The Origin Story: How May You Know Joy Cards Came To Be - May You Know Joy

This is the story of how May You Know Joy cards came to be.

On a trip to BC to visit my sister, I stumbled upon Elizabeth MacLeod’s Wild Woman Mystery Cards ( I was captivated by the whimsical illustrations and the empowering words centred me in my own wisdom.

As my work as a coach evolved, I knew I wanted to create a card deck of my own. For a few years, I had kept a running list of important words on the last page of my notebook. The list was a scribbled, crossed-out mess, but the undercurrent of all of the words was that they all held a deep place in my heart.

They were words that were meaningful and transformative. When I held the word “power” in my mind, it had an affect on my decisions and actions during the day. The word “laughter” had a completely different effect, as did “intuition” and “magic” and “nourishment,” –  just a few of the 42 words I eventually selected to create the deck.

These words were worth spending time with. They helped me discover deep truths, look at things differently and move forward. I healed. I learned about myself. The words helped me navigate with and toward joy.

I was inspired to create the May You Know Joy cards because I want to share that joy with others. If we are going to live on this planet that’s hurtling through space, why wouldn’t we want to be joyful? If we are doing challenging personal “work,” why wouldn’t we want the process to lead us toward peace?

Not that life is supposed to be all joy, acceptance and peace. Not at all. I believe knowing the full range of human experience is part of the process of navigating toward authentic joy.

To me, “knowing” means we understand deeply because we’ve lived it. I can only know true joy if I’ve known pain. In fact, the experience of knowing joy is richer, more heartfelt, more precious for having experienced pain.

This is true for each of the words in the May You Know Joy deck. We can know “fearlessness” because we’ve been terrified. We learn “acceptance” because resisting the truth can eventually become so uncomfortable. We practice “gratitude” because we know the future will inevitably bring loss.

The cards can be selected at random or deliberately. Many people pick the cards at random and tell me they always seem to pick the “right” card. Sometimes a particular card feels welcome and immediately uplifting; other times it triggers something uncomfortable and forces us to find a new way to see the word – and ourselves. Either way, it can still feel like the right card at the right time.

In my own life, I use the cards by choosing a new one every day. I often return to cards I have used before, but the meaning is always new because my life and mind are always changing.

Last year, I often chose to look at the “acceptance” card. I was navigating a marital separation, and while many things were difficult to accept, I found this card kept me grounded. Holding the “acceptance” card encouraged me to recognize the truth of the situation and decide how I was going to navigate towards my own joy.

Today, again, I picked acceptance, but it felt quite different than it did last year. Now acceptance means acknowledging the goodness in my life, being grateful, and looking forward to the vast expanse of newness in front of me.

Using the May You Know Joy cards is about living consciously. It’s about living with intention. It’s about living from the inside out. It’s about meeting life head on and choosing to navigate with and toward joy.