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5: The art of slowing down
There's nothing that frustrates me more than an unnecessary sense of urgency. This is only exacerbated when it means sticking to arbitrary deadlines.
There's nothing that frustrates me more than an unnecessary sense of urgency. This is only exacerbated when it means sticking to arbitrary deadlines. All the advice for publishing content on YouTube / written platforms suggests that consistent, weekly output is the way to go. "It's the only way to stay on top of the algorithm", they say. I think the real trick is producing quality output, and the only way to get there is by practice, i.e. quantity. However, I'm sincerely hoping a slower, more deliberate approach will yield fruit over a longer time span, so forgive me in advance for my sporadic posts 🙂
Life tends to have enough urgency of its own, and March was no different for me. It was the first month that I was completely self-employed, and an anxious excitement was my constant companion for the whole month as I watched various bank accounts to make sure that everything stayed in the green. I also had two "destination" weddings (weddings that you have to travel the whole weekend for), and I caught COVID at the second of these weddings. Luckily I was only really down for the count for one day though!
This new period of self-employment has added a different dynamic to my working life. I once again found myself working late into the evenings, taking me back to corporate consulting days. However, the work felt fulfilling this time, and I could easily spend hours at my computer. But I also see myself getting addicted to my laptop, going straight from bed to my desk in the mornings. My focus for April will be on implementing more sustainable work practices. And maybe another little project, which will hopefully see me finally pick up my guitar for the first time in a few years!
I stumbled across some great resources that have further reminded me of the wisdom of slowing down and cultivating more awareness in the day-to-day, which might be of value to you.
The first is a book called Anam Cara by John O'Donohue. There's a constant reminder to give yourself the space and time to reflect and to avoid the harsh "neon light of analysis" that shines a spotlight on personal development. Growth and healing are long journeys that cannot be forced into 5-step processes.
The other is this 24 min documentary, "Conversations with Paul Myburgh". Paul lived with the last Bushmen tribe in the Kalahari for seven years, and his deep appreciation of time reflects that. Three of those years were drought years, and his retelling of the tribe's relationship with water is fascinating.
I hope you too can find the calm in the storm wherever you may be this week. We don't need seven years in the desert to stoke our sense of wonder, but a few moments for ourselves can definitely help. 😉
See you soon,