On September 7, 2018 my sister and I both left our jobs (we unexpectedly had the same last day). We were overwhelmed by the lack of purpose we felt in our lives and wanted something different for ourselves. We didn't know what would come into our lives but we intuitively felt the need to leave the roles we were currently in.
That October we packed our bags and traveled to Mexico to take a break or perhaps our inner bruja vibes wanted to find a sign on what we should do next. It was nothing short of extraordinary and we met some amazing people along the way.
One of those people was an indigenous man who humbly sat at the corner of a mercado in San Miguel de Allende. We didn't notice him when we first walked in but as we were about to leave he lured us in with his peculiar set up of a small table with a vintage looking book. My sister, May became so curious to figure out what this book was about that he proceeded to tell us everything about it, including his own background. The book was called, Tonalámatl de Aubin, it was a pictorial used by Mexican priests, magicians and sorcerers as a guide or basis for a divination ritual.
In Tenochtitlán, when a new member of the community was born, the newborn was presented to the Tonalpouhque, the person who knew the time and the energies of each given day. Parents were told about destiny and the abilities that their children could develop through the energies that accompanied them from birth.
That's exactly what happened to us that day. There was a type of rebirth where we were told about our destiny and our abilities. Based on our birth date we were assigned signs from the 13 symbols. My sister was assigned Itzcuintli (the Dog), one that gives guidance and keeps you company at all times. Loyal as can be, a romantic and dreamer. I was assigned Quauhtli (the Eagle), a sign associated with freedom and equality, enterprising and capable of leadership.
Beyond the assigned symbols, our biggest take away was the conversation that we had after he taught us about the pictorial codex. He imparted wisdom that I want to share with you today. He advised me to be happy and said there was no bigger purpose to life other than to pursue joy. To my sister, he said, "deja el pasado atras", leave the past behind.
There's one more thing he told me said that owning a business was in the cards and that there would be no other freedom like having a business. I listened but didn't take it to heart. Six months later, we were heavily invested in Cadena and had decided to pursue it as a project. Twelve months later it was registered as an official business and we had over ten vendors as part of the collective and hundreds of artisans working with these vendors.
All this to say that sometimes we might be overwhelmed and tired but if we take the time to follow our intuition and stop to listen to the universe, it might speak back to us in ways we never thought it would.
Today is Small Business Saturday and I didn't want to celebrate it with a discount or another sale, but rather with this story because it's one I often reflect on and hold close to my heart. To you, our customers and supporters - Thank you for supporting our small business, for helping us fulfill our destiny and developing our abilities.
As we enter a season of giving remember to give others the gift of meaning and joy. At Cadena we hope you know that your purchase also includes the gift of storytelling and that every time you wear or use one of our products, you get to retell the artisan's story.