Illuminating our becoming.

Divine nine.

Today is the first day of winter, on Autumn day 48 I shared the idea of relational identity and four possible distinct relationships to consider. As winter arrives and it’s time for rest and renewal I pose the following question:

Your Divine Nine.

If your identity, happiness, prosperity, and personality were to shift as a result of the relationships you activate, what nine relationships might you want to focus on for the day or over the next while – what we could perhaps describe as your divine nine?

This post will probably form the nucleus of one of the later chapters in my book, which are more directed towards positive action in the pursuit of healthy identity, and positive relational practice.

Nine seems like a quite a large number but drawing on the different types of relationship that we have outlined elsewhere, we begin to have a manageable suite of areas to focus on.

First we’ll explore our relationship with self and others, and then two distinct types of relationships which I’ve separated into the non-physical world of thought such as ideas, concepts, words etc, and the physical world such as places and things.

Relationships with human artefacts may be thought of as non-material and material in form. That is to say that much of our interaction as humanity is through our own thinking itself, such as with ideas, concepts, theories, words etc.

The second form of human artefact is the material as we make physical the very things we thing about, whether intentional or not. As we express our thoughts we begin to bring them into the physical world, sometimes temporarily through sounds we utter or make, or more permanently through our buildings, living spaces, art, poetry, music, and books.

Then lastly we’ll briefly consider our relationship with activity.

I recognise that these relational categories here are completely arbitrary and you may find it useful to think of the world in different ways. Today my offering is to help us think together about what choices we could make as we shift our identities.

Relationship with self.

This primary relationship is often neglected. We spend our waking hours engaged in self-talk, often unconsciously, that may or may not contribute positively to our well-being and identity development. I’m not merely suggesting that when we talk to ourselves we should use a bunch of positive self-affirmations, although this may well be helpful to face difficult challenges that you need to rise to meet.

What I think is simple and helpful to remember is self-compassion. It’s fair to say that we, for the most part, know how to be compassionate with others. We can craft fairly good responses for friends going through hard times. Yet sometimes when it comes to ourselves we have trouble. Kristin Neff explains it well when she talks about treating yourself with the same level of compassion as you would treat others. Here’s a short youtube talk she gave in 2013.

We know how to be kind to others, let’s find a way to do this for ourselves. Hold a mirror up for yourself and be compassionate and kind. Give yourself a break once in a while.

Relationship with people.

People with whom you associate have a dramatic influence on who you are and how you are in the world. Every day people drift in and out of our lives each of them leaving their fingerprints on our worlds. Some influences are better than others. We too influence the people we encounter throughout our day. In cultivating an identical shift that helps us become better people it may be important to be aware of each interaction but also to consciously activate those relationships that you trust will contribute positively to your life.


Pick two people you’d like to have a more active relationship with and make a plan. Invite them to engage with you. These may be people who you’d like to learn from, whom you might want to emulate, whom you might have fun with and so on. It’s your choice. Know that whomever you spend time with will change you. It may be an important choice for you to consider.

This doesn’t mean that you abandon your other relationships but if you need to find time to activate your chosen relationships, you may first have to let go ever so slightly of something less healthy that occupies your time, which may even be another person. Perhaps less time on social media or watching too much news is an easier example to consider. Disconnecting from others is quite rightly a different topic, so for now focus on activating the relationships that draw you in your right direction.

Find some balance to bring these folks closer into your space, while letting less healthy things drift a little.

Relationship with ideas, concepts, and words.

When we think of relationships we almost always think about people. However, we are constantly in relationship to ideas, concepts, words and various other constructs that help us navigate the world. In fact, there is so much language, and there are so many words, images, and symbols surrounding us that the past our forebears created continually asserts itself in the present, sometimes making it difficult to reimagine the future. These constructs have a relational gravity that may create an inertia that keeps us going in the same direction we always have, rather than consciously adapting ourselves.

Thinking about these as part of our relational identity it behoves us to not just slip along in this world of the past unconsciously but also to create new meaning through exploration. We can form new connections based on our unique experience and set of relationships that may help us consciously evolve. Exploration of the symbolic world helps us to create new frames and diverse views of the future.


