Karen lives in Jackson, MS, with her husband and son and works as an accountant. She enjoys writing, reading, and D&D role-playing games.
How to Create Your Own 42 card Healing Energy Deck
Solitaire is a nice card game to play to pass the time, but what if you could do something more with a simple deck of playing cards? What if instead, you could work on improving your life by targeting specific goals in creating a positive energy environment for yourself and those you love? Might that be a nice alternative to playing against "Old Sol" for the umpteenth time? Think of it as a scavenger hunt for your soul!
There are a few ways you can approach setting up your Healing Energy Deck:
- Use your own common playing card deck you use to play other card games,
- Buy a new deck just for this Healing Deck (find something that seems to speak to your own energy),
- Use an old deck and write on the cards just for this use,
- Use a tarot deck.
- Print out this entire article and cut out each photo and its corresponding action. Some are accompanied by videos, but the video images should still work. Use these as your "deck". (Suggestion: print on high-quality card stock. You could even laminate them and/or give them as a special homemade gift.)
Since there are 42 cards in this special Healing Deck, you will need to remove some from your regular deck of 52, or your 78 card tarot deck.
If you are using a standard deck of 52 playing cards, remove the following cards (or see table below): 2 of diamonds, 2 of spades, 3 of spades, 4 of diamonds, 5 of spades, 5 of diamonds, 6 of spades, 7 of clubs, 7 of spades, 9 of clubs. Be sure you have all Aces, 10's, and Face cards in your new Healing Deck. If you don't want to fool with removing these, you could use them as "wild" cards, and choose your own energy healing activity - or make up your own for these remaining cards.
If you are using a tarot deck, remove all minor arcana cards except the aces. (If you are using Rider-Waite, all the cards with writing on the bottom will be used - i.e. all major arcana + court cards & aces)
Now that you have your "deck", let the fun and healing commence! Below you will find the healing word along with an action to go with it which correlates to each card in your Healing Deck. Simply shuffle the cards and draw one to get you started. You could draw one, two, or three at a time, but I do not recommend more than that - the goal is to get us doing something fun and "energy" based to work on our positive energy and healing. Once you draw your first card, (with a few exceptions) you will not be sitting still for long!
The full table of cards is halfway down the list. Have fun and happy healing!
From a Standard Deck, Remove Cards in Bold
You Are (The Affirmation Card)
Affirmation - Ace of Hearts
Affirmation card: Standard deck = Ace of Hearts, Tarot deck = Ace of Cups
Think about something you need a little more of today. Do you need confidence? Money? Time? Energy? Luck? Stamina? Whatever it is, write out an affirmation that says " I am full of _______ today. I have all the _____ I will ever need and then some!" Of course you are welcome to re-word it. This is just an example.
Now say it to yourself 10 times. Breathe in slowly, say the affirmation, then say it again as you breathe out. Do this at least 10 times.
Do it over again but say it louder this time. Say it out loud, 10 times. Breathe in, Say the affirmation as you breathe out.
Repeat this exercise, getting louder each time, until you feel you are full of energy around this ____ that you need more of.
Keep the written affirmation in your pocket or purse and let this be your mantra for the day.
Road Signs (The Numbers Card)
Numbers - Ace of Diamonds
Numbers Card: Standard deck = Ace of diamonds, Tarot deck = Ace of pentacles
Do you have a favorite number? Why or why not? Think of your birth month. In what ways is this month significant to you? Are there numbers you associate with favorite players on teams you root for? What other ways do numbers play into your everyday life?
I am an accountant in my "day" job, and have learned over the years that numbers can be both comforting and a great tool in solving problems. Having trouble making a decision? Try a pros and cons list and count them up. That's a positive use of numbers. Work out your budget after you get paid but before you spend any money. That's another one. Count calories consumed today and subtract calories expended. There's one more. Count your blessings! Can you think of others? Find a positive way to use numbers as a healing tool.
Motivating Music (The Music Card)
Music - Ace of Clubs
Music card: Standard deck = Ace of clubs, Tarot deck = Ace of Wands
Music: the universal language. Listen to your favorite song. Do you play an instrument? If so, play something. Maybe find something new to listen to, or sing or play. Singing is an excellent healing energy. Karaoke anyone? Or sing in the shower! Let your inner musician and music appreciation aficionado run wild! I find that different types of music help in different situations.
