On taking a winter break: small business energy strategy

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Today, 12/23/17, I finished the journal that I’ve been writing in for 3.5 years. That’s a LONG time. When I finished the last page (a gratitude list for the best things to come from 2017), I looked back at the writings I did from Belize last year. I typed them up to share with you here. Many of you were around for this, but the decision to take my meager funds and my tired self and go on an ACTUAL vacation after my first year of starting a business (and quitting my day jobs) was a radical choice in many ways. First, fighting the limiting beliefs of what I can & can’t afford. Who deserves to go on a vacation, anyway, said my old beliefs. Certainly not me. Not until I’ve “made it,” whatever that means. Not until loans are paid off, until I’ve bought my own place, until I’ve got a rockin’ bikini bod, not until I can hire someone to keep the business going in my stead. HAH. Then there was the fear of abandoning my business in its early stages, leaving the country for a month… certainly doom awaited, right? A terrible, immature decision sure to bring failure. People would think I’m irresponsible and flighty. I didn’t realize that a business that runs on MY energy and ideas would actually benefit from me coming back with more of both. In fact, it’s been integral to keep it going. And third, it was radical because when I’m in the depths of my human-doingness, the go-go-go urges that have led me to burnout over and over, it’s impossible to see how STOPPING is actually GOOD for me. How slowing down and simplifying– impossible to do on the home fronts– is precisely the medicine needed to remember that life is actually beautiful and we’re here to enjoy our journey.

But then, I arrived. No, even *before* I arrived, I felt the power and the change that a pause on the busyness can bring. Since I’m completing this old journal, I wanted to share some of the things I wrote on that trip– typed up below. Especially because in 14 days, I’m going back again. I’m making that dream come true that I wrote about almost a year ago. Last night in the studio, a friend asked me, “why Belize?” and I said, “because last year there were cheap flights there” and that’s seriously all it was. I knew very little about the place, I just made a decision and then suffered the consequences (“oh, I’m actually DOING this!”). I went. And I’m beyond humbled by what that decision did to my mental health and my energy and my zest for life.

Boooooy am I ready for that again. And to think, that this year, just by hearing my stories and making the same brave decision for themselves, I get to do it again but with 3 of the most centered and powerful women I’ve had the honor to know are willing to take a break from their lives and give themselves the gifts of a real vacation, and we’re going together. What I wish for everyone is that you find the willingness to overcome your limiting beliefs about what you can & can’t do for yourself and what you do & don’t deserve. Its **very possible** to do this kind of thing on very little money. There are tricks. It takes some planning. But mostly it takes the bravery & willingness to just take a deep breath and say yes. I’m going, trusting that this will not ruin me or my business, but in fact, help us flourish.

“…I recognize the desire to surprise your own life.
What I feared was that with the end of my marriage, life would narrow. A family history, I suppose, of resigned disappointed ancestors, old belles of the country looking at the pressed roses in their world atlases. And, I think, for those of us who came of age with the women’s movement, there’s always the fear that it’s not real, you’re not really allowed to determine your own life. It may be pulled back at any moment. I’ve had sensations of surfing in a big comber and soon the spilling wave will curl over, sucking me under.
But, slow learner, I’m beginning to trust that *the gods won’t snatch my firstborn if I happen to enjoy my life*.”
-Under the Tuscan Sun, p. 191

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