working in our business and not on our business - just doing the work (part lV - the mystical part)

fabric, mirrored locket by polarity
I wanted to wrap us this series before the sun moved into Libra so we will just pretend you are reading this yesterday.

(never under-estimate the power of our imagination, the nonexistence of time as a constant - ask Einstein - and for me personally, my ability to be continually one day late with most things)

This Virgo energy that is about work and service and dedication; about doing the stuff that we have to do without our Leo (prior sign) need for attention, without getting credit, without any applause now cedes our path to balance seeking Libra (the next sign) bringing other people into the mix - asking us what we have really created if no one else ever gets to see it or be affected by it - asking us to step out with what we've got - asking us to share.

As Virgo moves into Libra we get autumn; the time of harvest
To tie this all back in (rather hastily, I'm sorry) with what happens with maker businesses is we will only grow so much before we need to take a quantum leap. That step by step way we have been growing will eventually hit something, usually a standstill; something that requires a greater expenditure of energy or a decision to let go.  

We have to put more of ourselves into it.

We need the momentum that comes from some kind of full out sweaty run.

If we don't because maybe we don't have the energy - maybe we want the harvest but we don't want to do the planting and the tilling or maybe we don't want to do the planting and tilling ... again

This is exactly the time we need to really get to work (the times that separate the women from the girls - call on Athena energy for this) or sometimes exactly the time we need to let go and move on. 

There is no right or wrong answer here.

Everything isn't meant to be some great huge thing. Sometimes it's just the thing we had to grow through and now have to let go of so we have both hands free when that other thing comes along.

But, always remember, everything that is a great huge thing always made this leap.

The next steps will be easier to figure out if we are grounded (we are also moving from an earth sign into an air sign right now so grounding is doubly important). Grounding brings our energy into the current moment which is always the place we line up with ourselves; the place we line up with our answer. And I didn't say 'correct answer' because maybe there is no correct answer. Maybe every answer will lead us where we have intended to go as long as we keep moving

Removing the excess electrical charge from an object is called grounding - removing the excess emotional charge, that is the result of over thinking and looking backwards, is also called grounding. 

Pulling our focus back to our physical self and the current moment is especially beneficial for anyone who doesn't feel safe (raises both hands) and we will know this is us if we continually make decisions based on safety.

(these decisions are always ego based because our safety is the ego's job, which is a good thing until it isn't anymore - it's the crutch that helped us to walk while our foot healed but then becomes the reason we can't walk when we hold on to it too long). 

When we find ourselves valuing our safety over our happiness, grounding can help us make better decisions or I should probably say grounding will help make our decision making easier.

And this stuff is a practice so we have to practice it. It's like exercise, it can't not work for us, but we have to actually do it. Some ways to ground:

1. Walk outdoors in bare feet (this works so well, that even just walking across my front yard on a Sunday morning to get the newspaper in my bare feet totally changes my entire mood for the day)
2. Lie on the ground (palms on the ground or forehead on the ground works best)
3. Gardening

4. Bring our attention to the present moment - sit comfortably and scan your body from your toes to your head feeling each part - is it hot, is it heavy - observe how your body feels. Walk around the room and see how it feels to touch things. Run cold water over your hands. List your current moment - so I would say - keyboard keys clicking, the sound of crickets, cold air from the open door - attention to the present moment is very grounding.

5. Eat root vegetables (some people think eating meat is grounding, but I had a teacher 20 years ago who said this wasn't true - that eating meat actually lowers our frequency so that's why it might feel momentarily grounding - I think she was right about this)
6. Stones are grounding. The stuff in our environment always lines up with us energetically. Rocks and minerals hold such old and solid vibrations that it is much more likely for us to have to raise our vibration to match their vibration than for the reverse to happen. Hematite is great for this.
6. Scents have vibrations and can be grounding. Scents force us to either incorporate their energy or move out of their space. Yes, scents are bad-ass.
7. Sounds are grounding. The teacher who taught me grounding had an exercise where you make a sound with your throat and then lower and lower the sound until it is the lowest sound your body can make - that is your root chakra sound and you can make that sound when you need to ground yourself - great for stressful driving situations. 
8. Red, brown and black are very grounding - probably why so many teens are drawn to wearing the color black while their vibration seeks balance.
9. Grounding meditations - visualizing yourself with roots reaching down into the earth, etc.
10. Exercise (preferably outdoors)

