Monday, January 30, 2006

Thrones and Goddesses

I went to the TNNA Tradeshow in San Diego last week. Before I left I walked into Circles to find a new piece of furniture in the Sitting Room. A rather large, creamy, cushy glider rocker. There was a card on it with at least 20 names saying, "Thank you."

Here I am wallowing in a sense of ineffectiveness and I'm handed what looks like a throne. It towers over all the other seating and its full of features. Its so cozy. The gliding movement is smooth and mesmerizing. Once I sit in it, I don't want to get up. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the thoughtful generosity. I can't say anything more graceful than, "Thank you, all."

Meanwhile, I went to the trade show (more about that soon) and stayed with my friend Susan who owns The Grove. I led a Greek Goddess Knitting Circle and we had a full house. I was concerned about being rusty because it had been a year and a half. Instead, I felt more in tune than ever. It was an 'introduction' circle to what is usually a much longer process, but it was still quite effective.

The women said they got a lot out of it. I felt better than I had in weeks. Alchemical Aphrodite was flowing through me for the first time in a long time. And I found myself definding the strategic, no nonsense Athena. Surprisingly, I was motivated to focus on Hera - the wife, the committer, the partner. She's probably a bit too quiet on my inner board of directors. Yet, I found that all conversational roads were leading to her. So, we spent the last hour and a half exploring the qualities of Hera.

And my time with Susan felt full of good energy. We spoke of being sister businesses. An idea we have tossed around before. But this time we had an idea of how to begin to build bonds between our two communities. (Go to the Circles message board for more on that.)

What to make of thrones and goddesses. While I struggle with self-worth and feeling rudderless, I am offered a throne and I visit with the Greeks.

The throne is an interesting symbol. As the hostess of a community, I have been likened to a Mother often. As much as I love my daughter and enjoy being a mother, I wouldn't say that my predominant personality trait is that of a mother. Demeter was the Mother and the Goddess of the Harvest. Before I had my child, I always had a garden, indoor plants and pets. Once I had a child, I seemed to be tapped out on my mothering energy. I haven't gardened, don't have plants in the house and I certainly don't deserve the continuing devotion of my dogs. I bristle a bit when people suggest that I'm the Mother of the Circles community.

What I don't like to admit, is that I am probably more of an archetypal Queen than a Mother. There have been moments in my life when people have told me I look regal. I assumed it was just because I'm tall. Did I mention above that Hera is The Queen. I resist Hera. She was the jilted wife. Hopelessly devoted to being defined as the wife of Zeus, she gets ferociously angry with the other woman, rather than her ever philandering husband. I don't like her. She seems the fool. And a destructive one, at that. But she is the only one who withstood Zeus' advances and trickery and aggression to force him to marry her before he could have her. Beyond that I can't tell you anything good about Hera. I lack appreciation for her.

I just googled "queen archetype" and came up with this. I'll have to see if I can hold this information and embrace it.

As for the goddesses, I realize I need to stay on the path of my heart. I didn't open Circles just to have a yarn store. The yarn store was a creative solution to earning a living while being accessible to my daughter. It was a business where I could let my creativity flow. Where I could host a community of women. And as a venue for following my intuition. I need to do those things that I am compelled to do. I find that right now, I am compelled to find a way to revive the goddess circles; I am compelled to pursue the travel circles; and I am compelled to find either an operating partner or a retail manager to run the shop while I pursue publishing patterns and books and continue building the unique blend of business and community that we have here at Circles.

So, I have compulsions. Now, how to gain momentum.....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Unreliable? or Rudderless?

Where have I been? I get this blog started, enjoying the process of writing and reflecting, I tell myself I will post at least once a week and would like to build that to once a day, and then: I don't.

How many things have I said I'm going to do, that I don't get to? How often have I disappointed myself? Others?

There are always reasons. My heart is true. I simply don't seem to be able to swim straight against the tide of life. I am raising a 6 year old daughter and running a retail business. I am hosting a community of fiber artists, trying to contribute to my daughter's school and I sit on the local neighborhood council. I'm a knitter. That is my business, after all. I knit and I design for the shop and for myself and my daughter and sometimes friends. I'm supposedly writing a book. I have two dogs I should be taking on long walks everyday. I should be exercising. I should be singing. I should be socializing.

What I woke up feeling this morning, as I was setting my priorities for the day and feeling behind in everything, is that I'm unreliable. So much to do, so little time, means that I don't get to things. Am I unreliable?

Is it me? Or is time too constraining?

Why am I so disappointed in my inability to get more done? After all, all of this just concerns me keeping my little life together. All day long, I've been conscious of how disappointed I am. Why isn't my business making money yet? Why isn't that book written yet? Why aren't those patterns tested and published yet? All these ideas and no results. So unreliable.

There's a well-rehearsed critic in my head that's been bearing down on me. But then a friend asked me to lead a knitting circle at her shop in return for housing me on my next business trip. I asked her if she had a topic in mind and she immediately responded, "I really want you talk about the Greek Goddess knitting." I sent her a description for an intro to Greek Goddess knitting. She posted it to her customer list and 6 people immediately signed up. I am tickled pink. What it made me realize is that I have been so wrapped up in the mechanics of running a shop that I have neglected my calling. The motivation for opening a shop when I knew that I would not love retail, was to create a venue where I would cross paths with knitters who might be interested in consciously nurturing their spirits through their knitting. I am supposed to be developing my knitting therapy programs and helping people to heal. Instead, I am completely focused on inventory and cash flow and class schedules and sales figures and marketing. All things that need to get done, but I should know myself better by now. If I'm not doing the sine qua non, I will be drained. It is all non. Even if the shop were making me rich, I would be disappointed. I would feel unfulfilled.

Perhaps I have been unreliable. But what ship can be expected to get to the next harbor without a rudder? For some, their rudder may be in the making of the sale. Or it may be in planning of the inventory. I know that no business ship is in shape without these things, but my rudder is definitely the spirit work. I will always feel off course and in a stormy sea without it.

With the rudder in place, I will silence that tiny, yet ferociously tenacious critic. I will gain some clarity and wend my way through my days with a lot more grace.

At least for a while..... ;D