Over the weekend, I sat on the back deck of a cabin located at the top of a mountain looking out onto the horizon. I was thankful for the opportunity to slow down and unplug. There was no noise or outside distractions. I was simply able to be – in silence and in stillness without interruption.
It left me wondering how many of us, especially as we get busy with our careers and parenting, allow ourselves the time to put it all away and disconnect from things so that we can reconnect with ourselves and nature.
One of the best gifts I didn’t even know I needed, that moving abroad and changing everything provided for me, was stillness. But it took drastic changes in my life and circumstances for me to realize it. Sometimes I think back to the stress-filled days of raising two babies and simultaneously climbing the ladder and wish I knew then what I know now about stillness and slowing down. I was intentional about setting boundaries to compartmentalize my time spent at work and time spent with family, but stillness wasn’t something I was good at – not at all.
I was in a constant state of doing.
And looking back on it now with awareness and an open heart, I see how distracting that type of life can be. When you are constantly running towards something – a career goal, a personal accomplishment, a new relationship – you lose sight of what is right in front of you and eventually disconnect from your authentic self.
My time away in the mountains removed from everything reminded me of just how valuable that time is, particularly as there has been so much on my mind recently between moving houses, work, and life.
But how many of us walk through each day, struggling to make choices in our lives simply because we are inundated with distractions, leaving us with little to no clarity or space to contemplate what we actually need in our lives.
I was talking with a girlfriend recently about this very thing. For both of us, we spent years poring into our careers, fully immersed in ‘the grind.’ When she stepped down from her position, it was done with the intention of spending more time at home with her growing family and allowing herself the freedom she needed to choose when she wanted to work and with which clientele she chose to work with.
For me, that freedom came unintentionally when I walked away from my career and chose to move abroad. I didn’t even know how much I valued time freedom, until I had it. And little did I know then just how much I needed it.
For a long time, I thought my constant need for doing was driven by my own circumstances, making up for the fact that we were struggling in our marriage. But the reality is that I used success and accomplishments to fill my cup – to make me feel whole. Our struggle just perpetuated that need to accomplish, which was a great distraction.
I wore a mask of strength and success but underneath all of that was a simple longing to be seen, heard, accepted, and understood – a place of vulnerability that had previously been reserved for only a few select friends with whom I would remove the armour.
But life isn’t a battle. Life is a process.
It took walking away from everything I thought defined my life – success, a beautiful home, friendships, familiarity – for me to realize simply being was enough.
Vulnerability was something I desperately needed in my life but didn’t know until I found myself halfway across the world trying to redefine what everything looked like – including myself – that I realized it.
Over the course of the last year, I learned what a blessing stillness can be. And this is what prompted me to go to the mountains and disconnect for a few days – intentionally engaging with stillness in an open space to just be.
And as I sat there in silence, surrounded by nature, I was once again reminded of this simple truth:
Less doing. More being.
As a career-minded business woman this was a difficult concept to grasp – at first.
How can I do less and be more, while still having a career? At what point do you let go and trust? Where is that trust met with action? The same questions can be posed in any aspect of our lives – parenting, relationships, etc.
For me, the answer was listening to my intuition and engaging with action intentionally – allowing a greater purpose to guide my decisions.
And that trust has changed the game for me completely – both personally and professionally.
I no longer find myself constantly exhausted and running towards something. Stress and control have given way for trust and peace. I am comfortable knowing that things will work out exactly as they are supposed to if I just allow things to be.
Sometimes the simple act of trust can be our greatest asset.
This week, let’s all allow ourselves the space we need in our respective lives to be present – removing noise and distraction, or faulty ideas of who we think we are supposed to be. Whether you are weighing your career options, contemplating a move, or thinking about your personal relationships – extend yourself the gift of being present and aware, of trust.
Less doing. More being.
You may never know what answers lie beneath all the clutter of your life that you are allowing to distract you from the truth – from your truth.
Cheers to a new week and allowing yourself to trust the process.