"If music be the food of love, play on!" ... William Shakesphere
Singing Bird (The Sound Card)
Sound - Ace of Spades
Sound card: Standard deck = Ace of spades, Tarot deck = Ace of swords.
Listen carefully to all the sounds around you. It is probably best to do this outside. Do you hear train whistles? Wind blowing, Horns honking? Just sit quietly and still, noticing all the sounds around you. It might help to close your eyes. Choose one of these sounds that you feel raises your energy level in a positive way. Use the memory of this sound as a calming trigger. Every time you hear it, remind yourself it is your personal calming tool. Be thankful for your sense of hearing. Acknowledge the miracle and mystery of sound.
10 Minute Meditation for Good Energy (The Meditation Card)
Meditation - 2 of Clubs
Meditation card: Standard deck = 2 of Clubs, Tarot deck = High Priestess
Raise your stress ceiling. Reduce overall stress. Start sleeping better. Build confidence. Bolster your creativity. These are just a few of the good and healing energy benefits of meditation. Try this simple meditation in the video below. First thing in the morning is the opportune time, before your mind starts kicking into high gear.
Begin training yourself to practice calming breaths in stressful situations. It is amazing what this can do for your body.
Say it Loud! (The Talk Card)
Talk - 2 of Hearts
Talk card: Standard deck = 2 of hearts, Tarot deck = Justice
"Say it loud, say it clear
. You can listen as well as you hear.
It's too late, when we die
to admit we don't see eye to eye"...... Mike & the Mechanics, The Living Years
Those lyrics are so powerful to me. We do need to talk it out. Sometimes not necessarily to anyone, but we need to articulate how we feel about someone or something, and it does not always become clear to us until we have actually said it out loud. Find someone who will listen to you, or if you'd rather not share your secrets, talk into a recorder then listen back to it afterwards. Listen to yourself. Once you talk it out, your heart and head will have more room for all that good energy.
Ocean Rays (The Humility Card)
Humility - 3 of Clubs
Humility card: Standard deck = 3 of Clubs, Tarot deck = The Hanged Man
Taking moral high ground is easy to say but not always easy to do. Here are a few exercises in humility that may help you.
- Confess a wrong: apologize to someone, ask for forgiveness, list your regrets, then forgive yourself.
- Find something inspiring to read, and take in a few pages or passages
- Write or say something positive and encouraging to someone you care about.
- Identify your strongest talents, then think of them as gifts, not achievements. Be thankful for your gifts. Make a list of how you can use your gifts to lift someone up.
Love an Animal (The Pets Card)
Pets - 3 of Diamonds
Pet card: Standard deck = 3 of Diamonds, Tarot deck = Empress
Share some extra T.L.C. with your furry friends. If you don't have any pets, visit someone who does, or go to an animal shelter or pet store to share some love. Look into the eyes of your pet and thank them for all the good energy they share with you! Shower them with affection and love. It feeds your soul (and theirs)!
Hand-feeding Wild Bird (The Gratitude Card)
Gratitude - 3 of Hearts
Gratitude card: Standard deck = 3 of Hearts, Tarot deck = Death
Several years back, I attended a marketing conference and one of the things we did was create a wall of gratitude. We simply put a large blank banner along one wall with the words "Wall of Gratitude" and left a bunch of markers on the floor next to it. Through out the weekend, people would come up and write down whatever they were thankful for. It was a lovely experience. Here is a link to the video we made at the end: Unseminar 6 Wall of Gratitude
For this exercise, I suggest something similar. Find a large blank piece of paper or poster board and create a nice gratitude/thankfulness related title, and write a few things down you are grateful for. Leave it in an area others will see, such as the refrigerator, with markers handy. See what magic unfolds!
Sample Field of Play (The Space Card)
Space - 4 of Hearts
Space card: Standard Deck = 4 of Hearts, Tarot deck = Emperor
Spend some time in an open area with plenty of space: an open field, beach, lake, large auditorium (empty), whatever. - as long as you have plenty of room to run and be silly, yet not make a fool of yourself (or do)! Give out a yell and listen to your echo. Walk, skip, jump, whatever your inner kid feels like. Allow yourself to feel free and happy! Be the little toddler who has just learned to run in circles. Hold your arms to your side and play like an airplane. Be spontaneous!