So, a daily grounding practice, getting to work (the stuff we do because we have the need to bring forth the work not because of what the outcome can do for us) - we are at the harvest now of our 9 month yearly birthing cycle and like the new mother we know that even our most original work (and really only our most original work) isn't really our work anyway - we don't create the new life - we are just the vehicle birthing it.

It came through us (and on the one hand it could have come through anyone and on the other hand it could only have come through us) because we were the ones who settled down and did the work.

working in our business and not on our business - just doing the work (part lll - giving what we got)

giddyup bracelet
There is some kind of magic that happens when we just keep going.

When we just do the thing we are supposed to do.

It's a cop out to say we would do the thing we were supposed to be doing, if only we knew what that thing we were supposed to be doing is ...

because we do know.

It's that thing that is right in front of us.

It's that thing we have been putting off doing.

It's that thing we don't want to do. It's not some big, huge, change the world thing - it's that other thing.

(and yes, maybe that thing right now is the sink filled with dirty dishes - just do that and don't do a half-assed job with it either, do it well and finish it, that's the work that gets the magic started)

We have lots of universal support for this 'doing the work" part. We have Goddess energy and angels and fairies to help us.

(and fairies may sound nuts to you, although maybe not - what I have found with fairies is that they are more about the nuts and bolts of things, the material stuff and when you have a business in a 3D world, fairy energy can come in very handy)

We have to ask for help though - life is like Star Trek, after all.

This energy is outside our reach until we actually reach for it.

Kabbalists believe that beside every blade of grass is an angel whispering, "Grow!". This same energy supports us. We have angels whispering and crying and cajoling us, too. We grow through change and through experience and these changes and experiences happen through doing the work.

Life supports us when we do the work - when we don't get too distracted by our own nonsense.

(on the one hand everything is always available to everyone, on the other hand what is available to us is only the stuff we energetically line up with)

The universe slips ideas to the people who can make them happen - the ones who are doing.

The idea for how to make free energy is probably not going to slip into my head because what the hell would I be able to do with it - it will slip into the head of the girl who has put her 10000 hours into the work of free energy. She is the one who will know what to do with it.

(this doesn't mean she is the one who will make a gazillion dollars with it - maybe no one will, that is kind of the point of free energy after all - she will definitely though, be rewarded through the work)

For this mystical energy to work for us we have to give up the need to define ourselves hierarchically - we need to let go of the pecking order.

(I'm sure heaven celebrates every time a chicken escapes the hen house)

We cannot look to others to validate our calling or our efforts or our results. We cannot compare ourselves to other people because we are all here for different things. The work must become its own reward and if we are not in a space where we feel that is happening - then that is our work - to release that space within ourselves. If we can let the work be all about the work and release our attachment to the results we will find this mystical energy everywhere.

part IV next - getting in touch with the mystical energy

ryan schain photo

full moon in Pisces this week .....

If you have been watching the night sky you have noticed the moon appearing larger and fuller over the last few days leading us to the September 19th full moon.

(make sure you get outside at night now and go for some walks - barefoot is even better)

The full moon occurs when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth as the sun. So, when the sun is in Virgo (as it is now) the moon (during the full moon) will be in the opposite sign of Pisces.

Since the Pisces new moon happened in March, the Pisces full moon this week will bring culminations to stuff started at that time. It also brings us the energy for peak activity in the current month's cycle.

Pisces and Virgo are opposite signs, but really the opposite sides of the same coin. The balance of these two signs is where we bring God (or whatever word you feel most comfortable using here) to earth through our actions of service.

