This January I went to Cincinnati for a cluster of three business conferences, and to explore possible expansion of my online network to a satellite city. During the third conference, I got e-mail rejection notices for all the pending grants I had for my business, some of which I had thought were locked up. My friends helped me through it and suggested more networking and work on clarifying business missions. They also suggested I stay in touch for another event the next weekend.
A potential business partner I’d been working with, Paul Komarek, said, “If you’re going to reconfigure your business, you might as well ask the Creator which direction to go,” which is kind of funny advice since he’s a somewhat skeptical religious person as far as the continuum goes. And some of this blog will include more Christian ideas, but I want to put my usual disclaimer that I try to respect all spiritual perspectives. So the Christian references are my point of view but not me trying to disrepect other points of view.
So I dedicated my week in Cincinnati to doing this, got some new ideas, and met a bunch of people. At the last minute, I found Bob McGonagle, an advocate for homeless people, who does peer-based work like my mental health advocacy. He opened his Rolodex, and gave me the names of all the local people that I needed to contact who would actually be able to understand my work.
Then, my friend and I rode our bicycles home from Cincinnati.
On the way, there was an incredible amount of grace, with people helping us out, ,giving us food and a place to stay, and repair our bikes when we needed to. They gave us directions to see the neat things in their cities. A mile from my house, my bike partner said, “What is that nasty crunching sound?” When he got home, we realized his bike frame was broken, and had been breaking for the last hundreds of miles. He just barely made it home.
I was really starting to get overwhelmed by the amount of grace and divine intervention I was seeing in the world. The demons were starting to tell me I didn’t deserve it and that it would go away. I was in a lot of turmoil about that. Many of the answers came to me one night as I was sleeping. At first I thought it was the demons waking me up yet again, but I was still so calm and peaceful I decided to listen. And it was just a reminder from John 14, which I’d been reading, that he leaves us peace. He doesn’t give as the world does. And Wikipedia says that grace is gifts given to us by the Creator just because he likes us to have them. And my new church’s spiritual gifts test says “giving” is one of my better abilities, so I can understand this.
The light, love, and ideas in that vision also woke up my husband, Rod, but he couldn’t perceive the content of any of it. The demons have never woken him up. My mom (the shaman, who I love) says the demons are just part of my own brain that still has doubts. Figuring out whether to ignore her, like the Christians say, or to listen to her caring, loving, and very carefully learned wisdom has been one of the real difficulties I’ve faced with my growth process.
Some people who have found a way to live with psychosis say their voices are just part of their brain. I never have had auditory hallucinations, mainly just visual stuff. Rod says it’s waking dreams. I think of it as an sign that I need better self-care. But maybe it’s a gift from the Creator, too — as much as that thought terrifies me. Now that I’ve found sanity, I’m still afraid to lose it again.
Sometimes as I’ve been exploring and clarifying business missions, I’ve an overwhelming sense of despair and confusion. One time, after about 5 people texted and emailed me, I broke out of it. Mainly I had to do a lot of work to ask the Creator what I should do for my business, which has no income at the moment. Some days I was just led to study the bible much of the work day. But then when visions like this one came, I was able to understand them.
And now I’m moving forward after I’ve finally figured much of it out. I’m still trying to let go and let God, and trust and just say thanks when what comes through is 10 times what I asked for. The plan I had in January is nothing like the plan I have now. But now there seems to be a much better chance of success, of better work/life balance, less ego and charisma needed, and a much better us of my talents and passions and gifts.
The main difference I’ve found clarifying business missions is to focus on Poetry for Personal Power which already exists and has good support. This is instead of trying to keep pushing a business idea that doesn’t exist anywhere but in my head. Also, I need to stop talking about medical harm and revolution and let other voices carry those messages.