Preparing a dish (The Savor Card)
Savor - 4 of Clubs
Savor card: Standard deck = 4 of clubs, Tarot deck = Temperance
Spend time creating a favorite dish, then savor it slowly to exercise both your creative palette and your appreciation of the sense of taste. Perhaps try your own chicken soup healing recipe.
Personal Time (The Retreat Card)
Retreat - 4 of Spades
Retreat card: Standard deck = 4 of Spades, Tarot deck = The Hermit
“Stillness is the best way to create physical healing.” -- Gabrielle Bernstein
A little different from the "Time" card, where you slow down your mind, or the "Meditation" card, the "Retreat" is more about getting out of your normal space and noticing new things, new thoughts, new ways of thinking about old issues. Since this deck is focused on short term energy exercises, think of this as more of a "mini retreat". Find a fairly large and open space (there is a nice garden at our local museum I like to go to) that is not somewhere you normally spend time, outside or in. Create a calming environment in that space, whatever that means to you. Walk around this space and pay attention to every detail, clearing your mind of everything else. As you do this walking and noticing, allow your mind to drift for a few seconds at a time, then bring yourself back to the surrounding environment. Every issue is parked away, until you are ready to deal with it again. Clear the clutter and just notice the now.
Go for a Stroll (The Movement Card)
Movement - 5 of Clubs
Movement card: Standard card = 5 of clubs, Tarot card - The Devil
I'm not saying you need to climb mountains, (unless that's your thing!), but do something that involves movement - get off your duff and get out there! Discover Tai Chi. Dance like no one is watching. Go walking with a friend. Sign up for a local charity run and start training (you can usually walk if you don't want to run). Learn some simple Yoga poses. Whatever you do, do it with gusto!
Smiling Snow Owl (The Emotion Card)
Emotion - 5 of Hearts
Emotion card: Standard deck = 5 of Hearts, Tarot deck = The Tower
The most "healing" emotion is happiness. It is often elusive to those of us who consider ourselves seekers, however. One thing we can do is pretend to be happy - laugh out loud. This is a little geeky maybe but here's the thing: our body and our subconscious do not know the difference between fake laughter and real laughter. The endorphins release anyway, and our body is infused with good energy. Happiness is the ONLY emotion that does this. So ha ha ha! Laugh away! (okay you can cheat and watch something funny if you want!)
Mimicking any emotion can help to bring out our deeper feelings too. Actors do this in training - maybe that is why California is so "Zen". Try it!
Intention - 6 of Clubs
Intention card: Standard deck = 6 of clubs, Tarot deck = The Fool
Set some new goals - both short and long term, lofty and simple. Think about what you want to accomplish and how you can get there. Don't worry about whether you think you can achieve them. Be bold. Brainstorm. Let yourself dream big dreams.
Love - 6 of Hearts
Love card: standard deck = 6 of Hearts, Tarot deck = Lovers
Love is, after all, a verb, so go do it! Show someone you love some love. Or, show some love to a stranger. Be loving in some way even if it is loving yourself (create a list of things you are good at, then read it out loud, for example) There are a myriad of ways!
- Smile at a stranger
- Tell someone they are awesome
- Allow yourself to feel Love
- Share a meal
- Give out Hugs
You get the idea - Go now!
We're #1 (The Community Card)
Community - 6 of Diamonds
Community card: Standard deck = 6 of diamonds, Tarot deck = Judgment
Take some action toward community involvement. It does not need to be dramatic. Even if you're an introvert like me, you need human contact and to work with others toward a common good. It is energizing and rewarding. Take a look at what's out there and see what you might like to get involved in. If you're already a social butterfly, that is awesome! Do something new in the community realm, or step up something you are already doing.
Stars - 7 of Diamonds
Stars card: Standard deck = 7 of Diamonds, Tarot deck = The Star
I'm not about to get all scientific or astrological here, but think for a minute of your biggest problem. Now go look at the stars. Think about the billions of years they have existed. Think about how far away they are. How big the universe is. How many years it would take to reach the closest star (Proxima Centauri - 4.2 years). That's a pretty long drive!
Now - how big does that problem seem now?
