The Magic Ball

The Magic Ball

The Bridge between the Divine and yourself .

Picture is an overlay of “The Magician”, from The Gilded Tarot, and a picture of one of my wooden magic balls.

THE MAGIC BALL

“Can I have some of that ruffling paper, again?”

-“Sand appear? You mean sand paper?”

“Yes! Sand paper!”, he answered.

He had come bursting into my shop a little while ago, but had stopped just inside the door when seeing that I was working.

He had tiptoed over to my work desk and had silently been watching me work for what must have felt like a year, to him.

I figured I had ignored him long enough and put down my electric wood dremmel tool.

He followed behind me, as I walked over to the sink to wash my hands.

In his hands, he was clutching a highly polished, wooden ball, the size of a golf ball.

A few weeks ago, no longer, maybe even a few months ago, the same kid had come storming in to my shop, in much the same manner.

About a year ago, he started visiting my shop, from time to time. He had walked quietly around, not touching anything. Just watching. Intently. Like looking for something. In silence.

One day, after several of those quiet visits, he finally spoke.

“I have saved money,” he said.

“Not enough. But it will soon be!”

He showed me his saved up fortune.

Not proudly, although he had reason to be. He had saved up quite a few, shiny one hundred yen coins.

I was impressed.

His eyes were questioning me as if to ask how much more he needed.

“What do you want to buy with your money, then?”

I kneeled beside him in order to see what he could see.

We were both facing the glass counter , where I kept things for sale, displayed.

I looked at him. HIs eyes did neither move nor did they seem to blink.

They were fixed on a polished wooden ball.

The size of a golf ball.

On it, I had carved and painted the Sanskrit syllable representing the deity Fudomyoo, in gold.

The “Bonji” as we call these symbols in Japanese, was shining at him.

I looked back at the little fortune in his open, sweaty, little boy hands.

“What do you want the ball for?”, I asked.

– It’s not a toy and it’s pretty expensive, too.”

“I know that,” he said. “But I need it! I heard a lady in the hospital say that you sell magic. She said that you are a witch. She said that you make tools to make wishes come true. She said that she had bought a wooden ball that you had put magic into and it made her wish come true!”

He blurted it all out at once, in a speed that made it all sound like one long word.

“Ahhh! I see…”

And Now you have a wish.

You want this wish to come true so much, that you have saved money to buy one of those magic balls.!”

He nodded.

It was hot. His hear was sticking to his forehead and his cheeks were red.

“I have an idea,” I told him.

“Come here. I’ll show you something.”

He tucked the money back into his pocket and followed me over to my work bench.

I picked up the wooden ball that I had been working on, and showed it to him.

The surface was still rough.

All I had done to it yet, was to carve the “Bonji” with my dremmel. That I had done!

It was now ready to be sanded, polished and waxed.

“You see this?”

“This one is going to be just like the one in the glass counter. But there is no magic in this ball. It is just a ball made of wood.”

The boy was wide eyed. He stared at the ball.

“How do you put the magic in the ball, then? “, he asked. ” Or… Is that a secret? Is that your witch’s secret?

I was amused, but kept my face very seriously folded.

“Yes. In a way, it’s a secret. It is a magician’s secret.

But, I’ll tell you. Becaus I can see that you are a magician, too!”

His eyes widened even more.

“You see,” I handed him the unfinished ball.

“There is no magic in the ball. The ball needs you to do the magic. The magic is in you.”

“But! I am not a magician,” he protested.

“Oh, yes, you are! You just don’t know it yet,” I told him.

“Here is what we’ll do.

I will give you this unfinished ball and some sand paper to polish it with.

All you have to do is to think about your wish, while sanding it.

Imagine how you will feel when your wish has come true. Polish the ball while saying thank you, thank you, thank you, all while being happy that your wish has already come true. That’s all.

All you have to do is to feel your wish already there and feel how grateful you are”

He looked at the ball.

