Little Bits of Wisdom at 31

The center of the skirt unzips for a great bike ride!

The center of the skirt unzips for a great bike ride!

As some of you may have seen from my Instagram feed, last week was my birthday week. I had a few birthday surprises from the universe. The weather was spectacular after many days of rain. I found the perfect biking dress with an aesthetic I love: powerful warrior-goddess like touches, sexy celebration of curves, and bike-friendliness!

And I was asked to do an interview with Diane Lees for her podcast, The Outspoken Cyclist on REID MILLER Apparel. When she sent me the questions I was thrilled to see that she would be asking me about my Peace Corps work and how that’s shaped my work with REID MILLER Apparel. (I’ll include this in the newsletter once it’s posted.)

That got me to reflect on what I’ve learned from my 31 short years of life (Peace Corps included):

Relationships are the most important thing in my life. I never regret taking the time to help a friend or family member. The people in my life are the most important part. Interestingly, my day expands to help friends and family in need. Have you ever notice that when you need to drop something to help someone you seem to have enough time to accomplish whatever it is that you needed to accomplish? Do you experience this?

Work with good people. Though everything in our tech-obsessed world may be telling us a different story, I believe that good, fulfilling work is about good people. Shipping and banking are particularly stressful parts of my business and yet my banker Diane and my Fed Ex business rep Bonnie bring a smile to my face every time we are in touch. We care about each other. It may seem that business is headed further and further away from real, human interaction. I will not conform to this. People light up my life and bring meaning to my work.

Be the person you want to see more of in this world. Rather than complaining about what other people are or aren’t doing I am working on living out the behavior I want to see in other people. A few weeks back a woman in our community workspace was having a really difficult conversation and had starter to cry while on a Skype meeting. The young men in the corner of the room were rolling their eyes, snickering and talking about her. Instead of smoldering over how immature behavior persists, I decided to live the response that I would want to see in others. I got up, got her a tissue and gave her a gentle “I’ve been there and I’m here if you need me” back pat. Nothing negative, no annoyed glances, just a different way of doing things.

Never turn away from an opportunity because of fear. I have been practicing this for a while. The first of these big leaps was the Peace Corps where such an opportunity for growth and learning came with such a huge amount of fear that I’m glad I didn’t know how hard it would be so I had the courage to do it. And that is about how the building of REID MILLER Apparel is shaping up to be. (My friends with children say the same thing, so perhaps all the best things in life are this way).

Stand guard against the things that you do to limit your own happiness. If I have a great week with my business, friendships, relationship I’m liable to do something silly when I’m on a high like drink way too many cups of coffee of have 2 manhattans. What the heck? How come I can’t just live with the contentment of having things be really good? Well at least I’m working on this, with the help of friends and teachers.

Stay aware of what’s going on in the world but focus on the light. I won’t go too far into this because I spent a decent share of my last post on this, but it has been a big shift for me to stop focusing on what is going wrong in the world and instead shift towards learning how people are transforming and bringing light into the world.

Practice being present – Someday I hope to be here all the time. It seems to be that this is becoming very popular – be present, be conscious, meditate and its about time (I remain hopeful that this will extend to drivers of SUVs). And oh man this makes an uncertain path of starting a business way better. Every day I’m working on this and have been putting in concerted time since September. I’m already seeing results: richer, calmer moments.

Thanks again for all your support!