It’s been a strange week, with lots of mental/emotional brooding, but I have had great readings! Even if it’s taken a while to get to posting them…

I’ve had the 2020 monthly cards drawn for almost a week now – but, it hasn’t felt like the time to share them quite yet. I’ve had this weekly spread done for a couple days now too… and I know it’s time for that, so here it goes:

Divine Reenchantment

Three of Pentacles | Shadowscapes Tarot

We begin our reading with the Three of Pentacles, which is also illustrative of this week’s overall energy/theme: “success is guaranteed.” Typically a great card for a career reading, this card represents the inevitable results of having a great work ethic. In this deck and for this reading though, it is speaking specifically to the Divine’s ineffable work ethic and how it is within acknowledgement of that Truth that we find our eternal assurances.

In the artwork we can see stars and a moon, all encircled and traced by the “dreamer,” who is also being lifted up by a supporting figure in order to create her art. “This, THIS is the relationship I want with you -” I hear the Divine coo from my center, “trust in my support and you shall be exulted to the place in which you can manifest your unique glory and purpose.”

The little chameleon perched on the shoulder of the supportive figure echoes the adaptability and omnipotence of the Divine’s ability to be “all that we need in order to thrive.” Should the artist insist that she must make the climb, support herself, balance her tools all on her own and only then be able to start her work – she may never make it. Our True destiny and Divine purpose will always require our dependency on the Divine, for the beauty we can create within the blessings of Divinity cannot help but eternally overshadow what we are able to do independently of that support and help.

We are being invited back into Divine communion, a place in which possibilities and purpose are endless – but it takes faith and trust to enter into this fellowship. In order to experience Divine reenchantment, we must first create and hold the space for the miracles and blessings this relationship will most certainly create in our life. If we are unwilling to see a way beyond that of our own brute force and skill, we are “forcefully” subjecting ourselves to the limitations of our own conditions.

Reunification and Saturation of the Divine Feminine

III – The Empress (reversed) | Shadowscapes Tarot

I have seen this card already, when pulling all the monthly cards for 2020 on the 1st – and she comes in good company (more on that later). There will be a theme this year of internalizing the Divine Feminine, and it is starting NOW.

We are all being asked to reimagine everything we think we know about femininity, but rather than using the internet, opinions and other knowledge external to us this reclamation will happen from the inside out. What we’ve been told, no matter how convincing, will never be the whole story – we have to tune in.

We must listen for the reverberating truth of Earth’s crystalline core as it vibrates through our own bones. We must wash ourselves pure in the ocean tides as they pull at the rivers of flowing blood within our bodies. We must nurture, tend and care for the communities of cells and bacteria that make up our physical being – with the same abundance and detail that our hospitable planetary home provides to us.

If we can sink into our beingness in these ways, we can truly reunite with our Divine feminine power. It isn’t about being subjected, dominated or used but rather, in discovering our own endlessness we recover the aspects of feminine power that contain our abilities to heal, nourish and support life.

An Ecliptic Call to Power

Nine of Wands | Shadowscapes Tarot

We have an Annular Lunar Eclipse and Full Moon this Friday, January 10th, which is conjoined by a Pluto and Saturn conjunction (the Sun and these two planets are all within 3 degrees of each other in the sign of Capricorn). This eclipse will highlight themes of both individual progress as well as familial and communal cooperation.

We are beginning to take note of the global interconnectedness of our lives. As the president of the United States seems to be posturing himself for WWIII and over a billion animals have perished in the devastating Australian Bush fires, no one remains unaffected. We are all afraid of nuclear fall out, we are all grieving for creatures that aren’t “our own,” and we are all realizing that there are no true islands of humanity – what we do as individuals will always affect the whole.

This card, with it’s own ecliptic imagery, resonates with the power of the people. Here we see an army of centuries, but they are reclining as watchmen rather than rushing into battle. It would seem that the warrior in the foreground might be the leader, as he is illuminated and yet, we can notice that those in the background are seated upon their beasts of battle in the same way – this is an army of equality, lead only by Truth.

