The rejection was written in less than 144 characters:
Not Interested (STOP).
Like a tweet or a modern-day telegram.
I stare at the words, my mind spooling backward to earlier in the day: Asheville crowded with summer tourists, a confused woman in a blue Camry in the wrong lane. I opened a gap in the relentless traffic on Merrimon Avenue and let her through. She plowed forward, oblivious to everything but her own panicked disorientation. Where’s my wave? I thought.
I wave at the hopeful part of me, the part that really wanted this, and give myself an hour for sad and disconsolate.
Not Interested (STOP).
‘Cause if I know anything, it’s this: wallowing in the dirty water of your failure only gets you a bladder infection. It’s a good way to waste a life.
I could break your heart (and you could break mine) with stories of our rejections, our failures, our almost-rans and not-quite-good-enoughs.
But hear me on this:
Let it ignite your desire.
And then you do what desire dictates: you move toward this thing you love. This thing that drives you. You find a back door, an open window, a never-before-used path.
You re-find your self-faith by putting one foot in front of the other and recreating your world.
Twelve hours later I have 3 new proposals sent.
This is success.
Tell me about a triumph. Tell me about a time (past, or present, or future) when failure fueled you forward. Comments are below!
I’ve been coming back to this all day:
It is a sea of earbuds, bodies moving to their own beat. – Noah Hawley, in his book Before the Fall
It’s a simple sentence in the middle of a paragraph capturing the street-vibe of a Manhattan work-day.
But I keep thinking maybe this sentence has captured what’s gone off in our culture: we no longer hear the same rhythm, the same heart beat. The bass throbbing in our veins is different for each of us.
When I turn to the moon, I’m looking for the rhythm that unites us. The push and pull we all feel on some subtle, subterranean level of the psyche. The rise and fall of the water table, the breath of the planet.
What if our unity is the rhythm and our singularity the dance?
What if all we have to do is take out our earbuds?
Even as I’ve been thinking this, a splinter of my mind is marveling at what I get to think about. I don’t have to worry about where my dinner comes from, or if there’s a roof over my head. The air-conditioning is cooling the 90 plus degree day and my water is clean and slightly tart with fresh lime sliced in fat wedges.
My very thoughts are a privilege, a 1%, a clear indication that I’ve scaled the base levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.
Sometimes when I see memes on social media with messages like “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined” (that’s Thoreau) or “You always pass failure on your way to success” (Mickey Rooney), I think: what would I make of that if I’d been perpetually hungry or didn’t have clean water or worried that a rebel militia would raid my village before dawn?
Only an accident of birth lets my imagination roam far beyond the next meal.
But how can I help in any meaningful way? How can we as a community (earbuds out, listening to the same rhythm) throw a line to those who are still grappling with the most basic needs?
Enter Business for Good.
With this in mind, Andrew and I joined an organization called B1G1 (Buy1Give1): Business for Good. Through B1G1 we’re able share the love generated by our gorgeous community at Herbiary and wordpress-39288-83404-237019.cloudwaysapps.com with communities around the globe needing support (we do local giving as well but when we looked at where the herbs we sell come from and the international reach of our readership, we wanted to give back on a global level).
Here’s the beauty: you don’t have to do anything beyond what you’re already doing.
Fifteen years ago I visited Cambodia as a side trip between Thailand and Singapore. Both the poverty and the joy of the Cambodian people showcased the extreme limits of my perspective… and if it has developed any depth since, it’s because of experiences like visiting Angkor Wat and the floating villages near Siem Reap. In this way you’ve benefited from Cambodia, and now Cambodia has benefited from you:
During the month of June we’ve been making donations for every comment on the blog posts here. Your comments have provided safe drinking water to a family in Cambodia for the next decade.
Let’s take out our earbuds and hear the world around us: the cacophony of laughter and pain. Let’s dance to the full throbbing beat of this beautiful planet together.
It happened again.
I was visiting with my parents and my mom and I fell into an old rut. You know—the emotional kind you can only fall into if you’ve known each other for about 45 years.
A few hours later, I started feeling sick: sore throat, tired, achy.
Fast-forward a few days.
I’m watching a screening of a movie called The Sacred Science, which documents a group of people with various illnesses who travel to the Amazon to do healing work with rainforest shamans.
One of the shamans is an American man who went to the Amazon as a teenager because Western medicine was unable to cure him. Once he healed, he stayed and studied.
He is the interpreter for the movie, not only of sentences spoken in Spanish but of philosophies and concepts.
The most striking idea he talks about is breaking the pattern of an illness.
30 days in the jungle breaks the pattern. Breaking out of daily routines, daily food choices, daily electronic devices, all of this creates a break in the pattern and a chance for change.
What you’ve read, up until now, is a post I had begun months ago.
As late autumn settles into my soul, I shift from creative mode to contemplative mode. Like the trees, I have dropped my leaves and sent my energy downward. As I live less from my head and more from my roots, the ideas come more slowly and I am more likely to rifle through half-done posts to find a thought to flesh out instead of rifling around my brain for a fresh concept.
Our modern culture tends to thrive on linear time, with few remaining markers to remind us to cycle through, to change it up, to break up patterns.
Patterns can last days or months or decades. The argument you always have with your mom, the food you always eat for breakfast, these are patterns. The headaches you inherited from your grandmother are ancestral patterns built into the bones of your DNA.
When every day looks the same, these patterns remain untouched and unchanged.
Breaking old patterns can be as easy as a random walk one afternoon, as complex as a set of rituals timed with the moon and the changing seasons.
The most important lesson I learned during my Irish year was to live in cyclical time. To notice the cycle of day and night (difficult with electric lights) and the comings and goings of the moon. The seasons cycle, each bringing its own energy and calling us to tend to ourselves in different ways—cooling herbs in the summer months, warming in the winter, building foods as we transition between the two to provide extra nourishment through the stress of change.
