If you’re running your business with a busy mind, it can seem counter-intuitive to actively do less in order to achieve more. But space is where our best thoughts and ideas come from. Space is where we are able to access our clearest thinking. And space is where magic happens.
In this podcast episode I’m joined by Fiona Lukeis to chat about The Three Principles and the value of space in business and life.
Click HERE to listen to Part 1 on valuing space in business and life
Click HERE to access Laura’s business coaching services
Click HERE to work with Fiona Lukeis and learn about The Three Principles
Podcast: Play in New Window
Tell us about some of your experiences with valuing space in our lives and our businesses?
Fiona: Yes. You and I were chatting before we pressed the record button because we were talking about how counter-intuitive or counter productive it feels to create space in our lives. It feels like, especially if you are somebody who’s got children, or you’ve got a family and you’re running a business, it feels like you’ve got to make the most of every moment. You’ve got to do whatever you can with the time that you have. And creating space sounds like the opposite of that. But it’s been really interesting as someone who’s been on, I would say, an A-type personality pusher.
I’ve really seen a massive difference in the quality of the work that I produce. My own well-being and my own levels of happiness and how I show up to life has shifted dramatically when I’ve created more space. When I’ve allowed room.
One of the things that we tend to think, especially when it comes to building a business is that if it’s going to be, it’s up to me. And on some levels that’s true. I mean, we do require action and things need to get done. But I think we can confuse productivity and busy-ness with output and it doesn’t always work that way.
Being busy, having a lot on your mind and pushing, pushing, thinking, thinking does not equal high levels of productivity and output. And what I’ve seen is that when I create space, space is one of these things that’s very generative. It’s rich, it’s fertile. And it’s something that creates, it’s where creativity comes from – fresh ideas, innovation, resilience, our ability to see the next step, our ability to just put one foot in front of the other, which is what’s required sometimes in business where you don’t necessarily know except I just got to keep going. And I’ve had plenty of moments like that. I think what has been incredibly beneficial is recognizing that when I feel urgent about something that’s not necessarily a sign that I need to move forward.
Urgency for me now is often a sign that I’ve got way too much on it. I’ve got a lot of insecure thinking and that when I wait for a better thought or a better moment to come by when I create space for something else, I get more clarity. And clarity is incredibly powerful in our lives and in business. Having less on our minds creates more opportunities. And I think for many of us when we’ve got very busy minds, I remember a mentor of mine saying to me a few years ago, a busy mind is the greatest blockage to opportunity. And a busy mind is the greatest blockage to intimacy. And at the time I didn’t quite understand what he was referring to, but now I can really see it.
When we’ve got a lot on our mind, it’s like moving through life with piles of stuff on either side of our heads. Imagine you’re walking through a tunnel of stuff and it just closes in on you. It closes in and so you miss opportunities. You miss things that could really transform your life, will take your business to another level or opportunities to collaborate. You miss ideas because we get so focused and we think that the more we have on our mind, the better it is. And I’m going to say it’s the complete antithesis of that, that takes you to a new level that creates opportunities, that creates that fertile ground. It’s kind of like when you’re planting and we’re coming up to spring here, so it’s planting season and you’re planting things in the ground. You have to allow space for those plants to grow and move and get everything they need. And you plant plants too close together, everything just kind of congeals and moves in on itself.
Laura: I love that plant analogy. When you’re planting your plants too close to each other, they’re competing for resources. They’re competing for the sunlight and the water and the nutrients in the soil. You could liken it to some of our days in business and maybe when we’re trying to work on different projects at the same time. They’re all competing for the resources of your thinking, of the time you have available to work on them, maybe other resources in your business and things like that. And it’s reduces the likelihood of any of them to succeed, doesn’t it?
Fiona: Well it does. Because if you look at a group of plants that have closely planted together, you’ll get a clump that they’re all a bit weak, you know what I mean? They’re there but not very strong and they don’t last very long. I’m a messy herb planter. I love having planted boxes full of herbs. If I plant them too close together as this clump of weak herbs. If I plant them and they’ve got room, they get strong. They’re generative. They last me a couple of seasons and they got more flavor. And I think what’s really interesting when we’re in business, and this is something that has become clearer and clearer to me over time, definitely when an idea pops into my mind, and I know for many people in business we’re full of ideas. We could do this and we could do that. And what about this and what about that? The implementation is the action taking. It’s the consistency. It’s all those things.
