I need to talk to you about something really important. I'm a little nervous about it because I can't be sure of how you'll react. You might get mad at me. You might reject me. You might think something is wrong with me or that I've done something wrong. Or you could applaud me for walking my talk. You could support me and say you understand my decision. What I am about to tell you might change your life so totally you'll want to hug me. Here it is.
After stewarding The New Times for the past 11 years I am ready to pass the baton to someone else and go do other things. The business is for sale to the right person(s).
For the past few years I've had rumblings that it was time for me to make some career changes, so I reached out in different ways, added some various things to my work, but none of it was right. There was nothing else I liked doing as much as I enjoyed stewarding the newspaper. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. She was my baby. I started her and went through incredible growing pains with her. How could I leave her now that she was a healthy young adult and having a major impact on so many lives? I just couldn't see it.
For the past few years I've tried and tried to sit down and write a few books that I need to write, books I know you and many others will want to read. I couldn't do it. Either there wasn't time or I didn't have the energy or I simply wasn't in the mood. I could feel that the time wasn't right.
About two years ago I discovered a hobby that has brought me indescribable happiness. Some of you will think it is a stupid hobby and in some ways, it is. Taking a piece of rubber glued to some wood, pressing it in some ink, and then pressing it on a piece of paper and then coloring the image in-that does sound pretty stupid, I admit. But rubber stamp art has given me a new creative outlet that I needed. Over the past few years as I have gotten better at the craft, some people have wanted me to sell the cards I make. I won't do it, though. As I've told them, this is my hobby. Once I start to sell what I make it becomes a business and is no longer something I can do simply for the sake of doing it, with no pressure to "perform."
As I was searching for my next step, I would wonder if rubber stamping could be part of my future. I could see no way that it could be, it was too frivolous, too much fun. This couldn't be planetary service. There was no way my hobby could be part of my "work." Then one day something happened.
Many of you know the story of how I started The New Times. I was driving from Bellingham, Washington to Point Roberts, Washington when a voice inside my head said, "Move to Seattle and start a monthly New Age community newspaper." Although I was a student of metaphysics at the time, I didn't consider myself "New Age," so how could I possibly do what my inner guidance was suggesting? I also still believed the popularly touted belief that all New Agers are flaky; I wasn't flaky so how could I work with ôthose people? I had never published a newspaper, as my friends at the time reminded me. How did I think I could start one from nothing, with nothing, and succeed? As I told them at the time, "Anything I've ever done in my life I didn't know how to do until I did it. I learn by doing. This is no different."
A few months ago I had a similar experience. I was sitting at the computer at the office wondering what I was going to do next, feeling this inner urge that I should move on, but where? Then it happened. "Sell The New Times and open a rubber stamp store closer to your home and write books." Just like before, my reaction was "What?!?" Just like with the newspaper, the objections began. "You don't know how to run a retail business (newspaper). You aren't an expert at rubber stamping (metaphysics), so how could you possibly do this? How could you operate a store and write at the same time? Blah, blah, blah." You know the routine, you've done it yourself. But, just like the idea for The New Times, this one wouldn't go away. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it, the more I saw how it would work. I also began to see what my service was going to be. With the store my work would be to bring joy and creativity to more people's lives, something sorely needed in today's world of doom and gloom. And my writing is to start reaching out to more people, people who would never read this newspaper but who need these ideas desperately.
I will still submit articles to The New Times and hopefully the new publisher(s) will accept them. I will also start being published in mainstream publications and will work on two books, Stewarding Your Business and Walking the Tightrope: Living Spiritual Principles in a Material World. I won't disappear. I won't abandon you. I still love this newspaper and the work I do here. She is still my baby. I will help the new owner(s) have a smooth transition. In fact, I will be here all the time, as usual, while the sale of the business takes place. And once that has happened you can always come see me in Monroe at Stamp Magic.
Whew. I've told you. I feel so much better. Over the years so many of you have written and told me how my writing and my work have touched your lives. I've shared a lot of myself in this monthly column and you have reciprocated by writing or calling and sharing yourself with me. This transition is a major one for me and one I do not take lightly. It is important for me to share it with you and to ask for your support while I walk through it.It is very important to me that I find the right person to take my place.
I don't know who the new publisher will be, but I am very excited about meeting him or her or them. They will be given one of the most precious gifts of their lives: the chance to be at the helm of the only newspaper like this one in the country. The chance to work daily with some of the most evolved and enlightened people on the planet. The opportunity to make decisions that affect thousands of lives. The chance to have fun at work every day. An opportunity for personal growth that's hard to beat! Whomever it is, I know you will love and support them because the universe won't put someone here that you don't like! And, who knows, maybe that someone is you!