My Breakdown at Work

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The Breakdown

I had a pretty intense breakdown at work yesterday at the end of the day. For a few weeks I’d been realizing that I was feeling overwhelmed.  Not an unusual feeling at a non-profit. There are always waves of intense work with not enough people to accomplish the task. But we’re also mission driven people. We want to succeed. It’s like getting a play on it’s feet. The task is nearly impossible, and to some might very well seem that way, but opening is coming whether you like it or not. So you just get it done.

What Had Happened Was

So I was driving many projects to many dates in the wake of a lot of energy to address our strategic plan. I’ve done work like this for a long time so I thought I was up to managing the stress.  But I wasn’t.  I went into the CFO’s office for a meeting after a great facilitated strategic session that left me feeling really good about one project and couldn’t even wrap my head around the next. I felt like there was so much noise in my head that I couldn’t even hear her speaking to me about a project status. And it was my project! I wasn’t able to move it forward successfully. I’d lost the schedule. I also felt like I was sinking into quicksand. We got through the meeting, it ended early, and I stayed after. She listened. And I broke down.

I was Heard

After her listing, hearing, and probably intuiting, that I had reached the end of my rope (I could barley speak I was so emotional), she told me I wasn’t disappointing her and I that I was someone who exceeded her expectations. She’s so kind. We parted with the understanding that she would clear my calendar for today (most of my time was with her) and I could get my head around everything that was on my desk piling up. I could get back the structure I needed to survive.

The Power of Friends

Minutes later I had an enlightening (and emotional again – I was clearly teetering on the precipice) conversation with a good friend at work. He kindly stopped and listened to me.  Really listened. There were a few outcomes of that conversation:

  1. Who’s your mentor? (i.e., who’s listening to where you are professionally and guiding you?)
  2. What you’re experiencing seems larger than just not being able to be on top of your timelines.
  3. I’m here.

You’re Seen

So after a conversation with my husband I wasn’t much further into understanding what was happening to me. Though, he was able to confirm what my friend had suggested, it’s not like me to just fall apart because I can’t keep track of my timelines. I bounce back from that quickly.  We all get off track sometimes and have to get back on.

So this morning I pulled some cards to understand what might be blocking me.  That lead to a relationship spread to understand the relationships between me and the CFO a bit better.

The Block

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The Wild Unknown

I’m struggling with some of this interpretation for myself.  I think I might be too close still. In the image above, the block is laid out this way:

  1. Current situation – 6 Cups
  2. Block – Mother of Cups
  3. Background – the Lovers
  4. Hopes/Fears – 9 Pentacles

The Interpretation

There’s a lot of history that has built up this emotional state. Not only that, there’s clearly a lot of intense energy behind it.  As a new relationship is introduced there is conflict. It’s like having an invader on your turf. You have to work through how to navigate space together. You have to relearn where you fit into the grand scheme of things. You have to learn how to live together.  That’s a lot of energy to accept, manifest, and put out. A lot of intense energy to navigate. And when you want to do your best, show your expertise, and your sacred space (or “known” space) is interrupted, you are thrown off your game.

I work with a lot of C-Suite people and they come and go every few years. So I’m used to navigating relationships changing and different leadership styles.  I’m not sure how this might be an issue for me today.

I think the Mother as the block is the CFO. She’s so giving and caring and a I think a hard worker, that I worry about disappointing her. Does that mean I’m sacrificing myself in order to ensure she’s happy?  I don’t feel like I did that, but it could be coming up here.  This is the part of the reading where I’m struggling with the interpretation.  And I think it’s because I’m not able to be as impartial as I want.

The Relationship

A Majority of this makes sense to me and is not surprising. I think I may continue to have discoveries in this pull.

  1. Me / Hidden
    1. Ace of Swords / Daughter of Wands
  2. CFO / Hidden
    1. 6 Pentacles / Son of Swords (BTW, this card usually represents me!)
  3. Relationship / Hidden
    1. Death / 10 Swords

The Interpretation

About me: I’m moving into a new headspace and apparently it took an intense burst of energy to get me there.  I never thought about this card as a mental breakdown, but I had one of sorts. It happened to come put emotionally. But a shift in mental state is needed. The hidden part of that is that I need to communicate my experience and needs more clearly. I can be open to learning more about this relationship instead of trying to do it all. Being a student is okay.  I don’t need to be the master. Also interesting that my cards indicate a freshman start to me.  It’s a beginning.

About CFO: She’s ready to provide and I need to trust and take advantage of that offer. I think we’re a lot alike. She’s got years of perfecting what we’re good at together and I could observe how she works.  But, more than likely, I’ve got a few things I can teach her as well.  (especially if we’re that alike – we’re always learning) I also think that her ability to give of herself is supporting her need to drive result. I don’t think this is a bad thing, it just is a thing to be aware of as we work together.

The Relationship: It just got real. It’s changed and however it was we thought we were working is over. We’re into new territory now.

General Observations

There are more sixes in this reading than any other number. For me, sixes are about achievement. So that’s an important factor here. Being able to achieve goals, or having success, and the acknowledgment of that achievement are priorities here.  It’s not good enough to achieve, there must be acknowledgment of that achievement. And don’t we all want to know we’re doing a good job?

The quintessence of the block is 8 (strength). Where there’s a will there’s a way? Or is the will in the way?  Ah, alliteration.

The quintessence for the relationship reading:

  • Me=13/4 (Death & Emperor)
    • Death comes for us whether we’re ready or not. It’s how we deal with it that shows our character.
  • CFO=17/8 (Star & Strength)
    • The CFO is in her element and where she is meant to be. That’s incredibly empowering.
  • Relationship=5 (Hierophant)
    • We’re about to learn a LOT from each other.
  • Total=8
    • It’s going to take a lot of energy from both of us.  How can we manage it appropriately?

Now What?

So there’s a bit of a reading for myself. Maybe I should take my own advice and go get a reading from another Tarot reader! I do know I still have some things to work out.  So maybe I’ll get to some actionable advice in a secondary reading. I still wish I could unblock the block I have on my block!  For now, it’s time to let this settle in the back of my mind and generate awareness. I know I’ll come back to it. I know I’ll be thinking about it.  And in about a day or so I’ll have some sort of revelation.  That seems to be how I process.

I hope this Tarot reading journey of mine is something you recognize in yourself.  I do, because this is one of the ways that Tarot is helpful for anyone.  Tarot is a third party tool to objectively examine a situation to provide new insight. Once insight is provided then action can be determined and subsequently put in place.  So that’s my step two.

Thanks for taking the time to go through this with me.  🙂

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