The Card of the Day: The Five of Cups
“Snap out of it!”
The Five of Cups symbolizes the trance-like state of focusing only on the negative, even when all is not lost. The figure on the card gloomily stares at three spilled cups. He fails to notice the two perfectly upright cups still standing behind him. Behind the two standing cups is a bridge. This bridge symbolizes that the way over your obstacle will be made clear when you focus on what is working and what is positive in your life. This card also reveals that just because everything in your life isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean that you need to feel bad about it all day.... month...........year...................decade!
Does your mind ever feel hypnotized with problems? Is it difficult to see all the blessings you have because you can't stop focusing on the negative? Does ruminating rob you of countless hours in your day?
If you’ve ever experienced this sort of hypnotism you know it seems very difficult to snap out of. It usually occurs when the mind is idle. "An idle mind is the Devil's workshop," or so the saying goes. If you are traditionally a problem solver, it can be difficult to be at peace when there is no task to do. The mind immediately shuffles through its memory banks to drudge up something that we should have anxiety about. Then the mind says “Here’s a doozy! Remember this horrible time? What if it happens again?” The trance begins, and soon twenty minutes have gone by, leaving you feeling hopeless about yourself and your prospects.
When the Five of Cups comes up in a reading, its message is to “Snap out of it!” If you’ve ever seen the television program “The Dog Whisperer,” the host Cesar Millan is asked to fix the behavioral problems of dogs. The dogs “get stuck” mentally on behaviors like barking at the mailman, dragging the owners on a leash, chewing things, etc. There is a visible shift in the dog’s body language the moment it transitions from being at peace to getting stuck on the negative behavior. Cesar Milan watches for this shift and makes a sharp “SSSSKK!” sound. This breaks the dog’s trance, allowing it to refocus on a positive behavior instead.
If dogs can snap out of trance you can too! However, you need to catch yourself as you’re slipping into it. When we were children and started pouting, our guardians (hopefully) snapped us out of it. As adults we must step in on our own behalf. If you slip into negative ruminating you must redirect your thoughts.
A nice strategy for shifting focus from negative thoughts is to remember the details of your favorite place. This may be a park you visit, or a particularly beautiful place you traveled to. What is your happiest memory of a place? Close your eyes and remember each of the details of the place. The sounds, sights, smells and sensations of being there. When the anxiety interjects just keep seeking the details of the place. Details are key.
I think of a river I used to visit. I remember how the sound of its rushing waves took my anxieties with them. I remember the beautiful light that sparkled over her surface like a thousand diamonds. I remember the feel of the large cool rock I sat on. I recall the majestic blue herons that flew overhead, and the deer that came to drink the clear waters at dusk. I remember feeling completely relaxed and at peace. These were my calmest days of my youthful summer.
There! I snapped out of the negative trance! Now quick give me something constructive to focus on! Perhaps all the things that I can do, and that are still possible. Snapping out of negative trance gives you the opportunity to do something constructive toward your future.
Today shift your focus to break trances when they start. The more positive details you can remember the better you’ll feel. Ruminating doesn't help anyone solve anything, so knock it off! Place your focus on something that makes you happy or restores your faith in yourself instead.
You deserve to enjoy goodness in life, even when everything isn't perfect.
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