Yesterday afternoon, there came a knock at my front door. The visitor? Santa Barbara’s favorite cookie delivery girl. The reason? Ever since I wrote about Christina when she started her business, Hot Cookie, six or so years ago, my mom has sent me cookies for every conceivable occasion. Which is fine by me. This was my Valentine’s Day gift; I was waiting for it. (Especially the butter cookies. Ooooohhhhh, the butter cookies.)
When Christina started out, it was a strictly local, brick-and-mortar free affair. You’d call her up or go to the website, order your cookies, and she’d home-bake and hand-deliver them. Adorable, right? Then she got a couple of local accounts–coffee shops, sandwich places. Then she added mail orders. Then she hired an employee or two. And then, a couple of years ago, a storefront. A teeny little space in a shopping center that’s also home to a grocery store, a burrito joint, a Starbucks, and a pet shop. Perfect, right?
Well, ‘fraid not. While we were chatting on my porch yesterday, she told me that she’s coming off of a really, really hard year. No surprise there, I mean, it’s a tough economy, and there are those who cut things like cookies first. (Um, not me. I’d rather live without heat.) Happily, things are looking up now.
But what I thought was so interesting was what she said her experience last year taught her. Not to be agile, not to manage growth, not even to follow your passion–but to “trust that my passion wouldn’t lead me astray.” Those are some pretty bold, wise, interesting words–far wiser than I’ve ever found in a fortune cookie, anyway.
So, naturally, this got me to wondering–later, over a chocolate chip and cup of coffee (note to mom: there was milk in my coffee!)–why should words like that sound so striking, so bold? Isn’t it only logical that a spark that comes from within us would represent something true–something we know–and something we know somewhere other (dare I say, somewhere truer) than our heads? After all, when it comes to the difficulty we have making decisions, dealing with choices, weighing our options, it’s our ever-spinning minds that get us into trouble. Going in circles, it’s the noise those dizzying synapses generate that makes it so difficult to listen to our hearts. Forcing a focus on logic and facts makes it hard to trust our gut and our feelings. But what if we could? What if we could, not only, quiet our minds enough to discern what our hearts are trying to tell us about who we really are and what we’re really passionate about, but if we could quiet our inner critics enough to trust that that passion would never lead us astray, too? Then where might we be?
Baking cookies? Sounds pretty sweet to me.