On Wednesday, May 21, I had the first day off that I felt motivated to work on a new chapter in my life. Initiated by the fact that I have the privilege of escorting my 18-year-old daughter on my favorite mode of cross-country transportation–Greyhound Bus–to San Diego where she is spending the summer with her wonderful siblings (Robert’s kids from a previous marriage) two sisters and a brother, and her thirteen year old niece. I am overjoyed that she is going to connect with these wonderful folks and I know she is going to have a great experience with people who dearly love her. I believe it is time that she really bonds with them and connects with them in deeper ways than phone and face time!
Initially I was going to just drop her off and spend a few days in my old stomping grounds. But after I bought the bus tickets three weeks in advance (thanks to her siblings for financing my transportation costs!) I started imagining staying longer because I would really like a change for a while–and I would love to be near my daughter just in case she needs me.
As I contemplated the possibilities, I envisioned myself living with a family, couple or individual who needed help with downsizing and simplifying their lives. I got really excited about helping people to transform their entire lives so that they can focus on what is really important to them.
I spent the entire day writing the description of what I was wanting. As usual, writing about this idea stimulated more ideas, visions, and possibilities. You can read about it here:
Several days before I wrote this description, I had written an email inquiring about possibilities of living at the Enchanted Garden, an intentional community near San Diego State. When I did not hear back from Leslie Goldman, coordinator of the community, I figured that was going to just be one of the numerous emails I have sent out in my life that was not answered.
On the same day I poured my energy into my vision, feeling the Holy Spirit guiding me powerfully, I got a message from Leslie of Enchanted Garden saying he was going to call me on Thursday. I actually had to go back through my emails to figure all this out–and I think the timing is AMAZING!
I found out through talking to Leslie (who I knew before I left San Diego 23 years ago) that he was in need of downsizing and simplifying his life! If I had not gotten so clearly in touch with the fact that this is what I want to do when I grow up (I know–I’m almost 60–but I have not grown up!) I am not sure we would have realized that I could really be a good fit.
My ideal vision was that I would stay with this imaginary family, individual or couple for 2 1/2 months–the length of Mahriyanna’s stay. I was willing to do smaller projects, but the idea of trying to find both a place to live and work was feeling a bit overwhelming but I decided to have faith. I even imagined how I would feel when this ideal situation happened. I know God likes me to imagine things like this–it is my way of praying vividly and powerfully.
So when I talked to Leslie and discovered my skills could really help him–and that I could live in an intentional community while I was helping him–well, that was mind boggling! This was more than I ever dreamed of. I had given up my dream of living in intentional community temporarily–after all, what are the chances of finding a community in San Diego?
I know this is happening fast–but due to the wonderful power of the internet, we both were able to read each other;s blogs and get to know each other in a way that is more objective than just talking. But we talked about a total of 4 hours in two conversations, and I sent him one of my potentially overwhelming emails where I downloaded from my heart and brain to the written word all my ideas. And after I did that, I had a lot more ideas!
So now I am committed. I have a room to rent in San Diego State area at Enchanted Garden. Part of my rent is trading my services, and I am going to help Leslie with exactly what I wanted to help a person with. I am even going to take a class in Nonviolent Communication–one of the most transformational models on the planet which I have practiced for 25 years–imperfectly–but I have been practicing!
I have been super blessed to have many people want me to work before I leave, and this will give me the money I need to pay $520 for my room. No, I did not envision having to pay for my rent. However I like this situation because it allows me more free time to do some other things I have been dreaming of doing–like playing volley ball and getting back in the shape I was at age 20 when I played v-ball 25 hours a week.
I really wanted to document the process of the downsizing and simplifying with someone who just loved to share their process-and Leslie is a natural for this. He has a blog which has had millions of views, and he loves to write. I will have my handy dandy Hero video camera strapped to my head a good part of the time we are working together, I’m sure! I am also planning on taking a crash course in how to make a documentary.
I will be looking for other work in San Diego area–I will continue to dream big and focus on finding other clients who want simplifying and organizing. I am tempted to settle for less–but I think if I really focus and pray and network, I will get more jobs as a simplified living coach–my new title.
In fact, my new url is http://www.simplifiedlivingcoach.com
Well, I am over the top grateful to God and to Leslie Goldman and to Mahriyanna’s relatives who have made this all possible because of their desire to have Mahriyanna as a part of their lives. And to Wellspring Community for releasing me to go on a kind of sabbatical. And to my friends at Living Springs who told me in so many words, “Go for it!” Hey, and I can not leave out all the clients that have given me the honor of letting me work with them and gain the invaluable experience that brought me to this point of having a skill set and life experience that make it possible for me to be an effective coach in this area.
I know this might sound kind of corny–but I just want to say “Hurray for life!”
P.S. I was going to write a blog post about two weeks ago called “The wisdom of hopelessness.” I had really given up hope that I would ever realize my dreams…but I figured I didn’t really need hope–I just need faith in a good God that wants the best for me and who loves me and delights in me and wants me to be happy! God is good!