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Successful Sunday, February 4th, 2024

9 tarot cards illustrated by Kimishka Naidoo.  Top Row:  Five of baskets, a man grieving a broken carton of eggs, The Devil, a hooded skeletal stag with antlers at the crossroads, Eight of Baskets, a woman walking away from 8 containers into a wheat field.  Middle row:  Justice, a silver card showing a scale with the community trying to keep the balance, 5 of knives, two people fighting a duel in front of a figure seated on a throne and bystanders, 8 of coins, a person sitting on a stool creating things by candlelight, Mother of Coins, a woman beekeeper transporting a honeycomb.  Bottom row:  5 of wands, a family of four fighting over ice cream, 7 of baskets 3 shelves of baskets containing choices

Hello, Subscribers. My weekly writings will help you prepare for the week and set yourself up for success. I glean insights from various intuitive tools and can help you do the same. Let’s get set up for success. Start your adventure.

Let’s start with an accountability check-in. Last week, I planned and executed my Ask Me Almost Anything sessions. They are going strong. I will have completed another one day by the time this edition posts. I also said No to things I am not jazzed about, freeing up some time. The sleep front has been a challenge, but I have consistently meditated daily.

Conflict is a part of life. Merriam-Webster defines it as: “1: FIGHT, BATTLE, WAR. 2a: competitive or opposing action of incompatibles: antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons) 2b: mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands 3: the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction.” All definitions are happening concurrently. Let’s explore how better to manage conflict in the week ahead. This week’s featured deck is Black Tarot: An Ancestral Awakening Deck and Guidebook by Nyasha Williams, illustrated by Kimishka Naidoo.

When faced with conflict, it's essential to check in with ourselves and make sure we're okay. Our first card is the Five of Baskets, which depicts a Black man wearing a dark jacket and beige pants looking down at cracked eggs. Four other cartons are neatly stacked, but he is focused on the broken ones. Frequently, we enter into a discussion feeling defeated. We focus on everything going wrong and fail to acknowledge our successes. Are you entering conflict resolution with a defeatist attitude? This will probably result in the blame game.

What about your colleague or the other person involved? I am laughing because I pulled The Devil card. We often demonize our opponents. This card portrays a hooded figure with a skeletal stag head with antlers and a large spinning compass pendant. Behind them is a glowing signpost pointing in many directions, listing the seven deadly sins, and giant flowers are in the background. Are we seeing our colleagues as they are or viewing them through our biased lens? Are we addicted to arguing, or are we working in good faith?

Conflict happens because of opposing needs. What are my concerns and their concerns? The next card is the Eight of Baskets, depicting a Black woman with near waist-length braids, a white shirt, and dark pants walking away from eight closed containers. There are fields in the distance. In my situation, I often want to withdraw into my own little world and avoid conflict. I want to find other options with less stress. Their concerns may be about achieving balance. The Justice card shows a scale made from the hilt of a sword. There are two containers of water, and the one on the left appears to be supported by many brown figures. In the background are lilies, and the moon's phases are superimposed. The other people want to be given a fair shake. Have you considered other people’s concerns during the conflict?

What is my ideal situation, and what is theirs? The Five of Knives has two figures in a duel in front of a person seated on a throne and bystanders. The one on the left is wearing a black shirt and white pants, and the one on the right is the reverse, giving them a yin-yang appearance. There is also a sword hanging horizontally above the throne, pointing left. My ideal situation is to win everything—cue diabolical laughter. The Eight of Coins shows a Black figure with long braids sitting on a stool, dressed in a white tank top and mustard yellow pants. They are working by candlelight, making what appears to be shell jewelry. Perhaps my colleagues want to do well and see my requests as interruptions. This can also be seen as a conflict between people who do mental work versus people who physically labor. Winning at all costs is not a great way to resolve the situation equitably. Where can we find some common ground? Do you want the other person to succeed? We may disagree on the methodology, but there are overlaps between the two goals.

The next card is the Mother of Coins. A Black Woman wearing cowrie shells on the ends of her hair is wearing a beekeeper suit, carrying a honeycomb with bees, and walking under the trees. We both want to enjoy the sweet victory and be rewarded for our labor. Beekeepers have wisdom and knowledge about collecting honey without getting stung by the bees. What resources and insights do both sides have to share? There is a boundary between the beekeeper and the bees. Bee society is also very structured. Common ground may look like identifying a correct division of work. Perhaps the other person is afraid to change because they are unprepared. How can you help the others involved to join you in a shared vision? Are you being an effective communicator?

What is the way forward? The Five of Wands depicts a family of four trying to enjoy some ice cream, but everyone is fighting over the cones. Plenty of ice cream cones are prepped and ready to eat, and more ice cream for seconds. This card is the personification of conflict. How do we get others to recognize we can all win? There is enough for everyone to prosper and enjoy a sweet treat. I can offer to share and model how to co-create win-win situations. Though it sometimes feels like that, there is no need to fight like crabs in a barrel. Change begins with creating a shared reason to do things differently. I will perpetuate the conflict if I continue to try and win at all costs. Where can you compromise to move the needle? The final card is the Seven of Baskets, which shows many baskets from which to choose. Maybe because I am hungry, I’ll go with a food analogy. There are many ways to prepare a meal. You can choose from a variety of ingredients and techniques. So it is with managing conflict. You can take different approaches and also need to recognize that people will not think or act the same as you. There are trade-offs for each choice. This week, take the time to pause and think about the big picture. When navigating conflict, are you considering all sides and the grand vision or only your goals? We do not exist in a vacuum. Consider what happens upstream and downstream from all the stakeholders involved. Namaste