Nine is a number representing completeness or resolution and Wands is the suit of passion, creativity and fire. As a totem for the energy of the coming eclipse, I am anticipating a movement of social unity and a reclamation of power being ignited. We have ALL had enough and we are ALL going to take a stand, together.

Accepting Our Divine Birthright

Black Dragon from Saturn | Dragon Oracle Deck

Now, just because we are accepting Divine support, reintegrating the Divine feminine and taking a stand to defend all of humanity from the ego of the few doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy from here on out. To the contrary, we are being told to get serious about our discipline.

If we are to bring about a new era of peace it is going to require that we also bring about an era of self-governance – and that has to start within each of us, individually. I cannot do the work for you, you cannot do the work for me – we all have to do the work for ourselves, with the understanding that this very personal work is what will make the biggest difference for others.

True freedom is only available through actualizing diversity. By you taking on your own Divine purpose and working faithfully on your own self-mastery, I am free to focus on my own Divine purpose and self-mastery. No one of us can fulfill all purposes, nor were we ever intended to “be/do everything,” and that’s what makes being a part of humanity so great, there’s enough of us to meet all of our dynamic needs.

This card is also one of congratulations, as these dragons do not come to assist us with our mastery unless we are already applying ourselves. So take joy in this recognition that you have been working hard to clear the false beliefs and densities that have kept you from personal mastery before, and be encouraged, because even though the work isn’t done yet we are now recieving significant cosmic help!

All for the Exultation of LOVE

Dusty Pink Dragon from Andromeda | Dragon Oracle Deck

This final card for our weekly reading seals up all of these messages with Divine Love. No matter what, it is this purest energy that will sustain and provide for us. All else must and will fall away.

As we undergo these great changes and transformations this week (and year,) learning to master ourselves and serve our world, feel yourself being bathed in love and release everything else to be transmuted by this most holy of vibrations. You are love. I am love. We are love.

We are not alone in our desire to save this planet from our excessive consumption, and we are being supported to rise above these conditions of lack and fear. If there should be moments of overwhelm and defeat, tune in again to love and remember the true infinity of possibilities.

If you are tired, rest. If you are stressed, relax. If you are sick or wounded, heal. If you are trying to rationalize the irrationality of our world, meditate instead. It isn’t all up to you to fix things, but it can only be you who does these loving things for yourself. We can’t give anything to the world that we ourselves don’t have, so start with loving you and watch this Divine contagion spread.

Blessed be my beloveds, may you all find yourself enraptured by the Divine this week and become fully impassioned by Love!

Tarot and Oracle Card Spread for the week of January 6th – 12th 2019

I am sick. I’ve been sleeping most of the weekend, feeling unlike myself as cold and flu medicine circulates in my bloodstream. My fever broke but I still smell salty-sweet from my sweating. I’m wearing my shirt inside out for some reason…

My face is broken out and my eyes are glazed with that lost look of sickness. By all measures, I am not exactly desirable right now. Yet here I am, feeling totally, completely and fantastically loved.

Looking in all the Wrong Places

I haven’t always felt this way though, even when at my best. There have been countless times when I was well, fit and primed, yet still felt rejected, undesirable and unloved. It took me over 3 decades to discover what was available to me all along: love starts with ourselves.

See, back then – 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago – I was more concerned with what was “wrong” with me than anything else. Everything was a potential weapon I could use against enemy number one: myself. Of course I was the problem and if I could just look right, act right and be better everything would change.

Well, everything did change, but it’s not because I found some perfectly “right” way of being. I simply allowed myself to start paying attention to more than my fear and pain. I started to appreciate the love in my life instead of justify my rejection of it.

Coming Back to the Truth

I never needed to work out every day to be loved, but I tried to use my own self-worth against me to manipulate myself into doing just that. I never needed to push myself beyond my own boundaries to be loved, but I would sacrifice my integrity for any small semblance of external approval anyway. I never had to lose myself and become what everyone was told to want, but I was too busy listening to the chatter of desperation to tune into my own heart.

