Thursday, 12 December 2013

Seasonal Readings with the Snowland Tarot Deck

There's a Tarot deck for every season, and the Snowland deck by Ron & Janet Boyer is perfect for readings right now. It's wintry and cosy with a warm sense of humour.

Here's your card of the moment: 



If you want to see more cards, keep refreshing this page.

Needless to say, this deck is high on my wish list, and if you want to treat yourself to something special this Christmas, then hop over to the Snowland website to find out more.

Season's Greetings!

Christiane



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Friday, 29 November 2013

Expressing Gratitude To Raise Your Vibration

gratitude
It's Thanksgiving season in the US, and my Tarot colleague Janet Boyer recently shared a great idea about using the Tarot to find 78 things in your life to be grateful for.

Perhaps you are one of those people, who cannot think of much to be grateful for right now. You may have been experiencing a difficult time - relationship breakup, unemployment, poverty, illness, bereavement...

It's easy to get cynical in such a situation. I know. 

A time of year so devoted to being grateful for what we have, can also painfully make us aware of what we have not, or what we have lost.

But I would like to invite you to be open to gratitude. 

Expressing your appreciation for even the simplest things that actually do go right in your life can help you create a shift in your perception to a higher vibrational level.

And why not use the Tarot to help you along? 

Choose a gentle deck that is therapeutic for this purpose, such as Doreen Virtue's Angel Tarot

You can approach your Gratitude Tarot session in two ways:

1. You go through the whole deck and choose one thing for each card you are grateful for.
2. Or you can just pick a few cards at random to explore what you can be grateful for at this moment in time.

As an example, I have drawn three cards from the Tarot Illuminati deck:

tarot illuminati

The cards show it's certainly not all rosy in my world, but the idea behind exploring gratitude with the Tarot is to embrace challenges and appreciate their potential for growth and progress.

1. Nine of Pentacles
I am grateful for my ability to live and work in solitude. 

2. Nine of Swords
I am grateful for my tenacity to manage my fears and overcoming at least a few of them. 

3. Two of Swords
I am grateful for the peace I have maintained by not making rash decisions.

Although the cards symbolise some difficult situations I have been facing, with this exercise I also realise the little blessings in disguise.

Why don't you give this a try today and raise your vibrations with a little gratitude session. Pick as many cards as you like, and perhaps you will even enjoy drawing a daily card to express your gratitude for something (or someone!) good in your life right now. 

Discover your hidden blessings with the Tarot!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane



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Sunday, 17 November 2013

On Beauty, Confidence and Self-Esteem

Beauty isn't about perfection. Nobody is perfect. Embrace your flaws; they are likeable and beautiful.

Imperfections are beautiful

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” 
Confucius


Marilyn Monroe was never a size 0 - she was a size 16




How to get the perfect bikini body?
Just wear a bikini.
every body is a bikini body
Mrs. Brosnan on the beach,
photo via thebodylogic.wordpress.com


What to wear to look slimmer?
Just wear whatever the heck you want. 
Lady at Large Artwork
Lady at Large Etsy Shop

“There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.” 
Edgar Allan Poe

venus at a mirror rubens
Venus at a Mirror, Peter Paul Rubens ca. 1615


“A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty 
but an obsession about female obedience.” 
Naomi Wolf


Stop obeying the media. 
All they want is for you to feel crap about yourself, so they can have more power over you.



How to look younger?
Just stay young in your heart, love life 
and follow your passions.
How to look younger
And wear whatever the heckedy feck you want.

Affirmation: I am grateful for the privilege to grow old. 
I know that many people aren't so lucky.


How to get luscious lips?

kiss me

You don't need botox. No need to paint them with chemicals.

Just dab with a little olive oil (natural lip gloss!) 
to make them shine. 

And kiss more often.



What makes you more beautiful?

Tarot of Quotes

LOVE!

Especially the love, kindness and care you give to yourself.

Lovingly accepting and embracing your flaws, your past, your dreams, and radiating that love on to others.

Do something every day that is loving 
and nurturing towards your body.


