Thirteen years ago, when my children were 6, 5, 2, and 3 months old, I was staying home full time to care for them. My work was my home and my family, and I took the job very seriously. I changed diapers, meal planned, nursed, napped, played, grocery shopped, washed, dried, organized, and cooked.
One afternoon, out of nowhere, a thought bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. “Run your home like a business.”
At the time, I had no idea what this meant, but it stuck with me. I like listening to ideas that bubble up out of nowhere. In fact, I welcome the bubbling and try very hard to create an inner environment that encourages the bubbling up of ideas. Please, bubble up and make yourself at home! What fun can we create together?
On that day, at home with four small children, up to my elbows in spit-up and sippy cups, spending most of my hours tending to tedious tasks, I shifted how I approached my work.
I decided to brave and began to think of my home like a business.
I created systems, spreadsheets, and strategies to manage the different areas my work required. I took inventory of our pantry on a weekly basis. I mapped out schedules quarterly. I budgeted and shopped. I planned celebrations, holidays, and events with furvor. I put out fires where needed and created space for the things that mattered to me in the context of creating home.
I remember telling my best friend, “I don't know why, but I just feel like this matters for reasons that I don't know about, but one day will. It feels like I'm making a deposit on a future I cannot yet see.” She encouraged me to keep at it, to keep listening, and to be brave as I did work that called to me for reasons that did not make sense at the time.
Fast forward seven years. In the summer of 2016 I moved Hurley House into a retail location. Running a small home business was one thing. Running a brick-and-mortar storefront was another. There were daily plot twists and unforeseen challenges galore, but as I learned the new job I noticed that certain things felt familiar. I realized I had been training for this job for years. My decision to be brave and follow a quiet nudging toward a crazy concept had been preparing me, little by little, for success in my current work.
Bravery can be easy to see in hindsight. A child grown. A business thriving. A relationship out of the woods. An idea fully formed and finished. But in the moment, in the messy middle, choosing to be brave doesn't feel glamorous. It feels tedious, tiring, slow, and sometimes aimless. To take action towards a future not yet fully revealed is risky and requires the kind of bravery that will stay steadfast despite the struggle. But when we lean in and listen, choose to trust our inner knowing, and move forward toward an unformed future that calls to us, a beautiful picture of bravery emerges.
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