Be Not Afraid…to Start the Thing…

Van Gogh

Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. Thank you as always for joining me in this space and on this journey. It has been a while, but you have always been on my mind! It has been an extremely busy few weeks for me, but I am always thinking of cool things to share with you in this space. Thank you for your patience on the quiet weeks, and a big thank you and my deep gratitude to my friends and family who encourage me, support me, and remind me that it is ok to take a break from one thing to focus on other things. I have said it before, but sometimes I need to be reminded of my own advice. Fancy that! See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/9U0MN_6cupc

Now before I launch into the topic that has been on my mind lately, “How are you?” I mean, really, how are you? Are you hydrating? I have to confess that I fell off my water drinking, opting instead—and I say this with extreme guilt—for my favorite beverage—ginger ale. Ha. But, after many recent trips to the doctor and having blood work done, I remember why I was such an advocate for drinking lots of water to begin with. It’s so good for us. Also, before you start worrying, I am ok. The past few years have been difficult on a lot of people, and in this country where for most people health insurance is tied to work, I am very thankful for a stable career that I enjoy and along with it, good health insurance which allows me to check on my physical health as much as I need. I want to remind people that we never know what someone is dealing with. Some people, myself included are good at managing our stress, but sometimes we don’t even realize how much we are absorbing from the world, and how much what we are absorbing can be impacting our physical health.

So many uses for ginger ale lol!!

In astrology speak, my moon is in Capricorn—an earth sign—a very hard working sign, and admittedly, I enjoy work—the feeling of accomplishment, and the feeling of getting things done. It is easy to admit this because the balance to this is that I also like to play.

Anyone else?

By that I mean, I like to enjoy the experiences that life has to offer. This has manifested recently in a return to one of my favorite places—the Kennedy Center. We saw the entire Black Panther movie there, but with a twist. The National Symphony Orchestra played the entire soundtrack. There was also a special guest—a gentleman from Senegal, who played an ancient instrument—the talking drum. His music introduced the character of T’Challa. It was epic and amazing, and I cried because I am a water-bucket, and because I was so happy to be seeing live music again.

Wakanda Foreva…

My mom and I also had a mother daughter moment, and went to see Hadestown—the musical. I know the story of Orpheus and his love Eurydice, but this was a fun take on it, and the music was amazing. It also reminded me that even though I know the ending of a story, the journey to that end can be different, and interesting.

Mommy and me
Great show!

Knowing the end also won’t stop me from continuing on with something. In life I often wonder—if we knew how something would end, would we persist. I suspect that is why life is full of mystery—so that we live, because if we always knew the ending, we might be tempted to remain stationary—afraid of the sadder endings. Some of my saddest endings have made way for some of my most beautiful beginnings. So be not afraid of what life has to offer. And don’t get tied to endings; enjoy the journey. Albert Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

Sunrise …

Some other fun things: I went to the amazing Van Gogh interactive art museum, popped up to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, went to the Spy Museum, went to the O street mansion where I immediately wanted to get rid of everything—it is a minimalist nightmare come to life, went for a long walk to the Tidal Basin and monuments, saw some good movies (I enjoyed Dune), and got some new books on Astrology.

Sunflowers!!!
My fav Van Gogh piece—the Night Cafe
I like black and white pictures 🙂
I agree…
FDR Memorial…still so relevant
On the CUA campus…
Basilica ceiling…
The Basilica
The Rosa Parks room at the O Street Mansion…

I also got to spend some time in nature—fall is here. It is one of my favorite seasons because the leaves are just so beautiful. The air is crisp, and there is a winding down into what is comfortable. Although things have been busy for me, I am looking forward to some downtime soon. In that time, I want to snuggle in my favorite chair, with my favorite books, and blanket. I can’t wait. We also went to Harper’s Ferry National Park, and visited one of the amazing wineries in Northern Virginia.

No man is an island…but these trees?
Shenandoah
Harper’s Ferry

It was at the winery where I had a bit of an epiphany. Virginia has well over 250 wineries, and over 100 of them are located in Northern Virginia. Yes, that means, when the 250th winery opened in that state, it knew that there were already 249 wineries, but it opened anyway.

I had a conversation with my good friend Camilla about this—you can check out her blog the Photolibrarian—but we were talking about starting things when there are already “lots of people” doing that thing. Ultimately, we agreed that if you get a vision to start something, and you are worried about market saturation, you should still give it a start. See Camilla’s blog here: https://thephotolibrarian.com

What is “market saturation,” and why should you start “the thing” anyway? According to an article from American Express, “A saturated market occurs when existing businesses meet all the current demand for a product or service. Market saturation often happens when multiple businesses are offering similar products or services to the same customers.” You can think of a marketplace overrun with people all selling or offering the same thing. Like, there being 100 wineries in Northern Virginia. I think you should still start anyway because you bring your own unique and personal touch to whatever it is that you are doing.

In my case, I started this blog and YouTube channel even though there are a million plus blogs and YouTube channels out there. You can’t look at what everyone is doing—I mean—if you are a business then you have to do your SWOT analysis, but don’t let that dissuade you. Plan, think about your end goals, and think about what you have to offer. This is the lesson that I learned from the wineries. There are so many amazing wineries in this area—they all offer the same categories of wines—reds, whites, rosés, and so forth, but they add their own touch to the grapes, the barrels in which they ferment the wine, their style, and their offerings.

On the beautiful day of our visit to Two Twisted Post winery, we had cheese and wine while sitting outside in perfect autumn weather, laughing, chatting, and sampling the different wines. The grapes were heavy on the vines, and the staff was friendly and chatty even while working hard on the next batch of reds.

The actual grapes on the actual vines!! You can volunteer to help do harvesting BTW!
Smoked Gouda and Crackers
Covid safe tasting cups…

Please do not let the fear of “well other people are doing it…” stop you from doing something. You have a lot to offer to the world, you have vision, and a unique touch that will allow the right people to come to you. Not everyone will resonate with what you have to offer, and that is ok, but we have to start somewhere. Florence Scovel Shinn said, “Do not neglect the day of small things, for little beginnings have big endings.” Everything that we consume today—from the clothes we wear to the food we eat, to our entertain and work, all started in the mind of someone—they ran with their vision. Audre Lorde said, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” I am believing in this for you—so I want you to believe in you too. This long quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic sums up a lot of the fears that we have! Fear not—you got this!!!

“Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder.”

I hope you realize how amazing you are and all of the things that you offer and have to offer. Just you being here on the planet is a gift. I also hope that this is a wonderful week for you—I hope you experience many beautiful, peaceful, and insightful moments that make you feel alive.

Believe in the me that believes in you 🙂

May the stars shine brightly over your week and may it be a beautiful one indeed! Until we meet again, dear friend, please remember to like, subscribe, comment and share. I appreciate you!