The other day, while hosting a playshop, someone asked me what was one of the biggest surprises I've had since opening The Collage Cafe. There have been a few...
I'm very excited to be entering into our second year... I'm busy planning and preparing. I want to continue to provide an inspiring, safe, and welcoming space for my guests to connect with themselves and each other. I am also seeking ways to connect more broadly with those of you who are not local but still part of my journey.
I am also keen to truly live the life I've imagined (Thoreau), and THRIVE. Reclaiming time for myself and nourishing my life is paramount. As I plan, these things are a top priority. I seek to create a new paradigm by which being a successful entrepreneur does NOT mean living and breathing all work all the time. I know that I am not alone in this desire and am documenting along the way in the hopes that I will be able to share with you my discoveries and guide you on your own path and journey.
As we move into the month of August and begin the last month of Summer, I urge you to step out into the sunshine, breathe in the summer air, and connect in the moment to create warm memories that will serve to soothe your soul soon enough.
As I get ready to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of opening The Collage Cafe, I feel compelled to let you in on a little secret. I don't have it all together. I don't know all the answers. AND, I'm ok with that. It's part of the fun.
So many times there is this sense that everyone knows more than we do... that they hold the magic answers. The reality is often that 'they' aren't afraid to dive in before knowing everything. That can be a scary proposition for many... especially those who like to have the details all figured out before starting something.
I'm here to tell you, though, to BEGIN. Begin anywhere. Try it. And if it's not going the way you anticipated or planned, that's ok. There are so many things I thought would go one way and have gone another. Often a better way, and sometimes, not so much.
Dare to do.
(art block by Wildwood Collectif and sold at The Collage Cafe)
I just had the extreme pleasure of spending time away at a Paint Mojo workshop in Madison WI with 17 other wonderful women. Tracy Verdugo, the artist behind Paint Mojo is one of the most generous and kind artists I've ever met. Gentle guidance and nudges in a safe and inspiring environment..... truly, it was amazing and life changing.
Things in my life seem to be woven together often, creating a beautiful tapestry of words, stories, artwork, poems, and songs. The current theme is one of detachment.
I learned this last weekend, through the layering and artwork process, that detachment is a good thing to practice, because something even more beautiful can then emerge. If we are too attached to the process or outcomes, we can get in the way.
I find that when unnerved, or going through transformations, the urge to control, or attach, is even stronger. So I am going to ask myself this question: What can I loosen my grip on? How can I practice the art of detachment?
How do YOU detach?
p.s. the work below is entitled 'Possibility Blooms'.... and I think that just about sums up the meaning of detaching....
I have spent a LOT of time thinking about my mom lately. Especially as I continue to learn and grow with The Collage Cafe. I often called her Annie Banannie. She kinda loved it.
She was a true embodiment of crafty creative. If there was something she wanted to do or learn, she simply did it. She taught herself to crochet (she even crocheted a tiny Christmas village once.... without a pattern!) She taught herself to play the piano (I still have a copy she made of her playing some of my favorite songs). She taught herself to sew... and sewed so beautifully that she actually made my sister Ruthie's wedding dress.
And she welcomed people in. Her motto was 'there is always room for one more.' She shared all that she had... whether times were fat or times were lean. She was generous. And gracious.
In my newsletter, I wrote about an idea I had for creating a meaningful gift of your memories of childhood for your mom, dad, or all those who had a hand in raising you. I think the idea was born from my desire to let my mom know just how much she really taught me. How much she really influenced me. Shaped me. I have so many interests and loves because my mom didn't recognize limitations. She believed in dreams. And desires. And making things happen.
Happy Mother's Day, Momma. I love you.
It finally happened. It is rare. I don't always handle it well. But, I DROPPED the damn ball.
You know what that's like, right? I pride myself on follow-through. On getting things done. Of making things happen.
But. I had one too many balls in the air. I didn't have a great system in place to track everything going on or all my obligations.
So, I reacted first by beating myself up a little. Shared the story with a couple friends (I chose wisely here... I didn't need anyone else beating me up or admonishing me.) And then, I. Let. It. Go.
None of this is about perfection. I am perfectly flawed and human. Truly two of my best traits.
So I write my words of gratitude. I focus on what went right instead of wrong. I look around this magical space and get excited about the possibilities. And I remember: I believe I can so I will.
(This artwork is by our friends at Wildwood Creative and available in my shop.)
So now your turn, tell me, what do you do to get through dropping a ball?
