Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Humans of New York is one of my favorite Facebook pages,  I read it daily.  It has uplifting and interesting photos and quotes from everyday New Yorkers, and occasionally Brendan travels and then it's Human of Planet Earth, equally insightful,  showing how interconnected we humans are.   Recently he put up this photo and even without the quote,  I could tell there was a story there -

And here was his quote,  what the man behind the cigar said:
"I don't have anything personally against homeless people. But I try to avoid getting into conversations with them. Because I may be walking later with one of my influential friends, and the homeless person may come up to me and start acting like we're friends. And how's that going to look? You've got to choose who you're seen with. It's a matter of optics."

And of course the comments responding to that quote were strong and flavorful,  but the thing that struck me most was how fearful that confident cigar carrying man had to be. 

One thing that has changed for me,  as I've aged,  is that I no longer care about optics.  I've been reading cards since my twenties but I was not confident enough to be a full time tarot reader then. I was fearful of other people's judgment.   I had to wait till my forties,  till I no longer really cared what people said or thought,  and then I could casually and easily introduce myself as a tarot card reader.   For a while there my family or friends would chip in - but she's also a trained therapist,  she worked in the UK and in Australia in the hospital system,  she was an addiction counsellor. But I don't even need them to do that. I'm quite happy to say tarot card reader and let it rest there. 

That's one of the joys we can give ourselves as we age - as long as something is acceptable to us personally,  then it's acceptable. And if it not acceptable to me,  then how the world feels about it doesn't really matter either.   So this man,  with his cigar and his optics,  he is not there at all.  He's not comfortable in his own skin or with his own decisions.  He could use a tarot reading...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Birthday Treat

I had my third reading with a client, and realized I saw her yearly around this time.  She said that it was actually her birthday and I was her birthday present to herself. 

What a lovely treat,  to be given as a gift to oneself!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Privacy and Secrecy

I’ve been reading about the Ashley Maddison hacker scandal – where a website that is designed for married people to meet in order to have affairs - has been hacked and the names and details of its users made public.   Some of my clients have used that website.  Sometimes people come to tell me of affairs they have been having or affairs they wished they had had, or (most common) affairs they suspect their partners of having.  The cards are usually very accurate at finding that truth.

I think there is a big difference between privacy and secrecy.  There are things about my life that I don’t want splashed across the internet,  because they are private,  and I hold them close to me,  but they are not secret – other people in my life know about them and it would not devastate anyone to find them out. 

If I meet a couple who has chosen to have an open relationship – they both know that Thursday night they go out separately and have sex with others – then I have no problem with it.  That is their private business. But I often meet couples where one person is going out and having sex with others and flat out lying about it to their partner – and that causes a lot of problems. That is not privacy; that is secrecy – a piece of information that can be devastating if it were to come out.   It has been my experience that secrecy is almost always harmful to relationships.  So by all means keep your privacy,  but beware of keeping secrets…

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Making it happen

I have a saying – if you want something done, give it to a busy person.  Sometimes I have something to do and a whole day to do it in, and mysteriously wait to the last five minutes to get it done.  If it’s not urgent, it can take a week (I don’t know if I am meant to confess this in New York, it might get me thrown out!)

But give me something urgent to do,  better yet,  give me 2 urgent and 7 other things to do,  and I just power on through.  I’m a list lover from way back – I create lists, annotate my lists, rearrange them, really they are works of art – and then, I buckle down and get through them.   So if there is something you want to do, start with a list, and give yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, and then watch it happen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cranky Day

Disconnected,  by Suhair Sibai
I had a cranky day last week.  I had a person desperate for a time slot that was already booked, so I texted to double check that the original person wanted it and they did.  I hate disappointing people, but sometimes there is nothing you can do.  Then I texted the original person that I had arrived at the café and was waiting, and they replied ok, and then they didn’t come.   Frankly I was annoyed, I could have seen someone else, and what is it with double confirming and not showing?  

So I was walking through my neighborhood, huffing and puffing under my breath.  Then a woman stops me and says, “Liat, do you remember me,” which is a difficult situation for me; I read for so many people and I don’t always recognize them out of context.  But as I looked at her, the details of her reading came back to me, “You work with chocolate,” I said and she smiled. And then she said, “I can’t afford to come right now, but I think of you and your readings all the time.” 

And there it was… I was really touched and my grumpiness just evaporated

Monday, July 20, 2015

Virtual Realities

Next time I see a friend put up amazing photos of their lives on Facebook for a few months in a row,  I’m going to pm (private message) them and ask if everything is ok.  Lately I’ve had 3 acquaintances, whose lives I’ve been mainly following on facebook, meet with me and break down and cry about how difficult their marriage/kids/work life is right now.  The disconnect between what they say to me and what they are presenting on fb is just huge, I really thought things were never better for them (of course if I had been seeing their cards, I would have seen things far more clearly!) 

I remember when I was starting therapy and realized that my social, outward face and the feelings I had inside were worlds apart and how much energy it took to keep the façade going.  Nowadays, I always tell a truth – not the truth, not all of it, not everyone needs to hear that – but if I am feeling awful and miserable and hating my life, I won’t say great, or even fine.  I’ll say a truth: I’m tired, which resonates with my bigger truth.  Sometimes people smile and say me too, and go on to humblebrag about how amazing their lives are with all the wonderful things they are doing which tire them out (a real New York sport) and sometimes people respond with something genuine.  But what matters to me is that I am genuine, to others and more importantly, to myself.   Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram - for some people they’ve become the facades that must be kept in perfect order, to cover what hides beneath.  The older I get, the more I value that which is real, even if it is ugly, because reality has a true beauty that these fake representations can never have.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Amazon Sale

Yesterday there was a much trumpeted sale on Amazon.  Not needing anything, but seduced by the endless facebook ads/comments about it, I went on line to browse.  It’s almost impossible for me to browse on line.  I can search for specific things I want and research them, but just mindlessly going into a page full of products, just because they are discounted, well that didn’t quite work for me. 

So I found something I kinda, sorta, maybe wanted.  I scrolled to the bottom to read the reviews as I usually do, and by the time I got back to the top they told me there was none left, but I could go on the waitlist.  I didn’t even need it, but I clicked waitlist. Then a minute later it was now available  and I put it in my cart,  off to ‘browse’ some more but now there was a clock counting down saying I had 10 minutes to check out or it would disappear (presumably it had disappeared from someone else’s cart to be available for mine.)  So I went to the checkout page and paid for it.  But it was a weirdly demanding and unpleasant experience, I felt crowded and jostled, even though I was sitting alone at home.  Everything I was looking at was suddenly 98% gone (and all I was looking at was pet toys!) and by the time I clicked on the page, it was waitlist only.   Amazon wanted me to buy more, but one item in this circumstance was enough, I logged off!

And it got me thinking about sales.  Some people love this vigorous atmosphere, shopping as a competitive sport.  But I found it way too aggressive and stressful. I never go to Black Friday sales, and clearly even cyber sales are too much for me.

I'm really past the point of buying things because they are cheap.  I really only want to own things that I really want...