Pick two ideas that you’d like to explore. This is about learning and making new connections. Have you ever noticed that even saying a word makes you feel better? Say to yourself “fun”, or “love”, or “anger” and notice how your body feels and how your attitude toward life moves. Pick a couple of words that would move you in a way that feels good. How would concepts like “organised “and “collaborative” look if they were more active in your life? What would “loving” and “hopeful” feel like? How about “powerful” and “confident”? What about “healthy” and “active”? I suspect that you can easily create images of these ideas for yourself. The images alone have an allure to draw you toward them as you think about them more fully.

One way of developing this type of relationship is to engage with written material about the idea you have chosen to focus on: perhaps read an article or a book about a topic that you’ve wondered about. Journalling about your exploration might also be interesting. I invite you to pick a couple of words, symbols, or ideas and imagine what they look like as they move positively through your world.

Relationships with place and things.

Like ideas, words, concepts, and symbols there are other human artefacts that carry expression of past humanity, and even hold us from change: architecture, places and physical things. The material world, with which we interact daily, influences who we are and indeed who we can be. These material things have many forms, and there are myriad ways we could subcategorise. For the purposes of this discussion I’ve grouped the material together into subheadings, but for the moment let’s acknowledge that place and architecture are quite difference from objects that we surround ourselves with. An old key given to you by your grandfather, that you wear on a leather cord, may have much more meaning and influence for you as you put it on each day and recall him and your family history, than the church bill board you pass daily on your way to the gym.

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)

The streets we travel, the places we inhabit, the things we wear and collect in our homes all have an influence on our health, well-being and the way we live and how we think of ourselves. They all contribute to our relational identity.


Pick two places or things that you’d like to experience a bit more. It may be going to a park, hanging out in your favourite cafe, learning about a distant place you’d like to see.

Notice how places and things change you. Perhaps interrupt your routines and do something different. Start your day with music instead of news. A book instead of a smart phone. Go a different way to work. Walk in the park for a break, instead of going for a coffee.

Have fun with this and remember to notice how are you different, either better or worse. Be conscious about how places and things affect you.

Relationships with activities.

Lastly we have our relationships with the things we do to fill our time, how we spend the hours in our lifetime. Each of the activities we choose will influence who we are and of course the quality of our lives. These relationships with activity are important to our health, happiness, emotional, spiritual, and economic and well-being.

Since we are focusing on shifting our identities in ways that help us become our best selves, choosing a couple of activities that interest you in ways that influence you positively is a tremendous opportunity.

As I’ve mentioned earlier when we fill our time with better things we also have the benefit of quieting activities that are destructive or less useful in your life. Choosing to read a book rather than watching Netflix, or baking a cake rather that buying one, walking to work rather than driving – each have a different outcomes. You know your life best, express what interests you. Choose activities with different and perhaps more healthy rewards.


Pick two activities that you’d like to do more of. Perhaps walking, or baking, or reading. Set aside time each day for these two activities, and each time you take part, make sure you reflect and take notice of your thoughts and feelings at that time. If you can, then write these down.

All of these relationships shift who you are, ever so slightly. I grouped the relationships above in a manner that suits me, but for each of us the balance between self, people, ideas, place and activity focussed relationship will be different. Some of us will be better served by choosing four people relationships and one of each of the others. The usefulness of the model here, then, is that you can identify your divine nine the way your want, the way that suits you at this time in your life, being aware that you’ll change, with awareness, for the better. Your divine nine will of course also change as you grow.

Autumn, day 88. Loose ends.

It seems that as we approach the end of this season the time is rushing by more quickly. Terry has left for Maui and I’m here in Red Deer finishing up a bunch of things that need to be done to help with the sale of the building, and the amalgamation of the companies.  

This morning I have a conference call with the university to chat about the next steps in my master’s program. I’m quite excited about that. Then it’s a complete day of accounting and desk work, with the big hairy audacious goal of having the top of the desk visible.  

The Sunworks building is finally listed and we’ve started to show the building. It’s lovely to do the tours with Davin. Not only has he been a joy to work with, but it’s nice to remember every aspect of the building and how we’ve improved it over the years. If it doesn’t sell, then we’ll just have to carry on with managing it and making the next series of upgrades. That’s an exciting prospect for me either way.  

