Luscious Metals ~ Luscious Light

September 21, 2015

Success Part 1

I originally posted this in November of 2013.  I am republishing it now because I want to post the entire series as part of (finally!) making the shift from being the artist and lead design of Luscious Metals into starting (well,continuing really) my new endeavor as a teacher, author and guide:  Wellbeing Engineered.  

Love,

Natha

success

This is part 1 of a 3 part series
I’ve thought a lot about this notion of success. What it means to me and what I need to do or be in order to really feel successful. Over the past few years, I had some things happen in my personal life that left me feeling extremely unsuccessful. It’s funny how that feeling bleeds out into everything. It created the ubiquitous snowball effect and it was hard, but it provided me lots of food for thought. It brought me the opportunity to reassess everything in my life, to deconstruct and rebuild the things that weren’t working for me. Luscious Metals has been one of my ‘babies’ for many years (since 2001). Obviously it was one of the major forces in my life that called for evaluation. What does it mean to me to be a successful designer, artist, entrepreneur? Does it mean that I make a lot of money? Sell a lot of jewelry? Gather social media fans and followers? Get into the best shows? Gain notoriety as a designer? I thought it meant all of the above. Leveraging my personal value against those things was something that (kind of) worked for me. Until it didn’t. Once I realized that these reliable old ‘props’ weren’t making me feel good the way they used to, the question became who am I now? The question insinuated itself into my entire reality like a little pebble in my shoe and it wouldn’t go away. It forced me to look at everything through an investigative lens but the answers weren’t clear.

Confession: when my personal life fell down around me, so was did my business. Selling became burdensome, metalsmithing became a chore and designing became depressing because my creativity had disappeared along with my self confidence. I spent the good part of 2 years agonizing over what to do with my business, this baby that I had poured so much of myself into, this passion that had kept me sane and given me respite when I was knee deep in infants and toddlers. It had given me a sense of pride and autonomy and of self. Quite frankly, I didn’t know who I was without it but I knew that it wasn’t making me happy any more. Should I sell it? Should I hire people to run it? Should I just shut it down, close shop? But mulling over these questions made me feel fuzzy and checked out and just led me to distract myself with something else.

Up until this point, Luscious Metals had excited me and had been a source of pure passion. It kept me constantly dreaming and shooting for higher aspirations. Over the course of developing my company, I commissioned 3 websites each one better and more beautiful than the last, sold hundreds of pieces of jewelry, got accepted into popular shows, got major press in national magazines like Cosmopolitan and Parenting. We sold $50,000 dollars in Sweetheart Necklaces alone in 6 months time just from that Parenting spot. I hired employees and developed production lines, designed packaging, orchestrated  major photo shoots both with the jewelry itself and models wearing the jewelry. I don’t say all of this to brag, but rather to point out that even after all this, I still didn’t feel successful. I started and grew this amazing business but because I was in personal turmoil, it seemed pointless and I was totally discouraged. My question became what nowWhat next? What is my passion and my calling now?

In the midst of this time period, I taught a jewelry class here in Boulder. During that class it became obvious to me that I had the potential to take these amazingly open and curious women to a much deeper place than just “learning how to make a cool necklace”. I saw the places in our conversation during that class where we could have skipped the usual “Hi, my name is…” and instead gone straight for “this is where I need some inspiration in my life. This is an area that I want to work on”. Art is an amazing medium for self exploration, it lends itself to introspection. It facilitates questions like Why am I feeling pulled toward the reds and the oranges? Why am I feeling like I can’t make something beautiful to save my life? Am I feeling bright and shiny or dark and muddy? Of course this idea of exploration fascinated me because it was so relevant to my experience. I did feel muddy. I felt dull. But I knew I was drawn to reds and oranges and colors that represented fire and I knew that I wished that I had someone to guide me through this, to help me express myself in a different way. I wasn’t alone either. Many of the women in my life were in similar boats. Everywhere I looked, lives were turning upside down because of divorces, new babies, ‘losing’ kids to kindergarten, huge cross country and international moves, health issues, new careers. We were all going through major changes and metamorphoses and nobody knew how to handle it or what to do. We were shell shocked and full of questions. So I left the class with a tiny seed of hope and the idea of somehow marrying art and soul searching. The question then became; how? How can I make these two things work together?

Stay tuned for Part 2

January 8, 2014

Decisions

2014 1
What do you want to create in 2014?
Write a letter to the Universe (or Source or God or whatever your word for it is), much as many of us used to write letters to Santa Claus… “Dear Universe, in 2014, I would dearly love your help. Take away my need to control life and help me trust you. Help me feel your love, share your love, and BE your love. Here are my dreams…make them come true. Guide me and let me know what to do and when to do it. And if you have better dreams for me, I gratefully accept your gifts and your grace.”
And now, list your dreams, great and small, all of them, no matter how long it takes. And when you are done, as you read your letter out loud to the Universe, take time as you read each dream, to imagine you have already received it. What does it feel like? Stop and give thanks. Go on to the next. Repeat this reading/feeling as many times as you like in the years to come, for in truth, this is a powerful prayer, not just to ask, but to tune into that which you seek.