“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
 For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
 For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
 For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
 For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone." 
Sam Levenson


flawed beauty



In the olden days, there was no Photoshop to create an illusion of beauty. 

1950s fashion and beauty
My mum in the early 1950s in Berlin,
still traumatised from World War II


“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. 
These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. 
Beautiful people do not just happen.” 
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Empress Bonefire Tarot
The Empress, Bonefire Tarot (c) Gabrielle West

“You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, 
and irresistible for the rest of your life.” 
Coco Chanel

make peace with yourself


Warmest wishes,

Christiane 



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Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Hermit on an Autumn Walk

Here's the Hermit with a new quote - it's from the Bible!

The Hermit Tarot of Quotes


Life is as simple or as complicated as you make it. 

the simple path

Walking through the forest on a sunny Autumn day, watching the squirrels forage and listening to the birds tweet, life becomes suddenly very simple, even if only for a brief time.

Eight of Cups Tarot of Quotes

Eight of Cups Haiku:

Tired of playing
the game of hearts, letting go
and starting afresh.


“Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.” 
- Novalis

Keep calm and go for a walk


A special message from Madame Endora's Fortune cards:

Black Cat Madame Endora's Fortune Cards

Halloween is just around the corner!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane 



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Monday, 14 October 2013

Coping with Impermanence

coping with impermanence transience oracle of quotes
If you're like me and enjoy visiting New Age / spiritual blogs, perhaps you have also noticed that many of them are just too positive.

The writers of these blogs always seem to be happy, enjoying strolls along the beach and taking snapshots of sunsets and playing dogs, only to post them to their readers to demonstrate what a fabulous life they lead and how happy they are.

They keep mentioning their happy marriages and clever kids; the dinner they cook, and how well their business is doing.

If they do write about an upset, then it's about having run out of Shiraz for their Beef Bourguignon, or they bought a toaster without a bagel setting by mistake.

Shiny, happy people...what REALLY goes on inside them?

All these Mind/Body/Spirit blogs offering advice on how to be happy accompanied by photos with smiley people, who either walk along the beach or hug a tree, or they are in some sort of yoga or meditation position.

I'm guilty of this, too. You can find plenty of cheerful and "uplifting" posts here on my journal, but let me tell you a secret:

I have many dark moments. 

Often I am depressed. 

Sometimes I feel lost. 

My life isn't perfect only because I work as a Tarot Reader and help others.

I have issues. Some big ones, too.

Walks in nature make me feel sad, because they make me think of how times change and what once was and never will be again.

I keep thinking about the inevitability of death as I'm fast approaching my 50th birthday.

Death Halloween Tarot
Halloween Tarot (c) US Games Inc.
Hey, after all it's Halloween soon! Perfect timing to reflect on endings, loss, change and an uncertain renewal and unwanted new beginnings.

Let's face it; when a loved one dies, that doesn't always lead to a positive transformation for the bereaved.

All that can be done is getting on with life as best as possible, and that's not always good. Just hanging in there. Surviving another day...

Not the best shiny-happy website can change your situation, merely trying to inspire you to try new strategies to survive and make the most of what you have left, but you will still experience plenty of those dark moments.

It's ok.

You're not alone. 

Join the club.

When you ask me for a reading about your broken relationship, then I can sense exactly how you feel:

That quiet desperation and desire for the pain to go away. Yes, that pain is really bad. I know.

The hope for reconciliation.

The yearning for a happy-ever-after....

The last thing I will do is give you some condescending advice like you'll get over it soon. Perhaps you will, but it will stay with you and affect your life in some way.

Experiencing any kind of loss and recovering from it is a process, and there is no miracle formula to make it easy.

You do have a choice though how you want to deal with it, but yes, despite your best efforts, you will experience setbacks, doubts and insecurities.

It really sucks.

But you're not alone.

Behind all those shiny-sparkly-ecstatic façades out there is a lot of hidden angst and despair. If not, then they have no right to ram those love-n-light messages into your face, because they haven't truly experienced the dark side to know what life is really like.

