Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Losing sight of wholeness

"I have a wonderful [business] partnership, so much so that when my partner was way too busy and couldn't say no, I told her we should cancel. That we weren't in the right place. She was grateful."

When I related that information Monday at the second in a series of workshops I am taking on collaboration in the arts, I added "You know, had this been in the corporate world, we would have had to move on no matter what. No breaks for family life or time-outs when needed," I confessed to Darla, our daring facilitator.

"That's why you are an entrepreneur," she gently tossed back at me.

That's the second time in two weeks she has given me an essential truth I needed to hear and in the right moment when I could listen. Last week, she said she had to let her perfectionist tendencies go and just get things done the best she could. Of all the marvelous things she said and reminded me of, this was crucial and it just sort of slipped out. I am not sure it was in her notes.

So, according to Darla wisdom, I chose to be an entrepreneur to control my schedule and I can curb my perfectionism and the world won't fall apart.

Before Monday, I hadn't considered what I am doing as either entrepreneurial or a choice. That insight is causing a shift in me. A BIG one. Perhaps from listlessness and either accepting what comes along or taking it all on to understand this is a choice, a positive one and not a sentence.

I have also heard the term artpreneur. That seems very much in line with where I am these days. Whether writing and planning to publish, making art, leading creative workshops, grant writing and working with low-income kids, I AM my own boss. I tend to lose sight of that in all of the busyness and far-flung projects.

As a result of these workshops, I drew out all the things I am doing -- ALL five -- and trying to see similarities and places to simplify. I did this last fall, yet things have shifted majorly.

Artsy Fartsy Saturdays: serves a very specific population and geographic location, has grown and successfully attracted grants. However, I need a new home by June 1, must assemble a board to help me apply for my own non-profit status and continue to seek funding. Not so simple: new home, new board, new status, more funding solicitation. I have also initiated a book I'd like to write online as a fundraiser about the experience of launching this incredible program.

Art Truck: This concept popped into my head several months ago when I was meeting with a very energetic, get-things-done photography teacher with a big heart. She will be on my board if/when that happens. Didn't even hesitate when I asked. It was an after thought in a conversation about finding a new location. For a few, brief moments, a larger arts business was interested, but decided they had too many initiatives. Then I applied for a new grant for individuals. Yesterday, I heard I was not one of those selected. The week before, I heard from ArtsWave that my video request had been advanced to the next round and another large application, but for bigger money than I have ever sought. I adore this idea of taking art directly to those who don't have access, plus doing some fun gigs in-between. Adding a vehicle, new venue and drumming up support through social media is a whole, other venture. What if I am too busy? I asked my husband, then realized the ridiculousness. I am less afraid of failing than getting too busy.

Salon for the Soul: The blog I have faithfully been writing weekly, sometimes twice a week, for five years. I want to continue and create a devotional from the many entires. That means culling the 500-plus posts, re-writing and paring down and publishing in some form. And building a larger audience. In reality, the groundwork is in place. Maybe not too unsimple.

Turtlebox Stories & Studio: Essentially my physical space and the playful, nurture workshops/retreats I have conducted, which all stem from my first journals and the book I created from them. It's been resting while I taught it. Now the teaching has been resting. I would REALLY love to travel with these workshops and retreats. Someday will be the right time for the book.

Pain as Spiritual Teacher: A chapter from the Turtlebox book that jumped out at me as something wonderful in a workshop format as did the perfect partner, my first yoga teacher, Renee, who also lives with chronic pain. We spent a year doing small, intro sessions, 4-hour workshops and, finally, a stint at the wildly popular Victory of Light Psychic Festival. We had a good, receptive crowd, but got so caught up in what we were doing, we forgot to ask people to sign our e-mail list. We planned a February workshop, but canceled after our festival faux pas and busyness in our lives. Interesting that our Facebook page continues to be active, I think we need to write an article or book together and focus on this rather, specific and hungry audience.

I always joke that I have branding issues and that was my struggle yesterday. How do these all fit under one umbrella ... interesting choice of words as I am looking for a financial umbrella for Artsy Fartsy. Of course, the common thread is me, that these are mission/heart driven and creatively address the spiritual on some level. My map showed me that Artsy Fartsy really is the kid side of Turtlebox; that Salon for the Soul is my vital attempt at community; that Pain as Spiritual teacher is the deep, helping-others-heal work I do with the perfect partner; and, maybe, just maybe, the Art Truck is too much. It can go anywhere to anyone and could be the vehicle, pun intended, for what I take on the road.

When I look at my map, I see that Darla is exactly right. I have created all of these and that makes me an entrepreneur. Then, when I apply her next keen observation about perfectionism, I wonder what can go, be put on hold or rest awhile. Of course, I want to do it all NOW. That's not been working so well. Too many balls to juggle.

What is the simple path forward? The one that is joyful, Spirit-infused and abundant?

• When have I had too much on my plate?
• How did I discern or decide what stayed and what was cast aside?
• How do I seek Spirit in these matters?
• How patient am I when I am called to wait for an answer?
• How do I make the most of and enjoy the discernment-and-waiting process?

I always want
things PERfect

to go off without
a hitch and be,
exactly, the way
I envisioned,

rarely does
that happen

and then I
crucify myself

but then I have
lost sight of
what perfection


Visit Darla Kirchner @ http://www.cbizschool.com; attend the Creative Biz School series the next two Mondays @ www.the-arts-alliance.org

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