Each time we shift ourselves through these cycles, we break the patterns of the one before. So switching from juicing in the summer to soups in the winter breaks any negative patterning your body was sinking into from having juice every day. Then summer returns and juice replaces soup, once again rescuing you from the rut of repetition.
As much as I honor these cycles in most areas of my life, I have not found a cyclical pattern for my business. Doing the same activities every day begins to grind me down and gray me out.
I’ve been living with these thoughts for a bit and trying to find a more cyclical flow.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Here’s the concept:
When I lived in Ireland, we gardened by the moon. As the moon passed through various signs of the zodiac, our activities would change: weeding during fire signs, research during air. Water was for planting and earth for harvesting.
This flow structured our days and kept monotony from setting in.
So I am color-coding my calendar:
- Creating during fire signs.
- Marketing during air.
- Earth will be for systems and structures.
- Water days for tapping deep and letting things percolate.
How do you add variety to your days and find a cycle within your flow? Share with me.
And I’ll report in and let you know if Biodynamic Entrepreneurship is the next hot trend. 😉
Laughter drifted from the house.
There were warm voices and a glow from the living room lights that made the barn, where my friend Sally and I curled in our sleeping bags, feel cold and damp.
“That’s going to be us someday,” Sally said, referring to the teachers gathering across the way.
That night was a little over 10 years ago.
Lying in my sleeping bag, I made a commitment to myself: I committed to taking my teaching to the next level, to reaching more people, and to braving a national stage.
I set my sights on being amongst the teachers in that house.
It’s ten years later.
My teaching has expanded in ways, and to places, that I never could have imagined.
This weekend I’ll be at the Southeast Wise Women’s Conference. While the teachers don’t get their own cabin, we do have a meet-and-greet and I’m psyched to touch base with my posse. These women are powerhouses in their own rights: they are healers and entrepreneurs, visionaries and green goddesses.
And… guess where they were 10 years ago?
Not in the house with the other teachers, but sleeping on the floor in the barn with me.
We often set our sights on the people who are ahead of us on the path. Nothing wrong with that; it’s kind of like following the tail lights of the car in front of you on a really stormy night.
But most of us don’t end up hopping into that front car. It’s already full with people who have been braving stormy nights together for decades. They have their grooves, their inside jokes, and their way of being with each other.
What happens instead is that we set out on our own journey surrounded by others on the same path. As time goes by some will fall away until we have a small group of survivors—a tribe, our posse. We have our own inside jokes and memories of stormy nights that we’ve seen each other through.
And one day it’s us in the big house with the students sleeping in sleeping bags out in the barn, promising themselves that one day they’ll be sipping tea with us after a long day of teaching.
Look around you. Feel out who is road-worthy…
… And then begin where you are right now.
But realize it’s not about becoming one of them. It’s about becoming you.
They say it takes 10 years to create an overnight success.
Whether you want to be the next Mary Oliver or Marie Forleo or Mother Theresa, allow yourself time and space to find your groove, and to accumulate the wisdom and the friendships that build a strong foundation.
Start from where you’re at, and love the people who travel with you as you find who you are becoming.
Now it’s your turn: where are you at right now and what are you heading toward? Share with me below.
After teaching all day my business coach, Christine Kane, hangs out by the stage so that we can each snap a photo with her.
She nails the smile every time.
As I waited for Andrew to turn his phone into a camera, I asked Christine how she did it, how she remained genuine photo after photo.
She told me that she lets her heart shine through each time the camera is pointed at her.
One of my Cherokee teachers once told me that our job, during this Earth-walk, is to learn to be human.
I’ve worked with shaman, who taught me how to travel the spirit realms. I’ve studied with mystics, who helped me connect with my highest-self.
It’s pretty easy to be your highest self when you’re hanging out in the spirit world.
But back here on Earth, I have emails to answer, the dog to walk, and a chain of expletives to spew at the dude who just cut me off.
Until I met Christine Kane, it was pretty easy to segregate my highest-self from my everyday-self. I think I truly believed that my soul would be damaged if it knew how much time I spent on the computer.
After all, no one taught me how to connect with my highest self while, at the same time, being fully human (and embodied and in business) on this Earth-walk. No one ever taught me to align everyday action with my soul’s purpose.
I had been told what to think, but not what to do.
So, here it is, the big secret:
Get committed: Step up, step in, be present.
Get clear: Cut through your own drama, the story you tell yourself, and the assumptions you make. Be an observer of yourself. I get loud and fall into hyperbole when I am uncomfortable. How ’bout you? What’s your self-defense mechanism?
Get support: Cause you need someone, who isn’t you, to point out when you’re buying your own bull.
Get accountable: There’s nothing like having to report to someone else to help you get the job done. I sometimes have my clients text me when they have completed something so they know that I know that they’re on it!
Set-up systems and structures so you don’t spin your wheels re-thinking the same situation, over and over.
Break it down into small, do-able steps…. and then commit to taking them, one at a time.
And, of course, use your beautiful botanicals to support you through this process:
- Dandelion for adaptability.
- Rose to come into your heart center.
- Milky Oat to sooth the nerves.
- Passion Flower to halt circular thinking.
- White Chestnut Flower Essence to help your brain cut a new groove.
- Pine or Spruce Essential Oil to ground your feet here on Earth, while your soul stretches skyward.
Finally, and most importantly, let your heart shine through, whether you are hugging your honey…. or simply smiling at the camera.
P.S. This was a tough post for me to write because I am still trying to understand, for myself, why Christine’s coaching is so spot on for me. Do you have a teacher or mentor who really speaks to you? What is it that is working so well for you? Comment below!