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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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”


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New Lessons – Lily’s New Seat

Our kitty friend, Lily is almost seven years old.  Over those years she has chosen her territory in the house; where she likes to sleep, which window she prefers to look out, and the food bowl and litter box she chooses to use. Being a Taurus, she is rather consistent in her preferences and doesn’t like her routine changed in any way. For almost thirty years, I have sat on the left side of the couch. I don’t know why I chose it to begin with, but no other location offers the same relaxation and convenience to me. A few months ago I noticed Lily sitting in front of the couch and staring at me while I enjoyed my usual comfy spot. This was not her way. She usually slept on the foot stool or snuggled in beside my husband, Ben. It was a bit unnerving having her stare at me like that. After several evenings of this, I mentioned it to Ben. He had noticed that as soon as I got up to go to bed, Lily curled up in my spot. (I am always the first one to leave the couch.) For the life of me I couldn’t figure this out. Why the change in behavior? It only got worse. Instead of just sitting and staring, she began approaching the couch and scolding me, clearly wanting me to move. Since I adamantly believe cats should be indulged in all things, I finally moved over to the center of the couch. Lily triumphantly sprung to my old spot. There are definitely disadvantages sitting there. It is not as easy to reach the side table, where my phone, glasses, TV guide, and glass of water are, but I can reach them. The other side of the couch belongs to Ben and I would hate to uproot him too. It’s not awful sitting in the center though. It offers a little different perspective of the room and I am square in front of the TV. The big plus is a warm, purring kitty by my side with her feet pushing against my leg. Maybe I should have changed seats sooner.

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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Magic – New Blog

Some time ago a woman came to see me. I don’t remember how she got my name. We must have had an acquaintance in common.  She said wanted to talk to someone about metaphysics.  On the phone, as I remember, she was cordial and seemed sincere. So I agreed to meet with her and answer whatever questions I could. Or at least steer her in the right direction, depending on her interests. We met at my house, in my office. She wasn’t here but a few minutes before I began to suspect this was an inquisition. I learned long ago that arguing with someone about spiritualty is a pointless endeavor. No one’s mind is ever changed and why would I want to? What someone else believes is none of my business. So I remained courteous and vague and tried to get through the meeting. Finally at one point she pointed to my bookcase and shrieked, “you even have a book on magic right here”! What? I looked where she was pointing and sure enough there was a book with large letters that said “Magic” right down the spine.  After a few moments of shock, I muttered that she was pointing to a cookbook! She made a hasty retreat, clearly not believing me. Ok, we all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case it was very literal. The book belonged to my mother-in-law. She collected cookbooks and we inherited quite a few after she died. The only magic associated with it was what she could do in the kitchen. Ordinary ingredients indeed turned into magical creations.  People are just too complex to make snap judgements about their character, but we do it all the time; by what they wear or have in their possession, where the live, how they talk or what they believe and especially their ethnicity.  It’s not a good idea. If the book is never opened you will miss out on all the yummy treats inside.

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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Dad’s Workbench first published 2014

My father had a workbench in the basement of our house. It was a large space that took up a whole corner. After supper every night when he couldn’t be outside, he would disappear downstairs to his tools and saws. I was never allowed to touch anything connected to the bench – which had multiple drawers and cool looking stuff hanging all around. They told me it was dangerous, and I suppose it was. He wasn’t a carpenter or craftsman. He spent his days in a grocery store, owned by his father. My father was the butcher and the store was known for his expertise. But he didn’t like the job. It was hard work in those days, lugging huge sides of beef around and standing all day, cutting up and packaging meat. My grandfather was not a generous employer and there was a lot of friction between them that I was not privy to. Dad worked six days a week, twelve hours a day. He never had a vacation in the seventeen years he did this. I used to beg to follow him to the basement. I promised to sit quietly and just watch what he was doing (an empty promise for a chatty child). He finally relented one day and from then on I was his companion in that forbidden place. I couldn’t see what he was doing that was so important. He messed with his tools, sorted his nails, sawed boards in half, and cleaned out drawers. A few times he used his big saw to cut out a wooden doll, just for me. But what I did see, was a different man from the stressed, angry, disciplinarian he usually was. He was kind and gentle and happy. I often wished he and I could stay there forever.

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”