meditation

One of the first things The Gabriel Method encourages is eating a large breakfast to get your day going.  Like all other meals using this approach, breakfast should include a good source of protein, omega 3 and live foods.  You should also take a digestive enzyme capsule before eating to help with digestion. 

So, let’s break these down a little.

Protein

As explained in the book, most of the protein sources we have available to us now are not easily digested by our bodies and the amino acids can not be assimilated and so are then converted into sugar, which is converted to and stored as fat.   It is possible that as little as 15% of the protein that we eat is being properly used.

So what protein sources are the best bang for your buck?  Well,  Jon recommends whey protein powder, which I tried and I think it is really gross.  It’s more the smell than anything and it can ruin a perfectly good smoothie.  I am going to keep trying to find OK ways to use it and I think a little practice about how much is tolerable in what things will help a lot.  

So far, i have found that adding a good amount of citrus (I use lemon juice) to a smoothie cuts the whey protein powder flavor quite a bit and adds a nice tartness to the smoothie.    I have also found that adding a little bit to pancake mix or french toast batter is tolerable.   It is not supposed to change the flavor of foods it is added to and you are supposedly able to add it to anything creamy, but it does taste and it tastes bad, so it’s really a trial and error thing.  

Other and more tasty sources of  protein include…

  • Raw Nuts and Seeds
  • Free Range Chicken and Grass Fed Beef
  • Fish, especially freshwater
  • Organic Yogurt
  • White Cheese made from Goat or Sheep’s milk

I have taken to sprinkling raw nuts or seeds on everything as a way to supplement my protein rather than the whey powder route.  Not as concentrated, but much better tasting.  I have also had fun exploring new cheeses.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

We’ve all heard the news lately about omega fatty acids and how we need to eat more fish.  In the past, our food provided us with an equal amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.  Now, with the way our food is processed and prepared, we now take in 20 times as much omega 6 as omega 3 which causes inflammation in the body and results in all kinds of physical ailments and triggers the FAT programs (actually “Famine And Temperature” not fat) that can cause us to retain unnecessary weight.  

Good sources of Omega 3 include…

  • Flax seed and oil
  • Omega 3 enriched eggs
  • Fish – specifically wild cold water fish
  • Organic Meat and Dairy

Flax seeds are awesome and can be sprinkled on everything without really affecting the taste at all.  The catch is they must be freshly ground for maximum potency.  I bought a  second coffee grinder for this and just grind up a little flax while prepping each meal and sprinkle it on everything.  

I also use omega eggs, which I think are also a decent source of protein.  We are trying to eat one fish meal a week, usually alternating between shrimp and fish.   We have never been fish eaters so this is a step for us.  Jon also recommends taking a significant amount of omega 3 supplements, which I have started to do this week. 

Live Foods

This just means that the food is alive and unprocessed.  Lots of fruits and veggies, preferably organic.  Add an extra serving to each meal is my general rule.

Essential Sugars

This is the carb category.  This is definitely the one I am most confused about.  In one sentence he says that bread and starches are “dead carbs” and provide no significant nutritional value, but in the next section he talks about how good for you sprouted bread is.  

Well, until I figure it out I am really enjoying sprouted bread.  This is my favorite find from this program.  It is so yummy.  I especially enjoy the kind with seeds.  It is very different than even a regular piece of wheat bread, but I have completely replaced all other bread, except for the occasional onion bun (I love these).  

Sprouted bread can be found in the organic section of your grocery store and sometimes it is refrigerated.  My Trader Joes carries several varieties and I found some local bakery sprouted seed bread at my local Thriftway that is amazing.  It  works well for toast, sandwiches and makes really amazing french toast.  Yum Yum Yum.

Table sugar and processed breads are the worst of the “dead carbs”.  Jon recommends Xylatol as his sweetener of choice.  It is pretty spendy so I haven’t gone there yet, but will probably pick some up next time I have a little extra in the weekly food budget.  Supposedly it tastes natural and can be used as a one to one replacement for sugar.  For now, I have switched to raw turbinado sugar for my coffee (which is really the only thing I use table sugar directly for).

Fruit, of course, is the best source of essential sugars.  

There are some timing issues that can be important when it comes to carbs.  Eat carbs as early in the day as possible and as late in the meal as possible.  This encourages better digestion and less left overs that can be turned into fat.

