When walking to school when I was young, I would often take the shortcut through the woods.

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I found comfort in starting my morning surrounded by trees and forest creatures. I’d let my imagination wander and start talking to myself. I’d often ask for advice while walking to school — “what do I need to focus on today?”, “how do I handle this situation?”, or “what do I need to know now?” — and wait to see what messenger would arrive.

Sometimes it came as a chipmunk, or as a sparrow, or as a new mud patch along the way. Seeing them would initiate an inner dialogue with myself.

How can I be more generous or helpful like a chipmunk?

How can I see from a new perspective, from a greater height, as a sparrow does?

What mess, or mud, is in my life that I’ve been avoiding cleaning up?

The messengers would arrive. The dialogue would begin. And the inquiry would be mine for the rest of the walk in the woods.

It is with that perspective that the Inquest Deck was created.

Messengers. Dialogue. Inquiry.

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Over the years, having now studied different yogic philosophies, world religions, neuroscience, and leadership philosophies — combined with my personal passion for reflection and the holistic approaches to movement and health — I’ve developed a greater appreciation for the messengers.

Or at least my interpretation of them.

In the early years of my coaching practice, I often laid out key principles I believed in on cards in front of me while I took calls with my clients. They served as guides to our conversation whenever things seemed to go off track.

As I continued to explore the use of cards in different traditions, I kept seeking a deck that wasn’t designed to tell me my future, or tell me if I should leave my job or my relationship. I wanted a deck rooted in principles.

And I knew it was up to me to create it.

After weeks of massive waves of inspiration, this deck came to life in the form of a really detailed spreadsheet. I called up Nadine Nevitt (a local Vancouver artist I am ridiculously inspired by) to ask if she wanted to work on this “small project” of bringing this spreadsheet of ideas to life. She was an enthusiastic yes … with neither of us realizing that it’d be a two-year adventure in the making.

And now, it’s yours.

It feels surreal to be able to share this creation with you. Nadine has done an amazing job capturing all the nuances, the playfulness, the detailed requirements, and the feel of each card. My hope is that they are as pleasing to your eye as they are to your soul.

Enjoy your inquest.

xo

Matt