On Misconceptions, and Knowing When To Keep Still


People tell you who they are, what they want, what they are willing to give, how much they want to trust, and whether they are willing (or even able) to offer you kindness, respect, consideration, love. They may not come out and say it directly (although they often do) but they will certainly show it in the way they respond to you, in their approach, in the efforts they make to know you, in their ability to truly listen and then actually hear you.

This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

When we stop trying to “do more” or “be more” or “try harder” to “get” people to conform to our expectations of what WE want and need in our lives, the problem of them not being “right” or not doing things the “right way” simply lifts and no longer weighs us down.


We no longer feel we must work hard to be “chosen” but rather we simply allow ourselves to exist within space and observe others.

Rather than working to be chosen externally, we pull all that dispersed and frantic energy back within ourselves. In so doing, that energy transforms and becomes available to us in a new form: one that allows us to make our own choices.

Proactive decision-making and your responsibility

You are responsible for deciding what works for you, and what you will welcome, accept, or reject from the people who enter your life. However, don’t distort your interpretation of things: if others don’t “fit,” that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.

It means there is a disconnect between you listening to YOU, and you trying to force something that is out of your direct control.

This is impersonal. So it should never be taken personally.

The more practice you have in honoring your truth without trying to make others honor it, the easier it will become to open the door only to those who don’t require “fixing” in order to conform to your needs (trust, respect, consideration, love, kindness).

Remember: people tell you and show you who they are. Let them speak; let them act. But listen—and hear. Because trying to change others to suit you is a losing battle every single time.


Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work with the I Ching. I find this divination tool is exceptionally useful for doing personal tarot readings. When you are emotionally attached to the subject at hand, your interpretations can be subjective and clouded. You can use the I Ching to give you a more objective perspective about the cards you draw and your interpretation of them.

You can ask the I Ching to help you understand a particular card’s meaning as it appeared in a spread, or, you can pose the same question to the I Ching that you posed to the cards, and compare the responses.

When it comes to searching for acceptance or trying to validate your worthiness by using external measures, I Ching hexagram 52 can be a helpful tool.

In hexagram (gua) 52, we are given the image of Mountain Above, Mountain Below. Two mountains, doing what mountains do.

It is the opposite of 51 – Taking Action (Alfred Huang translation). Its mutual gua, 40 – Relief, points to the future outcome of this gua.

Paradoxically, Huang says: “Keeping still means to be tranquil and stable. It is a phase of advancement.

This calls to mind tarot trump 9, The Hermit (Alone But Not Lonely), and trump 18, The Moon (Feeling Lost and Confused). Is it a coincidence that The Moon = The Hermit times two? Mountain Above, Mountain Below.

Of course, it perhaps most accurately and also beautifully illustrates the concept in trump 12, The Hanged Man (We Have Forgotten How to Allow).

We cannot move forward until we learn how, and when, to stop—and to do so consciously, willingly, actively.

When we look within and actively stay still, rather than reaching out and trying to force events to bend to our will, we advance.

(If you are interested in learning more about how to use the I Ching for divination, I recommend Taoist Master Alfred Huang’s translation, as well as Hilary Barrett’s book and website I Ching With Clarity).

If you’d like to book a reading with me, click here.


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