The difference between a Master and an ordinary person lies not in what happens to them in their life, but in how they respond to what happens.
This quote launched us into the Readers Studio’s first key workshop, a Friday afternoon session entitled Straw Into Gold by Dr. Elinor Greenberg, a clinical psychologist who uses the tarot deeply, creatively, and enjoyably.
Elinor’s professional yet vibrantly iconoclastic style was perfect for a session about finding treasure in our difficult feelings and situations. Her Burden Into Blessing Spread is a seven-card layout that helped me to discover the gold nestled in an emotionally charged situation I experienced a week and a half ago. Elinor’s process of Gestalt Therapy: “Be the Card” enabled two aspects of my “challenge” card to hold a conversation with one another, thereby leading me to the realisation that in situations such as I experienced I have a choice: release emotional content by spewing unconsciously or release it by sharing it consciously. Very helpful insight.
Here are some excellent quotes from Elinor’s workshop:
- To introduce people to deeper tarot processes (e.g. Gestalt, Birth Cards, etc.), one can say, “There’s something that I offer that can be of benefit to you in this situation. It’s a little different. Would you be willing to do it?”
- In session, have an attitude of curiosity and not knowing.
- Have the client set a twofold intent: 1. How would you like to feel right now? and 2. How would you like to be in the world right now?
- One’s intent affects one on many levels — emotional etc.
- An event gains meaning from its context. If we change the context, we change the attitude. We have a choice about how to respond to an event.
- Psychotherapy is a magical act that employs words and gestures to assist in the process of transformation.
- A “bad” card is a starting point for transformation. It can help us to clarify where we don’t want to be so that we can be more lucid about where we would like to be.
What comes up for you, friends, when you read about Dr. Elinor Greenberg’s presentation? What straw in your life needs to be spun into gold? What card most looks/feels like this challenge? What is your twofold intent? What card might represent that intent?