I had it all along, I was always loved, but I couldn’t accept it. I was never good enough, never deserving, and my life became a distorted version of who I thought people wanted me to be rather than the expression of my own unique divine existence. I had rejected myself, and from that place I couldn’t accept anyone else either.

The turn around came when I broke through rock bottom and found it was me running things with pitchfork in hand down there. I had to decide if I would keep feeding my inner hatred and disease or if I would endeavor to rise above, so I started climbing out from the pit of my own dispare.

Starting at the Bottom

It wasn’t easy; reclaiming my life would require sacrifice and strength. I would meet challenge after challenge, most from within, my thoughts and emotions seemingly at war with my intention. I had spent decades grooming myself into a victim and undoing all that conditioning is time consuming, and painful.

I wanted to become “the person I could respect most” in this world, and though I have always enjoyed personal development, I started to pursue my actual enlightenment for the first time. That was just over 3 years ago.

Making the Climb

Since making a commitment to authenticity in the summer of 2016, my entire life has changed, and that has included my understanding of love. What I was chasing for all those years was approval, not love. What I deprived of myself of in attempts to try and get approval, that was love.

It started with me, I was the one who decided that not being approved of meant I was unloved. I was the one who denied myself my own affection and care in order to try and manipulate myself into becoming something I wasn’t. And it has to be me who undoes all the damage too.

I am sure I will be continuing to deconstruct, heal and integrate what I’ve learned about loving myself throughout the remainder of my life. I find it absolutely vital that the time it takes does not matter though. I cannot allow myself to create new conditions for my own acceptance and love again, even if they “evolve” with me to sound desirable to my new world views.

Becoming Aware and Appreciating the Journey

You see, love isn’t a destination but a way of traveling. There is no prescription of behavior or belief that makes you more or less deserving of love, but what you believe about love will color every aspect of your entire life.

When I didn’t love myself, I didn’t love anyone else, and I couldn’t accept any love for myself from others either. Love was to be earned and well, no one is worthy.

But that’s just it. True love is a blessing that extends beyond justification and deserving. By opening myself to the grace and beauty of love’s power, I was able to overcome my own limitations as well.

Taking in all the Majesty and Splendor

I am still making this climb, I am still undoing the damage I did when I was desperate to force myself to be “ideal.” I don’t know how long this journey will take, and I don’t care. It’s all great now.

Here I am, feeling gross and undesirable, knowing I am loved. I have opened up and as a result my life has become filled with love.

I had over 150 messages on my phone to catch up on from this weekend – all from encouraging, inspiring and loving people I am blessed to know, from all over the globe. I have a generous and loving family, I’m close with my sisters, my mom, and my grandmother. I get to be a part of things I am passionate about and am no longer afraid to make people uncomfortable or be unliked.

I don’t need everyone’s approval anymore because I have my own. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m also no longer suffering the delusion that I should be either. I am better than perfect, I’m real.

Every Vista an Achievement

I’m not sure that there is a top to this climb, but there are innumerable views along the way. Wouldn’t it be sad to miss everything in a desperate scramble to summit?

That’s what I was doing for the majority of my life, more concerned with achievement than living. I never stopped to admire the speckled inclusions in my sensitivities or marvel at the expanse of my mind, I had been missing out on the immense passions of my heart for even the smallest of delights.

Now? I am enchanted, each moment a blessing. It doesn’t matter how well I do at something because I’m already proud of myself for trying. I no longer try to manipulate myself and my Self is very grateful.

It is in this way I feel I already have everything I could ever want. True richness comes in perspective and true wealth emerges from gratitude. No matter what my life holds, it will be blessed because I bless myself and others. No matter the challenges I may face, I will rejoice because the outcomes are less important than what can be learned.

I wish this freedom and joy for each of you. If you have been denying yourself your own love, decide to stop manipulating and do the work of repairing your heart. You have the power.

“Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have.”

Rabbi Hyman Schachtel

Blessed be my beloveds!

Two years ago, December 2017, I began on a journey I had been starting my whole life. I’ve always been too conscious. I’d always asked to many questions. But there I was, finally doing something about it.

