Today, based on first impressions, you might think that shine is my favorite word, my anthem in some way. In reality, the Shine picked me.
Before August 2012, I’d never thought much about the word shine. I was exploring names for the sustainable farming and nature venture that I hoped to develop over the next 10 years and nothing I came up with seemed to have the right vibe.
One day, I asked my mom and dad to help me think of words that related to the community where the land is located. At some point, my dad made an offhand reference to Shine’s Spring.
“What did you say”? I asked.
“Shine’s Spring, it’s back there at the tar sands.”
I knew there was a spring at the tar sands outcropping along one of the bluffs on our place—in fact, we have several springs in the woods of our farm—but I’d never heard it called Shine’s Spring, at least not that I recalled.
My dad knew said Shine’s Spring was a well-known landmark a century earlier.
That’s all I needed to know, really. I loved poetic sound of Shine’s Spring.
As I played around with internet domain names, my inner marketing strategist kicked in. Apostrophes don’t translate well in branding and having two ss in a domain name seemed likely to cause problems. I could see that shinesspring would not work well as a url. Too many people would leave out a s.
I opted for Shine Springs Farm. Still accurate, since we have more than one spring on the farm.
The Shine Vision
Around that same time, I had crafted a personal values statement and had an emerging vision for something new I wanted to do in my life so I began calling this the Shine Vision and Values.
Basically, I wanted to shine in all facets of my life.
I had a farm name: Shine Springs Farm and I had a values statement to serve as a constant reminder of what I needed to consider when making choices about what to do next. I also had the framework of a vision to do meaningful work that was consistent with my values that served a higher purpose than simply making money (much as we all need it).
I knew that organic farming would never be a primary vocation, at least not for the next 8-10 years. Shine Springs Farm would emerge over time into something big, but it wouldn’t be the primary focus initially.
My vocation would need to be something than generated more income than farming could produce in the short term. I don’t have a trust fund and I don’t have a retirement fund and I no longer have a nest egg (the Ph.D. depleted that), so work that produces income is a necessity.
As I worked on the Happy Life Manifesto, I began to understand what it means to shine in life and I wanted to share what I’d learned.
Helping others to Discover, find Inspiration, to Grow and to Shine is basically how I sum up my mission these days. Eventually, for branding purposes and explaining it to others it’s easier to shorten it to three words:
Discover. Grow. Shine.
Shine Springs Farm Shinecast®
In September 2012 I launched my first podcast, the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast®, and knew that whatever else I did going forward I wanted podcasting to be a part of it.
More of the story later.