On a woodsy stroll with one of my daughter's friends I found out that I was smack in the middle of a second Saturn Return. Suddenly, all the crazy things that were happening in my life made total sense.
Some would describe Olivia as an old soul, but that's not how I think of her. I think of her as a thoughtful, open, and curious young woman, which makes her ageless, rather than old.
We are different, living out different stages of our lives. However, what we share in common, besides a deep love for my daughter, is a strong sense of "wonder" vs "what if".
I told her I was in the middle of a full-blown wonder extravaganza.
A certain chain-of-events in my life were forcing me to revisit the past, question my path, and use my intuition in completely counter-intuitive ways. I had not been so uncertain and yet so confident, about what I needed to do, regardless of the outcome, in years.
What I shared with her sounded so familiar she thought I was on my second Saturn Return. She went on to explain how she was on her first. I had no idea. We both instantly whipped out our phones and Googled, and sure enough, I was.
Here is the deal!
Saturn shines on the day you are born from a particular place in the sky. Then orbits around the sun 28-30 years later to the same spot. If you're lucky, you get to experience three returns in your lifetime.
The first one fires up the onset of "adulting" by forcing us to use our intuition and make choices that put us in charge of our adult journeys.
The second one fires up the onset of "destiny" forcing us to master the journey we are on, or create a new one, while we still have time. This choice requires, "intuition on steroids."
Like all muscles, the more you use your intuition, the stronger it gets. If you didn't practice using it for the last 29 years, it was going to be tough. Suddenly, what I was experiencing made sense.
On my first Saturn Return, I became a mother for the first time and had a vision of a better future for myself and my kids . Willing to do anything to stay home with my kids, I left a very lucrative job as the primary breadwinner, knowing that living on a single income was going to be tough.
While it seemed crazy at the time, going against common sense, deep down inside, I knew (without doubt or proof), this was my future path even if I had no idea where I was going. I chose to trust my intuition and set out on a road less traveled.
It's exactly what Saturn hoped for.
To make extra money on the side, I made collage paintings, and every single one sold. So I kept on making art. From there, my canvas grew into walls, and I became a muralist/faux-finish artist. Then, I started making custom paint colors, and before I knew it, I birthed an entire company based on color therapy, and paint that went on like yogurt.
Devine Color launched in 2001 and took on a life of its own. It touched people's lives in ways I could never have imagined. It revolutionized people's homes and the paint industry. I was a feature in every major national publication and became an industry celebrity.
My vision for a better life created a dream I didn't know I had, until it came true!
The road from adulting to destiny was about to get weird.
Eventually, my children grew up. I sold my brand to Valspar Paint, who was then acquired by Sherwin Williams in 2016, resulting in a five-year non-compete clause in the paint business and with it, an identity crisis.
I had no idea where I was supposed to go.
Once again, I trusted my intuition and set out on a road less traveled, this time within myself. I began to journal, practice Yoga, Qigong, chanting, and meditation. During a guided meditation, images of The Big Dipper popped into my mind. I wrote down the word "dip" as a symbol for living a destiny-in-process.
When dotting the "I' with two dots, it changed the name into an ambigram. The meaning became clear. No matter which way our lives turn, we are the one true constant.
That flicker of light ignited into a lightning storm, coinciding with my second Saturn Return. The onset of my "destiny".
This is what I realized the day I learned about Saturn Return.
In the wake of my first one, I had a vision for a better life. I was young and inexperienced, learning to adult. I felt like I was "living the dream" instead of recognizing that a dream lived inside of me, and I was the dreamer. My dream wasn't over. It had outgrown its paint-can so that I could grow too. I was still on my journey. On my way to a destiny I had set my eyes on long ago.
This is why "dip" grew from a symbol, to a mantra, and then a brand.
"We may outgrow trends and color schemes but never who we truly are"
Design Is Personal launched online atTarget in April of 2018. It has gone on to sell on designispersonal.com, lowes.com, target.com, wayfair.com, homedepot.com and walmart.com. I created gretchenschauffler.com to offer expert color advice along with a new blog called Color Baggage, Unpacking My Colorful Life One Story At a Time.
For me there's great comfort imagining a Universe where planets and stars want us to succeed and make our dreams come true. Not through wishful thinking but by taking charge of our lives, trusting in our intuition and building a better life for ourselves and others.
Saturn exited my life and my non-compete in the paint industry ended within weeks of each other.
All I know is that destiny is coming and I see myself as an 88-year-old Master and Commander of intuition, ready for one-hell-of-a Third Saturn Return.
Wherever you are on your returns, I would love to hear about them.
In all gratitude, thank you for reading my story.
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