Buillding My Vision: Blood, Sweat and Tears. Literally.
It all started with a painting. A painting by this lady who doesn’t paint anything but walls… a painting by this lady that had the perfect career as Leadership Consultant. A nicely balanced life: mother to a toddler, professional fulfillment and ‘earnings’ that contributed to the bottom line of the family. Perfect… and fairly ‘easy’. And then… the painting.
When I couldn’t think of a meaningful gift for someone who was turning 40 –who was struggling to comprehend his own truth and spiritual North Star … I decided a painting with an inspiring message would be the gift. And so, this non-painter projected images onto a canvas… traced…. and painted. Not a big deal. The card that accompanied the painting, and its message, that was the true gift. It read: ‘There is truth in many things, and the golden thread is love’. This is what I was attempting to represent in my non-original abstract. And then, of course, I had to ‘name’ my painting… as it was my first, and perhaps last … so, I extracted and named my simple work ‘Many Truths’. This spontaneous act set into motion a convergence of events that became the foundation for Many Truths, the Social Change business that I founded three years ago and am just launching in the first quarter of 2010. Nobody said it would be easy. Moving mountains is big work. More of this story:
I started moving through time and space with these words reverberating. I realized that Many Truths was not just about truth and love, but about, fundamentally, who we are. Who we are as people – as human beings sharing one diverse world. We all have a story, a reason for being where we are and for believing in what we believe – yet, it is these ‘many truths’ that provokes judgment ‘against’ each other… consistently. It is these very realities that separate without exploration or explanation and are too often void of understanding and compassion. My own experience became visceral, differentiating, and incredibly more compassionate. So, up on my soapbox I climbed, feeling impassioned to share this experience and lens with the world. I claimed Many Truths as my mission and legacy, and the journey began.
Long and arduous are two words that quickly come to mind. Crazy comes to mind too. Did I mention insanity? Anyway, so it goes…
Right out of the gate on my journey plenty of naysayers surfaced. After all, on some levels who in their right mind would abandon a career, choose to lose balance, incur a massive debt of opportunity cost to create a business around this notion of ‘many’ truths when ‘truth’ is such a sacred, debated, vulnerable and singular concept? Clearly, me. Every time I was challenged, my internal response was “exactly”, and I gained momentum and commitment to my vision.
In these three years (I am humbled to even count them), I have built two full iterations of my business. Iteration one, which I fully intended to be my final version, was built on a shoestring. I chose to use jewelry as my vehicle with a symbol to represent the message of Many Truths. Considering I am not a jewelry maker or an artist, I had my work cut out for me. My journey took me from NYC to LA and back again. I ventured deep into the woods of Austin spending two days with a friend I call ‘Einstein in a shack’ in my attempts to create a symbol. I was thinking a new peace sign. I chuckle, only because I am often seen as an idealist, a grandiose dreamer – yet someone crazy enough to always think ‘she can’. So, I did. Well, sort of.
The business was born. It was alive in the world. And, at some level – it was a success. Orders came in, charitable work was completed, and people were inspired. I received interest from the media. Hooray! Or then, maybe, not. It was only by holding this business in my arms, as one would a newborn, that I really got to know it. I saw its vulnerabilities and limitations. I was evangelizing, but not providing the tangible experience to the audience. I was using a vehicle that was cost prohibitive and would not allow most everyone to participate. Wow, an unexpected epiphany. So much invested… sweat, tears, time, and cost – and yet, ‘good enough’ wasn’t good enough to accomplish the mission – to have a chance at creating meaningful social change.
Remarkably, it was near this very moment of contemplation that a life changing event occurred. I was bitten in the face by a dog. That, of course, had its own significant drama – and I knew… again viscerally, that my life would be forever changed. And it was, just not in the way I anticipated. I healed from my wounds. I healed from my fear, and the universe was kind enough to compensate me some for my injury. And it was that, that became my tipping point. Every dollar received, not one of which I fought for, went into my business. For the first time I was able to invest and to create an exceptional business including all the factors that were missing. I am proud and confident in what is to come. Many Truths will provide a meaningful online experience and a physical ‘badge’ in the form of a wrist thread that represents our shared humanity. One Thread, One World, Share it – our mantra, our vision. Iteration two is ready to be born.
It is all a continuum, there is never a final. Pushing through the pain. Having faith in the unknown. Knowing every challenge is a gate to learning. The chapters of my story are only the preface. The book is still to be written – and I hope its epilogue is very long in coming. My scar is my badge of courage. I am proud of it. Walk with us: www.manytruths.com. Coming soon…..
HAITI INFORMATION AND ACTIONS
Haiti’s reconstruction by Haitians living aboard For these noble goals, we ask that the government of the country in which we reside to task our pay check $10 per pay period for the next 50 years so that we can rebuild our dear Haiti.
Support the UN’s Response to Haiti Quake Victims United Nations Foundation
Honor UN Peacekeepers in Haiti Better World Campaign
Maryse Casol via Mickael Casol Twitter/creative commons
Lori Lennox, ManyTruths