Into the Great Wide Open

The Garden. Costume design from Mistic Krewe of Comus' 1873 'Missing Links' parade. by Charles Briton. New Orleans.

The Garden. Costume design from Mistic Krewe of Comus' 1873 'Missing Links' parade. by Charles Briton. New Orleans.


Recently, I sent out a newsletter expressing that both my gut feeling and observational judgment tell me that shifts in retail will be so profoundly momentous that the very idea of what it means to acquire something in a commercial way will be unrecognizable in ten years.

Already the family mall crawl seems to be a dying artform. We used to get in our Sunday best and sort of slowly amble around the curated safe space of the physical suburban world that made up nearly twenty percent of my adolescent experiences: THE MALL.

While I’m acutely aware that it is our human nature to romanticize that which might be lost (in this case, a Macy’s and a food court), it still saddens me to think of the experiences we had in the analog world slowly disappearing. I think about The Wonder Years and how it would feel if on a Saturday night, all the kids got together virtually instead of at a burger spot.  This is a very long-winded way of saying, I don't think normal stores will exist for very long and I'm not interested in fighting the sort of sweeping change that reforms culture so profoundly that some jobs become extinct and others are invented.

In the last local election I voted entirely in protest of the current administration as it's quite obvious to me that unregulated development is pushing artists out of New York City. At the same time, whenever I listen to Abraham Hicks (a brilliant teacher of the law of attraction and predecessor of Louise Hay) talk about how we only manage our own realities with our thoughts and vibrations, that always feels better and truer than fighting city hall (And yet I still wonder, is what she is saying, true? Is this just escapism? Does this explain entire nations of impoverished people and natural disasters? I'm still figuring out how I can understand this.)

As you can see, I am  in touch with the macrocosm. The what if, and my place in the world at large. I am very comfortable swimming in the world of ideas. Where I have less dexterity is the physical task-oriented to world. It feels heavy and clumsy and slow, and often I wonder how long I will have to deal with people who don't believe that anything invisible exists even though they use microwaves and cell phones everyday.

What this means:  can think myself into oblivion until there's no step that I can take, and I've thought myself onto an island.

Which is recently what I have done with my business.

I am currently a scholar in the Tory Burch Foundation’s education program. The TBF Foundation is teaching us to assimilate traditional business concepts into our already-existing businesses, and we are being taught to evaluate which options will bring us revenue so we can hire, and employee beautiful people and grow and grow and grow.

And yet, everyday I listen to Abraham Hicks talk about being in alignment with you inner being: which means making decisions based on how you want to feel, always going towards what feels good. Her  teachings center around controlling your vibration by going towards joy at all times.

I see quite clearly that these two ways of looking at the world are at complete odds. And I profoundly respect both of them. I believe in the vibrational and energetic world. I also believe in having my rent paid on time and having savings.

So what is a retail store that is barely afloat with it’s affordable offerings and limited marketing budget to do?

Well, here’s what feels good and brings me joy.

Offering mini readings and providing space for incredibly talented creative healers and teachers to connect with the gorgeous community we have cultivated with the four walls of 421 Graham Avenue. (I also happen to know that there is no way this can grow my revenue in any meaningful way. )

Why am I going in all of these different directions?

I am changing inside. I don’t see my gifts in any linear way. I know that I’m really good at predicting fashion trends about a year ahead of time. I know that I am good at being incredibly honest with my clients about what is best for them. I know that I have a lot of integrity in my offerings and that I have often sacrificed my well-being to serve others (which is unhealthy patterning, and not good for anyone!) I also know that as I dig deeper into my own personal work, I am finding that I have work on the foundation of my own sense of self.

This work on myself is teaching me that I have lived my life feeling responsible for everyone else's feelings. Which led me to think everyone else was also responsible for my feelings. That if I always thought about what other's needed, they would do the same for me, and in a way, owe it to me.

Guess what! This is not only not how the universe works according to Abraham Hicks and Teal Swan, and Louise Hay, but it's also just really unhealthy.

What would I be doing if I didn't want to make sure everyone else was happy? If I didn't need them to feel that way so I could control their impression of me? If I wasn't in need of everyone's approval? I don't know. I started thinking about it when I was 31, and I'm still trying to shed the guilt of actually thinking about myself.

I am always trying to connect the dots and patterns to see the shape of what is truly emerging, but what I am finding is that in this exact moment, I need to allow myself to make more dots and worry about the picture later. That I need to trust that there is a picture I have no control over, that is much bigger than me, and that if I just follow my urge to heal myself and share my gifts in small ways, that a picture that is much bigger than me will come into being on its own, and I will find my happy corner in it.