EP106 Facing Tough Times with Shaheen Miro and Theresa Reed

It seems like there is no shortage of challenge these days. In this episode Andrew, Theresa and Shaheen talk about how to keep going when the going gets tough. Sharing both personal stories and tools as well as things they have learned from their work as card readers.  

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~Andrew

Andrew McGregor:

Welcome to another episode of The Hermits Lamp Podcast. I am here today with Shaheen Miro and Theresa Reed, aka The Tarot Lady. I’ve known Theresa for years. She’s been on the podcast before. You should certainly go back and find those episodes. I will link to them in show notes. Theresa is a fantastic astrologer, a tremendous business person, and a wonderful card reader.

Andrew McGregor:

I’ve known Shaheen a little less time. We had the pleasure to meet at Readers Studio, big conference in New York, a couple of years ago. They really are a delightful, kind, mystic, and insightful human beings. This episode came about because the two of them put out a book called Tarot For Troubled Times. And those of you who listen know that I don’t really do book or deck reviews or these kinds of things.

Andrew McGregor:

But also, life’s been hard for a lot of people over the last while; financially, economically, socially, there’s a lot of difficult stuff going on in the world. It really occurred to me that chatting with these to find people would be a wonderful way to maybe talk about how do we deal with that stuff. Because life is not always easy. So, for people who don’t know who you are, Shaheen, maybe you want to just give us a quick introduction.

Shaheen Miro:

Yeah. I’m Shaheen Miro, and I am an intuitive reader. I’m the coauthor of Tarot for Troubled Times, and I’m also the creator of the Lunar Nomad Oracle. I just do lots of magical stuff all over the internet and the world. So, that’s me.

Andrew McGregor:

Awesome. Theresa?

Theresa Reed:

My name is Theresa Reed, and like Andrew said, I’m known as The Tarot Lady. I’ve been a full-time Tarot reader for about 30 years, which seems like a lifetime. I am the author of The Tarot Coloring Book and Astrology For Real Life, and the coauthor of Tarot for Troubled Times with the beautiful Shaheen Miro.

Andrew McGregor:

Excellent. So, I guess this question for me is, really, what do you do when life is difficult? I go on social media, and some days it’s depressing, some days it’s absolutely uplifting and wonderful. You read the news, and we’ve got climate change, we’ve got all sorts of political unrest. At the time of the recording of this, we have the Corona Virus that’s kicking around making everybody afraid. There’s a lot of stuff that can really drag us down and is genuinely concerning, or is worthy of some level of concern.

Andrew McGregor:

But also, we still got to get up. I still got to get up and get my kids to school. I still got to show up and work on my accounting for my business. I still got to hang out with the person I’m dating and be present. So, where do you start if stuff’s dragging you down and trying to move beyond that?

Shaheen Miro:

I think you start right where you are. That’s the biggest thing. I was talking with some clients yesterday, and I think there is this idea that life is supposed to be easy if you’re doing things correctly. I just feel like that is such a toxic mindset, and I feel like it keeps us from moving into this present moment. I know that that sounds really, I don’t know, cliché, to be present and be here now, but I think it’s so true with everything that’s happening in the world. Because otherwise, you just become overwhelmed by literally everything because there’s something happening on all fronts.

Theresa Reed:

I agree with the being present thing because it’s so often when life gets hard, what do we want to do? We want to numb out. We don’t want to be there. We want to maybe zone out in front of the TV, or turn to drugs or alcohol, or retail therapy. That’s so common. We become obsessed with the past or obsessed with the future. And the present moment is really ultimately, as real as it sounds, the only thing that matters when life is tough. You have got to be where are you are, and then you also have to make yourself care the priority.

Shaheen Miro:

Yeah. Something that I have been reminding myself of lately… And I started thinking about this because of this book I read. It’s called something like Get Shit Done by a woman named Sarah Knight. She talks about your to-do list and your must-do list. One of the things that she talks about in there is how we all have things that have to get done on a daily basis.

Shaheen Miro:

And so, I think about that with this idea of being present. It’s like if you’re present, then you might have one or two things that you have to face, accomplish, digest right now. But if you start getting stuck in the past or thinking about the future too much, then you become really attached to so many things that it’s like your energy just gets zapped. I think that’s such a… it’s just such a common thing. We are taught to be in all those different places all at one time in our society. I think that’s why we’re all going crazy. I shouldn’t say that word, but…

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah, I think that being really clear about what actually needs doing is super important. Because depending on what we’re talking about being difficult, sometimes only time’s going to make it better. In as much as it gets better, some things need other things to change or we don’t have control of.

Andrew McGregor:

I remember when… probably 10 years ago now, two of my brothers passed away within six weeks of each other. It was rough. But one of the things that really moved forward for me was… going and getting therapy and getting attention on it, absolutely. But that’s the longterm process. The short term stuff was I had a six-month old kid, and I had a two-and-a-half year old, and I had a dog at the time. It was like, all right, dogs got to be walked, kid needs to do the thing. Got it.

Andrew McGregor:

As much as it sucked and I wanted to do nothing, I didn’t really have that opportunity. In looking at my journey through it… And you can’t compare yourself and other people because there are lots of factors. But looking at my journey through it and the journey of people who had a lot of free time on their hands or it didn’t have a lot of structure, those people seemed to suffer longer, suffer more deeply, have more difficulty moving past it.

