Being an Entrepreneur and a Full Time Mama

As I sit here to write this post, I’m reflecting on managing motherhood and work. I had put my son, Nalin, to bed a bit ago and then promptly went to my small office, sat down at my computer, and proceeded to bust through some emails that have been stacking up as well as drafting and sending wedding estimates.

Earlier in the day, I made an errand to pick up seeds and managed to sow a bunch of things in the greenhouse, meet with a client, consulted with another farmer-florist, and I also, somewhere in there, managed to get groceries for the week. It was presidents day, and most people had off work.

Small business owners rarely ever “take off” work. Especially not farmers. We have to plan well in advance and try really hard not to work. I recently saw on Instagram, a post that read, “Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” where the later was crossed out so that it read, more appropriately, “Love what you do, and you’ll kinda work all the time” Hah. This is so true.

So how do we manage it all as business owners, mothers, farmers, and florists?

You’ve heard it time and time again… business owners wear so many hats! We not only are good at our trade, but we have to handle all the marketing, accounting, customer relations, pricing, website, social media, etc. etc. Be grateful if you are able to hire out any of these tasks, but for a lot of small business owners, we wear all these hats for far too long. Burn out is a real thing, so how can we avoid it?

Let’s say you’re a mother (or father), too. Well, your duties just tripled and if you work from home with your kiddo(s), well good luck to you! Everything, with kids involved, takes literally twice the amount of time as it would on your own.

So how do I manage it all? I get asked this question A LOT. Usually, it’s rhetorical. People will just state this out of amazement, but not really expect an answer. Well, here in this post, I’m going to try my best to answer because I bet there are others out there trying to juggle it all just like I am!

I am a small business owner. I am a single mom. I am a farmer, and I am also a florist. My life sometimes feels like one great big balancing act!

Some of my success I can attribute to my own character. Drive, determination, and resilience seem to be inherent in my nature. A lot of what I do, though, are simple lifestyle changes or perspective shifts that help me to stay balanced and manage all the things. I’m going to highlight some of them…

Staying Organized: This is key! You have to have some order to your work space, computer files, paperwork, calendar, tools and supplies, etc. If your work spaces are messy and chaotic, you’ll spend more time shifting through the crap and feeling discouraged than if you could just walk into your space and start the task at hand. So if you’re not an organized person by nature, set aside some time to make your spaces organized. It will really help!

Positive Self Talk: How do you talk to yourself in your head? Do you constantly put yourself down or worry about what’s to come? If so, you need to shift this! Everything is energy and the law of attraction says that what you put out into the world is exactly what you receive back. If you are negatively affirming yourself all the time, that is the energy you’re sending out and it’s the same energy you are going to attract back. You will be in this perpetual cycle. Instead, you can choose to make the cycle positive! Send yourself positive thoughts and you will be rewarded with positive energy. An easy way to do this is through affirmations on sticky notes. I do this all the time, in fact. I will write something positive on a note and stick it somewhere I’ll read it often. Reading it will help re-train your brain to think this way, even if you don’t believe it at first! Some of the things you could say are “I am so loved” “I bring so much joy and beauty to my community” “I am supported” “people value my gifts” You get the picture!

Continually Shifting Focus in a Positive Way: My work and being a mom with my son at home most of the time are very intermingled so I’m constantly being pulled between mothering and working. It’s true I include my son in a lot of my farming and I can see how that’s benefiting him so much; However, there are times that he needs just my pure focused attention (and it’s more-so the younger the child). So rather than getting frustrated and annoyed that I can’t complete a work task, I instead shift the focus of my intention. I tell myself that I will tend to his needs fully before coming back to my task. Whether that’s getting him a snack, changing out his soaking wet tennis shoes and socks, or watching him learn a new skill or show excitement over something, each moment should be experienced with presence and I will keep my attention on him as long as he needs. Children should be your priority, but it definitely is hard when you’re trying to manage all this work with them around. I get it. This is not to say that whenever you’re child needs something, you drop everything to tend to them. Often I tell Nalin to wait, but whenever I do shift focus to him, I do it positively and presently. Even if the present moment sucks, still being with it and accepting it, will help to ease stress and anxiety.

Setting Smaller Goals: This sounds weird to say, but especially running a business AND being a mother, I have to not make sure I’m not constantly falling short of my own expectations. To do this, I just set smaller goals. You may think of it as a reality check, or be real with yourself on how much you can accomplish. This was hard for me to learn because I hold very high standards for myself and I expect a lot out of myself. I usually think I can accomplish WAY more in a day than is realistic. If you operate like I did, you’ll always come up disappointed. So instead, just be real from the get-go! Don’t make your daily list too long. Make it actually achievable

Self Care: You need this to keep going. To stay sane, stress free, and balanced. Try to set aside time for the things you love or things you can relish and relax in. Whether that’s a yoga class, a hot bath, going for a walk, journaling, or anything else soothing, you need regular doses of this. Self care does not need to mean a grand vacation! Simple things you can do for yourself at home should become part of your routine. This can be as simple as making yourself a nourishing cup of tea. Love yourself and honor all this hard work you are doing! Keep filling up your cup and you’ll be able to show up as your best self!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and un-balanced, I hear you. You’re not alone. I hope some of these perspective shifts can help you on your journey. Know that you are doing the best that you can! May you continue to offer your unique gifts to the world, love yourself, and live presently.


