"You wanna know something really funny?" the stranger asked as he walked up to me.
"When I pulled in and saw you standing on the porch of that little cabin, I thought you actually lived in it!"
He kind of kicked the gravel and shook his head, like, would you believe that?
I smiled. Probably raised an eyebrow. "I do." :)
It's such a small dream, the Kamishak. :) For years I just wanted a little cabin.
I drove by one every day for about 2 years and talked about how I wanted one like it someday.
One day, when I was photographing a wedding, my dad sent me pics of a little cabin he found for sale. He had heard me talk about this idea, so he knew.
He said he could pick it up that day with his tow truck, and I said yes, I would buy it, without even seeing it first.
That was 2017.
Even though it's just a shack, it's one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It's been my own personal dream that came alive. I never really thought of anyone loving it as much as I did, or people feeling the same joy it gave me.
I just poured my heart and soul into it because it made me so happy.
However, I did have ideas of moving it next to the river, having it 100% perfect to rent out on Air BnB.
It's funny how we can think things are so out of reach when they're not. How we set these standards that we think we need to achieve for a certain outcome and we don't.
If I held fast to that standard I had in my mind, I would never have experience the joy and lessons that I have. If I had waited for everything to be just how I had imagined, that goal would still be so far down the road.
One day I decided, why not go for it right now? Why not list it (still not ideally how I'd want my listing) and see what happens? What if it worked? What if I made money off of it to put back into the dream, which would propel it farther, faster?
So January 1st, I decided to list it on Air Bnb, just to see if there was any market in the area. Sure enough, living next to Mnt St Helens, there is.
I never really thought the dream could get better or bigger so soon, but after a few hikers rented it out I learned that it could.
This dream that I had been keeping to myself was now shared.
My heart grew. What I thought was a full cup was now overflowing.
How could something so small give back so much?
I had one couple stay, who had just sold everything they owned in Seattle and hit the road for Colorado. They said they admired the simple living. Everything they owned now fit in their car.
They sat and talked with me over bacon and eggs that morning. When they stood up to leave, they said, "I just want to say thank you for creating such an amazing experience for people. This has been so wonderful and I'm so glad it was our first stop. We will always remember this."
I was speechless. Because little did they know I doubted anyone would enjoy the dream as I did, and they had. And I almost hadn't shared it. What if I had kept it to myself?
All I could think about was how the only thing better than living my dream was sharing it.
Some nights with guests were spent discussing travel.
One girl pulled up a chair as I worked on my computer and shared some of her hardest struggles, as if we were old friends. She laid it all out. 100% vulnerable, free, okay with showing up and being seen for exactly who she was and what she'd been through. She was not only embracing her story but sharing it.
How could my heart be so full? I thought after every guest left.
I thought I knew the feeling of a full life. But life doesn't work like that. It's always surprising us. You think you know full? It'll show you even fuller. You think you know low? It'll take you lower.
Isn't that where all the magic happens? When you show up, feel, go with the waves, when you share your story- your dream- your nightmare...
You whisper, "You are not alone." to another soul.
And words like that change lives.
"We need more people who are willing to demonstrate what it looks like to risk and endure failure, disappointment, and regret- People willing to feel their own hurt instead of working it out on other people, people willing to own their stories, live their values, and keep showing up- to recognize the power of emotion and to not be afraid to lean into discomfort and uncertainty. We feel the most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories." -Brene Brown
"Relationships are at the heart of who we are and all we do. While dreams can seem to be about tasks or achievements, ultimately they are always about people. That's because God is inherently relational. He IS love, and whatever He calls us to do will be about love too." -Holley Gerth
"Life brings you to your knees. It brings you lower than you think you can go. But if you stand back up and move forward, if you go just a little father, you will always find love. While it may be easy to wallow in the tragedies that shape our lives, and while it’s natural to focus on those unspeakable moments that bring us to our knees,
we must remind ourselves that if we get up, if we take the story a little bit farther… If we go far enough, there’s love."
-Isabel Diaz (life itself)
New video updates on the Kamishak here
Things that living in 84 sq feet has helped me with:
-getting rid of excess
-decreasing options (which gives outcomes like getting ready faster)
-putting in front of you what is important by process of elimination
-eliminating who you are not, which helps you find more of who you are
-realizing very little is needed to make a happy life
-being able to keep the things that are important to me in good shape
-not a matter of owning less but enabling myself make more room for more of what matters
-fill my life with stories to tell and not stuff to show
In addition to connecting with people over my tiny house, I have unintentionally grown my photography & storytelling business into helping people brand-
to find their voice, mission, heart of their work, style.
I don't even know what to call it.
Sometimes I wrote a bio for them, sometimes I overhaul their website and marketing strategy, sometimes we peel the layers back and find what they really need was just a new perspective shift, self love, forgiveness. It's all connected. My mind is blown at how much our personal, spiritual life effects our work.
Just like I realized my tiny house dream was made better by sharing it, so was my journey with business.
These things can seem to be about tasks or achievements, but ultimately they are always about people.
People willing to own their stories, live their values, and keep showing up- to recognize the power of emotion and to not be afraid to lean into discomfort and uncertainty.
Whenever I'm in a meeting with a client I can feel that glow on the inside that comes from connecting with others being brave with their stories and helping empower them to live it out.
I am so passionate about this. My last client said I talked so fast he couldn't even take notes. haha!
So I'll leave you with this.
People don't buy what you sell they buy why you sell it.
If you're interested in growing your work even more, my sister and I are hosting an entrepreneur meeting at her house at the end of the month! Please contact me if you are interested in coming. We are all about empowering one another and there is no charge.
Let's help make each other's lives better!!