What a joy it was to interview Tonya Melendez, aka The Tarot Life Coach of www.TarotLifeCoach.com.
Tonya has Master’s degrees in library sciences and was working as a librarian for awhile until around 2003 when she felt like something else was calling her and she resigned. At the time, she had been going to a Spiritual Center in Chicago where she studied Religious Science, originally established by Ernest Holmes (not to be confused with Christian Science)!
She explains that as soon as she started visiting the center, she saw joy and love in the people, and was drawn to it. When she started reading the work of Ernest Holmes, she thought, “this is what I’ve been asking for!”
Tonya distinctly remembers the Science of Mind magazine with Marianne Williamson on the cover when she finally took the leap and stepped more fully into her power. It was this magazine that she would read at the Border’s Cafe + Bookstore that led her to the Spiritual Center.
She quit her job, waitressed and went to yoga school. Her goal was to work with kids and teach them yoga. She stated she wanted to be “the brown yoga teacher of the century.”
She found herself doing spiritual readings at her home and eventually started offering them on Thursday nights at The Buzz Cafe in Chicago from 2005-2009. Her business grew quite organically from here. She gained some publicity in newspapers including the Chicago Tribune after she met Elizabeth Gilbert at an Eat Pray Love signing and told her how that book inspired her to change her life.
In 2009, she got her passport, her daughter was off to college, and she said, “show me the way.” From there, she moved to Spain to teach. She wanted to work with people from around the world. She had the inspiration to make her spiritual work her business, despite some doubt whether that was even possible, and in October of 2009, www.TarotLifeCoach.com was born.
Prince Taught Her Tarot
Tonya mentions that her psychic sense has always been present, she has always been aware of it. She would share stories as a child and was basically thought of as crazy by her mother and grandmother. (It wasn’t until she gave up her career in library sciences when her family really thought she was nuts, but it was also a pivotal moment for her to decide that she was more important than fitting into anyone else’s mold about “following the protocol” getting stuck in a mortgage, etc.)
She snuck away to the library at 8, 9, 10 years old and beyond to read esoteric books on the Tarot, astrology, etc. She started working with Tarot cards at age 13 and has been a “junkie” ever since. She paints us a scene of her going through the decks listening to Prince…
“Prince taught me Tarot.”
She describes Tarot as a pocket spiritual Bible. She explains that the cards are about personalities, human experiences and archetypes. She states how the Egyptians invented Tarot because their scrolls were getting stolen, so they put them on cards in pictures as no one would steal pictures They weaved together the story of the human experience into the pictures.
On Being Psychic
Add her psychic abilities to her Tarot skills and she is able to do even more powerful work with her clients, who are often starting side businesses and have left soul sucking jobs, however much they invested in establishing such coveted careers. Her work involves identifying people’s strengths, listening to their Spirit Child, doing healing work so their best selves can shine. She also integrates personality typology, astrology and a variety of her other areas of expertise to provide the most valuable experience she can to her clients.
Healing 1 person is never just for you, she notes. It goes far beyond that. When we heal ourselves, we heal our families, our cities, our communities, our world.
Growing up psychic she was misunderstood by her family, with whom she is now disconnected. She didn’t buy into their story, she notes. The struggling single mom story. She spent a lot of time in nature and in her sanctuary, the library. She notes that she always knew there was something beyond the story.
She mentions that her mother was a spiritual seeker as well and would often take her to different churches and spiritual places so she was exposed to a variety of spiritual practices. One thing she recalls is the subservient and doting feminine energy in many of the major religions, as well as a punitive God who instilled guilt. That’s no fun, she thought, and from an early age, wanted to find a Happy God.
When she found this Happy God through her own spiritual journey, opportunities opened up. In addition to the growth of her business, she traveled to Kiev, Ukraine in 2012 and in a competition, was named the #3 psychic in the world. She became an Amazon international best selling author (find her book on www.TarotLifeCoach.com).
She is also a student of A Course In Miracles which she references by stating that a Happy God wants us to forget what we know and learn something new, in other words, leave behind the story, the bad job, and become constant and happy learners.
Do What You Love
One of Tonya’s sayings is, “do what you love and the blessings will follow.” She walks that path daily, and her world opened up for her since she originally asked for guidance.
What if you don’t know what you love?
Tonya reassures you that you do.
“We get what we allow ourselves to have.”
She mentions she didn’t always know this is what her life would look like or what she would be doing, but she knew she was a teacher, she knew she’d be doing something big.
She prayed for 9 years to move to a warmer climate and is now enjoying warm weather in Mexico.
She notes it didn’t have to take her 9 years, but our will is strong. We can keep learning the same lessons over again if we choose to.
One of the reasons she also loves working with children is because they are innocent and naturally happy learners. They follow their joy without having to question anything, without getting lost in any stories.
Count The Butterflies
She presently volunteers teaching high school students English and the day of our interview said to them how it was her favorite time of the year because these big butterflies come out. She notes they are like little birds and you can literally hear their wings flapping.
The kids didn’t understand what was so great about these butterflies. So she showed them a picture of Chicago: no butterflies! She tried to illustrate to these kids how special these butterflies were, to remind them to be innocent.
Ongoing Projects and Parting Advice
Tonya mentions that at some point she would love to teach intuitive Tarot readings to teens online as it will be such a useful tool for them in their lives moving forward.
She is also creating a Tarot deck with her soon to be husband at the time of our interview.
In parting, Tonya advises us all to allow ourselves to look at our inner critics with acceptance in order to move from judgment to joy. She urges you to connect to your Spirit Child, be in pleasure, not in judgment or guilt.
Smile…and count the butterflies!