But I definitely think less is more. And for me now I’ve learned that when something looks like a problem, I don’t take action on it until it looks like a situation. And when I do that, I have very different thinking, very different ideas and a very different approach when something looks like a situation, as opposed to this problem that I have to fix itself. I’m saying that urgency or feeling of urgency is a sign of insecure thinking, that I don’t have very healthy thinking, and I need to give it a little bit of space. Wait until it looks a little bit different for me and then I will actually have a far better solution, far better idea, and greater impact.
Laura: I guess that’s a key learning I’ve had through our time working together. And in the previous episode to this one I shared just recently how that urgency. I was getting overwhelmed by that urgency again in my business. And I was launching and I spoke about launching this packaging boot camp, like a, a four week course that I’m running on a packaging your expertise up online into offerings and everything for the X factor collective who I’m a consultant coach for. But then I’d put it all together, done the sales page, written all the copy, and then handed over to the collective because they were taking care of the marketing to their members. And then it was going to be six weeks until I started delivering that. And it could be five weeks until I was going to get paid for it. And then all of a sudden I’m just, the few started to kick in, right? It’s like, Oh, okay, I’ve got five weeks so I’m not going have to do that for five weeks and then not get paid. My gosh, I may not get paid. I’ve got to work out some other ways to bring in the revenue and the profits into the business. I thought I could do live launch with these, I could do this and all of a sudden I could run a beta program for that just to my own followers. And all of these ideas came out and it was looking great. And then I caught my thinking. Whereas the Laura of three years ago, I would have raced and implemented all that and then blown my family up in the process, and got really run down in the process.
I caught that thinking for what it was. It’s like, Oh gosh, Laura, you don’t have good quality thinking right now. This is poor thinking. It’s coming. You’re feeling that urgency, that fears kicking in. And I waited. And I wouldn’t have waited three years ago. I’m waiting now with the understanding that this thinking will pass, things will be clearer when I’m feeling a lot more calm. And sure enough, a day or two later that thinking had gone. I sat in that uncomfortable feeling for a couple of days. So getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable wasn’t nice. It wasn’t a nice feeling at all. But I waited with the understanding that it would pass and with that confidence that it would pass and that faith that it would pass and something better would show up. And the past, as it always does. And then I felt calmer and I thought, you know what, I don’t need to do anything like this. I can just slowly start creating my content for that course in this ample time. I don’t have to race off the sales book. The sales will come in – in their own time. And sure enough that first day the sale came in. And then another one came in and another one came in like six weeks out from it launching, maybe five weeks by then because I had to wait for the feeling to go. And then the pressure was off. I wasn’t overloading myself and my family again like I have so many times in the past. That’s just an example, a recent example that was only like last month. But it’d be so many more now that I can catch myself with a feeling and sitting in that feeling
How do you enable your clients to get more comfortable with sitting in that uncomfortable feeling and having the confidence that by creating space it will benefit their businesses and their lives?
Fiona: I’ve had many clients say that to me when I’m working with them. You’re teaching me the opposite of everything I’ve ever known to be true about human beings. I’m like, yeah I am. It is the complete opposite. And, it’s a great question Laura, because we are taught that and especially I think now busyness ,or feeling of busyness, is something that we value that, that we see as helpful. If we feel busy, that gives you a false sense of output, of I’m doing something, of I’m making something. And a feeling of busyness is just a busy mind, a lot on your mind. When our mind speeds up. And it does, our thinking speeds up. What we don’t realize is that when our thinking speeds up, our bandwidth to handle life decreases. And the metaphor that I share around these, that make sense to me is, you know, when you’re driving a car, and you’re driving at 50 kilometres an hour, 40 kilometres an hour or 60, and a ball was to run in front of you or a dog or an animal, you’ve got time to stop and swerve and take action. So you’ve got choice over what you’re going to do. And when you’re driving a car at a hundred kilometres an hour, there’s no choice. That swings in front of you and boom! Crash.
