LEARNING TO MASTER THE ART OF SLOW… and how it has profound ramifications on my productivity
What on earth do you mean I’m going to hang out at the beach and in taverna’s all day? Are you mad? Order one coffee and chill for 3 hours using high speed Wi-Fi?
IS THIS what people do on Greek islands?
I’m going to seriously have to LET GO and de-clutter my schedule, brain and expectations of a usually fast- paced life. It is never that easy for me to voluntarily slow down. Usually it’s because I’m a little stressed about running my own business, taking best care of clients, a little too close to burn out for my liking as I don’t always know how to say NO or have overdone it at some level, maybe feeling mentally or physically tired and only then do I KNOW I need to rest and recuperate. Can you relate? Or I go intensely extreme and do a mammoth yet very healthy 7-day juice detox to reset my button. I find a way – one that usually works 80-90 % of the time. I take my own advise as often as possible (otherwise what’s the point of offering it to you?). I definitely DO take plenty of play time and fun time and relationship time, but I still tend to veer towards the working hard syndrome, and can work 8 hours a day at my computer – working online, writing, creating talks or running groups. I pretend to myself I am cracking “it” and just working 4-hour days but I don’t think it’s honestly true all the time. The joys of self-delusion you know?
I totally fantasize about the concept of leveraging and smartening up my productivity, and have definitely improved at least 250% in the past 5 years compared to the last 43 years of my life and so in certain aspects I even feel like I am getting it right. I just know my predominant trap is to keep going back to my default of PUSHY PUSHIER PUSHIEST zone. This is one of the 5 GLITCHES I speak about in my second book – DITCH YOUR GLITCH.
So, just like you, I am most definitely a work in progress, evolving and making better choices as often as feels possible. Can you relate to that – a STEP by STEP journey?
The art of SLOW is particularly onerous for me to just “drop” into. I know full well the benefits, both short and long term and even meditate regularly and write morning pages, but before long I’ll usually be dashing off to do something with someone, somewhere, for work or play. Now if I want to DASH in Greece it is by foot or bicycle! Forced into the art of SLOW. So I am stuck with my island choice and me for a month. Sounds bliss, and it IS, and yet it also has its challenges for Ms. Quick here. So my quest is to see if slowing down will actually add to my productivity?
Do you ever battle with slowing down, surrendering and BE-ing?
A few years back when I went through a re-branding exercise of my business, and me I starting looking at how my energy most loves showing up in this world and the best way I find myself helping other people. Why do people seek me out and for what kind of support and help? Whilst I have many clients that have been through a long, deep, slow process with me, more often than not I do shorter zaps of intervention on specific aspects of life, a whole life makeover or a home de-clutter. But it’s usually more of the #quickshift “in and out”. Hence the QUICK SHIFT DEVA (latter word means shining light). It’s about how do I best support YOU to shine YOUR light, let go of clutter and STEP UP in your world? And let’s not waste too much time getting to the point. Let’s focus on RESULTS.
Yes, yes! I know – I speak fast, eat fast, enneagram fast, dance fast, laugh fast, learn fast and move fast. It’s also precisely why I do Yoga where I have to stand STILL and on ONE leg to encourage me to engage and be mindfully present.
I also like to change fast, move homes fast and don’t muck about too much.
And yes, it comes to bite me on the butt and then when times DO demand it I can somehow totally come to a standstill and halt. I believe it is not healthy to attempt to CHANGE one’s inherent nature, our natural born talents, strengths and essence and in fact it goes against every cell in my body. I also know, as per everything in DITCH YOUR GLITCH, that your very point of power can also be your very same point of undoing. So I believe we have to muster up a massive sense of irony, humour, honesty and learn WHEN to temper aspects of ourselves at certain times to prevent burnout, to save face, to restore vitality or to up the ante. I know that we are NOT called on to remain EXACTLY THE SAME day in and day out. Life is an ebb and flow. Just like the sea I’m listening to as it laps gently at the shore at my feet.
