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January 2015

2015 Session of the Tarot Classroom Begins 2/1/15

Tarot Classroom New

Time for another exciting session of my Tarot Classroom! Eleven weeks of clear, thorough, self-paced study in a private, password-protected blog. The best news? (Other than the lowest-price-ever investment of $78, that is!) I'll create custom bonus classes for you--text or video--at your request. 

Cool, huh? What other Tarot author, expert, deck creator and teacher does that? Plus, I'll be there answering your comments on the lessons (or via email, should you prefer communicating that way)--as well as give you encouragement, feedback and, if necessary, and nice kick in the behind. ::wink::

Are you ready to finally learn the cards? Be fluent in Tarot-ese? String those card meanings together like you born to read? Head on over to this link on my website where you can see the entire syllabus--and then decide if my Tarot Classroom is a good fit for you. 

Seats are already filling up; I hope you can join us!

-- Janet


How to Define Your Values

Below is an excerpt of my eBook New Year, New You. I hope you find it helpful!

In her fascinating book The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One, author Margaret Lobenstine writes: “People who aren’t fully committed to the values that their activities represent sputter through life, pulled in one direction by their commitments and in another by their spirits.”

Many directions
© Stuart Miles

A good portion of existential angst and internal conflict arises from misalignment between values and actions. We can say we value X, Y, Z—but if our actions show we actually value D, F and G…well, there’s disharmony.

Why do we make decisions and engage in behaviors that conflict with our core values? Two reasons:

1. We don’t even know our values

2. We’re (unconsciously) living someone else’s values (that we adopted as our own)

So how do we figure out our values—and know if they’re truly ours…or if they come from outside our core?

First, you must be brutally honest with yourself. What you really, truly value may very well conflict with what your family, religion, friends, teachers, community or society at large values. Here’s a list of things individuals value. There is no “right” or “wrong” value. And, even if you try to deem something “wrong”, or “useless” or “shallow” (often unconsciously), that doesn’t mean that you still don’t truly value it. This is why you must be honest about identifying your current values.

Note that I said “current”. This is because our values are not set in stone. What you value at age 20 won’t necessarily be what you value at age 40, 60 or 80.

Below is a list of over 50 values (many taken from Lobenstines’s book). If you can think of others, feel free to add to the list. Read over them, contemplate them and pick out at least five. You can compare this list against your feelings and preferences, as well as the results from the Writing and Collage exercises above to discern what you truly value. Also, compare this list against your answers from the Archetypes section and the personality types (if you’ve spotted yours).

Painting q
© graur razvan ionut

Achievement. Affection. Appearance. Approval. Arts. Authority. Beauty. Career. Community. Creativity. Environment. Expertise. Fame. Family. Freedom (personal). Freedom (political). Generosity. Health (emotional). Health (physical). Home. Honesty. Integrity. Learning. Leisure. Love. Loyalty. Meaning. Money. Openness. Patriotism. Personal Growth. Pleasure. Progress. Popularity. Power. Privacy. Recognition. Relationships. Religion. Reputation. Respect. Risk-Taking. Security. Serenity. Social Acceptance. Socializing. Solitude. Spiritual Development. Status. Time. Winning. Wisdom.

If your decisions, goals and dreams are out of alignment with your core values, you will feel conflicted and unhappy. If you think about it, you can substitute the word “success” with “values”—because what you want (and need) to feel successful are directly connected to what you value.

Look at the five (or more) values you’ve selected. Ask yourself “What does that look like?

What does “Community” look like to you? What about “Expertise”, “Family”, “Leisure”, “Risk-Taking”, “Solitude” and “Spiritual Development”—or whatever your personal values are?

Now, let’s try to determine if your activities—how you spend your time—are reflecting your values…or someone else’s.

Take a piece of paper and draw two lines to make three separate columns. At the top of the first column, write down Actions. At the top of the second column, write down Justification (it’s your reason for doing it). At the top of the third column, write Whose Values?.

List your hobbies, volunteer efforts, job tasks, commitments, errands, pursuits, daily habits and goals in the first column.

In the second column, write down your justification for each action. Why do you go to the gym every day, for example? Is it because it makes you feel strong and healthy? Or do you do it because you want to appear fit? Or because you like socializing with other exercisers? Or maybe it helps you get out of the house? Or perhaps because your mother is thin, and always remarks that “You’re looking chunky lately”?

Gym
© stockimages

Another example:

You clean your house, top to bottom, every Saturday. Is your justification that you like (and need) a clean house? Or just that you’ve always done it, ever since you’ve been on your own? Or that you’re mother’s a clean freak—and gives your house the white glove test when she comes over?

In the third column, write down if the Action in column one reflects YOUR values—or THEIRS (external influence). You can write “Mine” if it’s yours—and “Theirs” if it’s from someone else.

Let’s say your justification for cleaning house every Saturday is “because that’s what I’ve always done”. Look deeper. Whose value is that? Is it because your Mom values a clean house? And may criticize you if it’s less than sparkling?

