Solitaire as a Life Lesson

Lately I’ve been really into playing regular old Solitaire on my phone to take a mental break here and there throughout the day. I started thinking about why I love it so much, especially lately as I’ve been practicing my own Mindful Acceptance.

Some valuable lessons solitaire can teach us include:

  • There’s only so much you can control
  • A large part of solitaire is dependent on Chance, the “luck of the draw”
  • Another part is based on the constant decisions a player makes
  • The player’s decision, of course, directly affects the game, but only in varying degrees at different times, combined with what cards they currently have available to them
  • If they don’t take any “do-overs” the player must live with each choice they’ve made and continue forward to make the best of what they have now, even if it’s not exactly the result they wanted
  • The player can constantly learn and improve by experimenting and making different choices in the future
  • Sometimes the player must observe the playing field carefully to see if they’ve missed anything that might help them
  • If the player’s not careful, they might miss a great opportunity to further the game
  • The player can’t assume they already know how things will turn out, nor can they simply give up when all seems lost
  • In short, they must accept the hand they’ve been dealt and navigate decisions to work best with whatever they have in front of them.

What other lessons do you take from everyday experiences around you?

  • When Awareness Leads to Revelation

    Lately I’ve really been focusing on meditation (both with my tarot deck and by simply sitting down to close my eyes and meditate) as a means to tap into my Observer.

    Physically I haven’t been feeling the greatest lately. But I’ve been exercising my inner Observer by simply acknowledging my feelings and the emotions I experience, hour by hour, each day. I’m practicing separating myself from the physical sensations I encounter, simply acknowledging my various parts of myself. And I had a personal revelation today when doing so…

    Growing up, I was taught to believe that being physically ill and mentally troubled was a bad thing — and that it was my fault. (Thanks, Word of Faith, for that…) These things were absolutely curable and if I wasn’t cured, it was because I was either lacking in faith or in enough church donations.

    And, today, when I simply acknowledged my feelings, I felt first a surge of those old thoughts– and I suddenly realized how deeply ingrained they are in me. The things we grow up with tend to be so deeply embedded within us that we don’t even realize they’re there! And, for me in this instance, that tension of feeling ill or bad only reinforced the physical sensations– and it becomes a feedback loop.

    The good news is, now that I’m aware of these things, I’m better able to embrace, acknowledge, and love myself even more than before.

    Simple acknowledgement and acceptance of ourselves, even those things that are hidden, is what it’s all about. What are you acknowledging about yourself today?

    Featured Arcana: Knight of Coins

    The Knight is of the Air Element (Thought); the Coins are of the Earth (Material Reality). Earth will be reshaped by Air, but only very slowly… The simple message of this Knight is:

    Trust the Journey

    …even if it’s a slow, arduous climb. The Journey is sometimes worth more than the Destination.

    Prana: Something to Take With You Today

    I’ve been determined these past few weeks to meditate every single day, and it’s been extremely helpful for my practice of internal balance and individuation.

    I decided to do a 25-minute long session today, unguided — meaning, I was left alone with none but myself for 25 whole minutes, haha!

    What I kept coming back to was my breath. I kept reminding myself that, while my body changes over these 25 minutes (I started sweating, my foot started falling asleep, my back needed to be reminded to rest on the easy flow from my diaphragm, etc…) — while all of that was happening, my breath never changed.

    Prana is defined as “life force”:

    [It] comprises all cosmic energies that permeate the Universe on all levels… In living beings, this universal energy is considered responsible for all bodily functions through five types of prana… Indologist Georg Feuerstein explains, “The Chinese call it chi, the Polynesians mana, the Amerindians orenda, and the ancient Germans od. It is an all-pervasive ‘organic’ energy.” — wikipedia

    While some techniques of pranayama are meant to control the breath and life force, ceasing what is thought of as the origin of our mental restlessness, we can also focus on simply accepting and relying upon our prana, our breath. (I’ve been working on acceptance of my Shadow and other parts lately.)

    So, to recap what I learned, my body will undergo changes throughout the day, my mind will stir with endless thoughts and feelings and beliefs… but my breath is always there, always flowing… in and out… and I can focus and rely on that regular pulsation of Life throughout my day. ❤

    Sometimes Defeat is Better than Truce

    I wanted to share an inspiring Tarot Tale I received today…

    At this moment in my life I’m going through a lot of mental turmoil, for various reasons, a lot of it medical… but there is a light on the horizon. 😉

    My cards today reminded me of the nature of Thought and suggested an alternative approach. I used the 5-card spiritual progress spread

     

     

     

    1. Where I am right now: Cruelty (9 of Swords)
    2. My central lesson: Defeat (5 of Swords)
    3. Influences encouraging growth: King of Earth
    4. Influences against growth: Truce (4 of Swords) d57d1130-6f8a-40c9-85f9-a7a8d221daa8-550-00000036210b2509_file
    5. What I should do: Virtue (3 of Wands)

    So right now I seem to be stuck in constant self-reflection on my own Thoughts. (Which is definitely true.) :p There needs to be new inspiration (sometimes from outside myself) breathed into my mind to free me from the never-ending cycle. Thus, the need for mental Defeat.

    This 5 of Swords can mean Defeat of the querent by others (or themselves), or the querent is perhaps poised to defeat others… either way it’s a mental defeat of ideas and thoughts–a loss of Ideals–and it friends on the context of the spread.

    For me, it’s definitely speaking to a need to lose my own current ideals. Therefore, Truce among my own thoughts is not going to help me grow past this.

    Notice what is supposed to help me grow, however: allowing my Fire of ambition to feed upon and reshape my physical Reality (King of Pentacles), being careful of course not to utterly destroy my surroundings with too much flame…

    And then we come to “what I should do”: Virtue. Recall that Binah is the growth of deductive reasoning about an element to the point that we are able to construct a framework of understanding upon which we further build that element’s journey. So the recommendation here is to focus on my Ambition (my Fire) to the point that I’m able to interrupt my current state of mind with a newly built framework of values, based on my ambition. This offers a way to break my cycle of self-cruelty in thinking.

    As often happens, a “bad” card isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us, but instead can clear the way for us to move forward. 🙂

    Finding Your Own Reality Through Comparison

    I just finished a personally enlightening meditation (if you haven’t checked out the Pacifica app I highly recommend it!) and I wanted to share a bit of insight I got.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately on the nature of Reality, how there are several layers that constitute one’s Reality, and awareness. And in executing a very simple guided meditation of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, I was reminded that we only know our own physical reality.

    Humans have an amazing intuition for “guessing” others’ similar realities. But we can only truly know our own.

    For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? (1 Cor 2:11, KJV)

    So, when I strive to relax my shoulder muscles, how do I know exactly what relaxed is? We say relax, but for each body relaxed is its own definition. The only way to know what relaxed is for ourselves is to compare it to tense.

    By purposely tensing and then relaxing our own muscles — and becoming aware of what each feels like — we become acutely aware of what the relaxed and tensed states mean for us individually.

    Sometimes I become aware that I have unrealistic ideas of what something means for me, even something as basic as “relaxation”. We must remember to learn for ourselves what our realities truly are, so we can live more fully in them.