Trying to find a shadier side of life right now…Read More
It has been almost a year since I had my last post on here. Ironically, it was about why we have interruptions in writing.
It has been quite a year for sure. Since last August when we opened our first "store" and started to move forward with our vision of the Upward Spiral Center, we've manifested our own space in our home neighborhood of Seminole Heights. We've been building this vision throughout the summer and our now ready for a full Fall season.
I've been inspired by Seth's Blog post from today on SUSDAT - Show Up, Sit Down, and Type. For someone who teaching the virtue of "just sitting down to write" I could use more of this discipline in my life.
So let's see if the next year will show more time spent "just writing" on my side and we can see where it gets us. Or I can see where it gets me. Because let's be real, I'm not writing for you (no offense), I'm writing for me.
There was a quote that I had on my wall for a long time:
Something in the process of becoming both is and is not.
I got this from the book Sophie's World and it's an idea that's followed me around for a long time because, well, it's ever present. Though we tend to think of the world as something seemingly unchanging, its is changing all the time. All the time.
Even from the time I started writing this post my life has shifted in so many ways.
We've opened the store at the new "center," which turns out to be a reinvention of the place we were the whole time we were planning the Upstairs Dream Center. It is funny now that I think of it. The symbolism of planning this thing upstairs that never ended up happening. "Upstairs" representing the realm of thoughts and ideas. Thoughts and ideas are so plentiful that most of them will remain thoughts and ideas. This contrasts with the realm of reality; not imaginings but what is really here. That's more the realm of the ground, earth, first floor. We decided to "bloom where we are planted" and it seems growing will be effortless.
We had our grand opening for the store last weekend. A few days beforehand I came to the realization that everything wasn't going to get done; meaning, everything I had planned to do (with my thoughts and ideas!) wouldn't all be done.
And you know what? It was totally okay. In fact, it was still a great success.
I once thought that at a certain point my business (or any other aspect of my life for that matter) would finally be all neat, organized and tied up in a nice little bow. Nope. Life is messy.
It is not good or bad it is just a part of this whole process of becoming. Seeing it as that, I just marvel at the unfolding.
I am truly blessed to be on this journey.
In the 5+ years that I've been in business for myself, graphic design as always been a place of struggle. It's a creative art that is necessary for building my business, but doing it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and effective is incredibly difficult. It's difficult even if you have someone else doing the actually design for you. But this comes with its own challenges.
The past few years I've gotten away with designing most of my flyers myself with a mixture of Word, Powerpoint, and iPhoto. I turned to other designers on occasion and knew that quality-wise, I was getting a much better product from them.
The thing is, its difficult to find good, consistent, dependable, available and affordable designers. Perhaps I am asking for too much. The designers I've worked with in the past have been great and all of them have taught me a lot. But they didn't always get my aesthetic or brand image, or get back with me on time, or be available when I need them.
After great debate, I've decided to see if I have what it takes to at least minimally to what they do. What do all my designer friends have that I don't?
Some might think that I need to be delegating my work, not creating more. And yes, I do believe that is true to. However. I think it will also benefit me in the long run to know the basics of these programs so I can at least make the small changes I want when I have someone else working for me again.
Plus, its just been super empowering. I think that's why I take on so many new projects, there is such a thrill in seeing how you actually CAN do something that you once thought you couldn't.
Here's what able to do for our grand opening:
If the last year and half of my life was a movie, this would be a significant and climactic plot twist.
I've begun to realize over the past few weeks that the healing center I've been envisioning happening doesn't have to be in the location in which I was envisioning it. Once I saw the location, I fell in love with it and got tunnel vision. It's an ideal location, the best neighbors I could ask for, super unique layout, room for expansion...sounds great, right? Yeah, it's super great.
So much potential.
But at what cost? At first, after I realized that it would take a decent sum of money to get the place up and running (my probably still too low estimate was $50,000), I continued to move forward because I know that I can create, if I work hard enough, the money it would take to make this place happen. It was too perfect to walk away from.
I can see now how I have been working really hard to create a life that can't sustain me, would have me stretched more thin than ever before, and though it would be a labor of love, it still might kill me.
It was starting to look like the life that I DON'T want to create.