~Katie

Shifts and Realizations

These past few weeks have been a bit challenging for me, but I’ve gained some valuable insights and thought it may be worthwhile to share. Perhaps you might get your own ah-hah moment through reading.

The events that brought about my new sense of awareness happened to be centered around my new home and my relationship. I was just starting to feel settled and solid in both of these areas of my life until the rug was swept from under my feet. Within two days of each other, I all of a sudden did not feel in control of either. Nothing actually too terrible happened and the details of these events don’t matter, but just the fact that I felt blindsided by both and it left me speechless and feeling a lack of control.

After some good ol’ grieving, which I realized was necessary to make space within myself for healing, I realized exactly why this happened. At first, I was so distraught and thought WHY oh WHY is this happening to me!? Haven’t I been through enough? I placed myself in the victim role and was having a pity party for myself.

After a long chat and an energy session with one of my good friends, I realized:

These events are not happening TO me, they are happening FOR me.

That was a big perspective shift. As my friend put it, “this was the only way the universe could get your attention!” That it did. So what was I being invited to shift within myself?

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I tend to try and control my life and my environment through my words, thoughts, and actions. I go, go, go and I do, do, do to keep all things functioning right and properly in my life. This is very throat chakra based. This is all I’ve ever known how to be and it’s very natural. However, we are never truly in control of our lives and I got a good smack upside the head by the universe about that. I was clearly being inviting into a NEW way of being. This new way of being has the energy centered in the heart and womb space otherwise known as our creative center. This new way of being is all about attracting what we want in life or rather, what’s truly aligned with our souls higher purpose. It’s about being magnetic and radiating from the inside out.

Rather than controlling my life, I can create my life.

See the difference? It’s a subtle, but very profound shift.

Since this realization, I’ve really been working on embodying this new way of being. Whenever I feel thoughts racing or energy getting stuck in my throat, I breath it down. All I have to do is concentrate on my heart or womb space and pay attention to my breath and I’m there.

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Additionally, I’ve been working on feeling more comfortable with my connection to the divine and my guides…particularly with speaking to them. Some people my like to call this God and Angels. Anyways, I’ve been finding it helpful to state my intentions and ask for guidance in the areas of my life I feel that I need it in. I do this through setting an alter and being present with it, through meditating, through pulling tarot and oracle cards, and through moving energy by EFT/tapping or journaling. I’ve had some profound moments where I feel like I’m being heard and I receive an answer back. I know it’s an answer back because I feel the energy in my body. It’s like the answer comes through me rather than being a thought in my own mind. Most of the time I don’t receive answers, at least not right away, and that’s okay! Simply stating my intentions and desires from a true, authentic place in my being is sending that energy out there. This is part of the art of manifestation.

More than ever, I’m being called to just Trust. This is so funny to me because the word I chose to focus on this year is Trust, and that’s something that came to me near the end of 2018. I don’t feel like I consciously chose that word, but nonetheless, we’re only in mid-February and I’m getting a huge dose of learning how to Trust.

I haven’t always been a spiritual person. I will say that I’ve always felt a particular connection with gemstones, and obviously mother earth, but exploring myself as a spiritual and connected divine being was fostered through becoming a mother, through owning/running a business, and then through some of the hardships I’ve gone through. I almost feel like I’ve gotten a crash course these last 4-5 years, but it’s exciting because there is still so much to learn and shift within myself!

The universe never hands us more than we can handle. It may seem like it sometimes, so when you feel particularly challenged, I’d advise you to turn inward and ask, “what am I being invited to shift?” How am I supposed to grow from this experience? Because remember, things don’t happen to us, they happen for us. Every experience is here to serve us on our highest path and ultimately align us with our soul’s true purpose.


With love and light,

Katie

2018 Reflections and Ready for a Better Year!

This past year was hard, to put it lightly. 2018 was full of challenges that brought me to my knees, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and forced me to grow. In retrospect, I’m grateful for these challenges, as I am a much stronger person now because of them. I’m a believer that life does not give anyone more than they can handle at any given time.

That being said, some of the challenges I’ve navigated included financial losses and burdens. We had an unexpected frost and hail storm in April after I planted all my summer starts. I lost over half of my crops that I paid another farmer to start for me since I didn’t have a greenhouse. That was a huge set back. Then, my cat had to spend nearly 2 weeks overnight at UC Davis for two unexpected surgeries, which was caused by stress due to moving. I moved several times. That statement sounds simple, but the process of not knowing where I’m going to live, but knowing I have to move and then doing the actual moving with a toddler is SO not easy. One of the places I lived at over the summer I had to evacuate from the Camp Fire. The house was safe (Thank God) and the fire was contained less than a mile from where I was living at the time.  The experience of being an evacuee and not knowing whether I would have a home to return to felt like one of my worst, most vulnerable points in my life. I had no control over this other than how I handled my own emotions. 

