It is funny, though more funny tragic than funny ha ha, that the events of today arrived on the cusp of a fitful night of waking up from nightmares involving my former business partner and our work together.
I could not fall asleep last night feeling so awful about the way our business work and friendship ended. I finally fell into a disturbed, uneasy sleep from which I woke several times. One time, I awoke to my wolf dog howling. By 5am, I had given up.
I drank some coffee and checked my email. There was a message from my former business partner with a communication that seemed to be requesting use of the domain name I had been using for the past several years for an internship program he was starting with songwriting students.
I asked for clarification and received none. I got dressed and went first to yoga and then for a swim.
After returning home, I received a telephone call from the business mentor we had both been working with. He told me that he had decided to continue working with him and asked if I would consider giving up the business name Story-to-Song. I explained that it was my intention to continue using it, as I have carried on offering the same products—songwriting workshops and custom songs—and that I have been using the domain name www.storytosong.com for the past several years. I simply had needed to step back from the big business model and from the unhealthy impact of working in close proximity with him.
I contacted both mentor and former business partner to try to clarify and resolve the issue.
The response I received was quite shocking:
Hi Marieke… Yes, I am providing the storytosong services and using
the same methods as before, writing songs, conducting the workshops,
and expanding staff through internship training.
The name of the journal is “Documentary Songwriter.” It’s not a business name.
If you’d like to use the url storytosong.com for a time, I can
redirect to your wordpress blog. I do ask you to sign off that you
have no rights or claims to the story to song name or method, though.
How does that sound?
Yours in lots of music,
I can tell you that I am still reeling from this request, which I found to be more of a threat than request. This is not to say that this was the intent in any way. I may simply be creating that story.
It does seem strange that I would be expected to relinquish any and all claims to a method that I have helped to develop with my heart and soul.
It seems that we are both continuing to offer the same services to the world. I think we both should be offering these same services to the world. The world desperately needs more music and more opportunities for people to be heard. What the world does not need is more enmity.
Our mentor suggested that we each devise a new business name and sunset story-to-song. My sweetie suggested that we simply copyright the method and give ourselves equal claim. Seems fair.
I know that it is customary for people to lash out in the aftermath of a breakup, but I am doing my best to refrain froml lashing and to simply write what I am experiencing as it comes up.
In my practice, I try not to redirect anger or negative energy out to the universe. I can feel angry, but I cannot project it and allow it to perpetuate and spiral around the globe and beyond.
Sometimes, working through this anger and searching for peaceful resolutions is more difficult to do than others.
This is definitely one of the more difficult occasions.
I do feel strongly that I am a songwriter and have been an integral partner in developing this beautiful method. I believe that the universe will help me through this process and to get to the other side, where I can continue to offer my own songwriting gifts to the world, as can he, without either of us controlling or inhibiting the other follow this passion.
Perhaps, this is simply a part of the learning process for starting a business. Whatever happens, I intend to honor my commitment to my own truth and the truths of others and allow myself to offer songwriting as a service to creating a more sustainable world.
As always, Namaste.