A handful of times in my life, I walked into a moment when all normalcy, all routine, everything I knew to be true—completely changed in an instant. Time stopped and my entire focus was on the present moment.
After my parents died.
When my babies were born.
When Aunt Marilyn was in rehab after her stroke.
Taking the leap from corporate to start my business.
In these times, other priorities faded into the background and the most important task in front of me was all I could focus on. Moments that would have been easily forgotten at other times of my life—brought me into appreciation of all that I’ve missed when I was swept up by the siren song of routine living.
Making it to school on time or falling asleep at night after my parents’ accident when I was 11.
Wondering if the baby needed to be changed, fed or put down for a nap—and getting the answer right.
Watching a once chatty Aunt Marilyn struggle to form a word as simple as "no."
Signing my first client.
Now, after many years, I find myself in a similar moment in time. It’s not as life changing as loss, or birth, or sickness—and some may laugh (I know who you are) at the very connection—but it brings to mind the same slowing down and refocus I’ve encountered before. We have a new puppy that has brought a combination of love and chaos into my life, and his needs have summoned my presence, forcing me to step off the treadmill and re-evaluate priorities.
I was fearful that bringing this new little guy into our lives would throw my business off course —that I would have no time to do what I need to do. And instead what I found was that what I need to do is changing. The number of hours I spend practicing presence with this animal has helped me more easily shift into that gear with clients, colleagues and in my work overall.
I know my slow speed is temporary. It’s not part of my DNA and I’m self-aware enough to get that. But I’m learning that in my wholesale dropping of projects because "it’s not a good time," I am focusing on the parts of the job I love—with the muscle memory of presence. I am getting more energy from my work and the business continues to thrive while I’m working less. I’ve heard this could happen, but living it first-hand now feels like a gift.