Slow down: follow the example of nature

My words for the next few weeks are: Slow down. 

I had a seven-week period in which I was in a different country almost every week. All the events surrounding the book launch were happening, and I was happening with them. I went from Scotland to England to America back to Scotland, to Northern Ireland, back to Scotland again…and within those I was visiting different cities and states and islands and areas. 

Amazingly, I felt really good. I found a swimming pool in all those places and was swimming three to five times a week. I continued my habit of walking every day. I was eating well and sleeping decently well and had energy and was thrilled about it! 

I forgot that even when you have energy and feel amazing, it’s still right to slow down. Otherwise, your body will do it for you. 

It’s hard for me to slow down when I feel good. When all these things were happening, I kept waiting for the shoe to drop or to get sick or to collapse a bit…and I didn’t. For the years I lived with M.E., this kind of activity would have felt impossible: so when I’m able to do this level of activity, I just keep going.

Keeping going is one of my strengths…but it’s also one of my shadow behaviours.

So, last week, very unsurprisingly, my body did collapse a bit and I needed to cancel a few days of meetings. 

Then I got a speeding ticket in the post. 

I also remembered I would have gotten a speeding ticket in America, too, but the very nice (very young) police officer let me off with a warning. (Probably because I was visiting the States and leaving the country the next day.)

Hmmm, I thought. Maybe all this energy feels good, but what am I rushing for? 

A few weeks ago my word was “notice”. I wanted to, amongst all the events and travel, really look around and see the trees, the sky, the people, the places, the magic. 

Now my words are “slow down”, and it’s been a daily reminder this week. I wanted to go for a swim every morning, but I chose not to go several mornings, on purpose. I’d go out to run an errand and instead of running four other errands at the same time, just did the one errand and came home. 

I had my coaching session with my business coach yesterday and to some of his questions I just said, “I don’t really know right now”. We agreed that was okay, that was healthy. 

There’s a natural sort of slump, or post-win exhaustion, which kicks in after something major has finished. The book launch and all the events surrounding it were exciting! And worth celebrating! And people are reading the book and finding it helpful and telling me about it!….And I’m tired. 

I struggled writing this Note today. I skipped it last week when I wasn’t well, but I’m following the atomic-habit practice of “don’t skip twice”, so here we are. I wondered if I had anything worthwhile to say, or whether I’ve already said it many times over, or someone else has said it. 

But autumn-leading-into-winter is when the world itself slows down. Leaves fall from trees. The sun gets up later and goes down earlier. It’s darker for longer. Animals hibernate. 

Technology allows us to skip the seasons: we can turn on lights and turn up the heat and wear a headlamp and have the exact same life we had in the summer…

…but actually, it’s a good thing to mimic the season we’re in. 

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Road trippin and tomb hunting in the northern Irish countryside with one of my life besties. It’s a satisfying thing to climb these hills and watch the clouds move… and explore the old tombs which are older than the pyramids. 

Here we go. 

#adventures #roadtrip #northernireland #sperrins #tombs #giantsgrave #satisfyinglife #trekking
What will you do when you’ve arrived?

One of the things business owners tend to focus on is getting the business to run without you.

Systems, team, leadership, pricing… you work so hard on each of these and it often takes longer than you expect.

Maybe you have a vague idea of what you’d do with all that free time once it appears, but I’d guess just as many of you aren’t 100% sure what that will look like.

Every day is so full you don’t have to time to pause. “I’ll spend more time with my family”, you tell yourself. More holidays, more of whatever fills you up.

It might be cooking or DIY or reading, but equally it might be writing a book. Coaching. Speaking. A second or third business of a new kind. 

Which means NOW is the time to start thinking about it.

That can feel overwhelming, if things aren’t “sorted” yet. You still have team issues, or the systems and tech are taking longer than expected to deliver results. You’ve lost some clients, or are struggling to get new ones.

The fact is, all those things may be indicators you’re closer than you realise.

These issues will get sorted – and the moment they do, you could hit a point where you have that spare time. You have a little more energy, or money, or space and freedom. For whatever. 

Now what?

What’s that “whatever”?

That’s when you start looking at your personal brand.

It’s different from your business brand. Instead of being focused on an audience, buying a service; instead of being something which summarises an entire business including clients and team, now you have the opportunity to consider what summarises YOU.

What you care about. The message you’d get out to the world if you could. The kind of people who think the way you do.

If this is even a *glimmer* of a thought in your mind, I’d love to hear from you. I’m working on a live workshop event in the UK, and I want to make sure we cover what would be the most helpful for you, right now.

Before everything is “sorted”.

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