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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Queen of Hearts

My grandmother was a quilter. She would take scraps of different cloths and put them together to make the most beautiful coverings. There was often a story behind each panel to explain why it was included in the quilt. The time and care it took to complete the finished product were reflected in the intricacy and detail of the display.

Think of the Queen of Hearts as a symbol for quilting. Deal the card when you want to blanket someone with comfort, color, or connection. Most of us are good at something. We have areas where we excel and operate with confidence and assurance. This is often referred to as our comfort zone. This phrase is used because there is no anxiety involved when we have to do anything associated with our strengths. However, in order for growth to occur, we have to try new things that are not as familiar to us. When a friend is in this situation, deal them the Queen of Hearts for a quilt of support and encouragement. Let them know that you believe in them and recognize the uncertainty attached to what they are doing.

Maybe someone is operating within their comfort zone, but doing so without being noticed. If you help to wrap them in a vibrant, colorful quilt, then their actions can be seen and valued by others. We are familiar with the line, "follow the yellow brick road", from The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy was trying to return to her comfort zone of home. She was accompanied on the yellow brick road by knowledge (brains), compassion (heart), and boldness (courage). If you possess these traits, share them with a friend who may need help to shine in their comfort zone. Include a blue panel in their quilt to remind them that the sky is the limit.

The strength of the quilt, or Queen of Hearts, is determined by connections. You may not possess the comfort or color that your friend needs. If you can expand their network by introducing them to key people who can help them, it increases their exposure, opportunity, and support team. As you open doors for others, you multiply your potential for success. Deal a benevolent queen who rules with grace, wisdom, and purpose.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Queen of Spades

Queens are royalty. They issue decrees and proclamations. When they speak, people listen. Their statements are reported, repeated, and recycled. In other words, they generate quotes. For this reason, the Queen of Spades can be dealt when you want to share a meaningful quote with someone. Be sure to give the proper credit for the quote and attribute it to the correct person. For example, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his first inaugural address the now familiar phrase -"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself". This would be an ideal quote for someone who needs a boost of courage.

Sometimes we may know just the right thing to say to encourage, comfort, thank, or bless someone. When this is the case, deal another card and use your own words. However, when what you want to express has already been said perfectly by another, deal the Queen of Spades and share the quote with them. Some popular sayings that may be used include:

  • Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers
  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Edison

  • Determine to live life with flair and laughter. Maya Angelou

  • The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up. Mark Twain

  • There is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Colin Powell

  • People fail forward to success. Mary Kay Ash

The quotes don't have to come from politicians, poets, or philosophers. A line from a popular song might express what you want to convey. Maybe something your grandmother used to say applies to the situation. Regardless of the source, deal the Queen of Spades and share some words of wisdom.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

King of Diamonds

I think of the King of Diamonds as a locksmith. He presides over a mine which contains stones (keys) to help you open various doors in your life. Deal the card to a friend who may need encouragement to discover hidden treasures already in their possession. For example, someone may need a confidence key to face an upcoming challenge. The symbolic key will serve 3 purposes by allowing you to:

Keep the focus on the ultimate goal and away from distractions
Establish a plan to monitor progress and success
Yield to opportunities for growth and development

Each time you deal the card, it may be for a different situation. However, each key should adhere to the above characteristics and unlock, or remove, self-made obstacles. It is important to have a virtual ring for these keys so that you can reuse them when needed. Some of the standard, or master keys, might be for creativity, motivation, stress relief, and persistence. These are some of the common stumbling blocks that we encounter on a regular basis. Deal the King of Diamonds to your friends and family when you feel they need a gentle nudge to continue moving toward their goals with optimism and determination.
Remember, you are also allowed to use the keys for your own benefit. Your fabulous future is waiting on you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

King of Clubs

Is there someone whom you consider to be a kindred spirit? You may have the same odd sense of humor or share a common view of current events. There is an unspoken language that can be conveyed through eye contact. Often times, you have similar backgrounds and goals. This is usually a small group. It is not that you exclude people. It's just that not everyone meets the membership criteria. You will have other friends, interests, and relationships outside of the unit. However, there will be a unique bond between the people in this particular circle.

The King of Clubs can preside over your meetings. Deal the card when you want to share an inside joke. It can serve as an unofficial membership card. Possession of it entitles you to certain benefits and privileges. The crew decides what those perks will be. Keep it simple and fun. Free lunch, tasty treats, movie cards, and key chains might be easy tokens to exchange. You can even share these things with others who are not part of the group. Be nice and issue temporary 1-day passes from time to time. When they see how much fun you are having, it will inspire them to form their own club.

Laugh often and always count your blessings. Send the King of Clubs to show that you are a cheerleader for your friends and family. Include a personal message to let them know they are part of your inner circle and tell them the reason why. There is probably a point you can highlight that only they will understand.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

King of Hearts

It's February and Valentine's Day displays are everywhere that you look. The flowers, candy, stuffed animals, and greeting cards proclaim love and affection for the recipients. The King of Hearts can be used to represent the different expressions of the romantic, familial, and friendly overtures that characterize the significant relationships in our lives. For romance, kisses may be dispensed by the King of Hearts. If you are unable to physically be in the same place with your significant other, deal them the card and let them know kisses are included.
Don't forget to let family and friends know that they also occupy a special place in your heart. Random acts of kindness are a great way to show someone that you care. Sometimes the seemingly small efforts mean more to individuals than the grand gestures. Pay attention to what matters to them so that you will know how to best serve them. If they are always pressed for time, offer to run some basic errands for them (pick up dry cleaning, provide a meal for the family, etc.).
The King of Hearts is at your disposal. He is available to you everyday, not just on holidays. Use him to let others know that they are part of your royal family. He can issue any decree or declaration that you want. Maybe one day a month can be "No Kitchen Duty" for a friend. You can either cook or purchase the meals for them and their family for the day. Be creative and target to their specific needs. In this case, it really is the thought that counts.