In addition to wondering about good bread versus dead carbs, I am also curious how rice fits into all this.  There is no mention of brown or wild rice, which I thought were pretty good for you.  Guess I will have to do some research or maybe I will email Jon and ask him.  Supposedly you can do that from his website.

Supplements

This is my supplement regimen each day…

  • Before Breakfast – A probiotic and a digestive enzyme.  The probiotic you take should be the kind you purchase from and store in the refrigerator, available at your local health food store.  A good all around profile digestive enzyme is best.
  • In the Afternoon – A multi-vitamin and a multi-mineral and my acai supplement.  The guy I talked to at my local health store recommended Real Food Organics Ultimate Daily Nutrition for my daily multi.  It is made from organic food sources only.  Here’s a look at the nutritional information.
  • With Dinner – A digestive enzyme and several Omega 3 capsules.  This is the omega 3 supplement that I take.  According to my guy, it was the second best one, but the top rated one was a little cost prohibitive.

How It All Comes Together

This may sound like a lot of work.  Karli and I were talking about it the other night and he was saying how he could “never do what I do”.  He is pretty picky and particular when it comes to food so some of these things might be a stretch for him (mostly the flax seed scares him I think).  

But really,  I don’t feel like any of this has inconvenienced me or is hard or that I am suffering at all. Eating a big breakfast is something that I am not used to doing and I have had to carve out time to do so.  But, I am not depriving myself of anything and once I had a system in place, all the adds, supplements and meditations weren’t a big deal at all.

I think the visualisation CD has a lot to do with this.  I usually fall asleep within the first few minutes so I’m not really sure exactly what he’s planting in there, but whatever it is I am feeling really good about this whole process and unlike all the “diets” I have tried before, I’m not missing anything.  

This is just stage one and many more changes and additions are coming, but I feel prepared and unafraid and am sure that those changes will come easily as well.

Buy The Book Now!

Jon Gabriel used to weigh over 400 lbs and he spent years of his life dieting and regaining the weight, spending thousands with Dr. Atkins and continually forcing himself to lose weight only to gain it back and even more.  He took it on as his mission to figure out why his body wanted to be fat.

He attended Wharton school of Business, studying biochemistry while he was there.  He also studied at the VA hospital in Philadelphia.  He has researched and read hundreds of research reports, learning everything he could about biochemistry, neurobiology, psychology, nutrition, and much more.  He also studies meditation, neuro and psycho linguistics, field of consciousness research and even quantum physics.  Even more importantly he started studying  his own body.

What he found is quite remarkable and his own weight loss is just one example of it working.  He lost over 200 lbs in 2 1/2 years.

I am not usually one to write about something personally unproven, especially when it comes to diet and health, but I really want to document this process so I don’t forget everything I’m learning.

I am feeling really great and enjoying the new foods that I am trying.  I am generally in a better mood and sleeping really well.  This after only a week with just the smallest of diet changes.

This is a really new program so there isn’t a lot of information about it our there.  I am very curious about the process and the outcomes and hope that sharing my experiences will be helpful to others exploring this approach.

It also includes incorporating a lot of new foods that I was generally unfamiliar with, so creating and sharing recipes will be fun.


How I Found The Gabriel Method

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:45 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I have tried all the regular tricks (a.k. fad diets and cleanses) in my bag as well as three months of simply reducing and logging my calories and increasing my exercise level significantly. With all that I have still not lost one pound since the initial weight came off after Ian was born almost two years ago. I haven’t gained weight either, it just won’t budge. Every time I get on the scale, it is just the same thing over and over again.

Something is keeping my body just where it is no matter what I do, so I started doing some research on other ways of looking at the diet and weight loss issue.

I believe that when ideas or topics present themselves to you, especially from a couple of different directions, it means that I need to explore that topic more.

Acai Berry Supplements

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

I have been taking an Acai supplement for about 6 months now and I will tout its benefits all over town, but let’s get one thing perfectly clear…

This is not a diet drug. If you believe that crap about losing 40 pounds by just taking a pill then you are an idiot, just like I was.

So, Why is Acai so great?

The Gabriel Method – After Week 1

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

After just more than one week on the month one plan plus adding the recommended foods where appropriate, I am already seeing my cravings change. Less Diet Coke, more water and the other day we took the kids to ice cream in the afternoon and I didn’t even feel like having something sweet. I more wanted some cheese and bread, maybe some olives. Now, I did have the ice cream and it’s not like cheese and bread is so great for you, but that change in craving is a big one for me. I have always wanted something sweet.