Sometimes it helps to admit how you truly feel. What really goes on inside you. Letting go of the pressure to always appear content and leading a fabulous life. Because that's not reality.

Wheel of Fortune Halloween Tarot
Halloween Tarot (c) US Games Inc.
Reality is that life is changing constantly, and it can be difficult to cope with sometimes. 

I'd love to see those spiritual writers be more honest and open up about their struggles and challenges and how they handle them.

How they deal with setbacks.

When and why they shed tears (not because they chopped a particularly strong onion!).

Being imperfect.

Vulnerable.

That would make them human.

Revealing your shadow self, your own deep hurt can often be more inspirational than some happy-go-lucky tips on how to cheer up (I'm guilty!!!).

Me? Life has taught me to burst out in a sarcastic cackle more often nowadays when reading some well-intended yet patronising advice on the internet.

And yes, you'll be reading more about the hidden me here in the future ;)

Warmest wishes,

Christiane



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Friday, 4 October 2013

A Message from the Five of Swords

Five of Swords, www.aquatictarot.de

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” 

Napoleon Hill 
(Think and Grow Rich)



“Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary." 

- Mahatma Gandhi 
(Satyagraha Leaflet No. 13, 3 May 1919)



Affirmation: I let go of my need to win and power at all cost. I strive for success peacefully with compassion and understanding.


For more inspiring quotes and affirmations for each card please check out my ebook Empowering Messages from the Tarot


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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Growing Old is the New Staying Young

Growing old having fun
Growing old? Bring it on! 
Last night I was totally inspired by Fabulous Fashionistas, a Channel 4 documentary about a group of six women with the average age of 80, who refuse to blend in after a certain age.

The programme highlighted that ageing is an attitude; there is no need to give up on life, work, love, fashion and excitement regardless of how old you are.

Anything is possible, even if you are officially classed a pensioner.

The least you can do is enjoying a ticket to ride in a flamboyant outfit with your well earned free bus pass!

We don't have to be rich, and health problems will crop up too, but we can all strive to enjoy life and be as unconventional as we want to be.

The programme couldn't have been shown at a better time for me, as I'm slowly approaching my 50th birthday - eek! Only a few months to go!

Deep down I have always known that I will never morph into a little old lady with permed hair wearing beige clothes and becoming invisible.

I've always hated beige and that mousy grey....50 shades of grey??? 

Hell no! 

Give me 1000 shades of purple, red, green and blue with a dash of gothic black!

It's not about looking younger - it's about having fun and expressing personality and vibrancy.

It's about thinking and feeling young, which makes a person naturally attractive (no facelift required!).

And I will embrace my wrinkles and white hair. I won't torture my body with botox and plastic surgery only to live up to the media's ideal of forever-looking-young beauty.

Beauty is present at any age.

"I was writing cookery books for decades, and one day I decided to become a weird artist." Sue Kreitzman, 73

Older women are beautifully captured
 in the images of the Gaian Tarot
© Joanna Powell Colbert
I also know that I will work until I drop dead. And even though I love what I'm doing right now, I can see myself doing something completely different, if I'm lucky and blessed enough to reach my 60s and 70s.

And yes, I will always strive to keep fit and work my body, something I have been doing all my life and will continue until I can no longer move.

"The moment you start letting yourself go is the moment when you are old." Lady Trumpington, 91

The women featured in the programme didn't have a charmed life. They have all suffered bereavement, loosing their beloved husbands, and one even lost her son.

But that didn't stop these ladies embracing life despite their painful experiences.

Yes, ageing is a mindset. We need more great role models like these, showing that life is for living, and we can be fabulous at every stage of our journey on this planet.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane


PS: Have you noticed that in many Tarot and Oracle decks women are depicted as young and pretty, whereas men are allowed to look older? 

Do you own a deck that depicts older women as attractive, strong and graceful, rather than ugly and frail? Please do let me know ;)



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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Recognising a Toxic Relationship

Eight of Swords
You are in love, but all is not as it seems. Cracks begin to appear, but you are trying to ignore them, because mostly you're getting on well together.

