Soulful, Slow Business
I'm feeling the need to sloooooow down. Funny, because winter is more than half way through but my body + soul have been whispering the last few weeks that it's time to hibernate.
Actually, the image that kept coming up for me was a cocoon. It's time to slow way down & just cocoon for a while.
Which sounds blissful, doesn't it?
The only problem being that I seem to have created this go-go-go-full-steam-ahead lifestyle. I've been crazy busy trying to "implement". Trying to do all the things it takes to have/create/run a successful business. Which has left me feeling less focused than ever, more stretched, spread too thin, trying to be everywhere at once - and guess what? Mostly failing. Mostly not getting any of the results that I crave.
But slowing down feels scary.
At least the crazy, hectic, carnival-ride life I've created feels normal. I'm ticking off all the "shoulds". I have momentum (or the illusion of momentum I'm not actually sure which). And slowing down means giving up that coveted momentum I've worked so damn hard to achieve.
What does "slow" even look like? What does the slow version of cash flow look like? (I mean let's be real).
So I heard the whispers and I wondered how I could make it work. I started to consider what "less" would look like.
But I took too long thinking about it.
My body spoke up - this time a little louder, a little more insistently. I got sick. Both my kids got sick too. They missed an entire week of school. And I kept up with work - but just barely. Nose above water but sinking fast. You see, I still wasn't really listening.
7 days later we all got antibiotics and inched towards the land of the healthy and vibrant. Plans resumed. We took my 7-year-old to the Aquarium for her birthday. It was a magical day in the city.
Until 11 pm that night when I was hit with the WORST stomach flu I've ever had. I'll spare you the oh-so-gory details but suffice it to say by morning I was miserable & dehydrated. It was all I could do to shuffle the kids off to school & take myself to the ER.
After some medicine, IV fluids and 5 or 6 hours on a cot in the ER my body successfully had my FULL attention. Also, I had found a way to slow down...or stop, actually.
I knew that no matter what the tests showed (there were several, some scary and thankfully they've all come back negative) I would have to make my health (& myself) my top priority this past week.
Thankfully I have some pretty amazing clients who completely understood.
I took the time to nap. I called in reinforcements. I allowed my husband to take care of the kids more. And I began clearing my schedule.
I read this passage from Rebecca Campbell's book, Rise Sister Rise
"Ask the butterfly. After it has eaten and grown all it can it builds a cocoon. At a glance, the caterpillar appears to be just chilling out and resting, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Inside the caterpillar is rapidly transforming.
It is actually during this resting phase that it is most productive....Interrupt this process too soon and the butterfly would be completely unformed. But wait in faith for just a moment; in between your breaths, something completely new and breathtaking will be born.
We need to change our belief that in order to be productive we need to be busy. To allow the wisdom of our bodies to do what they do best."
And I watched this Facebook video from my friend Jenna talking about the flu and colds that have been going around and what it means spiritually and how you can deal with it. You can check it out here.
Hello, confirmation!! Pretty much everywhere I looked.
So this past week I've made meditation the ONE thing I have to accomplish in the morning. Before I even think about work. I've been listening to my body more, resting, daydreaming, reading to my kids. Quiet activities away from the screen. Away from the business and the busyness that awaits.
It won't be this low-key for long. But now that I'm slow - I'm in no rush to fill the time up again.
I don't want to "keep up". I want to cocoon for a while. Pick my own pace. Choose activities that fuel my creativity. And mostly I want to give myself space every day to do nothing.
Nothing with a purpose.
Nothing aimed at getting me ahead.
I have no idea what doing business slowly looks like. I don't even know if it CAN be done. But I know that's what I need right now, in this moment.
And maybe there's something waiting to be born. A reinvention, or reimagining. Just like the caterpillar who cocoons in order to become a butterfly. But whatever it is I know it won't happen...can't happen without embracing the time & space this creative leap needs.
This won't last forever. I know that too. Like everything it's a stage. But I'm excited to let go. I'm tired of clinging to everything so tightly. And as terrifying as it feels, I'm ready to relax my grip.