I’ve always admired the easy leap of faith taken by the fool of the tarot, seemingly content in ambling off the edge of a cliff. Didn’t they see the edge or are they embracing the descent into new ways of being and thinking, turning their life upside down joyously?
When it comes to turning my life upside down, I’m a quintessential Libra, living up to my sun sign as I spend many moons weighing the pros and cons, dreaming into change, making lists, consulting the tarot, seeking guidance from my deities and advice from friends.
So I want to tell you about a big decision I’ve made recently, but also some of the impacts and insights that have come with it, as well as share with you some of the tools I’ve used along the way.
The decision it’s taken me all year to make is to give up my permanent contract at the library where I’ve worked for 18 years and switch to a zero hour contract. I have done this before and I know there will be enough hours available that I will be ok for money, but the lack of certainty has still made it a difficult decision. The reason I’ve chosen this option, is that I can’t yet make a living from my business only, but the extra flexibility and more time I can spend on my business will really help.
The thing that pushed me to decide, was seeing that I wasn’t following some advice that I often give to others; that in order to make change in our lives, we first have to make space for it. I had been expecting my life to change drastically, but without creating the conditions for that change to happen. Once I realised that, there was no other reason I could see not to take the leap – fool or not.
This was during the Summer, and I spent these months asking my employer for details of the process. By the time Lughnasadh arrived, I had officially given notice, effective from Samhain (I had to right?). There are a lot of details about the process that I won’t bore you with, but that make the transitional months between contracts a REALLY tough time ahead. Giving my notice had been really empowering, and I felt great about taking a leap of faith in favour of my business, but by Lughnasadh I was really worried about how I was going to cope financially during the 3 month transition period.
I did a lot of reflection at Lughnasadh around the themes of this seasonal celebration: harvest, abundance and sacrifice. I was very grateful to receive insights that reminded me of the role of sacrifice in the harvest. There’s no apples without the shedding of leaves beforehand, for example. So, I was able to reframe these difficulties as a necessary sacrifice in preparation for (hopefully) a future harvest of increased income from my business. Don’t get me wrong, this insight didn’t wave a magic wand making all my fears disappear, but it certainly soothed me.
My final realisations around this have come from revisiting a wonderful free zine download called ‘our bodies as authentic business mentors’ by the wonderful Yarrow Magdalena (sign up to their newsletter for the download here). The beautiful text and gentle journal prompts asked me to check in with my body, where I was surprised to discover grief. When I went deeper with this I came to see that I had unwittingly created a narrative at some point, about how I expected my business to grow steadily, meaning I would naturally arrive at a point where I would give up my library work entirely to focus on my business. A neat little story I hadn’t even realised I’d internalised and was even grieving the loss of!
Wrapped up in these experiences you can see the power of reflection and listening to the body. It feels like we can move through our everyday life incorporating narratives and limiting beliefs without even realising, even when they can cause us difficulties in moving forward and growing.
I’d really recommend trying practices that connect you to your body to identify your feelings. Once you have that you can ask where these feelings are coming from. Also, any tool or resource that allows you to question yourself is well worth the time. Remember that leaping fool? Tarot is a favourite tool of mine, both in reading for myself, and for the client readings I offer through my website (here). It never ceases to amaze me the way that divination can bring new perspectives sharply into focus, like an outspoken dear friend.
Finally, if you’re eager to do such work but need some radical support, do check out the Labyrinth Life Coaching page of the website (here), as I’d dearly love to support you on the path to such insights and on the quest, as it says on the ancient temple ruins of Apollo at Delpi, to ‘know thyself.’