Virgo/Pisces service is about the highest levels of service and compassion - it doesn't take on the burdens of others - compassion holds a higher vibration. It's not about removing the pain or suffering of another person which we literally can't do because the karma (ie energy attraction, cause and effect, our perfectly pre-planned, but not predestined life experiences) - that created it in the first place will just recreate it in another form. Pisces is the last and final sign - the place where the buck stops - Pisces energy knows this.

Pisces compassion shows patience, lends an ear or a shoulder without the need for recognition - without the need for thanks - knowing the service is its own reward; the work is often invisible. It holds open doors and the spaces for others to be strong and courageous and confident.

We have some challenging astrological aspects (cardinal cross, transiting Saturn conjunct Venus transiting the north node, Star of David) right now, that I'm not going to get into here, and also a grand water trine that has many of us thinking about our roots and the past and making it a very good time to be mindful of what we have worked for and created and be grateful for the process (Virgo). It's a time to recognize our ability to make a difference (Pisces) - to be a difference in the well-being and evolution of us all.

We are on this rock to rock this thing and most likely your world is rocking right now.

working in our business and not on our business - just doing the work (part ll - the invisible stuff)

please don't take me for "granite" locket by polarity
Our businesses are work.

You don't quit your day job (or dream about this), so you don't have to work. If you do, you better have a rich uncle who really, really likes you ... alot.

(and not in any kind of creepy way, I hope)

Lots of people give us advice about working on our business - telling us "you need to be working on your business and not in your business - you don't want to build yourself a job".

Some advisers will say this as if it is absolute truth, which it absolutely isn't (not much is).

It's not that this isn't a valid conversation to have. It is. It just isn't the whole conversation.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with creating yourself a job - no one else is creating them, so we pretty much have to now.

2nd, the more we work in our business, the invisible stuff, the stuff that no one will ever see us do, the stuff of late nights and callouses - the more we build our skill set, the more we refine our story, the more time we spend making the stuff that matters - the less working on our business we have to do at all.

It may look like the visible work is what has garnered us our rewards but we know it is the work we have done in our business that has allowed it to happen at all.

Working on our business will never get us those rabid customers who tell two friends and then they tell two friends and so on and so on ....

(what is that from, it's driving me nuts?)

it's the invisible work we do that earns us that, not the Facebook posts and Pinterest pins.

There are really no shortcuts. And if it looks like someone has found a shortcut -

(I believe that we are not born with unlimited choices, we can't be anything we want to be, we were all born for different things and someone who has found their thing may look like they have found a shortcut)

it is only because they have not cluttered up their own path with crap and it is easier for them to see where they need to go and to get about the business of getting there. The shortcut almost always leads people to wanting to take the longer road, with its twists and turns, next time though.

There is a certain amount of resistance that comes with really caring about something. Sometimes it is the part of our work that we are most resistant to that serves as an indicator of our real work. The counterfeit creator is wildly self confident - the real one is scared to death that things will not work out and she does the work anyway.

Hubs business has been busy for 12 years.

He has a service business so his work cannot be outsourced (thank goodness), but he isn't doing anything someone else isn't doing, too (there are 5 other shops in our very small town doing the same thing) - he is just doing it better and maybe 'better' is the wrong word here, but he is truly passionate about what he is doing. This doesn't mean he doesn't have resistance to the work at times - he just gets up and does the work anyway.

He almost never works on his business and he almost always thinks he should be. He shouldn't. The work he does in his business makes working on his business almost unnecessary. The people who need him, find him. He doesn't think about all the things he needs to be before he can get to work. He just gets to work.

We just do it or we don't do it.

If we were meant to write a book or make a family or cure cancer and we don't do it - we don't only hurt ourselves -we hurt our ancestors, we hurt our children, we hurt our planet. We shame the Goddess energy whose sole purpose is to nudge us and support us and push us along our path. We can't cheat the world of our contribution. We have to give the world what we've got.

part III what do we got?