Now, a few days later, I don’t really want to eat the breads at all. Last night we had garlic shrimp and pasta and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat the very small amount of pasta I put on my plate and today I took the kids to lunch and nothing really sounded good and I ended up tearing most of the bread off my meal and eating out just the center.

The Gabriel Method – Some Basic Nutrition

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 5 comments. Top.

One of the first things The Gabriel Method encourages is eating a large breakfast to get your day going. Like all other meals using this approach, breakfast should include a good source of protein, omega 3 and live foods. You should also take a digestive enzyme capsule before eating to help with digestion.

So, let’s break these down a little.

Wilted Salad – Gabriel Method Recipe

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

I have been exploring new foods and ways of eating as part of the Gabriel Method.

This salad has become my favorite lunch. It is hearty and filling, dare I say comforting, and chock full of nutrition.

Gabriel Method – After Week 2

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I really really want to weigh myself. I can’t help it, the scale just calls to me. I have put it away, but just because it is put away doesn’t mean I can’t go and dig it out. It is only the thought that I may get on the scale and that same number will still be there that is keeping me from it.

Poached Eggs on Toast – Gabriel Method Breakfast

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:43 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

When I was little my mom used to make me poached eggs when I had an upset stomach. It has become of form of comfort food for me.

The problem is that poaching eggs in water is messy and kinda smelly and a good portion of the egg white is lost to the spinning web of egg white strings (yuck). Yet, poached eggs are still my favorite way to eat eggs and when I started The Gabriel Method and knew I was going to need to eat more eggs, making poached eggs easy was a must.

The Gabriel Method – End of Month 1

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:43 GMT. 6 comments. Top.

Let’s get real here. I feel weak. I doubt my ability to do this and I am self sabotaging like you would not believe. Yet one more thing that terrifies me. I am so tired of being afraid. I don’t even know what I am so damn scared of. I just walk around wallowing in my own fear.

Gabriel Method Forum

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:21 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

So after that particularly negative and self loathing post about my progress, I went looking for a support forum.

A New Day

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:21 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

It’s a funny thing about fear. Sometimes when you say it out loud and face it directly it recedes and sometimes even dissapears all together.

I would like to thank everyone for the unexpected and very much appreciated outpouring of support. Your words of encouragement made a really bad day a whole lot better and gave me the confidence to push past it. Thank-you.

I wish I could say my fear is gone forever, but alas that simply isn’t how it is in this case. But, by owning my weaknesses I have come to understand them a little better and can now move forward with my eyes open.

The Gabriel Method – Week 6

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 5 comments. Top.

After over a week of rededicating myself to The Gabriel Method, I am feeling better and better about it.

Dealing With Emotional Weight Issues

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

After the events of the past week I have come to determine that my frustration over my lack of measurable progress (a.k.a. weight loss) really comes down to the fact that I am jumping the gun. As long as I have all this emotional baggage the weight will not come off, no matter what I do.

The Gabriel Method – I Love My Body

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Every year (for the past 15) over the Memorial Day weekend, a large group of friends from college go camping (if you can really call it that) at Banks Lake in eastern Washington. This year we had the best weather ever, 80s and sunny and perfect every day. It has never been better.

The problem with this was that I knew it was coming. Karli is kinda weather obsessed so we were watching the weather starting like 2 weeks before hand. Now how could knowing we were going to have beautiful weather the whole weekend be bad? It meant I needed to buy a bathing suit.

The Gabriel Method – Divine Love

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

Over this last week I have been noticing some subtle, yet important, changes in the way I feel. Because the emotional and self perception issues are so huge for me, I have vowed not to weigh myself or even measure myself until October. I am letting go of numbered results and concentrating on how I feel and healing myself.

The Gabriel Method – I Love Salad

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

I love salad. I think one reason that this eating plan works so well for me is that I love salad. I eat at least one, if not two, large salads a day. I’m lucky that my husband loves salad too.

I have been experimenting with different toppings and styles of salad, but for most meals it is pretty much the same.

The Gabriel Method – End of Month 2

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

I picked up my Gabriel Method book this morning to reread some of the nutritional stuff as I have been concentrating on my mental health and identifying and eradicating my emotional blockage. I was looking through the monthly plans and nutritional information and realized that I am already doing everything in month 3, just naturally without thinking about it. How cool is that?

