Updated: Feb 10, 2022
Why I’m choosing a slow lifestyle:
Let me give you the answer right away—the chokehold of burnout.
(I've found myself there an disturbing amount of times in my short 33 years of life experience...)
Folks, I would be lying if I said I didn’t ‘like’ the hustle. I did. I really did and I blame it on my Capricorn nature. (Ahem, also the societal conditioning of the hustle we are all aware of now). “Working hard” in the old-school sense and pushing myself to see how much I can handle is something I use to pride myself on. I can handle and accomplish everything, even if I personally suffer to make it happen—it was a ‘high’ that I’d chase just to say that “I did it”.
But for who? (WOOOAAHH, let’s save that rabbit hole for another post LOL).
When 2020 kicked our doors down I was still working as a telecommunications technician while building up meditation offerings in the business I created. I was preparing to take the big leap a few years down the line, once I established myself as a local meditation teacher. The scope of our work at the Teleco changed, on top of all of the other changes we had to navigate, and they wrapped up the extra responsibilities in a pretty concept called “forced innovation”. That term excited me. The ultimate challenge—learning how to “do it all” while entering a global crisis, hell yeah, lets do it!!
Well, it only took a couple months before I found myself taking stress leave for a few weeks. Not the first time I’ve had to take stress leave in my 10 years with the company, but I certainly wanted it to be the last. “Why the F*** do I keep doing this to myself!?!? SLOW DOWN, ASH!”
I looked around and saw myself in the middle of this continuous pattern of living up to expectations that I CAN’T actually sustain. It was painfully obvious. When I looked at returning to work I knew that I’d be re-entering that same pattern and I’d be right back on stress leave in another year or so. So I decided that it was time to take the big leap into being a full time meditation teacher—working for myself will clear up all my stress, right? …
That Autumn, after one last attempt to hold onto a career that provided greatly for me, I leapt. The honeymoon phase of entrepreneurship is another kind of hustle that I gobbled right up like the first few warm days of Spring. Waking up with endless energy and creative inspiration. HAVING ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD TO FOCUS ON WHAT I WANT. Having no one to report back to but myself and my clients. It was amazing… I filled up my time with all sorts of projects. I couldn’t say no to anything that came my way because I had waited soooooo long to be able to say YES to all the exciting opportunities presenting themselves.
Fast forward through 2021, a year that was FULL of sooooooo much goodness and so much growth personally and professionally. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but guess where I found myself again come December? Burnout.
Again, faced with the realization that I, in fact, can not “do it all.” At least not at the pace I was going. As well as arriving to the question “do I even want to be someone who CAN ‘do it all’”? What’s the point in that? Why am I holding onto this need to prove my capabilities?
I had a lot of questions circulating in the mind, as they do with every cycle of burnout I've encountered. I spent this particular cycle of burnout reflecting deeply on ‘ease’.
How can I create a life of ease? While still contributing positively to my community and in a way I can feel fulfilled, and secure in our current global climate.
It took a lot of day dreaming to figure out what that would look like for me...
I’m a big dreamer. I always have been. And being able to SEE possibility in everything made me believe that it can all happen quickly if I just "push" myself to do it. (The sneaky shadow of the hustle bubbling back up). I feel like this quality of being a big dreamer is integral to who I am, I don’t want to lose that wonder, but how can I navigate the ethereal whirlwind of inspiration and the wrought nature of existing in a world that clearly isn’t ready to slow down with me?
Well, that answer was “Ash, the world IS ready to slow down, people just need permission to do it.”
It’s the truth. I know that firsthand. We are perpetually waiting for permission to slow down. We are so wound up that the thought of taking a pause makes us feel like our little worlds will fall out from under our feet. My friends, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to wait to slow way down—heck, or even to rearrange your entire life to create space for that to happen. And you don’t have to do it alone!! I too am walking that journey with you.
I’ll be honest—I don’t have ALL the answers for the How-To’s in the slow lifestyle movement, because 'Ease' will look a little difference for everyone, but I’m wading in those waters with you for 2022. That’s why Raina, of Lutz Nutrition and Eat the Counter Culture, and I decided to create Re Union!! An opportunity to lovingly reset the nervous system while receiving tools and strategies to weave the slow lifestyle into your current reality. Connecting with nature and the flow of it’s seasons; enjoying discovery time and discussions so that you can DECIDE what a slow life looks like for you; a home-coming for body, mind, and spirit.
Join us as we become reunited with ourselves, in the slow lifestyle movement, at the serene nature resort, Similkameen Wild. April 8-10th 2022.
Peace & love to you my friends,