- two thousand and nineteen -
Already forty nine days of this new year have passed and only today I felt like writing again - Hi everybody!
A few months ago, nearing the end of last year, something had shifted in me.
‘slow down Maureen, it all can wait’
Something was shifting in me, my energy became very low, I was tired all the time, my body literally protested and finally I became more aware of the connection of it all.
‘take care of yourself, now’
I listened to that inner voice that slowing down, in real life and online - was a good thing. Not so long ago, slowing down would feel like standing still to me, but not anymore. Slowing down and stepping back to look at my priorities, somehow made it all seem so clear.
So I leaned in and simply started with making no new appointments. I removed Instagram from my phone, put my computer away and started to enjoy the quietness that came with shutting out all the unwanted online noise I had let into my daily life.
I started with my social media. Instagram started to feel as if I was dancing at a big party, where everyone and their mother was dancing too. Sure, it's the place to be, to create, to inspire and connect with the whole world. But it’s also filled with noise, negativity and unwanted information. The party is always in full swing, 24/7 and I enjoy being there. But I also noticed that it was harder and harder to reach my readers and the people I enjoyed reading along. Like a hungry beast, Instagram needs feeding all the time, which sucked all the fun out of dancing at this amazing party.
But, since I do want to spend some of my energy there and I’m still inspired by other creatives, I still want to inspire more people with my energy and I still love to make meaningful connections - a simple change in time management was needed. I also unfollowed some accounts to make room for other inspiring ones.
I also shifted my focus to do more of what I love.
I love to read, so I re-read a book a week. It’s great to spend time with my old books instead of endless scrolling on my phone or reading on my computer. Turning a real page and holding a real book with a hot cup of tea, to me is simply bliss.
My sleeping pattern needed more hours, so I tried (and failed) to sleep more. But even one or two hours going to bed earlier was a win to me. Not everyday needs to tick all the wellness boxes; shifting energy and shifting daily habits is a process.
Since we walked a lot in New York and don’t own a car in Brighton, I walk a lot. But also taking the local bus, sitting upstairs like a tourist in these red double deckers made me slow down much more. These buses don’t go so fast, so I made myself lean back and enjoy the short rides.
I also have travelled almost every 3 weeks to work through our big storage unit (almost done!) in The Netherlands, while making these shifts. The creative plans I have are my roadmap, I just needed to tell myself that it’s okay to adjust my time frames. Remember my triangle blueprint I was talking about? It’s set in place - New York + Amsterdam + Brighton. Living and working in these three places will need all my energy and attention, while staying present for my girls and my marriage, my family and my friends.
So yes, leaning into my decision to really pull my energy backwards, more towards myself, it made me think of handling a catapult. For a moment time seems to stand still while you pull back to aim. But the moment you decide you are ready to let go, it can only move one way - forward.