“Is that all? And, I will have what I wish for?”

“Yes.” I gathered different-grained bits of sand paper, told him how to start with the roughest and continue with gradually finer grained ones, and put it all into a bag.

“When the ball is nice and smooth it is ready to be waxed,” I told him while handing him the bag and a little jar of polishing wax.

“How much,” he gasped, afraid of not having enough to pay.

” Two hundred yen and a thank you,” I said, to preserve his dignity, keeping my face and my voice very serious.

This was serious business with a very serious customer.

He fished two shiny coins out of his pocket and handed them to me.

“And, you are sure that ‘s all?” he said.

“Yes, But you have to be grateful for your wish that has come true, in advance. All the time! With every move and stroke of the sandpaper. If you forget that, it won’t work.”

He left my shop quietly. Thoughtful.

After some time, he came again.

With the ball, radiantly polished, in his hand. Asking for “ruffling” paper.

I was puzzled.

“Beautiful!” I said. “Well done!”

“You were right,” he said.

“I am a magician. It worked. My wish came true. But…”

“But what? You have a new wish?”

He looked sad.

His wish had come true, yet the boy was close to tears.

“Yes, I have a new wish. The last one came true.

But it was the wrong one. Now I need to wish again.

Is it possible to start all over? Can I make the ball unsmooth and do it all over again”

“Oh my goodness,” I thought to myself. “Ok! Don’t ask. Don’t pry! He has his reasons, this little man!”

Out loud I said: “Sure! Make your magic once more. Unsmooth your ball and polish it all over again. That should be doable. Only remember to say thank you and feel gratitude while unpolishing the ball, too, right?!”

He took the new batch of sandpaper.

“How much? I still have my savings!”, he looked proud for a moment.

“Hundred yen and a thank you,” I said.

Now he had returned.

His magic ball was shining but he himself was not.

He did not look like one who just had his greatest wish granted.

He didn’t look like a triumphant magician at all.

I poured tea and we sat down.

Together.

In silence.

“The first wish was a wrong wish,” he said after a while.

It came true.

But it was the wrong wish. I had to make a new one. A right one.”

“The first time I wished for my sister to live. She was so sick and I wanted so that she should get well and come home to us and live.

I was so scared she would die.

She was almost dead for many days, you know! But then, I polished and polished the ball and said thousands of thank yous and she came back and was alive.

I was so happy! I had thought she would die and go to heaven to be with our mother. But I wanted her to stay here. With me. And my father. She came back. My wish came true and I was very happy.”

Long, heavy silence followed.

“She lived,” he continued.

“She lived, but she did not want to live. She had pains. Everything hurt. She had to say in hospital. They gave her lots and lots of medicine.

All her hair fell off. She was weak and ….. she was not happy. She cried for mommy all the time.”

He looked at the ball in his hands.

“She had come back just for me. Because I wanted her to. Because I did not let her leave. My wish stopped her from going to heaven.”

“That’s why I had to make a new wish.

I unpolished my ball, thinking of my sister and my mom together, walking in the sunshine, by a river. Picking flowers. In heaven.

I unpolished and said thousands of thank yous.

Then, I started polishing again. I worked hard.

But I was happy while seeing them, my mom and my sister, together in heaven. They were singing and laughing. My sister had long hair again. The wind and the sun played with it.

In heaven.”

I listened to the boy’s story in silence, fighting the urge to sob.

“Today my ball was ready and shining like a wet river stone. I brought it along to school so I could go straight to the hospital afterwards, and show her. I was going to tell her that I would be ok and that it was ok for me if she went to heaven.”

He sighed and touched his eyes.

“When I got there, she had already left.

Everyone in the family were in her room. Everyone was crying.

I didn’t cry. I knew then, that I am a magician and that magic works.

I was happy and sad at the same time.

That is possible,right? Sad and happy at the same time?”

I went over and took the little magician in my arms.

Together we opened up for the tears to flow. Crying in silence. Together.