So here I am – on the 3rd largest island in Greece, called Lesvos. On the west coast in a wee fishing village called Skala Eressos. It is famous as the birthplace of the famous poet and teacher Sappho, and as such is very popular with women travellers seeking inspiration and connection from around the world. I am here because of a work colleague, Sarah – I invited her to come and add her very special expertise and magic to my “book writing” mastermind groups last year, and we are now on our 3rd group together – and this is where she just happens to live.
It’s often so simple as to why we land up where we do. Why are YOU where you are today?
I was coming to the island to co-run our WRITE YOUR BOOK retreat at the end of June, and then got a call to do some work in Romania a month before. No why on earth would I travel “back” to the southern hemisphere instead of coming to chill on this island for 3 weeks till the retreat starts. So I find myself here for a total of 4 weeks, adjusting to island life. QUICKER than I thought possible!
Ha ha you get the irony right? Adjusting to SLOW, FAST!
I thought I would really battle for the whole month and here I am on day 4, surprisingly IN the rhythm with a little coaxing. Most locals wake up for a coffee MAYBE at 8, MAYBE, with breakfast at about 11 ish _ which could be a small cookie type thing, eat some brunch at about 2pm, rest late afternoon then stay out every night till at least midnight. The taverna’s come to life at night -well so I am told as I’ve been back on my little farm cottage before it gets dark – still getting the hang of cycling on dirt roads – have fallen once and am not in ‘party’ mode and I’m in bed by 9 pm as soon as it gets dark. Whoaaaa the high life hey. So I’m not quite on the local rhythm zone, but I’m on my own very, very slow and mindful version.
I wake at 5am, letting the light stream into my room, chatting to the cute black kitty that visits me every morning, mewing for some milk, then cycle from my farmland cottage along dirt roads to the village in swimming costume and summer dress hiked up around my thighs as I’m on a “boy” bike with the straight bar across the top (VERY elegant). I meander along to the wee fishing harbour – turquoise and azure blue and there is usually NO-ONE else around so it’s my favourite time of solitude and contemplation. That has always been how I have found a little dose of SLOW my entire life – pockets of time before all hell breaks loose in my day and other people come alive.
Do YOU have pockets of slow? No matter how short?
Then I usually have a little wander around, take pictures, watch the fishermen, and reflect on the day past and to come and of course always start to ponder the bigger picture of “stuff” I’m working on for my business. With an upcoming trip to the USA to launch my speaking and books in the big wide world, I feel my energy leaving the village to the skyscrapers of New York, Boston and Stockbridge. Then I come to my little “spot” – the only open coffee shop where I work for about 3 hours. I can plug my laptop in and access awesome Wi-Fi. This is where I type right now….
At 10.30 every day there is group of intrepid women ROCKERS – we swim out to the big, beautiful rock 400 metres away for a sense of adventure, community and strength building. You can see how far it is in pics below, plus swimmers get a ‘medal” on their first swim. Good way to compensate for all the baklava! My shoulders can tell you how far it is! I have never swum in the sea in this way before – I have been more of a wave swimmer rather than crossing open water. 800 meters of blissful blue!
WANT TO GET STARTED MAKING SOME CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE?
If you feel inspired to start making some small shifts in the direction of a better life, then the very best way is to get you started with my popular QUICK SHIFT 1 THING – a short, powerful, free video course using the 4 G -SPOTS of transformation. GRAB IT HERE and join thousands of clients around the world.
Small TWEAKS for BIG LEAPS
Can you possibly gift yourself some chill time in the next while? I KNOW your schedule is busy with lots of commitments right now, so maybe it’s a simple long weekend beach holiday and maybe it’s a loooooong bubble bath with a great book and glass of wine?
Or is CLUTTER bogging you down right now? STUFF that’s no longer serving you? Then make sure you come on over to my new facebook page HERE where I will offer you all sorts of tips and advice.
I send you deep waves of blue bliss from Skala Eressos,