The Card of the Day: The Four of Swords
“Rest and recharge.”
The Four of Swords symbolizes a need for rest and recuperation. It is a card that gently reminds you to call your attention to your body, and any areas where tension has been building up. Today, you may need to give yourself some peace and quiet to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit.
Where does tension seem to accumulate in your body? Is there tightness in your neck, throat, back, or shoulders? When is the last time you gave yourself a relaxing mid-day nap? Do you need a break from the stress built up from the past week?
Today it’s time to treat yourself to peace. Hidden in the stained glass window in the Four of Swords is the word: PAX (Latin for PEACE). The whole week has probably given you a lot to be stressed about. Now is the time to stop carrying the week's stresses around with you in your body. Let's let them go now.
Secure ten minutes for yourself where you won't be disturbed. Sit back and relax in a comfy chair. Bring your awareness to your body. With your mind, slowly scan the sensations of your body from head to toe. Is there an area with tightness built up? Find the area of tightness and try to relax the muscles surrounding it as much as you can. When you identify where the tension has built up, its time to breathe into it. Empty all the air from your lungs. Take a deep breath, slowly inhaling through your nostrils over an eight second count. Fill your body with revitalizing air. Let your stomach expand with the inhalation. Inhale the revitalizing oxygen into into the place of tension. Hold the air there for eight seconds, right in the tense spot. While holding the air, purse your lips as if you were about to drink from a small straw. Exhale all the air over eight counts through this aperture slowly. It should sound like a dolphin’s exhalation. (PPHHHHHHHHH). Use your abdomen to press all the old air out of your body. Let all the tension escape with the breath. Feel the muscles around the tense spot relax even further. Repeat this breath exercise with two more healing inhalations and exhalations (Eight counts in, hold eight counts in stressed spot, release through pursed lips eight counts). With each exhalation allow your body to let go of all the accumulated strains of the week.
Isn't that nice? And you can take more than three if you want!
People in our culture need to be reminded to breathe, relax, and let go. We are always being stimulated by tasks, media, and demands. Breathing is the easiest way to release tension, but there are so many other ways to relax. Take a nice hot bath with candles and scented water. Sip a cool refreshing drink or soothing herbal tea. Take a relaxing nap for an hour just to rest your brow. Read your favorite book with snuggly blankets a cup of cocoa. Take a breather in a cool darkened room.
Today, allow yourself to rest and recuperate, even if just for three slow tension relieving breaths. You can give yourself at least that much, right? Rest is just as important as work.