Saturday, 23 February 2013

there's no 'i' in 'team'

The Four of Wands is often a portrayal of community, cooperation and compromise for the sake of equilibrium. Sometimes this card asks challenging questions about the way we respond to other people, work alongside them and attempt to achieve a mutual goal through beneficial relationships. The fight between acting as an individual and acting as part of a functioning group can be addressed in this card. How much are you prepared to sacrifice your own agenda so that a bigger plan (invested with the hopes of others) can succeed? When we look at the dynamics in the social groups we're a part of, what we see beneath the surface perceptions can be extremely revealing. The same is true of interpersonal behaviours in the work environment, within our family units etcetera. We can learn so much about ourselves through honestly examining these connections.

When the Four of Wands appears in a reading it asks any number of a multitude of questions -  intuition must be the guiding force for working out how the card can best support you. If there's collaboration or necessary teamwork in your life, explore your role within it. Are you giving too much? Are you giving enough? Is your heart really in it? If you're frustrated with the people who are supposed to be supporting you, is it time to communicate that? Perhaps it's time to reassess how much of your giving is with the intention to receive?

Sometimes it's useful to look at how our relationships with others have progressed and changed over time. As life happens to you, your way of relating to others will change, as will your general expectations for all whom you encounter and the more specific expectations of a lover, for example, or a work colleague. Expectations are a big theme in the Four of Wands. When a team effort begins to break down or come under question, it can often be because someone's expectations were too high or low. Let's say that you've been invited into some kind of group to fulfil a joint objective through some kind of diligent effort. If you don't expect a lot of yourself, you won't put a lot of positive energy into the objective, leaving others to pick up the slack. If you expect too much from yourself, you'll burn yourself out and your unrealistic expectations of yourself will leave others feeling at odds with your energy and attitude. If you expect too much of the others in the group, they will resent you and feel that you don't see them as individuals. This high expectation will no doubt effect the way you speak to them and act around them, causing further tension. If you don't expect anything from them, then you're in danger of allowing yourself to be used or taken for granted but, more than that, you're also in danger of having no idea of where you'd like the project to lead or that you'd like it to reach any kind of objective. Without that drive to meet with success at some point in the journey, the experience of team work will soon become dull and superfluous.

Obviously, there's no perfect scale on which to place your expectations. The best advice is simply to keep in touch with them. Watch yourself trying to fulfil the expectations you feel are placed upon you or, in turn, foisting your own expectations onto certain situations or people. Sometimes I like to stand back and watch myself living my own life. I learn a lot this way.