Desk Life to Tea Life
Less than five months ago I was sitting at a desk, in a windowless office, fluorescent lights, working on projects I struggled to find meaning in, counting down the hours and minutes until I could leave to rescue my young son from daycare and find refuge in our house for the evening.
This was my life for nearly six years (excluding picking up my son, he's only just turned a year and a half). Right out of grad school I had landed the coveted job in my small mountain town. I was going to be an engineer for an innovative company who consistently makes it in the Forbes 100 Best Companies in America list. I would go from a grad student whose bank account rarely exceeded $100 to making a salary I was embarrassed to tell my friends about. And all to do what I loved! I'll never forget the call I got offering me a job. I cried with euphoria and relief. My then-boyfriend-now-husband picked me up and twirled me around in his arms. We were set for life.
I don't remember a specific time my feelings started to change about my job but I do know it was pretty early on. I quickly realized I did not get hired to do what I loved. Being an engineer in a highly regulated industry bears little resemblance to being a physics and astronomy grad student doing research for nothing more than seeing how deep you can go into the unknown. Not to say it was all bad. My new found career did have many benefits that I gladly switched out for a more mundane existence. Not having to worry about finances was the biggest carrot, the stress of being broke left a scar in my memory that I have vowed I will never repeat. I had more free time. Sure I was at work 8-5 Monday-Friday but that was nothing compared to the amount of work required to be an accomplished student or to write a thesis. And, there was the piece that played to my ego. The title I had gives you a lot of respect and admiration in this town, and I won't pretend I didn't like it.
Oh the ideas, I was generating them out of desperation, thinking this is going to be my ticket out of here! How can I turn this one, this one when the previous twenty-seven never came to fruition, into a business that will give me what I'm searching for and pay the bills? The business ideas I had weren't coming from a genuine place. I was thinking, me, me, me. What can I do that will service me? Everything felt like an uphill battle, my business ideas were so forced. And then I stopped trying. I stepped back from haphazard ideas and made note of what was coming to me, "coincidences". But I don't believe in coincidences. It's only a coincidence if you let it pass you by. Stop, and listen, be childlike. Pursue that coincidence. The collective consciousness is constantly reaching out to us. When something coincidental happens, that is our opportunity to see what the universe is trying to tap us for.
This is how Lia Leaf came to be. I listened and trusted. So many of the ideas I can honestly only remember literally popping into my head, with no forethought. Like the name. I remember I was walking my newborn son one winter day and it just was there! I don't even remember what I was thinking about but this name came into my head with authority and knocked out whatever thought I was attempting with my sleepless mind and said "Here I am!". And that was that! No question, the business was named. I knew and trusted this idea would be successful because I was listening and letting things happen. I kept moving forward, asking what was the next step and then taking it to see where I would go next. The process was very fluid, and intuitive.
I won't entirely sugar coat this business coming to life. It took more work than I can relay to you and I have put everything my family owns on the line. Even if the universe was tapping me and I listened, I couldn't ignore the practical side of starting a business. It is important to recognize the world we dream in and the world we live in and understand how they work together. For most of us, these worlds are entirely different and we treat them as such. "One day I'll do...." or "One day I'll be..." without having any intention to do anything in that instant to make that statement come true. I started out that way, living in two entirely separate worlds. But I recognized that if I made strategic decisions in both worlds, I could set them on a path of convergence. Everyday I am working towards making my dream world and physical world combine so they are the same world for me.
So, here I am today. Nearly five months later. I still sit at a desk (most of the time), in a windowless office with fluorescent lights, and full nearly to the ceiling with stuff. But rather than it being shackled to it, I see it as my tool to bridge my dream world/physical world gap. And, at least my current office is mine that I can do whatever I want with :).