When did my life become so professional sounding? Well, my new business-like vocabulary might still sound a little strange to me, but let me say: it feels wonderful. I love that being professional means that I go over to a client's house and, without hesitation, get down on the floor to make friends with their four-legged family members. Before I know it, they're absolutely basking in the attention of my camera. By the time I'm ready to leave, cats become exceptionally sleepy and dogs tend to take on a whole new aura of proud radiance. I've started to ask myself on a regular basis: Is this really my life?? Because I love it.
I've gotten to know some pretty incredible animals (and their people!) within the past week--2 huskies, a sheltie, a pug, a lhasa apso, a yellow lab, and 2 cats. I still have 2 more photo shoots scheduled, 2 dog events to attend, and will have met with 3 rescue organizations before the week's end.
I think it's safe to say that my business is taking a turn for the positive.
It seems absurd to me that it is only Day 3 of the Be Brave project (well, Day 4 since it is hereby past midnight). Holy taledo. This has been a pretty intense past couple of days! As for bravery, it seems like just about every single thing I do requires some level of courage. Maybe it's just because I'm getting a bit tired (fatigue seems to have a wonderful way of taking the edge off), but I've noticed that I am able to walk into more and more situations with a lot more confidence. Or, at least, I no longer feel nervous about things that would have caused me to feel a certain amount of anxiety in the past.
Strangely, my biggest act of bravery today wasn't about doing something new, rather, letting go of something that I have out grown: cutting back my hours, once again, at the garden shop. You see, while I was on vacation I spent a lot of time thinking about how to handle the uncomfortable situation of trying to run a business while still trying to hold a part time job. I've been wanting to quit in order to focus my energy on Stray Dog Arts...but it's been crazy there, but we'll only be open for another month, but we're understaffed, but my boss injured her arm, but she needs my help, but I don't want to leave her hanging...but, but, but...there's always a but. And, in the meantime, I've been starting to feel absolutely fried.
Turns out, it was easy and all I had to do was say: I'm sorry, but I can't continue at this pace. What can we do to solve this? I said I could be available one day a week. I let her decide what day that would be. For some reason I was scared to say something, but I forced myself with numerous nudges and finally spoke up. I feel a sense of relief because, really honestly, the actual doing is rarely as difficult as we make it up to be.
Before I know it I will be fully and completely self-employed. I can't tell you how happy that makes me feel. Not to mention, my work (of painting) has taken on an entirely new depth of meaning. I'm still getting the logistics formulated in my head, but I can feel the necessary details starting to fall into place.
One thing I do know is that my painting has taken on a whole new level of freedom.
Bravery is quickly becoming more than just doing one thing every day that scares me...it is becoming a way of life. Is it really only Day 3? Sometimes it's harder not to be brave. Or as Anais Nin once wrote:
"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
By the way, look at how well this BRAVE SPIRIT is doing. :)
*photo is of Talie, a 14 year old Sheltie. 100% love and dignity.