Friday, November 14, 2008

Looking for a New Home

We're leaving Santa Cruz at the end of this month. We knew we had come to the end of the road here financially for a long time. 90% of our business comes from other places and living in the 2nd least affordable place in the country under these circumstances just breaks our hearts.

It's beautiful in Santa Cruz, sunny and warm enough to be outside in a t-shirt and bare feet almost year round. It's a strange mix of polarized politics and more artists and arts and cultural activities than you're likely to find almost anywhere in the country. There are also spiritual counselors and alternative health practitioners on every corner here -- an overabundance of riches for anyone interested in holistic healing -- and a growing market for these kinds of services elsewhere in the United States where the populace has fewer opportunities to take advantage of them.

Santa Cruzans describe their hometown as " paradise." "How can you even think of living anywhere else?" is the pretty much universal response whenever we mention leaving. People work two, sometimes three jobs to stay here -- frequently handing over 50% of their income (or more) just to paying rent.

We wish we didn't have to leave but I've never been able to stomach what it takes to get by here. I've given it a try many times and each time wound up financially better off but so unhappy, sick and frustrated I had to let it go. I'm never happier than when Paul and I are doing our work. But we can do that anywhere in the country now and paradise comes-- I think -- from living where you have a happy home.

We've put out the vision of what we want before but I never put it here on this blog so I'm going to cut and paste one of our more recent email newsletters here. You never know who's going to read what you say and where they're going to find it. If you have any leads for us in our new home search, please send us an email or give us a call.


Paul here: This month Sheryl and I are putting out a vision, our vision. We're required to move from our home and home office very soon and have been seeking a new situation with a lot of the same good stuff but more and better, too.

We do firmly believe that when one door closes another one opens. Sometimes we squeal about it, sometimes not. As Sheryl and I have discussed numerous times, we'd like more face time with clients and potential clients. Anytime we bring it up, visions of a spiritual retreat center, with a gift shop, maybe a cafe come up. Or sometimes it's simply a spiritual bookstore with a private room for counseling and healing. Sometimes Sheryl and I envision a very similar space to what we have now: more residential in appearance, and maybe we do live in the back, or off to the side, but the front structure is definitely business: it's a storefront with proper signage and in a good location for doing business.

As many of you know we are engaged in multiple business interests. In addition to our joint healing and counseling practice, Sheryl is an artist, a non-fiction author, and sole owner /proprietor of Mama Love Products which is a line of healing body care products. She manufactures and sells the whole line herself to both wholesale and retail markets. Sheryl is also primary web-designer and marketer for much of what we do.

I am an author of fiction / creative non-fiction, and an accomplished photographer. It's not hard at all for us to imagine a single venue stocked with our art and photography (cards and prints) our books, articles and stories, body products and other gift items, a treatment room and even a small photographic portrait studio. Of course, there'd be a website too. Oh, and surprise! Sheryl sees a bed and breakfast as playing a possible part in all this.

Many parts of this are already a part of our lives—it would be easy to transfer many of these skills and abilities to a creative collaboration —but we have not yet found the physical space, the partners and financial backing, at least not yet.

Our fantasy is that someone on our list knows someone who needs our help in their metaphysical bookshop / bed & breakfast / retreat center or the equivalent. And that they’d love to have a special spiritual counseling and healing team join their staff. Since housing is also one of our primary concerns various possibilities in regards to compensation might be worked out.

If anyone fits this description on our list or thinks they may know someone who could use our help, please pass this newsletter on to those people and get in touch with us. Send a reply via email or call us (831) 325-4076.

Thank you.


LuAnn said...

We vacationed in Santa Cruz a couple of years ago and had such a great time. We left California for some of the same reasons and even though it was tough we are very happy we left. It just doesn't make sense to stay when you dish out so much money to live. America is a beautiful country full of wonderful communities. You'll find the right place. Good luck on your journey...

Juli said...

What a very lovely blog! I'm so glad to have found it :)