Weekly smARTips: The upside of the downside

smartist upside of the downside

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Your smARTip for this week:

The Upside of the Downside

If you’ve been paying attention, you will have noticed either a lapse in my blog responses to your comments, or a lag time, throughout this month of August.

This is because I made a commitment to myself last year, when I took an unprecedented three weeks vacation — all in row! — that the pay off in terms of my clarity, openness, and, yes, increased curiosity, was worth the aggravation of not being available 24/7 to my online biz.

When I returned in September of 2012 a changed woman – someone with a sparkle in her eye – I vowed…

to repeat the journey again in August of 2013 – a traditional vacation month I had sidestepped pretty much my whole life.

Of course, the year in-between slipped away, as years tend to do, and I found myself scrambling to get everything ready for me to, literally, take a hike!


 The Downside


The downside was that for six weeks before I left, I was back up to 10-hour work days, and not at all sure about how I could let an entire month of blog posts go with me not responding to comments.

Because, part of the vow was that I would not work at all for the entire 3 weeks. (LOL)

I was also anxious – what will happen if I don’t keep my eye on the biz ball for three whole weeks?

And worried about money – what might I forget to pay where the consequences would not be pretty? And will enough come in while I’m gone to take care of my ever-present overhead and loyal team members?

Then there was the reality of returning home to an inbox drowning in un-responded emails, and possibly a plant or two that couldn’t manage 3 weeks without my vigilant touch.


The Upside


Practically speaking, knowing I was leaving gave me the gift of a deadline, something that can be hard to cough up when you are self-employed. So I become more organized than usual and found ways to integrate different steps, where before I would have wandered about, stopping here and there for virtual lattes.

Psychologically speaking, there was the remarkable exercise of keeping a commitment I was making to myself – as if myself actually counted (imagine that?).

Spiritually speaking, naming the anxiety pushed me to open my heart to a deep kind of trust in life – that I did not have to keep my eye on the biz ball all the time; that there were forces far greater than I keeping the planets from colliding into each other, and I could avail myself of that same grace.

8 Responses to “Weekly smARTips: The upside of the downside”

  1. I could really relate to this post, Ariane. I took a couple of short trips to see my kids but I also allowed most of the last 4 weeks to be much slower and easier than usual and to back off from the steady work I usually do year round.

    It’s felt great. I have four commissions I’m just starting to plan out and a busy Fall season coming up. I sure needed that break. As the economy took its downturn, my portrait commission business became much more active and I had to back off from my beloved landscape paintings. I’m going with what the universe is presenting to me and seeing how that goes.

  2. Kate Aubrey says:

    Good for you, Phyllis.
    The universe has a way of knowing what’s really needed.
    I’ll send good thoughts your way.

  3. Kate Aubrey says:

    Arianne, I think what you are doing is one of the hardest things to do, emotionally speaking, when you have a small business whether it’s an art business or not. I have trouble with it, myself.
    Oddly enough, it has more to do with me loving what I do so much…or maybe that it’s so much a part of who and what I am that it is very difficult to stop skating around in full Right-Brain-left-brain synch and just relax into life once in a while.

    I do need it, though. Left brain really does deserve a bit of “on top” time. We’ll see how well I do with that now that the busy (and I do mean Busy) Cape summer is winding down.

    Thanks for making me think of it again.

    • For me, who also loves what I do, the key was understanding two things:
      1. Loving what I do has nothing to do with me not taking a break – that was a cover story for what might show up when I deliberately stopped doing what I love and found something else to take it’s place for 3 weeks.

      2. After my first 3-week hiatus last year, I discovered that my love thrived in the aftermath of relaxing.

      That’s what got me to give it a go this year!

  4. Kate Aubrey says:

    Well, that’s pretty cool, Arianne. I wonder why I Really don’t take any breaks? Hmm.

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