Until the Without a Net cards are published, I’m sharing findings gathered from using them in various ways. Check out the new CARD page with details on how to use the cards.
One of my favorite uses for the cards is to draw a card every morning and interpret its meaning in the context of how I see it on that day, in the mood in which I find myself, in the circumstances of the present. Each reading surprises me with how different its meaning can be from my original intention when I painted it and wrote about it. Insights about a card can change throughout the day, sometimes dramatically.
One of most common and helpful ways the cards influence my day happens when I read something about myself that I’m not happy with. I place the card where it can remind me of the trait, and watch how it plays out in my mind and affects my decisions and actions. I don’t try to change anything; I just observe. By the end of the day of paying attention (with the card as a great reminder) I find I’m more earnestly familiar with the trait and have seen it with more engagement and absorption. I also feel like I’ve made progress in awareness of the subject, usually by finding how surprisingly often it comes up.
The less hidden my shadow side is, the less it has the power to run amok, unchallenged. When I observe it, I step out of the blind spot that keeps me disempowered. After witnessing the affects the thoughts and feelings have on me, I write or talk about the realizations or questions that come up. My goal is not to “figure it out” or devise a plan of action. I’m simply being aware, sharing it, and then making an offering of it, waiting with patience in hopes that grace will transform it.
It doesn’t always go smoothly. I can have days when a card points me to hard realizations. But still, the hand-held reminder to continue being aware (and nothing else, necessarily) is breaking me out of the habit of reaching for an escape when I don’t like how I feel or think. (Some of the cards are about escapes, so those are good to witness, too.) Getting better at facing instead of running is crucial to gaining emotional maturity.
There are many other uses for WAN cards, and I’m looking forward to sharing those with you soon.