This is what I say with people – when they’ve got a lot on their mind, they’re bandwidth shrinks. Instead of becoming very reactionary, they take life personally. Their ability to be creative and see the bigger picture decreases. They feel like they’re just running on empty.
It’s interesting when you understand the way human beings work, and we’re not taught this, we’re taught the complete opposite of this, of the psychological functioning of a human being. We’re taught something very, very different to really how we work. So I guess the first thing that I do is I teach my clients how we actually work as human beings. If someone had done an awful lot of personal development, Laura, and really, I’ve always been fascinated by how human beings work. I have felt a fascination around that since I was a very young child. I’ve done a lot of different study over the years and I thought I knew. When I came across the understanding that we’re referring to, called The Three Principles.
When I came across its understanding, it shocked me because I realized I actually didn’t know. Everything that I thought I knew to be true wasn’t. But it was also very, very exciting to me as someone who’d always been searching and I guess you could call me a bit of a seeker. But always been searching for something and I didn’t know what that was. When I came across this understanding, even though I didn’t know what I was searching for, I realized I’d found whatever it was I was looking for. I’ve never had such an incredibly peaceful feeling.
And it’s funny because when I came across this understanding, my world was in complete turmoil. I didn’t think it was possible for me to have a peaceful feeling around anything because my world had been turned upside down. I was caught up in the global financial crisis. I’d lost everything. I was living in a rented apartment with full kids and four international students just to keep a roof over our head. I was feeling very desperate and alone and very stressed, worried, panicked, unable to sleep, and not in a kind of knowing what lay ahead for us. Incredible amount of uncertainties. When I came across this, I immediately felt a sense of peace and calm that I just had not felt for a very long time. And my sense of panic calmed down. I started to sleep through the night and my world really changed. Not in a angels kind of from the heaven kind of change, but really small shifts that just transformed the way I started to show up to my family, to my business, to life. It was quite incredible. And the impact it had on my marriage is huge. The impact it had on my levels of well-being, how I parented. Just my own mental health was incredible.
And from there, I really started to see a massive difference in the quality of the work with my clients. It was extraordinary actually. And I get emotional when I think about it. I feel so blessed that I came across this understanding. So blessed. I’ve felt like beforehand I was at the mercy of life. So whatever life was doing, as long as life was doing what I wanted it to do, things were okay. But it’s when life was not doing what I wanted it to do, I felt like I was a yo-yo or a puppet on the end of a string. And you know, I’ve spoken to that many people who feel that way. And when I started to see the way human beings work, and I started to understand that I no longer felt at the mercy of life. I was living life in a way where I didn’t feel like I was at the end of a string. Where if something didn’t go my way, and let’s face it, life very rarely turns out the way you think it will. There’s always something unexpected around the corner. And that is life. Life is a contact sport 100%. It will always be something that doesn’t go your way or shows up unexpectedly. Your all goes pear shaped and particularly business.
We all know that where we’ve created a product or a program that we think is going to be amazing, and it bombs, or you invest in something and you realize it’s not a match for you, or you know, there’s so many different things, or your family becomes sick and you can’t do the work you thought you were going to do and you’ve got to change track. I cannot tell you how incredibly impactful this was on my levels of resiliency, fulfillment. Just my ability to be able to put a step forward when things looked incredibly uncertain, and I wasn’t sure how things were going to work out, my ability to show up. And sometimes, and in fact, a lot of the time that’s literally all that’s required of us is to just show up. Because there is an intelligence behind life that handles things, and that’s a big part of the work that I do as well, is pointing people in that direction so that they have that sense of knowing that there’s something better coming along. That there’s a better thought coming along, that they don’t have to manage themselves. That there is another way and we’re not taught this. We’re taught that we have to manage our psychological functioning, that we’re in charge of it, that it’s up to us to make ourselves be okay. And funnily enough, that’s just not the way it works.
