The Empress' Way: Productivity & the Divine Feminine
Productivity or being productive is typically a more "Divine Masculine" thing, since productivity = action, momentum and discipline.
There is, of course, a Divine Feminine side to this, just like there is a Divine Feminine side to all things and all aspects of life. Seriously, one cannot exist without the other. We need the Yin and the Yang, baby!
So what can we learn from the Empress archetype when it comes to being productive? If you've been following this tarot + productivity series, you will probably have already learned that productivity isn't just about producing products and consistently pumping stuff out. Productivity is how well you rock at being yourself and creating a lifestyle that brings out your best in all areas of your life. In addition to producing products and ensuring that happens (that's the Emperor, by the way, which is the next post!), we need to, first and foremost, ensure that we are capable of making that happen. We need to make sure that we are well and ready to overcome what life throws at us and set out to achieve what we want to achieve.
TAKE CARE OF THAT SELF CARE
To do that, we must take care of ourselves like a mother takes care of her children. This is when the Empress energy comes in. Your health (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) is extremely important and is the core element that determines your productivity.
Simply put, you can't be productive if you're not healthy. If you are not performing at your optimal condition, then it is a no-brainer that you won't be producing your best work. You need to take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. I know this sometimes seems like a lot to ask, especially when the perks of adulting is usually having more than one person to take care of. Despite this, you definitely shouldn't do this out of a sense of dreaded obligation, as if you're doing some kind of inevitable maintenance work to ensure that you can keep on functioning the next day. Like omg, I hate it because it's so much work, but I have to force myself to do it because it's supposed to be good for me.
Whatever it is that you do to take care of yourself, do it with love. Take care of yourself because you are responsible for yourself, because you are responsible for your well-being and your happiness, and you are responsible because you know that you deserve to be at your best and happiest. I am not yet a mother and don't know if I will ever be a mother, but I learn from my mother and her dedication to her children (namely, me, and my little brother). When she takes care of us, she does it out of love. Now that my brother and I are both adults, she still reminds us to wear a jacket on a cold day. She still gets mad when she finds out that we skipped lunch and starved for the whole afternoon at work. Taking care of yourself should be like that. You take care of yourself--you workout, you eat well, you talk to a friend when you are upset, you meditate to calm your tits down--you do those things out of love and nurture. Because you know you deserve better, and you deserve to be at your best.
Draw from your Inner Empress or Inner Mother energy and channel it towards yourself. If you're having "childish temperaments" such as but I just want one more cookie! It's chocolate-chip glazed with caramel! or I just want to stay up late and watch Netflix! I need to sleep but...it's Orange is the New Black's season finale! I can't miss that! Time to be a gentle but stern motherly figure and recognize what's best for yourself. But I'm an adult now! I can do whatever I want! Of course you can. Binge Netflix once in a while. Enjoy the guilty pleasures of life. Live. Love. Pray. But don't do it at the expense of your health. Trust me, it's not worth it. And your choices, no matter how small they may seem at the time, do add up if you choose to reenact those choices on a consistent basis.
YOUR HEALTHY ROUTINES ARE NOT A FORM OF OPPRESSION
At this point, it seems like being healthy or taking care of yourself requires a lot of "sacrifice", no?
It does seem like cultivating a healthy routine or self-care routine forces you to give up a lot of the things you love, or it may seem like you have to invest a lot of time, energy, and effort in order to maintain a healthy regimen. Being or staying healthy sounds like sacrifice. But being healthy is a good thing, so we must willingly sacrifice ourselves to the Health Supreme so that it may continue to reign in its domain...All! Hail! Health! Long! Live! Health!
Being healthy doesn't need to be an oppressive thing. Being healthy doesn't have to be charged with reluctance and negativity. This is when the other side of the Empress comes in. On top of embodying the Mother archetype, the Empress also embodies the Wild Woman archetype, and the Wild Woman is free, running across a field of gold with wind in her hair, enjoying life, lusting for more life, loving life. THIS should be the core, the essence, the heart of being and staying healthy and taking care of yourself.
This seems counter-intuitive, because a lot of our ideas about health require discipline (diet, exercise routines, habit building etc) and hard work. But take my word for it: health is freeing. Being healthy is freeing. It frees your body from ailments, aches, discomforts, and lethargy. If you are taking care of yourself, you are giving yourself the precious gift of life, energy, and expansion. You can't expand when you're shriveled up inside and outside. It frees you from physical and emotional toxins because now that you have so much more energy and so much more life, you are able to invest those energies into the things that you truly love. Creative expression. Purposeful work. Building and deepening relationships. Having fun.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU
Being healthy means allowing yourself to be the best version of yourself so that you can continue to build and become an even better version of yourself. Being healthy means creating space for the things that you love. Being healthy means freeing yourself and giving yourself more to live for.
And making health or healthier choices doesn't need to be a chore or sacrifice. Think about it this way: while you have to give up some bad habits or work towards cultivating new ones, this is an opportunity for you to expand. You're being called to expand. You are giving yourself a chance to be even better and happier. You are also giving yourself a chance to discover new things that you will enjoy and love, things that are both beneficial to your well-being as well as your happiness.
This is your life, you get to do whatever you want. Hate jogging? Then don't jog. Join a dance class instead. Hate journaling and writing things down? Sing a song . Channel your feelings into musical notes instead of words. You are free to discover and create your own healthy lifestyle and your own healthy routines. You are the creator or creatrix and you are free to determine what is the best for you, what inspires you, and what will help your rock at this life and feel like you rock at this life. You are free to do that. You are free to do all of that for yourself, with love.
There is so much more the Empress archetype can offer on the topic of productivity. It's one of the biggest archetypes in tarot and it is so for a reason. And seriously, the Empress and High Priestess need to team up and have a joined panel on this topic. Am I right!?
But for now, be the Mother. Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Be the Wild Woman. Be free. Free yourself. Love life. Love what you're here for and what you are able to do when you are at your best.
And most importantly, love yourself, again. Over and over and over.