To put the cherry on top of everything, I was asked to leave the farm. The place I had been growing flowers for the last three years. I had built up the soil beautifully, but it was more than that. The farm was my sanctuary. While I was moving constantly, trying to find the right home for my son and I, the farm remained our constant home away from home. To lose this was devastating to say the least.

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If any of you follow astrology, this was the year I entered my Saturn return. It makes total sense that I was shaken and moved in order to re-align on my true path. It was painful and challenging, but the point of this post is not to have a pity party. I did enough of that for myself in 2018. I’m simply reflecting on what was real and what these forces were that forced me to grow and get to know myself on a much deeper level. Honestly, looking back, I have nothing but gratitude. 

It would also be foolish of me not to re-count the amazing things that happened in 2018. For life is a balance, and for every sour experience, there is a sweet one following (if you let it). I found love again in the spring of 2018.  I almost didn’t allow it for myself, but I’m so glad I did. This man I am dating has been the best gift I received this entire past year. He stood by my side and helped me navigate these challenging waters with calmness and compassion. He brought me back to reality and re-assured me throughout the countless times I’ve felt ungrounded. He’s helped me both physically and mentally, and held space for me in love and light. I’m so grateful for him and to continue loving this beautiful soul. 

Another highlight was finding my new place and my new farm! This is also something my man helped me manifest. Because I had to move, and because I knew I needed a new place to farm in 2019, I was convinced that I could find a place for BOTH my home and my business.  I did! It took a while and learning to say no to a lot of opportunities, but finally I landed here. I moved in October, and sowed a cover crop before our first rain in late November. Since, I’ve been working on moving out of my old farm. 

And where did Nalin fall into all of this? Well, he turned 3 in March 2018 and it turns out, three has been the most challenging year for him (and the parents). There was no such thing as the “terrible twos” with Nalin. He was such a joyful two year old! However, when he turned three is when he started asserting his independence and having tantrums on the regular. Of course, the constant up-rooting and moving didn’t help. His Dad also had to move twice. Thankfully, we’re both settled now for the foreseeable future and Nalin is growing into a respectful, loving little guy. He’s been enjoying his Waldorf pre-school immensely and his father and I are both committed to being the best parents we can be. We’re always assessing ourselves, observing Nalin, and adjusting as necessary. 

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I’m ready to embody and move into this next phase of life. 2019 will be the year of opportunities and more growth. If you follow Tarot, last year in 2018, was the year of the hermit for me. I was very introspective and kept to myself. I grew A LOT within myself and got to know myself deeper than I imagined. I worked through old conditioning and patterns. I released unhealthy thoughts and actions and learned how to navigate challenges in healthy, positive ways. 

It’s great to look back and realize the lows and highlights, but my focus is not staying there. I’m stepping into a new reality and a new way of living. I have dreams, aspirations, and goals this year to focus on.

Now this year, 2019, is the year of The Wheel of Fortune for me. This could not be better or timelier! Apparently, the wheel of fortune year means I will have luck on my side in every aspect of life… love, relationships, business, etc. New opportunities will come my way and I will experience even more growth! Of course every card has a flip side and this could mean the total exact opposite for me. However, I’m trusting in my intuition and I truly do feel aligned. I don’t feel like there’s much more “shaking” that needs to be done here. Regardless, balance will be key for me. Learning how to truly balance my relationships, my work, my parenting, and my self care so that I can continue to be aligned and on my highest path!

On New Years Eve, I chose to do some journaling and meditation. I wrote a list of intentions. This is different than “resolutions”. I never liked that word. Instead, I chose to have intentions. There is a subtle shift there, but a powerful one. With resolutions, if I don’t accomplish them, I am bound to feel guilty and uninspired. With intentions, I am simply stating what I would like without any pressure attached whatsoever. So, a few of my intentions (in no particular order) are:

-      Trust in my intuition, my inner knowing as well as the Divine

-      Welcome and Accept Support

-      Let go of Fears, Worries, Doubt

-      Breath through Anxiety

-      Re-center/Continue to call my energy back to myself

-      Honor my Body and my Needs

-      Prioritize Nalin

-      Share Abundance

-      Deepen Friendships

-      Regular Meditation and Yoga

-      Entertain New Opportunities

-      Clear out Patterns/Thoughts of un-worthiness

I feel pretty happy with these intentions and like they’re totally within reach. I’ve also been feeling into a particular word that I want to embody for that year and that word is: Trust

I’m looking forward to this New Year and experiencing what’s in store. I also invite you to ask yourself, what are some of your new intentions?

With love and light,

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Katie