Dear lil omm,
You may not know this, but I worked for lil omm briefly more than a year ago, just after moving to DC. I was hunting for a full-time job in the policy world after teaching Gender Studies in Colorado. I applied to lil omm, thinking simply that I might work at a front desk and enjoy the perks of free yoga in the meantime. Pleasance had a bigger vision, and as you all know, her enthusiasm is magnetic, and I wanted to be a part of her world. After only a few weeks of getting my feet wet behind the scenes at lil omm, I was offered a full-time job in the professional world and felt that working in an office was the adult choice to make. Pleasance didn’t know this, but I spent the night before my first day at the law firm crying on my bed being gently comforted by my husband who reassured me that I could keep working at lil omm if that was what I wanted to do. But I woke up the next day, hiked up my business-appropriate pants, and walked to the office with a cup of coffee and half-hearted hope for my new life.
Over the next seven months, I spent just about every morning meditating before I dragged myself to the office, a strained, tense, closed in workspace, for a job that did not challenge me intellectually or creatively. The guided meditations were accompanied by journaling prompts, and I often found myself writing about Pleasance and her creative, engaged, whole-hearted, and AWAKE approach to life. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that lil omm was the community I desired and Pleasance the role model I needed. As my own business, Catalyst Wed Co., grew, I felt that I had reason enough to take my life back. I hesitantly reached out to Pleasance on a Friday, asking if there was still space for me. She welcomed me with open arms, and I gave my notice that Monday.
lil omm is more than a job to me. lil omm represents the intentional community I seek to cultivate in my own life. lil omm reminds me that mindfulness is the simplest investment I can make with the greatest return. lil omm reaffirms my belief that work should be a meaningful extension of one’s purpose, integrated into a full and spacious day. A year or so ago, I was lamenting to Pleasance about my unmet desire to have a “real” job that would do justice to my higher degree and more importantly, make my family proud. She smiled knowingly and warned me that “once you’re awake, you can’t go back to sleep.” Now, more than a job title, I want to wake up each day feeling spacious, feeling hopeful, feeling whole; and that’s the gift of lil omm.