Then, it’s THEIRS (or HERS)—not yours.

Another example: You go to church twice every Sunday and once Wednesday night (Action). What’s your justification for attending church three times a week? Whose values does this attendance reflect?

Sometimes, the Whose Values? column may be BOTH (Mine and Theirs). And that’s fine.

But if you have actions, goals, decisions and dreams that aren’t reflecting YOUR values—then you’ve discovered why some endeavors feel boring, disempowering or useless. Consider what you’ll gain by eliminating them from your life. Time? Energy? Peace of mind? Harmony? Relief?

-- Janet

 


The Bone from the Boyer Charming Oracle

Here's THE BONE from our Boyer Charming Oracle.

Bone charm smaller

Keywords: Basics; Stripped Down; Structure; Support; Uncomplicated; Simple.

Tarot Card Association: 3 of Coins

Questions to Answer:

This charm reminds me of __________.
I would expect to draw this when _________.
I would be surprised/confused if this came up for ________. 
Phrases that include this symbol/motif: 
Songs that include this symbol/motif: 
Stories, movies or books about this symbol/motif: 

What would it mean if this charm came up for:

Romance
Spiritual Growth
Job
Parenthood
Health
Embracing
Releasing

Charming With URL 500

Feel free to share your insights in the comments section below! Don't have your set of charms yet? Good news! We're doing a second run of our Boyer Charming Oracle (will be shipping out this week or next--waiting for more charms to arrive all the way from the UK). Find out more at CharmingOracle.com.

-- Janet


How Not to Run a Restaurant (Fairdale Inn in Carmichaels) - Review


I love good food. 

When Adam and Sherrie's opened up in Carmichaels, I was thrilled that a sit-down restuarant came to town.

Well, the food was OK, but the hostess was a sourpuss--and the energy of the place felt tense. 

It ended up shutting down within months. I guess 

Fast forward a few years, and a new restaurant opens up on the same property: Fairdale Inn.

Living in a small town, it doesn't take long to find out that it's the same chef. Apparently, he and his first wife (the "Sherrie" of Adam and Sherrie's) got a divorce, he remarried, and was having a go at the restaurant business once again (with the help of Mommy and Daddy's money).

We decided to give Fairdale Inn another chance, and were delighted to see that the food was yummy. What a bonus to have a good restaurant 3 miles away instead of, say, 20 miles away!

They had a Sunday brunch, and it was delicious. We started making it a weekly family outing...but then, they stopped doing it. "We'll start it up again in the Fall", their Facebook page said.

They didn't.

See, that was one of the main problems of Fairdale Inn: you never knew when the hell they were open! They relied on a Facebook personal page (not a business page) to post their wildly flluctuating hours and menu. Half the time, they didn't answer posters requesting reservations. They'd have weekly Friday buffets, so those were (mostly) dependable, hours wise. (Price wise? Inflated, but I'd rather pay a few more dollars to stay local considering how, at the time, gas prices were insanely high.)

Rumors swirled about the place. The chef had tantrums during restaurant hours, threw food on employees, cussed out everyone within earshot.

Angry chefMy Mom shared stories she heard, hair salons buzzed with horror stories and complete strangers would tell their own personal Fairdale Inn saga (after I raved about their food, mind you). All the negative press was completely unsolicited (I was sort of a fan girl, trying to get people to try to the great food, in fact!)

Knowing he was a fellow Scorpio, I still defended him. I know we Scorps can get intense, and are often misunderstood. Slackers don't like the high bar we set for excellence, and resent it when we have to point out their errors. Plus, I knew what it was like to be lied about--a victim of rampant rumormongering among those with nothing better to do with their time than tear down those trying to accomplish something.

Yes, it was obvious the Fairdale Inn had dependability issues. They never kept consistent hours, leaving residents perplexed if they were still a sit-down restuarant--or only offered catering. 

And I admit to wincing when, on his personal Facebook page, "Chef Adam" ranted against citizens who live in Greene and Fayette counties (the main counties the restaurant serves), saying that no one wants to work in those counties--and are basically lazy. Yikes, I thought. Not good PR to be doing that!

But, understanding that, indeed, some people living in these counties are lazy, misuse welfare/disability and are outright drug addicts--I still couldn't believe the rumors that Adam was abusive.

My friend, Brenda, used to work at Fairdale Inn--and was an excellent hostess. It was one of the reasons we kept coming back. Even after I found out that Chef Adam printed off pictures of Brenda with "This is NOT Chef Adam's wife!"--and posted them all over the walls of the dining area (I kid you not--I know a couple people who actually SAW this with their own eyes)--I thought maybe it was Adam's deaf wife, Lori, who was jealous of Brenda's vivacity and professionalism--and insisted that Adam put those pictures up (I guess some patrons mistook Brenda for Adam's wife). 

Even until last week, I defended "Chef Adam". But come Wednesday, I placed an order for two creamed chicken and biscuit dinners on their Facebook "friend" page. I made to sure to post 90 minutes before my husband was to pick the dinners up after work, just to give them enough time to check the FB page. When 50 minutes went by and there was no acknowledgement of my post, I thought I'd better call the restaurant so they'd have time to have the meals ready.

