I will be honest and share that it has been tough over here. I’ve had some tough news in my family that knocked the wind out of my sails last week. Yesterday evening I drove to the apprenticeship program in a sorry state, exhausted from trying to figure out how to keep it all going while digesting tough family news. It had been roughly a week juggling tough emotions and trying to figure out how to keep chipping away at my todo list. I was not successful on the todo list front. As I drove to the apprenticeship program I struggled with the thought of how to keep it all going – my day job, the business, demands in my personal life.

And then I got to Lisa’s tailoring shop. We settled into our work. I went ahead and brought everything that I had been putting off with all the upheaval taking place nights and weekends – the time I normally spend on the business. Our new and very talented apprentice began working on a final fabric blouse with the lovely lilac organic cotton hemp fabric we are using for the 100 Blouses Project. I was cutting out patterns, placing button holes and having Lisa provide me some instruction on button hole technique with her handy dandy Baby Lock machine. We alternated back and forth between silent moments of work with the hum of our sewing machines and chatter about recipes and food and the local play a few of the apprentices participated in.

At one point, our newest apprentice remarks – “This is so great.” My thoughts exactly. After 2 hours at our apprenticeship program my energy came flooding back. And it was not the work, but the social, collaborative energy around it. It was the feeling of doing something, accomplishing something alongside other people. The feeling of learning from someone in person – having them show you how to find where to start the button hole on the Baby Lock machine. It is handing off the paper pattern and knowing that someone is beside you to take it one step further. It is the feeling of progress as a team, watching us begin to average 1 client muslin per apprenticeship session, and to then add a final fabric blouse, and to watch our novice apprentice start to nail difficult details like an armhole or a collar.

And I observe that this is how the tough work of the world will get done. It will get done by showing up together through all the tough life stuff we experience and gently supporting each other to build great things together – to learn from each other, to take risks, to experiment, to give critical feedback, and to create a sense of expansiveness together that was not there before.

So many of us are still dealing with big, tough stuff. There is beauty in continuing to show up as we are in that moment and finding that support when we come together and work on something bigger than our individual selves.

Thank you for your support.

Go, fight, win.