Laura: So much of what you’re saying resonates. And I can think back to, I guess, how I’ve built my business online over the last 10 years. Particularly my first one Sustain a baby, and the way that I run and managed my time and scheduled my days. I had my three month plans, my 12 month business plans, and my key performance indicators, and measuring all the successes I go. I mean I’m not necessarily advocating this, but I’ve kind of tossed them all to the side right now in the last year or two. Sure, my business revenue is been a lot down than what it has been in the past. But I’m also reflecting and saying that businesses and growth go in seasons and we can build and build and build, but then we need to prune because you’ve added things that don’t need to be there and can come out, but you’ve got to pull them back on.
Then it makes a bit more space and then we might build a bit again and they’ll call. I’m like, Oh shit, I shouldn’t have done that. And to prune back again. And I guess it’s the pruning or coming back into that, you know, maybe it’s a winter to winter season in business where looking back on my pruning so we can get the growth of spring. And again doing that and being okay with that space, being okay with things not being as rushed and as planned and as measured and just, you know, bang, bang, success, success, success, success! Like moving forward all the time, but sometimes to be able to move forward, we need to step back. And to be able to sit back, we need to create the space. But we also need to be okay with space and be okay with our thinking around the space because that’s what I struggled with the most was managing my thoughts isn’t the right word. It’s just sitting with those thoughts. And it can be with the same kind of thoughts that you might have when your kids are sick for a week and you can’t work for a week and just doing what you can. And it might be pushing out some deadlines that you’d put in because, face it, when we’ve got our own business. The deadlines are our own anyway, aren’t they? So we can create when things that you and really being okay with the thoughts of that, rather than going into that, Oh my gosh, my kids are always sick when I’ve got a launch on or when I want to get out this, gosh, I can never get my business ahead because of all the demands and everything else. But just being, I guess the understanding that you’re teaching with the three principles, is not just helping – has not just helped me being okay with the space, as being okay with me being okay with my thoughts around the space. And it’s not when I not necessarily when I intentionally create space, it can be when life forces me to have space as well. Not seeing that as a curse.
Fiona: I kind of noticed that. That when you don’t create it, it gets created for you. It’s very interesting and I think touching on what you were saying. We are kind of operating under the misunderstanding that because we have a thought that it’s an instruction that it’s there for reason, that the thought is an indicator of something. And so it requires our time and attention. And what I think is really important for people to understand is that when we’re taught about the way human beings work, we very much caught up on looking at the content of thinking and saying the content is an indicator of something, and how can we change the content, we need to have better content, and we have different thoughts and we will feel better. The thing is, when you change your relationship to your thinking, because this is the most important relationship you have in your life, is the one you have with your thinking. When you actually look in the direction of the nature of thought and understanding thought rather than the content, you change your relationship to it. And I no longer see every thought in my head, it’s an instruction. In fact, most of my thinking is not worth my time or attention. It’s understanding the nature of thought, understanding that thought is transient, that just because you have a thought, it’s not giving you information about you, your circumstances, your life, your business.
Thought is very random and it’s actually quite impersonal. We take our thinking very, very, very personally. Which is why I think particularly in business, you have an idea, you have a thought and it you think it’s there for a reason. So better do something about it, better to act on it, better make it happen. Right? And of course when you actually change it, when you have a different relationship with your thinking, and you see thought for what it is, and I’ll talk about that a little bit more in a moment. All of a sudden you can have your thinking without your thinking having you and that is a really, really empowering place to live your life from. When you can have your thinking, that is the ultimate place of freedom, resilience, creativity, and generative space.
I now see that as this rich, fertile ground for me to look at the next step for me and my business, for my family, for anything and everything. I don’t act on the first thought that occurs to me. I don’t necessarily act on the second, third, fourth or fifth either. You know, there’s a a really big difference between having healthy thinking and unhealthy thinking, or insecure thinking and secure thinking. When you can see insecure thought for what it is, just random thinking in the moment, when you see it for what it is and you let it pass because it always does, thoughts always pass, and there’s always a better thought coming along. This is the truth of the psychological functioning of a human being. You know, we have our own psychological immune system that always takes us back to well-being. And the key to that is thought. Whilst we will have insecure thinking, well not so great thinking, which is perfectly normal and natural for every human being on the planet. It’s not an indicator that there’s something wrong with you by the wa. Insecure thought is as normal and natural as winter is in the seasons, as a drop in temperature as the wind in the rain. It’s just a normal natural part of things. It’s a normal, natural part of the human experience. Now, when people understand that, that’d become less of afraid of their experience. And when you’re not afraid of your experience, and another word for that would be your thinking or the feeling you’re sitting in because you’re feeling 100% comes from your thinking. It doesn’t come from anything outside of you. It comes to the thinking you have around it.
