I cannot believe it is over….our six months….it ends tomorrow.
It seems like just yesterday that I wrote you to tell you that we were leaving…on this adventure to Florence. I can picture myself at my computer at home…exactly where I was sitting….I can see myself typing frantically as I had many things to do to get prepared to leave the next day. I remember my feelings….of excitement…and of fear….anxiety. I did not know that the economy was going to take the dive that it did…I was having problems with our normal first quarter financing….sales were weakening….and I was leaving. I was following my heart..to be with my girls….on an adventure of a lifetime. I stayed focus on the purpose….and I held onto my faith. I knew in my heart this was the right thing to do…but how it would all work out….I had no idea.
There were many challenges when we first arrived as you know. We jumped through many hoops….and there was one day in particular, I remember, that I woke up and had the desire to pull the down comforter over my head…and hide from the world. Although our financial situation was the same that it had always been, we were not getting any financing. We normally lose around $30k in the first quarter so the financing is pretty critical. I have no trust fund or anything of the sort to dig into so we were incredibly vulnerable. I held onto my faith….my belief that if you follow your heart … it will guide you …and everything will be as it should. It may not always be as you planned or as you would like, but it will be as it should be. I micro managed our cash flow…daily….and we had the biggest January in the history of the Company. Hmm….how does that happen when the economy is crashing? I’d love to take the credit but we simply worked as hard as we normally do…..and the stores stayed really strong.
I pulled back on product, worked with my vendors, and became very close to my bank manager. I became very tight with myself….and God. I had to find ways every day to stay strong….keep my faith….so I could appreciate the moments of this journey with my girls. I fought hard against doubt and negativity….I kept my head up high and a smile on my face. I believed. I remember the moment that I truly let go….I was sitting in my favorite church where I went to meditate….and I put it all on the table. I said….ok…..take it….I get it….it’s all yours. Whatever happens, I am ready and will deal with it…..I know that I have the strength and courage to handle what may come so bring it on. I know that whatever is in store for me is what is suppose to be….and that I am not alone. I handed my life over….and He took it. I began to cry….not in sadness….but in joy….in relief. My load was lifted and the real journey began.
I couldn’t possibly go into all the details but I can summarize it all by saying that this has been the most incredible experience of my life. The personal growth of myself, my girls, and everyone who has come to visit has been magical….beyond anything that I could have imagined. I am in awe….and have been every day….amidst the chaos and uncertainty of life…..I’ve been at peace. I have had so many moments of pure contentment…I remember the first time I was sitting on a bench overlooking Florence…it was hidden in the trees so no one was around. I was going to do some reading but I found myself in a daze..staring out at the City. A peaceful feeling enveloped my being…unlike anything I had felt before. I felt so happy…..and a sense of knowing that I was in a state of pure contentment. It was then that I knew where this journey was really taking me.
I look back at the last 15 years and I can now see the path…that brought me here…to me. I didn’t know that I was even lost until I was found….ha……and I am so grateful. Everything is so much clearer now….I know what I want…for the business and for my life. I’ve always had a sense but now I know. And I also have learned how to stay on my path….as I’ve told the girls, life is designed to keep you from following your heart…people and things are put in your way…to distract you and cause you to doubt yourself. Everyday you have to wake up and be aware….not paranoid…but aware that there may be traps in your day. You have to be mindful….of every decision that you make and every path that you choose…..stay in alignment with your being. And listen….you have to listen to your heart…it is your guidance….and to hear it you must slow down. All such simple things that we forget because we are too busy….running too fast…thinking we are in control….working to achieve happiness…..ironic.
So now I really know….my purpose…which I’ve really known all along….just have never been sure. Our body is sacred…..we need to take care of our body, mind and soul in order to achieve pure contentment. It’s really that simple. We need to detach ourselves from the things and people who and that are not condusive to this “end”….it’s nothing new or earth shattering….taught all the time….but now I see my part. So, I will continue, with even more passion, to inspire you…remind you….help you….achieve this.
St. Helena Olive Oil Co. will continue to inspire you to eat well…commune and celebrate around food. We will focus more on awareness…of how food affects your body, mind and soul. We will continue to provide you with amazing ingredients and provide you with information so you can make good choices.
Napa Valley Bath Co. is going to ramp up organically and first and foremost, get you up to speed on the cosmetics/beauty world…and what to look for to ensure you are putting something on your body that feeds it….and it will continue to provide you with products that will give you a sense of well being…and inspiration that will bring peace into your day.
And Peggy OKelly……well I hope to inspire you to go after your dreams…..trust your heart……have faith…..and live your best life…..every day.
Thank you…..for all of your support…..for feeding my body, mind and soul. Your emails kept me going…kept me believing. I am aware of every gesture and every purchase that you have made….I appreciate it more then you will ever know. I value your support and want more then ever to provide you with products that will be good for you….corpo mente e anima.