For over the past year I've chipped away at what it will take to make this place happen, got a great team together and created a lot of momentum around this idea of "Finding our Center." But I see now that the Upward Spiral Center isn't any particular place, it's within us, within you, within me, which means that the Center will be where ever we are.
So I'm relieved, and a little embarrassed, to realize that everything that I really need to expand my business to next level is exactly where I am at already.
On August 1st, 2014, we will open the Upward Spiral Store in the front room in our current location. Please join us! for the opening weekend.
I've thought a lot about the brand of my business, Upward Spiral, and recently about my mom's business, Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy. But I've also wanted to work on my personal brand, what I'm creating here.
The reason I'm sharing this is because I want to be transparent in my journey to create successful businesses, one's that embody the things I truly believe in (positive change, transformation, learning to be who we really are, to name a few...). Since I have many projects, it makes since to also cultivate a personal brand.
And as always, there's a lot of fear and resistance to putting myself out there.
So I figured, I'd start by sharing that struggle. Hopefully, I'm moving swiftly beyond that but we will see as time unfolds.
If you are also working to put yourself out there and are finding it challenging, know that you are not alone.
Its always easy to begin something; its quite another to finish it.
I find that the space around me has a large effect on my productivity. So I've been doing some rearranging at the house. I'm just about ready to do some rearranging online as well.
I've been working hard on a new website to debut my new business venture, The Upward Spiral Center. Its building on the work I've already created with Upward Spiral Therapy, but I'm ready to grow and become all that I dreamed.
So that means really committing to an online presence. I tend to shy way from such things due to anxiety over my own persona and fear that it will all feed my ego. But I also believe I can approach it in a way that helps me learn about and from my ego.
Here we go!
Back in August, I started the second annual
. The idea is to post something that you are grateful for everyday. Last year, I did this to both create meaningful daily content on my
(the key to social media success, so I hear) and to force myself to work through my aversion to social media. It worked really well! I got more fans, even had a few people join in with me, and surprised myself on how fulfilling posting things online can be.
This year has been different
. I started this project with the intention to start to create a community around my ultimate dream of creating the Upward Spiral Center for Healing and Transformation. Earlier this year, this dream started to look like a reality and I have been working hard to make it happen.
But that's a lot to juggle. The creation of the center has brought some core issues of mine up to the surface and that's caused some breakdowns and needs to withdrawal. For the past month or so, I've taken a step back from major work on creating the center, because I realized"
If I'm going to create the Center, I need to first find my own.
There is this saying in Chinese Medicine that
"one can not inspire a virtue in someone else unless they first possess it themselves."
Since I came across this thought in my Daoism and Chinense Medicine class back in 2009, it has infused much of my thoughts about work and therapy.
One basic issue for me (and I know for a lot of my clients) is essentially that
I'm not enough
And the silent belief that follows is that
no one will love me
To create the center is to affirm the opposite:
I am working to create a space for all of US to explore what our healing journeys can become
. To do this, I will need lots of love and support from my community. It can not happen with out it.
In addition to really slacking on my own gratitude posting during this year's project, I publicly admitted the other day that I miscalculated 101 Days. The intention is to lead up to Thanksgiving, but I started a week early. So its 108 days instead. Thankfully, its a symbolic number!
I've still felt alot of 'gratitude guilt' (which essentially traces back to "I'm not good enough") about neglecting my gratitude and miscalculating.
I was overjoyed at the responses I got after posting about 108 Days. You can see some on our
I had a guy write me a personal message and say:
no embarrassment needed ... I just kept thinking how is my counting wrong !?! lol its an awesome idea and has brought joy to even more people than you'll ever know ... it's fabulous and I wouldn't change a thing"
I also had a friend of mine tag me in a post:
"I am grateful for
, a great friend, and someone who has the imagination, thoughtfulness, and work ethic to do something good for her community. Or better yet, to get us to do something good for ourselves!"
How can I not feel loved and enough reading things like this? I am bookmarking this page for the next time I feel bad : )
I don't know if I can really say "ENOUGH!" to "not enough," but I'm sure gonna try. This is what I hope to inspire in others eventually at the
, but for now I'm going to continue to work on me and inspire the community I already have.
Thanks ya'll, for all your love.