When CATA hosted its 2014 conference (yes, it seems like decades ago), I had the chance to present a workshop on growing your own livelihood. This is a topic that everyone wants to get their teeth into, and I was blown away by the reception from the conference attendees. What I realized right away is that ‘livelihood’ means something different to everyone, and we each have our own road to walk with this question.

That said, there are at least four key things for any of us to hold in mind when we embark on the ever-hopeful journey of ‘doing what you love’.  We’ll get to all of them eventually, but what I want to share today is the first one:

Love it enough to work hard & take risks on its behalf.

The year Be Space opened its doors turned out to be the same year that a substantial grant I had written was awarded at my day job. This gave me the golden opportunity to provide for Be Space’s infancy by working – really, a lot – during the day on an altogether separate start-up project. (If you’re curious about that day job, here is its website.) Lo and behold, twins!

Since then I’ve become a master juggler, stretching past the limits of my mental & physical energy. It has not been an easy time, but it has been worth every minute. By day, I’ve had the privilege of helping Oregon City’s community grow a new coalition; and with the rest of my time, I’ve been blessed to meet and collaborate with a growing circle of remarkable & creative people at Be Space.

And at times it’s just been too much.

For the better part of this calendar year, I’ve been up to my elbows in Day Job and finding it harder and harder to tap into the creative well. Hence, the radio silence on the Be Space page. I owe deep gratitude to the magical beings of Space who bring their playful heart and authentic nature into the studio week after week. These past several months have been sustained by your creative spirit.

The truly fabulous news is that Be Space is getting its director back, full-time and full heart.

Following my own first edict of ‘growing your own livelihood’, it’s clear that I love Be Space enough to have worked very hard for it in these early start-up years; and I also love it enough to take big risks on its behalf. Thankfully, my amazing cohorts in Oregon City are ready to carry that project forward without me, and I am now stepping onto the path of tending Be Space with all of the care and creative juice it deserves.

Because we are willing and curious to see that new landscape.
Because we are willing and curious to see that new landscape.

So here we go, into the bold and uncertain future.

Meanwhile, a tiny band of Spacelings is coalescing into a Resource Council, and the months ahead will provide hints at the organizational future of Be Space. (hint: there are about 100 ways that you are going to love it!)

If there’s anything worth remembering, it’s that everything changes. In my head is this Pali chant, running on a loop – All things are impermanent, they arise and they pass away. To be in harmony with this truth brings great happiness.

This is, of course, the hallmark and glory of the creative process.  It is a process, dynamic and alive. We learn so much from beginning something, living through its full expression, and allowing it to complete and dissolve. This is why so many of us jump, feet first, into the deep swirling pools of surprise and unknown.  Because we are willing and curious to see that new landscape.

May it be bright and blessed with inspiring companions.