Both happy and sad at the same time.

“You are a wise magician,” I said.

“Happiness and sadness are like two sides of the same mountain.

When you stand in the right place you can see both the sunny and the shady side at the same time. It is possible!”

He wiped his tears and stood up to leave.

At the door he turned around and looked at me, magic ball in hand.

“Next time, I’ll be sure to make the right wish,” he said with a smile.

Then he was gone.

The card was for me!

              Can you relate?

I’ve got too many balls in the air simultaneously!!   Getting ready for before-lunch yoga class…while thinking of what to teach in my afternoon class.  I still have some spare time to squeeze in a long-distance Tarot reading while having my morning coffee.     

I tune in to my far away client, really feeling connected to my guides and the cards….shuffle….and a card jumps out of the deck.  Rockets was more descriptive to what happened to me just now.   I pick up the card, turn it and blurt out laughing!!

The card is for me!!  

Don’t tell me the cards can’t speak.  The can!!  And they do!  

I have projects going on in at least five different areas.  I’ve got new ideas lined up to be manifested into reality!  I have three dogs and a husband who needs attention and love.  It is the rainy season, hot and humid!!  I organize and delegate and am on turbo, even in my sleep.  And this just a few days after recovering from a heavy cold.  My body gave me fever  and a near to pneumonia experience in order to put me to bed.  I was grounded for two weeks!  Over two weeks.  Measures my body has to take to make me rest.!   But once I’m up and going, I forget all about it and race along again. 

This card is for me!  

Laughter champagned up through my throat!  

The long distance reading is set on “wait” until todays classes and doggy walks and other chores are done, and the quiet of the evening has set in.   I take the warning seriously and am happily grateful for my guide’s and angel’s sense of humor!!  

Have a great day!

Breathe and Smile and Enjoy!

Worshiping the sun?

“So! You worship the sun,” he said.

It was not a question. It was a statement.


He had walked into my shop, unannounced and surprisingly, closing the gap of not having seen each other since we were in grade school with a radiant smile and a bear hug.  
Now he was standing in front of one of my house altars, his arms crossed, as if to protect his heart.

“No, I worship the creator, the force that created the sun.” I tried not to sound defensive.          “Is that not the one, the same one that you worship?”

His arms tightened in front of his chest.  

“That mirror there, on the altar. What’s that for?  Is that also a symbol of the sun?”

“Might be”, I answered.  “But I like to see it as a reminder to look for God within myself and anything/one who can be reflected in that mirror.”

“So you are God, then?” He sounded sarcastic now.
“No, I am not God.   – I am an expression of God.    From where I stand your reflection in that mirror looks like an expression of God too.”  

I tried a little laugh to soften the atmosphere that had become a bit hard to breath in. 

He looked embarrassed.  My intention had not been to embarrass him.  But I had.
“This is not what they tough you in school,” he said.       He didn’t want to drop the subject.

Neither did I.  

I felt I wanted to talk about this now.

“Actually, you know, I think they did.” I said.   “- Remember how they talked about listening to God’s voice, to listen to that little voice inside of you, telling you what to do? Remember?      They called it your conscience, sometimes.  Other times they would call it the Voice of God. God’s voice talking from the inside of you.”  

He had me talking now. He had asked!                                                                                                        ” Remember the Bible story about little Samuel in the Temple?  How he was told by the priest to say “Talk Lord. I am here. I am listening”.  Remember how they always told us to listen for that voice? And listen and obey.

He looked puzzled by my enthusiasm.
The words poured out of me. 

“-As a little child, I wondered about this.                                                                                                     I could hear the voice. I wondered about that quiet voice inside me. I wondered if we all heard the same voice.  I wondered a lot about this.                                                                                       While wondering and listening for the voice, I learned that the voice was best heard when there was silence. I needed it to be quiet around me, to hear the voice.                                              I also learned that the voice would never shout at me, to be heard.   I would have to listen for it. I would want to hear it.                                                                                                                       Sometimes, when I had done something I wasn’t supposed to do, something wrong, I would shut the voice out, out of fear of what it could tell me.                                                                      This shutting the voice out, made me feel very bad. As if I was all alone. As if the voice had left me and was never ever coming back. It felt lonely and sad. Scary.                                                       But I found out that I just had to want it to come back and, like magic, it would be there.”