Andrew McGregor:

I think that the idea of sitting in stuff is really not helpful. We can feel like, “Are we processing? Are we doing work on it? Whatever.” But one of the things I often say to people is, I’m like, “If there’s not an event on your calendar that you’re working on a thing, then you’re probably not really working on it that much.” That might just be like, “I’m going to go and journal with the cards. That might be therapy, it might be whatever.” But if you’re just around and ruminating, it’s not necessarily moving anywhere with things. Again, depending on what we’re talking about.

Theresa Reed:

Well, the one thing I would add to that is when the world is really taking a shit, when there’s something bad going on, like an election you don’t like, or like the virus spreading or anything really hard, the one thing I always remind people… And I remind my kids this all the time too, because my kids are very political, of course, as young millennials there… that life goes on. The most horrible things are always happening in the world. It’s not like it’s just now. There’s always some horrible things happening in the world, but people still… at the end of the day, they rebuild. They go down and get coffee, they get their kids to school.

Theresa Reed:

Ultimately, we’re all still doing the day-to-day things. Even when horrible things are going on, life does go on. And so, we have to put things in perspective because it’s so often we can really feel like down and out, especially when bad things are happening in the world. And the world always goes on.

Theresa Reed:

One of the things I always say to my daughter is, because she’s a worrier and she’ll say stuff like, “Well, what if we have a nuclear war?” And I’m like, “Well, if we do, the world will still go on. Nature will still go on.” Nature is amazing. So, we have to really be, not just in the present moment but not thinking that everything is ending right now. If the stock market crashes or if something happens, life will always go on. Life has always gone on with horrible Wars and terrible things happening in the world. So, we do have to remember that.

Shaheen Miro:

I think that really gets to the heart of this idea that troubled times or difficult situations is… I don’t want to… It’s weird to say, but they’re not necessarily bad. It’s just part of the process. I think that we have, again, this idea that things should be easy, and flowing, and moving. I think that that’s part of our society. We’ve really been inundated by this idea that we can curate our lives in a way that everything is just happy and wonderful. And if it’s not, then something is wrong.

Shaheen Miro:

I think that actually gets into how we, as magical people, practice. Because I think a lot of times when you’re a person who does spell work, or if you’re a person who does Tarot, or works with crystals, you think, “Well, I need to be doing all of these different things to be combating what’s happening in the world, or to be making my life better.

Shaheen Miro:

And sometimes it really is as simple as just sitting, meditating. My mantra for this year is surrender. That’s my word. Just surrendering, surrendering to what’s happening, surrendering to what I’m feeling, and even surrendering to what I’m not capable of doing. Some of that has looked like me simplifying my practice. So, rather than doing elaborate spells or ceremonies, it’s just lighting a white candle and just being with that. Or instead of having all my millions of crystals everywhere, it’s like I just have these simple prayer beads that I’m carrying with me.

Shaheen Miro:

I think that’s just as powerful and effective as anything else that could be complex or elaborate. I think sometimes we need that when the world is feeling crazy, or when it’s feeling just… like it’s weighing on you.

Theresa Reed:

Simplified.

Andrew McGregor:

I have a question for you. A couple of times you’ve brought up this idea of not everything can be easy or maybe even good, whatever that means, positive, as we desire. But that that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong. I’m wondering, how do you know? How do you differentiate between there being something wrong versus the stress intention of just living in the world at times, that we just have to abide.

Shaheen Miro:

I think it comes down to how you use that information. I think that… Again, going back to what Theresa is talking about, how a lot of times we want to numb out when we’re experiencing something difficult. I think in Tarot for Troubled Times, we talk about this, how our difficult experiences are trying to give us insight about who we are, or what’s happening inside of us or around us.

Shaheen Miro:

I think that rather than looking at that as good or bad, you can say, “Okay, well this is difficult, or this doesn’t feel good.” But how are you using that information? How is that moving you forward? Just like pain in your body. Not that illness or pain is a good thing, but it’s letting you know that something needs to be acknowledged and addressed. And so, in that way, it is a positive.

Shaheen Miro:

And so, I really think that’s what it comes down to. How are you using that information? Think about it in regards to working with someone in a Tarot session or in a reading, every piece of information isn’t going to be positive and uplifting. But if you present it in a way and if you hold space for that person in a way that they can use that to move forward, then it does become something positive.

Theresa Reed:

Well, and the other thing too that we have to remember is oftentimes what we really want to do is hold on to all the good stuff. We’ll hold on to that. We get very, very hung up on that. I tend to be very neutral. There’s that old fable where the king is given the ring that says, ‘This too shall pass,’ and that’s how he finds joy. If we are present with whatever is and not getting attached to the great things or the bad things in our life, and being more neutral in the face of both, I think that often does really lead to a lot more contentment no matter what’s going on in your life or in the world.

Shaheen Miro:

I agree with that.

Theresa Reed:

Don’t get me wrong, I like to hang on to good thing, so this is a practice of mine. But I’m always trying to like not go like, “Oh, my God, I just wish things were like blah, blah, blah.” I still have moments where I get really angry. You guys saw me earlier. I have my moments where I get mad, I get perturbed. And then I catch myself, I recenter myself, and I’m like, “Okay, how can I just be present? How can I be neutral right now? What can I do in this situation? Is it a situation where I can turn things around? Do I need to ask for help?”

