I find myself in a strangely familiar place — somewhere between what has been and what wants to become. I can feel the reinvention that wants to happen. I know the two end points. But now is a still point — imbued with that special quiet as morning emerges — the in-between before the next.
I’ve been here before, sort of. Like many of you, I’ve reinvented my life a few times. I’ve followed my intuition and jumped into new careers, moved my family to an island that felt like home, created a business.
My usual MO, though, is to jump forward and grab the future and Make It Happen. And here is where the sort of comes in — that’s not how it feels this time.
So quiet. It’s like catching a glimpse of something from the corner of your eye, and on turning your head to focus on it… it’s gone.
I am catching whispers:
Stay open and see what comes.
If you know me at all, you know that patience is NOT my superpower. In fact, it might be my Kryptonite. So this waiting is uncomfortable and more than disconcerting.
Thin Places — Holy Space, Sacred Ground
Celtic traditions speak of thin places, places on this earth where the distance between heaven and earth feels especially thin and you can feel the divine.
Canterbury Shaker Village is a thin place for me. I absorb the energy created by a community of men and women living there for decades, praying and believing “Hands to work, and hearts to God.” It’s a place of peace and has a sense of rightness, where I breathe expansively, only then realizing just how tightly I’d been holding on. It is indeed an in-between space of heaven and earth.
Poet Sharlande Sledge describes it:
“Thin places,” the Celts call this space,
Both seen and unseen,
Where the door between the world
And the next is cracked open for a moment
And the light is not all on the other side.
God shaped space. Holy.
Metaphorically, I am in a thin place right now.
So I am waiting and staying open and listening for that still voice. Looking for any small step I can take to test my footing and direction.
Like sharing my thoughts with you here.
“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Image: “Misty View” courtesy of Dan Phiffer creative commons license
The news is out and the e-commerce and SEO communities are abuzz.
- Google is changing (again)
- With a new algorithm (apparently they have moved on to cheeky birds from black and white animals)
- And less search data about our visitors (well, pretty much no search data now)
For a moment, I got caught up in it all. The angst, the worry, the oh-my-where-is-this-all-going.
And then I remembered what I tell my clients. Appearing in the search rankings is about a great user experience on your site, valuable and timely content, and an experience that customers want to share with others.
It’s about being clear about the unique value your site offers, the why behind what you do and the special community that you reach out to and help.
And if you’ve been focusing on that, you can weather whatever Google is dishing out that day.
Your business is here for the long haul, not for the quick fix.
If you are interested in the nitty-gritty details, here are some links. But promise me you won’t get all caught up in the details.
FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm
Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks
Image: Danny Perez Photography
There is a power in words. Especially at the dawn of a new year.
One well-chosen word can hold more truth and opportunity than a list of resolutions. My practice is to replace that traditional list of Shoulds with a word to be my guidepost for the coming year.
Sometimes the word gently finds me. Other years it takes a few weeks of thought.
It could be your biggest longing, highest hope. A quality you want to invite more of into your life. Something to celebrate. Reflect upon. Meditate. Incorporate into your life in a new way. Or release.
Last year I chose two words, linked: Creativity and Community.
I played with bringing more of both into my daily life and my business. I printed it on the cover of my day planner. I added it as a signature in my emails. I painted a sign for my studio. I lived with it, breathed it in and out, checked in on decisions and plans with it.
This year my word is Layers.
I think of it as overlaying layers of meaning and richness.
Or taking away layers — stripping to the essence. Sloughing off layers of the extraneous. Of old stories that are no longer helpful.
Letting go while adding.
In my business, SEO itself is becoming more layered and nuanced. It’s never been cut and dried, but it is becoming ever more contextual and personalized. Search optimization is about your customer more than about your product. The center has shifted. (Hmmm…. I sense a blog post coming.)
And my belief that as a business owner your business brings you face to face with your values, beliefs, doubts, opportunities — that adds a layer of spirituality or consciousness on top of the day-to-day work.
I can’t wait to see where layers takes me.
Is a word calling to you this year? Claim yours in the comments, if you would like to share. (I’d love to read it.)
Pinterest (one of my personal favorite things-to-do-when-i-want-to-feel-creative-but-am-too-tired-to-really-do-anything) has finally rolled out Business accounts.
If you are one of our clients, you most likely already use Pinterest to build a relationship with your buying community, introduce not-yet customers to your brand, generate traffic to your website and generally share your story with a wider audience.
So why should you convert your personal account to a business account? There are a few good reasons.
1. Claim your business name now!
If your business name is not entirely unique, you may already find that it is being used (note: there were four businesses with a form of “roundabout” within two hours of the business listings opening up). Don’t miss out — do it now.
2. Verify your website.
You can verify ownership of your site. And we know how search engines like to see ownership verifications.
3. Buttons and widgets and more oh my!
They are rolling out with a new Pin It button and Follow button, to make it easier for people to interact with your site on Pinterest.
The Profile and Board widgets let you automatically display on your site up to 30 of your latest pins or up to 30 of your favorite board’s latest pins, respectively.
4. More to come.
Pinterest is promising, “This is about providing tools and resources to the thousands of businesses on Pinterest.” You can be set up and ready for the enhanced features Pinterest will most likely be rolling out for businesses. For example, Pinterest has already said that it would like to provide analytics tools to businesses in the future. That can be valuable information about your customers.
Go on, take a look. Claim your business. Read the new case studies and best practices for businesses that Pinterest is providing.
And have fun Pinning!
Today my husband took the air conditioner out of the studio window. As he precariously balanced the heavy weight trying to maneuver it out, he muttered, “Now I remember that 12 years ago when I put this in, I said it was never coming out.”
I remember that, too. But twelve years ago we never could have imagined how the studio is being used now. From an extra space to get away or house guests, for the past five years the studio has been the center of Roundabout.
And as we are growing (welcome, Rebecca), we are reconfiguring so that each person has a workspace looking out a window. Hence the air conditioner removal.
What would my 12-years-ago self have thought of this? She would have been very happy to know that she (I?) would successfully leave the corporate world to work with incredible clients across the country. That the world would change to accommodate working location-independent. That you can imagine a work and lifestyle uniquely your own — and then create it.
What were you doing twelve years ago?
What might you be doing looking forward twelve years?
Amazing, isn’t it.
Image: Pathway to the studio by Me.