Since I'm busy for the next several weeks facilitating my 6-week e-course, Creative Alchemy, many of the women taking the course, have graciously offered to write guest blog posts. Yay! Thank you SO much ladies! Here's a new post by Dawn Rae Spencer Conery Enjoy!
You never know where your life might lead you. No matter the situation you are in at this moment. If you listen, to your heart, really listen, you can take yourself to your dreams.
Nineteen years ago , I was married to a mentally ill man. Had been for 17 years. I loved him and had a son and a daughter with him. Our lives had been filled with the trauma and sadness of his Schizophrenia and Bi-polar disorder. Throw in a non-functioning Thyroid and you have some pretty sad , crazy days. My life was all about survival. My then 14 year-old son was trying to take over the role of taking care of Mom and putting up with Dad, and my 16 year-old daughter was a runaway, drugging , escaping beautiful girl who had long given up hope of a normal family life. She hated her Dad, and I am sure I was not far down the list at that time.
Weekly counseling for myself while my husband was with his psychiatrist was the highlight of my week. On one particular day, my counselor asked me to just sit quietly, close my eyes and envision. Envision and imagine the life that I wanted . Then I was asked to tell her what I saw. What was my hearts desire? What would it look like? You might think it would have been for a healthy husband and family, but I had already found out that his illness was a manifestation of his actual brain and not something anything a pill or surgery would ever fix. I knew there was no hope there anymore. But I was afraid. Afraid to be alone, do it alone, raise my family alone. Even as I had been doing that for many years without realizing it.
So, that was not my dream anymore. As I closed my eyes that day, in her office, I created in my minds eye, the perfect spot for me. My own quilt shop, walls of beautiful fabrics in colors of the rainbow, books and patterns and notions and classes and people! Quilts and warmth and love and coziness. I had always loved to sew and had even taught my friends to make a quilt, but I had never taken a class and could only afford the department store fabrics at the time. I would visit quilt shops and fondle the beautiful silky fabrics and rich colors, but I could never afford to buy them.
This vision I had, my hearts desire, was one that I had never taken the time to dream about really. Who was I to think I could even consider such a thing! But I started considering it.
I found a pretty journal and a pretty pen. I dedicated it to my dream of owning my own quilt shop. I played with names for the shop, I wrote down ideas for classes, I designed shelving and visited quilt shops all over the state with my Mom to glean information. I had no idea where to begin, where to buy fabric even! So I began as best as I could and figured it out along the way.
Soon after , I left my husband. That is another story, but one of the most painful things I have ever done in my life. I knew it had to be done as I lay on my living room floor at my Motherís feet, crying hysterically in a fetal position. Knowing I had 2 choices, I made the right one in that moment. I could continue with the inevitable breakdown I was experiencing and just give up or I could pick myself up off the floor and get on with living my life. I chose to live.
Within the year, I got myself some retail experience in the local fabric dept. store and quickly moved up to craft manager in two months. I applied to a managers job at a new craft store opening nearby and got that job where I worked and helped open the new store.
Six months later, I opened my own shop. My own shop!!!!
I wrote my first business plan in the rest area of the highway where the car had broken down, 200 miles from my home on a buying trip. My banker said it was the best most complete business plan he had ever seen!
Wow, and I had no idea really what I was supposed to do. That was the days before I had ever used a computer and had no idea, just a dream and desire.
To make a nineteen year history short, I opened, created , ran and then sold that successful shop for six years. A few months before I sold it, I opened another larger even more successful shop and sewing machine dealership three thousand miles away. I have since sold that shop and it is still running today four years later under a new owner. I successfully retired myself with income from that sale and enjoy retirement life with a new husband back in my home state. Now, my dream and my vision is to create. I am learning to paint, learning to draw, design patterns and more. I have taught myself how to use Photoshop and Illustrator and am now tackling Corel Painter. I sew, quilt, spend time with grandchildren, travel, read. Life is full.
All because I listened, listened to my hearts desire and followed it. I firmly believe that whatever you desire in your life, if you can envision it, you can create it.
I have come a long way baby!!
Never give up.
With love and support to you all,
Dawn Rae Conery