And I mean that in a good way.
Receiving the news of winning the Preservation Society of Charleston’s Carolopolis Award was the culmination of all of our hard work on the house project. Deemed the “architectural Oscars for Charleston”, the Carolopolis Award was never the goal but what a wonderful recognition that I know my parents and all of our ancestors would be so, so proud to receive.
We set out to restore our 100 year old family home with the intention of honoring the historical integrity of the home and Hampton Park Terrace. I wanted to never forget that this was built by my family. I wanted to touch the walls, windows, floors, porch, railings… that they touched. (I was, however, very ok to give up toilets and tubs …). I wanted to share everything I could possibly share with the family that lived, loved, and I am sure struggled, in this home. I never realized my intention would result in recognition for “extraordinary efforts to maintain the historic character of Charleston and the Lowcountry”.
After a wonderful celebration, recognition in Charleston’s Post & Courier newspaper, and a whirlwind of well wishes, well, now what? This renovation had been my “job” for the last year. What should I do now? How should I use my energy, my talents?
And then came the most wonderful gift: A Women’s Retreat. Reflection. Breathing. Space. Time.
Held at The Cottages on Charleston Harbor, this was not your average Women’s Retreat. Sponsored by Happy Body Asheville and facilitated by my good friend, Jessica Mark, owner of Happy Body Asheville, Ortho-Bionomy instructor and bodywork therapist. Accompanying Jessica were some of her talented practitioners. Graham Wesley (guides healing through stone medicine and herbalism) and Christa Hebel (therapeutic massage, love potion creator, and foot soak guru). This mind-body team provided the perfect tools and space for a powerful dose of self care. Through yoga, meditation, and even a fairly scientific talk about our cellular fluid, we each tapped into our own presence, our own clarity, our purest sense of being. Nothing to do, no agenda, just being. And it was pretty damn powerful.
So, my “Now What?” takes on a completely different tone. Instead of searching and seeking, instead of “searching for the light, I will be the lighthouse”. I will trust my path, my gifts, my potential.
When our intention is good and pure, we find our way. Just like the renovation of the home, my intention was to save as much as we could in the house to connect with my ancestors. It wasn’t to win an award. It was to improve the community, to salvage, restore and celebrate. Realizing this helped me realize my “Now What?”. It is simply to be open to opportunities. To use my talents for a greater good. To have good intentions. With an openness and ease that let’s me explore. And to trust that the journey will come to me. Just as the journey to restore this house came to us.
Be Joyful. Be Grateful. Be Happy.