Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cascading Errors

This week, in my household, we have had a series of cascading errors. ( A phrase I learnt from airplane crashes,  where one small error triggers another and then a third,  and then it suddenly becomes catastrophic, though none of those errors on their own would have done much harm…)    and for a moment there,  not seriously,  but emotionally or energetically,  it all felt too much. 

The piece de resistance was when I thought I lost my keys and I had to leave the apartment to give my son lunch which he needed because he couldn’t leave school because he had arrived 5 minutes late last week and had his out-lunch pass cancelled… See what I mean by cascading error – one small thing goes wrong – and all of a sudden all the systems feel the strain and everything wobbles.  
I did leave and managed to get back into the apartment too.   And then, with the clarity of relief, I recalled where I had left my keys.  I also, through sheer luck, found another object that had been missing all week and driving us batty as we searched for it, to no avail.  And now the errors feel corrected.  The wobbles have stopped, the flight is smooth again.
Sometimes it only takes one reprieve to turn the plane around…

Monday, January 12, 2015

36 Questions

These are questions to facilitate and increase intimacy.

They were developed by psychologist Arthur Aron, who wrote them for a study about falling in love.  I like them as a list of questions,  to ask yourself,  to ask a current friend/lover,  or to ask a new friend/lover to see if the relationship is worth deepening.   After the questions,  Aron advocated looking into each other's eyes for four full minutes (long time!)   

Try it and see what works for you:

Set I
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Set II
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling ... “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
These questions were referenced in the New York Times article - To Fall in Love with Anyone,  Do This  The article in the New York times found the silent glance at the end,  the clincher for 'falling in love'.

I just read the laugh out loud rebuttal from New York Magazine,  To Fall Out of Love,  Do This.   It felt so true,  and so funny...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It’s a New Year, It’s a New Day

Celebrating the start of the new year with Feeling Good, 
a golden oldie rethought by

Welcome to the New day,  new dawn... and let yourself feel good

Wishing you all good things for this new year...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Thanksgiving is my favorite festival of the year – it’s about community and coming together and traditional, delicious foods.  It’s about being and not getting, having and not presuming.   A holiday based on Gratitude and food, you really can’t improve on that for me!  I really hate how commercialized some of the holidays have become, all about the presents, not about being present…  But Thanksgiving retains its sense of being about the gathering of family and friends, about the food (though we can certainly get competitive and crazy about that.  My recommendation, avoid Pintrest!) and about the name – giving thanks. 

This year I have much to be grateful for.  There were several surgeries in my family that all went well.  My son is growing up, taller now than both of us. And we brought in a new member of our family this year – Charlie, the sweetest dog you’ve ever seen, who we found through the Humane Society of New York.  If you ever want to rescue a dog, they are so dedicated and so good, I would highly recommend them. 

I hope you all had a warm and hearty Thanksgiving.   Now,  to prove my theory that time goes at different paces,  the days will quickly disappear and it will be Christmas in the blink of a eye!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New York Cards - Two of Pentacles

Two of Pentacles

 Life in New York is definitely a juggle, lots of balls in the air, lots of movement.  I like this card,  it represents that the balls are moving smoothly,  that the act is working.  If you get it reversed,  it can mean that you feel that there are too many balls in the air and you are scared of dropping one. 

Sometimes people come and tell me they want a quieter, calmer life,  and to create that within the energy of New York takes a lot of focus.  Places definitely have different energies that can influence our daily lives and the energy of New York City is definitely an on the go,   lots of balls in the air sort of place.  

If you flow with that, then it’s easier, but if you are fighting it, then things can get harder and slipperier here.  And if you really hate that, then perhaps New York is not the best fit for you.  That is neither a negative statement about you or the city (I hate the ‘if you can make it here’ line)  it’s just that sometimes a places energy suits our personal needs, and sometimes it’s doesn't. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Five of Wands

The 5 of wands is another card I see often describing New York situations, especially around work.  We all want the 3 of pentacles in our work space – creative, harmonious work.  But often we get the 5 of wands – people hitting at each other with sticks.  I remind my clients that life in New York City can be like a game of hockey -  loud and boisterous and sometimes, unimaginably, people will actually block your goals.

But for the most part, this is a game without malice (the malicious situations get different cards:  the 5 of swords or the 7  of swords often appear)  If you are sitting on the field without joining in, it can be frightening, everyone thundering above your head. The only way to win is to participate - get up and grab your own stick, and play along - then New York can be exhilarating. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The New York cards

There are some cards I think of as more typically New York than other places, that I see more here than I have previously – of course it might be a more second millennium kind of card too, as I have been reading here for the past 10 years.  My next few posts will be about these cards.

I’ll start with the Seven of Cups.

7 cups, Rider Waite deck
The seven of cups is about having choice,  but instead of feeling empowered,  “I have all these options!” the drawer feels overwhelmed,  “I have all these options but can only chose one…”  and there are consequences,  seen and otherwise, of each choice.  So now I stand paralyzed (or crouch if you are looking at the beautiful card below!)  not knowing which cup to select,  which cup to let go of. 

I find that New York in particular has this obsession with keeping options open.  But what I tell people is that after a while, making no decision becomes its own decision, and some of these cups will naturally disappear if they are not chosen. Some may go for a short time, some may go forever, that is life.  But choosing a cup, finding a direction, even if it not the ultimate direction but merely a side path, gives  life energy. 
7 of cups,  Klimpt deck
People often say to me that they don’t want to have regrets.  I think standing paralyzed and not choosing creates a regret of its own. So my other answer is that regrets are not cancer (unless we make them so.)  Regrets are risks that don’t pay off in the short term in the way that we had hoped.  And even if they make it to the long term (I will always regret not buying New York real estate when we arrived in 2002!) it doesn't mean that we should not act.  It just means that we lived and learnt.

7 of cups,  urban tarot deck
So these Seven of cups remind us to make a choice and live with it, and if it doesn't pan out the way we had hoped, then we will course correct and make another one…