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Success Stories : Good Karma Cards

Creativity Success Story

Good Karma Cards

We can shift the way we see things

By Jaye van Dussen and Stephanie Legatos

Good Karma Thank You CardIf you believe that our thoughts influence our feelings and our perceptions, including how we view our every day world, and that "what you see is what you get," then you'll already know something about the genesis of Good Karma Cards.

Meet Jaye van Dussen, artist and creator of Good Karma Cards, and Stephanie Legatos, Career Coach. Both women have worked in a variety of careers, with myriad jobs and currently have "portfolio" careers with multiple income streams.

In 2006, during a time frought with challenges with her then adolescent-aged son, Jaye had a spiritual awakening: During a retreat for families in crisis, she realized that how we see the world and the events that occur to us, is ultimately our choice; then, we act through that point of view. It's like choosing the sort of lens we look through a camera with. She created a deck of cards for each family at the retreat, combining the poignant teachings with her own artwork. These original wisdom cards became the inspiration behind Good Karma Cards.

In 2008, Jaye and Stephanie met at a workshop on Transferable Skills that Stephanie was presenting and Jaye, during her most recent job search, attended. A light bulb went on and a connection was made when Stephanie talked about being a "Scanner," a term coined by career consultant and author, Barbara Sher, in her book, "Refuse to Choose." Scanners are people who are interested in many things, love variety and often jump from one thing to the next. Oh, they see the connecting threads, but are often viewed by the world as unfocused and undisciplined. During the workshop, Jaye began to shift how she saw herself vis-à-vis the concept of a career and a job.

Jaye approached Stephanie about coaching to help her crystallize ideas and interests, and create a resume that would market her diverse background effectively. "Stephanie believes in and has lived a life based on the fact that there's more than one way of looking at yourself, and more possibility in the world than you might think. She gives thoughtful responses from a deep place. Her possibility-thinking and creativity are her gifts."

"I immediately connected with Jaye. I sensed her longing, saw her potential and the opportunities that she might create if she shifted her thinking about herself and what she could contribute to the world. It was like looking in the mirror sometimes — I could see how she got stuck and where her belief in herself needed nurturing. She had carried the seed along on her journey — it was time to re-plant it."

During initial meetings, as her career interests were analyzed, synthesized and refined, Jaye was again struck by the "Scanner" concept with an insight that one could have multiple streams of income. It didn't have to be all or nothing. She realized and articulated that she hadn't been doing any art for quite some time. She would continue to search for a traditional job with a flexible schedule as well as move her art ideas out of her head and onto paper. A lot of buried energy was there. She shared the concept of the good karma cards with Stephanie. An action plan formed: bring a prototype of them to the next appointment.

Buoyed by Stephanie's genuine response to the beauty and profound yet lighthearted message of the cards, Jaye gave herself a deadline. She created mini collages, gathered a small group of artist friends for feedback and critique, and created two 10-card decks. The logistics of packaging, finding a printer and getting help with a basic website easily fell into place. Within 3 months, the cards were ready! Through networking, door-to-door introductions at local retailers, and friends' purchases, Good Karma Cards made their way into the world.

As a reminder to look for and acknowledge good in the world, Good Karma Cards have been given by people in hospitals to thank their caregivers, used in workshops for icebreakers, given to international camp counselors for team building, used at a bat mitzvah, given to teens in intervention programs, and passed on to teachers, hairdressers, servers, baristas, strangers, friends, bosses, co-workers, and nice people in line at the grocery store. Even President Obama and Oprah have some! •

© 2010 Jaye van Dussen and Stephanie Legatos. All rights reserved.