(yes, I realize this is grammatically incorrect - it's Friday, weekends laugh at grammar, grammar's for Mondays)

sacred and profane print

happy weekend all! xo

knock, knock ....

nobody, Cat, is who they are based on one decision, one day, one path, one chance, one relationship or one anything else.

every day is brand new and opportunity never stops knocking.

who's there?
The Universe

(back later with that new series distracted by an 8 lb angel - happy thursday all)

kella and chris with new baby sully - doors flying open everywhere right now

doing the work ... why working IN our business and not on our business is what really matters - intro

pillaging and plundering is so 10th century - cork bracelet
The world used to operate within some sort of pecking order - top dog / underdog space - where we ran in packs, sat in cliques and without even thinking about it instinctively knew our place.

That is the world that is falling apart.

The numbers have just gotten too big and the whole thing is collapsing.

A pecking order can only hold so many chickens.

The hens who didn't get the memo are still thrashing around trying to get someone to pay attention to them while the rest of the brood are busy forming smaller tribes based on their common passions and some are even ignoring what everyone else is doing altogether.

The sun in Virgo is the perfect time to talk about what this means to us - this new world that is too large for pecking orders - the space for chickens who have outgrown their coops.

This new world that is about the work; the kind of work that doesn't wait for someone to notice it. It doesn't wait for permission or attention or things to be just right or perfect. It doesn't wait for inspiration. It isn't done for applause. It's never seen on Facebook.

(and of course there is really nothing new about it)

Let's talk about that. (part 1 next - the invisible)

pencils by thebigharumph

New Moon in Virgo today - separating the wheat from the chaff ....

butterfly ring - uncorked
The astrology wheel is the hero's journey
(just like the fool's journey in tarot) of self discovery.

When the sun moves into Virgo in late August, it is the hero's first encounters with service.

Although Virgo is the loner sign (along with Aries although Aries doesn't choose it, Aries just embodies it) - she is the conscientious loner.

The hero is learning when to help and when helping isn't really helping. Virgo is the modest healer with the critical eye that takes care of the details.

Every sign has something to learn from the sign that follows it. Leo learns from Virgo (and we all have Leo in our charts somewhere - its placement will affect how this activates in your own journey) - to do the work. Virgo teaches Leo to let go of the need for the spotlight and recognition and to just focus on the work.

(next the hero moves into Libra and learns that those carefully attended details she has manifested into physical form in Virgo need balance)

It is no coincidence that Virgo comes in autumn; the time of the harvest - the time to separate the wheat from the chaff. What is needed to be nurtured and what needs to be discarded is more easily seen and felt now. Mercury is not connected to any other planet for the next 9 days so we can be really objective about what we want right now (then Mercury moves into connection with Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus allowing us to see the bigger picture).

Our soul's purpose, which has been built through many lifetimes, is exactly what is needed to meet the challenges of these times. Our previous lives fit together within us like a puzzle and each of us forms a bigger puzzle (which is really the same puzzle) together. 

We each have it in us to do what we are called to do and we are the only one who can do it. When our belief becomes that we are here to serve the world, that is exactly the space that will open up for us.

A Virgo new moon is the perfect time to focus on Virgo areas such as : health (diet and exercise; the maintenance of our health), work/job, creating order, relaxing perfectionism and helping others.

Examples of some affirmations:

1. I am easily attracted to foods that are healthy for my body. I establish routines that create total health for me. I easily swallow vitamins (ugh).

2. I easily complete tasks with minimal stress and maximum efficiency. I create routines that give me time to relax. All tendencies to postpone necessary tasks and errands are totally lifted from me. I create financial abundance for myself while adding value to the lives of others.

3. I restore my work space to order on a daily basis. Any resistance to 'cleaning up the mess' is lifted from me. I create order in my home.

4. I am free of critical judgements of myself and others. The compulsion to 'be right' is easily lifted from me. I use positive language.

