“The goal of a Conscious Uncoupling is not necessarily the restoration of justice, the attainment of restitution, or the vindication of being right. The goal of a Conscious Uncoupling is to be free.” Katherine Woodward Thomas
Ending a long term relationship is one of the most painful and disorienting experiences a person may have in their lifetime. As the divorce rate increases in our society, so does the desire to find a way to reduce the negative effects it has on children, extended family and community. Rather than collapsing into shame, blame and a spiral of depression, we now have a road map towards a more skilled way of relating to ourselves and others.
Conscious Uncoupling is a 5 step process created by Katherine Woodward Thomas to address the desperate need we have to learn a new way to end relationships with grace, compassion and a full harvest of personal learning. This will ensure we do not repeat the relationship patterns that hold us hostage. It may also spare us and our children unnecessary suffering. It’s not easy, but by using the Conscious Uncoupling Process, we have a road map to get us from the despair of the end of a relationship into the light of a higher consciousness.
So, to marry 2 of my fascinations – Tarot and the C U process – I have created a Conscious Uncoupling Tarot spread that we can use to get a window into our path to healing a painful breakup – whether it was yesterday or 20 years ago. The spread is based on the 5 steps to healing from a relationship, in order to move on with a clear psyche and a new understanding of how to behave going forward. This is a great process to use to move our wounded selves out of victim mentality.
Here is an example of a reading I gave to myself in order to have a deeper understanding of my own journey through this powerful and beautiful process. The cards were chosen blindly, as always.
CONSCIOUS UNCOUPLING TAROT SPREAD
Center Card – Represents taking responsibility for our experience. Life happens through us, not to us. Who is our guardian in the challenge of attaining this new perspective? What is hurting or helping us in this journey of really seeing ourselves as the source of our experience?
6 of Pentacles – Growth. My entire purpose in shifting my awareness towards self responsibility is so that I can make the most of my growth opportunities. Inside my old consciousness of shame and blame, there is no possibility for growth. Growth is my reward, my motivation, my deepest desire. As I mature, I am more able to see my role in my current situation and shift into new and improved ways of seeing and being.
Below Center Card– What is the key or barrier to finding emotional freedom in this situation? (Step 1 of the Conscious Uncoupling Process) What will help me feel my feelings and develop a more detached and compassionate perspective towards them?
7 of Wands -Courage. There is a certain emotional ruggedness required in order to really feel into my deepest darkest most ancient wounds. It takes an inner strength and faith in order to allow painful feelings to surface and be acknowledged. Courage does not denote a lack of fear, but rather a decision to push forward despite fear. I see my own heart like a house full of rooms that have been closed off. It is imperative that I cast light into these dark places in order to discover what is in there.
Bottom Left of Center Card – What is the challenge or assistance I am experiencing in the path to reclaiming my power and creating a kinder relationship towards myself? (Step 2 of the Conscious Uncoupling Process)
8 of Cups – Moving on from loss. There is such an intense feeling of loss around the end of my 17 year marriage. My entire identity was wrapped up in our business, our community, our family. At this point, I have to stop blaming and shaming myself for “failing” to save my marriage. It is time to move forward and leave the past behind. There are mountains to climb! Focus on the future. Let go and allow the past to be the past. It’s a natural part of life. It’s ok.
I’m free to let go.
Bottom Right of Center Card – What do I need to develop or overcome in order to access the courage to delve into my earliest painful memories to understand my unconscious motivations? (Step 3 of the Conscious Uncoupling Process)
Son of Wands – Adventure, Inspiration. I see this journey as an exciting and scary adventure! I am inspired, curious and fired up – if not a bit innocent of what this process requires. Knowing now how painful transformation can be, there is a certain youthful enthusiasm required to take on this inner expedition. The Son of Wands represents the part of me that is ready for a challenge, and just a little bit clueless enough to be willing to explore this harsh and forbidding landscape.
Top Left Center Card -What challenge or gift am I being offered in the possibility of shifting into forgiveness? What is the greatest gift the relationship gave me? (Step 4 of the Conscious Uncoupling Process)
6 of Swords – The greatest gift this relationship gave me was the depth of suffering required to awaken me to a greater level of freedom and joy. This relationship continues to show me the challenges I need to move through in my own growth and development. Beyond the dark pile of rumination on fear and anger, there is the possibility of freedom and peace (the rainbow). It’s always there, waiting for me to awaken. And when I do, true victory will be mine. I will become free of the toxic patterns of conflict with my former partner.
Top Right Center Card – How can I make sure my life improves as a result of everything I have learned and gained from this relationship? (Step 5 of the Conscious Uncoupling Process)
Mother of Cups – Using the power of being able to totally feel all my feelings, the Mother of Cups represents a level of emotional mastery that includes total acceptance of the power and importance of feelings. The greatest development I have experienced as a part of the Conscious Uncoupling process is a new respect and curiosity and kind acceptance of my own feelings and needs. I will never again try to win someone else’s love or approval by disappearing my own feelings and needs. My relationships will be more authentic and I will have a new level of self esteem and empowerment.
Top Center Card – What is possible now? What becomes possible? What is the quality of possibility that I hold for myself and my life?
The Star – (thank you so much Tarot faeries!) Peace, guidance, self love – and a connection to my inner North Star. I will never again lose myself, give myself away, devalue myself or shame myself. I have a new relationship to my inner knowing that will always offer me a way to course correct in my life. It is now possible for me to be free from the unconscious patterns that kept me prisoner to a toxic way of behaving and relating.
It is now possible for me to be free.
I am currently in training to be a Coach of the CU process. By spring of 2016 I will be launching my practice and taking on clients. I am currently holding group classes and seeing practicum clients, so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in how this process could support you during a challenging breakup. The process is also effective for healing old relationship wounds, completing a relationship that ended suddenly, or dealing with a challenging friendship. You can engage in the process if you are in a relationship and not sure what to do to. Sometimes the process can bring couples closer together. Whatever your situation, your desire is to experience greater levels of satisfaction, security, enjoyment and fulfillment in all of your relationships, especially the one you have with your self. Thats what this Conscious Uncoupling is really about.