Invigoration versus Overwhement

Let me ask you: “What’s the difference between invigoration and overwhelment?”

Dare I say nothing?!?

Imagine a white water rafting trip. The movement of the water is exhilarating and unpredictable. You have oars in hand, but must rely solely on instinct to guide the raft over the rushing river. For some, the experience is pure pleasure. Why? Is it man versus nature? Is it a sense of accomplishment? Is it pure adrenaline? Or is it being acutely present in the here and now?

Imagine your career taking off. You are in demand. Everyone wants a piece of you; they look to you as an authority, the expert, the guru. This is your dream; remember? Every time someone asks and you have the answer, you feel pride and appreciation – invigorated indeed.

And then you have five minutes to think about what’s ahead. Your assistant has just given you the itinerary for what’s next; there is too much to do, too many people to meet, too many problems to solve. Now you’re overwhelmed by it all.

Seven of Wands
Seven of Wands

In the Tarot, the Seven of Wands represents these situations. You are not just juggling a few balls or pins, you have more than a half dozen of them, all in the air at once, and it is your responsibility to keep them off of the floor.

But this is what you asked for, is it not? Being beyond your comfort zone is what makes it invigorating, yes?

So, in terms of energy, experience, and what is happening out there, there is no difference between invigoration and overwhelment. It’s all in our perception. When you are acutely present in the here and now, it is invigorating. You needn’t know what to do one minute, or even 2 seconds from now. Your instincts will tell you, but only when the time comes.

With overwhelment, your mind is more in the future than the present. It is not the task at hand that worries you, but two or three down the road.  The results of your endeavors are what have you concerned. It is when you try to please everyone that you get stressed.

Overwhelment and invigoration share the same space and time. They are merely a choice. If you feel overwhement, choose the other side. See the energy and activity. Recognize the vitality and the creativity. Let go of the fear of unwanted outcomes and be and do as you are called to, in the here, in the now.

Look at how fast things move and change in our lives these days. Buildings go up in an instant; we travel from one city to the next, one time zone to the next, one country to the next, in mere hours. Strangers become friends or lovers overnight. And problems get solved more quickly than we expect.

The activity of creation is an amazing thing to behold. When we look at it this way, it is invigorating. It is God in action!

Remember: we are not responsible for outcomes. We cannot control how people feel or react. We can only be and do as we are guided in the moment. We hope for the best, but perfection will be regardless. And when the perfection does not look like what we thought it would look like, then it is time for us to stretch our perspective to see it.

At the Seven of Wands, everyone wants a piece of you, but you are on top of it all. You are in the spotlight. You are the star. This is your creation, and well within your capabilities. It might be more than you think you want (now that you’re in the middle of it), but it is not more than you can handle…and it is what you asked for.

Enjoy the ride!

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