Postcards

Barbara Pitts

http://asktheinventors.comDallas, TX

You played a major part in building our confidence when we were just starting out. I remember that we were so in awe of you (and we still are!) that you were so confident and that you had even written a book. We never thought that we would write a book. And now our agent has just submitted our latest proposal to two publishers, so if they like it we will be off and running on a third book. We credit you for starting us off in the right direction.

Harmony Leonard

Currently in PA, but that could change next week

My own story includes periods of time of purposeful disconnection from employment. Early on people couldn’t understand why I left very good job at the peak of my career and downsize at an age when the majority of people are focused on career and the accumulation of wealth.

My answer was complicated, but the simple answer was, “To live my life with integrity.” I had bought into the American Dream and was incredibly unhappy. I knew the process of connecting with my purpose in life would be challenging but I did not realize that the search would be as dramatic and enlightening as it has been.

Over the last five years I have been a teacher at a high school in North Carolina where I taught Foods I and II (nutrition and cooking); a substitute teacher in WV and VA; hiked miles of trails including the Appalachian Trail and other trails in the east; visited with my children including my grandson who will be a year old in January; started a farmers market; grown a garden; met new people; and earned my personal trainer certification. I am still not “employed” but I am happy making contributions to the communities were I live. I gave up job hunting. Right now I’m a professional domestic and personal chef and love it.

Jill Morstad, PhD

www.prairiek9.com

In 2005 I was downsized from a job I loved very much, and my treasured colleague of ten years moved to another state to start over. My husband’s job kept us here in Lincoln and I knew I had to reinvent myself.

I was standing in front of the shelves in Barnes & Noble, tears running down my cheeks wondering what in the world I was going to do and how in the world I was ever going to work through my sense of loss. ‘Making a Living Without a Job’ was the only book I could bear to hold in my hands that day, and I bought it and took it home with me.

The book mentions another Lincoln man, Ken Hoppeman, a piano teacher who once called Barbara for advice. On impulse, I called Ken, too after I saw his name there in the pages of Making a Living Without a Job.

I now teach part time at Union College, the very place where he also taught piano for many years and directly across the street from the studio he was opening at the time he contacted Barbara.

Kismet.

Thanks for everything!

Cheryl Bagangan

www.innononsetbay.net

I recently moved and came across the materials from a seminar that you hosted with Valerie from Changing Course around 5 years ago in western MA.

I found the “Work at What you Love” workbook and now five years later I am living the life I wrote about then ( leading women’s retreats, teaching yoga on the beach) and actually am doing even more creative stuff than I could have dreamed of!.

I remember that I loved the seminar but really was at a place where I thought the ideas would work for anyone but NOT ME. I had very low self esteem in the area of work because for many reasons, I kept choosing jobs that were a poor match.

This was I thought how my life was going to be…just grin and bear it and accept that I would never live my life from a more authentic place…so this is where I was, kept working these draining jobs, going to therapy, completely stressed about $ all the time…and yet there was a part of me that would not give up.

I became a registered yoga teacher and at your seminar talked about wanting to teach yoga on the beach and offer meditation vacations.

Fast forward to June of this year. I am no longer teaching yoga as I was back at another under-earning job. I liked the hospitality industry but the job I had once again was a poor fit.

At the same time my husband’s company was also unstable due to the recession. He had worked there for 18 years but now was scared that he might not make 20.

You have to understand, my husband did not grow up in this country and for that reason, once you landed a job you kept it no matter what unless of course you were laid off.

So he never read the help wanted but because he was so angry and scared he started reading them and saw an ad for an innkeeper. I was working at a hotel as a front office manager on Cape Cod and was so miserable. So my husband, you know the guy who really did not want to embrace change, encouraged me to call on the inn. I called and the owner said he was really not looking for an employee but a business partner.

We were not ready to lease the inn (which was what he wanted) as it was already July and well into the summer when we were meeting with him so we offered to run the inn as independent contractors and had a legal agreement drawn up. Now basically , we work for ourselves and get a decent percentage of what we bring in.

We run the inn how we want to and we are truly having the time of our lives. We both get to use our skills and because they are so different they compliment each other well! My husband says that he feels alive in a way that he has not in a long time and we just discovered new space behind the inn that we will be turning into retreat/meeting/yoga space by January of this year.

I also found a thriving arts community where I will be teaching yoga next week. I also plan on offering classes on the beach this summer and am looking into several other streams of income to get us thru our quiet season. I plan on getting your book again as I cannot find my copy and I will sing up for your newsletter as well because I so enjoy the words of wisdom that you offer.

It is so funny because now I am never sure how much $ will be coming in week to week and it is the thing I worry about the least as I am having way too much fun working hard and now believe that the universe will provide me with everything that I need because it ALREADY HAS!

I am happy, relaxed, and excited to greet each day and to me this is worth all the money in the world.

So if your travels ever bring you near Cape Cod again, feel free to stop by and say hello to another “joyfully jobless traveler! You can see the inn on the web at www.innononsetbay.net

Thank you so much Barbara for planting that seed five years ago. it took awhile but I have finally grown into the authentic, happy woman that I truly believe God meant for me to be!

With the warmest of Regards!