Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Slowing down is a power move

Can I let you in on something personal? It's the part of my journey I've rarely talked about: my slow down and pivot.

Before this change in momentum, there was a distinct period of time where client contracts were consistent. In the span of 5 months, I flew between 3 countries to work with some of my favorite brands. This is where I felt like I thrived the most – in motion. So when work started slowing down for me later that same year (as in zero clients and no cash flow), I was forced to do nothing. I used the opportunity to visit family in Atlanta.

There, in Atlanta, I was far from busy, and couldn’t relate with the word productive. I took walks in the morning, watched new Netflix series during the day, mastered baking homemade bread, learned to take self-portraits with a tripod….and came up with the idea for Pivot & Thrive.

It was birthed in the stillness. 
The idea began to sprout when I found a book that detailed the fine art of negotiating. It took root when I spent time updating my resume. And it flourished when I did nothing but gaze out of my sister’s living room window (because boredom often invites you here).

Pivot & Thrive finally emerged fully 3 months later. And it unfolded into events, a newsletter, and now a podcast. (I talk about this in my latest episode here).

It’s in our (sometimes forced) stillness that we take the biggest leap. And at times, the counterintuitive solution to productivity may lie in the very thing we resist and fear will impede our progress: slowing down. For me, slowing down was a power move.
The benefits to slowing down are numerous. When we’re still, we allow our minds to daydream – which makes us more creative and better at problem-solving.

In Dutch, the term for this idea is known as “niksen” – taking conscious, considered time and energy to do activities like sitting motionless and doing nothing.

Our current circumstance with social distancing vaguely reminds me of this extended stay in Atlanta.

A forced stillness. Now, as we are seemingly hindered from jumping rapidly from place to place, or job to job, there's an opportunity to let our ideas simmer. But, whether you chose to fill this time with productive projects or to simply rest, I hope in this season you tap into grace.

Grace to go at a pace, slow or fast, that feels right for you. Grace to stay focused and not to compare your journey, output, or creativity with others around you. Grace to chose your own pace. 
For some, this period of stillness and social distancing screams: DO MORE, while for others, it's about grabbing the opportunity to rest.

Either way, here's a sweet reminder to all my "I have to keep moving" people, to use this season to settle into God's grace. To let your ideas simmer. And to make your very own power move. You'll be amazed at your confidence in your ideas, and how unbending you are in your decisions.
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