I took a breather and kept quiet.
He turned away from my Shinto Altar and sat down in a chair.                                                        He looked tired. The radiant smile he had worn when he walked in was all gone.                         He picked up a deck of Tarot cards that was lying on a table.  

I waited.  I had a felling of what was coming next.

“So, what’s all this about the Tarot?”                                                                                                           “-I don’t believe in fortune telling and fate and all that,” he said.    

 ” Neither do I!” I laughed.  

He looked surprised!  

– “No, I don’t.”                                                                                                                                              “…….No, that is not really true. I do believe in fate if you don’t take action…!                                 The Tarot is a tool I use, to clearer and faster understand what the voice we were talking about, is trying to tell me.   When I was smaller, younger….. it was easier to hear and connect with that voice. Now life is so busy and noisy that I use different tools to connect with it.                             Tarot is one of those tools.”

He was shuffling the cards. In silence. 
They looked small and forlorn between his big hands.

Cleansing rain.

Rise like a bird and cry like the rain….

 

“And when I cry, let me cry like the rain, cleansingly, with all my my heart.”

This is a line from a song that often sings inside me, while the dogs take me for our evening walk. It starts with “and when I rise, let me rise like a bird, joyfully”.

You know this song? No? You can find the whole song on YouTube.

The second line is “and when I fall, let me fall like a leaf gracefully, without regrets”.

It is a very nice song to kind of chant, while walking.

While shuffling my cards this morning, to pick my “a card a day” card, this song was quietly floating in the back of my head. The Three of Swords jumped out of the deck!!

Like an air bubble surfacing from deep water, I heard the line – “-and when I cry, let me cry like the rain, cleansingly, with all my heart.

It clicked into place. The meaning of this feared card made sense!

Suddenly I saw this gloom and doom card from a different angle. It is a hurt-card. No doubt about that. Three swords of hurtful thoughts or hurtful words, pierced through the heart. As if the swords weren’t enough, clouds pouring real quality rain, real Norwegian west-coast rain, completes the painful image.

In the background the sky is dark. But, actually, not that dark. It is darkest just beneath the clouds.

I see clouds in the Tarot as symbolizing emotions and feelings. They are the water-element in the suit of the air-element. For me. That is how I see it. Just to keep safe, I emphasize that this is how I see it. You are very welcome to disagree.

For me the Three of Swords, today, is all about letting go of hurt and pain. Let the clouds release their burden of heavy water. When they do, there will be no more clouds, no more dark shadows in the sky and the heart will be cleansed. Healing can start.

“and when I cry, let me cry like the rain, cleansingly, with all my heart.”

And the sun shines again!!

The corner of shame

The corner of shameStand in the corner and be ashamed of yourself!

Did you have a corner of shame in your classroom? Or in your home? In my school we did. Different teachers had different places they thought were appropriate for this purpose. Some would send us to a corner of the classroom, where we would stand until penance time was over. We had to face the wall and not turn around for the entire five, sometimes ten, minutes. An eternity to stand, ashamed, in a corner.

The air would turn thick from collective uneasiness. Even the innocent ones felt the shame during those minutes. Other teachers would send us out of the classroom, out to stand in the corridor. We were to feel the shame by being separated from the rest. I don’t remember having stood in that corner. I was a good girl. It was usually one of the boys who had to experience this, as far as I remember. But the shame! I felt the shame as if it was my own. Every time. Without exception.

At home we were sent to our room. I have seen children being locked up in closets or locked outside in the cold, to feel their shame. There are many ways to do this.

