About the Cards

It’s one thing to feel positive and compassionate when you’re home alone, meditating or getting a nice massage. We all know it’s a lot more challenging to keep those constructive feelings on the street or in the workplace, when others act rudely or unethically around you. We all need guidance and practical strategies to deal with the negativity that can confront us when we are working with people in what is often a competitive arena. And, with the ever-growing presence of women in the workforce, this is no longer primarily a male concern. Alongside the desire to maintain a positive outlook at work, women are increasingly faced with ethical and moral challenges, whether they are in executive positions, running their own business or just punching the clock and working several jobs to make ends meet. The simple wisdom in these cards was distilled from my studies in theology and world religions as well as from my day-to-day life in the workplace. I have learned the hard way—through experience—that whenever you go against your most intuitive feelings of what is right and wrong, you dishonor your spirit and always regret it. By the same token, when you hold true to your instinctive moral vision and develop a way to stand up to those who promote negative and unethical behavior, your soul sails. You feel strengthened and uplifted. Sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration and guidance to do the right thing and that’s what I have tried to provide with these cards.

The initial idea for this deck grew out of my years of working as a lawyer in the state of New Jersey and my doctoral dissertation for a degree in Energy Medicine. The paper was titled “The Conscious Choice of Law: Fighting the Erosion of the Legal Spirit.” It outlined the ways in which I believe the legal profession has lost touch with the moral and ethical values that ought to inform all of us. Looking around the nation as a whole, moreover, I could see that this phenomenon wasn’t limited to lawyers. Corporate leaders and executives at many levels have been caught up in a culture of success at all costs. How they treat employees seems to mean nothing as long as the company’s stock value rises and the shareholders are happy. In the political arena, our national leaders haven’t behaved any better. Presidents and congress people from both parties have been caught in outrageous lies, deceptions and in some cases outright fraud and corruption.

Unfortunately, all this dishonorable behavior has a trickle-down effect. I feel that the public is dismayed by the blatant lack of honor and accountability they see, to the extent that many of us are no longer certain how we are supposed to behave. In some ways, people in the workforce are in danger of losing their own sense of purpose and as a result, Spirit has taken a back seat to the stress of everyday life. Compassion and responsibility have fallen victim to our need for power and self-aggrandizement. In my own profession, I have seen a growing lack of ethics and justice that is especially painful. Lawyers are supposed to be capable of healing society and promoting the resolution of injustice. But as I looked around me, I saw many of them promoting material gain and power over any sense of balance and fair play. I have also observed that in many divorce cases—which ought to be carried out with spiritual principles to help the two sides heal equitably—lawyers were urging both partners to try to get everything they could. There was no sense of fairness and proportion, not to mention compassion.

These realizations inspired me to create this card deck. The rules of power and honor have become abased and we need to redefine them. The spiritual truths I have formulated, based on my personal experience and my readings in the great spiritual and mystical traditions, go beyond mere legal ethics. They draw on many of the core ethical and moral principles that are shared by the world’s major religions. When I studied theology, I learned that traditions as different on the surface as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism in the East and the Western monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all based on the understanding that killing, stealing, lying, cruelty, and sexual misconduct are inherently wrong. Of course, different religions define and interpret those moral statutes differently and in many instances have been guilty of great hypocrisy in how they enforce their laws. But that doesn’t change the fact that the principles themselves are valid and essential for our spiritual health as individuals and as a society.

As I was enumerating these principles for my card deck, I came to feel that they should apply to all occupations and to all public and private workplaces. So, rather than rendering them in some abstract way, I tried to bring them down to earth. As a lawyer, I constantly have to check my inner compass and reorient my actions accordingly. However, the same is true of artists and writers, manual laborers, secretaries, engineers, janitors, schoolteachers, and nurses. I have constructed the deck so that each card offers at least one principle worth upholding, along with a direct suggestion for acting on it. Taken as a whole, these principles form a credible, congruent and hopeful code of personal honor and accountability. Yet each card can stand alone as a guiding light for any given day.

I originally composed the cards with the idea of a conventional workplace in mind. But I’m also aware that many of us have different experiences of work and deal with a variety of work environments. People increasingly work in the home and I include the invaluable work of parenting in that description. Stay-at-home moms and dads and working parents alike face many similar challenges as they interact with caregivers, teachers and their own children. They can apply this guidance to those relations as well as they would with coworkers, bosses, or employees. Even independent contractors or people who run a cottage industry and never go to an office outside their own home have to relate to others by phone and e-mail. Whatever kind of work you do, ethical and spiritual values always come into play. Indeed, I would argue that we need them now more than ever before.

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