Yet deep down you are anxiously waiting for Jekyll to turn into Hyde yet again, giving you days, sometimes even weeks of misery. When will it be? Tomorrow? Next week? Next month?

It's not easy to recognise a toxic relationship. It all starts very subtly, and the severity increases over time:
  • little tiffs become more common and start to intensify
  • sarcastic and cutting comments and remarks, e.g. changing from "you are so beautiful" to "you're getting fat"
  • no clear communication; avoiding to talk about issues
  • accusations, e.g. your tentative request to spend more time together is turned against you as " being controlling"
  • avoidance or refusal to show affection or be intimate (you may be accused of being demanding or selfish)
  • lack of trust and increased jealousy; again, you may be accused of being a liar, selfish and a manipulator (all based on paranoid assumptions and their own weaknesses)

Remember, a healthy relationship should make you feel nurtured, nourished, appreciated, valued, respected, loved and cherished.

But when it's slowly turning into a trap of negativity, it will make you feel low, depressed, sad, angry, fearful, lost, unhappy, unsupported, alone, losing self-worth and confidence, tired... pulling you slowly into a pit of doom.

When a relationship gets you down this way, then trust me, you need to get out, because you cannot change it.

But of course, it's not always easy to leave a relationship from one day to the next. Most likely you still love that person and hope things will change for the better. But believe me, there will be no change, because the person's personality traits, behaviour and habits are so deeply ingrained, they may even be unaware of it.

Even if they do realise, they find it almost impossible to make positive changes. At best, it will be constant hard work, not just for them but for you, too. In fact, mostly for you, because they actually don't care much, or just haven't got the energy to make the effort.

You'll be stuck in a loveless relationship that will make you feel as lonely as the sole survivor of a global disaster. Before that happens, you will need to learn that it is much better to be alone than trapped in a bad relationship, and overcome your fear of loneliness.

If you suspect to be in a toxic relationship, here are some tell-tale signs, some or many of which will apply:
  • they have had numerous previous relationships; some of which only lasted for a few weeks, others were just one-night stands, casual or friends with benefits
  • they like to blame others 
  • they are highly opinionated
  • they find easily fault with you, and they like to point out any weaknesses you have
  • they like to hog your attention
  • they keep discussing their problems with you, but in return cannot relate to you when you need to talk to them about yours
  • they lack empathy and are emotionally limited; don't expect them to love you unconditionally
  • they are selfish, always concerned with themselves and their own feelings, not yours
  • they like to project their own weaknesses on to you, e.g. when confronted about their increasing level of withdrawal from you, they accuse you in return of the same - very frustrating!
  • if you don't do things their way, they become cold, withholding or even punishing (they will do something they know will annoy or even hurt you)
  • they always complain about how others treat them; it seems like the whole world is against them
  • they always want to have the upper hand, the last word, power and control
  • they tend to talk constantly, and you can't get a word in edgeways; you find yourself having to rudely interrupt to turn their monologue into a two-way conversation
  • if you challenge them, they are highly defensive and refuse to talk further, giving you the silent treatment
  • they are self-absorbed, e.g. they can be surfing the net for hours or playing games on their phone completely ignoring you
  • they don't have any genuine friends, just acquaintances or associates
  • they aren't that sociable either
  • they had an unhappy childhood, or where brought up in a dysfunctional family with little guidance and inadequate role models
  • you feel like you're putting a lot of effort into the relationship with very little return
  • eventually they will blame you for the break-up of the relationship

Living with a person like this can drain the life out of you; it's not surprising that they are also known as emotional vampires.

If you happen to be involved with such a person, you may hesitate to end the relationship, because you still have hope that it can work out.

My tip: It is best to end the relationship, when you know you have tried everything, and you can do no more, so you may still have some work to do before you are ready to detach yourself.

