TOKENS - SACRED LAW. CREATIVITY. CROW.

DSC_0179.jpg

 Illusion. Perception. Obervation. Shape-shift.

 

Q. "I need help. Systems. Clarity. Parenting. Marriage. Really whatever you got: When my business is growing, I can count the multiple areas I'm also failing. It's hard to know how much of that is self-talk, since, really, I'm great. But I cannot show up fully in all areas. I am committed to bringing excellence to each aspect of our business. And I am clearly missing some really big things that reveal themselves exactly when there's a big window of opportunity. I'm all-in. I just need something like a good ten more of me." 

 Q. "Our team is so in sync, especially when I'm off speaking or writing. They all know their place. But when there's a new learning curve, it's an all-system break. Like no one is clear about their roles or their purpose. It's almost not worth it to expand.

Q. "My timing is so on this year, I know this is right. And then again, I have no good help. There's some, it's okay. But really this is like WTF wild. I'm finding that more work just makes more work."


* * *


Illusion. Crow is flailing outside my turkey coop, with what appears to be a broken wing. She's freaking out, on her back, kicking, grabbing sticks to hold on to, trying to wedge herself into corners to get some leverage to stand. She's acting crazy & mesmerizing the boys. It looks chaotic, but after an hour we see she's trying all kinds of experiments out there.

she's keeping a record of things. and she's evolving. creative.

 

Crow is considered the keeper of Sacred Law. She remembers everything - if you hurt a crow, it will remember your face, & somehow share it with others, so that local crows will fly at you for generations, even if they have never seen you before. (What the? Wow.) So she is the keeper of stories. She is full expression; she displays empathy & rage.  25 million years in evolution, she is fearless. Crow is loyal & crow also cheats. She exercises choice. 

A songbird, Crow sings & vocalizes sadness, despair, & happiness. She speaks English, recites opera, and will name her owner. She creates dialects specific to each circle of community.

 

Crow invites us into a practice of remembrance. Full presence. And then non-attachment.

-we tend to have illusions around ease & balance. the truth is, expansion requires a new foundation, & often times, the breaking up of the old. make space in your expectations for all the ways this might look.

-leadership is the capacity to hold difficult space. elevating, uplifting & expanding all include change. and change creates upset. include the upsets as simply the weather.

-when things get crazy, lower the bar. pick a problem & just put integrity in. do it with every one involved, creating a paradigm of collaborative inquiry & problem solving. play with it. and don't worry. whatever it is, there's systems for that. 

 

Crow fashions her own tools, creating hooks of wires, catapults from rocks. She's social, pointing with her beak & even holding up objects for others to see. They are "cooperative breeders," helping each other with the littles & food gathering. 

Crows don't do things alone. They call call for help. More importantly, they are there to help.

If the chaos is truly overwhelming, the truth is, you need to attach your project to a cause or go support someone else's initiatives. there is no system better than that to make everything fall into place.

 

She is smart + strategic. Crow will memorize garbage routes & favorite garbage men. She plays dead, pretends to hide food, she fashions toys & uses bottle caps to surf down snowy rooftops. She takes time to play, to laugh, & to be silly. Crows actually think many things are hilarious, & love to play charades.

STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING. GO PLAY TOGETHER. BREAK BREAD. VOLUNTEER. 

Perception. We're calling the Audubon Society, the Bird Sanctuary. Everyone. Finally I head out with gloves & a towel. You aren't supposed to pick up crows directly. I find her head down, shaking, with her wing out. I gently drape the towel over her, & pull her legs back, & tuck her wing in. She stops shaking immediately, she quiets. She looks at me.

SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED A BIT OF COMFORT & SOME HELP TO SET OUR PERSPECTIVE STRAIGHT. ARE YOU CALLING IN YOUR FRIENDS? GETTING COZY WITH SOME WARMTH? YOU MUST.

{what miracle sits in the current chaos?} 

Obervation.. She sits in a box with many holes on my bench. At first she brings her experiments inside, & throws herself against the walls, slamming herself & the box into the ground. Of course we leave it on the ground after that (yikes!). Then she is working with the towel, & working the different corners, finding her spot, leveraging to stay upright, falling, trying to use the holes to hold herself up. Eventually she sits, & shakes,  & seems to die. We go outside & dig a hole for Carlisle.

Shape-shift. The boys are gathered around her box. Carlisle is standing up on both legs. She was just pretending, I guess. Or, she shook the trauma right out of her wing. In any case. She's fine.
 


