This month marks my one year anniversary…
One year ago, I quit my job as a Behavioral Therapist at a Berkeley-based consulting company to work for myself (six months after completing my Master’s); choosing instead to piecemeal an income together (in the Bay Area!) with a scant collection of private clients, odd jobs, and a trust that I could generate more work. It was a “bold move” according to most and I’ve felt that reflected back to me in how terrifying and liberating this whole experience has been.
It was hard to explain then, and still evades words sometimes now, but I continue to feel in my bones a burning mission— a calling— that lies unfulfilled. Five years ago I made it my personal mission to follow this calling when I started TerraVita Art & Home in 2011 to support myself with building a portfolio for Grad School. I started my Master’s in the Fall of 2012 simultaneously, AquaVita poured out of me unnamed at the time. And so each project was born in response to my coursework, deep need for healing, and a stress reduction outlet amidst intense social service. These were the projects that nourished me back to life and helped me support my clients when I thought I had nothing to give. LunaVita Jewelry was born in 2013, SolaVita in 2014 as my culminating project. And I established CosmicKIDS and VITA Lifestyle Design (the structure to unify all these working parts) concurrently last March 2015.
As a culmination of a series of deep creative processes, rather than a basic business model, pursuing this creative cycle (I’ll explain what I mean by this more later) has literally transformed every facet of my life. Most profoundly my relationship to myself. It has taken over five years to build (and might take some time to share all that comprises the whole) but the important thing is: it’s time to share.
I can’t express in words how grateful I am to have made it this far.
And yet equally humbled by how much farther I have to go.
Let’s just say when I’m done, there will be no ‘I’ but we.
With each step taken, my goals seem to grow. And incrementally, I’ve moved to a point where I can feel big things stirring. Higher stakes. Deeper meaning. Greater impact. Maybe you know the feeling? When you have been working long and hard on some deeply soul-stirring work and the cosmos begin to shift…bringing you closer to yourself and that beautiful dream:
Your best work.
IF you choose to make it.
Or maybe you don’t, which is a different kind of scary… a numbing one.
I was there six short years ago and I’ll talk about that more too.
I’m not saying it’s all been kittens and butterflies and rainbows… there are those magical and sacred moments, for which I have been so awed and grateful, but there are also intense storms of self doubt, panic moments, loud nay-sayers, and a perpetually growing fear for a country and culture that continue to make costly decisions. The Millennial struggle is real. The human condition is real. The erosion of principle-centered living in exchange for popular social values that cheat us out of meaningful and synergistic relationships… that’s all too real. Our culture of fear is real … when we choose to focus on it.
But there’s also another option. And when I consciously choose to focus on the good within me and how I can best bring this to the world…
I found that I have continually been given the honor of trust to help others bring their best selves to the world. Not only does my influence grow, but my sense of well being as I choose to focus on the things I can change for the better. And after one begins to experience this kind of continual relational transformation and personal growth, one begins to trust life again. One begins to see the world in new ways. New possibilities emerge.
When our focus becomes teaching ourselves to lead a life of integrity and stay true to exploring what that means to us, what prevails is a sense of deep interconnectedness that in fact our actions and our contributions matter. And therefor our thoughts and our emotions and ideas matter. They literally shape the entire way we see the world. And that if we choose to align ourselves with right, fundamental principles— like awareness of cyclical change, like honesty, patience, gratitude, deep communication, integrity—we will attract the people that live in kind and this will continue to pay off in a mutual sense of self-worth and sense of contribution…
and enough happy, well cared for, honest, hard-working people working together toward a common good…well now that’s the kind of synergy that could change the world.
And here I’ve described my own personal mission, as I see it, to use the conscious creative growth practices I have learned to continue to learn and to teach, inspire, and empower others with this learning. I want to teach others that choosing to take care of our selves and our own personal creative and holistic needs, is not selfish, but the only way to effectively contribute to our collective good.
So that together we might change the future.
Six years ago, when I graduated from college, I’d hit rock bottom. I’ve been very quiet about the series of traumas I sustained (in most part due to my own bad choices) in college. What started as innocent partying and an extremely low self image quickly escalated to addiction, severe depression, and anxiety, heavy drinking and drug use. I sought professional help but the psychiatric drugs my doctor put me on made me feel even more numb. Two car accidents, a broken jaw, rape, abortion, and miscarriage… all swirled in the five years of losing myself.
By the time I graduated in May 2010, I woke up from my numbness, looked at my life and the choices I’d made and literally ran for my life. I sold everything I could, packed the rest with my sweet kitty Isabelle and high tailed it to Cali. At the time I only knew I was running from from myself, but what I didn’t know was that I was also running to the future self I saw as a little girl… someone determined to make a difference.
Six years of diligent therapy, painstaking social service, deep creative investigation, and a profoundly transformative Master’s program…
I have learned enough to fill volumes. Of which I have nine overflowing journals that I am currently organizing into a series of illustrative book projects, but taking my time to process and reflect.
So.. what best way to move forward?
Share. Connect. Give. Understand. Communicate. Integrate. Transform.
My hope is that by sharing my own efforts to live by principle centered ethics in my business and at home inspired by and with others, we can build a global community and network of conscious, creative individuals… so we can do the great work we’re here to do: live. And beautifully with grace, gratitude, grit and abundance.
To mark this occasion and fulfill my intention to speak more directly to the why of what I do, I have felt the need start to this new blog…I'ts not easy to put oneself out there. But I figure with how much I've changed, and how much more there is on it's way, some public documentation is in order... and maybe my story will impact even just one.