Big Salad – Gabriel Method Recipe

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:19 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

I think I mentioned in my I love Salad post that my husband and I have been really enjoying what we call the “Big Salad”. We have this for dinner once a week now and giggle about past Seinfeld episodes (did you catch the reference?).

I find it funny that without even trying to convince him, my husband is fully on board with whatever I put in front of him these days. This one is a big hit though, so I thought I would share.

Shrimp and Spinach Salad w/ Cider Vinaigrette – Recipe

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:39 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I have really been enjoying my new world of salads. Although most of the time I stick to the basics, I have found some really great more creative offerings as well. Nothing boring about this little number.

The Gabriel Method – The Strangest Things

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:38 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

This process never ceases to amaze me. The weirdest stuff is happening to me. I squarely chalk this up to the fact that I must have had some serious stuff built up in my system as well as a significant amount of emotional blockage.

The Gabriel Method – July Results – Photos

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:38 GMT. 6 comments. Top.

Well, nothing earth shattering here but I thought it might be time that I post some photos. This is really hard for me, putting myself out there for the world to look at, but what the hey — here we go.

My nuu-muu Fits!

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:38 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

So, the story goes, it was laundry day and 106 degrees out and I needed something to throw on so I could wash my very limited supply of clothing appropriate for such a heat wave. I look up and there it is, hanging in my closet, just where it has been since the day it arrived. What the hey? and I put it on…

Transformations

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:37 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

I know that I have mentioned this maybe even several times in the past, but I just can’t get over how powerful it is when the same information comes at me from several unrelated sources. This always confirms for me that I am on the right track. Lately this phenomena is happening everywhere I look and so gives me confidence that although I sometimes feel like I am dangling from a hook, struggling to find solid ground as life zooms past me, everything is happening as it should and it helps me to trust myself and allow myself to be present to the changes happening in my life.

Where The Hell Have Your Been?

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:21:23 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

After several people have left very nice comments, but are also wondering what has happened to me and why I haven’t written anything in a while, I decided it is time for an update.

I Finally Made the Mental Shift

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:21:23 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Extreme Fat Loss and The Diet Solution

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:21:23 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I believe that these two programs combined are a powerful match and will produce amazing results for me and you as well.

Here are both the Products for you to take a look at.

Extreme Fat Loss Diet

Joel is still offering $30 off during the pre-sale, but this will end in the next day or so.

The Diet Solution

This is an audio/video presentation so make sure you have your speakers on :)

Access the whole Gabriel Method Series of articles

A little over a week ago I started The Gabriel Method.   This is a new approach to weight loss, with his book being released around the new year.  

Jon Gabriel used to weigh over 400 lbs and he spent years of his life dieting and regaining the weight, spending thousands with Dr. Atkins and continually forcing himself to lose weight only to gain it back and even more.  He took it on as his mission to figure out why his body wanted to be fat.  

He attended Wharton School of Business, studying biochemistry as well while he was there.  He also studied at the VA hospital in Philadelphia.  He has researched and read hundreds of research reports, learning everything he could about biochemistry, neurobiology, psychology, nutrition, and much more.  He also studies meditation, neuro and psycho linguistics, field of consciousness research and even quantum physics.  Even more importantly he started studying  his own body.

What he found is quite remarkable and his own weight loss is just one example of it working.  He lost over 200 lbs in 2 1/2 years.  

I am not usually one to write about something personally unproven, especially when it comes to diet and health, but I really want to document this process so I don’t forget everything I’m learning.  

I am feeling really great and enjoying the new foods that I am trying.  I am generally in a better mood and sleeping really well.  This after only a week with just the smallest of diet changes. 

This is a really new program so there isn’t a lot of information about it our there.  I am very curious about the process and the outcomes and hope that sharing my experiences will be helpful to others exploring this approach.

It also includes incorporating a lot of new foods that I was generally unfamiliar with, so creating and sharing recipes will be fun. 

All of the posts related to my experiences will be gathered under the Article Series tab at the top of the page.

Buy the Book Now!

For this reading I will use the first ten sword cards and the first ten major arcana cards to examine how I am as a risk taker.   Swords generally deal with struggles, power and strategy and I hope to see how I might best manage the risk and anxieties in my life.  

The Layout

This reading uses a triple cover and cross layout.  I will use three basic cover and cross pairs using the I-X of Swords and the first ten major arcana cards, shuffled separately.