I think my method,with my children, was to have them sit on a chair in the kitchen, while I was cooking or washing the dishes. They had to sit there until they felt like nice children again. I regret having done that now. Our former teachers and parents probably also regret a lot of methods they used. Now are older, and wiser. Had I only known then what I know now.

Nonetheless, the damage was done.

Many who come to me for life coaching through the Tarot, actually seek help to free themselves from the trauma of different types “shame corners”, in order to get on with their lives. Statements like.. “you are in the way”, “you talk too much”, “how could you be so stupid”, “you are so slow”, “you are so clumsy”, “you can do better than that” have the same shaming effect. They all add up to the sum of “You are worthless!”

So many of us still carry this “I am worthless” around in our stomachs while spending all our energy, trying to prove the statement and the feeling false. To ourselves.. To our parents. To our spouses. To our working places. To life itself. It blinds us, and ties us,

Fighting to be seen, heard, valued, loved….. Not able to recognize it even when we are…seen, heard, appreciated, loved….

Words have such power.

Both negative and positive words have power. So often, one negative experiences can erase nine good ones. Why? Because our basic belief about ourself was often formed in a “corner of shame”. It matches our basic belief about ourself. It confirms what we already know.

Compliments and thank you’s are wonderful. Wonderful to give and wonderful to receive. But on someone who still lives in the “corner of shame” they peel off like water on an oily surface. A compliment, however honestly meant, can produce a smile and a bow, without ever reaching the recipient’s heart.

Thich Naht Hanh said, “People have a hard time letting go of suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar”.

Blessings work where the compliment fails. A blessing allows the “blesser” to be a bridge between the divine and the “blessed”.

A bridge for God to reach out.

That is why, I bless everything from my coffee to the Empress and Emperor of Japan.

And now, I bless you! May your day be blessed with kind words, and smiles to warm your heart, today✨

 


祝福 Celebrate Abundance

I bless everything from my coffee to The Empress and Emperor of Japan.

Blessing and being blessed is magical thing. I love old blessings and I love making up new ones. Believing that everything takes on a different glow, when blessed, I bless everything from my coffee to the Empress and the Emperor of Japan.

I love both the giving and receiving of blessings. The best is to be in a state of blessedness, though. The state of feeling totally blessed. When I can, I go to trees to tank up on blessedness. Just like one would search out a favorite coffee shop to relax and get today’s dose of caffein, I search out a favorite tree to relax and tank up on blessedness.

Yesterday was such a day. I felt tired and depleted. I needed to recharge. That is what I am doing in the picture above.

I was blessed.

But when I woke up this morning,still in a state of blessedness, I suddenly was not satisfied by the word “blessing”. I knew what the word means. I knew what happens when I bless or receive a blessing. But the letters B, L, E, S, S… Where does the word come from and what does it mean? I get like this sometimes. I start pondering the meaning of sounds in a word. . What do they mean?!

Maybe this is a side-effects of living in Japan, where each letter or character has a meaning. A word, with more than one character, is a combination of meanings. Knowing the meaning of the characters, adds a different and deeper meaning to a word.

But before checking out the meaning in Japanese, I looked it up in English. On the net. The definitions were almost always linked to the Christian Bible. Strange… Don’t they know? I know, for certain, that believers from all religions bless each other and that this is not a Christian phenomena. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Shintoists, Buddhists. You name the rest. We all have a word that, translated into English, means BLESSING.

My husband, who is Japanese and who is always wiling to help, but does not have a clue of what I am looking for, helped me by writing the characters for me and finding answers by talking to Siri’s Japanese twin sister. The Japanese know how to write the characters, but they are not always aware of or interested in the deeper meanings of them. After a while of digging and searching my Ahaaa-moment finally came.

I knew the word from before. Shukufuku. And I knew it is a combination of two characters.

