Why Being Single on Valentine's Day is a Surprisingly Good Idea

Image found on pinterest.com
Image found on pinterest.com

It sounds crazy, right?! Who wants to be single on the day of the year that is essentially made for couples when all the corporations are telling us over and over again that being single is the worst thing that could happen? I do, and you should too! Because if you're flying solo then you can spend the day with the most important person in your life -- you.

Tweet: Valentine's day is about love, but who the heck said it only meant romantic love? http://ctt.ec/QVzof+ via @sunshynedarling

Valentine's day is about love, but who the heck said it only meant romantic love? 

Why not self-love? Why not spending the day with your best friend and celebrating the love you two share? Just like the concept drift compatibility in Pacific Rim showed that every type of love is as important as the other, remember that all the different ways you love people in your life are equally important. Because as humans we do love different people in different ways and we owe it to ourselves and those our love to not rank those types of love and call one way better and another way inferior.

Image from gemmatickle.com
Image from gemmatickle.com

This Friday I challenge you to express your love to everybody you care about or makes your life a little bit brighter. Your parents, best friends, an awesome coworker or boss, that delivery guy who always tells a joke that makes you smile. Genuinely thank the cashier at a grocery store or a barista at a coffee shop, call that friend you lost contact with months ago and wish them an amazing day. If you need some help writing some heartfelt messages, or you have no idea what to say, Alexandra has created some scripts just for you!

Tweet: When you share your love freely, you're also enriching your own soul and allowing joy to find you http://ctt.ec/nedoh+ via @sunshynedarling

When you share your love freely, you're also enriching your own soul and allowing joy to find you.

So this year be the crazy one without a significant other. Celebrate yourself, celebrate everyone around you. Don't let a fear of being alone get you down because you're never as alone as you might think you are. You've got a tribe of amazing people around you, I'm sure of it. So don't let anyone else dictate what constitutes love -- define it for yourself, on your own terms.

8 Contemporary Poetry Books You Need to Read in 2014

cont. poetry recs 1
cont. poetry recs 1

Good Grief by Stevie Edwards / Strange Light by Derrick C. Brown / Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire / The Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon

Have you ever read something that makes you feel like you've been sucker-punched, but in a really wonderful way? That's how poetry is for me and my love for it blossomed when I took a poetry workshop at school a year ago. We were reading poetry and writing poetry, and I was actually studying poetry in one of my literature classes that semester as well. Since then I've been reading everything I can get my hands on and these eight books are what I recommend everyone who asks me what they should read.

cont. poetry recs 2
cont. poetry recs 2

The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson / Come on All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder / Poetry 180 by Billy Collins / Crush by Richard Siken

They are all contemporary poets, so don't worry about having to struggle through Shakespeare or anything. I own all but two of these, and have been delighted, moved to tears, and felt like I've grown as a person because of the words contained in the pages. There are many, many more poets and books I could recommend, but these are my top eight. And believe me, choosing only these was NOT an easy decision.

If you read any or all of these, I'd love to know what you thought! Talking about poetry is one of my favorite things, and I hope this list will help some of you fall in love with it as well.

Have You Ever Wanted To Learn How To Read Tarot But Didn't Know Where To Start?

WP_001255
WP_001255

Then today is your lucky day! Miss Bri, of Milagro Roots (who I had the immense pleasure of meeting and getting to know when The Blogcademy came to Austin), has answered a question I asked her in August in a guest post so the knowledge can be shared with all of you magical babes. I've always been curious about reading tarot but had no idea where to start, so I asked her if she could teach me, especially since I had picked up a beautiful deck earlier that year. So, without further ado, here is Bri's introduction to reading tarot:

Image from www.lizlamoreux.com
Image from www.lizlamoreux.com

Start with the Rider Waite Smith deck

If Tarot is a romance language then the Rider Waite Smith (also known as Rider Waite) deck is Latin--the beginning of the beginning. Not the oldest deck nor the most traditional, the RWS has attained such high status for a few interesting historical reasons but primarily because so many of the decks that came after its publication in 1909 follow the same basic system of symbol and meaning--if you cut your tarot teeth on the Ride Waite Smith deck you will be way ahead of the game.

Learn the history of the cards

There are some topics (Lady Gaga, the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot…) that are as misunderstood as the tarot but not many. The occult trappings of both tarot cards and reading the cards for divinatory purposes did not really get set into motion until the Victorian era. My favorite book that gives a real and fair look at the history of the cards is Paul Huson's Mystical Origins of the Tarot. Follow that up with Rachel Pollack's Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom and you will have a solid foundation to work from. The books do not teach you how to read tarot--that comes from within you, but they do assist in placing tarot within a greater context--and that will help you as you feel your way through the cards.

Divination is a ritual--treat it like one

Tarot cards may or may not have been originally intended for divination purposes (it's a hot debate) but that is their primary purpose, especially in America, these days. Divination is a sacred art and as such one should approach a tarot reading in an open, friendly, and sincere manner. Light a candle, burn some incense, take time to center yourself and access that still, small voice within you--the cards reflect truths you already know.

Image from www.milagroroots.com
Image from www.milagroroots.com

Keep your spreads simple

I am always surprised at how many beginner books hand out really elaborate spreads, especially since some of the best readers I know stick to the old so-called Gypsy method of 1/2/3=past/present/future. Start with drawing one card, two cards (especially great for yes/no questions) and three cards--then bloom from there with a spread like this one.

Know that you know

Tarot cards are a map. They show us what we already know to be true--but maybe forgot (or decided to willfully ignore)--you already know the answers sweet thing!

Happy Trails and Happy Tarot!

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