It’s Summertime and that means many of us will be spending more time with family and skeptical friends that “knew us when.”
Did you ever have that awkward moment standing around the potato salad, when Grand-maw-maw Zelda asks, “Now, dear, what is it again that you do for a living?”
That’s when the famous “elevator speech” so many hot shot coaches try to drill into us flies away faster than a balloon in a toddler’s sweaty hands. Pitching potential clients at a networking event with “I am a master-level Tarot guide for people who want a more extraordinary, authentic life” might be polished and professional — for that context!
But try running that by cousin Elmer, who is the archdeacon at his church. And do you really think it will impress the family legend who was the head aeronautics engineer for the Apollo space program?
If you are in a non-traditional or metaphysical occupation, how do you explain to “Muggles” what it is you do? Especially if they might be downright hostile towards our off-the-grid modalities.
It’s not always easy to explain a career path that is way off the beaten track. Sometimes, we may feel like the Rodney “I get no respect” Dangerfield of the family reunion.
I admit I used to struggle with it in my earlier years, especially when my transition from tech corporate management to professional Tarot reader was still fresh. I know I’m not the only one.
A very successful Tarot practitioner I knew many years ago used to confess that for ages, she would tote all her decks and materials in a conservative briefcase when she needed to give readings away from home.
She would even wear regular business attire, although she longed to dress up in flowing sarongs, bangle bracelets, and giant silver rings on every finger, like a film noir psychic.
Instead, she admitted, she would march out her door, briefcase in hand, dressed for success: something along the lines of a pinstriped power skirt suit, crisp white blouse, and maybe a understated scarf or ribbon neatly tied into a bow — the feminine equivalent of a man’s tie.
Although it is wonderful to have my own business, and I adore being a Tarot reader, it is not always a piece of cake to be candid about what I do. You too — sometimes?
From Great Aunt Agnes, who thinks it’s akin to devil worship, to the teenager next door who imagines we can light candles with our bare fingertips, to the client who believes we sit around eating bon-bons, waiting by the phone 24/7 just for his call, this kind of career is fraught with prejudice and ignorance from society as a whole.
I have never met a colleague in any of the non-traditional healing or guidance modalities who didn’t care passionately about being recognized as legitimate. Especially since it sometimes seems that we get more than our fair share of con artists and charlatans.
After all, those caricatures and stereotypes must have some basis in reality, right?
So how do we navigate the sometimes choppy waters of public opinion?
More next time… (But I would love to hear your thoughts on this.. please share if you wish).