Quest 2016 continues with a prompt by author, educator, brand strategist and graphic designer Debbie Millman. You’ll find podcasts of interviews with an amazing array of graphic designers, and you’ll also see Millman’s inspiring tagline:
“And remember, we can talk about making a difference, we can make a difference, or we can do both”—Debbie Millman
Today, Debbie asked questers,
How would you do business as unusual in 2016 if you knew—no matter what you chose—you would not fail?
Two phrases jumped out at me: “business as unusual” and promise of “no failure.”
I am answering this question from the domestic monastery where I daily tend three children, a marriage, and the multiple ways I earn a little money on the side as a poet by teaching a little in person, teaching a little online, and investing time blogging on a number of websites.
When I think of “business as usual,” I get this sinking feeling in my gut that while I’m dutifully raising the kids, I’m failing miserably at providing financially for my family. A friend of mine, when I call her in distress, kindly reminds me of the metaphor of the family as a mobile. Whenever one of us moves, the rest jiggle around in response. I do have to choose carefully which actions to take and where to invest my energies.
Debbie’s prompt, with her freeing notion of imagining into choosing a way to do “business as unusual” helped me admit there are three directions my heart gets pulled in all the time:
Raising the Family
Practicing my own Art and Poetry
Earning a Living
What if I could factor in all three, and earn a living successfully, without detriment to family, poetry, finances? Imagine!
Using the Tarot to deepen my inquiry, I decided to use this layout today:
1) Key to approaching the development of my teaching/consulting business and business artistry with the same fearless joy I pour into my creativity
2) Key to Honoring the time and energy I use to be a Mother
3) Key to Honoring the time I use to grow as a Poet
Knight of Disks as Key to Developing Business Artistry with Fearless Joy
So this stalwart Knight has his helmet off so the sun can fall across his face; he’s riding forward with his gift, pentacle in hand. This card is both telling me to take a moment to look out on the horizon towards my goals, enjoy the sunrise and sunset of much work completed already as evidenced by the fields of grain, and yet not to pause for too long. It is likely time to ride forward and offer the gift as it is. To that end, I’ll make a list of tangible next steps to take with my Writing and Tarot Consulting Business, which includes webwork, podcasts, scheduling clients, and stretching to connect locally and globally with others.
Lovers Arcanum as Key to Honoring Motherhood
The Lovers Arcanum falling for honoring what it takes to mother stumped me for a bit. But I kept my pencil moving across the page (as the steady practice of journaling has taught me to do) and I realized that to sustain and survive motherhood, we have to call upon a myriad forms of love, in fact—every form of love we’ve ever known and some we make up on the spot. Anyone raising teenagers can attest to this.
In both Rider Waite and Thoth deck versions of the Lovers there’s an angel, a third blessing presence presiding over the lovers (or, today, right now, I’m thinking of them as young innocent “parents to be”). I pledge again, then to call on the support available to me as I parent: the love of my husband, the love of that third presence, and the love of my community which includes other mothers, other writers, artists, and of course, my fellow questers.
Ace of Wands as Key to Honoring Poetry Process
The Ace of Wands as Key to honoring the time I devote to poetry and art is a beautiful and pure reminder that I am fed by the energizing regular practice of repeatedly facing the blank page (the unknown) to create the day’s work, either in color or in black and white, words and images.
I’ve posted my in-process drawing, meant to be a synthesis of the three cards I pulled today; I think she is a version of the No Failure Angel. What would your No Failure Angel look like?
More about Debbie Millman, author of today’s prompt for Tracking Wonder:
Named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie is an author, educator, and brand strategist. As the founder and host of Design Matters, the first and longest running podcast about design, Debbie has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, Seth Godin and more. Debbie is the author of six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the ethos and editorial vision of Design Matters to the printed page: How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer (Allworth Press 2007) and Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits (Allworth Press 2011).
An October post at Tarot for Two (Mary responds to the Ace of Wands and Wheel of Fortune, and I respond to the Knight of Disks
A sampling of posts by Questers responding to today’s prompt by Debbie Millman:
No Failure by Lauren McLean Iuppa Ayer
Lay down, lay down, lay it all down-let your white birds smile at the ones who frown by Sally Gentle Drew
There’s Only Make by Vanessa J. Herald
Strange Love: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dragon by Brenna Layne
Bring On the Swans! No More Ducks by Tomar Levine
No Failure by Tina Pocha
Quest2016 Penetrating Deeper by Philippa Rees