My friend Rose, who was on her annual visit from Switzerland, wanted to meet up to shop and squeeze in our last chance to see each other before she left MPLS. I was brutally honest when she called to ask what I was doing at the moment. I told her I was about to take a nap. Fortunately, her call gave me a boost of energy so I drove to meet her. From the moment I got out of my car which was parked by a favorite gift shop, I knew I made the right choice between napping and spending time with my friend.
Here's the backstory: For years I have envisioned my blog growing into something bigger. Each week I plant a seed and now I am starting to see the "fruits of my labor". After a lot of reflection over the summer break, I decided to take a leap of faith and throw an official launch party for Thoughtful Pinch. Feeling very brave, I sent out Paperless Posts for the launch party and then wondered if I could really pull this off. Suddenly, I wasn't completely convinced that I was ready. There was some doubt. I decided to let the idea of launching my business just sit in my thoughts. My game plan was to watch for signs. As hokey as it sounds, in my stillness, I wanted to see if the Universe was asking for this business and I wanted to know if I was doing something that I was meant to do.
Now back to my visit with Rose. As I said, from the moment I got out of my car to meet her, I saw a sign. It was across the street from the gift shop. It was literally a sign with the words Whole Sum Kitchen. Only hours earlier, I had been Googling the Top Food Trucks in the Twin Cities and recognized a food truck on the list that we often buy smoothies and juice from at the farmer's market. I sent in a request via email for information about Whole Sum because I was interested in having their truck come serve breakfast at the business launch for my morning event. I had no idea that the restaurant was there and it made me think, what are the chances?
At the gift store, Rose and I chit-chatted while we shopped and I saw some more signs. Again, literal signs. Plaques, frames, mugs, notebooks - all with quotes that I read as signs. "Start each day with a positive thought." "One kind word can change someone's entire day." "One wise woman said, 'I don't give a F' and she lived happily ever after." "Don't let anyone ever dull your sparkle." Etc. You've all seen these signs, they are everywhere and make many smile. I saw the very popular "This is my happy place." sign but with a twist. It had the shape of the state of MN within the quote and it was embroidered on a comfy pillow case with a pillow insert. I've seen the shape of MN on so many things. I have seen so many signs with the words, "This is my happy place." But somehow I felt this deep calmness when I saw the pillow displayed on a comfy chair. The pillow with this sign made me think of all the friends I have in MN and I thought about how many of them would support my new business once they see where I'm going with it. The calmness I felt was a sign to relax, be happy and know that my friends here in MN will receive the news of my business with open arms. I recognized and accepted the sign that I was looking for and with great restraint, did not buy the pillow.
After shopping, Rose and I went into the Whole Sum restaurant and the timing was perfect because I was able to meet and speak to the owner, Evan, about my event. Then Rose and I settled at a table and began talking for 2 hours non-stop. In our conversation, I mentioned that I was preparing a five minute presentation about an idea that I have because I hope to meet Target's CEO, Brian Cornell soon. Rose shared a story with me that she only learned about the day before. The gist of the story is that a man who had a corporate position also drew and sketched in his free time. When the man found out that his favorite artist would be coming to London he decided he really wanted a chance to speak to the artist for a few minutes. Clever to figure out which hotel the artist would be staying, this man positioned himself in the hotel restaurant so that when the artist and his wife came for breakfast he could per chance get the opportunity to meet him. The man was polite and asked the artist's wife for a few minutes of their time. It turns out, the artist was very interested in this man's artwork and now he is currently mentoring him. Um, can you say, shivers up my spine? The timing of Rose learning about this story only the day before is amazingly fortuitous.
The next day, this happened. Part of my morning routine is to weigh myself, flip a card in this thoughtful quote deck and brush my teeth as I read over the quote so that the words can sink in during the two minute brushing. Today this was my quote:
I know I sound like I'm on drugs or like I'm really reaching deep to validate what I'm doing but I really do believe in signs. Also known as blessings. Also known as silver linings. Also known as letting the Universe speak to me when I'm lost. A thoughtful pinch that you could give to yourself is to be still enough to be able to see the signs.