So when you see that, when you understand that, you become less afraid of your experience. So you are less reactionary. You have knee jerk reactions kind of slow down and you’re more prepared to wait and see what else shows up. Just like I know that when it’s windy and wintery and cold is not the best time for me to go paddleboarding. And paddleboarding’s my great love. That I know that windy cold weather is a disaster when I’m paddleboarding, and now there’s nothing I can do about that except wait for better weather to come along.Now because I understand the nature of weather, I don’t get freaked out by the changing weather. I understand that it’s temporary, it’s, it’s transient, it changes and there’s something better coming along. Of course, that’s the nature of weather. And when we understand the nature of human beings and the nature of psychological functioning, so as much as we have a physical immune system that there’s an intelligence element in our body that takes us back to health, there is an intelligence mentally, emotionally for people that takes us back to well-being. And of course a lot of people don’t understand this. We’re not taught this. So we tend to go into battle with ourselves. We go into battle with our thinking. We try and change it, overcome it, manage it, which makes about as much sense as may trying to change the wind so I can go paddleboarding. I understand the nature of how we work so I don’t get frightened by my experience. That’s probably not true. There are times where I get sucked in by my thinking. I forget that it’s just thought, it feels real and I know and I get caught up in it. But I also have this knowing in the back of my mind, which is what I think you’ve been talking about, Laura, where in the back of my mind, my landscape’s different. I know that my thinking will pass. I know there’s something better coming along now.
How do I know that?
All the feeling tells me everything I need to know because I live in the feeling of my thinking. So when I don’t feel good, I know that I don’t have great thinking. The feeling tells me whether my thinking is worth my time or not. So I don’t have to spend lots of time worrying, about analyzing all that stuff with my thinking. My feeling tells me straight away. Oh, my thinking’s off. When I’m in a better feeling, I’ll know I’ve got the best thinking available to me for that thing, whatever it is.
My feelings are my GPS system. They let me know just like everybody’s does. Everybody has a GPS system. It lets you know whether your thinking’s off. Now because I can see this more and more, I don’t make decisions about my life, my business or anything when my thinking’s off. I wait until I’m in a better feeling. And then I have another look because I know about the healthiest thinking available and I’m making use of the resources that I have. And that has stood me in such good stead when it comes to business decisions, family decisions, decisions about myself, what I want to invest in, the next steps, what I want to create. It’s been incredible. Now sometimes, and this is something we all need to appreciate, it can be unpredictable. Fresh thinking can be unpredictable. It may not come through as quickly as we want. But you can absolutely count on it. You can count on it at 100%. It is coming. It’s just like winter in Melbourne sometimes feels like it goes on forever. But I know spring is coming. I know that. I know that that’s the nature of seasons of weather. I know it’s coming. We just have to be patient and wait. So it’s like when you’re not at resisting your experience, you get to thinking you need to adjust to it. And it’s incredibly powerful, incredibly powerful.
I’ve seen clients make and do incredible things in their businesses through understanding this. I had a gentleman early last year, runs an accountancy firm in Queensland and he had completely over-complicated his business. He was into systems and structure. But what he started to see was he had way too many systems, way too much structure, and he stopped. They’re ripping their hair out trying to follow this procedure and that procedure, and what it had done is it killed and crushed creativity. So the staff had lost their confidence in coming up with the answers for themselves that were coming to him with every problem and asking him to solve it. Because he’d systematized his business so much, the staff had stopped thinking for themselves and they’d stopped believing and trusting in their own ideas. And so of course he was the bottleneck that was trying to solve every single problem in the business. He was ripping his hair out, he was exhausted, he was stressed, he was overwhelmed. And when he started to learn this and look in this direction, he just went, Oh my God, I thought systems were the answer, but I’d over complicated everything.