Sure, I’d meditated before. Sure, I’d fasted and journaled and exercised and read personal development books and articles – sure – I’d been obsessed. Sure, I’d been following High Existence online for years, but there I was: doing something about it.

I had seen HE’s 30 Challenges to Enlightenment bopping around on the interwebs for a while already, but I had only just bought the program and December 2017 was my first official 30 Day Challenge: High on Existence. No drugs, alcohol, nicotine or caffeine for a whole month – and because I’m me, I included sugar (I’m more addicted to it that any of those other substances). I anticipated a difficult time, but was pleasantly surprised: I actually enjoyed myself.

Development and Growth

Subsequent challenges would prove more difficult and with time my personal development would again evolve, but I can’t help thinking back to the ease of that December, and how empowering it felt to feel so in control of myself. Flash forward to today though: I’m a mess.

I keep waking up late, I’m gloriously failing at implementing my own Sadhana practice for my Kundalini yoga teacher training, my self-care has been minimal, I can’t seem to keep up with my responsibilities and I’m randomly overwhelmed with such intense emotions and thoughts that they consume my whole being. Ah yes, the putrid smell of growth.

Since December 2017 so much has happened in my life, I feel like almost an entirely different person. I’ve taken trips to the underworld and back with Momma Aya, I’ve begun to develop a more comprehensive understanding of my Being through yoga and meditation, I’ve started developing peer and mentor relationships with people I admire and respect, I’ve learned Reiki and began practicing Divination for others, I’ve started to heal trauma and confront fears, I’ve begun bloging and am blooming more purposefully in my life… All to find myself here: feeling more out of control than I did back then, before any of this began. But is that really what’s going on?

No Longer Playing Games

You see, along with my personal development, I’ve been doing deep spiritual work too. It’s not as simple as getting “better,” it’s about dismantling my egoic understanding of “better” and the manipulative devices I am conditioned to deploy in this world as a result of those delusions.

You see, 2 years ago my ego was still calling the shots. Being able to detach from my vices so easily felt good because it confirmed my biases about my abilities to manipulate myself – er, I mean exert self-control. But those subsequent challenges? The meditations and self-care? Those required so much more than self-manipulation.

In the last 2 years I’ve learned to give my ego a backseat, and it’s shaken everything up. At times, I am literally completely out of control – in fact, I aspire to be totally out of control. Yet, my ego is still there, still screaming and throwing fits. It’s not so nice when it’s not getting it’s way: confirming biases and coming out “on top.”

Choosing a Master

Alas, there we were, still listening. See, I may have put Ego in the backseat, but Spirit was still back there too. Observer was up front with Wisdom navigating, but kept getting distracted by all the commotion:

Are we there yet?!” Ego likes to scream.

Where exactly do you want to be?” Wisdom replies, “You haven’t exactly helped us formulate a plan E.”

“Be here,” Spirit wispers.

“I don’t know, I don’t care!” E screams, “Anywhere but here! Somewhere exciting! Let’s do something good, let’s do something seen. I don’t want to waste my time, and I’m not letting any of you waste yours either.”

“We’re all in this together E, and I love your passion,” Spirit cooes, grabbing E’s hand on the seat between them and giving it a little squeeze while gazing deeply into E’s potential.

Ego recoils sharply, with a look of disgust for Spirit’s vulnerability and affection. Spirit remains, unfazed by the discomfort and reaction.

“Well?! Go O!” E yells again, at which point Observer is startled to find itself in the driver’s seat, speechless.

“Seriously?! What’s your problem? Just GO!” Ego exclaims, growing in ferocity.

Observer turns to Wisdom for guidance and W shrugs as if to say, “I know.”

And this sort of thing was going on for a while… ‘Round and ’round; it’s completely immobilizing. It couldn’t continue, I had to choose a different driver.

It would seem, despite my naive assumptions of meditation training, that Observer isn’t the best driver – but I can’t put Ego back in that seat again either. Wisdom is squarely in the navigation position, of its own personal assertion, so that leaves Spirit.

The most obvious and unassuming of all. Of course, surrendering to Divine grace is the answer! But have you tried to actually do that? It’s not exactly easy.

