Lessons

The Wisdom Within Each Moment


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Thai’s Window (first published 8-9-15)

Scientists say that humans are smarter than cats. So I suppose it must be true. Some cats do exhibit an uncanny wisdom and of course cats are quite adept at training their humans, but humans have the capability to reason and understand that cats do not have. Take our cat, Thai, for example. Every night when we settle in to watch TV, Thai paces and meows until we open the basement window for him. He loves to sit high up on the cabinet and commune with the night creatures. This can occupy him for quite a long time. Invariably though he will leave his spot for a snack in the other room, returning after a few minutes to resume his post. While he’s gone, his sister Lily, who has been waiting for this opportunity, takes his spot. Thai is always surprised and outraged that she is there.  (Lily has reasoned that if she just waits patiently, she’ll get her turn at the window and then can claim it the rest of the night. Maybe she’s not really a cat.)
Although there is plenty of room for two cats at that window, Thai and Lily are not really into sharing. Lily finds her brother vulgar and disgusting and spits in his face if he gets too near. Once or twice they have shared the window for a minute or two but Thai eventually jumps down in frustration and he is beside himself with grief over losing his cherished place. I have tried showing Lily the pictures of she and Thai as babies, snuggled into the same bed together, but she claims it was some other kitten. Not her. You would think that after this same scenario happened dozens of times, Thai would learn it might be better to eat before taking up his nightly vigil. Or he would reason that something so important might be worth his full attention. Or even that something deserted could be lost. After all, humans would never make the same mistake. If something is important to us we give it our full undivided attention, never neglecting it or deserting it, even for a minute. We certainly do not expect something to still be there, after we’ve walked away from it.  I’m glad we’re so much smarter than cats.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”

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Generations – New Lessons

I was looking through old pictures and came across one that was very old. In 1924, my great grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. This picture, nearly 100 years old now, was taken outdoors and showed everyone who was at that event. It mostly consisted of my great grandparents’ descendants at the time – eight children and their children, and so on. At six, my mother is one of the youngest grandchildren. Since I never knew most of these people, I became fascinated by the picture. Although I’d seen it before, I’d never really looked at it. I first noticed that my mother resembled pictures of me at the age she was then. I never realized that before. I never thought I looked like my mother. I studied the faces of her eight brothers and sisters. Some I knew, but not as teenagers and children of course. Their faces fascinated me. I could see elements of myself in all of them. My grandparents, holding their youngest baby, were a real treat. Both were gone before I was born. I can only imagine what they were like, but I sure can see the resemblance to me in my grandmother’s eyes. My great grandfather, with his long white beard reminded me of my uncles and his wife’s face was shaped exactly like mine. The seventy-five people in this photo are all gone now but my connection to them is obvious and unmistakable. And they are only one fourth of my immediate family tree! If I had pictures of all of my ancestors, I wonder what I would find. Funny hair and clothes for sure, but all of them, no matter where or when they came from were people, just like me.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”


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Mel’s Tail (First published 11-5-14)

Our baby cat, Melody does not have a magnificent plume of a tail like her brother, Thai. Nor does she have a princess poof of one like her sister, Lily.  Her tail is straight and black, narrow like a pencil. When she struts around the house it does have a respectable Siamese kink in the end but otherwise, not really a remarkable tail. As she grows, the tail seems to always be growing ahead of her body and looks abnormally long. When she sits, it trails out behind her like a long thin pointer. Whenever Melody is afraid (of unexpected noises) or when she get into trouble (happens occasionally), she darts under the bed to hide. The thing is, she never takes that tail with her. It is always sticking out from under the bed. I have no doubt that Mel thinks her tail is concealed like the rest of her, but there it is extending from the bottom fringe of the bedspread just waiting to be stepped on – which I have done on occasion.

We think we can hide too. We think we conceal our thoughts, words, and deeds and they won’t really matter. It’s okay as long as we believe we’re “under the bed”, but karma doesn’t work like that. Everything is known and eventually the Universe steps on our tail.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”


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Coincidences and Manifestations – New Lessons

I am not one of those people who is instantly comfortable with new technology. I can catch on after a while if shown how enough times, but I don’t “just play around with it until I get it” as my daughter advises, every time I get a new phone. I am impressed however with the quality of music videos on my latest phone. Any song, any time is such a luxury. If one is stuck in my head, a few clicks and I can watch and listen to my heart’s content, or until it stops looping inside my brain – whichever comes first. So the day after Glen Campbell died, I did just that. I wasn’t a huge Campbell fan. I was about 14 or 15 during the height of his popularity and frankly I was more into bubblegum pop rather than country pop, but of course I heard his music. His TV show was on every week and in the days of one TV per house, I watched what my dad wanted to watch and that was anything featuring country music. After Campbell’s death what I really wanted to hear was Glen Campbell playing “Classical Gas”. Somewhere in my memory I had a clear picture of that performance from a long time ago. I didn’t know if he’d ever recorded it, but I searched my phone and there it was! (Several versions actually.) Now that I’m older and wiser I appreciate the musical talent that he had and I remember liking his version better that the original. The video did not disappoint. What a gift to watch him perform once again.

