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. ❤

    Observe…

    We influence all that we encounter in our existence with this universe.

    Vibrations of a variety of natures strike us daily, and our physical receptors receive what elements of that that they have evolved to receive, by which the brain interprets what we encounter…. And our Ego thus attaches meaning to that which we have received from the Universe.

    Our Ego gives meaning, gives labels, categorizes, and judges what signals we have received. Then we react — not to the signals themselves, mind you — but rather we react to the meaning of those signals passed on to us ultimately through the Ego-Filter. We have no choice but to react in accordance to the paradigm within which the meaning of these signals is thus found, by way of the Ego’s choosing. And we all jump in so quickly, so easily, without any thought, when we are so identified inseparably with our Ego and who it says we are.

    Thereby, we influence what we receive from the Universe. We call things good or bad… We call people and their behaviors wise or evil… Objects are blue, square, beautiful, ugly

    All is filtered through the Ego, and we react to that, imposing our Ego’s selective nature upon that which we encounter. And, Nature and People respond back in kind.

    What would it be like to experience this Universe without any perceptions? To see people and behaviors and objects only as they are? To at least be aware that any and all initial categorizations are emanating from the Ego, and that, at the heart of it all, we are a part of the fabric of the All.

    Then we see through the eyes of the Observer; the eyes of our Soul. The Observer is in a place of pure Love, for it is truly unconditional, non-judgmental, and accepting. All is simply All, as it is. The place of the Observer is peace and rest, unity. To get out from under the filter of the Ego and emerge to the mountaintop of the Observer is to release your burdens, and simply Live.

    Embrace what you see and receive today from the place of the Observer, and let the Universe unfold in all its splendor around and within you.