The Bead Gallery - Part 3
It's our 14th year in business and I can't believe it's time to move for the 3rd time. Change is haaaaaaaard!! Can you hear me grumbling as I say this? Maybe it's cause my body hurts, my brain is in overdrive and I wonder where the past 14 years disappeared to, and what I have to SHOW for it.
It's been too easy for me to look for quantifiable proof that the last 14 years were productive, worthwhile, purposeful. Maybe if I had a million dollars in the bank, I'd feel terrific! No. Even as I type that, I roll my eyes. Maybe if we had children, I'd feel like I had something to show.. that I added to humanity and created a life. Hmmm.. still not sure bout that. But as I bring home boxes and boxes of &*(^ that have accumulated over the past decade+, I wonder.... what was I saving? What is this stuff? Is this what I have to show for my adult life?
So as my anxiety continues about the business being "successful", I continue to dissect, re-evaluate and reflect upon my meaning. What am I here for? What am I here to do? What is success? Whose idea of success am I determining my current state by?
Last month, I asked Michelle and Jason, "if we didn't do all the things we did, like classes, dvds, kits, displays, packaging, offers, emails, website, new products...." would we still be here today, in this exact place? When they both answered to the effect of "most likely/yes/probably" I couldn't stop laughing at the irony. I saw myself as a little mouse on a wheel, pedaling as fast as I can, and going nowhere! I was so busy being busy, I didn't even think about the VALUE of my life. I was putting so much effort into keeping the business alive, I didn't even consider WHY that was important to ME.
I never once questioned, "is this worth it?" I just put my head down and bulldozed forward for the past 5000 days, saying the bead gallery was the most important thing. work was most important. making money was primary to taking care of all of us. But I never thought it through, to WHY was that important to me.
When we realized that we couldn't continue the business at its current rate of decline in this economy, I had to choose: move or close. Maybe at the time it was pride, fear, ego that spurred me to reject closing, and finding a new, cheaper space with lots of parking and on the first floor was way too easy and convenient. So I chose move. BUT I DIDN'T THINK ABOUT WHY I wanted to continue. Loving beads is NOT enough of a reason to have a bead store. trust me!
Last week, as I painted the new store with JoAnn, we discussed grieving, being in the moment and just being present with our feelings. This was the first time I spoke aloud of my feelings toward the store, so it was a surprise to ME, to hear why I'm doing this. I told her that for the past year, I've been pledging my service to ke akua, to doing whatever it is that I am called to do. That I will have a willing heart and open mind to god/the divine spirit/the universe, and that I am here to serve whatever is needed. That I have been blessed with a most loving mom, and a most loving husband that have supported me and loved me and showed me that with unconditional love, you can do ANYTHING! I am so grateful and so thankful, that I am committed to sharing that which I have received, with as many people as I can in my lifetime.
I am not continuing the bead store for money, success or to provide people with employment. I am not moving the store just so that Jason and I can work in non-traffic times. I'm not even doing it because it's the only thing I know how to do at this time, and I understand that the job market is challenging.
I truly love the people that I work with. I love the people that come through the door. I love the interaction, sharing our lives, stories, opinions and perspectives with each other. I love the healing work that we do through the bead store. I love that we have invested 14 years in creating a community, a place of fellowship, trust and equal energetic exchange. I love that there are people that will always challenge me, and give me situations to practice patience, kindness and understanding. This is not just a bead store to me. It's a place of healing, love, creativity and growth. It just happens to be a bead store. If I wanted to re-name it, I would change it to "everything jamie loves is in here". And that's a perfect reminder that I do carry everything I love with me all the time.. in my heart. The store is a convenient meeting place where YOU + me = Us
This move is meaningful. I am deliberate in using this change to reflect my inner changes as well. I plan on doing what I know is right. I want to move forward with honesty, balanced with compassion for myself, and others. I want to experience abundance of spirit, love, and energy. I will do my best to listen and follow through with my heart's messages, knowing that I am loved and supported in all that I do.
It is given. It is free. Amene.