Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Coach Yourself: The Devil Let Me Do It

The sun felt warm on my face as walked over to the Citadel, an outdoor mall in California.  It was November and freezing at home, but here in sunny southern California, the light jacket I was wearing felt too warm.  My Midwestern snobbery cringed at the Christmas Carols, the fake snow, and the inflatable snowmen, but my soul danced along as the stereo blared White Christmas.

I heard the voices of my hardworking Midwestern kin tell me that California was full of flakes, that it was too expensive, that there wasn't something quite right about people that enjoyed warm weather all year long.  And on the other shoulder was the Devil whispering in my ear that I should let go and enjoy the warmth and there was nothing wrong with indulging in a green Christmas.

Instantly, the "devil" card from my first tarot deck, The DruidCraft Tarot appeared before me and I realized that the devil is all about giving ourselves permission to indulge.  Unlike more traditional decks where the Devil is about obsession, addiction, and slavery to material things, in the DruidCraft deck, the Devil appears as Cernnunos, the Lord of the Animals.  The keywords emphasize the potential for abundance and freedom that come from self mastery.  

I've spent some time over the last week reading the descriptions of the Devil from a variety of sources and while some are the more traditional hellfire and brimstone cards, there are surprisingly quite a few tarot sources that take a more balanced approach to the Devil and who remind us that a few indulgences are not a bad thing.  Tarot.com says, "Let go of inhibitions. Allow yourself to express all of who you are."

In a burst of synchronicity, at the same time I was pondering the Devil, I was also reading Brene Brown's Braving the Wilderness and right after I was having my encounter with the devil, I read the section in her book where she wrote herself permission slips to do things that were outside of her comfort zone.  It sounds so silly that actually writing "I give myself permission to..." could influence how I behaved, but I went back to my hotel room and wrote, "I give myself permission to like LA."

It was amazing because as I wrote those words, I felt all my Midwestern scorn for the City of Angels slipping away and the next time I went out, I was able to just enjoy the warm sun on my face, playing hooky at the beach before heading home, and the amazing variety of food.  

On my way home, after an amazing trip to Manhattan Beach, I realized that there were a lot of other things that I needed to give myself permission to do such as make mistakes, ask for help, and be vulnerable.  I've started giving myself permission to write myself permission slips and each time there is something I feel reluctant to do, I write myself a permission slip.

I challenge all of you to take a new look at the devil the next time he shows up in a reading.  Maybe he isn't there to warn you about addictions and obsessions, but to give you permission to be yourself./div>

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