Promotion to Chief Strategist

I have been a bit trapped in my head lately. With a tight fog wrapped around my thoughts, I have spent hours laying down begging for it to break. I know what I am supposed to do. I know what I want to do. I think…

Part of the fog’s heaviness was due to this weird guilt I have as a parent, pursuing a dream instead of spending all of my time and energy supporting my daughters. I even wonder if I am supposed to be master minding the musicians in my family. Am I supposed to channel all of this fire I have to lifting up others?

There is this weight of expectation and my tendency to get so excited about my projects that I talk about them and talk about them and live them through this talking and then I feel crippled at night, wondering if I will end up late in life, as that person who had all these great ideas and never did anything… but she had so much potential.

I feel challenged by what emboldens me. I hesitate to fully own the fact I feel called to bring attention to Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the intuitive voice, etc… This radical self awareness that changed my life I see absent in the lives of people clinging and stuck. Which helps me realize: if I am stuck, if I am clinging…. perhaps its time for that radical self awareness that has changed my life before…

I realize all of my fears. And the pressure. I recognize the daunting nature of creative thinking and being too much, mis understood, out of scope, beyond budget… I am not in corporate anymore.

Even with having a book complete, I think: “what a failure”, “you did not try hard enough”, “there is so much more to do”. And I realize… Erin, be gentle with yourself. You did a big thing. You made something exist. Now you raise it. Babies are not born Teenagers, Teenagers are not Grown Up.

I feel crazy sometimes with Apple Tree Magic and Yoga Underground and Frozen Spaghetti – and why do I have this ongoing theme in my life with so many names? Even my actual legal name… I was one thing before, and another before that… Four different names, so many instagram handles, am I certifiable nonsense?

But, see, here is the teaching – the practical truth – only the mind can make something a bad thing. Universally bad things are bad because, universally, most people qualify them as such. Yet I get to choose my thinking. I get to choose if I am a disaster or if I am unfolding.

I get stuck creatively when I wonder what to let go of – it halts me in my steps. And, again, the next teaching – the next practical truth – the right step is only one step and it is obvious. If I keep the names, I will know when it is time to let them go because it will be clear. If I hesitate, just wait. They need to be there so I know when they should go… and why…

I am continually balancing self trust with critical thinking. I am continually wondering if I should have continued to play it safe: get a paycheck, have good benefits, take a couple of weeks off a year to write. Then mornings come, mornings like this one – where I remember the math that when things equal hard add “work” and get to it. Get to it. Get to it.

I have an ambitious day today, but – everything I want to do is something I know how to do. I have the full support of my husband, my mother and my self. I know better than to question timing – and this knowing better will ground me today. It especially helps me when I feel like I am doing this all too late in life. As it could only be now that I have what I have to mix in and produce the art… the words.

I have always written rhymes and told stories. I have always sang songs and enjoyed cleaning the bathrooms and the floors. I have always found joy in making others laugh or think, in perfectly wild circles of friends around a table – meeting each other for the first or second time; always open to trying something new with themselves. Because those people are my audience: the ones who like to think differently than yesterday.

The ones who feel a problem in their life and look for the meaning, the silver lining, the option to open a window.

Curious for the abstract in the practical and the practically abstract… that is what I do. It is what made me a good analyst.

Yet this digging into the data and bringing up something wild is also why I believe I never got promoted beyond a certain point in the corporate world because the thinking – it was way out there, it was experimental and I was always thinking way faster than I was talking and I was talking way fast… But the great news is that, in this world? The one I am in now? I am the only one that has to understand myself and I don’t even have to say anything to get there. I don’t need to make myself a deck. I just need to act on impulse, grounding myself in my spiritual practices that will make this all work in the end. As that is the core belief.

So – get pumped: I am promoting myself to Chief Strategist of my life.

It makes good sense to do so…

We have a lot of fun ahead of us, you see.

I just need to keep believing and you – you need to read. :)

This Whole Writer Thing

I have been going back and forth on a few things from my last post… The whole going back to corporate thing I mentioned? I guess, it’s really about this sincere desire to work that I have and this LOVE of thinking and drawing insights and the pleasure of when they make sense to people who need them to – I love that. I experienced that in my work at Enterprise, so I say “I’ll probably go back” meaning – I am sure my life will wind me to where this intuitive analysis creative thing is a part of my career. I also love to think about industry. Mainly – I like to complain about robots like le Google and Siri and how they fail me, but I do love thinking about how industries can literally and actually make things better for humans.

The other thing that I was kind of noodling from yesterday’s post was whether or not my point got across. This whole writer thing – it’s just really interesting, because it is both who I have always been and who I am becoming. But the becoming thing? That’s where I am surfing.

I talked with Marketia after my post. We were processing vocation and purpose and I found myself sharing with her how in my “wrestling” between marketing and operations, purpose and practical next steps, how I knew – deep down – this answer of “what am I supposed to be doing in my life” was going to be so obvious.

All answers to big questions seem to typically be obvious. “Square between the eyes”, type of answers. So when I looked for what was already obvious and saw notes across my desk on how my writing moved somebody or thanking me for creating something, it made me really reflect on genuine comments on “the flow” and genuine excitement my friends and family have with me on the future and its unfolding.

It feels real. This whole writer thing…

So. Frozen Spaghetti readers, here’s what I am now in: the removal of the saran wrap that believes I need that person, that mentor, that role, that opportunity, that one thing. I am in the part of shifting from ladder climbing culture to future is now thinking that requires me to know what I obviously know (writing) and let the rest surprise me (even if it is obvious when it does in fact come).

