Renovations are always hard - you have to put up with the usual unexpected costs and delays. Since opening this company, I've moved in and renovated 5 spaces in a matter of 8 years, but this one started off feeling so much more difficult for me. The Universe had a bigger lesson for me to learn through this process, one that I am only now realizing.
As a small business, I am always keeping an eye on costs while satisfying my "expensive" taste. Even when I am designing and manufacturing clothing, I need to find the balance of high end fabrics and details, while keeping costs reasonable (so I can be a profitable business). These renovations followed the same train of thought.
I wanted to do a full renovation of the Showroom space. I wanted to do it "right" and make it something special. That meant I needed to take down walls and rip out flooring, in addition to numerous other details. The space was, shall we say, not in perfect condition - it needed A LOT of care. With every wall we moved, we had the realization that there was more work to be done. It was disheartening and felt like I was climbing an uphill battle.
To keep some costs down, we did a lot of work ourselves . . . remove a built-in shelf? Sure! Rip out laminate flooring? Got it! Hang some drywall? Why not! But even with all of the late nights, there was still more work to be done. The days were disappearing and I wanted to do a soft opening for my friends and family in May.
When I set my heart on a goal, I go for it 100% - so there was no turning back. Entering my turning point, I realized I was forcing things to happen. But this has been the way I have always survived up to this point in my life. Force, push, break down walls. . . I make shit happen - sometimes against the will of the Universe.
However, I lost sight of the fact that my lesson has always been to surrender.
I needed to pause, breathe deeply, and allow help to enter my life. Help from the Universe, help from people. Once I had that moment of awareness, help showed up. It was surreal and awe-inspiring.
That day as I talked to my team about needing support (which they were like -"HELL YES AL, what do you need us to do?"), my parents unexpectedly stopped by. My dad is a retired general contractor and while he doesn't actively do this kind of work anymore, he immediately got on the phone and called a couple of people to come and help. Meanwhile that same day, my husband, Young (who is a lot like me. . . a hard-headed entrepreneur that's often hesitant to ask for help), had gone to Home Depot and bumped into a friend who was also a general contractor. He insisted he come by and help for a few hours, and without hesitation he jumped right in.
And like a wave, help and support kept coming. Everything started to fall into place - our long time friend came to install the flooring, another friend from back in the day came to install new lighting, and the boxes on the to-do list kept getting checked off slowly . . . one by one.
It's such a funny thing that happens when you allow help in - it changes you. It allows you to see that there is wonder and goodness everywhere around you. You realize how much love and support live within people. It causes your heart to swell so much, that it takes your breathe away. I am tearing up as I write this because of how the Universe showed up for me in the way of helpful people, doors opening, and everything aligning just as I needed it to.
This is not to say that I am cured of my forceful nature - that will take time, practice, and discipline. But I am learning that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, nor is it a burden on other people. Asking for help and surrendering is allowing the beauty of this world to show up - allowing the Universe to support me. That's the way I am seeing it these days. There is so much gratefulness for this lesson - for these people who were so willing to show up for us, and for the Universe always providing me with new lessons and ways for me to grow, shift and evolve.