The Journey So Far...

by - 11:42

It's that time of year again... wedding season has passed, the plot has given all she had to give and is now resting, conserving her energy, preparing to burst into life again in the spring. The nights are getting cooler, the days shorter and the heady floral indulgence of summer now just a happy memory.




The end of November marked the 1st birthday of my floral design and growing business Garden & Wild and also the 37th year of my life! As birthdays often do, it prompted a period of personal reflection on the year that just passed, like my plot I am now consolidating my energy, taking what I have learned in the last year, making adjustments to my business model and preparing myself for the next season. 
To me the last year feels almost surreal, a dream of my own life that I was just looking in on from above like some kind of spiritual being. It's hard to believe how far I have come in just 365 days.
When I started writing this post I had no intention of it going quite so deep however as I wrote I found the words just flowing onto the screen, I decided that although this is probably more about my personal journey than it is flowers I will still publish it in the hope it may inspire others to follow their dreams...

For years I have known that working with, and creating things with flowers and plants was my true calling, it was that voice in the back of my head that I foolishly didn't want to hear, the message of well meaning family and friends from the past ringing in my ears, "you need an 'ology' " to get by in life you need a qualification, to wear a suit, look important, and to earn lots of money. Isn't this what 'society' tells us too? Every day we are bombarded with media in various forms telling us that we can measure our success on how many 'things' we can afford to aquire and how we look to others, so much so that many people that really can't afford those 'things' buy them anyway, myself included, doing so under the illusion that this is what will make us happy and successful. How many times have I thought 'If I could just afford this 'thing' my life will be so much better and I'll be so much happier' yet once you get it, it never works, you still don't feel genuinely happy or at peace with life.

I have come to realize with time, that wonderful pacifier of past mistakes, and my experiences in the last year that the best way to get by is actually to listen to your instinct. Do what truly inspires you and that which feeds your soul, for in doing so you feel so much more at peace with yourself and the world. When everyday you are doing something you love the challenges of life do not seem so great, having no money doesn't matter, you are happy because your spirit is being nurtured, something that no amount of money can buy. It sounds like a selfish and perhaps idealistic philosophy, but far from it...I truly believe now that when you nurture your true spirit and live what you love, amazing opportunities come to you, you just need to free yourself from dogma, open your mind and heart enough to see them and let them in. You have far more energy to give to others, and are able to give it willingly and abundantly as it isn't used up on negativity, past regrets, feelings of not being who you want to be and unnecessary stress. 

I know many will think this is all crazy and that the practicalities of life and needing money to pay bills means it is impossible, but it will all come in time and when it is meant too, I see now that I needed to go through my past to truly appreciate what I have now. And as for money to get by, it won't happen overnight, I know what it is to be on the breadline, I have been there, and this year I have probably invested more in my business than I have earned from it, but I know that will change next year. When you do what is true to you, you live it, its not just 'a job' but a way of life, you live, breath, sleep and eat it. When you are so immersed in something you can't help but be constantly learning, constantly honing your skills and that's when you become more than just good at something, you become amazing at something and when you are amazing at something people will seek you out and pay you well for your skills! This is what I am aiming for, I will do whatever it takes to get there. I may have to tighten my belt for a few years and I have to bide my time and learn so much more before I can create the business I really want but I know it will happen, for the first time in my life I actually believe in my abilities, perhaps because they feel somehow innate, and I believe in what I am doing and that it will be successful. That is a comfort that seems to come from doing what you truly should be, what is in your spirit, I feel so much more at peace with myself now and lucky to have found 'my thing'. I sense that I am at the start of a very exciting and fulfilling journey with flowers.
This is what I will be telling my children, find your 'thing', do what you love and be fantastic at it and then people will pay you to do it, that is the way to get by in life! 

Now I am not suggesting for one moment that I think I am amazing at flowers, I have a very, very long way to go, but everyday I am learning and I love what I do, it's like an addiction, the more I do the more I want to do. I have met some truly wonderful, inspiring and talented people on my journey so far and feel so blessed that they have taken me under their wing, shared their wisdom and given me such positive encouragement.
Over the past year I have been truly honored and genuinely humbled by the fact that my brides have put so much trust in me to create the flowers for their weddings, such a fundamental part of their day, something that will be in the photographs that they look at for the rest of their lives and indeed something that can make or break the overall 'look' and feel of such an important event...They trusted ME and when I think about it, that fact absolutely blows my mind. 

So today a year into my new flowery adventure I want to thank all of my clients, the people who have supported, encouraged and bought from me and most of all  I'd like to thank my past brides and those booked in the future for being part of my journey and for letting me be a small part in yours. Your trust in me to help create your dream means so much more than I could ever express and is helping me to live mine, without you my business would not exist. To contribute to such an important day in your lives is a true honor and something I will never take for granted. 

2014 has been an epiphany for me...

Wishing you all great adventures into the unknown, much happiness and a peaceful heart,

Claire
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