June 2017

looking ahead…

…and trying not to look behind, to where I was a week ago…except with gratitude. When, honestly, I am wishing I was there again! Can we ever get enough of solitude and spaciousness, in our minds and our surroundings? It may seem a bit absurd that I feel hemmed in, with my children grown and working at home with the freedom to craft my hours how I wish…but even so, the barnacled feeling is there…menopause, pain, a dear husband, keeping chickens safe from the new fox that prowls, a car that needs expensive fixes, sales taxes I forgot to file…you know.

But I had my time away, and the work now is to integrate all that I came to in those unencumbered hours. Some of that will mean finishing the steps left undone when my retreat hours were over, and when Doug is away on some day shifts the next few days, I will turn to those tasks, gladly. They are all centered upon the tending of my business…marketing…rhythms and routines. There are so many parts to being in business for oneself, and I am seeing a new form taking place in mind for this place that is akin to what I shared at Wisteria & Sunshine, but different. For what we do here is different.

Here, I would like to have a monthly rhythm with a focus, lovelies-to-print, and an interview…but it came to me today that it might be most helpful if the focuses weren’t the same as W&S (with a business slant) but their own entirely. And that each month we might focus on a particular area of business…

-our websites

-social media

-rhythm and routine

-our workspaces

-growing our audience

-goal-setting & planning

-etc.

And I would continue to post here weekly, but heartfelt, transparent posts that are related to our focus.

What do you think?

We will have the forums for all of the questions and sharings that come up, apart from our focus, of course. But in the same way that I’ve spoken of the power of spiraling around with themes and elements at Wisteria & Sunshine, I think it would create more of a feeling of retreat here if we keep it as simple, rhythmical and centered as possible.  To keep coming back to the universal ingredients, spending time with them, finding our own individual ways with them…the ones that bring the most peace and progress…and knowing we will visit them again.

After I finish my retreat at home in the next few days, I’ll have more ideas for our elements. Much of my retreat work was similar to what I described above, and I have large pages with different headings and what I discerned as my way with them, so there is lots of inspiration. But I value your ideas and needs so much, so please add your own wish list of what you would like our Rosehip Business monthly focus list to include…

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from the chrysalis, part two…

About to sink properly into my new moon biz retreat. It began last night, but I was mostly settling into the spaces of my Doug’s folks empty-and-for-sale house. This morning, I’ve been drawing names for the survey giveways, finishing last bits of this and that so that I can truly focus in for next 24 hours or so.

I’ve been taking in the results of the surveys and also all that’s come to me in quiet moments and sleepless nights since this unexpected chrysalis journey began, and now have much to work with. Looking within (our Rosehip Business motto, you might say) and some thoughtful looking without (towards your people and others with their own small businesses) is a potent combination.

I’ll share much more about what I’ve been learning and recognizing, some of the results of my surveys and my thoughts for the future here soon. For now, it is time to withdraw to my visioning and planning for next steps. Perhaps some photos will be added to those already here…

Preparing for some goal-setting (the easy part)…

Actually setting some goals down on paper…the hard part, for me at least. I’ve made a good start, and am off to a bath and some Miss Read. Then an evening of more retreat work ahead…

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from the chrysalis…

As I wrote in my note, this is a time of disintegrating and waiting and recreating my business, if not in major ways than in the details. We’ll see how long it takes and how far it ripples out. But I recognize it as a part of the spiral journey with work and life and most everything, it is just especially intense for me this time around. Perhaps because of all that the journey towards menopause calls out…perhaps because I’ve been in business for almost twenty years now…perhaps because I am wanting more than ever a better balance…equilibrium with the effort I put into my work and the results.

When I felt the transformation really begin last week (of course, it’s been coming much longer than that), it was all depression and confusion. I reached out to Doug and to friends, simmered and lamented. It started to turn when I began listening to this book while I went for my morning walks. At first glance, you wouldn’t think it was a Rosehip Business book, and I’m still not sure that it is. I chose it because it was the most interesting business book I found when needing to use up my last free credit at Audible. : )  But listening to Carrie’s story, especially with its struggles, kept me walking and gave me my first glimmer of hope in awhile.

