Focus on the Good!

I met Kate at my first pop-up (at Lou & Grey in Pasadena!) last September. Her daughter was also selling adorable potted succulents and Kate came over to say hello. When she heard I had a nearly one-year-old she asked if I'd like to come to a local moms group and I got teary eyed and said, "Yes, please!"

I made these Focus on the Good cards for Kate, who not only helps lead the moms group I've been attending ever since she invited me, but is also a key volunteer (and former member of the Board of Directors) for an amazing organization serving homeless pregnant women in Pasadena called Elizabeth House.

Focus on the Good

 

Kate is a generous Mama Bear who gives and encourages on so many fronts. The phrase Focus on the Good is one she literally wears around her neck on a necklace and hangs in various places around her house. These words were some of her late-husband's last before he was taken by cancer three years ago -- so they are super meaningful to her family.  As soon as I heard them they seeped into my heart and became meaningful to me too.

How do you focus on the good when it's so much easier to focus on everything else? Even though I am by nature and nurture an optimist, my personality type is always super attuned to ALL the feelings around me, and it can be easy to get caught in the weeds. Being a mother can be overwhelming at times, as can just being a human.

Focus on the Good sounds simple but is a profound reminder energetically that what we stare at expands. It forces me to remember that no matter the circumstance, goodness abounds.

So much goodness

 

Elizabeth House is doing amazing work providing shelter, hope and support to homeless pregnant women and their children by addressing their physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic needs in a nurturing atmosphere, and has been doing so for the last 20 years. They are exactly the type of organization I'm proud to support, which is why 10% of all sales from the Focus on the Good ard will go to Elizabeth House.

 

Click here to purchase cards that support this wonderful organization.

Click here to learn more about Elizabeth House and how you can get involved.

 

Good things take time

Good things take time. This phrase came to me one day when I felt frustrated in a season marked by constraints. It was (and still is!) a season of having a young child at home, trying to build a business in the fringe, and never feeling like there’s enough time (or coffee) to accomplish all the things my ambitious heart desires. I constantly felt behind.

Peonies

Friends encouraged me and said, “Wow, you’ve come so far in such a short time! And with a baby!” This seemed crazy -- I felt I was moving at a snail’s pace. The anxiety of being far from the goal is real. Many days I’d sit at the table with massive to-do list in one hand and my precious baby boy by my side and feel overwhelmed with competing emotions. I wanted to do everything on the list and I also wanted to rip it up and sit on the ground and play.

I tried to figure out productivity hacks to get 8 hours worth of work done during increasingly elusive naptimes, but when I searched out tips and tricks the answer in my gut always returned the same: Slow down. Do less. Good things take time. Argh.

I’m certainly not opposed to good things happening quickly -- that’s always my goal. My experience, on the other hand, has been to the contrary.

Good things take time

American society loves a good story of overnight success, and there are some goodies out there. But the truth is always more complex. While these case studies may inspire and amaze, they can also paralyze when things just take longer than I’d want (which is most of the time). I can look at the spring flowers which appear to blossom overnight and want that, without valuing the roots of their trees which took years to burrow deep, hidden and uncelebrated.

In a climate obsessed with speed and results, I’m learning to lean back into (and even enjoy!) the beauty of patience and the long, slow seasons of growing roots. Patience is a concept that needs redemption, because it can so easily be confused for passivity, which I am not about. I am an activator who loves launching new things, so the daily discipline of patience is a challenge.

The truth that “Good things take time” keeps coming back though. As I say yes to an expanded timeline, I can see that true patience is actually a deep trust that the hard, hidden, daily work of putting down roots is not in vain, but it is in fact an essential foundation that allows the flowers to not only bloom in time, but to keep blooming year after year.

The deep trust of patience doesn’t ask, “Is it worth it? Will I ever see the fruit of my labor?” but it is prepared for when good things do come. The truth is that deep roots always bear fruit. Not immediately, but in time.


