How this Founder is Experimenting with Spirituality and Fashion
Two days ago I heard my five year-old nephew quietly say outside the laundromat, "What is laundry, anyway? It's just a word."
His dad and I looked at each other surprised, and with great curiosity. We never got to the bottom of what he was getting at, but his sentiment echoed a thought I have pondered over since I was a teenager.
Where do words come from? And the ideas that we try to convey from our minds, where do they come from? And what comes first?
I understand this answer is dynamic. That things don't happen in an order but simultaneously. That words encapsulate ideas in our culture that are dancing in the shadows of our minds.
I imagine most of my friends are on the more philosophically-minded side, and that many of them are aware that the language we speak barely scratches the surface of what our minds want to express, but I still find myself being asked questions I feel are reductive and inherently problematic. (Especially when asked in tandem).
"What do you do? What is your business?"
Having gone through the exercise of writing down keywords that define my business at least once a year for four years, the most recent time I answered this question I noticed a huge shift.
When we first opened we focused on: inclusivity, affordability, uniqueness, and value.
Before I became deeply interested in looking at life through a spiritual lens, I explored these values in a literal sense. I asked myself how I could create offerings diverse enough for there to be something for everyone, and at the same time, wanted to stay true to my sense of individuality, while always catching up to the fact that I started my company with a fairly nonexistent budget.
My values haven't shifted all that much, but the literalness of my application has transformed. I now look at those same ideas through a conceptual lens.
Part of the reason that I have zoomed out a bit is because I have been feeling wildly drained from my business. I had been operating from a subconscious belief that the answer to every dilemma is more effort. (I’ve done a lot of work on my own as well as with other psychic and intuitive healers to get out of that compulsive loop.) Another reason is because forces out of my control: a changing market, a changing neighborhood and a change in consumer behavior, have made the city-based brick and mortar landscape unstable.
But that's not necessarily a bad thing. While some more traditional systems, beliefs and institutions find their survival threatened, we also know that when there is an unstable element, there is a possibility of of a chemical reaction to yield something entirely new. But first... you have to experiment.
This quarter my goal is testing the spiritual beliefs I have been researching according to Human Design (almost exclusively through the lens of Jenna Zoe) within the four walls of my business. In Human Design, there are five "energy types' and based on your energy type, there is a "correct" or incorrect way of using your energy.
My type is a Manifesting Generator. (You can find yours here.) Manifesting Generators are here at this time to give an example of non-linearity to others, and are living aligned with their energy type if they gravitate toward what "lights them up," and truly give themselves permission to be multi-passionate and to remove shame and societal conditioning when they lose interest in something and want to move on. When something feels draining it is a sign that people with this energy type have learned what they needed to from that activity or project, and that they should follow their impulse to move on.
I have only been learning about Human Design over the past four or five months, but it's truly resonating with me, so for the months of November and December, I'm living by its tenets as an exercise, particularly when it comes to the shop.
Like a scientist, I want to objectively see how this experiment goes. It's my contention that while scientists are pattern recognizers, they also have to have faith in their intuition to know which of their curiosities to test out in the world.
Right now, my interests are in collaborating with people from my community to offer open-level ways of experiencing and experimenting with healing modalities, esoteric practices, and creative ways of looking at the world.
I have a lot of joy when I think about the space at Myths being a Social Experimental platform, a home for ideas and seeding personal growth through incrementally exploring new concepts. The space will morph as the people who work with me change, and the practitioners and collaborators change, as the neighborhood and resources change. It goes against everything people tell me that market forces desire: they want consistency, color palettes, white space, familiarity. But going against the grain lights me up.
And all of that might be true, but I am much more lit up by exploring the edge of that truth.
Ideally, I would love Myths to be a lab for new ways of looking at and experiencing the world. I am not interested in being different for the sake of it: if I try something and experimental and it turns out the traditional and linear ways are more "successful" for the business than my reimagined ideas, then I will take that truth and integrate it into my understanding of the world. But I need the data. I need the experiment.
What I most passionate about is testing my ideas and assumptions of what is true because ultimately, knowing the results of the experiment, fulfills me.
That being said, I do want an abundant, fruitful life where I can take days off and have resources, and update and re-fixture my space when I want to. (The glamour of sharing a bedroom with a cat and my partner has worn off.)
At this moment, my fantasy is to be known for these experiments. I would love to ignite and inspire other organizations to take what we try and broaden their perspectives within their companies. So that the desire to connect and innovate can ripple out from our tiny space out into the world..
I joked to my friend Magda, that I would love to use my intuition and future-oriented point of view to create such an interesting and innovate psychic space at the shop that people from major corporations start reaching out for me to consult so that they can copy the infrastructure of our reimagined reality. I realized it's not so much fame or money that motivate me, but impact, influence and solutions-finding that impacts others.
So from now own, I won't refer to my business as a shop. It's an experiential lab, an poetic magnet, a space built for way-finding and curious exchanges. A bedrock for changing patterns and shifting gears. A place for a community to have difficult and honest conversations (like this one in Strange Magic with Amanda Yates + Sarah Gottesdiener have about appropriation.) And to be fully out of the "broom" closet, the place formerly known as shop IS a magical space, where our love and high hopes are purposely programmed into the clothing, but can only be truly activated if those who walk in are willing entertain expands their ideas of what is P O S S I B L E.