The Beauty of an Improvised Life

The Beauty of an Improvised Life

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Insight, Stories, Tarot Ideas | 0 comments

The central tenant of improv is the phrase, “Yes, and…” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how this powerful phrase can change our lives, and how well it ties to Tarot. I’m taking my second level of improv classes right now in Portland, at The Brody Theater. (If you don’t know what improv is, it’s a theatrical technique in which people basically make things up as they go, often with hilarious results.) If you’ve ever seen improv theater (think “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” for example), it may look relatively simple at first glance, but the underpinnings are very deep, and it is a challenging art form to master. But, I’m not trying to master it, not right now. I’m just falling deeply in love with what the practice of this art form has to teach me. Improv is a Performance Art; It’s Also About How We “Do” Life. If you are doing improv with a partner, the first rule is to say “Yes” to everything they offer. If they enter the scene and say, “Hi, Linda, it’s so great that we are finally meeting up for coffee!” and you say, “What do you mean meet up for coffee? I thought we were shopping for a new Stairmaster at Super Sports World,” the scene grinds to a halt. You just said, “No” to the creative offer your partner made, which makes it very difficult to proceed. In other words, you overrode their creative offering with your own agenda. Boo, that’s no fun for anyone. How often do we do try to reorder things to the way we think they should be? Tell people their perspective is wrong, before we really get a chance to play in the space they’ve created? In improv, a better way to handle that scene would be to say, “YES, it is so nice that we met up, AND I really need to talk to you about our friend Joe’s Lego addiction. It’s really getting out of hand, I think he needs an intervention.” Or wherever else you are inspired to offer up to add to the scene. Brick by brick (ha!), moment by moment a situation and story evolves—and it takes the absolute deepest presence to truly participate in this act. You can’t get caught up too far in the future, you must stay in the moment to create the scene. I don’t know about you, but I need all the practice I can get to learn to better stay in the moment. What could life be like if we said “Yes” to more? How would the Universe show up to support us if we showed up in a co-creative way by not only saying “Yes” to whatever was offered us, but we also chose to show up and add to that offered experience in a proactive and collaborative way? How would the...

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How You Can Use Tarot to Write the Perfect Email for a Challenging Situation

How You Can Use Tarot to Write the Perfect Email for a Challenging Situation

Posted by on Jun 6, 2015 in Business, Insight, Tarot Ideas | 0 comments

Here’s the scenario: You need to write a tricky email, and fast. But you’re afraid to hit send—something feels off. You’re worried about the repercussions if you don’t get it just right. Or maybe you’re not sure you’re being as clear as you can. Clear communication can be challenging! My major in college was Fine arts, with an emphasis in Graphic Communications. Communication is a big component of all the work I do, whether I’m communicating from a visual place or a content place. So, it’s not surprising that I am always thinking about how to improve the communication process. There’s nothing like clear communication to keep things running smoothly, to move toward our goals, and to make sure our relationships are well nurtured and maintained. Sometimes, when writing an email, communication just flows. There’s really nothing complicated to express. Then there are those days when communication is tricky. If today is that day for you, then I’ve got some great ideas for how to improve your email communication, and how Tarot can help you get it just right. The Many Ways an Email Can Go Wrong… and Right Let’s face it: the content of every e-mail we write is susceptible to the state of our moods, the clarity of our mind on the day, how attentive we are feeling, and assumptions about the signals that we think other people are sending us. Some days, an email can feel like a minefield. Or can turn into one, if we aren’t careful. You know how it is when a communication goes awry. There’s usually some kind of collateral damage to clean up: a misunderstanding, a dropped ball, hurt feelings, a broken relationship. Or you just simply don’t get your desired results: your invitation or request didn’t grab your intended audience enough to get the response you were hoping for. But, if we write consistently good, useful, clearly-communicating correspondences, we will hopefully be blessed enough to never know what difficulty we avoided by taking the time to be careful in our expression. Tricky Email Messages that Need Extra Care I have to write all kinds of emails in my day-to-day. Here are the ones that often end up being the sticky wickets: Communicating with people to organize gatherings Discussing boundary setting around an issue or situation Messages related to developing new business Correspondences around clearing up hurt feelings or misunderstandings Setting expectations with others, in work or personal matters When You Might Send an Email over Making a Phone Call I’ve learned that when you can talk directly with the person—whether on the phone, on Skype, or in person—you’ll usually get the best outcome. However, there can be a number of reasons we might prefer to communicate via e-mail and situations in which it would be wiser to do so. Maybe you are the kind of person who has a hard...

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Pop a Deck in Your Briefcase: Using Tarot for Business

Pop a Deck in Your Briefcase: Using Tarot for Business

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Business, Tarot Ideas | 0 comments

I was a budding entrepreneur from an early age and talking business has been a favorite topic of mine since I was itty bitty. I did a lot of kooky stuff to earn my own scratch as a kid: I created paid backyard carnivals for the neighbor kids, held regular garage sales for old toys I no longer played with in my toy box, and set up $.05 face painting days at the pavilion in the playground. I was always looking for ways to be creative, delight others, and earn cash doing it. That hasn’t changed for me. The Portland Tarot is a great project and is so fulfilling. It’s probably not too surprising to know that it doesn’t pay my bills, yet. I’m super pleased that it mostly pays for itself, since I’m still in the act of creation, and creating quality work isn’t cheap. So, what do I do to pay the bills? I’m lucky to say I also get to do something I love for my daily work, too. For the last ten years, I’ve run my own branding, design, and web development shop, Cogflower Creative (formerly Pridemore Design). Business is Hard: Tarot Makes it Easier Let me tell you — Tarot has been an incredible pal to me over my years of running my business. I use it for all kinds of work-related questions: to better understand the souls of my clients’ businesses, to help clients move through muddy waters, to make challenging decisions… It has kept me sane, grounded, and even helped me to make hard calls I would wish on no one. (Of course, if you’ve run your own business, you know that there’s no escaping those from time to time…) I won’t mince words. When you run your own business you are taking on your own personal crucible. It will grow you. It will change you. Running a business is a significant rite of passage—and not one you ever finish and get to declare, “Done with that!” and move on. It will make you stronger in every area of your life, if you stay present and engaged and willing to grow. I have learned so much about communication, responsibility, personal power, and passion through my years of running my own business. Once I added Tarot, though, I found I made much better use of my time, made more mindful decisions, navigated sticky waters with people with a measure more grace, and stayed much better on track with my big picture goals. Because there’s one thing for sure… If you develop a good relationship with Tarot, it won’t hesitate to tell you when you’ve gotten off track. @PortlandTarot <– Tweet This And what if you don’t work for yourself, but are an employee somewhere else? You may not work somewhere that you free to use Tarot, and that’s cool. Use it on the sly,...

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