5. I consciously feel satisfaction from being of service to others in my work.

AFFIRMATION TIPS: get into a happy frame of mind - always make affirmations from a  positive place - write your affirmations down by hand, speak them out loud - I always write my affirmations on strips of paper and put them into a bowl of rice so I can mix them around every now and then with my fingers if things get stagnant - then release your attention from them knowing that your intention is known. Know these things are already yours. xo

5 questions to ask ourselves when launching a new thingamajig

lori portka's bracelet by polarity
You may have noticed by now I love the word thingamajig.

I especially love that it covers just about every thing makers could possibly make and I love that Google and Websters think it's a real word, too.

(maybe it actually is)

Anyhoo, I am about to launch a new thingamajig and thought I would share a little bit of my thinking that went into this process.

5 questions to ask ourselves:

1. why are we making this?

"Why" is a really important question. I truly, truly believe that it is the passion in people that draws us to them and draws us to the things they have created - our energy seeking out energy that makes us feel good - that makes us feel more alive.

The answer to why we do what we do will never be about the money because there are many things we can do to make money, many more sure-fire things, like those that involve paychecks and 401Ks - why are we making this and why should anyone care? Artists can't make art for the money - we will lose our hearts and not make any money that sticks anyway.

2. who is this for and why will they want it?

Our market is much more important than our marketing. It is no fun to make something we really love making and then have to spend all our time trying to figure out how to sell it. Take the time to think about who is going to buy and why they would want to first. Stand in our customer's shoes -

(luckily for me my customers are not so much into 5 inch spikes and if yours are, then yes, you will have some sore arches, but you will have to do this anyway)

who will buy our thingamajig and how will buying our thingamajig make them feel? Is this how they want to feel?

3. what are other makers doing? how is our thingamajig better and different?

When I started fabricating magnetic jewelry I googled and searched to make sure no one was doing anything similar (they weren't ... ah, the good old days) - since we are looking for a need to be filled, it is important to take a look around and make sure there actually is a need.

We are not competing with who it looks like we are competing with. I do not compete with other cork jewelry makers with my cork jewelry because it is not like people are waking up and saying to themselves "I must have some cork jewelry!" - I still can't understand why this doesn't happen, but cork jewelry is not a vanilla latte folks - sniffle. 

I do not compete with jewelry makers with my magnetic jewelry because no one has my story and my passion and my originality - no one can do what I do. No one can do what you do either. 

What we are really competing with are the gazillions of distractions that vie for our customer's attention. 

We have to be worth their time.

I once developed a whole line of plexiglass jewelry and, right before I launched, an artist wrote a new book called Plexi is Sexy (which I can't find now in a google search, wth) - with such similar and such better stuff, I shelved my launch and gave the stuff away for Xmas. Now, I google and search first. Don't create the same old, same old. And don't do something someone else is already doing better than you are.

(and by 'don't do what someone else is doing better' I am talking about your thingamajig here not your skill set, obviously there will always be someone with a better skill set which is probably ok, because different is better than better anyway)

4. how will we sell it? I do not believe that we have to make art that we intend to sell, but here we are talking about a thingamajig we intend to sell.

If we want to make money with our thingamajig we need to put some thought into strategy - where is our customer looking? How will we be where they are looking? How will what they see when they look at us make them feel? How can we make what they see reflect our 'why' so they connect with us?

Let's say we create a very popular thingamajig and people become rabid, loyal fans (yes, we want them foaming at the mouth and drooling - an ugly customer is a happy customer folks).

What will those rabid, loyal fans tell themselves about themselves by being our loyal, rabid fans?

5. what is our goal with this thing? This is different for everyone. And it is perfectly ok to update this from time to time, but we need little end zones so we can pivot when things go wrong and when things go well we can make time for happy dances around the studio, high fives with our peeps (in my case Olive, whose high fives are more like 'give me your paw', but I know what she is thinking with this) and chances to haul out the good liquor.

(please send me your corks)