Review – Sustain Yourself: Live Well and Live Long

Sustain Yourself:
Cards and Handbook to Live Well and Live Long

Author: James Wanless
Tarot Media Company
2011
ISBN #978-0-9833024-1-4

Sustain Yourself cover

“To ensure our futures and our very survival as a species,
sustainability is an ability that we must cultivate as a way of life.”

James Wanless

I love the Voyager Tarot, and was really not surprised to see James Wanless move into the sustainability realm. All of his work has to do with how we live, and our relationship to ourselvesa and our surroundings. “Sustain Yourself” is a 101 card deck and 88 page handbook dedicated to living well, and living long. The cards and handbook come in a sturdy, lift-top box that is done in white and green, with card images along all four sides.

The handbook is broken down into four parts: Part One – Sustainable Life, Part Two – Sustainability Roadmap, Part Three – Sustain Yourself Cards, and Part Four – Sustain Yourself Card Interpretations.

In Part One Wanless talks about living whole, and living in a conscious and balanced way. The pace of life, and how it is increasing, as well as the sheer volume of information available to us makes life very complex. Wanless notes that we have challenges that we have no clear means of managing successfully. He goes on to say that we still expect a certain quality of life (and I agree with him).

The skills of sustainability – “sustain abilities” – are, in fact, evolutionary traits that can carry us through times of personal and global change.”

Wanless notes that what helps us is that we are aware that we are evolving in consciousness, in behavior, and in body. He advises us to “be the change”, know that our security comes from within, and act on our intuitive thinking, and that a sustainable life comes from living an authentic life, with balance as our core sustain ability.

Part Two: Sustainability Roadmap, addresses nature as being the personal and collective roadmap for sustainability. I really like the thought that nature’s rules and ways of life can show us how to manage our relationships, business partnerships, and social/political alliances. And yes … we all do function to a greater or lesser extent in those areas. Nature’s “green wisdom” speaks to creativity, change, growth, and evolution. Wanless calls nature a living embodiment of balance and wholeness. Bottom line – we cannot take sustainability for granted!

Part Three: Green Wisdom Cards – The Sustainabilty Game of Life, addresses how to use the cards as a game focused on developing our sustain abilities.  An individual chooses one or more cards intuitively from the deck, face down. The cards are to be contemplated and acted upon. The cards educate, give insight, and evoke sustainable behavior and deeds. Each card in this deck represents one of our sustain abilities – which Wanless defines as fundamental eco-principles for personal, social, and environmental conservation and regeneration.

Card descriptions include a key phrase and catchwords. Ways of using the deck include a Daily One Card Action, Four Card Layouts, Question and Answer free form consults, to multi-card layouts. How these cards can be used is limited only by the imagination of those working with them. One example given in the handbook is Synergy. Cards are picked for mental clarity, emotional expressiveness, physical energy, spiritual growth, and worldly success. The cards are categorized as elemental, mineral, plant, animal, and human.

Part Four: Sustain Yourself Card Interpretations- The 101 Eco-Principles presents the 101 cards that represent eco-principles. The cards are alphabetically arranged, and include the sustain ability (listed across the top of the card), a keyword (listed across the bottom of the card), and a compressed write-up. Each card is presented with a black and white scan.

Note: The only issues that I have with the handbook is that the font size is so small that I had to use a magnifying glass, and the chapters run together. Once past that, the concepts are workable and enlightening!

Sustain Yourself_0001

The cards are 3” by 5”, with sturdy, glossy card stock. The green leaf on the back of the card represents the primary eco-principle of our connection with nature. The card faces show a green border, with the eco-principle across the top, and a key word for action across the bottom. The artwork is photo collage, with images representing all aspects of our environment – plant, animal, mineral, as well as humanity (i.e. the face of Aging).

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Ancestor/Aging: We reach our full maturity by consciously growing ourselves with aging and reasoning. E call upon our experience and wisdom to produce and perform more effectively.

Sustain Yourself_0003

Bear/Sleep: We sleep to restore ourselves.

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Cave/Investigation: Caves provide us with openings, allowing for access.  Be careful not to block channels of discovery and opportunity.

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Danger/Vigilance: Take precautions and preventive care, but be careful not to obsess.

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Darkness/Intuition: Darkness is all about mystery. Trust your intuition – do not fear or judge the darkness.

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Eagle/vision: See as a visionary, yet maintain focus. Look into the doable future with a discerning eye.

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Footprints/Information: Time runs from the past to the future. Know who you are by where you came from.

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Green Road/Path: Stay present and focused on the green walk of sustainability.

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Hive/Home: Care for the earth, your natural home. Make your home attractive and comfortable.

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Moon Wolf/Night: Your peak time is at night to magnetize and attract.

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Man/Imagination: Imagine a mental plan for the future. Lead by example.

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Turtle/Longevity: Take it easy, take your time, float along.

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Lake/Self-Knowing: The lake is a mirror of all that we are.

James Wanless is not only a best selling author, keynote speaker, and consultant, but he is also a futurist. He combines humor with very real techniques for keeping us connected with ourselves and our environment – working with individuals and corporations on strategic goal-setting. The stunning imagery in these cards acts as a gateway to wisdom that will allow us to live authentic and full lives.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

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