I’m still in shock.  When a person decides to start a business, it either takes some major financial backing or some large cojones. I have the latter—figuratively speaking, of course—but before saying good-bye to my six-figure corporate job and deciding to also build the classroom/studio, I decided I wanted the leap to be an act of faith, rather than desperation.

I got in touch with my spirituality, when I directed my first psychodrama (my own) in therapy twenty+ years ago.  As the psychologists so accurately say, “What you think is wrong is only the latest manifestation of something that happened a long time ago.”  The old Family of Origin Dysfunction, as John Bradshaw described it through his own recovery.  My Self fractured when I was ten years old and my mother died.  I concluded she didn’t love me, and I was certain God didn’t love me, so I abandoned my Self as quickly as I could and became an overachieving person, in the hope if I DID enough, I’d be forgiven. Of course, this was all SUBconscious.

I participated in a group, where our therapist had the members of my group reconstruct family of origin psychodramas, in which we’d choose people in the group to play people from our past, who screwed us up:  mothers, fathers, teachers, siblings, religious figures, other relatives, babysitters, God, etc.  Then we’d explain what those people said or did to hurt us.  The theory behind this is that—by psychologically traveling back in time to the original pain but still being in our adult bodies—we can safely confront the abusers and witness—from our adult Self—what happened when we were defenseless kids.   We can then tell those people how we feel about what they did and begin to release the bottled up pain and abandonment issues and start to recover our original, healthy Self.

There were probably ten people in my Group, and watching these psychodramas week by week and the impact they had on the person doing the work (and the rest of us) is more than I can put into words. What also made this process so intense is that the therapist would direct the actors in ways the individual didn’t anticipate, to create an even more powerful healing experience.  I partook in these dramas, playing various victimizers in people’s lives, in an effort to help them heal.  After each psychodrama, the person who had done the work would address each of the actors and tell the person they played what he/she wanted to say, as his/her adult Self, in the present. After that, each player would reclaim his real identity: “My name is Debra. I am not your _________.”  Then we’d each explain to the person who’d done the work how it impacted us.  NOTE: We didn’t evaluate the person; we discussed the issues in ourselves that their work tapped.  VERY POWERFUL stuff.  Finally, the person who had done the work told us how it felt before, during and after the psychodrama. After all of that (I need to sigh, even now), the therapist would talk.

Rather than bore you with the details of my own psychodrama, suffice it to say my relationship with a higher power (the Universe, God, etc., whatever we call the Master) had been utterly destroyed with my mother’s death.  I lived in fear my whole life, which turned me into an over-achieving people-pleaser.

And, as a result, the people I chose for my psychodrama weren’t other people; they were facets of me: the very small child who needed attention and nurturing; the preadolescent who assumed the role of glue after my mom died; the overachieving student, cheerleader, actress, artist, comedienne, singer, performer and all-around chameleon.  Whatever someone needed . . . I became (it’s why, as I decided to take that leap almost a year ago, I came up with Teach, Design, Create and Represent).  Why on earth would I do just ONE thing?!?  I also had the Rebel and—finally—the Co-Dependent (which is how I got to therapy in the last place).

So . . . when I did my psychodrama I began to heal from the notion that I was so awful, not even God wanted anything to do with me.  

We are combinations of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual being, and as long as we’re fractured, we can’t operate functionally. I have to maintain my conscious contact with the Universe in order to feel grounded and know in my gut that I’m on “the path.”

I also had a reading with a numerologist whose first words two years ago were, “Why haven’t you started the business?!? You were supposed to do this years ago!”  I told her I had the plan absolutely FINE TUNED to the gnat’s ass but I didn’t know how to launch it.  She said, “That isn’t your job. That’s God’s job. Get to work!”

A YEAR later, I took the leap. It took me that long to trust the process enough to win . . . or crash and burn but trust that no matter what happened, I’d be OK.

As you know, if you have read the other blogs, the classroom/studio didn’t take the 30 days I was told by the contractor I hired to do the job . . . it took nine MONTHS. I asked him prior to starting, “I have only one request and that’s to please not start till you con go straight through and finish.”  He said, “No problem.”  GET IT IN WRITING. Live and learn.  But that’s all in the past.

So, why am I in shock?

A week after the contractor finished his job, while Patrick and I worked non-stop on getting the landscaping done and working on the button wall (another blog I’ll write, once we take delivery of the last 2120 buttons to complete the project), I got a call from a friend who asked if she could come and see the room.  I told her, “It isn’t done-done yet, but sure.”  She asked, “Can I bring a friend?”  I said, “Of course.”

An hour later my friend and her friend came by and the first thing Ann said is, “You HAVE to show Lee the house!”  So I did.  Room by room, project-by-project, story-by-story, I showed her what Patrick and I had done with 1100 square feet, initially.  When I bought the house, it consisted of two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room and a kitchen (no appliances, forty-year-old cabinets around half the kitchen and a linoleum “parquet” floor.  The ceiling fan blades were covered with contact paper from the 60’s).

I feel very passionate about design and what we’ve done without palette, so my show is really a show and tell.

Little did I know . . . the “friend” was really interviewing me. At the end of the tour of the landscaping and a quick lighting demo in the new studio (I can demonstrate the five kinds of lighting and why using them together is the way to go), we sat down at the new table, and she said, “I want to hire you.”  “Great,” I said. “What do you want me to do?”

“I just bought a house up the street from you.  I want you to do your thing on it.”

“Which part,” I asked (feeling my adrenaline start to pump).

“All of it.  I live in another state and won’t be leaving there till the end of October.  I want to drive up here with my dogs, cats and suitcases, and take up residence.”

Do you have any idea what it’s like to wonder if you have heard correctly but know you have?  I learned a long time ago not to fake it, so I said, “So . . . you’ll do the rest once you move in?”
“What rest,” she asked?  “I want you to do EVERYTHING.  Just like you did here, only I don’t want you to take ten years.  I want you to do it in five months.  Since it will almost be Winter, you can do the landscaping in the Spring. “


I learned through all the therapy, self-help books, journaling and creative visualization I’ve done, that seeing something in your mind is the first step to manifesting it.  And seeing it is one thing, but believing you DESERVE it is another.  I think that’s why it took me another year after my numerology reading to be ready.

The nine months of waiting was my test.  BY NO MEANS was it a cinch.  I agonized and questioned myself nearly every day before stopping in my tracks and affirming, “I trust the process of life.” But in that time—as I contemplated why I should be on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and all the other Social Media sites I’m still learning about—since I’m LOCAL, I opened my thinking to the possibility that “Hey, I might get a call from a person in California who says, ‘I love your work. Come out here and do every door in my house,” or “How fast, if I have the material, can you collage three kid’s bedrooms?”  Or any other challenge beyond a 30-mile radius of Munster, Indiana.

I never dreamed it would be my first client. So, in the last month, I have hired an architect who’ll design the few structural changes we want to make, assembled a list of sub-contractors who’ll do radiant heat on both floors; re-configure the bathroom and add another one downstairs, tear out walls and ceilings, add, subtract, install, and finish.  Every square inch. I’ve started designing every room up and down; hunted for suppliers/wholesalers and discussed “surface treatments” by Cut+Paste with the client and Patrick.

And I have conceived of it all, as Mozart said in Amadeus, “in my noodle.” It has gone from the indivisible to the divisible.  Now I’ll start the process of making it all visible!  It’s great to be busy doing what I love.  I strongly recommend it.