So Many Niches, So Little Time

I have a lot of niches. In these days of “pick one thing” business advice, I feel lost and stuffed into a box. It just doesn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s brilliant if you are someone who has a very specific service or product to offer the world and that offering makes your heart sing and pays the bills. Sometimes I’m even envious of people with such a life path.

a path

It just doesn’t work out for my life and I’m done trying to force it. Especially when my main niche is learning! I’m a nerd and I love to learn new things, experience everything I can, and then share the benefits with others.

My résumé easily provides proof of this claim. I hold degrees in Psychology, Education, and Metaphysical Research. I hold certifications in Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurvedic Astrology. I’ve worked or volunteered in the fields of retail, customer service, food service, management, education, wellness, relationships, hospice, parks/recreation, and as an entrepreneur.

Beyond the formal stuff, I’ve learned how to do all sorts of things from plumbing and electrical work, to carpentry and design. I can patch a roof, repair vinyl flooring, change the oil in a vehicle, drain a water heater, build almost anything out of wood, and much much more. Hmm… my niche is beginning to sound a bit like self-sufficiency.

For fun I study nutrition, trauma recovery, herbalism, gardening, canine behavior and training, dance, mindfulness, photography, art, website design, beekeeping, biology, and the list goes on. I really really love to learn and then apply what I’ve learned to living life. I value efficiency, effectiveness, creativity, ingenuity, and integrity.

Throughout all of this learning, what I’ve come to realize is that I can take in all sorts of information from other sources yet the real true wisdom is in my experience. If I try something I learned and it doesn’t quite work for me, I can make adjustments by listening to my body and my intuition. In this way I build my own personal manual for living my life and it is always in flux. What worked for me when I was 26 doesn’t work now at age 46. What works for my sister or my best friend may not work for me and vice versa. As I grow and change, so does my understanding of what I need to live life in a way I feel fulfilled and joyful.

A personal wisdom journey is a truly fantastic and magical path to travel down. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m also quite good at assisting other people along their own personal wisdom journey as I have an extremely large tool box to pull from and an all-encompassing perspective. Let me know if you’d like some help starting out on your own journey or if you need a new perspective on a well-worn path you’re already traveling. Contact me! I’d love to help.

A Mirror Helps Me Write Micro-Fiction and Reflect on Life as a Privilege Instead of a Burden

One writing exercise I like to do is find an intriguing object and imagine it’s history, it’s experiences over the course of it’s existence, and the people or other creatures who may have interacted with it. Such a fun exercise! It really gets my imagination going too.

This mirror inspired a micro-fiction piece earlier on in the year and today actually synced up with some personal growth exploration I’m in in the midst of.

First – The Personal

A dear friend of mine sent me an old photo of us from 1998-ish. I use the term friend but Jasi and I’s relationship was definitely more than that. We were roommates, chosen sisters, party partners, wing women, support systems, classmates, and just figuring out young adult life in the wild world together. We fought and made up, shared jokes and laughter, taught each other new things, cried over guys, danced until we could barely walk, and always looked out for each other. Our times could easily be made into a movie. Or a book for that matter.

When I shared this photo with my younger sister, Quinn, it started a conversation about how life was simpler then. In the spirit of the mirror, I started to reflect. I began to wonder why did life feel like it was simpler? I mean, in 1998 I still had to pay rent, bills, go to the doctor, maintain relationships, grocery shop and cook, and everything else we humans have to do to stay alive and well. So what changed? What’s different now?

Then it hit me. In 1998 I was just out of college and had been living on my own for about 2 years. Life at that time felt like a privilege to me and nothing felt like a burden. I was thrilled to be alive and absorb the world around me. Even the hard stuff like medical issues I had to put on credit cards because I couldn’t pay the bill, or break ups that shattered my heart, or eating rice and beans because I didn’t have enough money for anything else, or working extra shifts to get overtime pay were all just simply what life was in the moment. Nothing more, nothing less.

As the years passed I can see how some things began to be a burden in my mind. And though this burden was a personal mindset, it was propagated by society’s view (rules) of what an adult life should look like and what success and happiness should look like as an adult in the US. So there began to be a need to earn more money and settle into a career and the like. Not to mention that I should act a certain way and look a certain way to fit into an arbitrary mold set up by the culture around me.

So now I say boo to all that! I’m taking back my mindset of life as a privilege. It’s a privilege to breathe this air and feel the sun on my skin and eat delicious home cooked food and take care of my health and have a family and wash my clothes and be a part of this wild world. Sure there are hard and challenging times but there is so much wonder and beauty too. So much to experience and learn and grow from.

Upon all this reflection I realized that I had way more fun back then. In between all the life maintenance stuff and heart breaks and illness, there was fun, joy, parties, laughter, and lots and lots of dancing. So I’ve decided to bring the party back. Now I definitely don’t want to party like I did when I was 22 as that is NOT my definition of fun these days. So what does fun look like for me now, at 46?

I still love to dance. And I love to write. I also really enjoy creating and building things. So I have an idea to combine these things and start a local group for creative exploration of life through dancing and various arts. There’s nothing like this where I currently live and it’s really what I want to do. So I’m gonna do it! Stay tuned for progress updates!

Second – The Micro-Fiction

He wants to get her a mirror.

The burden of the beauty he beholds everyday is too much to bear alone.

He needs her to share in the mystery and wonder of her own existence so he can make sense of it, or at least feel accompanied on such an overwhelming journey.

She eschews mirrors.

Those portals into the unknowing masked as safe reflections unsettle her.

Tapestry covered mirrors are tolerable with their icy fear slightly softened.

No poltergeist will get through here, thank you very much.

And the eternal enigma therein waits patiently to see herself being seen.

Yet again.

Dear Cosmic Diary 8/12,

Looking into the full moon as it hangs out with Saturn – literally since they woke me up at 1:47am this morning and kept me awake for an hour – I find a new perspective on my own natal chart. My map for the possibilities of this life.

For most of my life, I’ve tried to logically fix or detach from my emotions. I was definitely given this skill at birth and then had to hone it when I was young. Emotional nourishment was never something I really understood nor even thought I deserved. It was for the weak and I was not weak. 

Seeing my peers being in loving friendships made me jealous, angry, and judgmental. I wanted what they had but was certain I could never have it as I didn’t deserve it and I never learned how to do it. But I wouldn’t admit that. So I detached and pretended not to need it.

Such a painful way to live for a tender, developing heart and mind.

Many of my relationships ended up being about power, control, and ownership. Thinking about it now saddens me and I grieve for the many depths of connection and love I missed out on.

So where do I go from here?

I will find compassion for my past self and my experiences by maintaining a connection to something beyond, something greater. As I do this I also become more able to hold a compassionate kind space for others.

I acknowledge my skill of detachment and accept it as a truly brilliant way of protecting myself from terrifying situations. Situations that were threatening or caused me shame for not knowing how to do something.

I see myself now and in the future giving what was withheld from me by others and my own fears. I shift my perspective to see the benefits of both aspects of my experience and I welcome all of me into the now. 

I make a promise to myself to allow my skills of protection to activate in truly threatening situations while encouraging my nourishment abilities to flourish at all other times – even when it’s challenging.

*self hug*

*collective hug*

Love, Vanice