Is it daytime? Feel free to substitute the Sky card.
Pink Sky (The Sky Card)
Sky - 7 of Hearts
Sky card: Standard deck - 7 of Hearts, Tarot deck = The chariot
Go outside and look straight up. Nobody owns the sky. It is there for us always and provides a lovely canvass for the universe to paint a new masterpiece every few seconds. Do you see clouds? What do they look like to you? What color is the sky right now? Is it the azure blue of fall or the light sky blue of summer? Is it violet and pink and orange? Is it dawn or dusk? Can you make out any images in the sky? Clouds are natural Rorschach tests. Allow your subconscious to see what it wants in the clouds if there are any. If it's a clear day, look for different shades of blue. Imagine the whole world consists of nothing right now except for you, and the sky.
If it is fully overcast or raining, save it for a better day or draw again if you wish. Or if it's night time, substitute the star card.
Sundial - Time by nature (The Time Card)
Time - 8 of Diamonds
Time card: Standard deck = 8 of Diamonds, Tarot deck = Wheel of Fortune
Slow down and stop rushing through everything. Let some time pass as you sit and do nothing but notice being in the present. Spend some time with your own soul. Practice three slow breaths in and out. Do this at least 5 times. Try counting to 5 as you breathe in, and again as you breathe out. Stay here in this moment without worrying about how long you are there. Time, for now, is meaningless.
Floating Bear (The Weight Card)
Weight - 8 of Hearts
Weight Card: Standard deck = 8 of hearts, Tarot deck = Strength
Weight card: Walk around for a while carrying extra weight, then set it down and appreciate the feeling of lightness. alternatively, step into a pool of water for the same effect.
Action - 8 of Clubs
Action card: Standard deck = 8 of Clubs, Tarot deck = Magician
What is one small thing you can do right now to get you closer to one of your goals? Figure it out and do it. Decide to take some type of positive action every day that will have an impact on what good you wish to achieve.
Moon Phases (The Moon Card)
Moon - 8 of Spades
Moon card: Standard deck = 8 of Spades, Tarot deck = The Moon
The moon, though subtle compared to the sun, is responsible for our calendar, our seasons, and our basic cycle of life. Check to see what phase the moon is in now. Get to know your moon cycles. This can help you learn a healthy pattern of self care. With each cycle is a symbolic meaning, which you can use to keep track of the cycle of your own well being.
- Waning Moon: letting go, surrender, release, quiet time, contemplation, and a time of incubation.
- New Moon: Beginnings, a fresh start, rebirth
- Waxing Moon: Growth, manifestation, attainment, gravity
- Full Moon: Height of power, the peak of clarity, fullness and obtainment of desire.
Keep an eye on the changes in the moon cycle and your own mental state - and use the cycles as a reminder to ask yourself how you feel.
The Full Healing Energy Deck (Columns are Sortable)
|Healing Energy Source||Standard Card||Tarot Card|
4 of Hearts
10 of clubs
Page of Wands
King of Diamonds
King of Pentacles
8 of diamonds
Wheel of Fortune
King of Clubs
King of wands
Jack of Spades
Knight of swords
8 of hearts
4 of clubs
6 of clubs
Queen of Spads
Queen of Swords
3 of diamonds
Jack of Clubs
Knight of Wands
Queen of Hearts
Queen of Cups
9 of diamonds
7 of diamonds
8 of spades
2 of clubs
Ace of Spades
Ace of Swords
8 of clubs
6 of hearts
4 of spades
6 of diamonds
10 of Diamonds
Page of Pents
Jack of Diamonds
Knight of Pents
9 of spades
Ace of Clubs
Ace of wands
2 of hearts
5 of hearts
5 of clubs
Queen of Clubs
Queen of Wands
10 of Hearts
Page of Cups
Queen of Diamonds
Queen of Pents
Ace of Diamonds
Ace of Pents
9 of hearts
Jack of Hearts
Knight of Cups
10 of spades
Page of Swords
King of hearts
King of cups
3 of hearts
3 of clubs
The Hanged Man
7 of hearts
ace of hearts
ace of cups
King of spades
King of Swords
Sun's Alright! (The Sun Card)
Sun - 9 of Diamonds
Sun card: Standard deck = 9 of Diamonds, Tarot deck = The Sun
Get your vitamin D on! Get out in that sun and reap the health benefits: 15 to 20 minutes for light to average skin, longer for medium to darker skin. Even whole milk supplemented with vitamin D doesn't get you a fraction of what you can get (and need!) from the sun. Fight cancer and a host of other diseases before they even start! Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Be thankful for the healing energy of the sun!