The basic cover and cross layout consists of one card upright (covers you) and one laying across that one (crosses you).  Just like a cross.  The cover card represents the current situation and the cross card represents the challenges you face.

Shuffle the sword cards while asking your question and deal up the first three cards in the covers position.  Then shuffle the major arcana cards while asking your question and deal up the first three cards in the cross position.

Tarot Reading

The Question: How can I ensure I take the right risks?

The Spread

Covers:  X Swords
Cross:  X Wheel

Covers:  IX Swords
Cross: IX Hermit

Covers: I Swords
Cross: VI Lovers

Interesting or coincidental that the first two are both nines and then both tens.  Hmmm.

The Answer

You are very capable of making a comeback.  Look to trusted friends for advice, but when the decisions need to me made, take some time to yourself and trust your own gut.  You will have the most success working with a partner.

The Cards

X Swords

My Take*:  A Man cowers under a ring of swords.  He is currently repelling the swords but that situation could change at any time.  He is naked and hides his head. Vulnerable is the word that comes to mind.

The Card:  You have completely lost yourself in the ruminations of your conscious mind.  The chattering monkey mind has obscured your perspective and the ability to see clearly and you are no longer able to manage things productively.  The good news is that there is nowhere to go but out of this situation now.  This is the end of the road and now you are able to see new opportunities and the potential for growth.

X World

My Take:  This card always reminds me of the Wheel of Time.  How no matter what happens time keeps moving on, with or without us.  It represents all the possibilities of the Universe and it is all up to us whether we seize those opportunities or let them pass us by.

The Card:  This card represents the feeling that our fate is determined by some mechanical or cosmic machine.  But no matter how many things are out of our control, there are many many things that we can control.  We just have to look at these things in new and creative ways.  It can represent feeling helpless to your circumstances and most definitely means that change is coming, usually for the better.  We must remember the control that we do have in our lives and not let ourselves believe too strongly in the power of those things outside ourselves.  

IX Swords

My Take:  Afraid of the things that go bump in the night.  A woman lays, afraid.  The swords are all gathered in a point right above her head.  A tree reaches out like a claw.  These are the scary thoughts that run around in our heads.  Being afraid of everything whether it is real or not or should be scary or not.  Letting our thoughts cripple us.

The Card:  Anxiety caused by the trappings of the mind.  How we think about things effects our perception of the world around us.  If we expect bad things to happen then they usually will.

IX Hermit

My Take:  This card is about looking deep within ourselves for the answers to our questions.   It’s about removing ourselves from out surroundings in order to gain perspective on a situation.  

The Card:  Seclusion, meditation and removing of oneself to gain perspective.  Self imposed isolation and contemplation.   The lantern brings light into the farthest reaches of the mind.  Make sure that the isolation is for reflection and not simply to escape.

I Swords

My Take*:  An armored and winged woman is the hilt of this single sword.  Light radiates from behind the sword through a dappled cloud sky.  The tip of the sword runs through a golden triangle.  Ones are generally about new opportunities.   This card speaks to me of a renewal in strength.  The woman is ready to take flight like a regal bird, yet grounded by the golden triangle.

The Card:   A new idea or “Aha” moment.  A new  and clearer understanding of the world around us and our personal path.  Great opportunity for growth and change.

VI Lovers

My Take:   Intimate relationships.   Obtaining the ultimate closeness while still retaining your own identity.   

The Card:  Relationships, sharing of self, vulnerability, attraction of opposites.  All types of relationships are represented, not only love relationships.    Sharing of oneself can be frightening, but closeness and a breaking down of barriers can be achieved by being honest and up front.  Communication and understanding prevail. 

Reading Analysis

These three set reading tend to deal with past present and future and the first set seems to hold true with this.  I feel like the last year has been all about giving in and resigning to the situation so that I can finally see past all the anger and pain and fear and move on with my life in a more productive and genuine way.  It is time for me to break myself down and pick through all the pieces to determine who it is I really want to be.  This required getting rid of the negative influences in my life, renegotiating my boundaries and interactions with those closest to me and learning enough about myself to redefine who I am.  With this comes the ability to move forward in a new way that is very exciting and more than a bit scary.  

