On the weekend I went for a hike in a beautiful conservation area. Well, hike is a grandiose way of saying it, a brisk walk is less impressive but more accurate terminology.
It was Valentine’s Day weekend (I like to stretch out the celebrations) and I had planned this walk to look at a waterfall and some nature, followed by a wine tasting at a local vineyard. Pretty romantic, right? Yes, except that when I got up that morning it was about minus 20 degrees Celsius out there, and most surfaces were covered in a layer of ice.
I don’t do well in cold weather. I never have. Wearing a winter coat and boots makes me irrationally angry.
This is the story I tell myself, that I hate cold and winter and being cold and it is something to be avoided at all costs. Everyone knows, Lori hates the cold and loves a nice tropical beach.
Well, that day, I decided to tell myself another story. I told myself that I’m the kind of person who puts on her snow pants and her Ice Fx boots, and courageously ventures out into the tundra. And I did, and I enjoyed it so much. It was cold, but beautiful. The fresh air revitalized me. The sunshine on the snow thrilled me. And then, the heated seats in the car were miraculous, and that was some of the best wine I ever tasted.
I know this is a small thing, but it was a big deal for me.
This experience reminded me to question the stories I tell myself that hold me back.
It reminded me to be aware of my genuine limitations as a person, but to be careful to tell them apart from the ones that I impose on myself out of habit, or fear, or comfort.
I see this in the Tarot all the time. I have clients who come to me looking for change in their lives, and yet they cling to these old stories tenaciously. They protect patterns that aren’t working for them, because they are familiar and ingrained. When I point out a different perspective or possibility that I clearly see in the cards, they dismiss it (but I never give up, I’m tenacious, too).
To combat this unhelpful phenomenon, I like to ask the Tarot to show the person I am reading for who they really are, not as they perceive themselves to be.
We don’t usually see ourselves in all our glory. We tend to harp on the things that we don’t like, the things we wish we didn’t say, what we see as our faults and weaknesses. The Tarot can be a friendly and accurate mirror, showing us all the strengths and talents and courage that we have right in this moment, waiting to be utilized and believed in.
I don’t mean that we should kid ourselves, or ignore our faults. We can look at ourselves honestly, and continue to grow and stretch ourselves, but why not do that from a place of mad love and appreciation for who we are right now? That changes everything. Everything.
When I asked this question for one of my clients, when I asked the cards to show her as she really is, not as she perceives herself, the Queen of Wands came up. I described her as decisive, charismatic, inspiring, with a wicked sense of humor, bang-on intuition, the kind of person that others want to be around.
She laughed and said that sure didn’t sound like her. She felt that she never had anything to say, that she blended into the background in any social situation, and that she changed her mind at the drop of a hat.
We sat with the card for a few moments, and then she said that she wasn’t really indecisive, she changed her mind or her plans or her schedule when her intuition told her to do so, and it was always better to listen to that advice. Other people didn’t know that was what was going on, so they called her flighty or moody but also noticed that she always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. She shifted her view of herself from indecisive to divinely guided and kind of magical.
Also, she talked about an opportunity that she had been offered to give a talk to a women’s business networking group. She planned to turn it down, because she didn’t think she had anything to say that they hadn’t heard before. The Queen of Wands reminded her that she is articulate, and funny, and knows how to hold a room (even if that’s a Zoom room) and that she’d regret it if she didn’t go for it. Later on she told me she had done that talk, and immediately got three new clients.
So, the moral of the story? Tell yourself a NEW story. Aren’t you tired of hearing the same old ones over and over? You know how they turn out, so why not tell yourself a good story, an inspiring story, and make yourself the hero of it. Start by pulling a card.