Theresa Reed:

Sometimes there’s [inaudible 00:15:19] where people are… they’re in a situation that’s very difficult that you can’t just wish it away either, or people who are in really deeply oppressed situations. Finding a way to ask for help is sometimes the biggest thing that you can do.

Shaheen Miro:

I think that is such a powerful thing, asking for help. And for me, that’s part of this whole mantra of surrendering. I feel like, again, we live in this society that perpetuates independence. Asking for help isn’t seen as a sexy thing. And yet, it’s still important, especially in the global climate that we’re in because we need to be cultivating a sense of society and connectedness, and holding space for each other. I think asking for help is part of that.

Shaheen Miro:

Asking for help can be something big or small. It doesn’t have to be a really complex thing. But oftentimes, I think that’s why people come to a Tarot reading. They want insight, they want clarity. In some ways, they want help and permission, even, to think, feel, and do whatever it is that they’re feeling called to do. And to me, I think that’s such a powerful step for people.

Andrew McGregor:

And I think that one of the… Apparently, this is the episode where I talk about all the hard things that have gone on in my life.

Shaheen Miro:

Let them out.

Andrew McGregor:

People who listen to the podcast and lots of people already know, last year, in March, my store burned down. It’s one of those things where it absolutely became a time where, A, I asked for help. And I got to experience the positive response of all the people who felt that I had helped them in the past and I had a connection with. And so, I think that one of the things that’s helpful around living in the world is building a sense of connection, and working to be in community, and working to give and share and be there for other people, again, within healthy boundaries.

Andrew McGregor:

There are lots of people who also have a really problematic sides to that where they just give and give and give to people who aren’t there for them. But yeah, asking for help is certainly important. I think that understanding that we’re all in it together… It doesn’t feel that way, especially when we get into politics sometimes. But at a certain point, noticing that at least within our communities, we’re all in it together, and being really aware of that as a way of moving things forward for yourself.

Andrew McGregor:

Because a lot of people struggle to accept help, and being aware of… Because I had that moment, I’m like, “Well whatever, look at all these people who are giving me money, whatever.” These people are spending time with at the time where like, “Well, dude, how many times if you thrown some money into a GoFundMe or shown up for somebody or whatever? Of course, you get it back. That’s how it goes.” But I think it’s important to think of if we’re not in need right now to recognize that we might be, and to think about how we want to be in the world, and how we would like people to be with us in reciprocation.

Shaheen Miro:

I feel like sometimes people want to help us, and because we haven’t asked for help, they don’t know if they can. And so, I think there’s that two-way street of giving and receiving, and saying whatever it is you need. When you were talking about how we’re all in this together, sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

Shaheen Miro:

You’re talking about your store burning down. There’s probably a moment where you felt like, “Well, this is just me. It’s my store, it burned down. No one else understands what that feels like.” But then when you ask for that help, you get to see how interconnected you are with other people, and how you have influenced them and helped them through your store, through your… just through who you are. I think we all have those kind of connections with people.

Shaheen Miro:

I was just talking to a friend the other day about going to the doctor, and how they didn’t want to talk to their doctor about certain things because they felt ashamed or vulnerable. And I’m like, your doctor is there to help you. Regardless of what certain people think about medicine or whatever, your doctor is there to help you. And if you’re going to the doctor for something, they can only help you as much as you’re willing to allow them to. And so, in that way, you’re in it together.

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah. Well, I think that’s actually a perfect example of how do you know when something’s wrong? So, your doctor and you are in it together, which is fantastic, unless they’re not. That’s one of those things. If your experience of your doctor is that they’re a bit fat-phobic or they’re not sex positive, and so you don’t feel comfortable talking about a thing or whatever, well, there’s a perfect example of, huh, that’s a thing that’s in them, you can’t fix that. It’s not your job to fix that.

Andrew McGregor:

Again, it’s complicated sometimes to find a new doctor, but that’s where maybe making that kind of change or finding a different resource can be really helpful too. Because I think that that discomfort, I think it’s… if it’s in us, then absolutely working through that is fantastic, and helps us become clear and more open and so on.

Andrew McGregor:

I know in Toronto, we have a hassle-free clinic for STI testing. And there’s doctors, some people, and whatever. They’re not great about those things. So, for any number of reasons, people might choose to go to a different resource for that. I think that that’s really good, taking care of ourselves as well when we can notice those things. We don’t want to talk to this friend about this because they’re not great about it, or our parents, or a coworker, whoever. Noticing that problem that’s not ours to fix and saying, “Huh, I’m going to go somewhere where I can actually get the support I need.”

Shaheen Miro:

I think that’s also an important piece to this is that you have to know who you’re asking for help, or where you’re getting your nourishment and your support from. Well, first of all, the other thing I wanted to say… And I talk about this all the time with clients and online… is that I think our secret power, everyone’s secret power is the power of choice. We all have the ability to make a choice about something.

Shaheen Miro:

Now, I think that that varies depending on who you are and where you’re at in the world. But we all have the power to make a choice. And just like you were saying, if you’re in a situation like your doctor isn’t someone that you’re comfortable with, you can look for something else. But I also feel like, oftentimes, we lean into support that’s not really supportive.

Shaheen Miro:

I know all three of us work with clients privately, and a lot of times when I’m working with someone, they’re coming to me and talking about things that they feel like they can’t talk to anyone else about it, or no one else will really hear them objectively and allow them to process what they’re going through. And we all need that safe space and that support. So, find a good Tarot reader.

