OK. Let me take a breath here. Whew! It’s been two weeks since I made a post on the blog. I’m pretty sure that’s a record. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, I haven’t had the time to say it. Life keeps getting in the way of my plans. (in fact, I wrote this post almost two weeks before it’s actually being posted) Treasured Locks is finally starting to show signs of life again (yippee!). It’s not as much as I would like. But, it’s something, like a tiny seedling poking its head through the spring soil. I had to let someone go this week because I can’t afford to keep paying her for work I can do myself. It was nice while it lasted. Having someone to take some of the creative aspects off of my plate was a nice respite. Maybe it’ll happen again one day. Kat Baillie’s prediction of paying work has come to pass as I started my new, very temporary, very part-time, job within the last several days. Volunteer “opportunities” abound so much that I’m having to start turning them down. But, they have led to a little paying work and have opened my eyes to some possibilities. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something. I’m still stuck in the hallway, but some doors may be unlocking.
Last night was the first session of me facilitating a session taught by Rev. Terri Daniel. I was running a Zoom for Helping Parents Heal a few weeks ago and she asked me if I could do the same thing for her for an upcoming seminar she is teaching, and it pays! Why not? It’s a six-week course, doing the same thing I do for free. The course is called Spirituality and Bereavement. It’s mostly professional clergy and grief counselors learning more on how to deal with helping people deal with their grief from a spiritual perspective. I work for the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The first meeting went great. I suspect and hope that more opportunities may spring forth from this one. Tonight, I start a 12 week series of meetings with a new author who is looking for his feedback on his book about the lessons of Near Death Experiences. That’s not paid, but it’s every Thursday.
I’ve been talking with a life coach who is trying to convince me that what I’m passionate about I can make a living doing. Rather, I should say I’m trying to convince myself. I feel like I’ve had a “ministry” for many years now between all the volunteer work for the church, blogging, activity on social media, facilitating for Helping Parents Heal, SoulPhone, Greater Reality Living, etc. About a month ago a parent from HPH asked me how I make a living doing what I do for HPH. I had to laugh. I don’t. Maybe I’m storing up treasure in Heaven, but meanwhile, the coffers on Earth aren’t being filled at all. I’ve had a couple of sessions with Bridgett. I reached out to her with the hopes she could help me “fix” my I wasn’t prepared for her suggesting maybe I don’t fix the business but do something else. I listen to her podcast, which she has just rebooted as Chapter 2. On Friday each week, she talks about building a “quiet empire”, making money doing what you’re passionate about. While we were on the call, she asked me what I would do if money were no object. With no hesitation, I lit up and gave her a five-minute rant on what I’d prefer to be doing, but sadly it doesn’t pay.
I have published my first “book”. I don’t mean to minimize my accomplishment, but it’s more of a booklet than a book. It’s a compilation of articles I’ve written about hair care over the years. We’ve been selling it in PDF form on the website (mostly giving it away). The reason for publishing it as a Kindle book was to learn the process. My buddy Jake has been all over me about getting my writing career off of the ground. That kick in the butt is much appreciated. Now that I understand the process a little better, the task of turning these 1,000 blogs into book(s) is a little less daunting.
Tomorrow I have a discovery call with another life coach where I’ll talk about next steps in getting something published.
How to feel about all of this? When I spoke with Bridgett a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for the call, I wrote down all of the balls I am juggling. I have just two hands and about ten balls in the air. Helping Parents Heal, SoulPhone, Greater Reality Living, this blog, a possible book, the technical assistant role, Treasured Locks, ghostwriting, email copywriting. I’ve bought two websites for blogs and one in case I decide to put out my shingle as a copywriter/ghostwriter. All of these are percolating and I’m waiting to see which actually rise to the top. I’ve had to learn to say “no” which I hate doing. I’m pulling back a bit on Greater Reality Living and SoulPhone. If I have to let go of the person who was helping me with Treasured Locks, I can’t afford to volunteer any more time on things that don’t pay.
I’m proud of myself. I was sitting in an IANDS meeting on Sunday and they asked for volunteers to manage the Facebook page, manage the website, and handle their email lists. I just set up two MailChimp accounts for the 12-week course I’m doing with the author and the 6-week course I’m assisting with for the seminary. I thought “It’d be really easy to set up a MailChimp account for the IANDS group. I could do that. It would only take a few minutes a month once it’s set up.” But, those minutes add up. 15 minutes here, a half hour there and the next thing I know the week is gone. A new guy had shown up at the meeting. Part of his life story was that he has been volunteering for many years working with animals and he’s turning that into a paid career now. I realized how much volunteer work I do when a few weeks ago a parent in Helping Parents Heal asked how I make a living doing what I do for HPH. She thought I was a full time paid employee. I chuckled as I told her I don’t get paid anything (monetarily) for what I do for HPH. Back to the IANDS situation, I kept my hand down. The woman next to me volunteered to take over the email for the group. I leaned over to and asked if she was familiar with MailChimp. She was not. I told her I’d walk her through how it could work for the group. She asked me a few questions about managing people on multiple lists. I was puzzled because there would only need to be one list. She handed me her card and I promised to contact her. When I contacted her, she bombarded me with questions. I soon realized that she has her own business and was interested in how to use MailChimp to manage her emails as well. I asked her a few questions and realized what she is currently doing is pretty much unmanageable. I’m sure in a couple of hours I could get her migrated over to MailChimp, but I don’t have a couple of hours to spare for non-paying gigs. I let that go.
I still wake up every day disappointed to be back here again. My first thought is “I’m tired. Why am I still here?” But, I am still here, so my next thought is “What am I going to do about it now?” I get up, get dressed, walk my 7 miles, make the coffee and get to work on the next project.
This week is the Afterlife Research and Education Institute symposium in Scottsdale, AZ. Last year at this time, Ty and I were there having the time of our lives at a conference about “death”. I could not justify the expenditure to go this year. I passed up an opportunity to sit in a seance with one of the very few physical mediums on the planet, and an opportunity to be on a panel at the conference. I’m thinking of my friend there, trying not to be jealous. I’m here, still planting seeds, watering, and waiting to see what comes up. There’s always next year. Maybe I’ll be presenting. Could happen.