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The Great Pause: What It’s Teaching Us

We spend so much time seeking the answers outside of ourselves. Self-reflection allows us to see that we had them all along.

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Almost a year ago, I wrote an article for Thrive Global called, Want 2020 to be Your Best Year in Business Yet?

It’s sort of comical now to think about it. But at the time I was excited for the year ahead. Like most of us, we had no idea what was right around the corner. Three short months later, the world came to a screeching halt due to COVID-19. It quickly became referred to as the ‘great pause.’

I on the other hand was preoccupied with trying to keep my brick and mortar from being a COVID casualty. Fuck a pause. I felt busier than ever.

Working from my kitchen table. Debit machine in hand. I did everything I could to keep the daily sales rolling in. I drove around the city offering ‘free’ contactless delivery on all orders, created an online store overnight, and continued to process all of our wine orders (i.e., bottling, making, draining barrels, and packing the boxes for customers).

While other businesses shuttered at the lockdown, we did our best to ride the wave. One year earlier, we decided to sell our business. With it still listed for sale, we had a lot riding on the line. Not only did we have the pressure to keep the doors open, we also wanted to sell it.

It crossed my mind that the probability of someone buying a business during COVID was low. But I was determined to make it happen. Against the odds we sold our wine-making business in August of this year. Finalizing the transfer at the end of September. Until then, I didn’t have time to think about isolation or spending time alone.

In fact, I was at the peak of being busy. Trying to figure out how to come down from it all. A big part of my identity was that store. And in under two months it wasn’t anymore. 

“What’s next?” everyone kept asking me. 

I wanted to give them a solid answer, but I didn’t have one. With my store gone, I found myself wanting to hit the pause button. Catch up with the rest of the world.

I spent four years building my brick and mortar. I was craving a break. Like a REAL one. 

This inner voice kept saying, “don’t fill your calendar with work.” Take the rest of the year to reflect, and just be. Something I wasn’t very good at doing. Pausing, slowing down, self-reflection made me uncomfortable.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a manifesting generator. Moving at lightning speed. And has difficulty sitting still for too long. 

In fact, I had a slight panic attack for a few nights in early October. I’d jolt up in bed around two or three in the morning. My heart is racing. Anxious thoughts of “what’s next?” 

I was always planning my next move based on my current circumstances. 

I didn’t like my job, so I found another one to fix the problem.

I didn’t want to own my brick and mortar anymore, I sold it.

I didn’t want to live in a specific city anymore, so I moved.

I was always making my move as a desperate way out of the circumstances I was in. So I never quite stopped to catch my breath, ever! And I certainly never gave myself enough time to figure out what I truly wanted to do. Expectations, opinions, beliefs, and judgements kept me running. 

Running away from myself. 

Now, I’m finally quieting the noise of everything going on around me. Removing the distractions so that I can tune into my own inner voice. Because what I’ve realized since pausing to self-reflect is, we all have the answers within us. We’ve just become used to looking outside of ourselves for a quick fix. 

Sound familiar?

We live in a fix-it culture. Hence why the personal development industry is expected to grow to $13.2 billion by 2022. We rely on others to give us the answers to what our next best steps are in life and/or business.

That is why I want to share two things that I am focusing on for the remainder of this year to help me use my intuition and inner knowing for what’s next:

Leaving Room for Magic

Up until this fall, I was feeling uninspired. I attended a live presentation by Krista Ripma, the co-founder of Authentic Audience, which breathed new life into my work. She talked about leaving room for magic. Sitting with the uncertainty, and not knowing what’s next. Relying on ourselves to let inspired thoughts come to us, instead of relying on others to tell us. We prevent ourselves from experiencing pure magic and creativity when we try to control every facet of our life and business. Filling up every minute in our day with stuff.

There is something beautiful in not having all the answers right now. Trusting they will come. But also leaving space for the inspiration to land. If we’re overbooked, overworked, we don’t leave room for the magic.

Starting With the End in Mind

Chasing the next best thing. Believing at some point we’ll eventually find what we’re looking for through seeking the expertise of others. The problem is, if we don’t take the time to actually figure out what it is that we want and why, it just keeps us chasing until we die. Harsh maybe. But it’s true. So, I’m spending more time reflecting on the type of business and life I want to live and why. This not only will keep me on track, it will help me identify when I’ve fallen off track. And help me get picky with what things are a ‘yes’ and when they are a ‘no’.

We spend so much time seeking the answers outside of ourselves. Self-reflection allows us to see that we had them all along.

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