The New Year

Posted by Joanna Van Vleck on

As we officially begin the “work” year of 2024 today, Tuesday, I start by writing in the early hours of the day. Writing helps me ground and come back to myself. I always think I don’t know how to begin. The question of where and is this appropriate. That creeping thought of if people will read it, like it, find it useful. I move all of that to the side, as though I’m moving boulders in a stream and the water begins to flow. I write what I hear.

I asked God to show me what I needed to see in my sleep last night. I woke early, being shook from this dream. My God answers quickly. The dream was essentially me and a couple of employees from OE. The only way they would listen to me is from me emanating joy. None of my other ways of getting their attention worked and so I started to yell. Then I woke up.

I started Organic Erotic (OE) last February. Starting OE was an act of love. I am also completing my karma from the first round, when I started a company called Trunk Club that revolutionized the way people buy clothes. This is also an act of love that had unexpected turns. On the surface the first year of OE went much better than anyone expected. When we started, we had no idea if we could source products we love and if customers would want to buy home goods in the curated, try-before-you-buy way. Turns out, they do.

Where I live, in a more internal state, everything matters on the inside. A grain of sand on the carpet doesn’t matter, but internally this single grain grinds until it is given attention and turns into the salve of a pearl. I typically use the time between Christmas and New Years to do my internal inventory. My time to come down and into my body. I tend to make it a bit dramatic with tears, curse words and mean thoughts about myself. It is all included.

In my inventory this time, I saw that I made a decision to disconnect from my family, my chosen family. Last time, in Trunk Club, it was my birth family. The story goes something like…I am starting a business, I am driven, I am too busy for you. I will come back once I’ve completed. Only my God loves me enough to not let me get that far.  

This morning I find myself sitting in this nicely, stark room. This is not my bedroom though it has welcomed me in. This kind of baren in the room has been good for my inventory. Nothing to focus on other than my insides. Nothing to distract when the impetus is to pop out and fix, arrange, re-arrange. All the way down here the thing I see is simple, not easy: The only thing for me to be is happy and joyful. That is the only thing that will work in building this company. The irony is: I started a company to help people feel good in their homes. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry in this moment. There is a burning in my throat and a lightness in my chest at the same time. It feels like a cosmic joke from the Gods.

I am a person who likes to get things done. I have this drive in me that likes to create. Some would say fast and hard. Once I commit, I lock and load and I go. The lingering feeling of this dream, like cold on my skin once I’ve come inside from a winters day, gives me the clarity that way doesn’t work anymore. It never did.

This is the year of overtly building Organic Erotic from where I live, the feminine. A truly feminine company. Not one that avoids things like money and profit and growth. Not one that says “Lean In” and pretends to do things like a man only in a cuter suit. One that is built on the premise of feeling good (more on this later as it is not as easy as it sounds). A company where the aim is to deliver a felt sense, the one felt at the center of the company. One that has precision in all areas not for more profit, but because that is what feels best to the body, to look in all corners and see what is there.

If I’m honest, I feel a bit of trepidation. It feels like a nervous energy, shaky. When I let the minds title of “nervous” go is simply a trembling, bubbling feeling in my body. That can equate to open too. Here’s to a year of doing this together. Of answering the question: does it work? Can a company truly be built on the feminine principles, beginning with it must feel good?

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