I think I seem like an optimist because I speak on positive thinking so frequently. But I’m actually wired pessimistically. (Scorpio Moon, stellium in Scorpio and Virgo–I’m wired to see problems and can get very fatalistic.)
I speak so frequently on positive thinking because I really need it as a tool to not spiral into depression. I spent the entirety of my teen years depressed and have battled depression most of my adult life. I know my mind is part of why and how I experience life and that’s why I work so hard at creating a life worth living for me. This summer I’ve been having some success with a framework I want to share based on a tarot card!
During the Spring the 4 of Cups tarot card kept coming up. In personal readings, in collective readings, everywhere I turned it seemed to be present.
The four of cups is typically depicted with three spilled or empty cups and one cup that the subject of the card’s image typically isn’t looking at. Cups is the sign of emotions– BIG FEELS.
I love this image most of all–from the Modern Witch Tarot by Lisa Sterle. I have gotten to look through it because of friends and it’s gorgeous! This deck is on my wishlist.
This is a deck my friend and cosmic guide Jana from Feeling Loudly uses and she’s how I learned the empowering message behind the card.
I’m a big fan of using spiritual tools for empowerment and while it doesn’t feel empowering to know a bunch of your cups are spilled–things you put emotional energy into–it is empowering to remember to look around for what cups are full that I’m not paying attention to.
So I set out to spend the summer focused on 4 of Cups Livin’. The art of looking for the full cups and celebrating the heck out of them.
I’m particularly skilled at downward spirals, I think we all can dwell in negativity and get into the bog of stench. But creating a habit of upward spirals is a lot of thought life discipline.
We can’t control the first thought but we can control our second, third and subsequent thoughts. The longer I practice meditation the better I get at becoming an observer of my thoughts.
I believe “you” are your soul, but we are conditioned to be a “you” that is a projection of what we want people to think we are. When I’m focused on what other people think of me I’m not focused on what is right for me. That’s how I ended up going to law school and trying to perform perfection for love and acceptance.
Now I trust that my genuine self is enough (thank you Mr. Rogers) and anyone I have to perform for isn’t a connection I want to nurture.
I know through practice I can capture my thoughts and dwell on the ones that delight me. This summer has had a focus on flowers because they do delight me! First it was lilacs, then foxgloves, and right now the sunflowers are so epic. I began feeling hopeful this week for no external reason other than perhaps all the sunflowers in my garden!
Being a big dreamer comes with a lot of grief! I can get so hard on myself because I keep setting goals I haven’t achieved yet. I love my job and it hasn’t been paying enough for me to live off this summer so I’ve had to get creative, more frugal than ever, and take on a side job to support the work. I still believe in it, but I think most entrepreneurs who have had downturns in volume of clients served know that sometimes your passion needs you to supplement. Money problems specifically have spiraled me out many times.
4 of Cups Livin’ is a daily practice of pronoia where I know that my cup is as full as the air in my lungs! The trees I choose to walk amongst! The authentic connections I nurture! It’s bigger than just gratitude it’s more like a gratitude rampage, really working myself up so the gratitude is so big it overwhelms the grief I feel that I’m not yet where I thought I “should” be by now.
4 of Cups Livin’ is, once again, releasing control and struggle so I can experience contentment and sufficiency. Fully present! Mindful!
I’m reading a book right now called Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell. He talks about contentment being part of the process of pursuing passion. You experience contentment with that vigorous gratitude practice while surrendering to the journey of success, which is designed to build us through discomfort into the kind of person that can sustain our goals.
Little kids learn and are uncomfortable frequently because they are always growing, but they balance that with play and rest. That’s the balance people of all ages need to strike to have a growth mindset and pursue our potential.
Maxwell also writes about how the past impacts the present. The ability to put past events behind us and move on allows a person to focus on the present challenge with enthusiasm. Saying “I have yet to meet a successful person who continually dwells on past difficulties.”
As someone who is in her forties I know from witnessing friends go through emotional challenges how folks can get really stuck never risking love again, resentments and just isolating. Sometimes we need times to heal and slow down, but I really admire the grit of someone willing to risk love/a big dream/whatever again. On Shark Tank they always edify an entrepreneur who has had the grit to try again.
4 of Cups Livin’ has been a way to remind myself to be in the glory of what is instead of wishing it was the Big Dream. A mindset shift that has me feeling legit hope and not resting on how bleak things feel objectively. I hope it helps you!
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