Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Self-Love September: 10 Inspiring Messages from Tarot

As you guys and dolls know, Tarot is one of my all time favourite things. It has been an instrumental tool in helping me to turn my light on and make epic positive changes. I believe that there's no such thing as an inappropriate card for a specific subject. Every single card has something to say about any issue, emotion, relationship or belief you care to do a Tarot reading about. The Star holds a message about fear of success, The Lovers holds a message about money and the Eight of Swords has plenty to say about creative pursuits. When you draw a spread to focus on something specific, the right cards come up first time, every time, even if they don't seem to make sense at first.

No card is irrelevant - every card holds wisdom on every subject.

Since I wholeheartedly believe that every single card has something to teach us about self-love, I can confidently advise the Tarot readers among you to go through your entire deck and write at least one piece of self-love advice per card. Believe me, it works, and it will give you a much closer relationship to each of the seventy eight cards. However, for the purposes of this blog post, I have drawn ten cards at random to offer ten pieces of inspiring advice for your self-love journey. Enjoy!

Random Draw #1: Eight of Pentacles
Inspiring Massage: Changing your thought patterns takes patience and practice

If you have been struggling with nagging thoughts of low self-worth, the chances are that those thoughts have been building up for a very long time. They probably started as distant irritating whispers and then got louder and louder in adulthood until they stopped you from living your life on your terms. The neural pathways carved out by those negative thoughts are now very deep and super ingrained, even to the point where negative thoughts occur involuntarily and on a daily basis. The automatic and rigid nature of these thoughts means that they are not going to be replaced or eradicated overnight! On the contrary, it took a great deal of energy and effort for their neural pathways to become so entrenched in your mind and so it stands to reason that it will take energy and effort to help the new self-loving thoughts to really stick. You have made a commitment to think of yourself and your life in a different way. This is an act of self-love. Now? It's about practice and consistency, building upon each right action with another right action and seeing the gorgeous effects of this daily work. And hey, remember that you don't need to think of 'work' as a dirty word. You are working on improving your life and your relationship with yourself. What could be better?

Random Draw #2: Two of Swords
Inspiring Message: Look within for the answers

Do you suffer from outside validation syndrome? Always asking others what they think about your choice before you really follow through with it? Obsessed with avoiding other people's disappointment and disapproval? This constant worry about outside expectations causes extreme analysis paralysis as you try to please everyone around you whilst consistently giving up your own power and autonomy. Those who run their decisions by everyone else first can afford to do a sharp 180 turn and start checking in with themselves for their own approval before anyone else is even consulted or informed. And remember, getting outside advice from friends or family is a great tool for working out how you feel about something. But if you tend to take advice as gospel without first considering whether you agree with it or not, you are working against yourself. Take your power back today! Not tomorrow, not next week but right now in the present. Also, if there's anyone in your life who tends to bark definitive instructions rather than offering friendly guidance, don't ask them for an opinion and ignore their unsolicited ones! Do not give them the privilege of living your life as well as their own.

Random Draw #3: The Hierophant
Inspirational Message: Find a good routine

Implementing practices and thoughts which build up self-love is a damn good idea! It tends to work more effectively if you make some key decisions about which tools and techniques you're going to try. Then do two things: stick with them for a while and record their effectiveness. Your dedication and commitment to this wonderful journey is defined by your willingness to follow through with it. Be disciplined with any changes you decide to make to your thoughts, actions, relationship dynamics etcetera. Consistency is the key to helping you find out what works. If you decide that you are going to own your authentic voice by being more forthright in your meetings at work, make sure that you are consistent in doing this and take some time to journal about each experience and your emotional response afterwards. If you decide that you're going to make more time for your creative project each week, use a diary or calender to mark out specific times and stick to them. Trying something once or twice is not likely to give you a good indicator of its effectiveness and it certainly won't help you to make lasting change. Give this self-love thing your laser focus. The results will be epic.

Random Draw #4: Three of Pentacles
Inspirational Message: Keep learning and evolving

There is so much juicy information and advice out there about how to cultivate self-love. You can drink from it all. You can take what works and find wonderful combinations of tips, tricks and loving pieces of guidance to suit you. Make sure that you check in with what feels right, but remember - don't immediately dismiss advice just because it tests your comfort zone. Sometimes the advice that 'rattles your cage' is the advice worth taking. Change isn't always supposed to feel comfortable, so choose techniques which help you to step outside the box and witness your own strength. I am happy to be a guiding light to anyone who needs a little help in the self-love department but I also recommend that you see what else is on offer and create an incredible plan of action for yourself as well as writing down anything you learn about self-love which resonates with you. Stay conscious of what you are learning and what has really worked.