King of Spades

Kings are rulers. They reign on thrones and over territories. They have authority. People listen to them and carry out their decrees. Our card this week, the King of Spades, will focus on the knowledge required to fulfill the office. For a king, both who they know and what they know are significant. Those two distinctions are also important for the rest of us. They help to identify the kings in our lives.

Who do you trust to make decisions that will benefit you? What have they done to earn the title of king? What wisdom and experience have they shared to increase your knowledge? The answers to these questions will help you determine who gets the King of Spades.

The word "king" allows us to do some fun associations. For example, "thinking" can be broken down to "thin" + "king". When we hear the word "thin", we tend to think of something that is lean, or bare, and without a lot of covering (thin ice, thinning hair, etc.). However, it should not always have a negative connotation. Thin can convey the absence of layers that obscure the true essence of a things. Since we have already established that "king" means authority, or ruler, then "thinking" might equal ruling with truth. Other words that can be broken down include:

  • Parking = par + king = standard + decrees = governing according to high expectations
  • Cooking = coo + king = talk nicely + throne = benevolent leadership
  • Ticking = tic + king = involuntary movement + crown = changing priorities and alliances
  • Ranking = ran + king = moved + ruler = communicating policy and law
  • Winking = win + king = victory + authority = acceptance of power
Of course, these are not the actual definitions of any of these words. It is just a different way to show you how the word "king" plays such a big role in the English language. Deal the King of Spades to someone who has been a wise, benevolent, and significant authority figure for you. Remember, the focus is on knowledge so let them know what you have learned from them and how it has helped you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ace of Diamonds

What do you think of when you hear the word "diamonds"? Some people may say they are a girl's best friend. Others might associate them with baseball fields. For our purposes, they will be a symbol of appreciation and admiration. The Ace of Diamonds can be used to communicate thanks, value, or honor. We may not be able to afford to buy diamonds for someone to express gratitude for treating us well. However, we can deal them the top card as a token of our feelings.

When we examine the quality of our relationships, it is important to note the ones that enrich and inspire us. Is there someone who can be counted on to make time for you when you need them? It would be nice to give them diamond watch to commemorate the value of their time. If the watch is not in your budget right now, deal them the Ace of Diamonds and let them know they are appreciated. Maybe someone deserves diamond earrings for being a good listener or a diamond pendant for always having your best interests at heart.
Let the Ace of Diamonds represent jewelry for the ladies or World Series tickets for the men. The important thing is to demonstrate the regard and respect you have for the role they play in your life. As you take the time to recognize the "gems" who constantly shine for you, remember to return the favor. Lend an ear, share a shoulder, or just be available when needed.

Ace of Clubs

It is so important to have a network, or support system, to depend on through the trials and triumphs that we encounter in life. This "fan club" may be made up of friends and family. Each member, including you, should contribute something positive to the group. Share your wisdom. Spread your good cheer. Practice patience and grant grace when others make mistakes.

The Ace of Clubs can be used to represent the team captain. Captain is not an assigned title or position in this case. It can apply to anyone who steps into the role temporarily to impact those around them. Deal the card to someone who has done a good job with a recent leadership task for the group. It doesn't have to be anything big or formal. Maybe someone always greets the others with a genuine smile that instantly lifts morale and lightens the atmosphere. Is there someone who is a good listener and consistently serves as a fair and objective sounding board? Let them know you recognize and appreciate their efforts.

The head of the group is often a parent, older sibling, or friend with an outgoing personality. Do not take them for granted. It is not easy to be the person who everyone else expects to have the answers. Leadership involves service. Teamwork requires participation. When you combine service with participation, the result is productivity. Deal the Ace of Clubs to acknowledge all those who give of themselves to benefit others.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ace of Hearts

We are all familiar with the phrase "heart to heart talk". It means to share your true feelings with someone about a relationship, situation, or event. You might admire how a loved one handled a serious health crisis. If you don't know how to put the sentiment into words, deal them an Ace of Hearts. It signifies that you care and are thinking of them.

Do you owe someone an apology? Most of us don't like to admit when we are wrong or thoughtless. However, we are human and sometimes hurt the feelings of friends and family unintentionally. When this occurs, give them a glimpse inside your heart to express your remorse. Another common phrase is "actions speak louder than words". Sending a virtual Ace of Hearts can be the first step in mending a broken heart.

Then there are those people who you just adore. They can be counted on to brighten your days and lift your spirits. Let them know that you don't take them for granted. Be specific about the reasons for your affection. Tell them they deserve an Ace of Hearts because they give the best hugs or always know the right things to say to make you feel better.
Whether you need to get to the heart of the matter or bless someone's heart, let them know that they are on your mind and in your heart.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ace of Spades

The Ace of Spades is the top card in the playing deck. For this reason, I think it should represent something positive. It can be used to symbolize achievement, authority, or accolades. When your best friend gets a promotion, send her an Ace of Spades to celebrate her accomplishment. Any occasion or event that warrants congratulations should have the Ace of Spades played.

It makes people feel good when you recognize their accomplishments. Send an email to someone with a link to this blog post and let them know their hard work, extra effort, or milestone has been noticed. Don't send it to a group of people. Send it to an individual and personalize it with their specific achievement. Some examples might be:

  • Graduation
  • New Home
  • New Baby
  • Retirement
  • Wedding
  • Anniversary
  • New Job
  • Winning an award
  • Placing in a competition
  • Achieving a stated goal (weight loss, stop smoking, starting a business, etc.)

These are just some of the occasions for the Ace of Spades. I know you can think of others. Let someone know that you are proud of them. Deal them a high card.