When it might be time to make a change : An Interview with A Wild Dove

The original article was published in A Wild Dove

PHOTO A WILD DOVE 

PHOTO A WILD DOVE 

 

Jamie Graber recently made a change, a big one. After seven years owning the popular West Village cafe Gingersnaps Organic, she chose to focus on wellness and lifestyle coaching and recently launched her new website Organically Jamie. It’s not easy to make a change as an adult, and we wouldn’t be alone in often wondering, “What If?” We spoke with Jamie on how she came to make that leap of faith and what’s lies ahead in her next chapter.

A Wild Dove

So you’ve made a huge transition recently. Many of us are probably experiencing similar desires to make a change but we fear what lies ahead. Can you walk us through your thought process in making the change and offer some guidance for our readers?

Jamie Graber

It was a difficult decision and one that I took a long time to make. As the years rolled along with Gingersnap’s I felt less and less inspired. I sat with that and noticed that I was feeling depressed and each day it was more difficult for me to get up and go. Once I got there, I would see the customers and light up, but often I had to go handle some store emergency. I made lists of the things that lit me up and then lists of what I spent my day doing. I took a look at those lists and saw that they were very different and it was in that moment that I knew I had to make a huge change.

My advice is meditate and journal for a month. Notice what you do daily that makes you happy and what doesn't. 
Make lists and compare them. Get a coach to help you navigate making changes.

A Wild Dove

We love how you refer to your work as Cognitive Reframing Sessions. Can you tell us what that means and share what those sessions are like?

Jamie Graber

It is the idea that you have the ability to choose the way you see the world.  We can choose to see life as happening to us or for us. It is your perception that will change the outcome and the journey. It is finding out the thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back and training yourself to see it differently. It is behavioral training that changes the way you perceive the world. It is similar to the Law of Attraction, but goes deeper than that. You have to sit and see what your blocks are and then we do the work to remove them, through pattern changing and Reiki, which is a subtle body energy work that helps facilitate block removals.

A Wild Dove

That makes total sense to us. Especially since we're all trying the be the best versions of ourselves.
For the busy mamas you coach, what is some advice to help them balance, restore and thrive?

Jamie Graber

Start with knowing that there is a reason they tell you to put your mask on first during the safety portion of flights. You can’t be of service to your family without taking care of yourself first, and that is not being selfish. Finding a way to move your body at least 45 minutes a few times a week. There are so many options. The important part is finding something that works for you, something that is fun and therapeutic.  And I would say a daily, nonnegotiable is to sit quiet for a minimum of 10 minutes and do some form of mediation.  This can be mantra based, guided, anything that helps you sit quiet, and breathe.  Long breaths in and out.

A Wild Dove

Food and cleansing was also such a big part of Gingersnaps, how do you think those themes parlay into the work you're doing now?


Jamie Graber

It all goes back to prioritizing yourself and doing things that make you feel good.  Everyone feels better when they are making conscious choices, whether food, thoughts, company. Some sessions are mostly about food, but that is just a small part.  It is the deeper feelings of self worth that most people have to work on.  When you are loving yourself, it is so much easier to make better food choices.

A Wild Dove

It’s amazing to see you truly following your heart. What are some suggestions you can give to others seeking to empower themselves and follow their dreams?

Jamie Graber

Meditate, sit, quiet your mind.  Take the time to really observe what you are doing daily and see if that is bringing you closer to what you really want. I can’t say enough how important I think having a coach can be. The ability to have someone who can be objective about what they see as your blind spots and then holding you accountable is priceless.

A Wild Dove

What makes you fly?

Jamie Graber

Seeing clients, friends and family make changes in their lives based on our discussions. Laughing with my friends and family. Noticing all the blessings and love that surrounds me. Fun projects with my husband, we are currently copper electroforming crystals.

I opened my dream business, so why was I so miserable?

