Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Gentle Archaeology

The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world.
— Natalie Goldberg

We are winding down Chapter Seven this week, with some exercises and final thoughts. Did you work on your jealousy map over the weekend? How did it go?

Today, we are archaeologists, and will be gently uncovering some buried parts of ourselves. In part one, today, we will consider what may still be causing us hurt or sorrow from our past. Tomorrow, we will embrace some of our present-time gifts that affirm what we are capable of now. In particular, these exercises are designed to acknowledge, comfort and encourage our artist child. “It is never too late,” Julia reminds us, “no matter what your ego tells you.”

Complete these phrases:
1. As a kid, I missed the chance to …

2. As a kid I lacked …

3. As a kid, I could have used a …

4. As a kid, I dreamed of being …

5. As a kid, I wanted a …

6. In my house, we never had enough …

7. As a kid, I needed more ….

8. I am sorry that I will never again see …

9. For years, I have missed and wondered about …

10. I beat myself up about the loss of …

I’ll share mine if you’ll share yours!

1. I missed the chance to … have a hometown, or anyone I could keep as a friend throughout my childhood.

2. As a kid, I lacked … a sense of stability and safety, except at my grandparents’ house in Virginia.

3. As a kid, I could have used a … protector, to shield me from the family violence.

4. As a kid, I dreamed of being … a veterinarian, a teacher, an astronaut, a cowboy (NOT girl!), and a children’s author.

5. As a kid, I wanted … a horse. I also wanted music lessons and a set of drums and/or piano. All impossible for a household that lived in cramped Army quarters and moved every six months to 2 years.

6. In my house, we never had enough … trust.

7. As a kid, I needed more … confidence.

8. I am sorry I will never again see … Oh too many, too many. But today, I’ll mention my grandfather, who grew show camellias, who had the world’s greenest thumb and the funniest, driest sense of humor ever, and who loved me in his quiet, strong, rock-solid way.

9. For years I have missed and wondered about … just about everyone. Okay, so here is my RANT: Everyone lo-o-oves Facebook, etc., right? Oh, isn’t it just fab how everyone finds their long-lost friends from long ago? Well not me! And do you know why? Because they were mostly girls and most girls (at least my age) changed their names. They are un-findable after they get married, dammit!

Where are you, all my pals from 2nd and 3rd grade on Okinawa? And Mary Beth Bullock, my best friend in 7th grade at General George Patton Junior High, for the nine months I lived at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas? Where are you, Vicky Jones, my best friend the next year, 8th grade, at Alexander Graham Bell Junior High in Fayetteville, NC? For that matter, where are you, Miss Mansfield, who introduced me to Shakespeare and Beethoven? I would give anything to be able to thank you. Sigh…

10. I beat myself up about the loss of .. well, I don’t know how to answer this one. After fifty six years, many of which have been spent in various forms of therapy, healing, and coming to terms, I really don’t beat myself up much anymore, and certainly not about what has been lost in the past. Except maybe precious time and opportunities I did not recognize.

So, what about you, my friends? Please share.

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  • September 8, 2009, 9:53 am Anonymous

    Not a comment, but a question completly off track.
    Do you know of a ritual or something to honor a horse, a stallion, that is oing to be gelded.

  • September 8, 2009, 11:09 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Wow.. not offhand. Anyone???

  • September 8, 2009, 12:29 pm Anita Joy

    Anonymous – Epona comes to mind here also Pegasus – the name means horse. Sing a song.

    Beth – how revealing. A girl becomes unfindable once she marries and changes her name. Shades of soul loss a la Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

    As a kid I missed the chance to learn to ride a horse. I think my parents may have been glad I wasn't into horses considering the cost of lessons and all the accoutrements. They did invest in piano lessons though. Also missed the chance to be a Brownie/Girl Guide…

  • September 8, 2009, 12:57 pm surchin

    Thank you Beth and Anita for your comments. I looked up Epona, mostly for mares and foals. We'll sing something.
    Didn't mean to be anonymous, just never commented before.

  • September 8, 2009, 3:55 pm Telluselle

    How appropiate for me that this exercise came today 😉

    1. As a kid, I missed the chance to pursue my passion furhter as a classical ballet dancer when I had to decline an offer of enrollment into a prof school for kids.

    2. As a kid I lacked security and validations that I was good enough.

    3. As a kid, I could have used a stronger support from other adults around me.

    4. As a kid, I dreamed of being a dancer in Swanlake – the black swan.

    5. As a kid, I wanted a horse too, but got to ride at the riding club on others'.

    6. In my house, we never had enough serenity.

    7. As a kid, I needed more respect and being listened to.

    8. I am sorry that I will never again see my classmate that died in a car-accident at 14.

    9. For years, I have missed and wondered about Christer, my first crush in school.

    10. I beat myself up about the loss of courage to move to San Francisco in 1996 when I had the opportunity.

    I too have moved a lot and know what you mean about not having a friend for more than a short time.
    Take care.
    /Alexandra