Andrew McGregor:

And a great Tarot reader, yes. Well, I think some people feel bad. I’ve heard people say to me that they feel bad they don’t have any friends, and they have to pay someone to listen to their problems. I think that… My experience is I’ve gone to therapy at different points. I was talking about after my brother’s death, I did a whole bunch of counseling, and so on, for a long period of time. I think that depending on what’s going on in our lives, depending on what the nature of our challenges are, maybe our friends aren’t even the best people or even helpful necessarily. Not out of malice or whatever, but out of lack of objectivity, out of lack of skill, out of lack of having slack for some topics, for any number of reasons.

Andrew McGregor:

And that doesn’t mean that we can’t be friends with them or talk about certain levels of problems with them, but there are often those things that are bigger, deeper, more private, or that other people just don’t have any experience with. And finding those people who can actually connect with that makes a ton of sense, and ends up being way more effective or efficient and moving things forward.

Andrew McGregor:

Because when we’re caught up with wobbling back and forth with people that we know personally around stuff, maybe we hedge our words, maybe we’re not as direct, maybe we are concerned what comes from that or what they think of us. Whereas, “I certainly hope that people come see me,” or like, “I don’t care what he thinks about me, I’m just going to come and get what I need from it.” And in that sense, I think that’s really important.

Shaheen Miro:

I always tell my clients like, “This is the safe zone, and we can talk about anything and everything.” I love it when I have a client who tells me… not really a dirty little secret, but something that they wouldn’t say anywhere else. I have clients who, all the time, will say, “I’ve never said that out loud before.” As a reader, you hear it all, and so there’s nothing that’s really shocking, or at least for me, there’s not. I want people to have that experience.

Shaheen Miro:

Now, something that I’ve been thinking about lately, and I think both of you would have insight around this, is when you are in a position where you’re helping people, you’re guiding people… And that could be professionally or it could be personally, like as a parent or something. What happens when you feel like you need help? How do you open up around that? And I think that’s something a lot of people maybe feel difficulty around, or they struggle with. What are your guys’ thoughts about that?

Andrew McGregor:

One of the things that I’ll throw out there as just an initial thought then I want to hear what Theresa has to say, I came across this little graphic about the idea of pouring support in towards the center of the series of concentric circles, and reaching for support outward. And so, the idea is like, if it’s in the middle, we have the person who needs our help, who is asking us for help. That could be our kids, that could be a coworker, it could be whatever, friend. The idea that if something they’re asking us for causes us to need or want assistance around something, we don’t lean on that person who’s in the middle, the person who came to us with their need. It’s not their job to fix our feelings to their requests. We need to find a way to reach further to people who are not that person, and so on down the line.

Andrew McGregor:

I think that that’s often where there’s a complication that happens where people reach back to the person who asked and try and get them to help them be okay so that they can give them the help that they’re asking for. That’s a really problematic model. One of the things I think is super important is when we do need help, making sure that we’re choosing directions that don’t make things more difficult for the person that we’re… like with kids, already committed to helping in some way or other. What do you think Theresa?

Theresa Reed:

Oh, I agree 100%. I also think if you have sources of support around you, you’re going to… You should always build up your support system. You should build up your own support system so that if you are in a situation where you are trying to help somebody else out, and you are feeling overwhelmed or some type of way about it, that you have other places that you can go, or other places that you can send that person.

Theresa Reed:

Because sometimes it’s… With my daughter, for example, she has a therapist, so does my son because sometimes talking to mom isn’t really helpful because they’re going to get the mom perspective. So, they know when to do that. I know how I process information for myself. I tend to be very, very private when I am dealing with any situation. I know that when I’m feeling also overwhelmed or something’s going on, I often have to tell the people that I love to give me space. I have to request that space. So, you have to really figure out what kind of support you need, what kind of support you can give. I guess you just have to be willing to be upfront about it.

Shaheen Miro:

Theresa, something that you do that I really love is you’re very open about things that are happening in your world. You’re not just open with people who are in your inner circle, but you talk about things that are happening in your world, in your business online. What do you feel prompts that? How do you feel like that helps you? That’s something I love about you. How do you feel like that helps you, and how do you feel that helps other people?

Theresa Reed:

Well, first of all, always… I’m a Gemini. Geminis love to talk things out. Even though my moon in Scorpio wants the real private stuff to be worked out, but I’m pretty much an open book on a lot of things. I like to talk about it because it helps me to process things, or I write about it. And the other thing that I find, when I talk about it or write about it, it helps other people. Sometimes that helps them to know, “I’m not alone.” And therefore, then they reach back, and I’m like, “Oh, I’m not alone either.” So, we kind of… In a really weird way, it’s like it’s a way to show other people, “Look, you’re not the only one dealing with this bullshit right now. I am too.” So, we end up, ultimately, helping each other out.

Theresa Reed:

I think it’s important to talk about things too. Sometimes my husband is like, “That’s TMI. Why are you talking about that?” And I’m like, “But it’s something to talk about. Why am I supposed to put on an Instagram filter and pretend everything’s great? If something’s going on, let me share it.” But also, when something great is going on, let’s share that too. I just think it really helps people to see, again, they’re not alone, and that I’m not some glossy, fancy, everything is perfect in my life person because it’s not, and I don’t think anybody’s life is like that.

