You may remember from an earlier post that I have been studying the tarot. I’ve been studying with a local teacher since the end of September, same time as I started Quiet Power Strategy coaching training, a combination which never ceases to amuse and delight me for how it manages to capture perfectly the two sides of the equation for me, the two sides of the equation of me. As part of my studies I draw cards every morning, two of them, this time one from the Disks, which we’ve isolated so that I can study them, then one from the rest of the deck. I note which cards I’ve pulled on a log sheet, which after three months now shows some interesting patterns – which cards I’ve drawn over and over again, what keeps coming up. And then I write more about the cards in a specially-designated Moleskine, making notes about the meanings of the cards so that I can remember them, so I can learn them.
It fascinates me.
You might think it has nothing to do with business, which I’m also obsessed with. But you’d be wrong. Here’s why.
Our businesses are fundamentally about us. Even though sometimes we forget about that, in the rush of responding to client needs, marketing our work, delivering value.
Fundamentally our business are about us. Your business is about you. Which is why, for me, the phrase Your Business Is Your Life, the name of my upcoming podcast with Rachel Rodgers, is so fraught with meaning.
It really is all about you.
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Which is where the cards come in.
Daily the cards offer me a way in to what I’m really thinking about whatever is going on in my life and work. They let me in on the little secrets that are driving me, even when I’m not aware of them. They are, as my husband so insightfully said, prompts. Simple access points, little spotlights on the mysterious darkness inside my head, the truth that I don’t even tell myself.
And they constantly surprise me.
Sure, this morning when I drew the 7 of Disks, Failure, I groaned. On Mondays I am always thinking about the week ahead when I pull my two cards, the question, “What is most important for me to keep in mind this week” repeating itself as I shuffle and draw. So when I drew that challenge card, yeah, I groaned. Oh, damn it: that.
And then the other card, The Tower, that flaming toppling tower under a wide, seeing eye. Hmm. Really, this week, the last week of the year, and I pull this card that at first glance looks like the structure of my life, afire, falling over, four figures flying off the ramparts. Really?
I log them on my little chart, and I open my notebook and start writing, thinking about this combination of cards, reading about their meanings, beginning that daily process of self-inquiry. Not just what the cards mean, but more critically: what they mean TO ME. And slowly it comes together.
The Tower is actually a deeply hopeful card, that wide-open eye the open eye of awareness, that eye seeing that that which is false must fall in order for what is true to rise in its place. Down with the false structures of the self, so that what’s really authentic can be expressed. That wide-open eye sees that, knows that the real peace lies in that renovation, that tearing down of the old, conditioned aspects of the self and their replacement with what has so much more integrity, with who we really are.
But that rising of the true self, that fearless vital expression, carries with it some risk, does it not? That fear of failure, which is really just a fear of success in thin disguise. It is not that these endeavors I plan for myself, that the changes in my business, will fail that scares me. It is the unveiling of my true self, of bringing my whole me to my work, that’s the part that scares. Paradoxically, it is the part that will also guarantee true success. Success on my own terms. Whatever that means.
So although I started my examination of the cards this morning with an Oh-No groan, I get it. I get the message for the week: keep tearing away at that fear of success, keep tossing what’s false, what I hide behind, off the ramparts, keep making way for the real me, for the true work, to emerge. That’s the right place to be. That’s the actual work.
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Why do I share this with you? Because I am sure that what I’m learning also serves you, that I’m learning it actually in order to serve you. I go where I go so that you will follow, so that you will come, too, so that we can go together. I unfold myself so that you will unfold your own self, so that we can get at the real treasure that we’re otherwise hiding in those paper fortunetellers that we make of ourselves.
This week, my real work is all about how can I show up – how can I be more authentic, how can I not let fear of failure, fear of success, derail me, how can I silence that nagging voice that says, wait, don’t tell people that. I’m not letting that stop me. I’m applying that Marie Kondo wisdom of Keep Only What Gives You Joy, to my own self, tossing out the bits that keep me unhappy, that drag me down, that block the shine, the glow I want to let out. I’m going to let that infuse all of my work this week – the final touches on my 2016 Planning, the 2015 close-out work for clients, the social media posts, all of it.
What’s fake? Toss it. What’s the real you? Let it out. Let it rip. Let us hear you. If you make one resolution, set one goal for 2016, may that be it. Let us hear you.