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Do your best! Ganbatte!

Benten Kutsu Cave

Leaving an offering at the Benten Kutsu cave at Hase-dera temple in Kamakura. Benten is the only female deity of the Seven Lucky Gods of Japan.

“When I was living in Japan…” – this is a phrase that brings the most profound glassy look to my friends’ eyes, causes polite yawns, or provokes the hilarious reply, “Oh wait a minute! Did you live in JAPAN? I didn’t know that! Really?”. I totally understand this reaction, and accept the teasing as 100% deserved. I can actually feel some eyes rolling even as I write this. I know I talk about living abroad too much, it’s just that the experiences I had in Asia were profound, and talking about them gives me the feeling of excitement, newness and exhilarating difference that I had the entire time I was there.

Big in Japan

I bring up Japan today because although I never got very proficient in the language (it’s true, I was much too busy traveling and having fun to study tra la la) some of the expressions that I learned almost immediately upon arrival still pop up almost daily in my mind as completely relevant in a wide range of situations, even though they don’t have an English equivalent that is exactly right.

Sacred hot spring in Kagoshima

Sacred hot spring in Kagoshima

Something you’ll either be told or will say to someone pretty much everyday in Japan is “Ganbatte!”, which means something like, “Do your best!”. There are many forms, like “Do your best, please!”, “I will do my best!”, “Let’s do our best!” etc etc but the general sentiment is the same. For a North American, this sounds a little weird, declaring your intentions to do your best, or being told to do your best (as if you might be planning to do less than your best), but the intention is encouragement, you can do it, don’t give up. Generally, I would say it to someone who is about to do something challenging or outside of their comfort zone, like write a test, head out to work on a snowy Monday morning, or talk to someone they have a bit of a crush on. I guess it would be more usual to say “Good luck!” in such situations in English, but ganbatte embodies the idea that you have the power to accomplish what you need to, and you don’t need to depend on luck as long as you try your hardest.

Ganbatte and Tarot Reading

Ganbatte - work hard, do your best!

Ganbatte – work hard, do your best!

The reason I bring all this up is that this idea of ganbatte fits really well with my philosophy of Tarot reading. First of all, when I do a reading, I begin by setting my intention for the highest outcome, that I will do the reading to the best of my ability with the best of intentions for all concerned, and then just let go of expectations or apprehension.

Ganbatte, hold your ground, be true to yourself!

Ganbatte, hold your ground, be true to yourself!

Secondly, I think the role of a Tarot reader is to tell the truth to the client, of course, but also to encourage and empower them.The cards can show you the energies that are around you right now, and give you insight into what will happen if you continue thinking and acting as you are currently doing. So, if you don’t like the future that the cards are showing you, the Tarot reader can encourage you to make change, and help you to see how you have the power to do this.

Really, in all aspects of life, if you go into something with the intention of truly doing your best, and trust that this is enough, the outcome can be wonderful. I can’t honestly say that I have this ganbatte attitude with everything I do (for example, I really don’t do my ultimate best when it comes to vacuuming and other household chores, I’m usually going for the bare minimum) but when it comes to Tarot, that’s my goal.

To find out more about how you can empower yourself through Tarot, book a reading with me today!

Ganbatte, focus your will to succeed

Ganbatte, focus your will to succeed!


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2 Responses to Do your best! Ganbatte!

  1. Neda March 28, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Awesome post! I’m so glad I found your blog. I am just getting into Tarot divination and it’s refreshing to find like minded people. Recently, I just got back from South Korea and can completely relate to your experiences living abroad. I would love some feedback if you have the time.

    • snakegoddesstarot March 30, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

      Thanks, Neda! So nice to hear from you, I’ll check out your blog for sure. Let me know how you’re adjusting to life back home! I sure had a lot of culture shock myself!

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