Yesterday I facilitated my first important meeting in my new position, after spending a couple of weeks preparing for it. Over the course of my various career paths, I’ve led a lot of meetings, and as a teacher and presenter I’m accustomed to speaking before groups, however this felt like a whole new ball game (so to speak). I was going to be presenting on various critical aspects of my program and requesting feedback from our department’s advisory council, and I wanted to make sure that my data was accurate, clearly presented, and well-organized. Needless to say, I was slightly anxious! Yesterday I decided to pull some cards from the Cosmos Tarot to provide some advice for how to approach this meeting: 1. Do this: 3 of Fire (Tucana)
2. Don’t do this: 3 of Air (Hercules)
3. What to be aware of: Judgement (Capricornus) As I was shuffling the cards, Strength (Puppis) leapt out at me. This was comforting for many reasons, but one of the connections I made was that when I had read on my ability to do this job (during the interview process) I pulled Strength, and found its message of calm confidence and compassion very stabilizing and encouraging. So I saw this as a reminder that the same skills or traits that brought me to this place would sustain me throughout this experience. In the image on this card we see a ship moving forward between two towering cliffs. Surely the channel is narrow and harrowing to navigate, but the shades of deep purple give a sense of being calm, cool, and collected, and the golden hue in the sky foreshadows success. There are oars in the water – someone is navigating. However the greatest force propelling this ship onward comes from the many beings under the water. Bulls, fish, birds, people…. they are like spirits offering their support and guidance, even in quiet ways.
As advice about where to focus, and what to do, the 3 of Fire encouraged me to focus on goal setting, plans for moving forward with what’s been developed thus far. It would be best to have a clear list of proposed focal points to discuss. And the keywords on this particular card read: expression, confidence, communication. Being clear and concise with my words would be important, and then, there again is the theme of confidence…in myself, in my ability, in the ideas I would be sharing.
As advice about where not to focus, and what not to do, the 3 of Air (Hercules) suggested that to focus on the challenge of this meeting would not serve me at all. The keywords here are: great effort, trial. I was feeling somewhat anxious about the meeting, however worrying, focusing on the potential difficulty of the task at hand, would only shake my calm and wear down my confidence. It was important to stop thinking about this meeting as a hardship, or hurdle to be jumped, and start focusing on the benefits of idea sharing and goal setting highlighted by Tucana.
Finally, Judgement, Capricornus, appeared as “what to be aware of.” It actually appeared inverted, which told me quite a lot – similar to the message of “confidence” in Strength and the 3 of Fire, this card told me to toss any self-doubt out the window. I had this. I would be fine. Yes, I should review the development of the past year with this council. I should talk about what wasn’t working, and how we might take steps to improve those areas. But I should do so with the understanding that I am perfectly prepared to describe and address the pertinent and salient issues, and likewise I am capable, along with the support and diverse perspectives of the advisory team, of directing our “ship” forward into clearer waters (which again conjures that image from Strength). The keywords here are: setting priorities, efficiency, practicality. This would be my focus. Furthermore, I am a Capricorn, and the connection to my sun sign felt important. Last week I met with the dean (my boss) and when she realized that my birthday was coming up soon she said, “Oh, you’re a Capricorn! Well no wonder managing the faculty schedules is a breeze for you!” We had a little laugh about that (she also happens to be a Reiki master, which I love, but I digress…) The story over all told me that I didn’t need to worry – that in fact to worry would detract from the experience. All I needed to do was spend a little additional time ensuring that the agenda and discussion items were organized, clear, concise, and geared toward progress. If I could manage that, and preserve my own self-confidence, the meeting would go just fine.
In the end, it did just that!