“Life Isn’t Easy.”
“Life Is What We Make of It.”
“Turn Lemons Into Lemonade.”
We’ve all heard these proverbial quotes before, but it can be hard to actually live them when you are in the thick of it, cant’t it? That takes practice.
I’d like to fill you in a bit on how Joyful Roots came about and the circumstances that led me here today.
Starting Joyful Roots didn’t come as an epiphany or a feeling of knowing that this is what I must do, at least not at the beginning. It came from a series of strange events and obstacles that were laid on my path as well as a determination to choose my own reaction to my circumstances. It even came from a place of struggle, if you will – a place on the cusp between defeat and optimism.
“Life’s not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow.” ~Cherralea Morgen
Well, I’ve got some colorful splinters and I wear them proudly!
In 2009 I graduated with my Master of Landscape Architecture, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was on that rainbow, having an incredible time. The world, it seemed, was full of possibilities and that dream job was just around the corner. Only one small problem. No one was hiring landscape architects. Bummer. What’s a girl with all that education and talent to do?
Pretend it isn’t happening? Ignore it and decide to travel instead? (I did that for a while). Create her own job? Settle for something to pay the bills?
But of course, that was it!? Ugh. And so I became a CAD monkey for an engineering firm. Alright, looking at the bright side, I did get to do graphic design once in a while! Cough. TOTALLY UNFULFILLING. I was miserable at work and the two hour drive wasn’t helping matters. However, I started to see glimpses of that rainbow again! I was getting inquiries and side jobs. And the photography business I started with my boyfriend was really taking off!
After a few weeks of contemplation and one radio-call-in-psychic reading, I knew what I had to do and I jumped head-first into the land of entrepreneurship! I was a free woman! I came up with a huge list of business names and solicited opinions. I created a bunch of logos and after some reflection, I picked one that seemed like a good fit for a girl who was interested in Landscape Design and Graphic Design, and branded my business.
A few months into it, business started to slow and I was contacted my a woman who was looking for a partner to get her company up and running. She needed someone with a techie side that could help advance the business and was willing to make me partner. During that time, I listened to a podcast about being open to things as they come along and saying “Yes” to them. I had a gut feeling that there was something off about this woman, but I decided to go for it! A couple months in, I realized this was not a healthy partnership for me. Interestingly, as soon as I realized that, I got a very unfriendly e-mail her telling me that I had been “demoted” which really meant “fired.” But I was a partner! I had just spent two months of my life designing our brand, researching technology, building the website, working 12 hours a day, working for free and my bank account suffered…with no partnership agreement…stupid me. I felt used and abused and when I asked to be repaid the small amount of money I had invested into the website, she basically told me to $@^D off. Big Lesson: Trust Your Gut and Get a partnership agreement next time.
“Poor Me. Poor Me. Poor…I will not do the poor me thing anymore!” I told myself! “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, girlfriend, and get on with the show!”
So, that’s what I did. Hello rainbow again! I had a moment of clarity and decided the business needed focus. I would get rid of the landscape design part of my business and focus on designing brands for small businesses. I realized I was great at that and really enjoyed it. Things moved along steadily for a few months, but something was lacking. I never felt completely connected with the business and what I had to offer. My joy was missing. My passion was astray. It wasn’t completely apparent to me at the time, but the underlying current of the business was not completely in line with my own heart’s frequency. So I sauntered along doing my thing and trying to get by.
And then it happened. I woke up to a mean-spirited post on my blog accusing me of trademark infringement and copying. At first I thought it was spam, but then I realized it was very real, albiet a strange way of approaching things. Ouch, big splinter! The person that “informed” me of this owns a sizable business and after doing much research and talking to lawyers, I decided that it just wan’t worth going to court over. Another lesson: When selecting your business name, make sure no one out there has a name that is close to yours, even if they live on the other side of the world.
“Poor Me. Poor…NO! I will not do this again!”
I decided right then and there that I was going to use this obstacle as an opportunity to realign my business with my passion – that I will not let anyone or anything stand in the way of my joy! I have so much to offer other people and I want to be of value to this world.
It was at that moment, I realized that my true passion and the overarching theme for everything I want to do with my life revolves around JOY. I decided that I wanted this new adventure to express the joy I have for art and design, the joy for this amazing world, and joy that I feel when I am able to connect with others who are alive in their passion as well.
So, Joyful Roots was born. At least the idea was. The name took longer to come about and in this case good things really do come with time.
Here we are. A new website. A new opportunity for connection. A place that feels alive to me, full of resonance, and truly in line with my being. It feels good.
Thank you for being here with me. Every comment, every tweet, every smile, every good vibe, means the world to me. I hope that I can be of service to you and spread the joy that I feel in my heart on to each and every one of you!
Life might not always be easy, but it can be fun! It can be an adventure and a lesson if you let it. Seemingly bad circumstances don’t have to let you down. It’s all about perspective, right? I would like to think so. What’s your take?