Metaphysics: What Does it Mean to Be?
When Frances Verbeek was nineteen, she enrolled in a metaphysics retreat on a whim. Her brother attended the same retreat a little while before her and came back a changed man. This retreat held a promise of metamorphosis that excited Fran. Fresh out of school and without a clear career path, Fran sought wisdom anywhere she could find it.
The retreat opened her up to a whole new world. Now, she could put words to feelings that were previously weighing her down. She saw the world in a new light and felt better because of it.
It didn’t immediately occur to her that she could turn her enlightenment into a business. Still, Fran wanted to honor the experience in some way. She decided to create a deck of cards that could help her remember what she learned. Using her skills as a graphic designer, Fran compiled the most helpful pieces of wisdom that she learned from the retreat and turned them into portable reminders of her inner strength.
Game of Perspective
Fran’s cardmaking project follows a long tradition of cartomancy. Cartomancy uses playing cards to determine our place in the world. People have used playing cards to divine meaning from the universe as long as they’ve been around. While Europeans became familiar with them around the 14th century, historians can trace their origins back to the 9th century. Traditionally, you use divination cards by asking a question, shuffling the deck, and picking out the one that speaks to you. The idea is that the card you pick will guide you towards your answer. Put another way, the cards are an exercise in intuition.
Called to Serve
Fran’s cards were a part-time hobby for the next nine years. As time went on, though, she found herself more and more drawn to the lessons she learned on her metaphysics retreat. She read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, a book based on the premise that “anything can be healed.” Louise’s work breathed new life into Fran’s metaphysical journey. Then, after seeing many of her friends and family struggle with serious mental health issues, Fran decided to do what she could to provide simple, straightforward resources to improve overall wellbeing.
Ego & Higher Self
Fran developed her business, the Happi Empire, to help people be more mindful. She believes that we all possess an “inner happiness” that we can tap into to become happier. The “i” in Happi represents that inner happiness is central to Fran’s philosophy.
Much of her work involves New Age concepts like the ego and the higher self. In this context, the word “ego” denotes any thought that leads us to feel separate from other living beings. Fran believes that the ego is the source of all suffering. On the other hand, the “higher self” is one's real self—That is, the person you are when you're at your most mindful. These concepts might seem lofty, but Fran provides practical tools to help ground you in a tangible practice. She offers products like cards, journals, and online courses to help you align with your higher self and tap into your inner happiness.
Fran’s own mindfulness practice includes yoga, meditation, journaling, and cartomancy. She’s also a fan of drinking celery juice. She celebrates by sharing her joy with her husband, buying dresses, and eating food she loves. Sometimes, she even holds mini dance parties.
Learn how to be happy and get to know Fran
Fran Verbeek is a graphic designer, illustrator, and website designer based in Cornwall, a coastal county on England's southwestern tip. Nine years after attending a life-changing spiritual course, Fran decided to make happiness her full-time job. She began the Happi Empire, a venture that provides products with the hopes of helping people access their inner power. Check out all of Fran’s products here, view her courses here, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.