SHAPE SHIFT. BE CREATIVE. LOOKING BACK, YOU'LL SEE THIS IS WHERE THE LEARNING HAPPENED, HOW YOU SHOOK OFF THE SMALLER, MORE COMFORTABLE FOUNDATION THAT WASN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR YOUR FUTURE STATE.

SOMETIMES THIS LOOKS LIKE A STOP. PIVOT.  

SOMETIMES THIS LOOKS LIKE A SHEDDING OF PRIORITIES.

ALWAYS IT LOOKS LIKE A LEARNING CURVE. <<< MAKE IT RIGHT>>>  

BECOME A STUDENT OF YOUR INITIATIVE & THE SYSTEMS YOU NEED.


I have a list of my favorite systems coming to you, but it will overwhelm you (& take your time + money) if you don't know exactly what you really need. Zero in on the truth of what you are doing, why & what you actually need to get there. Then use only the systems that give you exactly that.

For now, for the most-asked questions:

I store all of my notes, lists, curriculums, outlines, 1-sheets, business plans, collaborator lists, spreadsheets, images, & web clippings on Evernote. When you hit an image, sales page, or article you like, you just click a little elephant & it goes into your Evernotes on the Cloud. All art directors keep a box of "tear sheets" that they pull from magazines. Evernote allows you to be the art director of your digital life. Evernote also allows me to create specific notebooks for every project, like  "Moonrise | 13,"  "2016 EEE Jam,"  & "Learning ukulele."  I can share Evernotebooks with collaborators. It's easy & seamless & you can start for free.

I write all of my plans on paper with pencil, then transfer to Google Calendar. I use this to share calendars with my team members. It's synced to Fantastical on my phone. D & I write down every single thing that needs to happen in here, including measures, goals, & school pickup times. 

For CI webinars, we use WebinarJam. These are only available to our players & families, but trust me, this system is the most up-to-date, with epic training, & somehow it's the cheapest.

We outsource transcription, graphic design, sound engineering & general virtual assistant work with a sweet team of folks from my family homeland, the Philippines. They are all educated, speak English, are professional, & super-skilled, but of course it takes a real hiring process to find the ones that fit our work culture. They cost between $2-12 an hour, with an average of $4/hr, & yes, that is a living wage for them. It has to be a partnership you feel good about & so that's why I don't work with other countries until I can do the research around living wage. So this is me, saying that this is good money for work they are proud of. We found our team at Onlinejobs.ph.

I use Squarespace for websites because I am very hands-on (er, controlling) & don't like to have to work with code or spend any time on annoying little details trying to get things perfect. I like to have the changes I want today, not over weeks & months because I need to wait on a developer, or designer, or worse, both. I don't have time to worry about getting hacked every time I add a plugin. There's nothing to worry about on Squarespace, it's more than enough foundation for scaling up, has optimized SEO, shopping carts, sublime design, it's all drag-&-drop & very easy to understand. I love love love them. 

A note on in-house help:

As you know, my pregnancies were very difficult, so we needed full time help. When I had one child, when I had two children, when I had three children, & when I had four children, it didn't matter, it took someone a full 40 hours to do our job as parents/homekeepers. 40 HOURS! My house is not huge, it's a normal 2200 square-foot home. That's how long it takes to do laundry, make food, wash dishes, & all of that stuff. These are things we somehow believe we should be able to do in no-time. And I now know for certain that it takes 40 hours by smart, efficient women, regardless whether it's 3 of us or 6. So I don't feel guilty. I get help:

Margarita is a sister of 13 years that comes to help deep clean my house 1-2 times a month. When Margarita cleans, we clean. Together. Before, & during. Her children & my children are dear friends, she supports my family & I support her business & it feels really good to me. 

Morgan is a super-chill 19 year-old artist & grownup Waldorf student. She comes 20 hours a week & helps run the farm, basically acting like a sister-wife. She washes dishes, stacks wood, feeds the goats, does laundry. She does what we do, in a way that  matches our lifestyle. 

The truth is I fought domestic help for over a decade. There were many years of crying, dirty dishes stacked on our front lawn (yup), me fighting with D because I felt those resources needed to go to me, to the boys, to the basics. I had mama martyrdom mixed with noble poverty. I truly believed we couldn't afford it certainly shouldn't invest in it. Once I gave that up, I opened the space for more ease, profit & impact. More importantly, I was able to enjoy my domestic life again. I was able to cook again, to keep my nest. Our children feel the peace & support instead of the chaos. But OH how I fought it. The guilt! (I forgive myself.)  

Please move some mountains to try this out. Just for a month.

CELEBRATE THE LEARNING CURVE, HOWEVER IT OCCURS. 

{you're expanding your foundation.}

 

xx, Maya + Carlisle