  • September 8, 2009, 5:53 pm Denise

    darn it…testing, 1..2..3..lost my first post ;p

  • September 8, 2009, 6:04 pm denise

    1. As a kid, I missed the chance to …feel pretty, be picked first for teams, have my poems chosen for Highlights magazine

    2. As a kid I lacked …confidence, praise, feeling like I "belonged"

    3. As a kid, I could have used a …hug, a kind word, a fairy godmother

    4. As a kid, I dreamed of being …the beautiful princess who gets rescued by her handsome prince, a poet, a teacher, a psychiatrist

    5. As a kid, I wanted a …pet lion

    6. In my house, we never had enough …love, peaceful dinners, recognition for being different

    7. As a kid, I needed more ….positive attention, self confidence, belief in myself

    8. I am sorry that I will never again see …grandma C, who scared me as a kid, but who I came to see as a strong and big hearted woman, who cared for me; grandpa K, who lived life to the fullest and had a blast doing it.

    9. For years, I have missed and wondered about …who I could have been, what I could have already accomplished if I had more courage/confidence/energy/spunk

    10. I beat myself up about the loss of …sorry, i beat myself up almost daily over personal past issues..my spirit has the bruises from all the self inflicted mental beatings.

  • September 9, 2009, 12:08 am Athene Nocuta

    1. As a kid, I missed the chance to …Gain self-confidence and assurance. To realize I deserve and am worthy of great things. That I can accomplish things. To learn to play the piano and sew.

    2. As a kid I lacked …A sense of security. I always feared being left behind or abandonded. A sense of prosperity. The people I grew up w/ taught me a sense of lack and were always worrying about money. Now I always worry about money and providing for my children.

    3. As a kid, I could have used a …bodyguard @ school to protect me from the bullies. Teachers & staff that paid attention when stuff was going on and didn't ignore it or let the other kids get away w/ it. A Martial arts class might have given me the confidence to stand up for myself more.

    4. As a kid, I dreamed of being …Laura Ingalls, Heidi, and Scarlett O'Hara. Loved Shirley Temple and the old movies I watched on TV. I dreamed of being an actress/singer/dancer in big Hollywood musicals and maybe even winning an Oscar.

    5. As a kid, I wanted a …sibling(s), a pet, and a sense of security and that my needs would be met.

    6. In my house, we never had enough …time or money.

    7. As a kid, I needed more ….structure, routine, and discipline. My mom grew up w/ a strict dad, and I had very few boundaries. Sometimes that can be very scary when you are small.

    8. I am sorry that I will never again see …my Godmother Jeanie, who died recently, but would also take the time to spend @ least 1 whole day w/ me doing what I wanted to do. She taught me to bake cookies, helped me sew a sun bonnet, and never judged me, and always told me how great I was.

    9. For years, I have missed and wondered about …Friends from school and old co-workers. I have found some on Facebook. I still wonder about my friend Steve from High School, and what became of him.

    10. I beat myself up about the loss of …money, time, and risks. I am very cautious and hate taking risks, and as I get older I realize the opportunities I missed due to my fears (valid and imagined). So usually everyday I am beating myself up over something I did in both the present in the pass. The regret that I harbor the most is not buying a house before getting married. I thought the husbands house would mine, and I was too scared to take the risk & buy. Instead @ the urging of friends, family, and co-workers, and against my own intuition and judgement, I put all the $$ I saved up for a down payment into the stock market, and watched it all disappear during the dot.com bubble bust. So I guess the thing I beat myself up over the most both present/past is not trusting myself and having the confidence to believe in myself and my gut.

    Okay, probably TMI, but it was very cathartic actually. Thanks for the opportunity Beth Owl.

  • September 9, 2009, 12:12 am Athene Nocuta

    Whoops, one more regret. Not taking my Grandpa's guitars when my Uncle offered them to me. I was the only grandchild who knew him, and I think one of my cousins has them now, but none of my cousins knew grandpa and his love of music. Now one of my kids wants to learn guitar, and I wish I had one of Grandpa's Gibson's for him to learn. As you can see, I was more obsessed w/ having a piano, than a guitar.

    Ok, think I am truly done now.

  • September 9, 2009, 11:36 am Anonymous

    1. As a kid, I missed the chance to …be a child
    2. As a kid I lacked …adults who loved me
    3. As a kid, I could have used a …an adult guide
    4. As a kid, I dreamed of being …a horse trainer
    5. As a kid, I wanted a …big, big, big ranch
    6. In my house, we never had enough …safety
    7. As a kid, I needed more ….love
    8. I am sorry that I will never again see …the places that have been cut down and paved over
    9. For years, I have missed and wondered about …my first, biggest love
    10. I beat myself up about the loss of …my job

  • September 9, 2009, 3:34 pm Thalia

    Okay, here's mine. Though they are huge; I could write pages about each one. This is all going way too fast for me. I still haven't caught up from being away the week of dealing with prosperity.

