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What do values, interior design and The Three Little Pigs have in common: Everything.

It was the beginning of 2022, when my older sister suggested I find a part time job in a store that brings me joy. I had never worked in retail and my resume did not entertain a sales path. I saw myself more as an introvert and loner, than someone that helped people shop. I also had an entrepreneurial past, so what would it be like to work in a very hierarchical corporate job?

Why did she suggest this in the first place?

I was feeling dismantled even if I knew where I was going. I was on course to complete my MFA program and continue working on my memoir. But we all know, a book is a journey.

I was enrolled in my coaching certification and focused on completing it and then on to work towards the first level of the Gold Standard for coachingCertification: the ICF (international coaching federation). I was regaining my fitness lost during pregnancy and post partum…

I was focusing on making the house I had purchased mid pandemic into a home.

Our daughter was growing rapidly and the magical two’s were in full swing.

But I was also heart broken, or at least, I was deeply submerged in the anger and denial phase of grief after separating from a man I loved deeply and made a human with. “I was alone, again.” To quote from Love Actually. It wasn’t suppose to be like this. The Big Bad Wolf had blown my house down.

I had to learn to be. To hold space. To accept the here and now. To not ponder on the past or feel anxious about the future. But to build a life in the ways that were under my control. To rebuild this time with bricks, and not with straw or sticks. Something that was truly mine and brought me joy.

Brick By Brick, just like the title of my memoir…

One evening without my daughter in July in 2022, finally having entered the phase of sadness and acceptance of what is, I began googling while sitting on my west elm sofa, feet on my west elm coffee table all sitting on my west elm rug. West Elm. Part time positions were open for Designer and Home Stylist and Sales Associate.

“I can do that!” I may not have any design background, but I have ample amount of experience.”

I refreshed my resume, wrote a cover letter and participated in two interviews. Then my first shifts were scheduled. It took all my courage to walk into the store and walk in with confidence. “I know west elm and I can provide good customer service. I can learn and do this. I know why I am here.”

Coming up on the third month, I am loving my part time job. The team is great, my manager supportive, kind and interesting. A role model type of woman.

In the meantime I became a certified Life Coach and clarified my niche:

  • Work with women to define their values, gain clarity and find their courage to make the change they want in their life.

  • And I also help families and individuals find the right fabrics, furniture, combinations, accessories to make their home peaceful, warm, happy, inviting and family oriented or for business appropriate meetings. Anything they need, I will find the right pieces.

And I discovered something. These two opposing jobs have everything in common, if I align it:

  • What is it all about?

  • What are the reasons for doing anything?

  • What are your values?

  • What are your needs?

  • How do you want to feel?

  • What matters most?

I have come to a personal conclusion on the subject.

Everything starts at home.

From the cup chosen for the morning coffee/tea, to the table for the first meal, across the colors of the wall, framed with the furniture, the paintings, the decor. Home is the foundation of the internal emotional world. It does not need to be fancy. It is not about that. But a home that is supportive of the individuals and/or families needs lays a foundation for the rest of the day and life.

Everything has a place and every place is a home.

If an item is floating around the home cluttering up the space, then the inner calm will be, albeit subconsciously, disturbed. I believe an organized home is a calm home. It does not need to be pristine, but it needs to be cared for.

And so as I read The Three Little pigs again and again, the words ring truer with each new read. Built yourself a house of bricks, make it truly yours, know the materials to built with and then

, no big bad wolf can blow it down.

The End.

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