And he started taking away systems and he started asking the staff more what they thought, and getting more. Because the staff turnover was massive in his business. And so it was really interesting because he was telling me he was playing Xbox with his son one Saturday morning and he said, I wasn’t thinking about anything Fiona, just playing with my son, because Saturday mornings with my son are my sacred time. I work long hours and I always on a Saturday morning, my son’s time with me. I never take calls, I never do any work stuff. He said, I’m in the middle of this game, not thinking about anything. And he said this idea of how he could save his biggest client – 1.6 million in tax just wrapped up. And he said, just boom, out of nowhere it just appeared. And he said it was so mind blowing this idea. And so random. He had to stop the game, rang his client and said, I’ll just come up with this brilliant idea. And his client was like, wow, you must’ve been working on this for weeks. And he said, I didn’t have the heart to tell him. I wasn’t even thinking about. It just popped into my head.
Now, I’ve got story after story of things like this, and this is what I’m talking about. There is an intelligence behind life, behind everything. This is where fresh thinking comes from. It’s where ideas and creativity. They come through you. You don’t have to generate it. When you understand the power of space, and you understand the way we work, you have an eye out for it, you have an ear for it, you look for it. Instead of getting distracted by your busy mind and a sense of urgency and solving problems, you start to stay more and more that they’re not helpful, they’re just distractions and so they don’t have the grip. You don’t get gripped by them so much and then you notice this creative force that we all have access to that is the very essence of who we are, that he’s always bringing us fresh ideas, fresh possibilities, opportunities. It’s a very hopeful, resilient place to live your life from. And a wonderful place to run a business from. Wonderful.
Laura: There’s been times like that in my own business. In fact, I still remember when I had my first idea to create Self sufficiency in the suburbs, which is my sustainability membership program, and I think I was about two years into doing live launches from my Home detox boot camp. So you’d have that launch roller coaster, that six weeks of just cortisol and adrenaline, and then a great payday and then nothing until your next cycle of cortisol and adrenaline and another payday. And I’ve been trying to think, how can I get off this basically. I don’t want this, I don’t want my business to be like this. I’m sick of this, my family is sick of this. How can I get out of this? And I think I was just up in the gym, I wasn’t even thinking about it. I was doing some bicep curls and listening to some music or something I can’t remember. And then my idea! And then actually put down the weights and I swore, I think I swore out loud, I felt like, Aw, the F word and that’s it! And then that was the idea for the membership and to have that ongoing. No big fancy launches, just a group of really committed people who were wanting to be in a community of people that really want to learn more about sustainable living but do it in that fun way with that long term vision like this is a journey that I’m on and I just want to be around people that are making the same journey. But it was in that moment in the gym I wasn’t working, put down my weights and said yes, that’s the idea.
That’s what I want to investigate and think about more and look into how that will look and get off these live launches. And then I ended up launching the membership. And then after a little while, some corporate partners came in, council started buying it and so it wasn’t just always to individuals, which again was, I’d never thought of that at the time when I thought in the membership, but after rolling out that idea then other ideas kept happening too. It was great. I still remember that time in the gym when I had to put down the weights and sit down, I think I sat down for about five minutes not doing any thinking. That’s what I want to do. And this was, this was way before the Stu McLaren’s of the world was selling tribe or anything like that. There was memberships were not a thing. It was all about the launch. You had to have these e-course and launch it, and keep launching it and keep launching it. And that was what running an online education business was all about. But I made the decision, I don’t want to do this anymore, but there’s no one out there teaching anything else. And then it came from within the gym. Who would’ve thought?
“When I feel urgent about something, that’s not necessarily a sign that I need to move forward. Urgency for me now is often a sign that I’ve got way too much on it. I’ve got a lot of insecure thinking and that when I wait for a better thought, or a better moment to come by when I create space for something else, I get more clarity. And clarity is incredibly powerful in our lives and in business.”