Nut Gatherers (The Beauty Card)
Beauty - 9 of Spades
Beauty card: Standard deck = 9 of Spades, Tarot deck = The World
Find something you consider beautiful and gaze at it for a while. Art or not, if you think it is beautiful, that is all that matters. Study the piece with serious intensity. What makes it beautiful to you? What is beauty?
Pinterest is a great tool for me to do this with. I have several boards based mostly on beautiful images. Some are color based, others theme based. You could also visit a gallery or museum, or pick up a nice coffee table style book of art or photographs.
Prayer and Praise (The Spirit Card)
Spirit - 9 of Hearts
Spirit card: Standard deck = 9 of hearts, Tarot deck = Heirophant
If you consider yourself a spiritual and/ or religious person, remember that the very acts of prayer and praise raise your energy level and well-being. Try an extra prayer today, not during your regularly scheduled prayer time but an additional few minutes to spend with your creator. Pray for yourself, pray for others, and offer praise and thanksgiving for the good in your life right now.
Try to connect with God (or whatever you call him) on a deeper spiritual level, from within. Imagine sitting with him and having an actual conversation. Feel the joy in your heart as he touches your soul.
Lights & Reflection (The Light Card)
Light - 10 of Clubs
Light card: Standard deck = 10 of clubs, Tarot deck = Page of Wands
Light therapy works for those with seasonal affective disorder, and we all need a lot of light. Look for the brightest light in your environment, natural or not, and close your eyes, then point your face toward the light. Notice how much your eye reacts to the light even with your eyes closed! Notice the amount of light in your environment on a regular basis, and see if you need to get yourself a little more "turned on"!
Light can also create beautiful scenery. Sometimes even in an unexpected way. Look around you now. Do you notice any interesting lighting effects in your surroundings?
Note of caution: there are risks for bright light exposure, so do not use "light boxes" or similar. A better option is a dawn simulator, which gradually increases the brightness of your bedside lamp in the early hours of morning.
Pipe Cleaner Flowers (The Creation Card)
Creation - 10 of Diamonds
Creation card: Standard deck = 10 of diamonds, Tarot deck = Page of Pentacles
That's right. Make something. Get crafty. Whatever you have handy, nothing need be perfect or store bought. You are not entering any contests, but you want to take your time with it. This is actually a type of meditation and can be very relaxing, especially for people who have trouble meditating in the regular way. Small repetitive actions are best. Take up knitting, or weave something together, even tying knots over and over. It is completely up to you. Get that right brain working!
Silent Retreat (The Silence Card)
Silence - 10 of Hearts
Silence card: Standard deck = 10 of Hearts, Tarot deck = Page of cups
I admit, I have a problem with silence. That's mainly because I suffer from severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears) associated with hearing loss. However, I have come to appreciate silence, at least for short lengths of time. I believe it is beneficial to us to have unfiltered thought ( we might add "darkness" to this exercise too - for a more sensory free experience). Silence allows our mind to breathe and our heart to rest and recharge. Good thoughts become more reassuring. Negative thoughts are more easily cleared.
A good exercise to do in silence is to free write: take a blank pad and pen and write whatever words come to your mind. No need to worry about making sense. You do not even need to read them after, so don't worry about legibility. Just write whatever you think. If you begin to feel like you are moving into negative territory, write something to reassure yourself. Write what you would like someone you love, or God even, to say to you to make you feel better. Keep writing until you feel you are done with the exercise. Let it take as long as you need.
Then try just sitting with silence for a few minutes.
Nature Journaling (The Journaling Card)
Journaling - 10 of Spades
Journaling card: Standard deck = 10 of Spades, Tarot deck = Page of Swords
Yep. write about it. I have a couple of tips. If you'd like to "journal" one experience or about one topic short term, it's cool to use a Moleskine or other nice journal with a few pages. Otherwise, I recommend a plain old notebook. Here's why. If you have something too fancy, you'll be afraid to write in it. You won't want to mess up the pretty pages. I start doubting myself, that the words are not worth the paper or something, and lose the whole point. If you want to re-write something you feel is worth keeping into a nicer journal, then that's fine. But on your first go, when you're just basically emptying your mind (yes that's the big benefit folks!) use a normal every day notepad or spiral notebook.