It is funny that they talked about the chattering monkeys.  My therapist referred to my constant ruminating as chattering monkeys as well.  A big part of this journey for me has been to differentiate between when the monkeys are working on something productive and when they are just being distracting and destructive.  I am working on this and also telling them that this isn’t productive and diverting them onto more productive paths.  It seems to be working quite well.  Really dealing with depression, anxiety, fear, chattering monkeys or whatever else is all the same.  You have to look it straight in the eye, accept it and recognize it for what it is, then simply move on with your day.  There is little you can do about your physical reactions or mental wanderings, but you can identify it correctly and chose to live your life anyway.  And eventually the thoughts and physical sensations begin to subside, at least that has been my experience.

For a while now, I have felt really out of control, like the world was spinning out of control around me.  The Wheel card represents that.  But now, I am taking back the control that I do have, by choosing the people who influence my life, facing my fears and slaying the dragons, as I like to say, as well as trying to reconcile, resolve and/or let go of the things that haunt me from my past.

The nine of swords and Hermit pairing make perfect sense for the present with anxiety brought on by the workings of my mind and my resulting self imposed isolation.  I have been going through a lot and have closed rank as a way to cope and work through everything.  Only recently have I really started to reach out again and am beginning to attempt to clear away some of the rubble.  

This is where the risk this reading addresses really comes into play.  In the future set we have the one of swords about new inspirations and opportunities paired with the lovers which deals with open and honest communication and relationships.  To me this means that new opportunities lie in my relationships with others and with open and honest communications, being comfortable with my vulnerability and recreating the important relationships in my life in an honest and meaningful way.   It also may mean that a new relationship in my life will be a rewarding risk.  

Overall an honest and encouraging reading.

 

* Please keep in mind that I am learning and this is a new deck of cards for me.  The “My Take” statements are my first impression based on just looking at the card.  It is very likely that the first time the card comes up they won’t be even remotely close.  Please don’t hold it against me.  “The Card” statements are more accurate and based on the meanings that are presented with the card.

This reading will be using the major arcana and cup cards we have been examining lately to take a looker depth at one of my relationships.

The Layout

For this reading I will be using the .

The cards in play are…

I-X of Cups
I-X of Trumps (Major Arcana)

Shuffle the cups and major arcana cards separately while concentrating on the question. Deal the top two major arcana cards into positions 1 & 2 (see ). Deal the top four cups into positions 3 through 6.

Shuffle the remaining major arcana and cups cards together while concentrating on the question. Deal the top four cards into positions 7 through 10.

The question: How will my relationship with my new therapist go?

The Spread

1. Covers You (current situation) – I Magician
2. Crosses You (challenges) – V Faith
3. Above You (what is possible) – VIII Cups
4. Below You (how you got here) – I Cups
5. Behind You (recent past) – IV Cups
6. Before You (what’s next) – III Cups
7. Who You Are – VII Chariot
8. Who They Want You to Be – IX Hermit
9. What You Want – II Priestess
10. What You Get – X Wheel

The Answer

You are taking a deliberate action. You have a strong desire to be in control. A magical moment is happening. You must commit fully and play by the rules for the relationship to last. You may be tempted to walk away.

This relationship formed suddenly. There is an instantaneous connection.

Just recently you listened to your gut. Coming up there is a celebration.

You make the moves and they want you to tell the truth. You want this to feel right and know that you made the right decision.

You will get out of this relationship what you put into it. It will have it’s ups and down, but is an honest, real relationship.

Sounds like the relationship I would like to have with a therapist. It shouldn’t always be easy, but it should be honest and the connection is essential.

 

The Cards

X Wheel – Covers You

My Take: A Magician sits in a throne. He holds an orb that shines a light upon a wand, cup, sword and coin in the shape of an infinity symbol. He has a very deliberate look on his face. It looks as if he is illuminating the fact that you have all the tools you need at your disposal and it is just up to you to act on it. You must make it happen yourself.

The Card: Education and training, transforming ideas into plans. The magician is a teacher and gives us invaluable advice about our path. This can represent either a person in your life that serves this purpose or it can refer to our inner inspiration that helps to to learn and gives us our flashes of genius. The four suit symbols represent different ways to approach something. The magician gives us the tools and helps us choose what mixture of these is the most appropriate for the situation.

V Faith – Crosses You

My Take: A man prays. There are many religious symbols in a glowing circle in front of him. This is a religious man, but their are many options available to him. I see this as the opportunity to explore a new way of thinking or belief system.

The Card: The faith card represents our ability to find meaning in things. To many this means religion, but it can also encompass all other points of view as well. We must beware of becoming to rigid or judgmental in our thinking.