Shaheen Miro:

Right.

Andrew McGregor:

No, for sure. I also think it… One of my things I’ve experienced is we also get to decide what our narrative is around stuff. And this is one of the challenges around sharing stuff online. When the fire happened, there were definitely people who were like, “Oh, this happened for a reason, and it’s all going to be better and whatever.” I was basically like, “Fuck that, fuck off. I don’t have time for that.”

Andrew McGregor:

And whatever might be true in that idea, I’ve never found it helpful. Because at a certain point, things that have been good that have come out of the change that happened came because I worked with the complete disruption and leaned into it, and then made a lot of decisions and did a lot of work around it. But there’s a way in which people will put their agendas or put their ideas forward in a way that really makes it about what seems true to them or what suits them in situations.

Andrew McGregor:

And the thing that suits me in situations is going, “All right, shit just got real. What do I do?” It’s not defined plan or other things, maybe whatever, time will tell. But for me it’s like, “Okay, what can I do practically? What could I do spiritually? What can I do to move forward from this place?”

Andrew McGregor:

The thing about social media is it is a lot of people who will come on to stuff and nudge it in their directions and so on. I think it’s really important to understand that our stories are ours, our experiences are ours. And we get to decide what that is, and shut things down. If we’re talking about social media, just tell people, no thanks, delete the post, delete the comments, whatever. But that we’re not obliged to live in somebody else’s stories, ever. And most especially when we’re going through hard times, it makes no sense to allow other people to control the direction where we’re building our stories that get us through these things.

Shaheen Miro:

Yeah. I think that is such a difficult thing, not only on social media, but even more so in real life, especially with family. I feel like a lot of times those are the things that clients struggle with when I’m working with people where their perspective, or their experience, or the choices that they are making or would like to make are not in alignment with the people around them. And so, then that makes them feel… Going back to what we were talking about in the very beginning, like they’re maybe moving in the wrong direction. It’s like, well, is it the wrong direction or is it just a different direction than what other people are expecting of you?

Shaheen Miro:

I love what you talked about about constructing your own narrative because I think that’s what life is. We’re all telling our own stories. It’s not as simple as we get to make it whatever we want it to be, but we do get to allow certain things to fly in our personal worlds. You can always… One of my favorite things is you can always kick people out of your life, whether it seems easy or not.

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah. Let’s talk about that more. How about kicking people out of our lives?

Shaheen Miro:

Yeah. For me, I think boundaries are so, so, so essential. I think kicking people out of your life doesn’t always have to be a dramatic thing. Sometimes it’s simple as you just fade away or disengage. I’ve had a lot of people recently talk about… And I don’t know why this keeps coming up, but it’s just in random conversation. But I keep hearing people say, “You have to pick your battles.” That’s a saying people say all the time.

Shaheen Miro:

But I’ve been hearing it a lot more, and I think that’s interesting because I agree with that. There are certain things that you can fight and they can make a difference. And then, there are certain things that you just have to disengage with. I think people are a perfect example of that.

Shaheen Miro:

If you have a difficult family member and you feel like you’re never going to get through to them, or they’re never going to see your perspective, or see you, don’t try to convince them. Maybe it’s time to move on. Yeah, I don’t know. I think that just having the permission to be able to say, “Oh, I don’t have to have people in my life. I don’t want them to be in my life,” is really important for people. And it’s very difficult at the same time.

Theresa Reed:

I will say one thing. One of the biggest forms of self-care are boundaries. We need boundaries. Boundaries teach people how we want to be treated. At the same token, we have to also honor other people’s boundaries. And I’ll tell you one thing, when you have adult children, you learn a lot about their boundaries too and about how to honor it. I always say, “If you want to get along with your adult children, one of the most important things is to learn to shut your mouth.” So, it’s very interesting. The roles really change.

Theresa Reed:

But boundaries are… again, they’re a form of self-care. They’re so, so, so important in every aspect of your life. And I think so often… I can say especially as a woman, women are taught we’re supposed to be nice, we’re supposed to smile. You’ve got to be kind, and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. And especially women from my generation, that’s what we were taught. And when you speak up and say, “No, I’m not doing this, uh-uh (negative),” you’re a bitch. And it feels very scary to do that.

Theresa Reed:

But learning to say no and learning to say, “I’m not doing that, I don’t like this,” it’s really empowering for you. It is going to help you deal with things in your life a lot better when you have those boundaries. Like Shaheen said, sometimes you’ve got to kick people out of your life, absolutely. Some people do not belong in your life. If they are constantly violating your boundaries, if they are pushing past it, if they want exceptions to everything, that means they do not respect your no. And they’ve got to go. They’ve got to go.

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah. People ask for exceptions.

Theresa Reed:

I hate that.

Andrew McGregor:

As a person who runs a store, there are people who will ask for discounts, or ask for this or that or whatever, those kinds of things. People come in and be like, “Oh, but I’m such a good client. I’m such whatever, whatever.” And then, the next is, “Oh, don’t you have this anymore?” I’m like, “Well, no, I haven’t had that for a year, so that means I haven’t seen you for a year. So, you’re here asking me for a discount, but I haven’t seen you in forever.” Those kinds of exceptions, I think, are really not ideal.

