take-time

Over Coming Stress

April 23, 2015

I wonder how many of you had a tiring day like I did yesterday. Running errands for family, catching up on outstanding work, cleaning the house, taking care of the dogs, all while fighting a lingering flu bug. I am sure many of you can relate to the tired and withdrawn feeling I had by the end of the day. But did I need to end up in this place, especially telling myself throughout the day how tired I was. I do not think I did. Even though my mind was telling me one thing, I could have easily have changed the conversation in my head to one of acting selfless and happy, even lucky to be doing any task at all.

I find the thought of being thoughtful and conscience of the positive is what we are here to fundamental learn and apply daily in life. If we can do this we overcome any negative thought or action aimed at others and ourselves. As a Tarot reader I often point out in my readings that our thoughts generate our words and actions, so they better be the best we can apply. If we can conquer our thoughts we are the master of our mind; not the other way around like my day yesterday.

The Tarot speaks beautifully to this ideal in the card of Strength. This Major Arcana card is often depicted and described as the mythology hero Hercules. You may recall from his tale, his first task to appease the King was to conquer an indestructible lion. Hercules not only overcame the lion, he wore its famous pelt throughout the rest of the story.

Hercules wearing the pelt is his acknowledgement of mastery over self. We all need to overcome our lion’s raw instinct – our own self-importance, pride and ego – not unlike the lion Hercules encounters these animal drives uncontrolled can cause great harm. We also learn, beast-like behavior such as rage and anger are useless energies and need to be subdued.

Applying strength, energy and perseverance all relate to this card but the ancient Tarot went even further by calling this card, The Enchantress, showing a beautiful maiden gently closing the mouth of the lion. She does not have to be crazy strong like Hercules, she is calm and poised because she has mastery over her mind, emotions and speech. When we are short of energy and spirit, we can easily jump to being short with thoughts and then our words. And if we then throw in a big dose of our self-importance and pride – you can see where this can quickly lead to and what The Enchantress is trying to teach us.

When we have control of our own mind we can start to execute positive actions to match our thoughts. Discipline of our mind leads to discipline over our actions. A simple example, while feeling run down yesterday I thankfully had the strength of mind to keep walking past my favorite bakery, with my favorite glazed donuts so that I did not add a bad sugar rush to my already depleted spirits. Score one point for me!

Is it any surprise that when we make ourselves feel low and over tired that we are confronted with having to overcome addictive behavior like grabbing  chocolate , cigarette, drink, you fill in the blank, as well.  The answer would have to be – no surprise at all! And we can see how we easily can get to that place if we let our negative selves dictate the conversation.

As a person of the astrology sign Taurus, I can be a person always on the go; especially in my head with thoughts zipping around all day. Sometimes feeling like we need to accomplish everything yesterday can further these feelings of being overwhelmed. I have learned through my work as a Tarot reader learning to chill so that life can take its course was as important for me to learn as a positive mind set. I would get the positive thought and then run 500 miles an hour to try to get done, but some ideas are like a seed; it needs time to germinate and sprout. I could not rush it even if I wanted to – and I did!

While I was learning this core lesson I kept throwing two Tarot cards that were driving this lesson of learning to chill home for me. The first, The Hanged Man was one of the more frustrating cards of the Tarot deck for me until I became intimate and understood its great lesson for us. A Major Arcana card means major life experience time! I came to experience the Hanged Man to be a welcome time of rest for me. Meaning just that – hanging in time – it gives us the opportunity to catch our breath after a rough time – sort through all the information and experiences that have been collecting  and how they apply to your next steps. Like the planting of the seed above -
we are knowingly allowing time to do its work. A sacrifice has been made in exchange for the possibilities of a brighter future.

As people living in this high paced world, we are encouraged to rush, rush, rush – this feeling will only be enhanced if we feel the pressure to launch a new idea. Also, action seems like we are doing something – anything to move ourselves forward but The Hanged Man tells us – it is alright to relax breath and plan your next steps. Waiting can seem like a drag and anxiety provoking at times because it is part of process but if we use this time to understand it is a necessary step in our development we can embrace the time
and use it positively to become stronger and more enlightened about our own workings.

The other card of insight in knowing how strong my mind and outlook could be for the positive and how these ideas could be applied daily in my life was the card of The Chariot. We must place ourselves as the driver of The Chariot – because part of the Major Arcana lesson in this card is how to master the pulling forces in our lives. The horses represent our animal instinct fighting to take control over The Chariot. We need our spiritual and material yearnings to step in harmony. Your grip does not need to be rough. Your hands gently grasp the reins conveying determination, strength and purpose to lead them in a directed manner towards your goal.

Our Charioteer is ambitious and driven towards achievement. These inclinations need not be executed in a rough manner either – humbleness, control of our thoughts and delivery of our words are what the ancient Tarot teaches us is the evolution of our initial meeting with The Chariot. He wears a crown in some versions and we must strive to be worthy to wear his regal head gear.

I found this lesson useful again yesterday. If I am ever worried that I cannot service the demanding forces in my life – The Chariot says that just is not so! I can do anything if I apply my mind on the positive and constructive to get from A to B then to rest of the alphabet – I do not worry so much – I enjoy today, take my time, plan and play!

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