Brosef, Bart, Drew and Me (Reid) – from left to right. Image by Maria Brubeck.

After a long day yesterday I found myself with the shepherds – with happy sad emotions about spending time with Brosef – our old German Shepherd – perhaps his last week, perhaps his last few day, perhaps not. I was thinking about how much he has taught me since we first met. The woman he had to train to present my inward strength outwardly. And interestingly he does so with no agenda or vision for who I should be. He does so with the natural flow of life within him. In his last days he is teaching me again – before it was to stand confidently in my power – to give instructions clearly with a dominant voice and now it is to allow the flow of life in this moment – to forget about time as often as possible.

I have been thinking so much about time – what happens when we push harder than circumstances allow? I imagine that you are wondering what could possibly be taking so long with the 100 Blouses Project?! I was raised, I dare say we were all raised to think about speed and time out of habit – a young boy in the pool declares triumphantly that he got there first, while I work to unlearn my habit to finish a lap I am currently on faster in the other pool. We continue – generation after generation to push each other for speed. At what cost? Well the ultimate cost – that of cherishing the moment.

So this is just an elaborate way for me to communicate that things are – once again – proceeding slower than expected. We have high hopes that our apprenticeship funding will get approved by the State of West Virginia but it will take a few weeks longer before that happens and we can begin our training program to instruct local sewers on how to produce top quality women’s garments. It is the summer and everything takes longer as people go on vacation. But I have to check myself – other people rebooting on vacation is a good thing – no? I am promoting a process that takes humanity into account and yet my factory default setting is MORE! FASTER!

But then I come back to Brosef who teaches me until his last breath that there is only now. The life, the Earth we want moves at a different pace than our impatience.

And what is the alternative? I can make everyone crazy by continuously exerting pressure to go faster when everyone around me is exhausted and in need of a break. I can talk the talk about a humane workplace and then walk a different and contradictory walk. Or I can take a deep breath and be grateful for where I find myself and my business, for how things are now – waiting excitedly to bring on three new teammates, working on a new pattern and talking to talented people about how to build the big picture of this work.

I am cheering you on through your process of breaking free from the factory default setting – building truly novel work and enjoying your sweet life.

Go, fight, win.