“Oh, it seems that I have the vapors.”
Card messages in the Illuminated position.
(Cultured, Civilized, Disciplined, Elegant, Graceful, Polished, Refined, Restrained, Sublime, Tasteful, Tempered, Contained)
- Be nimble, self-controlled and elegant in your thoughts and solutions. Like the ballerina whose balance is precise on one toe, be the well-placed lever and you will move mountains with minimal force.
- Grace with dignity expresses itself with restraint. There is nothing to prove but everything to uphold. Understatement is the key to this card causing people to notice from your quiet reserve, rather than hear you shout.
- Pirouette, parry, deflect, all these are refined movements of great skill. Make yourself appear the master of your form by exerting little energy but performing precise actions.
- “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” ~ Judy Garland
Card messages in the Shadow position.
(Non-nonchalance, Anxious, Blocked, Constrained, Distant, Depressed, Inhibition, Reserved, Suppressed, Withheld)
- The scar tissue that forms over wounds is harder but less flexible. Repression of emotions causes them to go unseen but builds pressure. In keeping the injury sealed under a dead, hard shell, malignancy may compound beneath eventually erupting into something out of control. Someone is stuffing feelings. Beware of sudden outbursts.
- Feeling inhibited? Emotions can act like a weight to crush or retard advancement. Time to strengthen your sense of self and your rights to advocate for yourself.
Overleaf of the Michael Teaching
It cannot be stated less emphatically and perhaps more diplomatically than a Reservation Mode person might say it. Predisposed to a self-censorship at negative extreme, but desiring a refinement and grace in the positive; this Mode offers lessons about self restraint and also emotional constipation. In other words, stifling what one feels in order to preserve a sense of appropriateness and self control.
Dignity in presentation and appearance ranks as amongst the chief regulators of this person’s behavior; and quite often, the range of thought they permit themselves to entertain. As you might guess, when coupled with certain other Overleaves like Arrogance, Discrimination, or when present in an Artisan, the display of style and need to feel elegant is a very important driver. Not merely in dress, but in their degree of articulation and desire to maintain whatever boundaries they find themselves a part of. It might be easier to understand why Passion Mode is its paired opposite. Reservation Mode might be the self constructed gilded cage whereas Passion Mode, sings “I got to be free” and fly’s, sometimes recklessly, out into the day light.
For an Essence, Reservation is an inwardly directed motivation that prefers certainty over spontaneity and therefore seldom “shows its hand” making it difficult to read them. The potential for more of a “head down” approach to life is likely to allow for more subtle development of character than its more boisterous and often times rowdy sibling, Passion. In such Restraint, the positive pole, it can seem as this person maintains an air of “having it all together” or being “cool” since they are wired to appear contained and avoid emotional extremes, outbreaks, or breakdowns.
Repression, was initially the name given to this Mode. Yet, the word carries with it both political and Freudian overtones confusing the concept but also making the word more aptly used to describe the negative pole. Where oppression can be considered as originating from an outside source, repression inhibits one from within their own psyche…it is therefore, Self imposed. From this cramped and stuffy emotional cupboard, risk taking, when undertaken tends to be precise and in measured steps, just like a ballerina’s dance or a model on a fashion promenade. The effect can be striking or painfully constricted.
In either case, Reservation Mode, at about 4% of the human race, ads decorum and a non-nonchalance that is in keeping with the Server role, who in the strictest sense of courtesy. was to be seen and not heard. They were ornaments surrounding the table whose function was move in precise motions serving the master or mistress expressing nothing of their own inner thoughts or emotions. They were the playing card pawns to the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. Only a leap into Passion Mode can free them to move beyond their limits.
Oh how we could us a little restrain!? Curbing resource use, holding our outrage in check and listening to the other-side…before unleashing all of our pent-up anger in one mighty gale. Hold off forming a thin Passion Mode narrative for a more well cultured and examined thick narrative. Yes, these things would be welcomed indeed. Some deliberated responses to our current situations instead of reactive, knee-jerk, flippancy which substitutes for thought.
But emotional detachment and repression forms a perceived shield of safety like a cone of silence. If I don’t notice them, I don’t get upset. I am safe by denial. Burying emotions: like fear, sadness, grief, and overwhelm, has become a cultural minuet; a dance we all are invited to step into and perform in lock step synchrony. We leap to Passion only in moments of great adulation or explosive anger, having tantrums instead of measured but genuine forceful communication. The motivation for self repression becomes the highest, when fear of “standing out” or being “identified” with some perspective.
At the upper echelons of social class, to be Reserved in formal settings reminds us of the expected behavior of “the court” when Aristocracies ruled our societies. Everyone “knew their place” and tended to stay well within these boundaries through self imposed restrictions, withholding their true feelings from open comment.
But as Sigmund Freud reminded us, where there is Repression their is sublimation or displacement. One might believe themselves to look handled or above it all, but whatever pressures being exerted to compress or squeeze out an awareness in one place, is often compensated for in another. How many pious people secretly watch porn?
Christina Ricci, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Michelle Pfieffer, James Dean, Judy Garland, Gheasha, Ballet, Fencing, Gymnastics, David Bowie, Johnny Depp,
You might be in Reservation Mode…
by Stephen Cocconi © 2012