VIII Cups – Above You – The best you can hope for given the current circumstances.

My Take: A figure walks up a set of steps to the far away moon. There are 8 cups at his feet and a black and white checkered floor. This cards always represents leaving something behind to me. You are choosing to climb the stairs and walk toward something new, but this also means leaving some things in your life behind.

The Card: Every time we choose one path, it means abandoning another. We look to the moon for new inspiration and leave the cups behind. The cups could represent and idea or project abandoned. It can also refer to a sense of restlessness of the unexplainable need to leave.

I Cups – Below You – How you got here

My take: A single cup sits on the water. The sky looks like sunrise. There is an intricate orb within the cup. One represents newness and cups represent relationships and emotions, so the one of cups means a new relationship to me.

The card: The potential of new relationships and/or emotions. The subconscious is handing you a new emotion, like a gift. A new emotion or relationship is about to begin.

IV Cups – Behind You – Recent past

My take: A figure sits naked in the grass, vulnerable and open to new possibilities. There are three cups on the ground and one in the sky, like it is being presented by the universe. He looks up to the cup in the sky, curious, but not yet ready to reach out an grab it as his hands are still hugging his knees. You are being presented with a new opportunity, but may not yet be fully ready to embrace it. Don’t miss this open door by contemplating too long. WRONG

The Card: This is the grass is always greener card. You may look to better your situation or be discontent with your current circumstances.

III Cups – Before You – Coming soon

My take: The are mardigras beads and masks as well as three cups on a floor with a golden sun on it. Four columns are in the background. This is a card about celebrations and parties. Being with friends. The masks may indicate that you are not ready to reveal everything just yet.

The card: This card represents celebrations and good fortune. Doing something nice for ourselves. Gatherings of all kinds, both formal and casual. Beware of overindulgence.

VII Chariot – Who You Are

My take: A man rides his chariot over a crashing wave, his steeds galloping through the water. There is a steel structure in the background reminiscent of an oil rig. For me, this card speaks to forward motion. Setting the wheels in motion. Moving strongly toward the goal. We just need to remember to keep ourselves grounded in the real world (the metal structure).

The card: The horses represent unbridled energy that must be directed and balanced by the man (you). The man is strong, proud and adventurous, maybe even a bit arrogant. The power in this card is the confidence that you can overcome any obstacle to achieve your goal. The structure represents the beginnings of putting things into context.

IX Hermit – Who they want you to be

My take: A bearded man sits, eyes shut, on the edge of a cliff. He holds a lighted staff. Sometimes we must take a break and get away in order to see more clearly. We look inside ourselves for the answers. We must be careful not to retreat too far and use the light to lead us back.

The card: Removing oneself to meditate on the current circumstances and gain perspective from examining ourselves. The light shines deep into the recesses of our minds to shine light on it’s mysteries. We need to remember though, that this step is part of the journey, not the end of the line.

II Priestess – What You Want

My take: The priestess is a mysterious card. She looks deep into the recesses of her subconscious for answers and represents our psychic connections. She seeks a deeper understanding of herself and her world.

The card: The priestess represents the path to our subconscious. The darkness of the card represents our fear of the knowledge our subconscious holds, or even the existence of it at all. The two pillars on the card represent the duality of our conscious existence, always categorizing things as one way or the other. Our subconscious cannot be directly confronted but must be approached through meditation and openness. Then and only then may we get a glimpse of what lays beyond.

X Wheel – What you get

My take: Although beautiful this card doesn’t speak to me clearly. The wheel looks like the innards of a clock and so reads as the wheel of time. All things come and go and so goes the wheel. I have more to learn about this card for sure.

The card: The wheel represents our fate, those things we don’t have control over. Change is coming. We must remember that although there are things in our life we can not control, there are many more that we can. We must not submit to the fates, not buck against them but find our way to our potential.

Reading Analysis:

– The magician could represent my therapist and my need for her to help me to wade through the clutter of my life, past present and future.

– Faith is the challenge that I face in this situation, so I will need to be open to new ways of thinking about things and look carefully for the meaning in things. I must be careful not to get stuck in my old beliefs.

– I am feeling a very strong urge to leave the past behind me and move forward on a new path. It is encouraging that this is in the what’s possible position, which means I actually might find that new path.

