When I think back to recap the last 12 months the first thing that pops to mind is the shift in mindset that has allowed me to delve into a place that feels exciting, calm, simplified and perfect.
It was the year of the book in my life, breaking all sorts of personal reading records and learning so much along the way. My genres of choice are business and personal growth and wowsers! 2018 delivered me quite a library!
The year started with a clear focus on simplifying and making more money, which was prompted by enrolling our youngest daughter in a private school that showed us just exactly what Violet needed. Rather than to have her education be a financial strain on our family, I decided that it is our jobs as parents to provide the education that works for our kiddos - no matter what the cost - without stress. Honestly, since the beginning of my entrepreneurial path back I 1987 (which happens to coincide with my transition into adulthood), my focus has been on making environmental impact. Only since Violet has been in her new school have I realized that my ability to make global environmental change will be achievable only when family obligations are met with ease and grace, requiring a substantially increased and steady influx of money.
A year ago, I had stumbled across Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass At Making Money on my Overdrive account. I downloaded it for the 30-minute ride home without even really looking at it. This book gave me hope and inspired me to reassess my path with a new focus and I have never looked back!
Since then I have invested in myself, read a dozen books, listened to countless business related podcasts and stumbled into just the right places at just the right times to learn that perfect something to carry me along a path to financial freedom and greater environmental impact. To say this is an empowering realization is an understatement. This feeling is so freeing that all I want to do is share my knowledge along with creative environmentalism. In this place I will share what I have learned about creating the life you desire with focus, mindset and self-care.
The greatest manifestation of the last 12 months is the sale of the majestic cathedral that has housed my creative endeavors for the last 13 years. Having spent my working hours for all that time in a sacred space has been a blessing. My younger kids learned to ride their bikes in that church. They grew up with the space as their backyard, adventure and playspace. We have hosted countless artists, travelers, magic makers, alchemists, performers, parties, and ceremonies in our church. While the true awesomeness goes noticed and deeply appreciated, the venture has been expensive and has demanded a level of attention that was unforeseen. Chris, my hubby, and I have been ready to let this treasure go for a few years. After a year of envisioning it transitioning into the hands of a respectful and worthy new owner, we are scheduled to close on the sale tomorrow afternoon. My manifestation is coming to fruition - so empowering, exciting, perfect. There is a transition coming!
The lessons of 2018 are many.
I learned to ask for help and accept it when offered even by virtual strangers. The story is long and will be shared in another post but it had to do with my work at Maine Fiber College and a family health emergency. There were angels all around me who helped me be vulnerable and ok with it.
I learned again - in a new way that time is more valuable than money
I’m learning to celebrate my accomplishments and honor my history -
To be honorable and find comfort and passion
I’m a better listener than I was a year ago.
In 2018 I jumped into my new business model with both feet and hired an amazing business coach/wealth therapist. Let me just say that Agnes Kowalski is amazing! She helped me see a new way. Agnes taught me to harness my mindset; she taught me to train myself in ways I had never considered and now are part of my daily ritual. She empowered me and gave me a library worth of reading to do – which I did and loved!
In addition to all the reading, introspection, and financial focus, I gathered and have developed an amazing team. Team Crispinaffrench is a strong and small group of professionals working toward making a profitable lifestyle brand serving a community of environmentally minded makers - serving hobbyists to professional craftspeople - with fresh ideas, uplifting stories and real life connections. My recycled textile useful art wares and Dolphin Studio calendar will continue while 2019 is ushers me a pivot to a place of better connection, teaching, learning, sharing, and gentle living. I’m learning that people are interested in hand making and connection and being a part of something wonderful, uplifting and fun.
To keep things moving along and clear, each day, I write, journaling my thoughts, tasks, ideas, and to-do lists that keep me on track. 2018 filled far more moleskin journals than any year prior. Each tome is full of handwritten ideas, connections, future projects, taped-in business cards , notes and drawings. Next week I have set aside time to go through my 2018 journals culling ideas stashed on those pages for direct action and tossing most of them back into the mix to be harvested at some future time.
As I look back at the year and am finally feeling excited about the sale of our building that until this very writing has seemed more like a dream than real, I am looking back at a much bigger window. A longer piece of history than a single year is under scrutiny in my head. I feel proud of all we accomplished in Pittsfield and I am really ready to dive into the next, slightly more manageable, chapter. Happy New Year!