Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thank you, Max Simon*

I am a burgeoning entreprenuer.  Having written that, I suddenly feel like looking up both words. I will.

Burgeoning:   to begin to grow, to put forth buds, shoots; to flourish.
Entrepreneur:  a person who organizes and manages an enterprise, usually a business, often with considerable initiative and risk.

Perfect. I am an entrepreneur.  It's true.

Business was almost a dirty word to me for years.  To choose to be successful at business meant sacrificing all that mattered to me: my values, my creativity, my trust of others, my vulnerability and sensitivity.

It was obvious that to be too sensitive was a detriment to being good at business.

So I renounced everything that had to do with success in the marketplace—money included.

The cost of earning money was just too high.  I might not have been able to say it, but unconsciously I believed I had to sell my soul in order to have money.  I chose my soul.

Of course, money didn't follow.  How could it?  My beliefs were an invisible barrier.

Fast forward through the decades, outgrowing the charm of shopping at Goodwill while growing three children, two careers, a body of unpublished poetry and books, and fewer gardens as life's demands thickened, including the summons to raise a son with special needs.

Meanwhile money continued to be sparse, but always enough to feed us, keep a roof over our heads, and wheels on the road.  Nothing to complain about, especially when I thought of those I imagined deprived by my having.

Now I know (well, I know theoretically; I should say I believe) that there is enough and one person having does not deprive another.  In fact, it can work the opposite way.

Just like my inner wealth, shared consciously, can enrich my brothers and sisters, so can my outer wealth.

I am getting that to be an entrepreneur (what is being referred to as a heart-centered entrepreneur) is to engage with both currencies: inner and outer wealth.  From my politically correct, self-righteous posture of money being evil, simplistically dividing the world into the haves and have nots, I would have accused such talk as rationalizing having money at the expense of others.

How radical then to be at this threshold that is not only about changes in my perspective but in my life's direction, as well.

I am embracing that I do not have to choose between love and money, service and selfishness, creativity and business.

I am getting that business can be a vehicle of transformation, mine, that of the people I serve, and our world.  Ho, this is big news.  Big News.

What I thought was needed to be good at business is not what I have to adopt: dog-eat-dog competition; falseness; joyless self-sacrifice; mistrust; the constant fear of losing it all...and more.  Hallelujah! 

God bless my dad and others like him who did what they believed they had to for the sake of their families—and, of course, their egos.  (I, too, live in the glass house of my ego, so forget throwing stones.  I am grateful to be seeing through my ego's transparent walls to other realities.)

So to come around to what prompted this post. (Please forgive my rambling.  Though I would be foolish to say it won't happen again.)

I am a burgeoning entrepreneur with a whole huge flock of butterflies in residence in my belly.

Every time I go to take a decisive entrepreneurial action, such as sending out my first survey (my self chosen deadline for doing so more than a month ago), I become so nervous, you'd think I was jumping off out of a plane with an untested parachute.

But I am committed to putting one foot, one action in front of the other.  I am building a new enterprise one brick at a time.

I am allowing myself to be a beginner so that the sage within, the wise, life-ripened woman can have a vehicle through which to share her loving wisdom.

There I said it.  I am creating a business that is a vessel in which to carry love, beauty, respect, inspiration and more into the world.  That's not a bad thing; it's a gift.  I come bearing gifts.

And the part about being paid for the gifts?  I am opening to that.  What if money is a form of energy?  No rationalization there either.  What if I no longer shun money, but instead I open—as if money were love coming to meet me as I approach with love?  Love meet love.

I am a burgeoning entrepreneur putting forth buds.  One day I will open fully, my particular fragrance emanating as naturally as the fragrance of the brilliant hot pink peonies in full glorious bloom today.

*It was a coaching session with Max Simon that challenged me to take imperfect action, which includes writing imperfect posts. More about Max (, imperfect action, and my budding entrepreneurial journey in upcoming posts.  I will be posting here until my new website, blog included, goes live. Soon.  Stay tuned.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Me a “writer,” who after releasing words to “the public,” often has writer’s remorse. The more vulnerable the sharing, the more transparent, the greater the “What have I done?!” feelings that are likely to arise. Will this always be?