The sheer amount of people who are popping up in my life is actually indescribable. I described them towards the end of my post yesterday… it’s not just bullshit busy work. These people popping up – phone calls and knocks on the door, lunch plans and business – they are different than the endless meetings that kept me from getting to “just get my work done” or “go heads down”. Shifting this “pressure like” feeling (Erin, are you prioritizing your time correctly?) is also part of this layer of saran wrap removal. (PS: For new readers, I retired from corporate life in 2020 and have been actively removing 16 years of thinking as limiting beliefs pop up.)

Yeah. So – I am a writer. Responsible for showing up for the projects. And I am (in my mom’s words) personable and “out there with others” and willing to show up for the people. These two things are a yin and yang that make up the whole. This balance of effort and ease, this is where my devotional practice 3.0 is coming to form. Like. An actual emergence of dharma that I know (special thanks to watching The Kardashians on Hulu) that I have to pay attention to. I cannot feel like there is something right to do and not do it. I have to follow what is obvious.

There’s that word again…

I have been thinking a lot about my health and my routines. How am I caring for my physical body and keeping myself primed for everything involved in this pursuit / moving forward as well as the things involved in this root / staying grounded (for the fam, ya know… and the dogs). It’s causing me to consider my nidra and my yoga and my diet and my tumeric and my black seed and my actually amazing doctor and how I need to get back there for some B12 and prayer. (She actually factually prays – straight up – in my appointments. It’s just so good.)

For those of you who have been following along and so supportive, thank you so much. The guilt and the pressure of performance is eased by your grace and is helping me feel confident as I navigate the nooks of my new creative universe, how I work with myself, and the trust thing.

I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s post that “We are the mirrors on the boxes we carry our hearts in and it is US that show back to the world what we would like to see” – I think this is why so many people are in popping up in my life in the same season I am actively putting in effort into these creative projects. In everything I do, I feel this nudge when the rhyme or the prose can be rounded or more open to let more people in. In all of the creative work, I feel this little jolt when there is insight there that if somebody read twice, went through – it might give. It might breathe.

If I did not know all of these people personally, would I be able to do that? I am not sure. The intro to the devotional has been through several test reads and the last comment somebody made was “It’s for everybody”…. it is… for everybody.

Which. Apparently lit agents don’t want to hear. :) so… back to figuring out this writing thing. BY WRITING. OK BYE HAPPY SATURDAY.

“We are the mirrors on the boxes we carry our hearts in and it is US that show back to the world what we would like to see.” Frozen Spaghetti

Milestones, Program Meetings and Project Plans.

Every time I allow myself to think how far away I am from my goals, I stop and give special pause to nod and smile… I am also a lot closer.

Truth of the matter: I have a studio collab in my hometown. So local, it hurts, actually – as I could walk to the studio where I will teach three summer nap sessions (complete with a story!) and have my first 90 minute workshop slated for this fall. For those readers waiting on their devotional: these dates and milestones proved crucial to the launch of the book. Order here if you haven’t.

I am constantly thinking about the marketing and the offer and the sales goal, getting stressed out about the executive decisions and strategic timing, then remembering: operations, first. This thinking takes me back to all the times in my previous corporate life, I wanted the group to focus: WHAT are we doing not HOW are we going to describe it… sell it… etc.

I miss corporate life. I get asked that probably once a month. Do I miss Enterprise? Do I miss working? Do I miss corporate? Will I go back.

Yes No Eh Probably.

When I thought of this blog post, I was vacuuming barefoot in my home and thinking a little bit about some of the comments people have made to me about my upcoming work to be self-published in December 2022. How Kristen Bell and Oprah will love it…

I think about Elizabeth Gilbert, and the box I am going to send her when this whole bit is done… a box full of goodies and a huge thank you for being the rock that loosened my soil. For the way she tells stories and the way it has brought me into mine.

Flash forward three minutes and I am getting ready to wipe down, do a quick run through, adjust plants and I realize YEAH! …the kids will be home at 3 and it will be their turn to run mop over floor, do dishes… that’s nice. Actually. Really nice.

It’s the weekend and there is so much to do and not do. Accent plants as much of a priority as a Saturday Matinee as much as a party as much as my writing.

Writing.

… it’s what I am here to do, guys. Write. Capture. Screenshot my heart into words in a blog. Gosh.

Writer’s Reflection: this independent act, needs people – so much. Crazy how the solitude of your keyboard and screen involves so many.

So many stories. So many people. So many pictures. And, there we are: back in paragraph three and wondering about platforms, committees and staff. Flash forward again… yes, the kids will be home. They shall make money running my social media.

Then there is Marketia… customer service…. There is Sonya “So So” and a dinner date… there is the owner of the studio and the runner of things and the fellow writers and the spiritual seekers and the yoga mamas and dates and the calendars and the zooms and the peace.

The peace in knowing yes, my circles run many, my friends – oh my, I cherish. This busyness, this puzzle: is a gift meant for me. And, THIS all – teaches me a reminder:

We are here to love each other. We are here to reflect each other.

We are the mirrors on the boxes we carry our hearts in and it is US that show back to the world what we would like to see.

If you want things to look different, you must be different. If you want things to change, you must change.

If you want worry to stop praying for the future you don’t want, you must – must – absolutely MUST – be a lily in the field.

For that lily? That bad ass little lily?

She is steady with the wind, opening as she does and beautiful in her exact role in this world.

Here I am, a writer.