I’m down with the flu, I’ve cancelled all my teaching today, and I can see that I’m building a backlog for my pending card readings. I need to do something, though, so why not write a few thoughts for my blog here, especially since a question posed to me during the weekend resonates in my head. All good, as I have a thing for resonance:
How do we show up for people?
This is a question prompted by my sister. We were visiting this past weekend the annual Mind/Body/Spirit fair in Copenhagen. I like to go to these fairs just to see how the tarot world is growing. It’s growing. How the palmists are doing – solid booked; how the crystal business is doing, and how the Tibetan bowls are sounding. All exquisite. My collection just grew bigger, as it does every year. I simply cannot get enough bells and bowls.
After having relieved ourselves of a whole lot of money – our excuse was principle, the principle of supporting the ‘alternative’ community – my sister and I fell comfortably into some funky Danish design sponge-like chairs, next to the bones and crafts booth. We were eating a sandwich and I was having a Carlsberg beer – the only kind they had, the only minus. When suddenly sister dearest went: ‘Do you realize we haven’t been fighting lately? Why is that?’ From my perspective, she is the stubborn kind, and that’s the reason for our frequent arguments. From her perspective, ask her.
But she did have a point. While sipping through my ‘pischwasser’ beer, I turned to her and said: ‘You know what, I’m tired’. This was a general comment intended to reflect my general attitude towards fighting with the stubborn kind.
Then she went: ‘You never ask me anything. You never have the need to yak with me on the phone, or call me, or bring your concerns to me, because you never have any.’ I gave her a long look, while she continued. ‘You know, I admire that about you. There’s nothing that doesn’t inspire you.’
I was not arguing.
So here’s the point that made me reflect on the following:
How does a nondualist show up for others?
Because you see, I instantly identified that what she was talking about has to do with my general state of trying to do the best I can, leave it there, and smile at the world. I really, indeed, don’t have any concerns. I absolutely love my life, or rather should I say, I love life. I absolutely think that I’m exactly there where I should be in my life, which is right here, sipping this wine, and waiting for the ox tails to cook in the fancy French pressure cooker that my loving partner is ever so good at handling. Bless his soul. I hate cooking. I mean, I don’t mean it like that, as that would be to contradict my flawless nondualism, or the life above fear, regret, concern, shame, worry, and all that crap that informs many a life, but you get the point.
With friends this week I’ve had conversations about this fundamental question:
‘Are we well?’
If we are, then we can show up for others from that very position. It may not be that the way we serve them is by calling them up on the phone to chat about everything between the heavens and the earth, but if we can model our own power and the excitement that goes into it as it aligns with what life is, then we can talk about what fulfillment really is, as against mere desire.
In a way, I can safely say that since my sister is also a kind of nondualist – only she doesn’t know it yet – she didn’t say what she said to me to instill a sense of guilt in me – ‘Oh my god, I’m not behaving like a girlfriend to her, I tell her nothing’. But her remark did make me reflect on how I relate to others. How strong is my spine? And what does my compassion consist of?
How do you show up for others in your life?
As far as I’m concerned, I show up for others in this way: I answer questions. It’s that simple. I’m good with questions. I’ve built a whole career on questions, both in the academy and outside of it. There’s nothing I like more than getting a question that tickles me, the whole of me: my brain and my body.
I model an identity that others find inspiring. That’s a privilege. I invest my time in letting myself be inspired by everything, and then give off myself. That’s a life time preoccupation. I never get bored.
But how do I show up for others in my life? That was the question.
The Moon, The Lovers, Temperance
I show up for others in my life by bringing to the table my capacity to remix things. By processing the howling, making selections, and measuring what I hear and what I have to give. By showing perfect balance.
Ask your own cards about it. Let them show you how you show up, and remember yourself in the process.
I’m planning a new series of group Tarot Prompts featuring a special topic, such as the question here: ‘How do you show up?’, or ‘Solitude’, or ‘Who guides you?’ This is a series of 11 questions that I pose to you, based on a three-card reading. It’s subject driven, great fun, and mind blowing – as I’m consistently told.
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Have you seen my latest posts on Patheos? The topics feature modes of transmission, answering the big question, court cards, and more.