Andrew McGregor:

I think that we get to decide. It’s up to us to offer the exception. That’s how I think about things. It’s like, well, if I’m available for something different, cool. But otherwise, especially professionally, it’s like those boundaries are there for a reason.

Andrew McGregor:

When it comes to people in my life, one of the things that… a conversation I have with clients a lot is… because they don’t necessarily want to go to a person and be like, “I can’t be friends anymore. We’re done.” And that’s a hard thing to have. Sometimes you need to have that conversation. Sometimes there’s no way around it. But I also think about the idea of nudging people out of our orbits a bit.

Andrew McGregor:

So, we can take space in a lot of different ways. We can knock it back to them right away. We cannot always answer the phone when they call. We can be like, “Oh, I’m busy. I’ll call you tomorrow.” We can start nudging people and be like, “Well, they want to see me every week, but let’s see how every other week goes. Let’s see how once a month is. I’m happy seeing my family at Christmas and other holidays.” All the way up to nothing. But that process allows us to find what feels good to us, and find what they’re still available for because they might also be like, “I don’t see you enough. I’m not going to reciprocate either.” But either way, it finds the answer for us, it finds what feels okay. Hopefully, it feels good.

Andrew McGregor:

But maybe bypasses some of that confrontational that people think about boundaries. Where people think you need to be like, “Look, I don’t like you anymore. We’re done.” I’ve had a few friends over the years who did something like that. I was like, “Really? Wow. So dramatic. So funny.” [crosstalk 00:41:11].

Theresa Reed:

But can I just tell you one thing about the dramatic thing?

Andrew McGregor:

Yes, tell us everything about the dramatic thing.

Theresa Reed:

I have found that if I don’t get dramatic, I don’t get respect. So, sometimes I have to be a stone cold bitch. You guys know me, I’m a pussy cat. I’m really easy going, I’m happy-go-lucky. I love to have a good, I love a good meal. I like gossip and stuff like that. I’m very, very easy going. I’ve got a great sense of humor. And so, I think then that people just assume, “Oh, blah, blah blah. She’s going to make an exception for me.” And if I say no, then they’ll think I’m bluffing.

Theresa Reed:

But when I’m a hardcore bitch, you better believe they get out of my way then. I hate that because you know what, I don’t like having to be like that. But sometimes that seems that’s the only way that I get results. It sucks.

Andrew McGregor:

I think that personality and temperament are part of it. I think that gender is absolutely a part of it. It’s a conversation that I hear a lot more from people who are on the female side of the equation. Definitely those things are real.

Theresa Reed:

Can be.

Shaheen Miro:

Another thing that, at least for me, has been true is, you don’t always have to explain yourself.

Theresa Reed:

Exactly. That’s a hard one for me.

Shaheen Miro:

Yeah. And that’s a really beautiful thing once you let that come into your being, into your worldview, is that you don’t have to explain yourself as long as your actions or the things that you’re moving toward feel really just aligned with you. And that sometimes can be a tricky thing to figure out as well, but I feel like not having to explain yourself saves people a lot of trouble.

Shaheen Miro:

I loved what you were talking about, pushing people slowly out of your orbit. It’s like you don’t have to go to your shitty uncle and be like, “I don’t want to see you anymore.” You can just slowly push them away. You don’t have to explain it. You don’t have to justify it. I think that’s very liberating for people, for any kind of choice that you’re making.

Theresa Reed:

Absolutely. It’s interesting because I took a class with Randi Buckley called Healthy Boundaries for Kind People. And one of the things that she also talked about too was not explaining yourself. And I’m an explainer because I’m a talker. And I’m like, “Look, this is why I’m not doing that.” And I’m like, “Why am I doing that?” It’s really hard to break that habit of explaining. When you explain, what ends up happening then with boundaries, then people look for an out.

Shaheen Miro:

I was to say, yeah, they look for a weak spot in that boundary.

Theresa Reed:

And they find it, and they’ll say, “Well, but I’m not a jerk. Why not make an exception for me?” So, it’s really interesting. Not explaining, that’s really great that you brought that up. That also, again, is also a form of self-care.

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah.

Shaheen Miro:

Yeah.

Andrew McGregor:

Reminds me of that salesperson maxim: if we’re still talking, you haven’t actually said no yet. I think there are people who live their life that way. If there’s still a conversation, then it’s not actually a solid boundary. And sometimes, you just got to close that door and be like, “Don’t stick your foot in the door, salesman. I’m going to slam the door. We’re done. Get out.” And that’s it.

Shaheen Miro:

I think that’s why… to me, that’s why Tarot is such a powerful thing because sometimes we don’t even realize that we’re still having that conversation, that we’re still engaging in certain dynamics. We feel the effects of it, but we don’t realize why we feel that way because maybe it’s subconscious, or maybe it’s just so common in your life that you just don’t even know that that’s happening anymore. I think Tarot is beautiful because you can zoom out, and you can see these things.

Shaheen Miro:

And one of the things I love when I’m laying out cards, when I’m working with someone in-person, which isn’t all that often, but when I do, if a person sees a card and they’re like, “Oh, that’s so and so in my life.” And it’s like they might not have any knowledge about it, about that card or what the symbolism is, or anything, but just seeing that gives them the sense of, “Oh, I have externalized, and I can understand the bigger picture of what’s happening. And now I can do something with it.”