Faridale phone 300To my surprise...I got an answering machine. 

Ron had several errands to run after work, so I had to make a quick decision so he wasn't waiting a long time at the restaurant. I posted again to their FB page, under my original order--and they fired back "Our phone is working. 724-319-XXXX". 

I told them I called and got an answering machine.

Frustrated, I decided to just order Chinese. They, at least, kept consistent hours, and always had great food--and were on the same road as Fairdale Inn.

In my frustration (I mean, I had been witnessing years of this kind of stuff from them), I posted the following to my personal Facebook page:

Answer me this: What kind of restaurant relies on FB to post hours--which fluctuate (that's right, no steady schedule). And, their FB presence isn't even a page, but someone to "friend"? And, does not acknowledge an order posted on their timeline, under their present ad/special--after an hour has gone by? And THEN, when you CALL said restaurant to PLACE the pick-up order...you get a f*&%$#@ answering machine?

Some of my friends chimed in, wondering if this type of restaurant was even legit. 

So I go offline for a few days so I can get some writing down. Imagine my surprise when I got back online and found this private messages to me via Facebook:

You know Janet I thought about what you said in your post for the last few days and realized something. Working in a restaurant takes a lot of dedication, passion about food, pride in what you do and working your ass off so you can sit down and eat a good meal. That means being on your feet for 12+ hours a day and not getting to spend a whole lot of time with your family. I am very proud of what I have accomplished at Fairdale Inn. I started with nothing when I opened Adam & Sherries and started with nothing when I opened Fairdale Inn again. I am a CHEF and this is MY kitchen. If someone doesn’t like the way I run things then don’t work here or don’t come here. Greene & Fayette County lacks 2 things in most of its restaurants. Standards and Class.

Sometimes the road to getting those two things does not come easy. Some of the people around here parents raised them in a fucking barn and have no manners and yes I yell. Like I said before its MY kitchen and I will do whatever it takes to make sure the customer gets good safe food. Sometimes to be a part of the winning team takes the same thing as playing football. Discipline and, cutting the dead weight. Like Hartley Inn we have a waiting list of people who want to work here. That does not mean I hire every person that walks through the door. I could tell you so many stories about people who worked here or just who came in and interviewed with me and told me horror stories about the other restaurants in town (including your favorite) about using spoiled or the classic of the 5 second rule if it hits the floor. So next time you are out at the other Inn gossiping about how I run my business with the servers or other people who like to stick their nose where it don’t belong and eating a meal that may have been scraped off the floor I really hope your enjoy. I have worked in the food industry for 21 years, this is my life and I am not going to change who I am to accommodate lazy people who just want to come to work to get a free paycheck. My Mother taught me to work for a living.

Calling me out on Facebook was wrong and you know it. I know you took the post down but people saw that shit. How would you feel if I went on your page and publicly humiliated you. At least put that shit in a private message or better yet come here and tell me to my face if you got a problem with me or Faridale Inn. Just like your business it supports your family and buys and supplies the needs for your son Noah. Fairdale Inn does the same for my daughters but how do I explain to Bella that I may have to cut one of her dance classes cause come crazy lady on FB is writing bad things about us and we are losing business. If you got a problem with me do yourself a favor and keep it private.

Lots of Love and Go Fuck Yourself
Chef Adam

Whoa.

Anger issues, anyone?

Below is the actual screenshot of his "send off":

Fairdale screen shot

I guess all the rumors about "the chef" at the Fairdale Inn being a nightmare to work for were true. All these years I held off from judgment because:

1. Adam was always nice to me. 
2. He's a fellow Scorpio, and, as I mentioned already, I know how we tend to get misunderstood because of intensity--or are even outright lied about.

UW Smaller60Yes, even after the myriad reports we've heard from people about town and complete strangers--I gave him the benefit of the doubt. (Interestingly, one of Ron's co-workers just told him Friday that he attended a wedding reception at Fairdale Inn and that the chef was "screaming at a dark haired lady that kept pointing, as if she couldn't talk". Ron put two and two together that it was Adam yelling at his deaf (!) wife. DURING the wedding reception. Many of the attendees rolled their eyes at one another--and some even left. Lori can lip-read, which would explain Adam yelling.)

In Tarot terms, I guess you could call this a classic case of the 2 of Swords: "not seeing what's in front of you", "refusing to see" or even "being presented with conflicting information and not seeing the most obvious".

Embarrassing, really, since I've always prided myself on having an unparalleled BS detector...

-- Janet


30 Writing eBooks for 99 Cents Each

I've just received an exciting Newsletter from Compass Books, the writing craft imprint of John Hunt Publishing, announcing that THIRTY of their eBooks are .99 until February 28, 2015. 

Compass books 500

For your convenience, I've tracked them all down--and included links directly to Amazon.com.

 

Enjoy!

-- Janet