Self care as a Tarot reader (or finding chess)
I read for myself most days. Usually just a three card "what do I need to know?" But if I feel my mental health dipping, or that I am overwhelmed then I ask "what do I need to do today?"
A key card over the last few days has been the High Priestess- and I've taken the time to connect with her a little more.
One of the problems (and as problems go it is a good one) with my life is connection. My work is very connected. I see a lot of regular clients- and can find myself deeply connecting to their life and their issues in an empathic way. Then as soon as work is finished its straight into family time and supporting, enjoying the company of, my kids.
At this point (and I am working towards it) my life doesn't really give me that much alone time, that much time to be at peace, at ease, without connection or stress.
So as I gazed at the High Priestess I really felt her peace. As if she had stopped the world and just paused for a moment with no thought, no worry, no distraction.
It made me reflect on what I do to create that for myself.
Because shamanic work is such a key part of my work I don't tend to use this as a relaxation tool. The same with meditation- its a huge part of my work life, so I fancy something different for leisure.
Walking in nature always hits the spot. But I tend to use this time to walk with my kids, to chat. And that is too valuable right now to let go of.
Reading works- but I like thrillers (!) so they always get to the point where I am enjoying them, engaged in them- but not especially relaxed.
Creative projects is a part of this- but they tend to take time, and I need something that can be used for 20 minutes several times a day.
It was an offhand comment by one of my sons that made me think. I have been very strict on gaming and screentime. They are allowed to- but with quite strong boundaries (including no phone until 15). My 16 year old has got around this by using chess apps. He loves chess, and he knows I value it as a fantastic mindset tool. So he spends hours playing chess online.
He showed me the site he used and I had a go. It was with some embarrassment that I realised just how bad I was, and that with this app I could reverse moves and try different ones, exploring my options.
I'm still not good. But I love it! 20 minutes, a new game, and playing around with my moves. It totally absorbs me (it really does take all my brain power to play chess) and there is no space to think of anything else. There is also a sense of satisfaction- as I am getting better.
If I have had a long client day I try to catch a couple of games of chess before heading to the family. I clear my desk, grab a cup of tea, and step back from everything as I try and negotiate the board. It allows me to let go of work and find that peace so I can enjoy family time with out client's lives running through my head.
My main point of writing this blog is to remind you that each of us will find self care in whatever way we most need it. I could never have imagined enjoying chess-if someone had suggested it I would probably have laughed. But right now it is exactly what I need.
So if you are in need of selfcare right now embrace whatever works for you. As my teacher was fond of saying "if it works you're doing it right."