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Being Present While Looking to the Future During The Great Pause (with Tarot)

The world officially went topsy turvy in my mind when my home province of Ontario, Canada, declared a state of emergency in mid-March. This was the right decision, and we knew it was coming, but it conveyed the gravity of the situation in a concrete way that could not be ignored.

In the midst of my own anxiety, and getting my home in order for a period of isolation, my mind often went to the many Tarot readings that I have done for clients, and myself, over the past few months.

I wondered why every single consultation of the cards didn’t include an appearance of The Tower, or other cards of disruption, disaster, fear or suffering.

The Tower

My clients were asking about jobs, families, relationships and how to achieve their future goals and desires in these areas. The cards showed challenges and opportunities, of course, but nothing that pointed to an extended time when life would be on hold and all thoughts of the future should be shelved for an indefinite time.

What do you make of this?

It gives me great hope and comfort.

This says to me that in the midst of all this, in this time of The Great Pause, we can still look to the future. We can make plans. We can take actions that will move us towards our bigger goals. The future will no doubt look different than what we have been anticipating, but it is still there waiting for us.

This has been tough for a lot of people, me included. Many of us have been in survival mode. We are putting the future on the back burner, while we worry about family, friends and loved ones, about keeping ourselves and everyone else safe and secure, even though we know that really isn’t in our power at all.

The first helpful steps may be to focus on staying present and grounded in the moment. Meditation, breathing, walking, eating well, hot baths, anything that can keep us mindful and safe so that we don’t let our imaginations and worst case scenarios have free rein.

But when you’re ready, balance this practice of being present and mindful with letting yourself start to look to the future.

Remember what you were aiming towards before the pandemic took hold. Think about where you want to be in a year or so…does it look the same, or has your vision shifted? What beautiful plans can you make now, and take some action towards, so that you can create the life you desire? What are you looking forward to?

I’m not talking about total fantasy here. You don’t have to pretend that everything is alright, and the future is all rainbows and sunshine. Feel anger, grief, frustration. Adapt to our new reality. Accept the unknown.

And then, get clear about what you desire, and start that manifestation in motion.

I won’t lie, I’m working on this attitude, but this still isn’t easy for me. I feel the weight of this time in my heart. I feel both the sadness and the beautiful love and hope that is all around us.

So, when I get wobbly, I find that this little Tarot spread grounds me, inspires me, and gives me a little practical support. Give it a try, and let me know how it speaks to you. The questions are designed to provide some insights into how to feel grounded, how to focus on what really needs your attention rather than being overwhelmed by what ifs, and to remind you to keep looking to the future and moving ahead at whatever pace works for you right now.

Tarot Spread

Here’s a quick example of a spread I did for myself today.

Example Tarot layout spread

  1. What can I do to feel safe and grounded right nowKing of Swords. The path to feeling grounded lies in my mind. It would be beneficial to put some energy towards mastering and ordering my thoughts, rather than letting them run wild. Taking a honest, pragmatic and detached look at my current situation and making decisions based on these realities will serve me well at this time. And, its time to look for solutions and formulate plans rather than perceiving myself as powerless. Listen to good advice from experts, and reject the flotsam and jetsam of social media.
  2. Who or what needs my attention in the here and now – The World. Oh great, the whole world needs my attention! Nothing stressful about that! Just kidding, once I got past that initial panic, I realized that the message of completion is coming through to me. I haven’t been able to focus on any one project in a meaningful way for the past month, I’ve started many things and then left them hanging. Now is the time to make completing those projects my focus, goal and joy.  Success and a big life shift are there for me, I just have to see things through. Also, on another note, I could put some energy into understanding the role that I play during this challenging time, what I can offer to the wider world that will be of support and value.
  3. What actions can I take now that will move me towards the future that I desire – Seven of Cups. First of all, allow myself to imagine that there IS a future. Daydream about what it might look like, muse on what new opportunities and beauty may lie ahead. Ask my heart what it needs, and let love guide my decisions and actions right now rather than fear. On a practical note, as per the previous cards, pick something to focus on rather than being overwhelmed by options and possibilities.

Be kind to yourself. Navigate this time in a way that makes sense for you. Look for safety, comfort and happiness in the present, while looking to the future with optimism and curiosity. And don’t forget, your cards are always there when you need them.

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