I began this post before the events of George Floyd and the 2nd great wave of grief his death brought forth for many Americans. I would like to share this post with you because it is important that we find our love and joy through the grief no matter how many times it hits us over the coming months. As a person that believes very deeply in the power of small businesses, when we are able to share love and joy through supporting local, black owned businesses, for example Zen Succulence or Jeddah’s Tea in Durham, North Carolina or the gorgeous homeware and lifestyle eCommerce brand Jungalow, we are able to empower our black brothers and sisters to create a better world. I hope this post inspires you to find moments of joy through the grief and healing:

 
I am writing to you after finding my footing after weeks of grief and sadness, weeks of little to no progress on my business. Getting stuck with the software or a computer problem and finding myself too emptied out by my day job and the sadness to tackle my business obstacles and move forward. In the fatigue, my negative thoughts had overtaken me: There is no place for your business in this world. Made to measure blouses are trivial. Or the world is so deeply insecure that proceeding with made to measure testing with the software and business model is like walking across a swinging tightrope with a box of garments – all but certainly freefalling to my doom. And so the uncertainty made my legs tremble, and my mind spin not seeing any hope at a good outcome. 
 
Through weeks of this, I asked the powers that be: How do I get through this? With no changes to the level of uncertainty on the path forward, and no easing of the uncertainty around me, and the reality of being cooped up with my thoughts and fears for the months to come, how am I to make progress? 
 
And then during one of my morning journaling sessions, I heard a clear message. Set aside all that you have to do with your business and focus on this one thing: spark your joy. So I took some small steps, blasted my favorite pop music: Lana Del Ray and did some sewing in the morning on a week day. I incorporated dance moves into my cooking repertoire, scheduled a zoom date with a friend, any and every small thing I could do to reclaim my joy. Importantly this required moving my business burdens off my plate for a few weeks. I would work on the stuff that felt good and satisfying but nothing that further compacted my despair.  
 
And then for Memorial Day weekend we were able to identify a safe place to get away and recharge for a few days. And it worked. The joy inspired the trip which allowed me to reboot and begin anew on the endless daily trek that is my business. 
 
Beyond my business I intend to be here for you during this massive upheaval. We are essential. The picture of small businesses in all corners of our country, innovating to make our country better, to provide jobs, to find harmony with the environment, to celebrate diversity, to create abundance in unique ways, that gives me hope. I am determined to be there for you to help each other get through this time and to stand strong on the other side of it. 
 
So if you are still slogging through the grief, despairing about the world, suck in a cycle of worries, please set aside time to find your joy. Your love. Where you find that, is a well of energy that will fuel your steady progress and the beauty you discover as we walk diligently and carefully towards a better future.
 
Go, fight, win.

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