Direction for Looking

The other night as I was unloading the dishwasher, I went to put a glass into the cupboard when it slipped.  I caught it but it whacked the door and cracked.  The crazy thing was the crack looked like an arrow.  At a different time while having a conversation about goals, a friend had said to me, “Are you waiting for a sign?”  What may seem like two very random things came together like an apple to the head.

To many, the idea of seeking and receiving a “sign” is as ridiculous as trying to do your income taxes while skiing down a mountain.  Yet throughout human history, we have been actively searching for “signs” and “direction” for our lives from outside sources.

“Life is and will ever remain an equation incapable of solution, but it contains certain known factors.”  – Nikola Tesla, Inventor

In trying to find answers to this “equation incapable of solution,” humans have turned to and still use different means to find the answers they are looking for.

In ancient Greece the Pythia, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle and considered by some scholars to be the most powerful woman of the classical world.  The Oracle was always a woman who would surrender her name and position upon taking this station.  When researching the Oracle of Delphi, I came across several different descriptions of how the Oracle would deliver her prophesies.  One thing all the different sources stated was that while the Oracle was in her trance or communication with Apollo that she would rave and her ravings were translated by priests.

One could easily write an entire post just about the Oracle of Delphi.  There is a plethora of information available on this subject.  What I found interesting was that even though the Oracle (a woman) communicated with Apollo (a god) the answers or the directives she received, still needed to be translated or interpreted in order to find meaning.

Tarot cards…. are they a game or a tool for divination?  The tarot is a pack of cards, commonly numbering 78, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games.  From the late 18th century until present, tarot has also been used for divination.  Like the common deck of playing cards, the tarot has four suits.  There are also pictograph cards with an image and title that represents a specific concept or archetype.  When used for divination purposes, tarot focuses on the placement and order the cards are dealt to reveal significance to the participant.  In this case, the cards have specific meanings.  The participant or person having their cards read, has to determine how those meanings relate to their life, situation, or question asked of the cards.  Again, one must interpret the direction or signs.

“Hey baby!  What’s your sign?” 

Ancient man would stare up at he night sky and watch the stars, with no neon or electric lights of any kind to dim their brilliance.  In astrology and historical astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude that follow the path of the sun across the earth over the course of a year.   These divisions are called signs.  

The term zodiac originated with the Greek word zodiakos kyklos which means “circle of animals.”  The name comes from the fact that half of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are represented by animals.  By the late 2nd century BC, a combination of Babylonian, Greek, and Egyptian astrology resulted in a focus on the birth chart of the individual and the creation of a horoscope.  Again information is interpreted by an individual who maps out your chart based on the date and time of your birth.

I have a friend that when she wants direction she sets her Bible on her lap, says a prayer asking for direction, closes her eyes, opens her Bible and puts a finger down on the page.  Whatever verse her finger lands on, is the answer to her question or prayer.  She said that it is not an “exact science” and the answer sometimes doesn’t make sense right away.  But she feels comforted that she is given direction to the questions she is asking.  She also stated that often the answer becomes clear to her when listening to the sermon during her church service on Sunday.  In her experience, God does not talk to her directly.  He guides her towards an answer.

The above are simply a few examples of how humans have communicated or communicate with the divine in seeking signs or direction in their lives.  I am not saying that you should go out and have a Tarot card reading, your astrological chart plotted out, consult an oracle and/or go to church if that makes you uncomfortable.  I am simply giving examples and how these methods for seeking signs and communicating with the divine were/are used.  If you are interested in researching and following up with any of the things that I have listed, I encourage you to do so.  There is all kinds of information out there on these subjects and so much more.

Just as I have stated before that we all are attracted to different things.  Everyone has a different belief system and world view.  Just because you do not agree or believe in one or all of the above listed means of communication with the divine, I ask you not to judge or be dismissive of these things.  We are all unique and so are our belief systems.

My creativity classes have done work on “setting an intention.”  What exactly is setting an intention you ask?  Isn’t it just a goal?  No, it isn’t just a goal.  It is a statement of intent that can be spoken or written.  In setting an intention you lay out what you wish to accomplish.  Yes you are working towards accomplishing specific things but not on a set time frame.  Goals are generally very time and outcome oriented.  An intention is the gentle, everything in its own time, cousin to goal setting.

I had lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago.  We had been talking about setting intentions and goals.  Ideas for future possibilities.  Choices we make and have made. We discussed how sometimes it takes time to see where our choices have led us.  As we left the restaurant and were walking towards the office I work at, there was the fortune from a fortune cookie on the sidewalk.  I picked it up.  (I have been known to use fortunes in my artwork.)  My friend and I read it.  We both started laughing.  It seemed very prophetic considering the conversation we had at lunch.  My friend said, “It’s a sign.”  It did feel like I was getting positive reinforcement from the universe.

Fortune from Fortune Cookie

One thing I have noticed is that when I have set an intention opportunities begin to present themselves.  I think that setting the intention is a signal to yourself that you are ready for a certain type of change.  It also allows you to start looking for or at opportunities that fall into line of that intention.  If I pay attention and keep my eyes open, that the right words or opportunities appear at the right time.  The thing you needed to hear to continue the project.  The positive feedback from an anonymous stranger regarding your work.  A job opening in the city that you want to move to.  Whatever it is that you need at that moment, I believe, if you are willing and ready to hear it, it will appear.  The right words at the right time.

What is your direction for looking, for hoping, for seeking?  How do you set goals, set intentions, plan?  Do you look for signs or make your own?  We are all on the path of life.  How we travel along that path is entirely up to us.  I hope that you always continue to keep seeking, searching, exploring, and creating.  Safe journey on your path, my friend.

Being Your Authentic Self

“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”  -Steve Jobs

Before I started writing my own blog, I did research on blogging.  I also followed the blogs of others.  In doing research, I found that some believed that you need to post a blog every day.  Others thought that a blog post should never have more than 500 words.  While some felt you shouldn’t add photos to your blog.  One blogger stated that she only writes when the mood moves her and she will write as much or little as she desires.  Another felt that a blog without pictures didn’t provide impact.  I found it all very interesting.

When I finally gained the courage to start a blog, I knew that I would feel immense pressure if I had to have a post every single day.  So I chose not to.  Sometimes I write under 500 words and sometimes I am very verbose.  Sometimes I add media, a link or photo/photos, to the post.  My only rule for myself is to publish two posts on my blog each month.

I am sure that you are asking yourself what in the world does all of this about a blog have to do with being myself or creativity?  Just as I muddled through research and finding my voice as a blogger, we have to work to find our authenticity in our own lives.

This is not something that you figure out and are done.  This is an ongoing research project.  Being yourself is a daily challenge.  It is something that we do consciously and unconsciously, through our choices, how we treat others, the words we say, and the work we do.

Like the quote from Steve Jobs, I believe that the most important work anyone can do is to be true to their authentic selves.  For me, living authentically is living creatively, each and every day.  What are you working towards?