Hope and…discomfort isn’t the right word…but an acknowledgement that I could be doing better with using my inner wisdom and natural gifts and trying to understand both the workings of the online world and what my women want from me. In the last few days, I’ve sent our surveys to my (I would say “peeps,” except that’s not me…but I don’t like “customers” or “followers”…so I will go on calling them “my women” and hope that reflects all that I feel towards them!) women, watched a free Pinterest webinar that came my way (and one thing I learned from it is really helping me to see the possibilities there, for the first time) and am considering Carrie’s 28-day program that you can access if you’ve bought the book. Hmmm…that’s a pretty porous chrysalis. : )

Come the New Moon at the end of next week, I’ll be hardening that outer shell, however, as I take myself off for a short business retreat and go inward…with all that I’ve been gathering and considering…and come back out again with a plan. Not my true emerging, that will take some time, but with some furnishings and nourishment for my chrysalis time. Caterpillars have instinct to guide them, we need some tools…of the practical sort and the heart-centered sort.

Are you, also, in a chrysalis time with your business? Or butterfly? Or…

the spirit of your business…

…and it’s “home”…whether that is your desk and computer, the kitchen table, a studio or hired space. I think it is helpful, whenever we can, to explore Wisteria & Sunshine’s focus in ways it touches our businesses. We can look at the Home of our business in many ways, but two might be the spirit and bones of what we are offering to the world…and the spirit and bones of the actual spaces in which we create and tend our work. And both of these can be ever-changing, can’t they?

We will be following this thread throughout the month, but I want to begin today with the same question I posed at Wisteria & Sunshine, tho’ two versions…

In a word or two…what would you say is the spirit of your business…or what you would like it to be?

and

the same for the home of your business, in a more practical sense?

And, since it came to me when I was answering the first two, here is one more to tune into…

How would you describe the spirit of your emotions around your business?

 

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moons and seasons and wild simplicity@work

A few years ago I wrote down “align your tending and rhythms with the moon and the seasons, not the calendar.” It’s a trickier shift to make than I expected. Living by the weeks and months is so ingrained. But it is another layer of Wild Simplicity, to use what surrounds us and brings us connection and joy, as our clock and calendar…as much as is practical. No need to create elaborate systems, just fit in what we want to take care of within the ancient systems that have been gifted to us.

I believe I mentioned that I am working with Kaya Singer with a little mentoring? We’ve had two phone calls and after the last one, I asked if she could be an accountability partner to me for the rest of our time together. Actually taking some of the steps I’ve thoughtfully mapped out for my business has often been challenging for me, and more so than ever in this rosehip time. I tried this once before in a business group, but it didn’t work at all for me. We were paired with complete strangers and it wasn’t natural to care whether my lovely-but unknown partner received my weekly update on my progress. And it certainly didn’t nudge me to action…which is what I need. But I’ve found that doing it with Kaya is working, because we have a relationship and she understands me and I value her.

My first youtube video would probably still be an idea, if not for this accountability (wish there was a better word, but even the thesaurus hasn’t been of help with finding one!), and my most recent blog post, and recent newsletters. We are on a simple weekly rhythm with them. On Wednesdays, I send her an email sharing how I did with my previous week’s goals and set a few new ones. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how well it is working, so far, and have been pondering how it might work here. And soon saw that it would work simply and beautifully if we weave it in with the phases of the moon and the turning of the seasons.

What I’ve imagined is a New Moon post where we plant our seeds in the comments of what we would like to see grow as the moon waxes to fullness. Then we can have a Full Moon check-in post where we revisit our goals and hopes, share our accomplishments and challenges, take a restorative breath and make note of any small shifts we want to make in the care of those seedlings (sometimes replanting!) to take us along until the next New Moon.

As well, we can allow the season we are in to influence our choice of tasks. For instance, when I was choosing some goals to send to Kaya this week, I felt into what I like Summer to be. And it mostly has the age-old associations of more rest and play than at other times of the year. But also, my own creative seasons mean that I will spend a goodly part of the summer in design work for the Daybook. Especially as I plan to have a year’s worth of seasonal diaries and day booklets designed by the start of August. Knowing all of this, I knew that it would help me greatly if I can spend the next few weeks getting all of my business-tending ducks in a row.

-finish the refreshing of Wisteria & Sunshine’s signup page

-write down a Sharing rhythm for blog posts, newsletters, videos, Pinterest and Instagram

That is enough for the week’s rhythm I have with Kaya, but next week, I will probably be adding the not-online rhythms of book-keeping and designing. And all of the other additions that will come to mind now that I’ve made an intention! : )

I am looking forward to your thoughts…

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