Sometimes, I feel stuck or off course. Don’t you?
But when I look back at my notes, usually from the start of the year, when I set my calendar and plan my goals, it turns out, I’m exactly where I said I would be. I guess it’s in my Achiever nature (Clifton Strengths) to be restless. Even my mother told me that I’m not the kind of person to do one thing for the rest of my life, and she’s right. I mean, why would you, when there are so many things to explore?
So, I left NYC and moved to sunny SoCal. Everything was wide open. I had money from selling my share of the business I started in NYC and so many things I wanted to and could do, it was overwhelming.
Of course, I considered opening a new TKD school, but decided against it for several reasons. I tried to play it safe, and create myself as a consultant for martial arts school owners, training their staff to work with children, which had been my niche. After doing some more work, I realized I didn’t want to be in that industry any more. I wanted to live an authentic life. Where my martial artist self didn’t have to hide or deny my other selves… like my sex, drugs and rock-n-roll self.
I wanted to incorporate my years of hospitality and service. It was how I paid my bills for over 25 years and I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t want to be doing it in my 40’s.
I wanted to return to my first love, music and the arts. Did you know that my first dream was to become a singer and that Elvis Presley was my inspiration? That’s what had me move to NYC after graduating WCSU. I did the thing, was playing at cafes and restaurants in the city and hitting jam sessions around town. At some point though, I realized that I was not going to do what I needed to do to “make it” and even if I did, it was not going to pay me the way I wanted it to. Champagne taste and all.
And lastly, I wanted to incorporate the personal growth and development work I had done, which includes my martial arts training. After all, it has given me my life and the thing I most loved about being a martial arts instructor, was empowering my students, who would come to me with all kinds of concerns outside the training floor, from sleep problems, career concerns and even deeply personal family issues. I say Martial Arts Instructors have always been life coaches. Remember Mr. Miyagi?
My first thought was to offer retreats on a boat. I could prepare and serve delicious, wholesome meals, teach some stretching and self-defense, and facilitate a conversation around some learning topic. And I was going to do it on a boat. But I knew nothing about boats, except that I like being on them.
Now I’m in my 3rd year of running the Dome Asylum, a Hippie Homestead, where we (my partner and I) offer a bohemian B&B experience and breakfast comes from our garden. I plan the menus and act as hostess. (Actually, I play all the roles, from General Manager right down to Housekeeper.)
I have run the beta version of Full Moon Whole Body Camp, (basically, that boat retreat reconfigured for the Dome Asylum) and am entering my second year of teaching a TKD club in the side yard.
I’ve also been creating art and facilitating art events in town. (We are super excited about our newest art piece, The Punkin Project. Check it out!) I was even asked to be the event coordinator for the town’s interactive art festival next year.
But like I said, sometimes when I feel stuck, I look back and realize that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. The problem, if it is one, is that when you’re working on the ground in the trenches, it’s hard to see the big picture. But you have to pick up your head and look around sometimes to see where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re headed. Always, have an idea in mind of where you want to go and make your decisions appropriately. After all, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Lewis Carroll.
I didn’t plan on investing in the Dome and turning it into a B&B/event space. As I said, life happens. But consider that the Dome, is now my boat and I get to do all the things I said I wanted to. Except that I’m not coaching just yet. What’s missing is my making a difference for you. And that’s happening now.