I experienced a bit of an epiphany today... I was having a casual convo with a friend and she said, 'wow... you have come so far in such a short time'... And of course, like many of you, my initial instinct was to diminish my accomplishments. Yes... yes... it's true. Even I, the woman who is able to claim 'I have a GREAT idea'.... or 'Look what I DID!' still have a hard time when my accomplishments are noticed by others. But, I recognized my instinct and instead said Thanks.... and then we talked about how it is we (both) are able to do this thing in getting lots done in seemingly short amounts of time.
I think for me it's because I don't like the beginning... this is a strong statement...this is the epiphany. Because I always imagined myself to be a 'starter'. But I prefer the middle. I like things that are established. Solid. (so I can set about changing things?) And, I like things running along and trouble-shooting when necessary. I love that when you walk into my space it doesn't feel like I just opened a few short months ago. Like I've been here for awhile and you're only just now discovering the shop.
Another part of this epiphany has to do with wondering if I hold back from beginning something because I don't like the beginning... because I want to be in the middle and am impatient. So my thought for you is to begin anywhere. But begin. Don't hold back. You've got this.
What do you like about beginnings and middles?
There are a lot of things people don't tell you when you decide to open a business. And a lot of things they DO tell you that, quite frankly are wrong or don't apply to you. The key is being able navigate through it all without freaking out (too much.)
I don't know that I've completely mastered it, but I DO know I'm far better at it now than I was once upon a time. Here are a few tips for holding onto your sanity when you're making a scary choice and going for it.
1- Don't listen to the naysayers. Even when they are those closest to you. Thank them for their input if you want to preserve the relationship, and then let it go. Don't try to defend your position with someone who doesn't get it or will never be on board with your leap.
2- When you are being bold it scares people. Try to remember that their reaction has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
3- Cut yourself some slack. As the owner you are going to be responsible for everything to begin with... undoubtedly there will be a learning curve and while you try to get it all done, things will invariably fall through the cracks. It is going to happen. It won't be the end of the world.
4. Surround yourself as much as you can with people who cheer you on and challenge you to soar even higher. We have enough of a 'oh my god what have I just done' script running through our heads. We need those who are willing to leap with us! Especially for those days when we aren't so sure...
What are YOUR tips for moving through uncertainty?
Making dreams come true is an interactive activity. I'm not sure everyone gets that. And although I often quip that I am the 'Manifesting Queen' (which I am, by the way), it takes work. Desire. Vision. And work.
A piece of the work is sometimes clearing away the clutter... the extra noise... the naysayers (even if they are only in your head)... or ESPECIALLY if.
And it is a process. A non-linear process.
Getting clear on what you truly desire and creating a vision that supports that are simple steps that get you started on your journey.
I love helping people on their journeys. Whether an impromptu drop in visioning session or something deeper like our Mandala or Welcoming Nest workshops, we can support and guide you on your way.
Here's to a phenomenal 2016 for us all!
This week marked a major milestone for The Collage Cafe. We hired our first shop employee. Kate brings a love of words (isn't that a must to work at The Collage Cafe?) as well as a deeply-held value for service and compassion. She is a creative and aspiring author... and has found her home. Please help me in welcoming Kate to The Collage Cafe collective.
We have some great things coming your way... 1- We are working out the best way to provide you with value and great information 2- We are putting the finishing touches on the Grown-Up Girls Club and will unveil it later this month 3- We will be celebrating with a GRAND OPENING event... Mark your calendars for Sept 26/27th.... Door Prizes... Refreshments... and Early-Bird sign up opportunities for a number of our playshops and workshops.
It's going to be a great rest of the year.. what a wonderful time to really kick things off!
It has been a month. since we opened (quietly) for business. Thank you for such a wonderful and warm welcome.
In that short time we have met many of our neighbors, had a fabulous private Girls NIght Out event, held a successful Indie Kindred screening with director, Jen Lee, have begun planning our fall calendar of playshops, workshop and events, AND, blocked the calendar for our Grand Opening weekend... Sept 26th. SAVE THE DATE and stop by the shop... we will have door prizes, giveaways, playshop and workshop calendar, refreshments and more.
So far some of the classes we will be offering are: All-Occasion Card editions, Hand-bound Coptic-Stitch Books, Halloween Picket Posts and more. Be sure to sign up early as seating is limited.
And.... we are almost ready to unveil the Grown-Up Girls Club details. We will be launching this one of a kind club in October.... more details coming to you soon.
What are you most excited about... what are you hoping to see?
Living a joy*filled life is a top priority. Here I will share what I learn along the way.