After much anticipation, we are setting down the last essential puzzle piece for the made to measure production by meeting with the group that is digitizing the pattern. Then we head into the mountains for some nature and fresh air to reenergize for some big pushes this summer. I’m ready for both of these.
The pattern digitization is a very interesting step in the made to measure production process. At the most basic level we will be making a digital version of the pattern that allows for real-time adaptation of the pattern to a woman’s measurements, which used to take a few hours to do by hand. Yet it is not just a matter of plugging in x, y, z measurements to yield a jacket with like measurements, i.e. a jacket that fits. Fit is a very important question, yet adherence to the style is also an important question. In other words, it involves not just the science of pattern adaptation, but the art as well. For example, one woman will have measurements representative of her broad shoulders and narrow hips, while another may have wider hips and narrow shoulders. How does the pattern, once adapted, convey the aesthetic of curve and strength through the shoulders, waist and hips? Not as straight forward as we might initially think, yes?
So we will be meeting with these pattern-making wizards and if all goes well we will be ready to start testing the made to measure production to be ready to accept clients for bespoke production of the Riding Jacket. And it is wild and scary and infinitely doable. As I approach the commencement of this work my fear monkeys have grown louder. I have had to figure out how to manage with them, because they will stop at nothing to get me not to do this work. That all the partners are coming together, that we fortuitously have access to a digital fabric cutter (otherwise a 10k investment), that we have a super high quality cut and sew group to experiment with and produce beautiful garments, makes it abundantly clear that if I don’t proceed, I will be the only hold-up. No excuses. The start-date is approaching. Ready. Set. Go. If I don’t do this work, I am the reason. This is my dream. It is my vision. I have to try.
And then there are my fear monkeys: YOU can’t do this! You don’t know what will happen!! What if it fails?!!? What if it SUCCEEDS?!!? So much risk!!! You don’t deserve this!! Nothing this good could REALLY happen!! And then I have the moments of calm, where I step back and see that women want this high quality, beautifully designed and tailored clothing that respects them and their needs, sorely neglected by the fashion industry. The technology is ready. The partners are here. Our community is ready for solutions that put people to work with high quality middle class jobs. Our Earth is ready for some solutions to serious environmental problems. It is not just about me. It is about an idea who's time has come. I can turn my back on it. I COULD, but I won’t.
So instead I’ve had to figure out how to manage the fear monkeys, how to make sure that they don’t sabotage my dream, chip away at it through little and big forms of resistance - the actions and opportunities not taken, the pitches botched because of self-double or self-sabotage, the novel solutions not seen because of a mind crowded with fear and anxiety, the goals lost to perfectionism, the partners and collaborations lost to fear of scarcity. You name it. The closer I get to GO the more I feel the urge to hit the breaks and retreat to safety. But I know very well the risks of not doing this. The biggest risk of all – walking away from my dream.
And I will not succumb to this fear and resistance so instead I have mounted a multi-pronged strategy to push forward. Seth Godin, the entrepreneur and marketing guru, has become my guardian angel from the interweb universe. A friend recommended Linchpin and it could not have come at a better time. He tells us that resistance, aka our fear monkeys, are a marker for the direction we must go - the exact opposite direction the resistance urges us to go. Resistance tugs us away from the phone call to our partner, that follow-up email, that strategic plan, pushes us to get lost in busy work that is tangential to our goal. But we need to move towards it right now though it seems akin to heading straight into the thunderstorm we see coming towards us. It SEEMS that way, but really that storm breaks apart and lets the sun through once we are decisively taking the exact opposite action of what the resistance urges us to do.
Example, the resistance says “You don’t have to get in contact with your collaborator TODAY. You can do it tomorrow. You have plenty of other things to do today” or “You don’t have to sit down and draw/play your instrument/ paint/write/sing/work on your big idea right now, you are so tired. It has been such a long day. You can do it tomorrow.” Instead of nodding your head and writing it into the calendar for tomorrow, you say “nope got to do it now. Right now.” When you don’t do this and you succumb to resistance, it gets stronger. It speaks louder. But as soon as you head in the opposite direction it beckons, it retreats for now. For this task. Though it will be back. Ready for another battle. In the meantime you are left with the energy, joy and freedom that comes from working on your most meaningful work.
Seth Godin tells us that the good news is that resistance will reliably tell us where we need to go: The exact opposite of what is urges us to do. If I can find 3 instances each day where I head exactly the opposite direction the resistance calls for, if I push the ball a bit further down the court (in the right direction) every day, I will get one step closer to building a masterpiece. So this advice, in combination with mindfulness about what and whom we are resisting around us (with tools like Headspace, and specifically the Acceptance pack), gives us invaluable weaponry again resistance. And this is ACTUALLY the hardest of all the work, groundbreaking and challenging though it may be. Seriously. Can we close our eyes and imagine for a moment what our world will look like when we are able to make the personal transformation necessary to bring our dreams to life? Can you see it? Can you taste it? Can you feel it? Even just a little bit?