You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
to lose sight of the shore.
Christopher Columbus – via The Art of Life Tarot
This is the first of weekly Quiet Writing deep-dive Tarot Narratives each Monday to share intuitive guidance and the wisdom and insights from aligned books.
Reflections on 2017
Welcome to Quiet Writing for 2018! 2017 was a most challenging year for me. I spent the year focused on supporting my beautiful mother as she battled terminal illness in the form of metastatic breast cancer. She passed away peacefully on Christmas Day after the toughest time. It’s all so very raw still and in some ways, grief has yet to fully hit. My mum was very special to me and so many people. The time we spent together in 2017 was such a treasure and the memory of our time then and over the long term is helping to ease the sense of emptiness and loss now. But there’s a long way to go on this journey I know. More on this as I move through this time and reflect further on 2017.
At the same time, I was planning a new future knowing I needed to find a new career and life path focused on creativity. I trained as a Life Coach with the Beautiful You Coaching Academy to complement training I had already completed in Jung/Myers-Briggs personality type assessment. And I spent a lot of time diving deep into my intuition via tarot and oracle cards.
I worked on my spirituality and the sacred side of my creativity via work with Amber Adrian. I’ve learnt to listen within for guidance and seek help from spirit guides, angels and ancestors.
I wrote 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo, finally embracing writing every day and in challenging circumstances.
Also during the year, my job of 30 plus years as a leader in the government vocational education sector was ‘deleted’ and I am soon to be made ‘redundant’. Even though this is a change I desire as I already knew I needed to move on, it is not without its own pain and grief. Certainly, it’s a time of shifting identity, but it’s a shift I embrace wholeheartedly.
Overall, it was an incredibly transformative year, but one of chronic uncertainty with a deep underlying sadness.
Tarot and oracle work
One of the three key platforms in making this shift in life focus heading into 2017 was a deeper dive into tarot and oracle work as a way of honing my intuition. As an INTJ personality type, Introverted Intuition is my dominant gift and this was a time of really leaning into it to discover its mysteries. I studied tarot more deeply via Susannah Conway’s 78 Mirrors e-course and I began a daily practice of tarot and oracle reading and journaling.
In June, I began to share this practice publicly in the form of Tarot Narratives on Instagram and Facebook. Each day, I would do an intuitive reading of two tarot and one oracle card and write a narrative of the overall message. Then I’d link this intuitively to a book, quote or song and share it with others. There was such a positive response to this sharing of intuitive messages over time which I so appreciated.
I did this every day from June up until mid-December when it all became too much. Whilst it had been a supportive practice in a time of change until then, I was in the hospital with my mum day and night for long shifts and everything else simply had to stop.
Coming back to life generally and to tarot and oracle work following this time has been challenging and I’ve been rethinking so much. Sharing my Tarot Narrative each day was a great support in 2017 and a practice that helped shape my journey and sharpen my intuition. But it’s not a sustainable practice on a daily basis in 2018 as I work on crafting a new life and concurrently deal with grief and the impact of loss.
I’ve thought about how to balance Tarot Narrative work with my other priorities – writing, life coaching, personality type work. And I’ve decided to do a weekly deep-dive Tarot Narrative each Monday. It seems the best way to share intuitive guidance and book wisdom in a sustainable way. This means I can also provide more insights on the reading and especially exploring the aligned books, songs and quotes.
So here’s the first weekly Tarot and Oracle Narrative for 2018!
Theme for the week beginning 15 January
Firstly, I want to share a theme for each week to guide our overall focus. For this, I will work with Lisa McLoughlin’s Life Design Cards. With their emphasis on ‘weave a different story’, these cards align so well with Quiet Writing’s focus on ‘creating your story’.
The card for this week is 21. Use small and slow solutions.
I love this card with its spiral imagery centred around a snail making progress slowly against the backdrop of an ammonite fossil which seems to suggest a larger version of time. It’s true in one way, we have plenty of time. Time is an arbitrary man-made concept and something we can work with by making small steps and changes day by day.
I found a real sense of comfort in receiving this card. It made me reflect on how I have tried to work in 2017 in challenging times to just do something every day towards my overall goals. This is a practice that has served me well in this transition phase of life.
Making slow movements and small commitments will take you in the direction of your dreams incrementally. Even in the most challenging of times.
As the guidebook for Life Design Cards suggests for this card: “find a way to monitor progress so you can see how far you have come.” This is an excellent idea. Whether it be word count, books read, blog posts written, days writing, time spent on an activity of value, the number of clients or subscribers you have – find a metric or a few metrics that help measure your progress so you can notice it. It’s often easy to forget how far we have come. Take time to recognise the value of these small, slow solutions in your life so you feel inspired.
Tarot Narrative for the week beginning 15 January
Embrace creative courage
You’re embracing creativity and leadership, the lessons of years evolving into now. Notice where you are holding yourself back, keeping yourself trapped or feeling safe, lacking in courage. See also where you might even be dulling the feelings, the excitement of opportunity, out of habit from times past. Embrace this creative time you’re crafting and the chance for mastery so you can cross the ocean into more prosperity and abundance.
Reading notes: Cards: Father (King) of Wands and Eight of Swords from The Wild Unknown Tarot and #51 Milk and Honey in protection (reversed) position from Wisdom of the Oracle.
Reading fiction as you commute to a job you don’t like will make you feel somewhat more fulfilled; being in the right job will make you feel incredible.
Laura Vanderkam, 168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think
I’m reading Laura Vanderkam’s ‘168 Hours’ – listening as an audiobook as I drive. The book provides a fresh perspective on units of time, suggesting we focus on priorities and productivity over a week or 168 hours rather than the typical 24-hour unit focus.
Research based on logbook keeping suggests people over-estimate the time they spend on some tasks such as the hours they work. Laura Vanderkam suggests collecting your own data and having an evidence-based approach to decisions about how you spend your time.
In this, it’s valuable to look at the bigger picture of how we are choosing to live and whether we have the courage to make the changes we desire. Just as our theme for the week reminds us, using small, slow solutions to make change can be a valuable way of working.
For example, working on NaNoWriMo was a real opportunity to look at the metrics of how I use my time to write. The aim was to write 50,000 words in November. I achieved it by realising that this was 1667 words a day and learning that I could do this in under an hour. This realisation and metric made it doable and helped break through resistance. I could make practical strategies for finding an hour or 2 x 30-minute spots in the day to write even when life was super-challenging.
So for this week, maybe re-examine your weekly allocation of hours and see where your time goes. See if you can make some small, incremental changes in line with where you want to be, that job you wish to be in or that project you really want to tackle. Having the courage to lose sight of the shore, be in action and notice self-sabotaging behaviours can be powerful steps in moving into the career we desire or finally achieving our creative dreams. And in this we can also practice self-care as well.
Laura Vanderkam reminds us:
If you love what you do, you’ll have more energy for the rest of your life, too.
All best wishes for this week for moving on with courage in small steps closer to doing what you love. And let me know what you think of this post and the idea of weekly Tarot Narratives!
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