Always be nice. Always get back to people. Always be gracious. Even with sales people.
That's not actually the inspiration I got from Oprah this morning. BUT, I'm having a hard couple of days and a THF client-turned pal told me I should watch the "Living Brave" interview with Oprah.
Believe it or not, this was only the second time in my life I watched anything Oprah-related. The first time was in the 1990's when I was, living in Chicago (where I grew up). For some reason I was home from work for the day and I turned on Oprah's show. I'm not even sure why I did that since I've always hated daytime television, but I did and she was starting a new walking program. I was so inspired by the end of the show that I decided to go to the walking path on Lake Michigan for a long walk. It may have been springtime and I had a lovely long walk. It was a weekday so there weren't many people out there but suddenly I saw a whole group of people walking on the path toward me. I kept moving toward them and then started seeing cameras and people running around and then I saw her. In the middle of everyone, there was Oprah walking on the path right toward me. Then the most unbelievable thing happened. I spontaneously exclaimed as I passed her that I was out there because I saw her show that morning. And then she hugged me. The cameras were rolling and I was amazed. I was amazed at her spirit and graciousness. I was amazed that she stopped and listened to the crazy lady on the path. I was amazed that the only day I ever heard her talk was the day I met her. I was amazed that she truly seemed to care and that she gave me a hug. I suppose I should have watched her show the next day to see if they aired our Lake Michigan hug, but I had to go to work and then I guess I kind of let it slip and I got on with my life. Every once in a while I remember that I had that brief amazing experience and it fills me with joy.
When my friend told me to watch the "Living Brave" clip, I wasn't feeling as down as I was feeling yesterday and today so I may have let it slip again, but I'm trying so hard right now to not throw in the towel on The Healing Farm business. I'm trying so hard to be brave and "choose the right path". So instead of working the last two days (and trying not to feel guilty about it), I've taken the time to treat myself to some introspection time. I picked up and started reading a book that I recommended to other people called "Hidden Blessings". When I bought the book, it was after my last multi-day women's retreat. A dear friend had posted it on Facebook and I decided it was something I needed to read since it was about midlife crisis and that's precisely what I've been experiencing for the past ten years (yes, ten years). Even though it completely resonated with me, I put it down after reading the first part because I knew I wanted to do the exercises in the book, but I didn't have the time. So in my despair yesterday, on a rainy, gloomy day, I decided NOT to do the daunting bookkeeping that I need to do and I got cozy in the living room while my husband sat working on his hopes and dreams on the other couch (he's writing his first screenplay) and I started reading. And I started writing and I started to feel ok about letting the next planned retreat go. I started thinking that it would be ok if I disappointed some people right now. Even myself. Because maybe my current approach to the path to The Healing Farm is not the path I'm supposed to be on. Yes, as the day turned into evening, there was some panic that crept into my thoughts and heart. I realized I had to let the women who signed up for my retreat know that I was not going to move forward. That I had to let my team know and - perhaps the biggest hurdle - I had to announce what I was viewing as a colossal failure in my next newsletter, but I decided not to let those feelings overwhelm and derail me. I had my little Wednesday night bed party with my husband. Had amazing sex, had a good sleep, had a good cry this morning as I woke, prayed, meditated. And then I watched the Oprah clip.
Brene Brown asked Oprah about failure and Oprah talked about starting her network. She was listening to other people and not completely following her heart and something about the network was failing. It made me realize that even someone with more success than most people could even imagine - with more money and influence than most people could ever imagine - FEELS SOMETIMES LIKE SHE'S FAILING. She decided to start listening to herself again and it became a success. I cried again. I guess Oprah is probably known to make people cry.
After I watched that clip I wanted more Oprah so I finally watched her now-famous Golden Globes speech - and I cried again. It reminded me that when I marched at the first women's march, I held a sign I made that morning that read "Women will transform the world".
All women great and small will change the world and I want to be one of them. I want to grow The Healing Farm property to change the future of healthcare. To change the world in my small way - or big way. Somehow I need to make it happen. Something keeps pushing me in that direction. I'm sacred to death. I afraid of failure. I'm afraid of debt, I'm afraid of my own pride ruining me - but somehow I've got to push on. It may not be in the direction I wrote in my recently completed THF business plan, but somehow I'm going to make it happen.
I want to build a place where average people can heal. Where average people can feel comfortable. Where average people can afford to experience peace and joy and escape and introspection and true healing. If I won the lottery that's what I would do. But I'm probably not going to win the lottery so I have to make it happen some other way. I have to get my unprofessionally written business plan out there and be ok with feeling like I don't have what it takes and that "real" business people may think I'm a bumbling dreamer fool. I have to continue to follow that river - bend by bend until I somehow get there. It may not end up being The Healing Farm. Or I may end up supporting someone else who is more capable of putting the pieces in place, but step by step, somehow it will happen.
Oprah and Brene mentioned intention. Oprah said that when she was making "The Color Purple" she said to herself "One day I really hope I have enough money to have a home with beautiful things in a beautiful surrounding that matches my beautiful spirit". I hope something similar for Brennan and I and I hope with all of my being that it's The Healing Farm and I want to share that vision with the masses.
What inspired me to write this blog post ultimately was that I answered a sales email today. I also scheduled a coffee with someone who has a business that I'm not sure I fully support, but she's been persistent in wanting to get together with me, so I feel like I should get together with her. Who knows where the conversation will lead. I realized that I'm a nice person. I do have good boundaries most of the time, but I also respect that everyone is pursuing some kind of dream and that everyone (within reason) deserves a nice and respectful response if they are being nice and respectful. I'm distressed these days at the number of non-responses I get - even by friends. Everyone is so busy these days that somehow it's become ok to not respond. I'm sure I've let some things slip through the cracks, but I always try to respond and I'm always nice. It's who I am at my core and it's important to me. I do believe that quality in me - that has great respect for all human beings - is a piece of the puzzle that will help me grow and realize my dreams in whatever form they may take and that makes me feel proud of who I am.
I am The Healing Farm. I will cultivate practical wellness.