NativeAmericanWomanInFullMoonNightSky1024x768_largeThe irony is not lost on me: The beacon of lightness I wish to be in the world is sometimes more like a beacon of lumpy meatloaf. They say you teach what you most need to learn, and so I teach saying yes to joy, bringing lightness into the dark places, and laughing a LOT LOT more. If you're feeling the intensity of 2012 like I am and are wondering how to keep an open heart in the midst of it all, read on.

This past weekend my dear friend Chloe and I used a deck of images she created (she's an artist and draws and paints and collages) in order to divine some answers. I chose four cards at random. What follows are my interpretations of what the images had to say to me. Each image "speaks" an answer to my question, "How can I open to feeling more joy in my heart?"

The first card says:
"I am one who journeys, I am a beautiful warrior. I am one who travels through world, who understands the cycles of Mother Earth and Nature.

And to your question, I say, 'Become a warrior of the heart; what you want takes courage. To have as wonderful a life as you want, you must have courage… and wear lots of feathers."

The second card says:
"I am one who understands the balance of the universe, who feels deeply.

And to your question I say, go out and play! And maybe wear red or rose-colored clothing, and honor and live the part of me which takes yourself seriously–and laugh at it, too!"

The third card says:
"I am one who doesn't fit in even in the community of freaks, I am one who blends the bright and colorful with the melancholy, doesn't have fun at parties even if I'm entertaining and to your question I say you don't always have to be happy even if other people seem like they're having a good time, sometimes other people's ideas of a good time is absurd and frightening. Don't compare other people's outside with your insides.

Don't be too much of a drama queen or a party animal. If it looks too sad or too happy, it might not be reality. Remember to try looking elsewhere for a more grounded truth. There's peace somewhere else.

The fourth card says: 
I am one who is very quiet, very sacred and very patient to grow. I am one whose silence is beautiful. I am one who holds the portal to other worlds and to your question I say: journey within. Listen to your silence. Remember how much you love true silence.

Everything you need is available to you at every moment, simply stop looking and trying and doing. I may feel different than you think it's supposed but you can have everything you want. you can  have your heart, it's here now. There is no gauntlet to cross, no battle to win, nothing to do but be in your heart.

All together they say:
Be courageous, play, love and accept yourself, don't take it too seriously, have more color in your life. Don't worry about trying too hard because in the end all there is is heart and the middle and in the beginning and in between and don't forget that much of the time you are feeling your heart already. There is not one perfect way to do it. Don't doubt what you already know to be true. Feel what you feel and let it be. Then you'll feel good.