Random Draw #5: The Devil
Inspiring Message: Accountability is paramount

When looking for the underlying reasons and root causes for a lack of self-love, you may find yourself picking up on difficult childhood memories, relationships with your primary caregivers or negative words which were thrown at you by an ex-partner or friend. Although it is important to recognise where your negative thoughts and habits come from, it is also vital that you create as much clarity as possible around the nature of your own accountability. You cannot control what happened to you in the past but you can control whether or not you willingly permit yourself to be enslaved by it in the present. That is indeed a free choice. The longer you convince yourself that it's not, the longer you will be chained like the two figures in this card. Repeat after me: 'I acknowledge that I can take accountability for the way I respond to what other people do, say and believe. My life is my own and the present is a time of ultimate power.'

Random Draw #6: Five of Cups
Inspiring Message: Focus on the positive

I know, I know, so many people attack this advice as a tired old cliché. You know what? It works. That's what I'm interested in! Of course it's important to acknowledge what's going wrong in your life. It's only once you take an honest look at the negative stuff that you can work out how to change it and even why you want to change it. But don't become enslaved by it! Don't give it all of your attention whilst refusing to acknowledge the good stuff in your life. It is a sincere act of self-love to practice daily gratitude. It heightens your vibration and helps you to feel more capable and less overwhelmed. You get to choose where you place your focus; make good choices. In the illustration for this card, a figure stands in a black shroud looking down forlornly at the cups which have fallen over. The figure broods over the fact that the contents from the cups has spilled into the ground and been lost. But behind the figure, two cups stand upright, ready for the taking. The choice of the figure is a simple but meaningful one - keep focusing on what has been lost or turn and look at what is still available. Even when the only thing you feel you have to be grateful for is a gorgeous sunset outside your window - make that commitment to showing up and enjoying it.

Random Draw #7: The Tower
Inspiring Message: Self-love is your solid foundation

My truest and deepest belief about self-love is that it is there when everything else has been lost. You can depend on it when your life is in chaos, when you feel more lonely than you've ever felt in your life, when everything seems to be going wrong. Self-love is for the dark times, not just the joyful times. If you are working on cultivating genuine self-love and self-respect right now, know that you are not just improving the present but also preparing for the future in a positive way. Every step you take on the self-love journey will mean that you are less likely to abandon yourself, hurt yourself or give up on yourself during tough times. Life sometimes takes a turn for the chaotic and painful. During those times it is so important to be your own friend and ally. Someone you care for may abandon you, plans you made may fall flat, all manner of difficult situations are possible. But knowing that you truly love and respect yourself means that you can deal gracefully with whatever cards you are dealt and then work on getting a better hand in the next game.

Random Draw #8: Five of Wands
Inspiring message: Choose your battles

You don't need to RSVP to every conflict you're invited to. You are not obligated to get involved with drama which doesn't resonate with you or serves to drag you down. You don't need to explain yourself to everyone who asks a question or demands an explanation for how you're living your life. You may find yourself embroiled in something which doesn't serve you or anyone else. At those times, self-love is essential. Think seriously about how you're choosing to spend your precious energy. Is the drama really worth it? You may also find that considering the kind of drama you are potentially creating is another important component of your self-love journey. Whereabouts are you engaged in gossiping, casting harsh judgements, stereotyping people or using passive aggression as a way to convey your distaste for someone else's behaviour? Whereabouts are you allowing someone else to dictate what you should think about someone you don't even know? Removing yourself from these kinds of dynamics and committing to thinking for yourself is an undeniable and beautiful act of self-love.

Random Draw #9: King of Wands
Inspiring Message: Believe in your vision and make it into reality

Are you holding yourself back in your creative pursuits? Stopping yourself from starting that business you dream of? Procrastinating on saving for that new place? Get behind your beautiful visions! Remember that even though the journey towards your desires is gradual and sometimes seems to move at a snail's pace, there is always something you can do to make a positive difference and move you closer to the goal you have in mind. Make small steps in the right direction all the time and praise the holy heck out of yourself each time you manage to take the next right action. Remember to check in with your visions and goals regularly to see if there have been any changes to what you want. We evolve as we move through life, so it is self-loving to remind yourself that you are permitted to change your mind. Most of all, keep showing up for yourself. Know that you have more power within you than you even dare to realise.

Random Draw #10: Three of Cups
Inspiring Message: Choose your support system

Not everyone will be willing to celebrate your choices or try to understand your dreams, but if they insult your choices or try to discourage your dreams, they have crossed the line. Crossing the line means overstepping your boundary by disrespecting you or trying to cajole you into their way of thinking. You have the right to explain where your boundaries are and express your dislike at having them overstepped. You can communicate these things in a graceful and diplomatic way - that is your absolute right. But what happens if your boundary continues to be breached? Self-love is intrinsically linked to self-empowerment. You are not obligated to share your life with people who drag you down and discourage you. It's time to get crystal clear on that. You may also want to give careful thought to which people in your life tend to applaud your successes and generally help you to feel a greater sense of autonomy. Although it is not the job of any other person to create your good feelings for you, you can certainly choose to spend more time around those who like to see you lighting up and going after your dreams!

I hope these messages from Tarot can be of service to you.

You are majestic right now. Keep rockin' it!