Two Years of Business in Detroit

September 5th, 2015 in Reflection

Feeling very, very grateful. Yesterday we took a break and went out for a glass of wine to celebrate two years of business. 

Brian jokingly told the bartender: “Two years of having a baby together.” Our baby is Bamboo Detroit. It has three fathers and one mother, and blessed to have a hundred Bamboo members to grow with it, and thousands of visitors local and from around the world.

We’ve all really grown and changed these past two years and I’m really excited for what’s ahead next. It seems that each one of us has had to overcome personal challenges, individually and together as a team: work, direction, opportunities, fear, depression and pressure - and yet we’ve made it. And it seems so much in the past already. We’ve persevered and asked ourselves the hard questions. I think we are really ready for everything that could be next.

Brian has strengthened his leadership. He is calm and collected, a powerful force now more than ever. Dave has learned to create and innovate, letting go of plans to improvise and growing strong along the way. Mike has continued to challenge himself and us, keeping us focused on execution. Roles and responsibilities. Roles and responsibilities. You are born into them and yet you grow and expand with them over time.

Me? At first they used to joke the three always argued until I arrived. Perhaps I don’t need to be the one who calms the storm and brings us back to the table anymore. But I do think I must continue to tell our story, to lift the four of us up, along with our community.

Before the celebration, driving into work, I felt free and very calm. I was grateful to get to drive into our office, especially after laying sick for days. I felt a moment looking around at the grey, tall buildings in Detroit and felt very deeply that we are called to do this work right here. It is important work and we have yet to realize the full force of it, the community we are building, the strength and power we are instilling into hundreds of members over two years and into our four selves.

We have yet to fully realize what we are capable of. We are only just beginning, and that is the most beautiful part.

Proposal at the Top

August 6th, 2015 in Reflection

While sitting on the bus back from a festival I listened in to talk about engagement. It was the "proposal story" told again and again.

They were creative. One man staging a fake pullover with the local police who searched him and pulled a ring out of his pocket. Take about unexpecting setting. Then, another guy bragging how he made his now wife date him for 7 years and climb a 14 mile hike before saying I do.

A 14 mile hike. And she was crying. No, not the happy crying. They were not tear of joy during the trip.

I like that story the best. The way it was presented seemed to reflect some pieces of our culture: do this and then you will be rewarded. For the young and hopeful, marriage can be perceived an award. You achieve it. You reach your goal. The top of the mountain is your goal. The house with two cars and two kids. That is your goal.

But it is also an illusive goal. It is not the top of the mountain, it is the hike along the way, and the man by your side making you cry or laugh during the hike. There is no proposal at the top, no reward at the end.

It is each every step and each and ever mountain crossed together.

On Attacks

June 22nd, 2015 in Reflection

I felt well nourished from a day with my father and sister. We went to church, visited our grandfather in the home, and spend the day together.

But it was the ceremony at the church that struck me most. The priest lit a candle for each man and women, nine total, lost in the Charleston attacks. A black man with a soulful song sang high and proud with praise and reverence for those lost. water

I cried. When an attack happens, any shooting or horrible crime in masses, my immediate response is one of defense: I disconnect. I fear the media for it’s too dramatic mis-tellings, and I fear the very violent truth.

My reaction is disbelief. Then it is anger and sadness.

I also fear that a world so drawn to screens and comforts can only be disrupted by such brutality. That it will be so again and again, because this is the way to seek our attention. This is how you can churn a story that marks a place in history for the sick and twisted.

But the priest said it so elegantly today - may we seek and provide comfort and healing, leadership and unity through such times. This is the very opposite of what a hate filled man who speaks with a language of violence would want.

We all deal with a confused web of emotions, our words and our survival tactics out at the forefront, exploited again with each act of violence spreading the wildfire. I fear what happens when we learn to breath in the smoke and accept the shocks that settle in us, to await the moment of self-eruption.

I write and I pray for the healing waters we carry with us to be shared. We can work to heal for the future.

About Me

Amanda Lewan - Digital StorytellerOn a mission to inspire and unite others. Writer & Entrepreneur living in Detroit. This is my personal blog. Read more about me.

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