(Original article posted in Well + Good) As many of you know this was a year of big decisions for me.  After 7 years of owning Gingersnap's Organic, I decided it was time to close the doors.  It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, but thankfully also one of the best.  I wrote an article for Well and Good, to talk about how to know when it's time to walk away. Please see the article below.  The full article is available at Wellandgood.com

photo jay peeples

photo jay peeples

When Gingersnap’s Organic closed up shop in January, it broke (healthy) hearts across New York City who had come to rely on the cult fave West Village raw food and juice bar. Here, owner Jamie Graber talks about how to know when to walk away from something that was everything you ever wanted.

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would walk away from my dream-come-true business serving raw, plant-based, healing food to New York City’s West Village—I would have politely ignored them. I probably would have thought they were crazy.

And yet, here I am. I let go of my dream earlier this year. The one I’d worked for years to achieve, and even more years to sustain. And, yes, I mourned it. But how do I really feel? Surprisingly, I am more optimistic and excited about the future than ever.

This is the part no one told me about going after my dreams: that it’s okay to let them go as well.

But “year ago” me would never have believed it. Back then, I knew exactly what my path was and there was no way for it to be different. I was the owner of Gingersnap’s Organic, a successful cleanse company and cafe that ruled my entire life. As far as I was concerned, I had arrived, and it was all about keeping it going—and my day-to-day was going to remain exactly as it always was, constantly solving problems and never getting to exhale.

It is no shocker to hear that running a restaurant, especially in Manhattan, is hard. There are slim margins and lots of chaos. One thing you can count on: Every day you will be faced with a new problem to solve. It can be as small as running out of an item or as large as, oh crap the juicer isn’t working. Either way, I have been the one solving each and every one of those problems for over six years straight, and frankly, I am tired.

When trying to figure out where I go from here, I had a few choices. I could continue with Gingersnap’s Organic and just accept it as my life, or I could have someone else run it. Neither of those sounded right, so I continued to search for a way out of this feeling. Then I went at a workshop about manifestation, and that is when things started to change.

I could have chosen to continue to down the path of frustration and non-fulfillment, or I could turn left into happiness and inspiration. I chose to make the left.

I signed up for a one-on-one session and that decision forever changed my reality. In my first-time session with Lacy, she asked me an important question: “What if your purpose isn’t Gingersnap’s? What if that’s not it?” For a few months, I couldn’t stop hearing her saying it.

I had this dream job, but I would wake up each day in anxiety. I would say to my husband often, “I’m managing employees and vendors instead of healing people. And I just don’t want to do it.”

Finally, I realized: I could choose to continue down the path of frustration and non-fulfillment, or I could turn left into happiness and inspiration. I chose to make the left.

And so the doors of Gingersnap’s Organic closed at the end January, and I’m excited to say I have never been so fulfilled as I am now. I was so afraid to lose my identity as a business owner that I was blocking myself from getting clear on what my purpose truly is.

PHOTO A WILD DOVE

PHOTO A WILD DOVE

 

Throughout the years, I have spent many days at Gingersnap’s spending time with my clients, talking them through their struggles with food, relationships, and just general how to find happiness in the despair. I have been asked to coach, do relationship therapy, give cooking lessons, speak at events, but I rarely had time to say yes. A while back, I started to accept a small number of clients and worked with them in the few hours I had away from the cafe.

The more time I spent with them, the more I lit up. It opened me up to how I truly can serve people in the best way possible. The truth is, I didn’t open Gingersnap’s because I wanted a restaurant. I wanted to heal people and create community—and in the next phase can do that on an even more grand scale.

So, should you quit your job, leave your husband, or move across the world on a whim? I am in no way advocating that. But I am saying that every struggle can be met with opportunity, as long as you are able to see it. It is important to allow yourself to step away from something that is no longer serving you, even when you are afraid.

As Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

Finding Peace in a Turbulent Time, with Jamie Graber and Anne Marie Imperiale; three-part program: 7–9 p.m. March 20, March 27, and April 3; New York City (address provided upon registration); $199; organicallyjamie.com