. Your well-being is still more important to me. So I hope you do whatever you need to do to protect your dear heart.

    Joy
    Florida, USA

  3. chloetarot says:

    Dear Beth,
    Hope your month in Edinburgh helps with this, giving you a change to draw you out and away from the computer, and some sustained loving time, too.
    Hugs, Cxx

  4. Kat says:

    Dear Beth,

    I feel like your first paragraph could have been typed by my own hands, from my own heart. I however am a million miles away in the sunny southern hemisphere. I can’t place my finger on where precisely the feelings are coming from.

    Your choice for change is inspiring me, as you always do. I have had the same thoughts about needing a connection to earth. For me its leading me to the sand and sea, as well as into the kitchen to cook and bake and create.

    You will find your balance again, it sounds like you are already on your way.

    Many loving thoughts always.
    K xx

  5. Kathleen says:

    I texted my partner earlier today that I was feeling stuck, and have been for months – I’m feeling the disconnection from the world, the earth, too much computer time, too much ugly social media, too much ugly news, and not enough real world, not enough face to face, not enough wind in my hair. And then (yes, I was still online) I clicked through a few posts, and came to this one. It’s exactly what I feel right now. And also, I’m just starting your tarot course and one of the assignments is to go on a tarot blog and make a comment, so…here we are. Synchronicity.

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