As a life coach, I seriously geek out on any and all sorts of tools to work with in helping people or advancing my own personal development. Whether they’re ideas, books, journals, workshops, or gosh darn yet more books, I’m into them. I’m like a happy otter when I have something to play with and learn from. Recently I’ve been delving into the art of tarot and loving how it connects my interests in coaching, creativity, the visual arts, and how we perceive and create meaning. So this is why I’ve decided “tarot-based life coaching” is a thing.

The tarot is a system of cards that represent both the major archetypes in our lives and also the range of situations we find ourselves in. It’s clearly divided into these overarching personae and events or conditions in the realm of the emotional world, the mind, the spirit, and the body.

One can argue what the system is FOR till one is blue in the face. Is it for divination? Self-analysis? What is divination anyway, and what about self-will? Whatever you think, the more we examine our lives, the more we look at and and discover, the more power we have to change our current stories and make new and better choices. This is much of what life coaching is about—find an area of your life that is unsatisfying or a struggle, then poke around with a stick and see what comes out.

The problem with that, is that it’s hard. Who wants to poke a stick in a giant pile of crap? Some of us do it because, as with exercise, we know we’ll feel better afterwards. Some of us want to make our lives better and are up for the challenge. This is where life-coaching comes in. Poking around in your life is much easier to do with company, with someone to hold you accountable, or help you realize you’re smack in the middle of the pile without a stick.

But, this process doesn’t have to be awful. Self-discovery can and should be fun, and lead to freedom and a feeling of being lighter and more integrated. It’s like after you work out and realize that your blood really does pump through your body and that your muscles are connected to your bones. You may be a little worse for wear, but like the Velveteen Rabbit, you’re REAL.

I’m a visual person, and like many others, I have too much to do and not enough time. If you ask me to sit and meditate, or journal, I’m entirely likely to realize I need to shave, feed the dog, or eat and shave the dog, or SOMETHING, OH PLEASE ANYTHING other than sit here. This is also a reason that we hire a life coach — to create the sacred space to DO THE WORK. Using images helps create a focus, and also helps use our imagination to create a bridge between what we know and what we let ourselves know. Because the truth is always in us; we just need to clear the windows so we can see.