The restructuring of our companies is underway and I’m so much looking forward to less work in the new year as a result. The ladies and gentlemen that have been advising us are fantastic. Some new friendships are developing from the experience and I very much am enjoying that.  

While all of this is happening, I’m still thinking about the letter I’m writing from my future self and considering who and what are the nine more important relationships that I might activate in the winter season. Over the next few days as we approach the solstice these will be the topic of my blog posts. I hope you’ll find my explorations helpful as you too think about the new year ahead.

Autumn, day 79. Picking at the future.

Last night was the party. It was a delightful event. So many friends arrived and lovely things were said. It was so helpful to hear reflections of the work that was done together in so many places. All of my posse were here. Jenny, Ben, Brian and I enjoyed some time together and started on planning for our next time together. And the food was so fantastic.  

Jenny is visiting from Winnipeg and we’ve had a lot of time to talk about what is next in our futures. She has just finished 20 years of municipal service. Here’s a bit of an insight that I want to frame carefully. 

Often times when we think about the possibilities that the future holds, and work toward that vision we find ourselves running all sorts of negative ‘what if’ scenarios in our heads.

As we think about the past, with all of our best intentions, we find ourselves entertaining all sorts of ‘should have/could have’ thoughts. Last night was so wonderful in so many aspects, and yet by the end of the night I was thinking of ways that I could have been better, shared wittier or more important thoughts during my little speech at the end, been a better host, more prepared etc.

As Jenny and I sat quietly by the fire and the end of the night talking about the loveliness of the evening I shared with her some of these self-doubt thoughts and she quite rightly said ‘stop picking at it’. This got me thinking about how hard we can be on ourselves when we think about our pasts and our futures. Our intentions of goodness can be overshadowed by our perceived flaws. We can pick at our past, our service, our decisions to the point that we start colour over our experiences with negativity and blur our good intentions.

It’s quite possible that we do the same thing as we envision the future. On day 37 of this autumnal journey I wrote the following.

Dear Past self,
It’s February 2020, and I wake up today, look around with awe on all that has changed since Autumn of 2018 when I made those brave decisions to make positive changes in my life which would take me toward the future I enjoy now.
Let me tell you about my life now after all that the end of a wild decade, and the truly creative and forward looking effort that brought me to this new place.  In this letter I’ll tell you where I live, what it’s like here, who’s around me, what new interests that I’ve discovered, how my soul feels and what it means to be me in the world now.
I’ll share how I made sense of the journey that brought me to this place where change was needed and became possible…
With love and admiration for the work you are doing and are about to embark on.  
— Future self.

I’m still writing this letter to myself even as I’ve been travelling along the path to 2020. As I reflect this morning I’m thinking about how in the writing of this letter I’m picking at it at the same time.  

So, just stop it.  Ha! As if its that’s easy.  At least this little phrase might help us remember to let the goodness of the past be, and as we think about our preferred futures we might also remember to explore possibility without dragging along our internalized flaws.  

Autumn, Day 77. Cooking in the present for a delicious future.

I’m feeling the pressure to get things done before winter holidays.  I don’t leave until the 25th, so I can work up to the very last moment.  I’ve had to put some of my accounting work on the back burner this past three weeks as I help new tenants find their stride and deal with a few vacancies that are coming up in January and February in the apartments.

But through this all, each change has been positive. We finally have our Sunworks building up for sale and have made the commitment to move to our new space in the Metropolitan Block in February and March. Terry and I, and Kathryn are all super excited about the new location and the new direction of Sunworks. More about that sometime in the future. I’m sure when we are away for the holidays our creativity and thinking about what is possible will become clearer.  

This week it’s exciting to watch Here To Mars open in the space above Sunworks and begin to build a successful business as owner/operators. It’s good to get to know Jesse and Kat and support them in their efforts. They call Terry and I their restaurant Dads.

They are working hard to create fun and good quality food, while they focus on strong marketing. I encourage you to stop by and say hello. Young entrepreneurs appreciate a little leeway as they find their footing, and these two are open to honest and kind feedback. I’m inviting you to drop by when you come by Sunworks to do some holiday shopping and lend your support.