My mother wrote in her journals for years. After she died, my brother and I debated whether we should read them, or even keep them. After a quick peak into one page that told me something I really did not want to know, and my brother taking a look at another and realizing he could not even read her writing, we decided not to keep them. So don't approach it like you are leaving some kind of legacy. Just write it all out for your own peace of mind. It can be fun to look back over them, but after a while, I generally end up throwing them away.
Wind - Jack of Spades
Wind card: Standard deck = Jack of Spades, Tarot deck = Knight of swords
Drive with the window down, stand outside when the wind is blowing, or stand in front of a powerful fan. Notice the sensation of the air hitting your face and imagine it is a great big hug from the universe.
Beach Stones (The Stones Card)
Stones - Jack of Clubs
Stone card: Standard deck = Jack of clubs, Tarot deck = Knight of Wands
If you are into Crystals, do a crystal grid meditation or crystal therapy with your semi precious stones. If not, find some rocks and take a few minutes to examine them and think about the time and pressure it took for them to be created.
You could also visit a craft store and find some beads made of stone that seem to speak to you, and create a stone necklace or bracelet to "wear" your good energy. I have a few strings of beaded stones I like to keep near my bed. I take them out occasionally when I want to meditate with stones. Even though they are small, I find they add up and are still quite effective.
Touching Wood (The Touch Card)
Touch - Jack of Diamonds
Touch card: Standard deck = Jack of diamonds, Tarot deck = Knight of Pentacles
Exercise your tactile sense. Touch different objects, both natural and man-made, with interesting textures and notice how they feel. It is easier to connect with something if you touch it. Salesmen are trained to hand you objects so that you touch them in order to become attached. Use this tactile attachment to become more in tune with the things around you. People who are blind use touch to "see". Try closing your eyes to "see". Perhaps play a little game by asking someone to put several small objects under a box. Try to discern what each item is only by touch.
Best Friends (The Friendship Card)
Friendship - Jack of Hearts
Friendship card: Standard deck = Jack of hearts, Tarot deck = Knight of Cups
You know that friend who knows how crazy you are and loves you anyway? The one who never told anyone about the.... Ya that one! Call them up right now and talk for a while. Let them know how much your appreciate them. Share a few laughs. You never have to have a reason to call - you are blessed to have such a friend!
Give from your heart (The Giving Card)
Giving - Queen of Spades
Giving card: Standard deck = Queen of Spades, Tarot deck = Queen of Swords
Give something to anyone who asks. Give as much as you are comfortable with today, plus a pinch more. Experience the true joy of giving from your heart. Seek out people to give to. It does not have to be money or physical things. Do someone a kindness. Anticipate how you might help someone. I've started keeping a dollar bill tucked in my car visor so I don't have to go rifling through my purse next time I see someone begging for money on the side of the road. It's safer too - I can do a drive by donation!
Calming Water (The Water Card)
Water - Queen of Hearts
Water card: Standard deck - Queen of hearts, Tarot deck = Queen of Cups
Get in it, on it around it or over it - splash in it, splash it over your face, jump in a mud puddle or feel the ocean breeze - water is your therapy today. Our bodies our at least 60% water at any given time. Furthermore, the earth itself is about 2/3 water. Take some time to appreciate it to the fullest right now.
Once you have a tub full or sink full or get in the pool or lake, push water around and see how much energy you can create with waves. Water is powerful! Experience that good water energy and be thankful.
One more thing: Hydrate. Drink a full glass of water right now!
Ladybug on a Leaf (The Nature Card)
Nature - Queen of Diamonds
Nature card: Standard deck = Queen of diamonds, Tarot deck = Queen of pentacles
Whether you have access to or prefer mountains, ocean, snow, forest, fields of green, or a plain dirt path - get close to nature. Unlike the earth card, the nature card is more about noticing and paying attention to everything around you in a natural setting, rather than focusing on the ground. Go hike a nature trail - slowly enough to notice every living thing in your path. Try to identify birds and bugs and flowers and plants. If you do not know the names, describe them. You could also go bird watching, on a canoe trip down a nearby river, or a stroll around your local botanical gardens. The point is to notice and appreciate the multitude of life in a natural setting. Try to use all your senses - just don't touch the poison ivy!
