I vividly remember June 21st, 2010, the official date of The Suburban Monk LLC. I yelled to my niece, “Jessie, I am official. I have a business!” to which she replied, “Auntie Ellen (yes, they call me Auntie), what is it going to do?”
I said, “I have no idea . . . but I have a business!”
I really had no idea and if you asked me back then, words would fall out of my mouth for 10 minutes that left you shaking your head. I wasn’t clear on what TSM was meant to be, yet I had a knowing inside that something big was meant to be birthed.
My personal journey (what some may call my spiritual journey) began alongside the TSM. I quit my 30 years as a CPA in the corporate world to start this new path. I look back and see the trail of what seemed like “coincidences”.
At the time, I went to a women’s retreat that my coach recommended. I was desperate to find a new direction so I went. I can’t remember what it was about except I didn’t know that we were supposed to wait to pray before we ate…oops! The first person I met was an adorable young redhead named Jennah. We took a walk and I asked about her work. She said something that had words like clairvoyant and chakras. I remember thinking, “Seriously?” but kept a smile on my face and acted as if that was normal. Yes, there was a time when I didn’t use words like Universe or energy or chakras. My toolbox didn’t include a circle of energy workers, intuitives and shamans. Little did I know Jennah also would start a branding business and be one of the first steps for TSM.
It was during that time that I came up with a lot of ideas for TSM. I just let my ideas flow like creating a high-end spiritual community where you could go to a Kundalini class and then get a French manicure. Yup, I was the “Suburban” Monk, after all! Out of these ideas, I decided to start with a Laughing Monk statue. Laughing monk statues had been one of my important tools to lift my spirit when I felt lost during this time of transition from a CPA to who knew what? This is when Syd was born, although we didn’t know his name yet and I had no idea how to make a statue or where I would start.
What a journey! If you have been following me for awhile, you remember that it hasn’t been all fun and games. There were lots of tears, lots of self doubt and times I was ready to call it quits. At just the right moment, someone would come in to keep me going. It was — and is — magical.
As I keep going deeper in life, TSM keeps expanding. June has been an incredible month of connections and future plans, such as:
- a Big Syd is in the works.
- Made it through the first yes of O magazine and if it is a no, they will give us feedback. Cool, right?
- Green Syds might be going to the Jets and other sports teams.
- An amazing artist from Denver fell in love with Syd and sells him in his gallery. He might do one-of-a-kind big Syds and take him on the road as he travels the country.
- Met with some magical people who are deciding how to get involved with TSM
- Some well-known celebrities own a Syd — and are obsessed.
- Syd might be sold at a very big and well-known yoga center in the Berkshires.
- Most of all, people are sending comments and emails right and left with stories of how much Syd means to them. These stories touch my heart and feed my soul and will be weaved into #thesydmovement
I see TSM like a garden. Seeds are being planted and we will see which ones will grow. It is clear Syd is in the driver’s seat and it is my job to not block him and the company with my fears.
In the last 5 years, TSM has evolved so much. Back then, all I had was a name. Now there is fairy dust being spread everywhere. This thing called life is a serious challenge at times but if Syd and TSM can spread some hope and inspiration, then it is all good.
My time with Syd has been one amazing journey. So many people have come into my life. Some were for a lesson, some for a season and some are forever (thank you Holly for that one LOL). I started before I was ready but Syd worked through me. In the last 5 years, I have gone through empty nest to joining new tribes and then leaving them to find new ones that support my growth. As I grow, it seems that Syd does, too!
On the 5 year anniversary of TSM, I feel very grateful and open to seeing what the next year will hold. I am so thankful to all of you who have supported me. Your comments and messages always come at just the right moment. Did you know that? Thank you. I really love you all.
Live. Laugh. Happy 5th anniversary, TSM!
Have you ever plunged into something without knowing the outcome?
Please share. I could discuss these things all day.