A few days earlier I had a different experience completely void of technology. My husband and I were browsing through an antique mall and I came across a small stack of piano music. I don’t usually pay much attention to that because I have quite a bit of music already. Enough to keep me busy anyway. But I stopped and looked at the stack. There was a Glen Campbell piano book right on top. All the pieces were from 1968 or before and I didn’t have any of those songs. I knew them all. It wasn’t expensive and in good shape, so I bought it and brought it home. I sat it on my piano thinking I’d play through it the next time I had time to play. After the news that he’d passed away, and after I watched the “Classical Gas” video, I sat down at the piano and played the songs. I was grateful I had them because it was a nice little private tribute to a great artist and a reminder of my teenage years. What a coincidence to find that book at that time, just a few days before he died. I sometimes think in this age, we can artificially manifest too easily exactly what we want, when we want it. So few limitations exist compared to the past. I also think that we continue to create in another more esoteric way as well. The results may not be as immediate or as dramatic but for me at least they are a bit gentler on my mind.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”


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The Door (first published July 2013)

My first Siamese cat, J.C. was not strictly a house cat. I lived in the country at the time so it was possible for J.C. to spend time outside with minimal danger. The house was surrounded by woods to explore so naturally he was often pursuing those delights. He would sit by the door and let me know (in a loud voice) when he was ready for adventure. The problem came when this happened all day long. J.C. would go out for a while, show up at the patio door (his preferred entry) for me to let him in and then an hour later (after a brief nap) be ready to go again. I was constantly letting him in and letting him out. Or when I was at work, he’d be trapped in all day, which made him quite cranky. Sometimes he was out when I needed to leave. Eighty acres is a large area to cover hollering, “Kitty, kitty” (which he often ignored). I finally came up with the idea to get J.C. his own pet door. He could go in and out as he pleased and I would not be constantly on demand. Because the doors to the house all had storm doors, I decided to install the pet door in a basement window on the back of the house. After a bit of grumbling, my husband at the time, put the door in and built a carpeted ramp from the window down to the basement floor. It was my job to teach J.C. how to use it – which took a bit of doing, but he finally mastered it. I thought it was the best decision I had ever made, but we can never know the consequences of our decisions. I never dreamed that J.C. would not come back in the door alone. I quickly learned he was a very good hunter. The first “present” to greet me at the bottom of the basement stairs was I believe a mole, his favorite prey. There were mice and snakes, lizards and even small rabbits, and some things I couldn’t identify. Sometimes they were alive, sometimes not. He was so proud. I was so grossed out! What could I do? He would be devastated if I removed his door and I would have to go back to letting him in and out! For the rest of his life, I put up with the uninvited guests. I guess when you open a door; you can’t always control or foresee what might come through. It just might be more than you expected.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”

J.C.


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There’s Always Another Level – New Lessons

A little over three years ago I first wrote about the incredible gifts we receive from our kitty, Lily. Almost every time we come home after being away from the house – even for a few minutes – Lily has left a present on the kitchen rug. Usually it is one of the little soft balls that she loves to play with, but there have also been toy mice and other small toys – as many as three at a time sometimes. Before she comes downstairs at night to “watch TV” with us, she usually leave one ball on the rug by the side of the bed for us to find upon retiring. We can hear her “singing”, despite her mouthful, as she carries her gift to its final destination. Occasionally we also find gifts in the hall. Just because. She’s always off asleep somewhere. Never expecting praise for her deed.  Lily is so sweet and thoughtful and generous. We think it is an extraordinary expression of her love. It has always reminded us how small tokens of generosity and thoughtfulness can mean so much. But we hadn’t seen anything yet. I had a large rubber ball that I’d used for strengthening my hand. It was so large, I discarded it for a smaller ball. Not even thinking about it, I dropped it in the secondary cat toy basket in our basement. These are mostly toys the cats have lost interest in. A couple of weeks ago we came home from the grocery and as usual Lily had left us a small ball on the rug. Right next to it though was the large rubber ball! Here’s the picture. Lily had to somehow get that huge ball out of the basket, then carry the ball – which is as big as her whole head – up all the basement steps to deposit it on the kitchen rug. She also had to get her little ball to put next to it. All of this took place in just about thirty minutes. (I’m not counting interference from the other cats – which is almost certain.) I just stood speechless and stared at the balls. There’s always another level. Things can always be improved. We can always give more, love better, and be more thoughtful. The obstacles, either real or imagined, can always be overcome.  If a cat knows this instinctively, shouldn’t we?

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”

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Guilt (first published October 2012)

Sometimes I think we are born feeling guilty. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t things to feel guilty about. Like everybody else, I have a long, long list. The one at the top for a long time though was missing my grandmother’s funeral. My first husband and I were on vacation in Mexico. I knew when I left that Grandma wasn’t doing very well. She had been in a nursing home several years and was near her 90th birthday. But there didn’t seem to be any imminent danger. While in Mexico, I succumbed to “Montezuma’s revenge”. Oh I wasn’t stupid enough to drink the water, but I didn’t think about the iced drink in a little cantina we stopped at for dinner. Ice comes from water. The hotel doctor did what he could but I was very ill. During one of my worst episodes, my mother called. She told me that Grandma had died. My brain was barely functioning, but I told her we’d come right home. She insisted that there wasn’t any reason for me to do that. There was nothing I could do and I should just stay and enjoy the rest of my vacation. Well I wasn’t enjoying my vacation but I did decide to stay – mostly because she insisted that I do. I might have made a different decision if I hadn’t been so sick. I felt weird that I was not at home with my family. That weirdness quickly changed to guilt. I worked myself into a major guilt trip for not being at the funeral. When I got home, no one seemed upset that I hadn’t been there. Everyone understood. I knew I’d missed an important milestone event in my family and I was truly sorry for that. But the guilt did not go away. I felt I’d let everybody down – especially my grandmother. It took years before I was able to understand that I hadn’t let her down. Grandma wasn’t there either.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”