The last year has been full of deep contemplation and questioning. If you follow this blog at all, then you are keenly aware of that. The book came out, my job shifted, and all the while I was pondering, “What is next?”
In this crazy world at times it seems the answer to “What is next?” is consumption. What do we buy next, consume next, or market next; where can we go to get more? But in a no-end-in sight recession, a lot people are questioning if this is indeed what is needed for the next step.
It is a weird time to try to be a writer or a person with a platform trying to determine where to go next. Fortunately, A Beautiful Mess gave me a launching pad to even ask this question – it allowed me to introduce a core message that lives inside of a lot of us: A call to honesty and authenticity with the Spirit’s leading. And with that mantra this past year, I began to wonder what that meant even for the tribe of A Beautiful Mess.
The worst possible outcome I could think of was to go down the major marketing route of calendars, mugs and the next edition: A Beautiful Mess for the Cat Lover’s Soul. A Beautiful Mess is what is because that was where I was during that time in my life, which was over four years ago now believe it or not. This message shaped me into who I am, which is a recovering perfectionist living on a homestead outside of LA – trying to make peace with God, myself and my community by living into the vulnerability of authenticity.
Last spring there was a shift as I thought of the “What’s next” question. As Michael Hyatt wrote recently, most creatives despise self-promotion and marketing. After all, how does one reach a place where they do not just market a product, but market herself as a thing to be consumed? I revolted from the idea because, as Hyatt goes on to point out, I don’t want to shout to be heard. I really don’t want to become a transaction where my soul is the cost.
So A Beautiful Mess was a good place to start – a way to find affinity with so many of you out there who are tired, burnt out, and just want a place to be. Tears came, sharing hearts happened and paint was spilled all in the name of thinking outside of the box. But it can’t become something that I hide behind either with fancy t-shirts and curriculum that leaves out the journey that needs to be told.
That box has only begun to be taken down as I start this new adventure of “kristinritzau.com” – a place where we can continue to gather, not for my sake or ego, but to continue the conversation on an even wider scale together. I plan on writing more here – and in a new book – about our life, our homestead, our community and hopefully a story or two about the chickens. This will still be woven alongside the core message that we all need a place to heal and just to be ourselves – deeply beloved by Love. A tale about moving into intentional ways of living in our bodies, souls and neighborhoods because we’re not supposed to be perfect, we’re supposed to be our beautifully messy selves.
Hyatt further writes about the requirements for a tribe restated from Seth Godin’s book on Tribe building. These two items are a shared interest and a way to communicate. So does this mean that A Beautiful Mess is a tribe? I hope that by bringing in more information about spiritual direction, recovering perfectionism and how we live this out in our little town outside of LA that a dialogue can continue to grow. This conversation is one I am dedicating my vocation too and letting you know how that is going in the only way I know possible: with words. For me, it’s not about gaining followers as much as relationships and contributors and I hope you feel that as well.
So as I let some people know of the switch to further embrace not just a platform, but who I am created to be, I received encouraging support, feedback and prayers. My web designer/creative genius, Sean Thompson, was fully on board and provided me with a third website to support this vision. It is a new season for sure, full of trial and error, promise and failure, but full of honesty and love. I’m not saying I’ll be perfect at it, but I hope you can hear my heart in this welcome.
Have fun exploring as we continue to work out glitches and slowly close down the beautiful mess site as we transition here. All of the old blogs will move over here too, so there is no starting over (is there ever?). There are a handful of amazing features to play with too. Let me know what you like about it as well as if you find any issues down below in the comments section. Here’s to an exciting time ahead! Thanks for joining me wherever you are.
Photos by Sean Thompson – do not use without permission.