Being an entrepreneur is great. You are the Awesome Manager of Everything. You can work, eat, sleep and drink whenever you want and wear your yoga pants to work singing ‘Freedom’ off-key.
You’re the decision maker. And as long as you’re in flow your life is amazing.
But what happens when you have to take care of your sick mother. Your oldest daughter walks around as if she’s responsible for the movement of the earth. And you can’t remember the last time you had a conversation with your beloved that transcended grocerie lists and ‘What time will you be home”.
What if things don’t go so well in your business. Money is getting tight and you start day dreaming about getting a job in a Supermarket.
A job where someone else tells you what you need to do. Because the burden of being in Charge of Everything is just too much.
We all have been there. The sleepless nights. The mornings where getting out of bed seems like an impossible task. The dark worries that turn every bright idea into grey slimy silt.
We all felt it. A wear-out body seemingly made out of stone.
When you find it hard to smile, your answer to “Look for Something Positive in Each Day” is “Fuck off”, you are stuck.
I get it! You need to sell more, get more clients, look shiny and in control. You’re mind is racing and moving eerily slow at the same time. As if you’re in a perpetual mid-sentence dimension and everyone around you is waiting for you to finish your sentence.
You are, my dear, on the verge of a burnout. You’ve lost your happy tune. You’re overstreched. Flow has left the building and you live in the land of Nothing is Possible.
It’s a rotten place to be. I’ve been there, standing at the top of the stairs of my therapist staring down in total panic. How the hell do I get to the bottom of these stairs!?
Before you reach Point Zero I’m going to give you my personal Very Effective and Fun Ways to bring Flow back in your Business, Work and Life.
You are enough. You are enough when you’re feeling beat to hell. You are enough when you’re happy. You’re enough when your skin looks worn-out and grey and you don’t feel as juicy and fresh when you were an 18-year old girl.
You are enough when ideas keep coming like the water at Niagara Falls and when your mind feels like a scary minefield. You are enough with and without clients. You are enough with and without layers of protective fat.
Write it down on notes everywhere. Stick a post-it on your computer. Keep repeating: “I am Enough.”
When you are overburdened and overworked you tend to stop giving attention to the fun section. What’s the point, Right? “Please, let me be. I’m not much fun anyway. I’ll spoil your fun.”
However Fun will save your day. You decide on fun. Suggestions: Dance like there’s no tomorrow. Climb a tree. Read Pippi Longstocking. Pretend to be Pippi Longstocking. Speak fake Swedish and play with Tommie and Annika.
Yes, This is a tricky one. I recently said NO to a very dissapointed woman who wanted me to go door to door for a charity.
Did I feel guilty? Yes. For about 10 minutes. But I do a lot of things for free. And my day has 24 hours too. This is about boundaries. Being of service is great and very important. But be aware why you say yes.
Here’s my trick. When in doubt don’t say Yes to MORE work and giving away precious immediately. Say: “Let me get back to you.” And sleep on it.
I know it’s tempting to go to bed musing about all the things that went wrong. But just don’t give in to that. You’re reading this because you want flow. So, lets get into flow.
Step 1. Set a date in the future. Six months or one year from now.
Step 2. Think about something you’d love to happen. Forget cant’s and couldnt’s. Dream up something big, sweet and beautiful. Feel it, smell it, touch it.
Step 3. Pour a huge amount of gratitude over the dream.
Step 4. Daydream before you fall asleep and before you get out of bed.
It’s got something to do with endorphins and it’s a huge boost for flow.
Think it’s stupid? Want to hear mine?
I’m sitting at a long wooden table in a large studio with a high ceiling and wide windows. I’m wearing a red polka dot dress and I’m skyping with my assistant who tells me I just sold out all my Flow Masterminds. I raise one arm — with red nailpolish — call out “Woohoooo” and feel incredibly grateful and happy.
Music is an easy and great mood booster. Find a couple of songs that will give you confidence, make you feel light or secure and make it into a Spotify list.
Early in my career I was taught an important lesson by a Televison Producer. Spare Time is Holy Time.
The producer told me: “Every week I reserve one evening. I call it My Mocc0na Coffee Evening, after an old Dutch commercial where a woman sat by herself drinking her coffee and sighs happily “I need my Moccona Coffee Moment.”
We all need our Moccona Coffee down time. And we need to guard it.
Even though my life is much busier now than it was back then, I still reserve an entire day every week in my diary for my art, writing, doing small chores, going to museums, watch documentaries and reading.
Since I have an entire ‘Coffee Day’ my productivity has gone up, so has my mood by the way.
Sometimes we need to shock ourselves into feeling differently. If going to the movies at 11 AM is outragous to you, do that.
If sticking out your tongue to your kid will do the trick, do that. Other lovely suggestions: scream in the car or sing very sad songs in your car until the tears come that will wash away your tension.
Skip instead of walk, whistle really loud while buying groceries, wear shocking pink with red, paint your nails in different colors, have a lavish lunch by yourself.
Release your tension on a daily base. Try to go easy on the booze, the chocolate, anger and mean spirited name-calling.
Instead swear. Swear like a sailor. Make it fun: Monstrous Fuckwitting Moron. Well, you get the idea. This is where fun, stress relief and creativity meet.
Let go of stuff you can’t influence right now. Presidents, the price or petrol, Social Media fights… Let it go… Let it go.
It can wait.
Get well first. Focus on Flow. Focus on your well being. You have limited energy, pick your battles carefully. Stay away from everything that sucks away your energy and kills your soul.
Let it go.
Listen carefully, I’m not telling you to take complcated art classes — though you are more than welcome to do so — .
But I happen to know that dedicating 5 minutes every day to doodle: place your pencil on paper and draw circles and flowers, will lower your heart rate, help you breathe slower, reliefs tension and stress. Your face softens, and a smile will appear.
And that tight feeling around your head? Gone in five minutes.
It’s not about the result. It’s about focussing on one fun thing. I created a Free Art Toolkit that helps you to start creating art every day.
Creativity and Flow are best friends. Focus on either and you get both back in your life and business.
Originally published at medium.com