"Glad for all the love I'm feeling for small businesses and how much they create fabric and flow in our communities."
Yesterday I got to grieve and let go. Like this young jedi:
(Click the cloud picture to watch & hear an emotional expert in action)
Good bye for now...
*Salsa dancing every Sunday night at the Sea Horse in Sausalito
*Salsa dancing to VibraSon at Bar Fluxus in San Francisco
*Going to Good Earth and eating great food by the community fire pit
*Amazing acupuncture with Chalita Photikoe
*Huevos rancheros with added prawns at Joe's in Mill Valley
*Spanish lessons at Book Passage in Corte Madera
*Tennis lessons and social play at Marinship in Sausalito and Davie stadium in Oakland and Dolores Park in SF
*Hair cuts and the best heart to hearts at Salon de Cota in San Rafael
*Ginormous Cobb Salad at Gott's in Larkspur, always lots of dawgs to pet
*Bayside Cafe in Sausalito with my sweetheart and our tennis coach
*The Indian buffet lunch at Taj Majal in San Rafael with FriendHusband
*The Korean spa in the city that is so clean and inviting
*Playing ping pong and watching tennis in Strawberry Village
*Thinking of one small reason to go to Sports Basement and feeling so tough and rugged just from browsing their aisles
*Looking for cards at Two Neat in Mill Valley and always laughing
*DNA Automotive in San Rafael, the best dang car garage ever
*My biannual dental cleanings with Dr. Safapour in Mill Valley; not only is she kind for a dentist, she is very kind in a legit human way
It took me a while to make the space to admit how much I ache for these losses. These small business love offerings have been such solid companions in my life...I trust them, I look forward to them, I think about them, I like spending my money with them. I feared it might come off as self-pity to list these, when others have lost so much more in comparison. I thought it might make it *more* real somehow, almost like jinxing it, to admit that some sort of phase really is over and done with. There is a weight and a solemnness to think about what these fine purveyors must be going through. I am thinking about small businesses so much these days. These are people who take risks every day to serve community; healing, entertaining, inspiring, offering a place of connection.
Blessings on those who are able to keep their business doors open these days (literal and metaphorical).
Blessings on those who know they must close their doors for now. I just helped a beloved client make and implement that choice, and it is traumatic in its own terrible and gorgeous way.
Blessings on those who are finding it important to continue with their steady path, no matter how big these waves are that we are riding.
Blessings on those who are taking action at a new and more innovative level of community leadership than ever.
Blessings on those who are staying out of any frays, and are working on holding a peaceful and abundant vibe.
Blessings on those who are adamant about what is and is not an "essential service."
Blessings on those who avoid such discussions all together.
Blessings on the politicians who are doing their best. I cannot possibly know their truest and deepest motivations. Whether I agree with their choices or not, I can thank them.
What is touching me most tenderly as I contemplate all of this, is that in some ways participating in a small business is saying in action...
I would like to serve you.
Would you allow me to serve you?
Would you value it with your money, time and energy?
Would you be willing to tell others that you like me, if you do like me?
If you don't like me, would you be willing to tell me what I could change so that I could possibly do better the next time I try?
A framework that I recommend as you make decisions about your finances, especially in times of stress and/or contraction, is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Make sure that the two bottom levels are handled *no matter what*. I know for the dreamers and visionaries, and/or the passionate optimists, it can be tempting to assume these levels will take care of themselves. There truly is no shame, and it is your sacred duty, to make sure these levels are solidly handled. No question, these are ground that we live on. Sometimes it is a vulnerability practice to ask for and/or receive help at these levels. Sometimes the vulnerability practice is watching others struggle with this level and trusting their own process without trying to take over their own responsibility.
To the others, the "responsible ones", the dutiful providers and ones who always have the buck stop with them, I encourage you to look at those upper levels of the hierarchy. It's not better or worse to have levels handled already or not, or to have a preference or proclivity towards any of them. If you and yours have your bottom couple of levels handled, do any of the higher levels of needs call to you? Has any space opened up for you to explore what you want and what your soul would like to experience?
I do wish for each of you to be able to use this pandemic time as an opportunity for self-inventory. How are each of your levels of needs coming along? What do you long for, and how can your creativity serve you now, even if finances are a bit more limited than usual?
It's okay it it feels harder than usual now.
It's okay if it feels easier than usual now.
And it's definitely okay if they both seem true to you. (That's how it is for me today.)