What you can try before you let go:

  • Set clear boundaries what is and what isn't acceptable. By all means be tolerant of minor issues, but being ignored for days or cheated on as a punishment demands zero tolerance. 
  • Communicate your boundaries clearly and don't be afraid to speak out
  • Stand your ground. If you keep holding back, it is likely out of fear, perhaps from another cutting remark or accusation. You might avoid a nasty argument, but in the long-term that doesn't make you feel better or help your relationship. Facing a confrontation will help you express your feelings and also realise where you stand. It will help you make a decision about the relationship.
  • Set a time limit for when you know you need to call it a day. A deadline (pardon the pun ;)) often helps to stay focused rather than drifting in the status quo indefinitely. At least you can take stock and revise it, if you need more time. 
  • Practice self-care to stay confident and positive. Nothing can knock your self-esteem and self-worth as much as a toxic relationship. It's so easy to fall into the trap of feeling worthless, ugly, unlovable, demeaned and put down. Avoid binging on food (especially carbs) and succumbing to your depressive mood. Instead, exercise regularly, go for massages, wear nice clothes, and don't forget to seek out the presence of positive people, especially family and friends, who support you.

It's still painful to make that break, but by giving it at least a good try, you are unlikely to look back wondering if you have made a rash decision. Actually, chances are high, you were very patient. Some people are stuck in this kind of relationship for many years.

It may take you several attempts to break out. Perhaps you will be lured back with seeming regret and promises of change only to find that good intentions were only short-lived. You may even experience some happy time for a number of weeks or even months before the Jekyll/Hyde scenario repeats itself.

Keep reminding yourself of the kind of relationship you truly want and deserve, and one day you will no longer be fooled.

Getting out of a toxic relationship
Take your time, dearest, until you are ready. Be always kind to yourself while you are trying to get out, even when you feel crappy afterwards thinking what the hell took you so long to leave.

Don't ever blame yourself; all you did was love that person with all your heart, and you wanted it to work out. That is not a weakness.

And it's not entirely the other person's fault either. Make peace quickly; forgive them. They have their reasons why they are the way they are, and they have their own crosses to bear. Avoid lasting resentment and bitterness.

And when you are ready to meet someone new, don't close your heart based on your experience.

Keep your faith that there are many kind and loving people out there, who you can be happy with.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane


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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

How to Make New Friends as an Introvert

Three of Cups
Tarot of Quotes
Answer: Go to places, where like-minded folk hang out.

You know it's easier to make conversation and connect with people, who share the same interests and are more or less on the same wavelength as you.

This year, due to circumstances, I had to go on a holiday on my own - eek!

At first I was at a loss and googled "holiday for singles", but I quickly dismissed that idea after realising the options available where pretty lame, and I'd take a risk ending up with bad company.

And then I had the idea to go on a spiritual retreat and found a Buddhist retreat centre in Shropshire. The solution to my problem!

I'm an introvert. I hate noise, party animals, too much booze, flashing lights, shallow conversations...

Having booked myself on the week long women-only retreat, I knew I could let my hair down, forget the make-up and not have to wear a bra.

And I was looking forward to more stimulating conversations, too, without worrying about people's reaction when I disclosed that I was a Tarot Reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. What have I learned from it?

  • You can go on holiday on your own, but you won't be alone when going on retreat
  • Be open-minded about community living. Sharing a room with three other ladies may seem risky to some, but I had the most loveliest room mates.
  • Nurturing and sustaining spiritual friendships is important to overcome times of isolation and is helping you grow.
  • There never was a moment when I missed TV or the internet. It was so refreshing to be away from it all completely. If World War III had broken out, I wouldn't have known. There was no radio either.
  • Going on retreat doesn't mean you do nothing for a week. I was busy meditating for hours each day, doing Tai Chi and Qigong, going for walks in the surrounding beautiful countryside and helping in the kitchen for an hour every day.
  • Vegan food is delicious! A strict vegan diet for a week made me lose 4 lbs. As soon as I got back home though, I needed to have a ham sandwich with a boiled egg.
  • Buddhism is a gentle and inspirational spiritual path. I learned to practice the Metta Bhavana (loving kindness) in meditation and had an interesting déjà vu when we talked about the Path of Individuality (very similar to the Fool's Journey in Tarot).
  • Silence can be nourishing and promotes mindfulness. Rather than constantly yapping away and being exposed to all kinds of noise, hours and even days of imposed silence created a whole new level of calmness and relaxation. For an introvert like me, there was no need to make conversation. And strangely, we all started to develop a different and more subtle way to communicate. 
  • I'm not really into rituals, but I enjoyed the chanting walking meditations, the "letting-go" fire ritual one evening, and the "planting a new seed" ritual the following day.
  • For the first time I have experienced women as a loving healing collective rather than backstabbing hormonal b*tches. My faith in women-only groups (with the right attitude and in the right setting) has been restored. 
  • It takes a few days to get back to reality once you return home.
  • A retreat is a bit like therapy and it can be a life-changing experience.
  • It's fantastic to stay in touch with the lovely women I've met and hopefully will meet again in the future.
Here I am, back in my world and getting on with work, home, family and social life. But something has changed. It all feels a bit different now. The retreat has been a kind of journey, and I feel all the richer for it. 