Meanwhile, in this season of communication, the result is a complete shift of my focus and direction. I have two more major accounting projects to handle and those will soon be caught up. It’s like every part of my life has been released from the moorings and is on its way to a new dock. For the most part the waters are calm.

Tomorrow evening is my ‘quitter’s party’ where my friends, family and supporters will enjoy some food and laughs together and celebrate seven years of public service with our local City Council and with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Folks are coming from all over. It’s going to be a great event to say thank you to everyone for what we were able to accomplish together. We’ll enjoy a pot luck and drinks together. A pot luck is truly one of our communities’ best self-organising systems.  

There’s not a lot of philosophy in this post. Not that I haven’t been thinking a lot about the upcoming season which is not that far away. It will be a time of enjoying the darkness of the year and anticipating the coming renewal as spring approaches. I believe that the work I’m doing this autumn  is a kind of mise-en-place to cook up a delicious and enjoyable new year.

Winter will be the time to carefully execute the planning, to complete the actions set in motion this autumn.

At the end of winter I hope we all can look back at all we’ve accomplished, and not think ‘Gosh, I wish I could have been more present, and put in a stronger and more consistent effort during the fall.’  As I grow weary of the pace of change right now, and all of the unforeseen issues that are creating chaos, I feel fear and anxiety popping up again. Such feelings may stem from future-oriented worries – from not from being in the moment and appreciating what is happening now and what is possible to create by working thoughtfully in the present.

These ideas help remind me to stay focused on communication and preparation this autumn so that winter can unfold gracefully with some time for creativity and completion. Then spring will be a time to watch new things grow as it should be.  

Autumn, day 69. Chanting for change.

Last night, at the invitation of one of our friends, we attended Chant for Change. It was a good experience to be with others inviting peace, harmony, and the removal of obstacles through the chanting of mantras.

I appreciated the time to be quiet and think about what obstacles are in our path to a more peaceful and fulfilling life. Certainly right now I’m on this path myself and working through the things that need to be cleared. This week has been almost what I expected, just slow and steady work, nothing new arising yet.

As I reflect on the work of this season, not only has it been about communication, but also the beginnings of completion, as virtually every arrangement shifts, both business and personal. I’m curious about those relationships that are growing stronger and also those that are choosing to slip away. I am getting the occasional glimpse of myself in the future and it feels lovely.

My invitation to you today is to think about what obstacles there may be in your life that get in your way as you reach for happiness and peace. And… are you one of them? How might we become experts at getting out of our own way? Which also raises the question how might we become experts at getting out of the way of others as they reach for their goals? What relational changes might you want to make?

I tossed and turned in my sleep last night, had weird dreams about family members and friends imposing their wishes on me. The best I can do is to be conscious not to do the same to others. So then for me, there is that fine line in mentorship, when those who’ve asked for your help may feel like you are directing them, when your intent is not to, but to offer solid advice and wisdom from experience.  Not to ‘do to’, ‘do for’, but rather to ‘do with’.

Peace to you all.

Autumn, day 65. Not waiting for outside input.

Waiting for input.  Beep. Waiting for input.  Beep. Hey, wait a minute what am I doing?

It’s Monday morning and I’m up too early again.  I woke after a disturbing dream. At this moment, I’m sitting in my sunroom, enjoying quiet music, and moonlight. The coffee machine just fired up. There’s a loaf of fresh bread on the counter.

I thought I didn’t have anything to say this morning, then I realised that perhaps when I’m up waiting for the day to begin that I’m unintentionally waiting for the outside world to direct – giving up what little control I have. Why does it seem easier to wait rather than set the direction for myself? Maybe I’m just too blurry-eyed and foggy yet, or still pooped from last week.

I wonder how often we let ourselves be swept away into the world’s demands instead of using the time, when we find it, to be in relationship with ourselves. We might consider what our unfolding could be rather than waiting for the world to rush in – even if it is to make a simple list of the week ahead, review what is already planned… or to gaze into a crystal ball and guess at what else might be possible.

I’ve got some rather important, life-changing meetings this week. No turning back. In between all of that I need to take some solid steps toward completing a number of business tasks, and deal with the some of the chaos that came our way this weekend. We had a flood in the basement at Sunworks, and we had a surprise vacancy in one of the apartments. Both those issues are going to take time to sort out this week. Out comes my fuzzy mallet, but with controlled strikes.