Colorful Flowers (The Color Card)
Color - Queen of Clubs
Color card: Standard deck = Queen of Clubs, Tarot deck = Queen of Wands
Exercise your aesthetic appreciation of color. Adult coloring books are very popular right now. Try coloring a mandala. Or put together a high piece count puzzle with a colorful image. Both of these activities are very meditative and calming (thus healing) for your mind.
Take the exercise in beauty above a step further and examine every color in your chosen image or object. Try to pick out subtle differences in shade. Try to name every color you see. Make a list. How many colors can you find? Is it more than you thought? Try putting those colors into the color spectrum (violet-blue-green-yellow-orange-red). How many are used and how many are missing? Think about why you might have chosen that image now that you have analyzed it for color. Are you favorite colors used? Why do you think they are your favorite?
Grab a handful of dirt (The Earth Card)
Earth - King of Diamonds
Earth card: Standard deck = King of Diamonds, Tarot deck = King of Pentacles
Get grounded (in a good way). Spend time outside and physically touch the ground, not only with your feet but your whole body. Lie down on the ground and feel your connection to the earth. At eye level, the earth is much more interesting on a micro level. Be observant of the little critters and grass, plants around you. Think about what it might be like to live a day as one of them. Think yourself as small as them for a few seconds - how huge we must look to them. How intricate and delicate their world is.
Flame (The Fire Card)
Fire - King of Clubs
Fire card: Standard deck = King of Clubs , Tarot deck = King of Wands
Look into a flame - be it a fireplace or a candle or a campfire. look into flames and try to think about nothing. Just let your thoughts calm down and experience the element of fire. Pay attention to the colors, the movement and flicker of the flame.
Learning to Swim (The Trust Card)
Trust - King of Hearts
Trust card: Standard deck = King of hearts, Tarot deck = King of cups
"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." Benjamin Spock
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” Ernest Hemingway
We come into this world as trusting infants - completely dependent on others. We are vulnerable. Gradually we learn to protect ourselves. We learn who to trust and who to stay away from. Sometimes, this self-preserving shielding goes too far and we end up trusting no one, or very few. Therefore we are a prisoner in our own self imposed walls. To be free of those walls we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable again, and that is not always easy. Here are a couple of "trust" exercises you can do right now to chip away at those walls a little.
- Allow yourself to be hopeful about something you previously gave up on. Knowing the outcome "might" be bad ruins the joy of allowing yourself to hope. Hope is healthy! Train yourself instead to deal with disappointment in a healthier way, rather than putting up barriers & developing a hardened heart.
- Work on your own trustworthiness. Keep promises, be honest, reliable, and open. Start by making a vow right now to someone and sticking to it.
Walking Friends (The Empathy Card)
Empathy - King of Spades
Empathy card: Standard deck = King of Spades, Tarot deck = King of Swords
When I was studying social work in college, they spent a lot of time helping us understand the difference between empathy and sympathy. They wanted us to be able to set boundaries so that we would not lose ourselves trying to help others. It was a lesson that did not soak in with me, and in fact I had to get out of the field after 10 years, feeling absolutely choked by all the pain of my patients. This happens frequently in the healing arts and I was not alone in my suffering (though I often felt I was). How can we keep ourselves from being closed off from others if we cannot stand to feel their pain?
Here is an exercise I have found to be helpful for empaths and others who have difficulty with hyper-sensitivity. The beauty is it also works for folks who have difficulty with empathy!
- Think of someone you would like to feel more connected to. Maybe you have had trouble getting along. Could be a relative, neighbor, friend or someone from work or school, etc.
- Now do some deep meditative breaths, and begin to say something nice about them in your mind, then say that same nice thing about yourself.
- Repeat the saying several times for them and for yourself, until you get the feeling you are both in the same place, experiencing the same thing, breathing the same air.
- Sit with them for a few minutes, in this shared space. (note, this can be in your mind, or you can ask them to physically sit with you and participate in the exercise)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Karen Kay