I’ve been told I’m always working on something as often as I’ve been deemed a “Lady of Leisure”. That phrase was placed like a crown on my head when I went down to part-time to begin building my business. Do I have more free time than others? I run my own business so I’d guess not. Yet I live with a philosophy which includes the creation of room in my schedule for all that’s important to me. Had I continued on at the regular job working for someone else under their rules and values which didn’t match mine…I would have become a disaster. I now follow my own values and rhythm, and yes, I have more responsibility but I’m much happier. My life and schedule is far from perfection as we are all works in progress. I don’t always get to work on my creative projects as often as I’d like, for example I’m just jumping back into working on my book which will be such a gift to share when I’m done. It’s important to my heart that I get this project done. I believe in putting forth your best to serve your heart’s mission. That includes time to play and relax and that’s part of my life philosophy which is rooted in the work I do. With the movement work we have to feel and sense what is going on. That means you stay connected to yourself. We take pauses and rests when appropriate…allowing for us to be at our bests. This means I attempt to live my life in the same way…flowing with a pace and a rhythm that makes sense to me in the moment. Not at a pace someone else determines which does not honor the soul’s cravings.
In the Abundance Cubed program I’m in this year for wellness entrepreneurs I’ve just finished reading an inspiring book by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, called “Let My People Go Surfing”. Because of Yvon’s passion and connection with nature and exploring the element it led him to develop a tool company first and then a clothing company. His companies weren’t built to just make money, they were grown to help people do what they love: climb and be in nature, and be clothed well as they explore the elements. It wasn’t built with traditional “business” philosophies, either. For example, Patagonia has a policy that allows people to take off time for their sport or hobby when the weather is right called “Let My People Go Surfing”! I love that because they get to nurture their soul’s cravings to do what they love. And as one can’t plan good surfing weather they get to go when the weather is right. Our inner callings are important to feed, and yes, business does need to get done, but not at the cost of extracting all the juice of life out of the people who work at a company. I once had to write a 3 page letter to my boss proposing three different work schedule that would benefit our clinic in order for me to be off one hour early on Thursday evenings in order to be able to dance with my dance troupe. I proposed that people are happier when they can do things they love and that carries over into the workplace. My boss did accept one of the schedules that I proposed, so I ended up working very odd hours so that I could dance with my team in order to prepare for our Miami competition. It was so worth it to me and I was happier being able to do what I love. I even have more freedom today as I am my own boss.
In order to be your own boss you have to be self-motivated and willing to keep creating new things. There is a balance of what we call “work” and “play” that must occur…and I really believe that one can, if keeping that healthy balance, feel like they are playing while they are “working”. And I do strive to work at my playing, too. I like to achieve higher levels of success and satisfaction with that I create, even in my playtime. For example, I do enjoy learning new painting techniques, even though I don’t paint often, I enjoy it and I enjoy seeing my progress blossom, too! When I’m working with a client I want to play in the present moment with them to create transformation that will best serve them. It’s more likely to be something beautiful and enjoyable if I’m thinking of our time as playing to create versus “work”. That’s easy for me to do, as I love and enjoy what I do. Now the paperwork is another story, so I take breaks and try to make it as fun as I can by flip flopping with frequent breaks doing something I DO enjoy and taking those breaks before I get to a frustration point.
There was a quote on page 165 of the book that I resonated so deelply with. Here it is:
I so agree with that. Just this week one of my previous clients said she couldn’t wait to see me because “You’re such a breath of fresh air”. Perhaps it’s because I take the time to enjoy my leisure fully. I read for pleasure, I enjoy live art performances regularly (music, theater, dance, museums) and even dabble in most all of the above arts myself. I enjoy many quiet mornings where I meditate on a daily lesson (if only for 5min) and do yoga (if only a few poses) outside as I greet the sun. I oftentimes create a breakfast with tons of color that I enjoy leisurely on my patio, weather permitting. I find food displayed with beautiful colors a delight so I take time to put it together in a way that is pleasant to my eyes. Everything we like can be celebrated. And being in nature is a huge part of my happiness, so I go outside as often as I can. Even when I’m prepping movement lessons…outside on Mother Earth is the best! So despite me not climbing mountains with the pro tools like Yvon, I still resonated deeply with his nature passion and plenty of the philosophies he has for his business. It’s a great read that shares philosophies that I wish more business (and people) would follow and apply. I think the world would be a happier and better place to live. Doing no harm (environment and all), no hierarchy, and values that connect are just a few that spoke to me.
Every good evolving person (and business) must embrace change and cultivate change as stagnation is death. It’s time for me to up the ante and pump in more positive changes so I can reach more people with my healing work. I plan on having fun doing it. I take great pleasure in building a business and reaching people with my whole heart and mind. I would not have always been able to do what I’m doing now. When I went part-time in order to grow my business I stumbled upon a group that deepened my healing work. I feel it is core work for a person to move through life healing those wounds of the past so that they can be free and uninhibited in the present to share their gifts and truly shine. So I’m very grateful I did that work. I don’t think I would have had the courage to do what I’m doing now if I didn’t heal those wounds of my past. One quote that has touched me and reminded me of that deep work I did is “The longest journey one will ever take is the journey from their head to their heart”. My book of life philosophies would include that deep inner work be completed once, thoroughly and then on an ongoing basis as issues come up. This allows one to stay connected to their heart and continue to be their best, versus putting up walls of protection which can limit. I worked really hard at that work and I still do because I know I shine best when I’m living from that heart space connected with my mind, versus disconnected. I’m here to help people connect to their centers/hearts too…thorough creating movements that best serve their intentions. Life can work, movements don’t have to be painful…once we learn to let go of what doesn’t. Discovering other options and building awareness of that takes exploration time. But time well worth working on so we can play harder, experience more joy, and be free.
Another thing I found interesting in the book was a zen master’s quote about (and I’m paraphrasing as the book was due back) if we want to change government, you have to change corporations, and if you want to change corporations, you have to change the consumer. That leads us back to ourselves. And I agree! Internal work is needed to create the external changes. And in our political world right now that is SO critical, so where can we start? Right with ourselves. Let’s be the change we want to be. We are responsible for the outer world and that’s a reflection of our inner world. So that cycles back to self-time leisure, or playtime being crucial for us to know ourselves, enjoy ourselves, stay connected with our hearts…and in doing so, becoming the types of people who make positive outer transformations in our own lives and in the world (and hopefully, government)!
Diversity and variety is also essential in good business, Yvon mentioned. I love that because that is ALL about what I do with people. I help them remember other movement options that are available and magic happens. Freedom and feeling good expands! Also, I’m trusting growth will happen in business as I continue to put in the time to try different things in business this year. Change! Bring it on!
Let My People Go Surfing inspired me to not give up in reaching more people to help in healing transformation. I am and will continue to share my unique gifts. I feel affirmed and supported in my very non-traditional business philosophies so well reflected in Mr. Chiounard’s book. Grateful to have read it. And thrilled to be here serving in my own company designed from philosophies from my heart!