Fiona: I know it’s actually quite amazing. Some of the greatest ideas have come from people being in the shower, on holiday, on the toilet. Like where they’re not doing anything remotely related to the idea itself. It’s extraordinary. And that’s because there is this benevolent force and you can call it whatever you want to call it, this is not a religious conversation. But you know, being human is a very spiritual experience and it’s something that we can’t deny. There is a spiritual element to every single one of us. You know, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And there is this loving benevolent force that brings us what we need, all of the time that has your back. And I think that whole saying the universe has your back has been misused because we tend to see it as the evidence of that thing, that we get what we want – as in money, or car, or whatever. It doesn’t work that way. It comes the opposite direction. It comes through fresh thinking, getting the thinking you need in any given moment to handle what’s in front of you. And you know, it’s the thinking in the moment that determines how you handle something, how you show up something. And that you can think about it, thoughts just appear in our head out of nowhere.
The more you see that, and I love that example – just been in the gym using your weights and then boom! It comes! It’s like they’re tailor made for you. The thoughts that we get are tailor-made – ideas, creativity. And it’s fascinating. I know you’ve heard me say this before, but you know, I’m in the middle of writing a book and I really wrestled with the name. Six months I’m trying to come up with this name. I’ve brainstormed, I’ve written ideas, I’ve put time aside, have really done a lot of efforting around it – coming up with a name. And for me it was like, I feel like I can’t take ownership of this book until I have a title. And then January this year I’m paddleboarding. I love paddleboarding at the square. I think many times my mind becomes really quiet and I’m just cruising around.
But I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was just enjoying the day, enjoying the water, feeling the sun on my skin, not remotely thinking about anything. And the name from my book just went boom in my head just like that out of nowhere I was out on the water, miles away from a pen and I’m like, Oh, I’m going to remember this! But this is how it works! And I’ve seen that when I create space to write my book. You realize you can’t make yourself think something. It comes through and it doesn’t come from you, it comes through you. And that intelligence behind life, which in the principles we call mind, universal mind. If that word doesn’t work for you, it really doesn’t matter. Words can be very limiting. An intelligence behind life, a wisdom – you can call it whatever you like. But there is this intelligence behind life that gives you the thinking you need. And it’s incredibly loving and kind and generous and generative and rich and it is available to anyone and everyone. It’s the essence of who we are. And when you understand that and look in that direction, there’s a peacefulness that you feel, moments feel richer. I feel a lot more present. My thinking slows down, my tolerance for overthinking has lessened.
So what does that mean? It means that before I was over thinking so much and I was so used to it. I had to be really overthinking before I even noticed it. Now I notice it much quicker, much sooner and I’m like, you’re not doing that. That’s what I’m doing. And that’s okay. I know I probably need to take whatever I’m thinking of with a grain of salt right now. I’m just going to wait for something better to come along. Something that is more in tune and align with where I’m at. Because I had this sense of knowing that it’s there, and I just have to be patient. Just like I’m patient with myself when I’m sick. I trust that my immune system will fight off whatever’s there and take me back to health. Right? Because it’s designed to do that and I know that I have the same capacity psychologically. It’s incredibly helpful when it comes to making decisions in your business or how you want to parent, on every area of your life.
And we were just talking about these. This understanding has a universal application. It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, what area of your life. It’s wonderful for people who’ve got anxiety, wonderful for people who overthink, wonderful for people who want to feel more present and just want to slow down because we’re not taught to value slowing down. That’s seen as a bad thing. We’re not making the most of our time that we’ve got to keep adding to ourselves. And I’m saying more and more from looking in this direction, I don’t need to add anything. I don’t need to justify my existence, neither d do you. I don’t have to find my purpose. If you find, then great! But it’s not essential to life. There’s no need. This is a very made up thing. I don’t need to justify my existence. The moment I took my first break, that was enough. And it’s the same for everybody. When you see that less on your mind and you have more bandwidth to handle life. And that leads to a much richer, more connected experience in every area our life, our relationships, our business, our self, how we feel about ourselves, everything!
What can you say to our listeners who are driven by a purpose, or the wanting to make a big impact and Have a calling to do their work in the world?
