Doors

They say that when one door closes, another one opens. But what do they say of doors that don’t open?

I say that doors that do not open for you, are doors that are not meant to be walked through. This is a hard lesson to learn, but one that is paramount to healing.

While we might try our best to open a door that we have our heart set on, pound on it, maybe even try to pry that sucker open, it still won’t budge. So we take out the dynamite and alas, the door opens, but not without conditions. And trust me, those conditions will beat you down so badly, you won’t even recognize yourself anymore.

Many doors have been closed to me with acting, opportunities in general and people. Often times when a door did not open for me, I would sit back and re-evaluate and think about another way to open it. Perhaps if I came at it from this angle, or tried a little harder, tried a little less, but when you have a burning desire or a dream, it is very hard to walk away from that door.

But eventually you have to. You realize that no amount of pushing on that door is going to open it and the more you think about that door, the weaker you get. You’re diminished. Spent. And so, you are forced to surrender in order to survive because your heart can’t handle any more disappointment. And in this space of surrender, you empower yourself to walk away from that door.

Because I have done this, I understand that when doors are not opening for me, they simply aren’t my doors. If you can grasp this one concept, you will save yourself a whole lot of pain.

The doors that are meant for you are seamless. All you have to do is simply walk towards that door, knock and it opens. From that door comes another and then another still. Eventually doors appear out of nowhere and you don’t even have to knock anymore.

A closed door is simply a sign that you are headed in the wrong direction. Whatever is behind that door is not for you and in fact could be very toxic. You will live to regret it if you insist on Barging your way through it. This is divine protection, not rejection and once you understand this, you will empower yourself enough to quickly walk away from the doors that aren’t opening and run towards the ones that are.

Leap of Faith

an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved.

Every now and then life calls for you to take a leap of faith. Some of us will decide to stay on the cliff looking over it, while a few of us will jump at full force without a parachute, hoping it will work out.

Sometimes we wind up with gravel in our face. We are literally spitting tiny rocks out of our mouth and wiping our knees off. But we don’t die! That is the most important thing to remember here.

When you have an opportunity that will change your life come across your path, you either take a leap of faith and embrace it or you don’t. You are either giving it all you’ve got, no holds bar and no regrets or you are choosing to let it pass you by, as you sit on one of those mountains called, “What If” “I Should Have” “I Could Have” and ” I Would Have” if only…

I jump a lot! My middle son literally jumps out of planes. He asked me to go with him when I was in Florida last month. I said yes, but then my brother in-law said something about people relying on him too much and if something were to happen to him he didn’t think it best that he went. So, his words of advice and yadda yadda and I didn’t go. Not then anyway.

I have taken leaps of faith thought…many times. I’ve fallen in the gravel a few. I have no regrets because at least I jumped. Sometimes there is no safety net to catch us, but we understand this when we go all gusto on something we believe in. We are willing to fall because we know that standing on the cliff thinking about a life out there isn’t getting us any closer to it.

We have to be willing to fail. Or at least that is what most people would call it when things don’t work out. But I see failure as an opportunity to do it better next time. It is the trust and faith in ourselves that matters. We can do whatever it is we want to do, and now that we know that one way didn’t work, we can try another one.

When I created my first decks I made many mistakes. I didn’t know this when I was going through the process, but when I got the cards I realized they weren’t what I had envisioned. It didn’t stop me though. I created new cards, better ones. I learned through trial and error what worked and what didn’t. I’m still learning. I will always be learning.

You gotta have faith in your ideas, your visions. It does not matter what anyone else thinks of them. In fact, I would go so far as to tell you not to tell anyone until you have already initiated it.

People who don’t dream, don’t understand dreamers. And people who dream, don’t understand people who don’t.

Dare to dream! Take a leap of faith. If you jump and land in the gravel, dust yourself off, learn from it and create anew. That’s the worst that can happen. You know what the best is? Success! Have faith in yourself. I do!

We are all Fireworks Just waiting for the right thing to ignite us

So today I am celebrating. Apparently I have 30 sales on Etsy for the cards I created. I didn’t know this. I get an order, fill it and send it on its way, but Etsy knew!

I am so freaking excited about this because I do not advertise and I opened my shop in late August. I do have other platforms where I sell my cards, but Etsy was the first place I started.

I am beyond elated when I get an order. It really is like Christmas! I look at the order, the name of the person who has bought them and then go to my make shift shop and put it all together.

I take great pride in putting the orders together, just as I took great pride in making the cards themselves.

I have ordered things before and felt awful when I got the package. My goal was to create an experience for anyone who orders my cards and I have fulfilled that goal and I am very proud of it.

If you look at my reviews you will see that I have conveyed this message very well. It is apparent that I do not sell cards simply for profit, I sell them so people can feel good about their purchase.

The idea for cards came to me out of the blue. I got a deck I ordered on line and was completely disappointed with my purchase. There was no care or concern given to the item or the packaging itself and I felt cheated. I was clearly just another order and I felt that.

No one wants to feel like they have been cheated when they have paid money for something. We want to feel like we have spent our money well. Like our purchase mattered somehow and that the person who sold us that product actually cared.

This caring we long to feel comes from someone doing something not out of what they stand to gain, but out of what they stand to lose. For me its simple. I don’t want anyone to feel like they were cheated. I want them to feel special about their purchase, which is why I take such great care in packaging the cards.