I recognize the roots of this in my childhood when I was shamed and ridiculed in school for being me, so different from the rest: the non-native English speaker of immigrant parents. The Yiddish words for things were always hovering over the English ones and often when I most needed a word, it wasn’t there in either language.

Then there were the feelings—especially the impermissible ones like anger at the teacher and my parents—that were swallowed before they could be clothed, let alone expressed, in words.

Now, I write about feelings a lot, if not predominantly. There is no obviously menacing outer authority dominating my life. But there is an inner patrol threatening me with shame for speaking up, especially in a self-revealing manner. The guards at the gate of my throat want to slurp the words back that have been carelessly released, i.e., let go as if without a care.

I have so many words lining up all the time ready to march or dance or stumble into the world. No gatekeepers manage to restrain them. But, once the words (vessels carrying my thoughts and feelings) have made their public appearance, the fear-inflated inner authorities indict the fool I have made of myself.

A nobody special blog tucked away, with zero search engine optimization and few visitors adventuring here from cyberspace, makes speaking freely like I am this moment less consequential. Hence, more fun. I still may encounter criticism (my own) of what I am writing. But in this venue (potentially public but rarely so), the inner patrol is less likely to overpower the release of my take into the world. In relative obscurity, there is a sweet spaciousness and relaxing of the guard.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Exquisite Solitude

Three nights back, I drove a half hour to an unfamiliar destination to attend a religious service. I had gotten dressed quickly, acting spontaneously on the urge to be in community rather than pray on my own.

I got lost—despite my printed, map-quest download and two locals giving me directions, which proved wrong. (When I said synagogue, they looked like they had never heard the word.) Using the street name did not help that much either.  I found the right street finally and then what appeared to be the building housing the congregants, whose cars lined all the surrounding streets.  I hunted a space to park.

Then another urge took me: the urge to keep on driving.

I told myself as I drove back the way I had come that I had chosen not to remain because of my diminishing night vision:  if it was that challenging to see in the dark at six-thirty, how would it be in two more hours?  But I knew this was not all that pulled me.

I had come that close to being social—and the moment passed.

When I got home—even before entering my sweet abode, just turning off the motor in my gravel driveway—I experienced the simple pleasure of hearing the night creatures so delightfully audible in the quiet, serene location of my farmhouse. I lingered outside awhile staring up at the moon, drinking in the deliciousness of the air, savoring the crisp, unique clarity of autumn.

I was so happy to be home.

Go figure... It’s not like I am away from here that much.  I work at home. I rarely participate in recreational and other local events, or travel, largely because of my necessarily frugal lifestyle at this time. (Although frugality is not the only reason, just like darkness was not the only reason to not park my car and join the congregation).

Why, I wondered, was I so contented to turn the key and step across the threshold?  I already knew, but it continually surprises me how true it is...

My modest farmhouse has become a sanctuary.

When I started this post, I was actually prompted by a single thought that arose the night of my escapade to the synagogue:  There are those who sip fine wines, tasting subtleties. I savor exquisite solitude. 

I relish solitude's varied fragrances, the bouquets, the aftertaste—and every aspect that comprises a unique night’s solitude. I sip, lick my lips, feel humbly grateful.

As the days and years unroll themselves, more and more I choose to live them in solitude. This surprises me and doesn’t. Occasionally, I wonder if I should question my preference.

Tonight I am on my screened porch. It is one of the last nights that it will be comfortable and not too cold to hang out on the oversized sofa that never made it through the narrow farmhouse door, and has become my summer bed.

The crickets are a considerably thinner blanket of sound than they have been throughout the lush summer. Several nights recently with the temperature dipping toward the 30’s there were no creature sounds. The call and response tonight is noticeably less populated or—what would be the right word: cricket-elated? Each night this summer, except those nights when heavy rains were louder, I have fallen asleep wrapped in boundless delight, absorbed in the crickets' chorus.

Connoisseurs of elegant wines savor each sip as it touches the palate, (I imagine, knowing nothing really about wine). I am, however, a connoisseur of exquisite solitude.  I am sipping tonight.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address

Thank you, Steve Jobs.  You walked the talk.

Friday, September 30, 2011

To Be or Not To Be

I have come to treasure and "aspire to" contentment more recently. Excitement and highs are actually becoming less desirable than deep contentment. To be content is to be present; they are one.

