Interweave Staff Reporter For Piecework Magazine ♦ Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2020
She warned me about the narrow Irish roads but never did I imagine what I was in for! This remote North Atlantic hideaway would be creepy for some, bliss for others. She was honored to accept this interview opportunity and obliged to meet at our Colorado offices, but I just had to experience the opportunity to meet her in her element. At the moment, she is managing her B&B with her husband near Portmagee, Co Kerry, Ireland, so I’m off for an adventurous journey to get the interview!
InterWeave: So what on earth brought you from the outskirts of Seattle to this remote wild Atlantic retreat?
Rebecca: Well, I first came to Ireland while George was in Afghanistan. It was a surreal experience. I felt I was returning home, sensing that I had seen some locations before even though they were not the iconic tourist sights. It was a salmon returning home-like feeling, but as far as I know I gratefully have many more years to go! George and I returned together in 2014, and he fell in love with Ireland just as I had. It was on that trip we decided to spend some long-term time here in the future.
IW: Yeah the salmon analogy kinda loses it once the salmon reaches home! And is there family here for either of you; any connections to locals?
R: No immediate family that is known, however there are relatives yet to be found, no doubt. My lineage is Scotch and Irish, and George has some Irish lineage as well. That surprised him when he learned it from DNA testing. He wants to add an O’ to his last name now!
Even though we don’t immediately know of any local relations, there’s a sense of connectivity to all the people here. Perhaps it’s the gleam in the eye and the obvious intent of truly wanting to know, when a local asks how your day is going. Perhaps it’s the fact that there are more sheep than people in this country while the population remains less than HALF that of the city of LA, so people tend to be more relaxed. Perhaps it’s a combination of the two.
IW: Let’s talk about your work. What are you doing to remain stimulated; occupied?
R: Do I sense you feel a bit boxed in by the quiet? That’s ok! Many people feel an initial shock over how different the environment feels here than some of the even most remote places in the US.
We both stay quite busy, and worldly, I might add! During the summers, we are most likely to be found right here, as I love to serve visitors when they reserve our B&B. During the off months we tend to travel more and either maintain this as our home base or rent it privately for those wishing to visit Ireland in the off season. Since most of our time is spent here, I have my fiber studio out back, chock full of my looms, my spinning wheels and some of my creative workspace. It is also where I house the main operations for my Etsy shop. I even offer classes and studio time there, for guests of the B&B and others. I schedule two fiber arts tours per year and they always sell out fast, in spite of them being rather expensive. People have come to realize that my tours always give more than the already exceptional experience expected, so they tend to sell out a year in advance.
IW: Why only two tours per year if they always sell out so soon?
R: Because I put my heart and soul into the planning of these endeavors! When the tours wrap up, I am flat out exhausted, mind you it’s blissful exhaustion! Coordinating these tours gives me the opportunity to explore the cultures and traditions I want to learn more from, so not only am I lining up all the background details; I am learning through fascinating cultural exchanges right along with my tour participants. You see? I myself am tourist, just as much as I am coordinator!
IW: Wow! What vigor you must have! If I might ask, how did you and George fund all of this- the move out of the US, the acquisition of your own personal real estate in Ireland, the travel? Most individuals moving to midlife and beyond start weeding out the things they don’t have to have until they reach a livable approach to retirement, notwithstanding a sense of limitations. Were you already independently wealthy?
R: Not at all. Both of us came from backgrounds which would have limited our motility if we took it all at face value. However, we both operated smartly before we met. So when we joined each other in this business of life together our general operation codes met, magnified and multiplied. For example, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Even in traditional employment, I leveraged my income by working in fields in which I didn’t solely depend on a flat salary. And I never had only one egg in my basket. I was employed, but I was also in business. I’ve actually built a network marketing business to the point that I have the highest income I’ve ever had, even though, I really only spend maybe 5 hours a week with it these days.
But George is the poster boy for working smart, in my opinion. He built the home we had in the states, from below the ground to the roof shingles, with cash, blood, sweat and maybe even some tears- all of that happening after his day job! And when he does things, they are done RIGHT. His home inspector left his card and pleaded George to call him FIRST if he ever decided to sell. George intended from the day he broke ground to make that home his (and later our) nest egg. At sale time, we determined the profit over total cost of construction was nearly 500%. All that instead of a mortgage! Then there is the matter of his settlement from the lawsuit with his former employer, but that is a another story. Needless to say if we only could rely on my network marketing company, the sale of our US home, or his settlement we would be absolutely fine! There is remarkable freedom when one sets out to make their path what they want it to be!
IW: Now wait a minute. Are you meaning to say that all of this developed by design? How would that be possible? Sure it was a lovely house in the states, but the housing market is so volatile. Sure your business has been successful, but your personality must have pushed others to join you and make you successful. Some people just “have what it takes in home businesses after all. And this settlement you refer to- what if it didn’t go the way it did? It’s not as if you could have planned any of this stuff.
R: I’m sorry. I seem to have gotten us off topic. We’re supposed to be just talking about my fiber arts endeavors, right? Should I answer your last questions, or should we redirect and discuss these things later?
IW: No, please proceed as long as you don’t mind. I’m really getting the flavor for what makes your creative work so freely expressive and liberated from convention.
R: Thank you. Well, here’s the condensed story. A few years ago, I participated in a six month intensive personal development program. It helped me learn, in real time, that I truly am the author of my life. You see? We all tend to live impulsively. We react to our outer world with external responses. But I learned that at least 90% of our mental life is subconscious, but we’ve largely ignored it! We tend to only consciously react to our environments. Through this process I learned to direct my subconscious to create what I wanted my life to be. And it worked!
IW: Sounds amazing. So do you credit all your success and talents to this program?
R: Not my talents. I have refined my talents with it for sure, but I had some of the talents before the program. They were just trapped in me. I was overcome with the need to pull everything off just right, perfectly, before I ever began. As you can imagine, I had lots of great ideas and thoughts, all trapped in my head. It was only after engaging in this program, The Master Key Experience, that my ideas began to couple with action. I implemented the DO IT NOW phrase we were always repeating along with, “I can be what I will to be”. I CAN be who I will to be! And therefore, I am an adventurer, a renowned fiber artist, a successful entrepreneur and so on.
IW: So do you plan on living out your days here on the Emerald Isle?
R: Who knows? I once was one to dwell with the anxieties and regrets of the past and the fears and unknowns of the future. Now? I live in the peaceful, passionate, thriving NOW! Ireland will always hold our hearts, but that’s not to say we won’t wind up finding another corner of the globe calling us for another period of NOW!
IW: That’s amazing! I wish I could live for now- NOW!
R: You can! The primary residence of this state of being rests in your subconscious. But I can’t tell you how to achieve it. You simply have to embark on the Master Key Experience yourself!
IW: Well, I got SO Much more than expected from this interview, and we have fully delved into your art yet. I’ve got to ponder all you’ve shared for a bit though. May we reconvene on another day?
R: Well you will be staying with us the week and I would be absolutely pleased to share more, in your personal and business time. Just ask!
IW: Thank you so much, Rebecca!
R: The pleasure is mine!