Since leaving the red room, my last studio space, I've been pulling the threads of long-standing themes in my work and life to see what unravels. Really, over the last year or so, I've been feeling the pull of change in a major way, but without the clarity of what that shift might be. What I have known though, is that I've felt the gap growing between my desire to be in the world of personal growth as a lifestyle brand and my deeper roots of human services and social change.
Most of you probably don't know that my very first business endeavor was creating a nonprofit organization that served underprivileged mothers. I wanted to provide a high quality, shame free experience that allowed moms to "shop" for things they needed for free, without feeling like they were getting impersonal, shoddy seconds. I created, shortly after my first son was born, a new and gently used children's boutique - the kind you'd find in any hip, upscale neighborhood - where clients came and were waited on as a valued humans and could also have agency over their choices, not just be given a bag of random stuff that may or may not suit their individual tastes or needs. The need and enthusiasm was immediately so immense, I was completely inundated and unprepared, and did not have the capacity to grow and learn as quickly as I needed to. Even though A Mother's Wish Inc. never fully got off the ground, I probably served hundreds of women and babies, and learned so much from that experience. It was absolutely on on-the-ground MBA.
Fast forward to last week, while in the midst of talking to a local sex education and advocacy group about working with them to re-boot their nonprofit organization, I was trying to puzzle out why I had such a strong pull to help them and also figure how my energies could be best allocated.
It is really this service piece as a core value that has been missing.
Over the last couple of years I have thought of the work I do in the world as a kind of service, for sure. I've always feel in-service to a higher calling and purpose, as well as to the women I'm devoted to and work with. It's the homogenized, privileged, lifestyle branding that I've become more and more uncomfortable with over time. I've tried on a lot of hats trying to find my place in this arena, as a teacher, as a content and program creator, as a seller, but none of them have truly felt like an easy fit as a part of this cultural narrative. The part that has always resonated the most has been the impact I'm able to have on people's lives. I realize now, the larger context around what I offer has been out of alignment and I've been trying, once again, to fit a square peg in a round hole. I am always the one not like the others, and THIS is exactly my strength. It took me 46 years to realized this ;)
After loads of consideration and thoughtful research, I have decided to recreate Studiofemme as a non-profit organization and move back into the world of social entrepreneurship!
Over this next year I will be taking the leap towards re-configuring my business to reflect this change and embrace more inclusivity and impact. I couldn't be more thrilled! This decision feels exactly like coming home, which is how I know it's right. While most of what I offer won't look all that different, creativity and self discovery as revolutionary work, it already feels so much more in line with how I want to move through this world. Everything I'm passionate about now fits perfectly in this brave new land.
And, it sort of changes everything.
And, I might be slightly terrified.
And, I also know this is exactly what I've always been meant to do.