Warmest wishes,

Christiane 



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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Message from the Page of Swords

Page of Swords, www.aquatictarot.de

"I keep six honest serving-men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who."

Rudyard Kipling




Affirmation: I allow my curiosity to flourish in order to enrich my life with knowledge and new experiences.


For more inspiring quotes and affirmations for each card please check out my ebook Empowering Messages from the Tarot


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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Five Easy Ways to Lift Your Spirits

Four of Cups
Tarot of Quotes
Feeling like the Four of Cups today?

Bored

Dissatisfied


Can't be bothered


Sluggish


Uninspired


No motivation


And to top it all off, whilst finishing off your coffee, you realise it's gone cold.

Sometimes there is a good reason for being in such a mood. Perhaps your relationship is no longer what it used to be, or your current job is stifling your ambitions and potential. Maybe it's just the rainy weather or hormones. If this is the case, then embrace your discontent as a catalyst for change.

But if you are just experiencing one of those off-days, then there is always something you can do, to lift yourself out of your black hole.

1. Start off  with a Smile

It doesn't take much energy. You don't even need to get out of bed for that. Think about happy moments you have experienced recently or in the past; funny moments, people, movies, stories... and it's even better if you can smile just out of gratitude for being alive.

If you are out and about, smile at someone passing you in the street (avoid those dodgy-looking people; a little old lady is usually safe). Chances are high they'll smile back, which is nice!

Smiling triggers endorphins in your body, which make you feel good. You don't even need to smile at people; smiling within will do. You can do this by relaxing your eyes and put on a kind attitude towards yourself and others.

Smiling within your body is a strategy found in many meditation traditions to initiate a change in your body's chemistry to raise your endorphin levels.

2. Do something you enjoy

When you feel like you are stuck in a boring and frustrating rut, take some time out and do something you enjoy. Even if it's only for ten minutes, this welcome interruption of your routine can offer new focus and inspiration.

You could listen to a track of your favourite music, and perhaps even get up and dance (provided you're in the right place for that ;)).

Have a nice cup of coffee or tea with a little treat.

Phone a friend who is cheerful and makes you laugh.

Get some fresh air to clear your head and refresh your senses.

3. Exercise

A minimum of 20 minutes exercise, such as brisk walking, will raise your serotonin (the "happy" hormone) levels in your body. You may have to really push yourself at first to make a start, but once you've done it, you will feel great. Believe me, I know!

4. Get out into Nature

There is nothing so exhilarating than a breath of fresh air in your local park or countryside. Watch the birds, look at the sky, appreciate the greenery and beauty of nature around you. In no time you are feeling less agitated, and negative thoughts start to gradually fade away.

5. Rest
Waiting can be one of the most frustrating irritations in the world. Being stuck in an airport lounge for hours or on a commuter train...sometimes the best you can do is just close your eyes and switch off from all the hustle and bustle around you.

You may also have to consider taking some rest time, if you have been working intensely for weeks on end to meet a deadline without a proper break. Nagging resentment resulting from prolonged stressful work is a sign that taking time out is essential to reboot yourself and make you feel more positive.

What's your favourite way to beat the Four-of-Cups blues?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane 



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