Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Into the Blue and Beyond Laundry

I'm a multiple hat wearer; I've always been that way and always will be. That's part of what makes me fit in here in Taos so well, I think. Most of us here are like that.

The hats I've been wearing for the last couple of years include being an instructor at UNM-Taos and being a celebrant, and both are things that I enjoy. However, it finally hit me this past spring that, even doing both these things, I was barely making enough money to get by. Also, a crisis in my life at that time caused me to reevaluate my sense of purpose and core values, to revisit a passion for environmental sustainability that I had pushed to a back burner for too long.

I began to think about my "green laundromat" idea again, which I first came up with in 2009. In fact, I mentioned that in one of my early posts here, The Little Flowers of St. Clare, because Clare is considered the patron saint of laundry, for some unknown reason. (Anybody know why? If so, tell me in the comments, as I'm dying to know.)

Once I started revisiting the laundromat plan, things began to serendipitously fall into place. I became aware of a free online course in social entrepreneurship offered by Copenhagen Business School, so I enrolled. Through that course, I've been fortunate to connect with an international team who I'm now working with to not only open a laundry center in Taos, but also to eventually franchise and use 10% of our profits to bring sustainable laundry systems to developing countries.

There are a lot of things I could say here about how this business plan has developed, and what all it entails, but if you want to know more, you can read about it on the website, www.beyondlaundry.org. We also have a crowdfunding campaign going on right now, and I tell a lot of the story behind this project on that page: igg.me/at/beyondlaundry.

What I do want to say here, because even though I rarely post anymore, I still consider this blog my spiritual writing home, is that this whole plan has at its core a deep appreciation of water, not just as a natural resource, but in a spiritual sense.

This is my blue year, and once again, my color for the year has played out in unexpected and profound ways. In the collage I made for 2015, the central image is a woman diving into the blue, into a mandala of light and water, and that depicts beautifully what my experience of diving into this plan has been like.

In case you're wondering what the weird contraption under the diver is, it's actually the center of a bicycle wheel I placed over the whole collage. And it spins! And that thing poking out is a chopstick holding it to the wall.
I will continue to wear and enjoy my other hats, but Beyond Laundry (the name of my new company), has finally become the central focus of my work life, as I've wanted it to be these past six years. I can see now that when I first envisioned it, I wasn't ready, for a variety of reasons. Timing is a funny thing. I learn to trust it more and more.

And in really putting myself out there with this new business in a way that sometimes takes me way out of my comfort zone, I'm also learning to trust the water, the source. I came across these words of Jesus recently: "Out of your heart will flow rivers of living water," and that speaks to me in a new way these days. It occurred to me that rivers flow from mountaintops, and to do something so bold in my life means occupying the mountaintop of my heart and then letting the rivers flow, and as they flow, they pick up speed and force. They are pure, and they have a destination. When I allow myself to connect with the poetry and mystery and spirit of water in this way, I find the courage I need to keep diving into the blue, the clarity to identify the flow and the trust to go with it.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, I missed this post! This is so cool, Susan.

    Timing is funny, how we don't often see why it's not the right time until it is. I don't trust it at all and refuse to wait patiently for anything. But things need time to cook down and merge their flavours. Glad the time has come for your project :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I love that cooking analogy. It's actually one I've relied on a lot in life :)

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