Shaheen Miro:

To me, I think, that, again, goes back to being able to make a choice. When you know what all is happening from a larger perspective and you’re not right in the thick of it, then you have a bit more power to make a choice, or to pivot, or to go in a certain direction with deeper intention.

Andrew McGregor:

Well, what about spiritually? Are there spiritual practices that you do around this kind of stuff? What do you do to sustain yourself during challenging times?

Theresa Reed:

Meditation and yoga are my two go-to things because I know when I’m on the mat and I’m moving my body, or I’m sitting quietly and tuning within, that always makes me feel better. It may not solve the problem, and oftentimes it doesn’t solve the problem, but I’m feeling physically better. I’m going within, I’m processing information. So, that is always my favorite, favorite things to turn to. But there’s all kinds of other things. You can do magical practices and rituals, that can also enhance and strengthen your boundaries, or energy, or whatever you want to say. That can also help you to move through any kind of challenges.

Shaheen Miro:

Yeah. For me, well, yoga is actually a big part of my practice as well. And the thing that I love about yoga is that you have to be present, you have to be… You don’t have to be, but you know as soon as you slip out of what you’re doing, your pose or whatever it is that you’re… whatever asana you’re in, that’s not going to flow or to work. So, I love movement in general for grounding, and centering, and getting present.

Shaheen Miro:

Ritual is a big part of what I do. And again, it can be as simple as just lighting a candle. One of the things I talk with clients about quite a bit, it’s just the simple practice of using ritual and ceremony as a way to engage all the parts of yourself. So, if you light a candle and you say, “This is the shitty situation I’m in, and as this candle is melting, my situation is melting away.” That might not change everything, but it makes you feel like you have a bit of control, or you can externalize what it is that you’re feeling. And I think seeing that and engaging with that, that moves energy.

Shaheen Miro:

Or if you light a candle and you say, “As this candle is burning, whatever it is that I need to bring in my life is attracted to it. It’s like a moth to a flame.” Again, that engages another part of yourself and allows that energy to move toward you. I think that gives… for me, that gives me a way of finding… I don’t want to say control, but feeling like I have a choice in the matter.

Shaheen Miro:

I also really lean into my spirit allies. I have multiple spirits that I work with. But one of the things that I like to do is I just say, “To my guardians, my ancestors and angels, be with me. I thank you for being with me.” And I give offerings, or I light candles. Something about that practice makes me feel supported, it makes me feel like I’m not alone. Something out there has a broader perspective than I do, and can maybe see something that I can’t see.

Shaheen Miro:

I was listening to an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert and Oprah, and Liz Gil was talking about how when her partner died, she felt like she suddenly had a very powerful ambassador on the other side. And when she said that, that really resonated with me. Because I feel like we all have somebody who… whether we’ve known them in life or we just feel a very special connection to, there’s something bigger than us that’s out there. And if we engage with that, we feel less alone, and we also can use that energy to move forward.

Shaheen Miro:

I moved to Colorado recently, and I’ve always felt a connection to the Virgin Mary. I wasn’t raised Christian at all, but I’ve just always felt a connection to the Virgin Mary. There’s a place called Mother Cabrini Shrine, and it’s near where I live. Mother Cabrini was the first American Saint. But I go there all the time to just light candles and to meditate because I feel like I’m connecting with something bigger than myself. Not just the energy of the Virgin Mary or Mother Mary, but also the energy of other people who have gone there out of faith. And even though it’s very different than mine, there’s an energy that accumulates there. And so, I’m constantly trying to work with that, if that makes sense.

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah, totally does. I’m just going to put an unpopular opinion right now. I hate yoga. I hate yoga so much. Yoga was just makes me [crosstalk 00:51:46].

Shaheen Miro:

That’s okay.

Theresa Reed:

You haven’t done yoga with me.

Shaheen Miro:

Why do you hate it?

Andrew McGregor:

I’ve done yoga all over the world with so many different teachers, and it just makes me grumpy whenever I do it. So, I’ve given up doing yoga. I did yoga practice daily for over a year and so on. And this notion that I would push through and like asana-based yoga practice, well, it’s just never happened. So, I’ve given up on it.

Shaheen Miro:

And now you know.

Andrew McGregor:

And now I know. But the thing that I… I love meditation. I’m very good at just sitting and meditating for relatively long periods of time. I love elements of yoga. I love the breath work and other things. But just yoga class and those things, I always just leave grumpier than when I arrived. So, I’ve given up on it.

Theresa Reed:

You should take a class with me.

Andrew McGregor:

Well, I will make the trip, and then you could buy me a coffee afterwards if I’m grumpy.

Theresa Reed:

It will change your mind because-

Andrew McGregor:

Perfect.

Theresa Reed:

… our yoga classes are very different here.

Shaheen Miro:

Oh, sorry.

Andrew McGregor:

That’s okay. But for me, it’s not just about being more active because there are lots of ways in which I do self-care that’s very still and very quiet as well. But also, I super love rock climbing, and rock climbing is one of my favorite self-care, especially during challenging times because when I’m on the wall and working on a problem, I can’t think about anything else. There’s nothing else. There’s just the immediacy of it. And it’s the same with distance cycling and stuff.

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah, my brain might churn for the first 20 minutes or hour, but into a three-hour ride, at a certain point, it’s just you, and the road, and the movement of your body, and the flowing of other things, and that’s it. And so, I think that there are lots of active ways in which we could do that that are not numbing out and avoiding things, but are bringing us to being present through different mechanisms.

