I did something radical…..and my first thought is always “oh don’t share that, it’s not interesting enough, good enough etc etc”. So in the name of wholehearted leadership I’m sharing it!
The radical thing I did, or rather didn’t do! Was that I stopped. I stopped doing everything I was doing, taking on clients, writing, blogging, even posting on social media and I just took a few weeks to settle into myself. To choose myself. Over EVERYTHING else.
I had been to the UK to look after my Dad after a long stay in hospital and I had BIG plans for while I was there. I dutifully took my laptop, my iphone, a big folder and notes and stuff I might need for article planning and business development and program creating. And I did……..well…nothing…none of it…nada…zilch…zeeeroooo. Yep what a ride! You know how it is, for us multi-passionate entrepreneurs, most of the time it’s ‘can’t stop won’t stop’, right? I mean who has time to do nothing? Well technically I did a lot for my Dad in terms of cleaning, shopping, cooking and looking after him, talking for hours about our lives, all we have done, all we want to do. But after the dust had settled I just decided not to do any of the (previously labelled) pertinent stuff, like…oh you know earning a living! It was hard, believe me, with every fibre of my being I wanted to do it all.
At first the choice was easy I was focussed on my Dad and the day to day operations required for life after someone comes out of hospital. But later it became gradually more conscious. Watching his gratitude for life, the simple things, it changed me. And even when I came back to Australia, tired and jet-lagged I just stopped trying, working, doing. And I discovered something even more radical! It was all just covering something up.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the field I work in, I love working with clients, I love natural skincare, aromatherapy and beauty, I love writing. But even so, even with all of that I had started to do the things that were less important more of the time, the things I felt I should do, rather than what I was inspired to do. And I learnt a lot, mostly that we are kidding ourselves about the important stuff, it’s amazing how much more productive I am in an hour now after this radical reset than I was before! It’s like I have cut the fluff. Bypassed the bullshit. Shortcut the mundane.
We ALL do it, as entrepreneurs and business owners we get caught up on deadlines, most of which (ok ALL) are self-imposed. We get starry-eyed about fake goals we forgot we no longer want to chase. And most of all we lose the pizazz of the childlike wonder from when we start things, the kind of playful creative malarky that makes it all seem like fun and we begin to wonder if it will EVER feel like work. We make the menial stuff like the function of a button on a website or the look of an image on a newsletter more important than the spirit of it all. In short, we forget why we are doing things in the first place. And I can tell you from this experience, the ONLY way to remember is to stop. Stop it all. Daydream. Journal for the sake of it. Look at the sky (when was the last time you just looked at the sky for goodness sake!)
I’m not saying it’s easy by any stretch of the imagination! Quite the opposite in fact if my iphone hadn’t conveniently carked it in the UK and left me alienated from the world of social media for the best part of 2 weeks, and if I hadn’t been forced into the day to day life operation of getting my Dad up, dressed and out of the house in the most fundamental way you can possibly do life, who knows? Maybe the chance for this reframe would never have come? Maybe the eclipse and mercury retrograde really did work in my favour for this reset that could not have come at a better time for my health, my mindset and who knows what else.
I don’t know how to tell you to do this. You could try opening up space in your schedule. Or just planning a few days of nothing. Maybe even take yourself out of your environment for a while away from all the acoutrements of business, life, success! I don’t have the answer to that. But I do know this. If you gift yourself this time what you will get in return is a massive rush of creativity, a burst of fresh inspiration, a gold rush of spirit-fuelled insight. It’s imperative, your soul needs it, your family needs it, heck your business needs it trust me on that one! Its counter-intuitive for most of us not to earn but like an plant that gets over-tended and watered way too much….it starts to drown, and die. Dramatic visual but something to think about. What are you killing? What possibility are you crushing? You don’t even know until you back away from it all and let it breathe. Even if it’s just for a day, even an afternoon, even one whole hour. I’m giving you permission, not that you need it, but you know, it’s kind of nice to get the sick-note! But just go, do it, let’s start creating the life we really want, rather than the one we planned…
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