Like many entrepreneurs I hustle, I work extremely hard, I never stop. I say that I live in a state of perpetual motion and if you know me personally when I’m not actually moving my leg is probably bouncing at 1000 mph or I’m doodling in my notebook to stay focused.
I’ve been on a multi-year journey to move into a more introspective place. I didn’t start out knowing that’s what I needed in my life, but I have found that is the case. It all started with going to therapy and battling anxiety and depression that would set my IBS off to a point I couldn’t leave the house some days. I made some poor decisions and found what it’s like at the bottom of the proverbial hole. Therapy was a start but not a solution for me.
Exercise had always been my outlet, but what I’ve learned is that’s not contemplative time that’s needed for the strength of mind as well as the body. I like to run long distance but that isn’t sufficient either, you can’t just be in your head, you have too much to pay attention to — cars, bikes, potholes etc….so the journey continued.
About 3 years I got a puppy and while she has lots of energy and loves to walk, she is always stopping to sniff something, just sitting outside in the sun, or just wanting to cuddle and be loved. She makes me stop and look at the surroundings and take time to think, or stop working and sit with her. It’s a time of self-examination, after all, she may understand me (at least in my mind she does) but she can’t talk back.
I read a few of Robin Sharma’s books (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Leader Who Had No Title) and saw the need to increase time spent looking inwards. I’ve since adopted the Peloton lifestyle and found guided meditations with amazing women like Aditi Shah and Kristen McGhee. The breathing and focus required is something I’ve honestly never tried before. Sitting in stillness focused solely on one’s own energy and releasing negativity is difficult work, but it’s highly rewarding. Each day I work to bring that into my daily life — acceptance, elimination of negativity, I am that I am.
My journey is blessed with consistent travel to the great state of Montana for a game-changing big dream project I support. It’s a place where you can find isolation with your own thoughts high in the mountains. The air is crisper and thinner, and the sounds of silence surround you. You can just think there. I find time on each trip to do that now.
Then this past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to be invited to join a collective of extraordinary visionaries at a workshop with Jeff Hoffman, founder of Ubid and Priceline. Jeff spoke on scaling and branding and so much more — truly inspirational to hear a genuinely good person talk about building billion-dollar businesses. He truly believes in helping his employees find their dreams and is living proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.
So, I’ve tried to find times to slow down, to sit and think, simply to breathe and stop the state of perpetual motion. Of course, seeking introspection is a perpetual journey in and of itself.
Try it out — you may find clarity is right in front of you.