I didn’t write that. It came to me in a beautiful email from a woman who channels angels and it struck me as something that I should do. I love the idea. I love it so much that I wrote out my list and got really clear on some of my dreams and aspirations for this year. It’s a beautiful list and I was able to really hit on the things that are important to me going forward. My plan was to post them all right here, but then I got scared. Scared to share, scared to expose myself so deeply.
I have a hard time discerning how much to share about myself, here on this forum. I read so many beautiful blogs written by women who pour their hearts out and move me so deeply; I want to create that same movement for other women. I feel so called to write things about myself and my process that may help someone else to see themselves in a way that they hadn’t before. But then I falter because after all, this blog for the past 8 years has been about jewelry. I’ve kept it intentionally impersonal because I wasn’t in a place where I wanted to expose myself in any way shape or form. I was writing from my image, not my soul. One of the things I’ve been working on lately is learning and developing appropriate boundaries. I’ve always struggled with having proper boundaries and I feel that most of us do. Mine have always felt either too loose or too rigid. When they’re loose, I hate myself for not having my shit together, not knowing better, not seeing it coming. When they’re too rigid I feel bitchy, sharp, mean, cold. I never know how much of myself to give or to show. I struggle with what’s socially correct, what’s polite, how will the other feel, how will the other see me, will people think I’m showing off, will people think I’m ridiculous, will sharing my process help someone out there in some way? My mind becomes this stew of self-consciousness and confusion and it’s hard to decide which direction to take; to share or not to share. Inevitably (according to me anyway) I choose the “wrong” one and then come down hard on myself for not having appropriate boundaries.
confidence
I’ve been trying to chart a course for my jewelry design business and my coaching and consulting business and trying to figure out an easy and succinct way to merge the two and I keep bumping up against this question of boundaries. Do I start a new blog and publish the deep stuff there and keep this one light and fluffy and happy-happy? Or do I assume that everyone who reads this blog: women buy my jewelry and those that know me personally, all have the capacity and interest to read about my personal process as it relates to my business and my life? Because while I am writing for myself, I am also writing for them. We all have so much wisdom to impart to each other and the only way we can all do that for each other is to develop our voice and communicate in whatever form that takes. Right? So the decision remains to be made. Is there to be a fork in the road or can I continue to walk this path albeit with one foot in jewelry and design and the other in coaching and writing?

November 21, 2013

Success: part 1

This is part 1 of a 3 part series
I’ve thought a lot about this notion of success. What it means to me and what I need to do or be in order to really feel successful. Over the past few years, I had some things happen in my personal life that left me feeling extremely unsuccessful. It’s funny how that feeling bleeds out into everything. It created the ubiquitous snowball effect and it was hard, but it provided me lots of food for thought. It brought me the opportunity to reassess everything in my life, to deconstruct and rebuild the things that weren’t working for me. Luscious Metals has been one of my ‘babies’ for many years (since 2001). Obviously it was one of the major forces in my life that called for evaluation. What does it mean to me to be a successful designer, artist, entrepreneur? Does it mean that I make a lot of money? Sell a lot of jewelry? Gather social media fans and followers? Get into the best shows? Gain notoriety as a designer? I thought it meant all of the above. Leveraging my personal value against those things was something that (kind of) worked for me. Until it didn’t. Once I realized that these reliable old ‘props’ weren’t making me feel good the way they used to, the question became who am I now? The question insinuated itself into my entire reality like a little pebble in my shoe and it wouldn’t go away. It forced me to look at everything through an investigative lens but the answers weren’t clear.

Confession: when my personal life fell down around me, so was did my business. Selling became burdensome, metalsmithing became a chore and designing became depressing because my creativity had disappeared along with my self confidence. I spent the good part of 2 years agonizing over what to do with my business, this baby that I had poured so much of myself into, this passion that had kept me sane and given me respite when I was knee deep in infants and toddlers. It had given me a sense of pride and autonomy and of self. Quite frankly, I didn’t know who I was without it but I knew that it wasn’t making me happy any more. Should I sell it? Should I hire people to run it? Should I just shut it down, close shop? But mulling over these questions made me feel fuzzy and checked out and just led me to distract myself with something else.

Up until this point, Luscious Metals had excited me and had been a source of pure passion. It kept me constantly dreaming and shooting for higher aspirations. Over the course of developing my company, I commissioned 3 websites each one better and more beautiful than the last, sold hundreds of pieces of jewelry, got accepted into popular shows, got major press in national magazines like Cosmopolitan and Parenting. We sold $50,000 dollars in Sweetheart Necklaces alone in 6 months time just from that Parenting spot. I hired employees and developed production lines, designed packaging, orchestrated  major photo shoots both with the jewelry itself and models wearing the jewelry. I don’t say all of this to brag, but rather to point out that even after all this, I still didn’t feel successful. I started and grew this amazing business but because I was in personal turmoil, it seemed pointless and I was totally discouraged. My question became what now? What next? What is my passion and my calling now?

In the midst of this time period, I taught a jewelry class here in Boulder. During that class it became obvious to me that I had the potential to take these amazingly open and curious women to a much deeper place than just “learning how to make a cool necklace”. I saw the places in our conversation during that class where we could have skipped the usual “Hi, my name is…” and instead gone straight for “this is where I need some inspiration in my life. This is an area that I want to work on”. Art is an amazing medium for self exploration, it lends itself to introspection. It facilitates questions like Why am I feeling pulled toward the reds and the oranges? Why am I feeling like I can’t make something beautiful to save my life? Am I feeling bright and shiny or dark and muddy? Of course this idea of exploration fascinated me because it was so relevant to my experience. I did feel muddy. I felt dull. But I knew I was drawn to reds and oranges and colors that represented fire and I knew that I wished that I had someone to guide me through this, to help me express myself in a different way. I wasn’t alone either. Many of the women in my life were in similar boats. Everywhere I looked, lives were turning upside down because of divorces, new babies, ‘losing’ kids to kindergarten, huge cross country and international moves, health issues, new careers. We were all going through major changes and metamorphoses and nobody knew how to handle it or what to do. We were shell shocked and full of questions. So I left the class with a tiny seed of hope and the idea of somehow marrying art and soul searching. The question then became; how? How can I make these two things work together?

Stay tuned for Part 2

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