Here is a bit of a long story that I felt inspired to share today....if you feel inspired to read, that is awesome. If not....carry on :)
We moved to Moonstone Farm in Salida, CO - 9 years ago this month.
I had just graduated from my MBA program at Antioch University New England- with a focus on Organizational and Environmental Sustainability. As part of that program, I had the opportunity to study businesses who were focused on the "triple bottom line"- profit, people and planet and to develop a business model of my own as my final project. Hence...Moonstone Ventures, LLC- Coaching, Farm & Retreat Center.
With a background in natural resources and environmental education (married with passion for organizational & leadership development) this program was the perfect fit for me.
You see, I had left a job and a community I loved in Utah- where I was building a career and furthering my own leadership development as the Executive Director of the Utah Society for Environmental Education.
My husband Joshua had attended medical school at the University of Utah- which brought me there. I threw myself head first into the deep end of my work- because medical school provided me with plenty of quality alone time (said with a hint of sarcasm). When Joshua "matched" his residency at SUNY UPSTATE in Syracuse, NY- my heart broke to leave my new community and my job- but such is the adventure and the business of being a family.
I had also become a mom just a few months before- so with our baby boy and two dogs in tow ...we drove our VW van across the country and settled into our new home of Syracuse and my new identity as a stay at home mom and wife of ER Physician resident. The reality of quality alone time switched from opportunity to advance my career and purpose- to isolation and loneliness quickly. While I adored being a mama and felt plenty of purpose in that, I still felt that cloud of isolation (not to mention that Update New York is literally cloudy and grey most of the time and I'm a Colorado girl that was used to sun :)
I was lucky to meet some good friends who had babies too. Some of them also could understand what it was like to be a married, but often single parent of a toddler. I was so grateful for that camaraderie AND I was missing the challenge of a work environment and the personal and professional growth I was starting to experience in my previous role. I continued to stay involved as a consultant and volunteer for the national level organizations I had made connection with and began to pursue my coaching certification online. A year later I began the MBA program- an alternative model that required travel to New Hampshire one weekend per month for two years. My professional path started to clear again- but what about my family, you ask?
I had a lot of support from my family. I also had some people in my life that thought I was crazy to take it on. I felt that societal pushback that I think most women feel when they are navigating motherhood with work or personal/ professional goals. A pushback that I knew Josh wouldn't be able to understand.
Honestly, I probably was a bit crazy and somewhat ego driven....but I knew that if I didn't continue to forge my own path, I would end up losing myself, feeling like a victim of circumstance and possibly resenting Josh. And BTW that is not a good recipe for quality parenting :)
Do any of you relate to this?
Anyway, navigating those two years of residency, graduate school and parenting were challenging on our marriage. In that period of time we also lost two grandparents, Josh's dad, a very close uncle, and two dear friends tragically. Little did I know that my coaching program and studies in sustainability would actually serve us more in the short-term as we were consumed with the business of family- finances, relationships, and maintaining some sort of connection to our community and environment- while dealing with the chaos of life and loss that emerged.
I remember that throughout that time we held a vision of settling in Salida, Colorado- on this farm- where we could raise our family, I could start Moonstone Ventures, and Josh could practice medicine in a local Emergency Department. The dream was so alive we could taste it.....and it is what got us through some really hard times together, cementing a pathway for our future as a family.
9 years later....we sit in the middle of a reality that was once a dreamy dream.
I look back and feel we've lived two more chapters just as intense in some ways...and never exactly how we planned. We continually come back around to our family vision and core values of trying to create a "triple bottom line" life, where we prioritize and balance relationships, community, environment and supporting our local economy as well as our own financial security, health and life experiences.
It's been nearly twenty years together navigating the business of family...and we still fail and fall often...but luckily we bounce as we continue to bushwhack our way through life, together. I like to think we are path-seekers and pathfinders. We don't always follow the trail, or do things the way we "should" ...but we end up where we were meant to be.....and we are learning more how to be present in the journey- not just the focus of the summit.
With that said, this next chapter feels super exciting to me. I have no idea exactly how it will unfold....but I know I'm here for it and I'm ready and willing.
What about you?
What is this season of your life bringing up?
Are you here for it?
All of it? The good, the bad, the ugly?
Are you willing to forge the path you dream about- even when it seems impossible?
If you made it this far....thanks for reading and happy Friday!
I'm super excited to be launching a new program, the Pathfinder Posse, designed especially for creative entrepreneurs and community leaders who are ready to step in and Lead the Charge to move their business or community organization forward to the next level. This is a six-month intensive for a small cohort who will support each other in creating sustainable and profitable business/strategic plans with the benefit of 1:1 coaching and mentoring support. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up here and we will send you the info.
And if you are wondering if you are a fit for the Pathfinder Posse?
Check out the playfully strategic manifesto below :)
Pathfinder Posse Manifesto
We are pathfinders
From the sidelines to the summit
We let go of perfection to make space for possibility
We love deeply and banter freely
We hold each other capable and equal
We prioritize personal health, recreation & restoration to be our best for ourselves & others
We are not afraid to succeed....because we know we will lift others when we do
We recognize that failure is part of this equation and building resilience can be the chosen result
We keep fear in its proper place to keep propelling forward
We know that millions of solutions haven't been invented yet
We create space for grace, gratitude, and tolerance balanced with the resolve of our integrity
We value human and ecological diversity- and work towards preserving the viability of life on our planet
We know that we are are a spoke in the wheel of change- and without all the spokes functioning together, we won't get anywhere.
We are pathfinders