We do what we can to break down boxes because it has been built within us to place them around ourselves and other people.
We we look for information. What do you do? How much money do you make? What is your education background? How about where you were born? Constantly constructing, informing the larger picture of where to place this person in relation to yourself.
Then, enough individuals got together to create businesses and products and income as we know it today. These personal cues and constructions seeped into our company principles and how to work in the world. We kept building more boxes with assumptions and rules and for the newcomers? If they were to survive, they needed to learn quick and follow suit.
So, when we ask ourselves today what it means to be successful, our parameters are all out of whack. The stacks of boxes placed around ourselves, our organizations and our communities are heavy and force a normalization of seeing those different than you as other. You've blocked the opportunity to relate and any rift in social behavior will inform the other to be worried.
The work force, forcing work to look and act and be a certain way, at the expense of human decency. Okay, that's harsh but it is a new concept to *care* about the people you work with, to see them as family and to treat them as such. We work more than we do anything else so I sure hope we are starting to treat our co-workers like we care about them beyond the bottom line.
Back to success. How it's informed, how we define it and what constitutes something, someone, some moment, to be successful, is 100% subjective. Meaning, the subject (you) gets to decide what it means to win at life. We know it isn't just dollar bills because many of those people commit suicide. So, what is it? What things have happened in your life that made fireworks go off inside? That elated the entirety of your body, chills, shivers, awakeness? What kinds of things have you completed and wondered why it wasn't as satisfying as you hoped? What expectations have led you astray?
These questions will inform what you value and why. Then, set your parameters and stick to them because it will be really hard to feel successful if you don't know what constitutes that feeling in your life.
Heading into our second year with Sister Roots I have to remember this all the time. If I don't, I wind up down a rabbit hole of all the things I haven't done by comparing myself to everyone else. And once you've dropped into that place, you will not be able to recognize the land mines of gems that have already been placed around you. You will close yourself off to the actual markers of success, for you, at this stage in your life.
With all the excitement of what's coming, it can be easy to get swept away by the pressures, the fears, the lacking. I have been reminded throughout the journey that being blinded to what is coming, is simply part of the gig.
Last year at this time I was freaking out before launching Sister Roots. We were two weeks away from something I have spent my life conjuring up. Talk about freeze moments. Then, another 8 week series. Similar panic but I was more prepared, so I could manage it. The time period in between talking about things and starting them has an anticipatory nature that keeps us on our tippy toes. It can be a time that we grade our success based on things we might not actually believe in.
Moments of success for me take on human form and disperse through conversations, projects and collaborations, time well spent, and words deeply heard.
These things have been said to me over the past two weeks and I am reminded early on this year that what success means to me, is up for me to decide:
"Working on the planter boxes for Sister Roots gardening workshop!"
"The song fireworks has never felt more real to me."
"Yaa.. and you teach me how to make.... Those things ... You always support. And i will always remember in my whole life time ..."
"Deffffffinitely doing the 8 week workshop again <3"
"PIZZA OVEN. craft space. Freakin swings. This place is a dream."
"Are you looking for growth? For expansion in yourself and the world around you? For a shift in your mentality and your character? Are you looking for stronger roots? An unshakable foundation? I highly recommend Sister Roots."
"Out of everything that happened in 2016, the good and the bad, this experience was by far the most enriching. Sister Roots is a community that is committed to building interpersonal connections between women, acting as a means by which these women explore life, themselves, and having the courage to navigate both with love. In Sister Roots I found not only a tribe of awesome ladies who I am grateful to call dear friends, but also a way to strengthen my own connection to myself while also giving back to my community. Here, we have the courage to talk about the really hard stuff - body issues, relationships, societal pressures, mental health, and more - and how we, as women, can not only survive but THRIVE. I cannot stress enough how amazing this group is. <3"
"Sister Roots was one of my greatest joys of 2016.... I didn't even know I needed this community and this work. Now that I do, I will never be the same. If you're at all interested in self exploration and sitting with women committed to the same thing, head on ovaaaaa."
(and this is what it (success) looks like ^^^^^)