With Goldpress, despite my ambitions, I’m constantly challenged to grow at an appropriate speed that works for me and my family. Usually the “appropriate speed” is set to “painfully slow”, because I just don’t have the time or energy to do everything that I know could be done to grow a business while working part-time and running after a (very fast) toddler, which is the right choice for me right now. I’m not advocating everyone go at my speed (my son sure does not!), because if the fast train is working for you, go for it! This is instead an encouragement for those who find themselves in this slower season. You don’t have to do everything today, this season, this year.

Speed is not the only metric. In fact, it’s hardly a great metric at all! Don’t be ashamed to play a long game. Good things take time.

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." - Lao Tzu

 

You got this, Mama!

Motherhood is a joy. It's also really hard! Especially when you're so tired you can't think straight or talk properly, and you find random food in your cupboard that was supposed to be stored in your fridge. Oh, and your keys in your freezer. Mamas have a lot on their plates.

 

I was so excited when Eileen from Our Sacred Women approached me about a collaboration to encourage mothers, especially in the post-partum stage. We dreamed and schemed and came up with something we're so delighted with. We were even more thrilled when Alissa Bell agreed to letter press it for us in her studio.

Alissa's sister Audra takes letter press to the next level for us!

Alissa's sister Audra takes letter press to the next level for us!

I try to be in the habit of telling mom friends I think they're awesome, as well as mom strangers that they're doing a good job. Like when I see a mama talk tenderly to her little toddler who is so frustrated and doesn't understand why he has to wait and why it's so hot. I like to let her know, I see you. I get it!

 

Where this card collaboration gets even more exciting though is in teaming up with Alliance of Moms for a "buy one, give one" campaign. This fabulous Los Angeles-based organization serves pregnant and parenting mamas in foster care. They provide education, resources, and a supportive community. When you buy the "You got this, Mama!" card, we will send a card to one of these young parents who could use the reminder that she's got what it takes. You can even choose to customize the message -- either way we'll hand write it to keep that personal feel.

Did you know that 75% of girls in foster care are pregnant by the age of 21? And that 40% of the babies born to these girls will be detained their first year of life and enter the foster care system themselves? May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, as well as Mother's Day, so it's such a great time to take a minute and send a card to a mama with the same words of encouragement you'd want to hear yourself.

Eileen and her daughter Celine. Many baby cuddles were involved in the making of these cards.

Eileen and her daughter Celine. Many baby cuddles were involved in the making of these cards.

We are truly all in this together!

Hand-written cards are such a tangible, meaningful way to encourage the mamas in our lives (and those we may never meet!). I hope you'll take part in this campaign, here.

 

Find out more about the great work of Alliance of Moms here.

Thanks to the Ann-Marie Espinoza (and her beautiful baby bump!) for the photography!

Valentine's Day Pop-Up at Copa Vida

I love doing pop-up shops so much because it's such a great way to connect with people! And that's what cards are all about, right? This Valentine's Day I was able to do several pop-up shops at local shops including Bar Nine (with the talented ladies of Wild Roots LA) and West Elm Santa Monica. The actual day was spent in Pasadena with the fine folks of Copa Vida and Emblem Flowers. Maritha Mae Photography captured some amazing shots I wanted to share with you.

Copa Vida Goldpress Emblem Pasadena
Pasadena Copa Vida Emblem Flowers Goldpress Paper
Goldpress Paper Pasadena Copa Vida
Flowers Pasadena Emblem Goldpress Paper

It pays to have friends who are such talented florists! Charmain of Emblem Flowers is amazing and her creations make my cards look so good! Thank you to Emblem Flowers, Copa Vida, and Maritha Mae Photography for making this flower/paper/coffee lovefest happen!

New Words For A New Year: 2016

Happy New Year and hooray for all things new! I'm over at The Chalkboard Mag today with some tips on how to choose a word or phrase that will guide you through 2016. The belief that words are powerful, and so are you, is deep within the DNA of Goldpress -- so this time of year is my jam!  Read the article on how to tap into the energy behind your words and start the year as you mean to go on...

The Chalkboard Mag Goldpress good things
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