Exciting things on the agenda this week. Here to Mars will be setting up their new restaurant in the former Coconut Room space. They open December 1st. A new show opens in the Harris-Warke Gallery. I’ve had a preview, and it’s really fun. And, I finish up the design work on some marble coasters with quotes from some of our top-selling greeting cards.

I’d say I’m about two thirds of the way to being caught up with my book work. I have a month to go before winter holidays. It’s going to be nip and tuck. I sure don’t want to take anything with me this year. I think I can. I think I can. Right?

Onwards to coffee!

Autumn, day 62. On the horizon with 29 days to go.

It’s Friday morning and we are about to go into a busy weekend.  So much change this past week that it’s hard to even remember a week ago, never mind where I started this journey 62 days ago. I’m grateful that the future vision is clearer with each passing day, but it is shifting as details emerge from the work we are doing. Some for the better and some for the worse. The outlook, mostly sunny with cloudy periods. That strange weather is on the horizon with brief but severe thunderstorms in the midst of sun.

My anxiety has lessened to be sure, but it comes in waves as I continue to deal with the serious issues facing our businesses. Today is a bit rough but not debilitating, probably because I’ve been able to make such good progress on in so many related areas – with really great support from a few colleagues. I’m catching up but still have a long way to go before end of the season. My determination is strong today. I started last week slightly ahead of my plan but with some unexpected challenges I lost ground dealing with the fall out which dramatically increased my workload. Now I’m a wee bit behind schedule at the end of this week.

I wish I had more time to write this morning. I’ve been thinking a lot about silence and it’s role in shifting one’s identity and life. This morning I’m pondering the various types of silence, intentional, unintentional, and what gives rise to them. If unintentional, what are its origins? Fear, protection, instinct? If intentional, what’s the aspiration? There are so many reasons why we might want silence to be part of our toolbox for change. And so many ways it could be used to create distrust and damage. I wrote the following  yesterday on Facebook and will likely come back to it and say more in the future.  

“In a time when you’re aiming to be more in tune with your higher self you must remember that your ability to become shifts with the relationships you hold closest. If you see purpose and goodness in strengthening some take those steps quietly and thoughtfully. If you recognize relationships (not only with people but with places, things, actions, and ideas) that are unhealthy for your preferred future it’s best to let them be silent. Silence leads slowly to atrophy.

Use your energy and awareness to activate the relationships that make your heart and soul sing. Find harmony with what is good for you and those around you. Remember, force doesn’t work. It’s an attempt to reinforce the illusion of control, where none exists. Invitation may work, but reciprocity is needed for harmony. If your invitation is met with silence, let it be for awhile. Reciprocity isn’t always immediate. Give it time and invite again if later it still feels full of purpose and goodness.  

Know that every conversation, no matter the form of dialogue, will change your future and yourself. So, choose ways to be in conversation that lift and inspire others and you’ll move in the right direction. Instead of standing in front of a mirror saying “you’re awesome, you can do this” activate a few relationships in your circle by telling them that they are awesome and you believe in them. You can do this without words. Be genuine to yourself and others.

One final thought. The earth and the natural environment always invite us to be in a positive relationship. If nothing else today, get outside, feel the weather and breathe the air. It’s good for you and everything in your circles.”

Paul Harris, Facebook November 22, 2018

I’ve also been thinking about about the elasticity of relationship … that’s a whole other topic. Ponder what helps relationships to endure, how much give is there in them? Is it helpful to think of relationships as having an elastic quality? Is there a better way to describe their durability and resilience? Is elasticity only one attribute of many?

Autumn, day 56. Life with a fuzzy mallet.

It’s been quite a week.  Most everything went at planned, some went brilliantly and some dragged along.  And a couple of wrinkles. It’s Saturday morning before a big day at Sunworks.

The sale at the store is going well, efforts were thwarted the past couple of days because of the snow.  Red Deerians just do not go out during the first cold snap and snowfall of the year.  There weren’t a lot of people through Thursday or Friday, but today is the big launch of the Christmas lights in City Hall Park, and also an extended shopping night for downtown merchants.  Sunworks is hosting pictures with the Grinch as well.