– I got here because all of these emotions surfaced for me and I sought out this new relationship. It is possible that this whole thing this summer, was my subconscious telling me it is time to make some changes.

– Recently I decided that my current path was not satisfying. I do often question why it is that I can’t be content with where I am. I have a great life. Why is it never enough?

– A party in my future? Hmmm.

– I do have confidence that I can accomplish my goals. I started this blog because I knew there must be more for me. It may not be an easy road, but I am confident that I can find my way.

– I relate greatly to the hermit. Numerologically it is the card that represents me and this makes sense as I am naturally a little introverted and introspective. In this context it represents what my therapist wants from me. In this I think it means I need to step back and gain some perspective.

– The end result of this is change. This reading has been full of the looking within cards, the priestess, the hermit, the wheel, the magician, faith, and the four of cups. The Wheel reminds me not to get too caught up in this, but that I have control over the outcome as well.

Note: The information in the “my take” and “reading analysis” sections are only my thoughts. I am learning and these may not fully represent the cards true meaning, just the feeling of card to me, which is a lot of what reading the tarot is about, but I write these before looking at the meaning of the card. Many of the cards that show up repeatedly in my readings are starting to solidify in their meanings for me and you will see that my descriptions of these cards are more consistent in my readings, but my take on cards that don’t show up as often are still evolving and changing in my mind and their descriptions will change over time. In the analysis portion I am practicing applying the cards to the specific circumstance. Please take everything I say about the cards with a grain of salt.

In general, I have been sleeping much better lately, but now and again I just can’t seem to shut my mind off and it just whirls around and around flitting from this to that or sometimes spinning down into oblivion.

I have found several ways of alleviating this that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. I was talking with my fellow classmates and my instructor before yoga class last night about this very phenomena. I was commenting that I was up at 3 in the morning last week, really wishing I new what moves would help me get to sleep.

Turns out there are several that are very helpful. It turns out that having your head close to floor is very helpful and touching the floor is even better. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) is very restorative and helpful for calming the mind, relaxing you and making you better prepared to sleep. Combining this with a concentration on your breath and clearing your mind might be very helpful.

Prasarita Tadottanasana (Wide-legged forward bend) is also a great move. If you can get your head on the floor, even better. Try using a block under your head if you can’t get all the way down. When completely in this pose, it is pretty intense and supposedly all of the racing thought will just flow out of the top of your head and leave you alone.

One way that I attempt to get rid of the thoughts is to write them down. This really helps when you have tomorrows to do list in your head or a great idea for a new blog post that you don’t want to forget. Don’t let it swarm in your head, just turn the side table light on, keep a pen and pad next to your bed, and write it down. Poof, done. And as I learned last night, it also helps when you just can’t keep your mind from spinning on something that is bothering you.

I was having a hard time settling down last night as I had been pretty worked up most of the day and I just needed a release, so I blogged it and read it and rewrote it several times and by that time it was done and I was ready to sleep. I actually slept really well last night, if not for the number of hours I would have liked.

Another topic that came up at yoga class was savasana (corpse pose). I too find this helpful but as my instructor was saying, when the mind is really whirling, savasana is most likely enough. This is really helpful after you have released some of the thoughts and I practice this in bed all the time to help me fall asleep.

The key to savasana and why it is considered by many to be one of, if not the, hardest yoga pose that there is, is to shut off your thoughts. This is a very difficult thing to do. They creep in even when you are actively trying to keep them out. The key is to acknowledge them and then send them on there way, returning your attention to your breath.

This is really meditation, so I did a little search on meditation and found the Change blog and his article on how to meditate. It’s a pretty good article and made me think about all the ways that I use to turn off my mind, reminded me of the conversation I had at yoga class yesterday, inspired me to learn more about meditation and ultimately brought me to writing this article.

But even better, the original author of this blog (it is now a multi-author blog) spent a year looking for change and has documented it in his blog and ultimately in an ebook, which I downloaded and look forward to reading. From the titles of his most popular posts, the same ones ultimately gathered into his ebook, it sounds like he has accomplished many of the things I am looking to accomplish on this journey and I look forward to his insight.

The links to the asanas (yoga poses) above were provided by Yoga Journal. For each pose you are given a good image (not always easy to find), a full description and how-to, and also a wealth of information about the benefits and uses for the pose. Really great stuff. In addition to their comprehensive pose gallery, they have a whole section on home practice section (I can’t wait to try this one), and a tool to build your own practice. Pretty cool.