Random Musings at 3:00 am: Life, Business and the Future of HoonArts (& the World)

Random Musings at 3:00 am: Life, Business and the Future of HoonArts (& the World)

You know how, in that space between sleeping and waking, you sometimes have some of your best insights? How the solution to a problem you’ve been picking at forever sometimes all comes together as if by magic?

Well, when I woke up at 3:00 am yesterday and couldn’t go back to sleep, my mind went wandering on its own in search of (1) what to write about in this week’s blog, and (2) how I want to restructure the “business” part of HoonArts so that it “works” better for my life in all its aspects. I’m exhausted from the last 9 years of HoonArts' young life and I know something needs to change.

I’ve been exploring the second question in a group life coaching program, and I haven’t reached any conclusions (yet). I was hoping that when I woke up in the morning, and jotted down the remembered random musings during that middle-of-the-night adventure, the solution would magically appear. Or at least the first major step would have come clear.

No such luck! But the work in my coaching program and my night-time travels did leave me with some key insights that I think will help guide the way:

1. Whatever pathway I choose must be aligned with my core personal values, the values that “make me who I am” today. I’ve narrowed it down to five values so far, but I think that’s still too many to even remember, so there will probably be some additional winnowing and consolidation. Those five values include:

(a) The power of language
(b) Unity in diversity
(c) Walk in beauty (in the Navajo sense)
(d) Connection
(e) Learning

Our coach had each group member each create a “representation” of that person who is living the life we want, and here’s what I came up with (thank you for the help, Canva!):

As I look at it, it’s probably still “too busy” . . . Hmmm . . . .

2. The HoonArts vision of building a more equitable world of unity in diversity will not change.

3. I want to focus more on the things that bring me personal joy and fulfillment, which all center around the personal, not grandiose systemic change. It’s about real life individual people and personal relationships, storytelling, and shared experience, where art is the “hook,” the context that draws people together. Although I believe systemic change is necessary, I’ve come to see that that’s really not the best use of the time and energy that I have left.

In the context of HoonArts, that means a lot more focus on local and personal relationships, and a lot less focus on the world of e-commerce and trying to build a larger anonymous market of product purchasers. HoonArts will never be able to compete successfully with Amazon, and the vision of doing so wouldn’t make me feel fulfilled (just as “success” as a corporate lawyer working at high powered and prestigious law firms brought me no joy or fulfillment).

4. In my latest season of introspection, I uncovered yet another inner voice, another layer of the onion of what has been driving me at HoonArts that doesn’t necessarily serve me anymore. My coach suggested we name that inner voice. I’ve named my newly discovered childhood “frenemy” my “Right Way Angel.”

It’s the voice from childhood (probably filtered through my dad’s voice and perspective) that said there’s a “right way” to success and security: education in order to achieve financial success (or more bluntly put, more money is more success). I think that voice comes from my unspoken fears (as the “stepchild”) that if I didn’t do life the “Right Way” (getting good grades, so I could go to college and then graduate school, all aimed at a career that would generate plenty of financial success), I could be sent away, where I didn’t belong and would have no one to take care of me.

So the Right Way voice is a voice that has always been trying to keep me safe. That voice has been reinforced by our culture in the US which idolizes the wealthy business person and systemically makes money a key access to power, influence, and admiration. Almost every business class, webinar, talk or business coaching program that I’ve taken has at its core the idea of “success is growth and more money” (though perhaps with less effort).

Now when my little Right Way Angel speaks up and continues to whisper that HoonArts is a failure because it hasn’t produced the financial returns for me or my artisan partners that I hoped for, I can just say, “It’s ok, Right Way. I’ve got this. You don’t need to worry.”

5. In my mind’s eye in the nighttime darkness, the image that came to me was a universe consisting of a gigantic tangled and knotted mess of yarn and thread, of endless colors and thicknesses and materials, with scattered patches of beautifully woven bits of tapestry where the knots had been untied and the tangles unwound enough to allow the weaving to take place. But it’s all connected through time and space—the knots, the tangles and the tapestry—it’s all part of one whole.

That’s as far as I got on untangling and weaving my own tiny tapestry around HoonArts. I’ll keep working on it. And I wanted to share some of the poetic inspiration that is helping to guide me on this journey.

Walking in Beauty By Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again

Hózhóogo naasháa doo. Shitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa doo. Shikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa doo.
Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo. T’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa doo. Hózhó náhásdlíí’. Hózhó náhásdlíí’. Hózhó náhásdlíí’. Hózhó náhásdlíí’

Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.

In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…


Excerpt from A Sikh Prayer for America on Nov 9, 2016

-Valarie Kaur

In our tears and agony, we hold our children close and confront the truth: The future is dark.

But my faith dares me to ask:

What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?

What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?

What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and Jim Crow, racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, political oppression and sexual assault, are standing behind us now, whispering in our ear: You are brave? What if this is our Great Contraction before we birth a new future?

Remember the wisdom of the midwife: “Breathe,” she says. Then: “Push.”

Now it is time to breathe. But soon it will be time to push; soon it will be time to fight — for those we love — Muslim father, Sikh son, trans daughter, indigenous brother, immigrant sister, white worker, the poor and forgotten, and the ones who cast their vote out of resentment and fear.

Let us make an oath to fight for the soul of America — “The land that never has been yet— And yet must be” (Langston Hughes) — with Revolutionary Love and relentless optimism.

Wherever it says “America”, I would add “and the World”.


Snippets from Rumi

Some of the following quotes are long-beloved inspiration, while others appeared today for the first time in my experience. But they all speak to me at this moment in time as I wrestle with defining the path forward.

–Don't be silent! Say something. Speak out against the madness.

–Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

–When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

–Half of life is lost in charming others. The other half is lost in going through anxieties caused by others. Leave this game. You have played enough.

–Travel brings power and love back into your life.

–Listen with ears of tolerance! See through the eyes of compassion! Speak with the language of love.

–Lovers find secret places in this violent world where they make transactions with beauty.

–Do not ask what love can make or do. Look at the colors of the world.

–I am neither of the East nor of the West, no boundaries exist within my breast."

–If people misunderstand you, do not worry... it is your voice that they hear, but what goes through their mind is... their own thoughts.

–Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah... it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.

–Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.

–Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.

–Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.


Thank you for giving me permission to meander into your inbox and share some of my midnight musings. I appreciate your generosity of spirit involved in listening to my inner struggle put on loudspeaker. I hope that at least the poetry provides some inspiration as you face your own challenges in these sometimes dark and overwhelming times. After all–we are all human and part of the same tapestry . . .

And if you have any ideas about how I can bring the HoonArts world to you and the people around you, please shoot me an email.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.