A wrinkle. We got The Coconut Room back yesterday with one days’ notice.  The folks that were leasing it felt they couldn’t focus properly on it any longer and so politely turned it back to us.  The timing is so awkward with everything that we are trying to accomplish right now.  But as always we will do our best.  I recognize that sometime, my best is not good enough.  This may well be one of those times.  I’m sure they also realize that they were doing their best but it wasn’t good enough… and that’s life.

It’s going to be tricky to handle this and all of the other moving pieces.  It’s likely that we will not have the capacity to run The Coconut Room given the changes coming in the works right now and in the new year.

It sits as a great opportunity for someone that has the time and passion to be in the hospitality business.  The space is fully functional, and we’d entertain proposals. Rent includes all of the equipment, furniture and fixtures, electricity, property taxes, internet, and water.  Besides rent, the tenant pays only for their phone.

Terry and I met with Davin and have the listing contract sorted.  Everything looks good and so the Sunworks building will be on the market next week.  We would love to have a signed deal before we leave on holidays at the end of December.  That may be too optimistic but we’re putting it out there in the universe.  

Games and Music signed their lease yesterday afternoon, and so they will be moving into the Sunworks space during April and be opened for May 1st.  That means our move will be immediately following the Winter Games in March.  We’ll be in our new space for April 1st.  We are very happy for the Games and Music folks.  They’ve been in business for 30 years and are looking forward to an upgrade by moving to Ross Street.  We still have a couple of spaces available in the building for rent.  The street front location between Sunworks and LV Cafe is opened yet, and I’m shocked that it hasn’t been rented. We’ve never had a space sit vacant for this long.  Usually only a month or two.  

As for the next piece in the book series.  It’s coming along but it’s a difficult one to express, and it’s getting longer.  I’d say I’m at about 50% draft.  I’m really enjoying the intellectual dialogue with my friend Alan about this work, and he’s been such a help in editing, and making great observations and suggestions.  And he’s fun.

So where does this week leave me?  I’m certainly not in as good of space as I was last Sunday when I wrote.  It feels like my life is often a giant game of whack-a-mole.  No doubt I’ve whacked a couple of you on the head with my fuzzy mallet, quite by accident.  We can’t often know what will happen next but still this week feels like forward steps to a better life.  I commit to truly looking at the changes this week as positive steps that in the long run are for the best future.

Now, I must go get ready for a long day.  Terry and I, with the help of friends and family who have stepped up will run The Coconut Room today for eggs benny brunch in a Tribe takeover.  So much to do and hopefully financially successful, but more than that I want to really connect with friends and family in joy, laughter and love.  It’s amazing that we have such lovely people around us and today I will make a super heroian effort to express my gratitude, appreciation and love for those who choose to be in relationship to me…. starting with my love, Terry.  

Autumn, day 50. Turning a corner, question mark, question mark.

Gosh it’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 days since I started to focus on blogging and this season’s theme of communicating.  My life is changing for the better folks, I’m not ready to say that I’m out of the anxiety woods but I sure and beginning to feel like my spirit is returning.  It’s a nice feeling to, again, want to connect with friends and also to meet new people.

It’s great to have been to the doctor for a good check up and have the all clear BUT ‘less salt and work on your blood pressure.’  Thanks Kathryn, for just booking me that appointment and being bossy boots about it.  Now, I just need these stitches on my head removed… and get back to the gym, and I should be in good shape for relentless flirting in Maui this winter.

I’m thinking of setting up a home gym since Roman has moved to Calgary.  Although, I may be interested in finding a new trainer. If anyone can make a recommendation I’m interested.  I really like working with someone my size, so… that makes the referral harder.  Or if anyone knows of some rubberize hex dumb bells that someone needs to rehome…. I know just the place.

I sure appreciated the help that a number of you have been giving me in making this shift.  I really want to return to being the positive and optimistic person that I was before I saw the dark side of politics, and battled this economy and the shift the retail market.  So many things collided when I wasn’t paying close enough attention.  Darn it — me, the futurist wasn’t seeing what was happening in my own back yard.  I feel positivity returning, and increasingly when I hear complaints about anything, I have less and less time.  The complaint department remains closed.  

