Laying Pipe: Lessons in Life and Business


In my last journal post, I wrote: “To put our energy toward something in a way that is appropriate and effective requires discerning when to grip hard, when to hold lightly, and when to let go.” When things feel hard, I just try harder. Lately, I've needed to acknowledge that letting go is not the same as giving up.

Solar Cross, the non-profit venture I’m part of, decided that because of the non-recovering economy, we simply were not going to have enough ongoing support to enact our large “Urban Temple” project. So, while keeping the capital campaign funds raised in their separate bank account, we decided to temporarily focus on building the temple via people rather than via a physical building. To this end, we announced several projects we were launching at Pantheacon - a huge conference - last February, figuring we’d get people on board and generate some energy. We were partially right. You see, a slow economy can also cause a slow down of energy in general. While I had declared my wish for 2011 to be “The Year of Delivering on Projects” it has become instead, as one board member put it, “The Year of Laying Pipe.”

What does that mean? Solar Cross is putting things in place. We’re building infrastructure. Everything actually is getting done, just not in a way that screams “official launch!” Service committees are forming, figuring out exactly the kind of work they want to do and how to best approach it, and the website is being re-tooled to support them. The new member’s only Fiat LVX teaching series has two month’s of video in the can, and the member’s page in beta mode. The e-publishing venture - LVX/NOX and Sunna - is wrestling with Amazon while simultaneously figuring out indy ways to sell books effectively. While I’d heard of the difficulties small publishers had with Amazon, that was regarding physical books, so I never thought we’d encounter those set backs with e-books. Our authors have been beyond patient while all of this gets worked out.

Is this what I projected? Nope. Have we blown past deadline after deadline? Yes. Have people become frustrated? Yes. Including me? Yes. Are we going to keep trying? Yes! Perhaps most importantly: in solving these and myriad other issues I won’t even get into, infrastructure is not only actively being worked on, it should be built well enough to carry these projects forward in an effective way.

Meanwhile, today I’m taking my own advice and the advice some respondents to my last post proffered in the comments: Ease up. Let go. Allow things to unfold by following the energy that is actually present rather than pushing the energy we want to be present. Cultivate patience. Get back to some of the other things that feed us so there is a replenished well to draw from. Ask for more help. And lastly: apologize when necessary.

I hope 2011 is helping you learn what you need to and accomplish what you can. Overreaching is sometimes necessary, but so is re-assessment. Risking helps us grow. So does having fun.

Blessings to you - Thorn>

(For information on how to hook into Solar Cross service projects - Pagan Elder Care, Prison Chaplaincy Oversight, Pagan Therapists Resource Group, Environmental Education - please contact

9 Responses to “Laying Pipe: Lessons in Life and Business”

  1. Nancy

    Letting go .. ah yes I know the pain. However, sharing faith, nurturing hope, encouraging spiritual growth does not require buildings. I can tell lots of tales about how the physical space does not create sacred space. Sacred space builds what is needed to sustain it. Have fun!

  2. Henry

    sometimes that work isn’t readily apparent. as a millwright on of my functions is alignment of rotating equiptment. You might see a motor coupled to a pump.I will spend a few hours bringing the respective couplings into concentric and angular alignment. Move the motor a few thousands of an inch this way, that way, up and down. Move the front a few thousands one way and the rear the same the other way, raise the front lower the back.
    when I am done, all one still sees is a motor couped to a pump. but when it is running, it purrs like a kitten.

  3. Rootrealm

    As above, so below, as within, so without…This theme of yours on laying the infrastructure might be a metaphor for the inward theme, of how much of our psychological/spiritual growth actually occurs at less than conscious levels. We think we’re doing nothing, but lo and behold, things are a-whirring at subterranean levels, like we wouldn’t have imagined! (Which we find out later when it seems like something shifted in our experience after months or years of feeling stuck…)

  4. Thorn

    Yes. Things are happening, just not as we thought they might, nor at the speed at which we thought they might.

    “Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action.” I’m pretty good with that overall, but when other people are expecting things from my projects, that can feel more tricky to navigate!

  5. Rootrealm

    I know what you mean. I often struggle with a FAR too severely task-oriented approach to work, which is enhanced by introjected projection of the frequency with which I feel treated like a tool that people just use to get their stuff done with. When others seem to value me mainly to get things done, it is difficult to “unhook” from that.

  6. Peter Dybing

    An old teacher of mine always said “Be attached to the effort not the result, it is beyond your control”

  7. John Carosella

    Nice Post, Thorn. In particular, “Allow things to unfold by following the energy that is actually present rather than pushing the energy we want to be present. Cultivate patience.”

    Cross posted at the Firefly Willows facebook page to share with our crowd. Thank you for the excellent content.

  8. Dawn

    Hi Thorn, I just found this entry and it is very apropos as I’ve been in the process of launching my own business for almost 3 years now… most recently had to slow down again due to illness so I very much understand the frustration and necessity of having to be gentle with myself. In my wanderings I came across a site dedicated to heart centered business which I found very intriguing. If you’ve not heard of him here is the link:

    I am always amazed at how many parts of my life are being linked around this very tender issue of heart first. Thanks for all that you do in the world as well.


Comments are closed.