Getting out of our own way...
Updated: Jan 7, 2019
The other day, I was listening to an audio program online about Play & Creativity, and during the round-table conversation, these cards were brought up. It seems this tool for unblocking creative flow was developed by Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt to help promote lateral thinking during the creative process in the studio. From what it sounds like, you have to play whatever card you are dealt, no matter what. No skipping or redeals-you have to create a new result using that card before you can draw again. What an amazing way to get out of the way of the limitations we allow in our thinking, and free ideas! Here is an online version of the cards (the first card is dealt automatically, then hit refresh in bottom left corner to deal again).
This taps into other types of cards (or stones) I have used for similar types of interventions to those limitations. Divination cards, such as tarot, can be used in more than just one way. For those who do not have access to someone skilled* at tarot readings, or if you have not worked to deepen your own ability to read and understand your own life/mood/emotions/energy yet, these types of exercises are great for simply flipping your perspective a little. When information is being put before you that is not born from our own mind, we work to try and see how it might (or might not) fit. We are forced to analyze, possibly from angles we had not considered before.
Questions I most often ask myself during this process: Is the reading true for me, or not? Where does this influence fit into my life right now? I find the most accurate self-readings (I use various modalities depending on what feels right) are the ones that feel true, but also don’t hold strong emotional attachment to the result: it’s a confidence in that truth that transcends my feelings on the matter. Along the way of answering these and other questions, I am checking in with myself, developing deeper development of discernment, and finding an entirely different way to see something, or new approach. Much like the Oblique Strategies cards, I’m engaging a form of lateral thinking.
But interpretations are subjective, which is at the heart of creativity and lateral thinking, isn’t it? In the studio or workshop, this might help gain an outside perspective that helps unstick an issue or inspire a new thought, but when doing self-assessments, it’s hard to remove bias and projection (as it can be elsewhere). Greater levels of discernment and observation are required here, and I can attest that this is a skill that takes time and patience (and self-compassion) in developing. Emotional response can lead us to, or from, certain conclusions, but emotions can also trick us into picking results that seem genuine & true instead of operating as road signs that require interpretation. If one is missing certain things in their life, emotion might pull then in a certain direction, and make them feel powerless to that choice-therefore it must be right, right? Why would the pull be so strong otherwise?? It is easy to get trapped into trying to see something we might *want*, but isn’t there, or really doesn’t fit our end goal, when there are strong emotions involved. When we start to learn how to pay attention to the emotions triggered, then ask ourselves why those feelings fire up (and fully explore those origins), we better understand our own needs and pulls. Once we develop that self-awareness more fully, we will be able to start to be a better outside observer, which promotes that lateral thinking like we get with the OS cards. But when dealing with self-assessments, that work, or art, or new design, is of our life.
Yes, our life is a piece of art, and a yet unfinished composition, as much as we act as if some things are already written, ingrained, and inevitable. And any medium for “divination” (OR lateral thinking) is often as much, or more, about unlocking the subconscious as much as anything else**. When we learn how to read and understand how our emotional response factors into our interpretations, we then can make better informed choices. If you are going to feed the emotional need, at least be aware of why-then you can use how those results turned out the next time you are aware of a similar choice. Ignoring feeding these emotions creates repeating patterns, which can keep you stuck on a certain path, or have certain challenges that always seem to come up. These types of patterns can, and do, happen in all aspects of life, but when working with something like tarot or Runes specifically, you can activate and observe these responses more mindfully (because of the focus on life choices & influences in the process), which then can be carried over into everyday life.
I’m really big on people finding their own answers, and in promoting how to take care of ourselves as much as possible. My motto is: look INSIDE before looking OUTSIDE. The more we deepen the relationship with ourselves, the less we need to look outside for answers, or what is missing. We understand ourselves better. We become more efficient at attending to our own needs. We navigate our paths in life more easily. We communicate who we are and what we want better. The things we want comes more naturally. Self-assessment and lateral thinking are essential tools to add to the collection we all need to gracefully dance through life…
Never stop dancing!! xoxo
*beware of those trying to project their own feelings, or only stoke your emotions without helping you look into those responses deeper. A good “reader” IMO uses their skills of perception on levels that combine cards, body language, the subjects self-reporting and other energies (sometimes less tangible…) *together*. They point a mirror at you so you can look at things from a different perspective in order for you to be able to choose your path or find answers more clearly. They don’t tell you what the answer is.
**even though I fully recognize the possibility (and probability) of greater energies or influences in the universe that we are still unable to fully detect or understand.