Quest 2016 continues with the following prompt by Jonathan Fields:
You wake up to discover a knock at your door. A wealthy uncle you barely knew has passed and left you a fortune. It’s more than enough to live out your days in glorious splendor, but there is a condition. To be eligible to collect, you must commit your full-time working energies to the pursuit of an answer to a single question of your choosing for the next 12 months.
You are welcome to continue that pursuit after the year ends, for years or decades if it warrants, but you must remain fully focused on seeking the answer until the last minute of the 365th day. A minute shorter, the entire inheritance goes to your annoying and equally long lost cousin, Philly.
What is your question?
The Child Self
Oh, this prompt ignited some ferocious joy! Could it be that imagining a life in which one’s monetary needs are met makes us feel fearlessly and exuberantly alive, all senses firing at the threshold, like a child?
As a writer, artist, spiritual seeker, and survivor, I want the poetry and art I create ultimately to “do good,” to offer up some light. Last year on Quest, thinking about shadow selves, I wrote about a girl “standing in the shadows with coins falling out of her hair.” (You can read the rest of Shadow Bags, Joan Swift’s Dark Path of Our names, and Mentor Dolls here.)
Slowly emerging from under the spell of my own dark fairytale, the noir fairytale I embraced and wrote about in part in November Butterfly, I’ve been taking my cue from other questers (especially fellow questers Ginny at Women of Wonder and Loraine at The Sacred Healing Well) since last year to bless and let go of the comfortable (as in familiar) but anesthetizing story of my past in order to step more fully into the now.
Jonathan’s prompt went directly to the heart of that girl standing in the shadows with coins in her hair. My question would be:
How do I recover my Child Self, grow her into wholeness (spiritual, financial, emotional, physical), and bring her out to play in a way that helps others remember their own Child Selves in such a way that they too come out to play?
Today’s Tarot Visioning Layout
Next I chose three cards to help me see more deeply into my relationship to the question, and drew another synthesis image in colored pencil, which I share here as it is in process:
1) Child Self Today 2) Key to Bringing Her Out in the World 3) Key to Connecting with Others.
What a sweet and gentle card to fall here. We see two children, one offering the other a cup of flowers. I drew six cups on my page, and wrote a word in each. Things that bring me joy: art, music, flowers, poetry, friends, family. What would you write in each of your six cups? These cups in fact exist already under my roof. Joining Quest 2016 is one direct manifestation of nurturing that child self as well as helping that self grow and learn not just about spiritual dividends, but financial dividends.
Key to Bringing Child Self Into the World: Four Wands of Stability, Completion
Depending on how you read this card, a Key to bringing this Child Self into the world has to do with celebrating the family structures in place. Or accepting that a cycle has come to completion, fire spokes forming a wheel blessed by doves. I am thinking of the sense of peace I am experiencing as I look back on my own childhood with its various physical poverties and see that it was simultaneously a childhood never poor in love, spirit, art, or music.
If this card shows a progression from the image of the pair of children in the Six of Cups to the happy couple in the Four of Wands, I am reminded of the way I met my husband first when we were children, both of us commiserating over the divorces we witnessed our parents undertaking, joking that we’d forego marriage. Only to marry years later, growing from simple friends as children into a couple creating a home for our own children. This card may also be suggesting that tending to details like financial stability matter if I want to create without worry. I could also name the four wands to build a balanced base: will to create, will to provide, will to care for self, and will to care for others.
Key to Connecting that Child Self to the Child Self in Others: Poetry, Crowning Sword of Clarity
And finally, the Ace of Swords fell for a Key to connecting to the child selves of others. I took this card as an affirmation of the modes of mental improvisation I continue to hone when working with others: intuition, night-time dream divining, writing of poetry and teaching. The Ace of Swords issues an invitation to allow the avenues of clarity to take multiple form. The other half of communicating is passively listening with compassion.
In conclusion, I can take all three cards with me to push into the final section of my second book, the commune poetry manuscript. With the Ace of Swords in hand, I can keep writing the poems and trust that the child’s point of view matters–how she perceived the family structure and commune structure matters. All the while, the luxurious cups of art, music, friends, family and poetry surround this project.
If I had more time today, I would pull four more cards, one each as keys to helping the child self grow spiritually, financially, emotionally, and physically.
More about Jonathan Fields, author of today’s prompt for Tracking Wonder:
Jonathan Fields is a New York City dad, husband and lawyer turned award-winning author, media producer, and entrepreneur. His last book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance (Portfolio 2011) was named the top personal development book in 2011 by 800-CEO-READ.
Jonathan’s current focus, Good Life Project, is a global movement that inspires, educates, connects, and supports mission-driven individuals in the quest to live better, more engaged, connected, and aligned lives.
Questers will be conversing on Twitter using the hashtag #Quest2016; join our conversation or come out and play by joining us here at Quest 2016 Tracking Wonder.
A sampling of posts by Questers responding to today’s prompt by Jonathan Fields:
What Are We Questing For? by Lauren Mclean Iuppa Ayer
Authentic Help and The Serenity Prayer by Alicia Anderson
If it is a question of money: Quest Day 2 with Jonathan Fields by Suzi Banks Baum on Why Wait?
I don’t think you’re unworthy, I need a moment to deliberate… by Sally Gentle Drew
Quest2016: What Am I Willing to Give Up? by Kimberly D. Houston
What’s Knocking by Millie Jackson on Story, Spirit and Health
I Almost Took the Bait by Lora Jansen
Not For Sale by Brenna Layne
Finding the Quest2016(ion)? by Phillipa Rees on Shakespeare
No Failure by Stan Stewart ***Music! Enjoy!!!
What’s Knocking by Ginny at Women of Wonder
What’s Knocking by Nancy L. Westaway