I am writing this blog for anyone who has ever thought of doing their own thing and has been afraid that what they have to offer won’t be enough. You need to know that you are more than enough and what you have to offer has never been offered before, because it comes from you.

We are all fireworks, we just need to ignite our passions and then take steps towards our dreams.

Follow me on Instagram for daily readings! @thechefstableoracle and @shoptalktarot

All of my decks are available on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/EightySixedIt?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

I really am enjoying this process and look forward to creating more decks!

Steps

I wanted to write about steps and how taking just one, can change your entire world.

Two summers ago my youngest son was rowing and beginning to work out regularly. He took to the weights and regimen like a fish to water. His body took to them as well. Within a short time he completely transformed his frame of 140 with little muscles to 180 with huge Popeye ones, and this is when my oldest son told him that rowing was a waste of his talent and time and that he should be playing football instead.

In life, all it takes is one person to see a bigger vision for you than you are capable of, and your entire world can change. This person, or maybe if you’re lucky, a few more, believes in you and your ability so strongly, that you inevitably start to believe too.

With these words, spoken by his big brother, the football journey began. Most people would not even ponder the idea of taking this first step (especially with no prior experience), let alone the ones he did.

The only playing of the sport he had ever done was in the front yard and maybe tossing it at school once in awhile at recess. Still, he committed to the path and took that first step of going out for the team in the 9th grade. You can imagine how other kids viewed him and were so quick to put him down. Our town is mean, rather the people are, and I am looking forward to moving, but that’s another blog.

We went to all of his games and watched his team be beaten down at every one. They literally had 5 plays and the same 5 kids they put in for every position. He managed to get in a few times but it was futile and he felt defeated in all aspects of the sport.

If this path were to continue, further steps needed to be taken. So…I went on Max Preps and researched schools. This is what I do! I’m a dreamer, but more than that, I am a person who takes steps towards those dreams, else they are merely fantasies.

I found so many schools in Texas and South Carolina, but none in New York. I began to ponder the idea of boarding school for him but the schools looked scary that were rated high for football and he is my baby, so that wasn’t going to happen. I actually started to look at properties in Texas and South Carolina, but as I did more research, I found a school in New Jersey he could commute to.

I ticked that box and went on line to the school website. It was overwhelming. An essay, an interview, testing to get in and of course, a private tuition. Did I mention it was all boys and religious?

He didn’t care! So I wrote letters, called, called again. Wrote more letters until someone wrote me back and found out I had made the deadline to apply for the next year. He did everything they asked of him, including an essay about football and Jesus and we waited and waited for a letter to arrive.

When it finally did, he hesitated, knowing this letter would determine next steps. They would either lead to the doorway of this school and its interview process or back to the school he was currently at until we could come up with another path because giving up on his dream was not an option.

Luck was on his side. Or fate, I’m not sure. Every now and then people deserve a break and he got one. He was invited in for the next step in the process.

We took the train together that day knowing what was at stake. The only other option was to move and my middle son was still at home in his senior year. It was overwhelming and I couldn’t allow myself to think about it. He not only had to do well on his interviews, he had to test well to gain one of the 12 spots that were open. Over 300 kids had applied that year (record numbers I was told), because another religious school had closed.

We were there for hours. I heard the morning prayer, stood for the pledge of allegiance, saw students come and go in their uniforms and watched him walk by a few times from office to office. He was in a suit but quickly lost the tie around hour two.

When he finally finished around noon, we took the many steps back to the Path train and began our way back home. He talked about his interviews, feeling as though he had blown one and then didn’t say much on the Long Island Rail Road (the other part of our commute).

It was tough. I could see how bad he wanted this. Sometimes we want something so bad and we don’t do anything about it, but this kid was doing everything he could.

Within two weeks he received another letter. He was at school and my middle son was home. He convinced me to open it, just in case. So we did. We both screamed with joy when we read that he had been accepted. I texted him with a photo of the welcome letter and he screamed with joy when he got it. I know this, because he told me hugged the kid he was walking with he was so happy.

None of us had any idea what it actually meant though. At the time the football team at this particular school was number 1 in the state. I think they rank high in all their sports, and there are over 18 of them. The 5 plays he learned at his old school were replaced by the over 100 at his new one. Yes, 100! It was like learning a new language, but one he committed to by writing them on index cards that he studied every chance he could. To be number 1 in anything means you have to commit and his team takes commitment very seriously.

And so does he! This is why it’s the perfect place for him. He has never once complained about the workouts, the practices, the schoolwork or the commute. And while he is not commuting at present, he still commits to the workouts at the gym he uses here. He also works out with a football trainer in New Jersey every weekend, who is as inspiring as they come.

The progress he has made is astonishing! He has learned the footwork, the ball handling and the speed. But there is always another step to take. A different diet, heavier weights, faster footwork, turning a leg this way, a hand over here, his body forward. I hear him as he watches the video recording of himself from practice.

Footwork is so important in football. Good footwork gives a player agility and reduces injury. It is essentially the same reason why we take steps in life or don’t.

The steps we take determine our outcome. And while some people are so afraid of failing or being hurt that they do not take any steps towards what they want, they actually fail to realize they have already been defeated.

Whatever you want, is merely a step away. So the question remains…which direction are you heading in or are you even moving at all?