This post and podcast episode are a week late, because I was in Los Angeles last week meeting my brand new niece. Needless to say – I am very much in love – and I felt like it was a worthy cause to really be in the moment, spending my time focusing on her. The thing about major life changes – births, deaths, etc. – is that they really have a way of making you pause and evaluate where you are in your own life.
As Season 2 of the Chapter Be Podcast comes to a close, I find myself really wanting to take some time to reflect…more specifically, reflect on the importance of reflection. I’ve come to learn through all of my various pieces of work – Chapter Be included – that we rarely take the time to look back at what we have accomplished and use those learnings as a way to drive our next steps. Good teaching always allows space for the learner to reflect on the information they have just consumed, and it is equally important that we do this with our own lives.
It is one of the reasons why I took a pause at the end of Season One and why I will be doing the same now.
It will be three years this June that I started Chapter Be and the lessons I have learned from both the process and the people I have met have been nothing if not life-transforming. I know that sounds dramatic, but as many people have pointed out, the creation of Chapter Be has been my own Chapter Be. It has been my journey of trying to decide where I wanted to take my life – personally, professionally, geographically – you name it. Each person I met along the way gave me another nugget of wisdom that resonated with me and got me closer to reconnecting with my muchness.
I look back at where I was three years ago, and I am a different person. I have tapped back into my curiosity, reconnected with my heart and taken steps to be the driver of my life instead of the victim. I am a constant work-in-progress – BUT…what I have come to learn through Chapter Be is that we are ALWAYS a work-in-progress, and if you can be comfortable with that, then you have found one of the secret sauces of life.
It takes me on average 12-15 hours to produce one Chapter Be podcast episode. That is a lot of time, and while each interview has been valuable, this process is not necessarily sustainable. As Jung Park pointed out in our interview, your most valuable resource is your time. And as the saying goes time = money.
One of my struggles with Chapter Be since it’s inception was how to monetize it. I have had several ideas, but they have never really left the idea phase. They would fall somewhat short for me – whether that be because the idea became uninteresting or because it felt too daunting for one person to achieve.
Many people have offered up ideas of how to turn Chapter Be into a business, and while I know their suggestions came from a very good place, none of them ever felt quite right.
The thing is – the moments in time when I was focused on the money-making part, were the moments that I was the most unhappy with Chapter Be. It started to feel like something that was forced vs. something that was fun and motivated by genuine interest. When I am able to make money in other ways, and take that burden off of Chapter Be, that’s usually when the love and interest re-enter.
So, how much has thinking about a money-making business actually put my creativity into a limiting space? How much have I limited my thinking by trying to create a “typical” business structure? Perhaps that is not the path that Chapter Be is supposed to be on. Like anything, if you force it – nothing good comes to be.
I’ve started to wonder whether or not Chapter Be is supposed to be a moneymaking venture. Maybe it is this beautiful, creative project – that has offered up a lot of inspiration to me, and hopefully others.
I’m a fan of movies, and really appreciate the craft and creativity of good acting. I think it connects to my love of storytelling and my belief that stories hold a power that can connect people. In hearing Brie Larson speak to journalists after her Best Lead Actress Oscar win this year, I was struck by her reflections on the making of Room…
A year ago, I was still trying to figure out who I was. The movie was done, but I was in deep searching. I was pulling apart the pieces between the things that I had learned while being Ma, and then trying to remember who I was before this movie – because I had spent about a year prepping and then doing the film. Who I was by the time the movie was over was so far away from who I was when I started that it was a long process of many different things in trying to find myself…I wish that there was any sort of rules or code, but in fact I think that the way you get there is by breaking it. By listening to what is happening inside of yourself. I personally had many moments of crossroads. Probably hundreds of moments of crossroads, where I could go the way that people were telling me to go or I could the way that felt right within me. And it took 20 years to be standing here on this stage, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. To be so grateful for all of the hardships that it took to get here and to not be discouraged by it – I think to live this life it’s a bizarre combination of being plastic and incredibly stubborn and also really curious about what this life holds. To have no expectation, but to have an idea about a beautiful horizon that is in front you and constantly moving toward it.
Someone once referred to Chapter Be as my art and in hearing that, it shifted the way in which I saw it. Just in the way that an artist has many projects/movies/paintings/performances throughout their life, maybe Chapter Be is the piece of something bigger – maybe it is not the one and only thing, but instead a pivotal chapter in a much longer book!
Through my reflection and in thinking about this next unwritten page in my life, I’ve decided I want to examine how I can connect my Chapter Be work back to my work in a helping profession. I’ve come to realize that being within a helping profession is a part of my heart and soul, and I need to reconnect to this. It’s just an idea, but it is indeed a horizon that I want to move toward.
I want to thank all of my guests from this season for being willing to share their story and for being an integral piece of getting me to where I am today! You have reminded me – and all of us – to BE: solution-focused, brave, a weirdo, courageous, curious, unified, uncomfortable, experimental, bold, confident, learning – always, happy with yourself, and willing to BEgin again!
And that is just want I am going to go try and do…
Listen below to hear the audio format…
*Images via Constructive Criticism and In Pursuit of Magic