Fiona: I totally appreciate that calling because I have it too. And I think many of us do in one way or another. But I think the difference is, there’s a lot more trust in the impact that I’m making. I think beforehand I felt like it was up to me the impact on I had to keep going and doing more and push, push, push. Whereas I can really say that less is more. And I know I do have a lot more trust in the impact. I have a lot more trust and faith in life in general. And yes, I absolutely my calling has always been – I felt this, I probably didn’t have the words for it as a little kid, but I just want to reduce the amount of suffering in the world. What I also know that the impact of that is not necessarily based on my output, it’s based on me showing up. Absolutely. And it matters how I show up. And that is to me how, and when I say how I mean more present on my mind, more compassion for myself and others, kindness, bring more love out into the world. And obviously that stuck with me too. And living my life with more grace. Those things are generative and create impact. They really, really do. Because you know, we’re quick to judge. We’re quick to criticize, we’re quick to get caught up in thinking that we need to do more, add more, be more. And I’m telling you that’s an illusion. It really is. Now please don’t heed us and think that I don’t take action and I don’t do things in my business. Because I do. And I’ve been in business myself for 11 years and I’m the major breadwinner in my family. But the space that I do it from is completely different. And that space that is richer. And I think has far more impact and goes a lot further than the franticness I had before. And I think before, for me, especially around my family, if the family was not coping with what I was doing, I’d get really resentful of my family. Whereas now, I have so much more trust and faith in things that are bigger than me. And I’m not so caught up in my ego. And it’s your ego that tells you that what you’re doing is not okay. It’s your ego that tells you you’ve got to do more, be more, have more, right? That is ego. And when you say that, and you just see it for what it is, it’s just insecure thought in the moment, which is a natural, normal part of the experience. Life is very much up and down, like businesses are up and down. Like the tide goes in and out. We have seasons, we are always changing. And that’s good. I had a lot more faith and trust in how I’m showing up, in what I’m putting out, in knowing that all it’s required sometimes is just to put one foot in front of the other and the next step will get revealed. I don’t have to have all my ducks lined up in a row and I don’t have to have it all worked out. That gives me the flexibility to shift and move as required and see opportunities that can sometimes appear out of nowhere. Seeing all of that takes a massive load off in how we live, in how we show up to our businesses, or show up to our families, how we show up to ourselves.
Laura: I think that how we show up to ourselves is the most important because that flows on to everything, doesn’t it? It flows on to our families. It flows onto our business, flows onto our clients. Just that kindness and compassion for ourselves, which has been, I guess the journey that I’ve been on these past few years in particular. Creating the space and learning about my thoughts and being more in tune with my feeling it. It has flowed onto having me being happier, happier in my life, happier in my business, happier with my achievements to date. I see them for being amazing achievements, not for, Oh, I didn’t quite get where I wanted to be, you know? Rather than seeing the deficit, I can see the achievement now. That’s flown onto everything in my own life, my relationship with myself, number one.
Fiona: I love that Laura. I love that it’s so important and something that we tend to overlook and not value. I can’t tell you how important it is. It really does impact everything. Now please don’t hear this as another to do. When you understand the way things work, that just gets handled. It gets taken care of. There are so many things that are actually getting taken care of that we think are on us that simply are not. And so I think one of the beautiful things about looking in this direction is things kind of falls off. Thinking falls away. There are things that just fall away that you just don’t have on your mind and that increases your bandwidth. Now when we have more bandwidth, there’s more creativity, more flow, we feel calmer, we’re less reactionary, we take less personally. And a whole new reality opens up quite organically. And it’s a wonderful thing if you’re in business. Wonderful, wonderful thing. It’s your greatest asset.
Over To You!
Do you value space in your business or do you look to fill it with actions in an attempt to keep striving, striving and striving?
- CBB 27: Tips For Staying In Your Business Lane - March 13, 2020
- CBB 26: How Julia Jones Built a Thriving Business Supporting Newborn Mothers - February 17, 2020
- CBB 25: How Jess Donovan Built a Membership Helping Mamas Raise Healthy Kids - February 10, 2020