Seeing Clearly

It’s not as simple as deciding to do something and doing it anymore. Everything is scrutinized and examined, mostly because Ego is in the backseat DEMANDING it to be so. That’s been one of the major lessons in my life this past year: much of my “personal development” has actually been more “Ego development.”

Even putting Observer in the driver’s seat was Ego’s move. E knew that O could be manipulated, overwhelmed and controlled. Spirit is always the one to, not fight back but, remain tranquil and resilient despite anything Ego tries to do. As far as Ego’s concerned, “SPIRIT CANNOT BE THE DRIVER!”

I’ve only just made this choice as consequence of my calling to Kundalini and everything I’m dealing with now are just the consequences. It’s seriously maddening at times though. I am actually at war within myself.

Ego knows it’s different this time, and it’s not giving up control without a fight. It’s using everything it can to its advantage: old patterns, pain, manipulation, self-sabotage and symptoms of mental illnesses all resurfacing within me to try and force E’s desperate agenda. And yet, with Spirit now in full power, I am unphased.

Accepting the Promises of Grace

Maybe I’m not waking up and doing the perfect Sadhana every day, but I’m reconstructing the patterns within my heart and mind that have made me content in my excessive comfort. Maybe I’m not practicing self-care or approaching my goals and projects as mindfully as I want to, but I am rooting out the lies of unworthiness, insecurity and fear that have plagued my life. Maybe I’ve not yet mastered the simplicity of my own Sovereignty, but with Spirit at the healm it’s only a matter of time before I get better and better at developing those skills and understandings too.

Personal development can look like a flawless execution of a challenge, but it can also feel like falling apart. Dense pockets of conditioning require a bit of finesse and tenderness, but they have to be worked through. Whatever isn’t flowing, is growing stagnant and contributing to dis-ease.

As much as we want to undergo growth to feel better, we have to be willing to work through even those patterns and pains that make us feel worse. True healing doesn’t happen at the surface, and this is just one of those times I get to explore a messier side to the art of growing. Even amidst the struggles I can rejoice knowing I will make it through.

“Ah! Fine! Can we at least get going now!?” E says in a defiant huff.

“Only once you’ve calmed down dear one, where we are going an attitude won’t serve you…” Spirit encourages with a smile, “but we’ve got all the time in the world to sit, here, with you.”

Ego’s eyes grow big with disbelief and wonder. Caught within the illusions of its own fear, subject to everything but distractions, for once E seems itself speechless – emitting only: “… okay.”

There will be no blog post for the 7th.

There with be no blog post for the 8th.

The last two days were pure MAGICK, and in this way I will hold for them eternal space.

Apotheosis

I am blessed. I am blessing.

I am a part of a global family, a universal tribe made up of men and women across this globe who speak different languages, have different cultures and yet, express and experience the same true divine love. It is this love that connects us, regardless of understanding. It is this love that has ultimately brought us across all time, space and history to the grand intersection of NOW.

I do not know them, I know them. They permeate my being with their essences and I feel for them with complete abandon and liberation. I can tell them anything. I have told them everything.

Secrets I thought I would take to my grave, I gave confessed, to strangers – and I have been generously accepted, supported and truly, powerfully loved. That is Apotheosis.

It is an enchanting example of how people are taking back their responsibility. The exact opposite of ignoring the ugly things and letting your fears control your perceived reality. This is, as the fam calls it, “facing your resistance.”

This is power.

This is magick.

This is truth.

Recognizing Fear

Yes, see it. See it so clearly you understand it enough to reconstruct what it means for you. Rearrange the way you think about fear, yes, actually change what it means to your inherent cognition.

Yes, that clearly. That intensely and vigorously. Embrace even, and most especially, the parts that you least want to discover, confront and accept.

Look your demons square in their eyes and ask their name with the commanding authority of your divine birthright.

Look your demons square in their eyes and ask their name with the commanding authority of your divine birthright. Watch their monstrous features soften as you realize you were never tormented by them, you have been tortured by your fear of them.

Dare to create a new reality for yourself in which you don’t have to slay your dragons.