祝 and 福. Shuku, the first character, means to celebrate. Fuku, the second character, means good luck, having a lot…abundance. The two combined means to celebrate abundance! Wow! I did a happy dance! To be in a state of celebration of all the good things, of all the good luck, the happy, big and small things that life is made of! That is bliss. That is being in a state of blessedness.

I hereby adopt this definition of “bliss”, “bless” and “blessedness”!

May you celebrate your abundance!

 May you always find a reason to celebrate your abundance!

May your life be a celebration of life’s abundance.

Grete

Gratitude Lamps

Hello and thank you for opening my blog!

To be honest, I am a little scared and feel a little lost here. The walls are still full of possibilities….the walls need painting, the showcase has only one item…

Where do I start?

This is my first blog post here, inside my little Tarot Reading shop.
I am in a new room, in a new space that I have created for myself.
I want to be very mindful about what I put in here…
I think I will continue like I started, by being honest.

To be honest, I use more than just the Tarot cards in business. I combine the Tarot with Gratitude.
Out comes the most wonderful things. I know that. I have tried it, and experienced the wonderful things.
But….sometimes Gratitude can be very difficult to practice. You wake up to a long to-do list waiting for you, your head is full of cotton, your legs won’t move ….
You know what I mean, right? For me, getting on to my yoga mat and do my yoga-session on a lazy day is a much lower hurdle than to practice Gratitude on a bad morning.
Bad mornings are bad! But the intervals in which they appear are getting longer and longer, thanks to Gratitude.

This all reminds me of the piano we had at home, when I was a kid. I remember how I could not even touch the keys when I felt grumpy! Let alone play, forget enjoying the music. I disliked the whole shape of the piano when I felt grumpy or sad or angry… I would not go near it. If anyone would ask me to play at that moment, I would snap at them and thunder out of the room.
Have you tried singing when you feel grumpy? Have you? You can’t sing and be grumpy at the same time, right?
The moment you start singing the grumpiness disappears.
So why do we not sing when we are grumpy?
Why do we not practice gratitude when we are afraid, andfear of scarcity or aloneness is filling our world?
Because we want to stay in that grumpiness, the anger, the fear, the loneliness. There are so many names to these feelings. You may choose the one that rules your space from time to time.
The feeling gives us a strange power. It does not feel good.
But still…maybe because we know this place, we want to stay there.
You want to stay there, and yet you know you want to get out of it.
It is easy with the grumpy part. A melody from a radio or the sound of laughter will magically loosen it up and it will evaporate by itself.
Fear of poverty, the fear of never being good enough, grief, sadness… These are tough nuts to crack.
Hard to make disappear. Not easily dissolvable.
They are like a big, black empty spaces, trying to gobble us up.
There are plenty of things that can create huge, deep and black holes in our hearts. The loss of job. Not getting a job. Loosing a loved one. Homesickness. Not finding a life-partner. Being in a bad relationship. Guilt. You probably have your own word for your black hole. Or holes.

This may sound naive, but! it does work…
I have tried it out.
The thing is called Gratitude. It works.
Like a charm, it works. Like magic!
It is so simple and sounds so basic but it can actually turn your whole world around!
It forces you into an other space. It fills up the space inside you and the space around you. You will be able to watch the space of those holes getting smaller and smaller until one day, and this works fast, you can not see them anymore. You will be able to re
remember them but you can not see them with your feelings anymore.
That is magic, don’t you think?

So, this being my new display-room in my brand new shop, the first item I want to put into place is GRATITUDE.

I hereby furnish it with gratitude-lamps hanging from the ceiling. This way, all I see in here will be lit up by gratitude. The show-case is lit up by gratitude and on my Tarot-reading table I put a fragrant gratitude-candle.
If you stop by my store during your night, may the light of gratitude shine on you.
And, off course, there is a beautiful gratitude-lamp by the counter. I almost forgot to place one there!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading all the way through.
As a blog-opening gift, please feel free to bring gratitude with you when you leave my store and go out into your day.

Breathe and smile,
Grete