|Always ready to embrace change and move forward with ease, Marie Snail celebrates both Bastille Day and the American Independence Day with the great enthusiasm and loads of ice cream.|
With the fireworks, cookouts, and various celebrations of American Independence Day just behind us, I find myself looking forward to celebrating Bastille Day on July 14th. I’ve never celebrated Bastille Day before. Why now? I’m just not done celebrating Freedom. I want more. Because the seeking and winning of Freedom, regardless of one’s country of origin, must be encouraged and commemorated above all else.
Sometimes I become overwhelmed with everything I want to do and everything that I must do. It is clear to me that I cannot do it all, at least not all at once. What I can do is trust that I am taking the correct steps for the path that I am meant to follow.
That sounds really enlightened, doesn't it? I'm not quite there, yet. I'm working on it. I opened the doors to my online stores a little over three months ago. Sales are not overwhelming. What I am finding overwhelming are:
- Marketing-on-a-shoestring, which requires constant vigilance and for me a massive learning curve.
- Inventory. I create the inventory, which requires many steps: I write it, doodle it, sketch it or photograph it. Then I scan it to my computer. Then I clean it up, add stuff (maybe), change stuff (probably), format it, print it, photograph it, write descriptions, tags, upload it, tweet it, facebook it, pinterest it...then I have to let it go and hope someone will take interest.
Up until six months ago, I had always worked for someone else, doing my best to make their dreams come true. It was never presented to me in such a lofty manner. "Yeah, come work for us and make our dreams come true." Did any of the places I worked at actually ask me to make their "dreams come true"? No. Never in those words. But that's what I took on. Look, this is what I subscribe to: a business shouldn't be just about making money. A business should be about fulfilling your heart's desire. What you do for a living needs be about doing what is in your heart period. Some of us are Healers. Some of us are Teachers. Some of us are Artists, Nurturers, or Storytellers. The form our healing, teaching, art, nurturing, or storytelling manifests is not the point. In fact, it really doesn't matter. If you're a healer you can choose the form of doctor, nurse, therapist, masseuse, witch or shaman. It doesn't matter. You'll still be a healer, regardless. Whatever lies within our heart is who we are and what we must express. Or else…what? Or else we’re freaking unhappy. And unhappy people make for an unhappy world.
With this as my compass and little else but huge-white-hot-gulping fears and major-butterflies-in-my-stomach excitement, I began my very own Quest for Freedom to do the work that lives in my heart. Let the Serious-as-a-Heart-Attack-Doubts begin! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! What a ride this is. I cannot say that I’m enjoying it all. Some of it has sucked. Sucked in ways that I’d never even imagined. And my imagination sits on a lone outpost somewhere beyond Pluto welcoming pretty much anyone and anything to sit and place an order at its Diner O’ Strange & Unexpected.
I’m not kidding about the doubts. The doubts are huge and overwhelming. Way more overwhelming than marketing, finding the right 100% recycled paper and envelopes, setting up an online store, or doodling. Doubts can absolutely kill you, literally and figuratively. I had to come up with a plan on how to deal with the doubts. After trials and many errors (something I proudly admit to excelling in), I’ve come up with this: do it anyway. Really? That’s the best you could come up with, IK?? Yep.
Eventually, what I’m hoping for is that by “doing it anyway” I’ll gain freedom from my jailor, Doubt. I realize the doubts will not go away entirely. I know that there is a reason we have them in the first place, but ultimately, freedom is what we’re meant to experience. That I do believe. We are meant to be free. We are meant to be free to do the work that lives in our hearts. It’s why we’re here. And nothing can truly stop us, except ourselves. So, Viva La...fill in the blank.
This is how I celebrated the Fourth of July and this is how I’ll celebrate Bastille Day. To honor the lives lost and the sacrifices made in the effort of becoming free, I must battle my own demon doubts with equal bravery, drive, and commitment.