Contentment I discover again and again is not something to attain in the future when all the conditions are right or as I want them. Contentment is to be found,to be known now and here. There is a gentle focussed effort (of letting go or accepting) required some of the times. At other times, I fall into a state of contentment despite my ducks not being at all in a row, but rather out splashing around in assorted puddles, lakes and even turbulent seas.

It is actually happening more and more that I am feeling contented as is--contentment becoming its own peak experience.

Tonight, after thunder pounding the roof actually made me jump, heavy rains fall now. I sit typing this post on an oversized sofa that would not fit in through the door of his farmhouse and got stranded on a narrow screened front porch. The windows are open and the rains loud enough to have overpowered the cricket chorus. This is its own heaven. Complete. Nothing missing if I remain here in this moment, in this night, rather than in tomorrow.

Contentment thrives when I allow and embrace not knowing, not needing to know the outcomes of matters weighted with "significance.". Just Here. Just Now. On the front porch. Sweet rain. Fresh air. Unobstructed breathing. Legs that bend and bear my weight easily and gracefully. No regrets.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It is a marvelous paradox—integral to this blog—that none of us is special and each of us is special.  I find this truth at once inspiring and humbling.

Special: of a distinct or particular kind or character; having a specific function or purpose; unique.

I submitted two book proposals this past weekend as nobody special and someone utterly special with distinct, valuable and unique contributions to make.  These proposals were offered in conjunction with The Transformational Author Contest sponsored by Christine Kloser, with the support of Marc Allen of New World publishers (Eckhart Tolle's publisher) and Sandy Powell of Balboa Press, a division of HayHouse.

It was profoundly fulfilling to have honored me and my writing in this way. It is also a deeply self-honoring posture to surrender the outcome to the process.  When the demon of doubt and what Max Simon recently referred to as "comparison despair," reared their many heads, I was able to choose to keep my focus on the intended gifts.  To seek and speak the deepest truth in relation to the subjects at hand with eloquence and respectful awareness of my readers is a gift to my readers—and to me.   Nobody special speaking to other nobodies; a soul divinely created down to the last detail addressing other remarkable creations.  It's all going on at once.  And as I "do" it, it is doing me.

I love the paradox, despite the days I stumble through caught on one paradox' horns or another.

From my heart to yours,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Latest Lesson in Entrepreneurship

It was the little one, maybe four years old— jumping up and down waving a piece of green construction—who caught my eye first.  I was driving home from a shady path next to a brook where I'd taken my beat-the heat walk, knowing it is expected to top 90 degrees today.

Slowing down, I glanced in the direction of where the enthusiastic girl pointed: a table on which sat a large blue pitcher and behind which sat her older sister—selling lemonade.  I pulled over then walked towards their table in the shade, a fair distance back from the road—not where a marketing expert might have suggested they place it for the most traffic. 

"How did you know this was just what I needed?" I thanked, exchanging my quarter for a cup of outdoor temperature lemonade.  I sipped it there for a few moments, delighted to be in their energy field. 

"Look a truck!" a little boy, also holding a green paper, shouted excitedly.
"A truck!  A truck!" his little sister repeated jumping up and down, waving her sign.

I was so moved by their sense of possibility.  Every vehicle coming down our relatively unbusy road represented the possibility of someone wanting lemonade and stopping.  I remained long enough to watch the truck drive by.  Instead of lamenting—I didn't even hear a sigh—the young crew turned its attention to "A blue car!  See that blue car!"  

All I could feel coming from these four children was the pure unconditional joy of being there—not diminished by sales being slow, by trucks and blue (or whatever color) cars passing them by

I suspect their mama has nurtured and protected their hope—her children's Yes.  Even very young children can become intimate with deep disappointment and start to cap their joy and unconditional faith in life. I did not sense that shadow over this bunch.

I drove away with just a bit of lemonade left in my blue plastic cup, but filled with the joy of possibility, for which I was thirstier than I realized.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Long time friendships with deep roots in the heart are treasure. Tonight, hours sitting on the porch talking deep and wide with a friend of 25 years (in this lifetime and probably many more years over many lifetimes). We have journeyed through many seasons, parted ways, reunited, parted--winding, braided paths. Now we land again in Love, recognizing again, with more veils lifted, a companion soul.