On a few occasions in the past few years, I’ve found myself a complete bundle of nerves – lacking focus, low on productivity, irritable and not really creative. Nothing seems to inspire and nothing gives satisfaction. It’s usually a phase that lasts for a couple of weeks before I realize the real cause.
I haven’t spent enough time with myself, watering my soul. I’m dry within.
Ensuring that my soul is watered and moist, and therefore fragrant, has been even more critical in the last 2 years of this startup journey. Infact I’ve learnt that if there’s something that I cannot afford to neglect, it’s myself. I cannot think of creating something with my heart and soul, if I’m not at peace within. If my soul isn’t well watered. A drought inside me will reflect outside – in the drying up of everyday excitement to come to work, in the evaporation of creative ideas that will propel Talking Street to the next level, in the ability to execute productively. It will reflect in mediocrity.
Perhaps this is a single founder, woman entrepreneur-cum-mom’s perspective. But I’m pretty sure it holds for anyone who is attempting anything, especially something on their own. The challenges of trying to create something where nothing exists, of being the one person where every buck stops, of trying to do it with limited resources (in most cases), of battling with elements that you don’t understand very well (technology in my case) – makes this no mean journey.
Through the last two years, I have realized that despite all the stuff I need to balance, the most important one is me myself. I’m at the center of it all. The startup, the home, my son and husband, parents, extended family, friends, other commitments … all need attention and nurturing. And for me, ensuring that I balance time and energy judiciously on these fronts has been quite important.
But all of them come after I’ve nurtured myself. If I’m at peace with myself, I’ll be at peace with everything around me. If my soul is watered, I’ll be able to provide water to others around me.
It sounded paradoxical at first. I need to spend more time on the startup – there’s so much that needs to get done. I need to spend more time at home, my son needs me. And in the midst of that, I should spend time by myself? Where is THE TIME?
It felt like that until I decided to take some hard calls on what was non-negotiable and started including the things that were critical to finding balance.
My soul is watered when I make time to dance. When I make time to meditate. When I make time to just be by myself. When I make time to sleep for 7-8 hours every night. When I make time to travel into nature.
That’s a long list, I realize. But the bottom-line is taking those 30 mins or 1 hour to do the things that make me feel good on a daily basis. Even at the cost of not getting some of the to-dos done, on certain days.
After all, life is a journey, just like Talking Street. It’s not a race to a destination. And, like any journey, it should be a fun-filled, happy and peaceful ride.
How do you water your soul?