My toes are delicately poised on the balance beam. I long to extend and reach further into the space – a place I know I can get to if the balance can hold me.
But in reaching, I lose the place of stillness and strength in framed motion. I teeter and fall, never able to reach true equilibrium.
Go forward or stay awhile.
How can one choose? I struggle with which of my innate desires should be served.
You can’t evolve without striving. Its our essence to reach forward, to achieve, to grow, and do better, yet like the stillness of the trees, our purpose also lies in just being and enjoying the beauty of every moment.
If we strive, we get lost in the striving: the eternal lists, the constant action, the comparison and so we lose the magic of the moment. We close the doors to the opportunities and the whispered insights help us grow, a growth that somehow needs a little reaching out.
If we stay still, we enjoy the breath, the magic, the total connectedness and we know this is the only way to be. But how can we continue to be that, if we don’t grow and move into that new space? How can we maintain the source that keeps us in the moment?
How can we truly serve if we just continue to indulge in present deliciousness?
So the dance goes. One foot out toes pointed ready to leap, and flicking quickly back to tree once the awareness hits that this present moment of joy will be no more.
I’m inclined to spend my days hammock swinging, doing downward dogs, laughing with friends, and swimming in magnificent waterfall pools with vistas that show only being not striving. I just want that awareness and intelligence from within to come forth and push me forward with subtlety and strength.
How can you trust enough to let go and allow just that? How can you just be and grow at the same time?
How can we make the striving about the seeking and the perfect action and not the regret at failing to complete the shoulds?
Are you as confused as I am?
The digital nomad’s dance
If you are a travel blogger, or have a nomad business, you’ll understand the dance very well.
How can you continue to strive and grow in the business, when you’ve got this amazing world beckoning you to come play? And you know if you don’t refuse to play, you’ll no longer have the means to continue to travel and play.
But, if you don’t go out and play, then what’s the point in you travelling anyway?
This is the digital nomad’s dance.
It’s a daily performance and I’m only just starting to find a balance. At one stage it was heavily skewed towards the striving. With that came a lot of angst and discomfort and I realised there was no point. I might as well just be at home.
I decided to pull back and just be. Just enjoy every moment. Lap up the travel experiences because I know this opportunity may not come again and this is what I live for. So stand on the tippy toes and just pirouette. Take a hike. Play at the beach with my girls. Enjoy another magnificent sunset and meditate each morning on the beach.
It’s funny because since I made that decision to just let go and trust that things will still move forward, things became a little easier. Work less, stress less, play and explore more.
The business didn’t stop. I made more space for just allowing things to happen and to only give myself the time to focus on what needs to be done.
I questioned, How can this be? How can you actually work less, yet still grow?
We grow up believing the only way to get ahead is to work 12- 14 hours a day. To strive strive strive and give up all of ourselves and our individual pursuits of peace, happiness, doing things we love and just enjoying simple things like sitting down to a cup of coffee under a tree. And that is all we do.
Daily rituals – the key to creativity?
We listened to a podcast from the Good Life Project the other week, where the host Jonathan Fields was this time being interviewed by someone else. He spoke about a book called Daily Rituals: How artists work, by Mason Currey.
Daily Rituals details nearly 200 routines of some of the greatest minds of the last four hundred years–famous novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians.
What was uncovered through this examination of these highly creative people is that they spent surprisingly little time each day on their creative work. Their time was mostly taken up with rituals and pleasures. What I like to call the being.
It was fascinating listening to this at the same time where I was examining this idea myself. Is it possible to just do less work and spend the majority of your day engaged in rituals and activities that please you?
I began this road trip journey with barely any rituals. But now my morning is spent in meditation for up to nearly an hour. Once we hit Broome, that stretched out even further with a 90 minute daily yoga class.
After which I’d play with the girls and have my breakfast and slowly move into the day. I then laid down the rule that 10pm would be my bed time. Sleep and health was priority.
Reading and studying then became an essential part of my day. My work time became less and less. I struggled with this for some time until I decided to just let go of the worry and instead go with what felt right.
My daily life became filled with more moments of being than striving, yet the movement forward still happened. In fact, I found myself becoming more succinct, creative and productive. I started to see clearer what needed to be done and what could be avoided.
In this process of enjoying the moment, becoming clearer on the inside, and being present, I was better able to tap into Universal power that works with you to bring you what you need.
Again, allowing, not pushing or pulling. Being, not striving.
While I know I could be doing more, at this time I’m happy with enjoying the being. I feel it’s serving me and the greater plan more.
In order to create, I think you need to have space to be, to give yourself time to absorb the world around you, to let go of the tense emotions and frantic energy that is expended with striving, and in that process allow clarity of thought to arrive.
How can you create when all you do is push and strive? You need the pause.
The power of the pause
In Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, he talks about this concept of being in tune with yourself, with nature, and with silence.
In his first law, the Law of Pure Potentiality, which is also the field of infinite creativity and pure knowledge, he talks about the pause, or the silence, as being the source of all creation. We tap into that power when we embrace the silence and just be. Even small, daily pauses is enough.
The more you move into this space of being, the more access you have infinite, unbounded creativity. Then when the time is right, you combine this being and stillness with action and striving, and what you need to create comes effortlessly.
I spent one evening pondering this in my journal. I wanted to know how I could actually grow my business and do more, yet spend my days doing my rituals and enjoying exploring on my travels and playing with the girls.
Is it even possible, or do we always have to do this dance and this struggle, giving up something in order to have more of the other? Why can’t we have both?
As I wrote my thoughts I looked out the window to see a brown kite (the bird) flying over the bay. It soared around and around, seemingly lost in the bliss of flying. Then after some time soaring, it shot down to catch its prey. A quick strike and victory. It all seemed so effortless for such a skilled hunter.
Most of the work however was done in the soaring stage – the scanning, the searching, the gathering of data, until it reached that point of knowing now is the right time to strike.
I think that is the balance. I think we stuff ourselves with to-do-lists and endless tasks that consume all our energy, we lose our ability to soar and gather all we need purely just by enjoying the moment.
The soaring, or the time spent connecting to ourselves, to others, and the greater world is the vital part we need to create. So that when it comes time to strike, to create, most of the work has already been done within us. We’ve created the space for the creation to effortlessly come out.
So for example, on these long road trips we take, the striver in me feels I should be making use of that time to work, but there’s a strong calling within me – a soaring, being calling that draws me to just listen to empowering podcasts. And in doing that I feel I have learned and absorbed so much that has helped me to strike with the right creation.
I just know what to do and how and when to strike. And then things start moving around to help me.
It also comes in those conversations you stop to have, an insight that causes you to think, and from that comes creation. Or, it’s the time you spend watching the birds, or the mountains and absorbing more timeless wisdom, which helps you intuitively know what to do.
It’s mind-blowing how the answers, the solutions, and the people you need just arrive. The more I do my daily rituals, the faster and easier they slip on in.
It’s been quite an insightful project.
If you’re dong this delicate dance, and I don’t think you have to be a digital nomad to be faced with it, try to find a way to pull back a little more and enjoy being.
Bring in some daily rituals, allow yourself more space to pause, go for long walks in nature, sit in silence, and play with your children a little more.
The key is to be totally present. Don’t take the time out to stuff your mind with problems. That won’t help you to find clarity. Use your five senses to just engage and enjoy.
Be present, tap into that power, and allow the growth to come to you.
How do you perform the dance? What have you learned about the striving and being? Can you share your experiences or insights?