    But here goes anyway:

    1. As a kid, I missed the chance to … I don't know. I don't really regret much of anything, in general, and I can't think of anything as a kid. I kind of had no expectations, so no missed chances, you know?
    2. As a kid I lacked hot water. Comfort, food, warmth, ease.
    3. As a kid, I could have used an advocate.
    4. As a kid, I dreamed of being Alice from Alice in Wonderland. And the books, too, with the Tenniel illustrations, not the Disney movie. I hated Disney.
    5. As a kid, I wanted a house that I wasn't ashamed of.
    6. In my house, we never had enough heat, food, ease, comfort, money.
    7. As a kid, I needed more comfort, stability, less fear. A lot less fear. Which is weird. It was certainly stable. That was it; it never changed.
    8. I am sorry that I will never again see Aunt Dolly. Crazy old cantankerous older sister of my mother; she used to argue and argue with my Dad about politics. I suspect she and I would get along very well now.
    9. For years, I have missed and wondered about Michael Matthews, whom I had that crush on in 5th grade. But he moved to San Antonio. I think he actually liked me back and I always wondered. (Since someone else mentioned an old crush).
    10. I beat myself up about the loss of … I don't know. I tend not to beat myself up, I don't think, anyway. I tend not to regret things because I assume that if I were back in the same situation knowing what I knew then I would make the same decision, so ?
    I do feel bad about a dog we had when I was very young. I think he had been my grandmother's and my father got him after she died. I remember him being tied up in the yard, and when my cousins came over they let him run around a bunch. But we never did. I don't think my dad did. I worry that we mistreated that dog and I worry that I am culpable, or guilty. I was what, four? I'm going to shake my head sadly here and repeat to myself that children are not responsible.

  • September 9, 2009, 3:56 pm Thalia

    And this is not related to the questions here, but is part of the Artist's Way stuff. I'm putting it here because I didn't want to ruin the happy sunshiney fun of today's post (pardon me, my cynicism and tiredness is showing). It's about the reading deprivation we did a few months back.

    Earlier this year I managed to get myself in the habit of buying myself a book every month. This was unusual for me, in that I was making it a habit to do something purposefully nice for myself. Mostly they were about ancient stuff, the Babylonians or Minoans. I got myself in the habit, which astonishes me, because I always always forget to be nice to myself. So it was a very good thing. And I was doing it with an eye to building up a library about ancient cultures, which, really, is probably all work-related for me, anyway, so I could justify it that way if I need to. But anyway, having made that decision somehow I found I could afford to do it (funny how that works).

    I was in the middle of all that when we did the reading deprivation. Which I did. And it was an okay thing. I did plenty of writing on my blog, which was good, and even managed to ignore the rest of the internet for that week, which is nigh miraculous. And I get the reasons, why, too.

    But it doesn't take long. I am trained to deprivation, anyway, I think, with the two parents who were kids in the Depression. The pattern in this house has always been, what else can we cut out? Ostensibly to save money, I suppose, but really it comes down to a compulsion, almost, or some kind of automatic denial. My mother is still like this, especially about food. It must always be pared down; there must always be less. I'm not even talking about diets, just the list of foods she can eat.

    Well anyway, when I look at those books I bought, the ones that were new to me during that week, the ones that I was really itching to read, somewhere in the back of my head I think, no! or bad! Still. 'In the back of my head,' I say, not because it's a faint or weak thing that is easily ignored, but because it took in on a subconscious level, and I can only just make it out consciously.

    I am really not happy with this.

    Mind you, I am certainly not blaming you, Beth, and I don't mean to imply that. More that I had misgivings that I should have paid more attention to.

    I was in a McDonald's once years ago with a large group of people, some who were friends of friends. When we were done eating and going back to our cars one of the girls, someone I had only just met, started laughing. When we looked at her, puzzled, she said that she hadn't finished her fries, but instead of throwing them away, she found she had unconsciously put them in her pocket. She said she had once had the misfortune of being homeless for two weeks, and though it was some time ago by then, her mind had been trained. That was what she was laughing about.

  • September 9, 2009, 9:53 pm Betty

    1.As a kid, I missed the chance to …haunt libraries. We lived on the outskirts of Chicago at the time and the nearest branch was way far away.
    2. As a kid I lacked …very little, really. I never felt a lack of anything as a child.
    3. As a kid, I could have used a … sibling. I was an only. It's really only since an adult have I felt this lack and seen how I differ from those with sibs.
    4. As a kid, I dreamed of being … a nurse. I was a Cherry Ames wannabe.
    5. As a kid, I wanted a …horse. I did, however, move into an area when I was a teen where I was surrounded by folks who owned horses that I got to ride.
    6. In my house, we never had enough …I really can’t think of anything.
    7. As a kid, I needed more …. cuddling. I knew I was loved, but we weren't very verbal or demonstrative about love.
    8. I am sorry that I will never again see … my dad. He's been gone almost 25 years and I still miss him dreadfully some days.
    9. For years, I have missed and wondered about … my daughter. Long story.
    10. I beat myself up about the loss of …a close family. Divorce and -Poof!-