Shaheen Miro:

I think another important thing for people to know is that self-care and spirituality doesn’t have to look a certain way. One of my favorite spiritual practices is singing, whether that’s getting wild on my guitar or going to karaoke. It’s not really a numbing out thing. It’s like I get to not be in the mire of everything that’s happening, and I get to connect with myself.

Shaheen Miro:

There’s something really beautiful about that. But I think a lot of times, especially when people are starting their spiritual journey or their magical journey, they get caught up in what does that look like? And it’s like if you feel like turn it on heavy metal and head banging for an hour is grounding and centering to you, then that’s totally fine. That doesn’t have to be the case for anybody else. So, I think it comes down to, are you connecting with yourself, or are you numbing out? I guess that’s a big question.

Theresa Reed:

It’s a huge question.

Shaheen Miro:

The other thing that I wonder sometimes… Because I think with our book Tarot for Troubled Times, we’ve had multiple people ask us… or talk in the sense that they need to get rid of their shadow because we talk about shadow work. One of the things that I feel is that we aren’t trying to… Where was I going with that? We aren’t trying to, I guess, fix things necessarily. It’s really just about being where you are, being with what is happening. I think that’s where our spiritual practice can really lie. Being with where you are. I don’t know. When we’re talking about numbing out, I wonder is there a time where numbing out is okay? Is that always a bad thing?

Theresa Reed:

Numbing out once in a while is okay. Absolutely. Sometimes at the end of the day, if I’ve had a really challenging day, let’s say with clients, pouring myself a nice big glass of wine and putting on the new Pope, which is the new thing that I’m into right now, and just forgetting about it. Having a little escape is good. Provided it’s not done too excess. There has to be a limit. Numbing out in front of the TV every single night drinking three glasses of wine is not good. But on occasion, just sitting back… And that’s one of my favorite ways to unwind is a nice glass of wine and something on TV.

Shaheen Miro:

I think if you check in with yourself and ask yourself, “How do I feel?” That can gauge if that’s useful or not for you. Sometimes when I’m really, really, really going through it… I always suggest this to people… I take a nap. I get in my bed and I take a nap because I’m like, “You know what, I can’t do anything by thinking about this or talking about it. So, I’m going to get in my bed, I’m going to take a nap, and something will happen. The world will at least keep on moving. Maybe my thoughts will untangle. Maybe the spirits will give me a message. I don’t know. But I’m just going to take a nap.”

Shaheen Miro:

But when I wake up from that, I don’t feel like I’ve lost time. I feel like something has happened in the positive versus if you go on a binge and you’re out drinking all night long, the next day you probably don’t feel like anything’s resolved. And so, I think checking in with yourself and asking, how does this make me feel, is really an important part of it as well.

Andrew McGregor:

How do we feel when we’re starting it? How do we feel when we’re in it? How do we feel afterwards? Because it might feel great, speaking from personal experience, to grab that bucket of ice cream and to eat that bucket of ice cream, and then it might feel crappy afterwards. And so, I think that there’s that just monitoring of the whole situation. Eating two liters of ice cream is not a great coping mechanism for me, and so I no longer engage that. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t buy myself other things or engage in other ways like that, right?

Theresa Reed:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Shaheen Miro:

I think that’s a beautiful… just continue… Really, it all comes down to connecting with yourself. I think, in a lot of ways, we just don’t live in a world that really advocates for people to know how they feel and to connect with themselves, and to take care of themselves. We’re really taught to be out here in the world doing things, competing with things, keeping up with things. I think it can be really toxic.

Shaheen Miro:

Actually, I had a conversation recently about how I think that… I love the idea of self-care, but I think that this concept of wholeness is the new idea of perfection. I think that self-care, and spirituality, and self-work, and healing work isn’t about becoming whole or fixed or better. It’s about really just connecting with and having a relationship with yourself so that you know where you are in every moment, situation, or experience. And then, that way, you can make choices or you can have boundaries. That’s how you empower yourself. It’s not always easy, but that’s why it’s a practice.

Andrew McGregor:

Yeah. I think you’ve just summed it up perfectly.

Theresa Reed:

Absolutely.

Andrew McGregor:

So, maybe that’s a great place to leave it. I’m going to say, when you listen to this, rewind and listen to what Shaheen said a couple of times because I think that’s just really a delightful and perfect way to encapsulate it. Obviously, you folks have a lovely book. I think people should check it, called Tarot for Troubled Times. Shaheen, where do people find you if they want to come be in your orbits online?

Shaheen Miro:

You can find me at my website, which is shaheenmiroinsights.com. Or you can visit me on Instagram, which my handle is Shaheenthedream, and that’s one of my favorite places to hang out and do all sorts of magical things over there. And on Facebook and Twitter. So, Shaheen Miro, there’s only one of me out there.

Andrew McGregor:

Perfect. Theresa, at The Tarot Lady everywhere?

Theresa Reed:

Yup, thetarotlady.com, and The Tarot Lady is my handle on all my social media things.

Andrew McGregor:

Beautiful. Well, thank you both for making time today. I super appreciate it. It’s been-

Shaheen Miro:

Thank you.

Andrew McGregor:

… as delightful as I was hoping.

Theresa Reed:

Thank you for having us.

Andrew McGregor:

Of course.

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