What has been helping is reengaging philosophically and writing. 

This past week was one of the more rewarding ones.  It felt full of accomplishments, with solid healthy openings to the next steps in the weeks to come. I’ve mentioned that I’ve been focused on catching up the accounting and restructuring the businesses.  I made great progress on both of these this week.  My accountant has been coaching, and it’s been so helpful.  I enjoyed being able to get some philosophy on paper this week as well.

What am I expecting this week?

  1. We should have the listing contract signed with Davin in the middle of this week and then the Sunworks building with will up for sale.  I’m both very sad about this and also know that it’s the best thing to do.  It will open up new possibilities for us.  It’s going to be nice to refocus Sunworks by moving into a smaller space with an emphasis on product you can’t buy on the internet, or wouldn’t shop for on the internet.  Items like greeting cards, cookbooks, journals, leather bags, candles, art, jewelry, perhaps even some clothes.  It’s probably time to refresh the branding and identity of the store as well.
  2. More accounting and government reporting.  I’ve got two major projects left.  If I can get through one of these this week that would be fantastic. 
  3. The final week of the sale at Sunworks and a lot of orders and new inventory to arrive next week just in time for the holidays.  I’m thinking that we’ll take one of the rooms in Sunworks and start a bit of an ongoing garage sale.  We have so many fixtures, and props, and things from 20 years in the store that just need to find new homes.  Not to mention some clothes and books and things that need to go as well.   Someone take this bread maker off my hands!  
  4. Write another instalment of the book.  I’m thinking about next writing about our relationship to place and things.  Such a big topic that will need to be focused on the relational aspects.  What place does for and and to us?  Here are the previous two instalments.

Well folks that’s it for Sunday.  Time for a glass of repasado, peanut Thai curry tonight and maybe some comedy.  Tomorrow another day at the desk… and this time I’m looking forward to it.  Mid way in the day I think I’ll try out the circuit gym in town… come on Scott let’s go, let’s go, let’s really go!  At least I’ll be doing something other than sitting on my fat ass all day.

Am I turning a corner?

Autumn, day 46. Completion leads to renewed energy.

I want to write today and have wanted to for the past couple of days but ‘doing’ keeps getting in the way of sharing and ‘being’. I’ve been neck-deep in accounting and catch-up mode. You’ll recall that I’ve written about how much had ‘fallen off the desk’ during my time on council, and how much catch-up there was to do. It’s this week that I’m really starting to see the progress that I’ve been working on over the past year.  

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I feel to have one of the business’s accounting completely caught up.  It’s fired me up to keep going.  This one success has given me renewed energy to carry on with the next challenge. With my accountant coaching me every week I’ve been able to tackle and sort some difficult issues. I’m onto the next of the five companies, and making great progress on it. I hope to have it mostly done by the end of the day, it is the easiest of them all. I’ve been in touch with a number of government agencies to sort out some of the government filing issues. Everyone has been so helpful. Communication has been my theme for this season and when I’m feeling anxious I’ve taken the bold step to communicate that anxiety. It’s helping me to not create bigger monsters than necessary.

A goal has formed over this past couple of weeks:

As I leave for vacation at the end of December all my accounting and reporting is up-to-date.  Accounting for all four companies can be delivered by the middle of January to the accountant. As I proceed into 2019 I am completely current and will work on the big tasks of bringing all of the debt we’ve incurred, through this past couple of years of growth and struggle, under control.

When I leave this winter I don’t want to take anything with me. Perhaps my winter theme will be creativity … creative writing, and painting and new inspiration. I’d like to refresh my greeting card line and start working on a new one to launch when we move the store.  And of course a book is rattling around in my head and it’s coming out in spurts. Tomorrow I will attempt the next piece it will explore four relational types that influence our identities.

It’s nearly official now – Sunworks will move around the corner to the Metropolitan Block in February and March, to be open in April, just in time for Spring. A new tenant is taking over the space we are currently in and we are so very happy to put a new lease in place. Everything should be confirmed by the end of the week. 

And … on top of it all, on the tip-top highest point on my head, I had a little fatty cyst under the skin that developed when I ran into a tree branch about four years ago.  It looked like I was sprouting a horn.  I finally made time to have it removed… now there are three little stitches.