Business As Unusual: Breaking It To Make Something Better
In 1952, in an effort to prevent clumsy or careless people from breaking items in a shop, a Miami Beach store owner posted a sign that read: “You break it, you buy it.” The catchy phrase served as a warning to shoppers. This type of sign can now be seen in many boutiques. A different sign was placed in a local potter's shop that read; “If you break it, we’ll make it into something better.” The notion of "breaking it and making it into something better" comes to mind as a great analogy for what transpired over the course of our recent break ...
"Almost everything works better if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
A few minutes? How about a few months? In our case, three glorious months —and boy, are we 'working better' because of it. So many folks across the universe lifted us up with their words of encouragement and support as we set off on our long-planned Radical Sabbatical , that we promised to keep an "unplugged" journal for sharing upon our return. And we did. And we're back. And right up front, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding during our absence.
We're hopeful that sharing the highlights of our experience will encourage others first; to recognize that "self-care isn't selfish" and second; to take a break by totally unplugged from the internet, mobile phone, computer, iPad, and other online devices for a day, two days, a weekend, a week or even longer. Call it a digital detox, taking as much time as you can to rediscover that elusive "gift of presence" as we have.
Our Journey of Rediscovery
"We rediscovered the magic of giving important discussions our undivided time and attention versus what's left of both at the end of the day."
For us, the feeling of waking up in the morning and just sitting back, becoming more of a participant versus observer, brought with it an unexpected sense of relief, liberty, and a priceless moment to actually enjoy each moment —just as it is. Again, really listening and talking to each other without distractions just felt a bit like old times, like when we were children. Noticeable over time was how calm, free, careless, and lighthearted we became. Days without interruptions or anxiety. Days of peace and quiet and intentional, wonderful, silence. A feeling of timelessness. Surprisingly, the feeling of restless or bored never entered the picture, as we were so enamored by a feeling of liberation. We were hooked on the notion of enjoying more with less. Less noise. Less compulsion. Less discomfort. Less reliance. And we developed even more gratitude for the simple ingredients right in front of us for a joyful life.
"Somewhere between handling challenges, taking care of business, and juggling responsibilities, you may have lost pieces of yourself that you long to recover. Perhaps they were buried and forgotten long ago. Rediscovering is more than just being reminded of these golden treasures. It is being able to excavate your riches by pulling them out, polishing them off, and allowing them to shine again."
Preserving the Magic
Finding our Flow
On the personal front, we immersed ourselves into a series of deep-dive discussions of anything found within our daily "life as usual" bucket. People. Relationships. Travel. Fun. Not Fun. Auto-pilot stuff, Etc. Pretty much, taking stock of our lives in every respect imaginable. And then we emptied the bucket, sorted out the contents, determined what was really important and what was not. We refilled the bucket by intentionally shifting our time, attention, and focus to the former. A lighter bucket emerged, but one full of more time to discover and enjoy what really matters. An opportunity to bask in the glow of fewer stressors.
We brought the same mindset to everything in our "business as usual" bucket. Routines. Schedules. To-do lists. Post-it notes. Clutter. Expectations. Pressure points. Angst. Stressors. It was time for business as usual to morph into "business as unusual". We literally reimagined everything under the 360° Nation umbrella. Every Page. Every Channel. Every Event. Everything ditched or refreshed. Including a renewed commitment to Goodworks 360°—our "for good" Foundation.
Looking Back As We Look Forward
We rediscovered each other and reaffirmed our purpose, or our "why". The why that fuels our passion, encompasses our work, our relationships, wrapping around everything we do. We emerged from "finding our flow" ready to live our lives in a more intentional way, with a sharper focus on everything that really matters.
Take it from us. When we learn to use, enjoy, and experience the benefits of technology, but not be attached to it or dominated by it, we are liberated. And with liberation, comes that keen awareness of the simple ingredients right in front of us for a joyful life. Our relationships are our bedrock, our foundation. We need to nurture them with the love and attention they really deserve. Though we may be caregivers or breadwinners for others, we need to remember to care for ourselves along the way. Because self-care really truly isn't selfish. Step back for a moment. Take a break. Take some "unplugged" time to transform twenty twenty-two into twenty twenty—YOU.