Dare to create a new reality for yourself in which you don’t have to slay your dragons. Allow your dragons the opportunity to teach you.

Pain is inevitable. We must grow and adapt, which requires change and that can feel abrasive – especially if we have been practicing resistance for our whole lives, like most of us have.

But what if the dragons have divine messages and we must but learn their way of communicating to unlock the secrets and freedom our hearts have always longed for? What if monsters are beautiful, scared and lonely? What if everything we are afraid to know isn’t actually what we’re afraid of?

Image Source: Unknown (Internet)

Could it be possible to choose our pain wisely instead of simply accept the victimization we inflict upon ourselves? Can we challenge our discomforts and develope the discipline for pursuing universal optimization and the devotion of personal mastery?

What if the only thing we have to fear really, truly is fear itself and the way it robs from our happiness by distorting our perceptions of reality?

Choosing Love

It’s not easy.

It’s not simple.

It will take our whole lives.

But expansion of love is our universal destiny.

We are all divinity learning to love itself, and all we actually “have to do” is decide that we do love ourselves. That we love every last bit of our naturally subversive, gloriously imperfect and infinitely fragmented divine Self.

Acting on radical acceptance. Demanding revolutionary honesty. Accepting that all progress starts with the infinitesimal fragment that is you, me, or any specified “identity” but that it is always going to ripple out and consequently effect the whole of divine Source. This is the essence of true morality and ethics: making the responsibility of blessing your own.

This is the essence of true morality and ethics: making the responsibility of blessing your own.

We are both separate and unified. Both “I” and the “other.” We must make a choice to sacrifice the temptations of ego and fear conciousness and allow the “I” to live in service of the “other” in order to truly integrate wholeness.

We will always be tempted to be “self-ish,” masquerading as mutations and manipulations of the pure divine Source, but we always have the choice to choose true divine love – the choice to see beyond the limits of our conditions, ego and fear and embrace with all powerful grace the totality of existence, which does include even these “selves,” the “others” and yes, even our “demons” and “monsters.”

Image Source: Unknown (Internet)

Searching for some inspiration, I shuffled through the prompts in a journaling app. There were a few I felt no spark from, but I knew when I found the one. “What does personal development and growth mean to you?”

After all, this blog is called Optimal Mastery. It’s obvious I’m invested in progress, but I haven’t actually talked about what that means to me on the blog yet. Well, here it goes!

Optimal = better than perfect

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of optimization for years now. Ever since taking philosophy classes in college, I’ve wanted to learn more and more that allows me to live better and better. Sustainability, cooperation, appreciation – things that amplify blessings and benefits get my heart racing.

I don’t want to just own any home. I want to own a home with a negative carbon footprint, that’s completely off-grid and self-sustaining long term.

I don’t want to just do any work. I want to write, publish and create from around the world, on my own time, and still live more luxuriously than most.

I don’t want to be just any human. I want to be a person who’s learning and exploring each and every day. Someone who serves others, honors herself and invests in her convictions. Optimization, to me, means never giving up on my own personal best.

Mastery = getting personal

Mastery is the “how to my why.” Essentially, I believe optimization can only be achieved through personal mastery. Self-control, discipline, but also awareness, patience and compassion are all a part of it.

By committing to oneself, to master oneself, one commits to becoming both their own student as well as teacher. It requires life long recommitments too.

Optimization isn’t a static goal, and neither is the tool of mastery. It is ever fluid, its disciplines and devotions ever fluctuating, flowing and reforming as it is informed again and again through the awareness of presence.

A Lifelong Dedication to Refinement

In all, Optimal Mastery means I will never stop learning, growing and evolving. It doesnt mean I must be perfect. It doesn’t even mean I believe perfection exists. It does mean I’ll always be asking myself the hard questions.

I want to live a full and complete life. I want to leave it all “out there.” I want to test my limits, prove my strengths and develop my weaknesses past my comforts, conditions or excuses. I want to live my life on purpose and create intentional meaning.

So that’s what personal development means to me. That’s why my daily blog is called Optimal Mastery. That’s how you all got to be so lucky as to witness the messy art of my growing.