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What to expect at Missoulala

Mar 1, 2018 | Confessions

After many years as an entrepreneur (I am a Documentary Family photographer), I know that many of us accidentally adopt a pattern that’s setting us up for insane amounts of stress and anxiety in our businesses and lives.

I found myself falling into some of the traps. I spent every available moment I could working on my business. I spent every available dime on my business. No four-hour-work-week at the beach in sight. Not even sipping a fruity cocktail on the porch! Still, I never felt like it was enough.

I thought that taking time to enjoy any (let alone the simple) pleasures of life is just frivolous or silly. I joined the loooong and sad parade of ‘busy’ people. I should have regarded my down time as just as important as my work time. But I didn’t. Until I stumbled upon the term ‘Creative Pause’ – I needed a scientifically backed term to allow myself to pause! Pathetic, I know.

The most productive, highest performing people regard their down time as just as important as their work time. In research on creativity and productivity, they call this the Creative Pause. Good. Moving in the right direction. But it wasn’t enough. Despite taking creative pauses, overwhelm was constantly lurking around the corner. Things to do, simply didn’t go away by drinking tea and eating too much apple pie. I realized I had to put an end to the madness. But I didn’t know HOW!

We get all sorts of info on building a biz. We get a gazillion of tips, tricks and tactics to be everywhere at the same time and, of course, hit 6 or 7 figures as quickly as humanly possible (which means over night). But living a life that fuels you? Inspires you? Brings out the best in you? Actionable help about leading a purpose-driven life? A slow life? A meaningful life? Whilst having FUN? Not so much.

I did my own research. A life and business that loves you back is build on CONSCIOUS decisions. Sounds fabulous. Wait! What exactly does it mean? How the heck do you accomplish that?

I became an entrepreneur to have the freedom, ease and abundance to love every moment of my life. And to be able to boss myself around all day long (I am very good at that). On my journey ‘conscious decisions’ translated into being picky. About the people in my life, how I would spend my work day and leisure time, what information I’d consume etc. My choices were naturally influenced by the desire ‘to get rid off XYZ’. Faulty approach. In the photography world you would call this ‘negative culling’ i.e. concentrating on what NOT to choose. Funny enough, I have always followed the process of ‘positive culling’ with my images. I only highlight the keepers.

I wanted to apply ‘positive culling’ to my choices in life.

Still, my choices were random and I would go back on my decisions, causing even more confusion for myself. I needed a ‘system’, guidance, a metrix. Honestly, if I didn’t decide to look for a framework, I would not have been able to start leading A Life By Choice, and I would have thrown in the towel long ago!

I found my framework in ‘Shibui’, a Japanese concept striving for the essence of life. It was right in front of my nose.

Shibui is the Japanese concept of beauty, referring to a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty, economy of form, line, and effort, producing a timeless tranquility. There are seven elements that help to describe something Shibui: simplicity, implicitly, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, and imperfection. These qualities enhance the underlying essence of life.

I came across Shibui during my travels through Japan in 2007. What started out as a concept of aesthetic to apply to my imagery, expanded to my very own lifestyle. No matter if I create an image, travel, cook, hike, decorate our house or buy a cardigan – I am looking for simplicity, not drama. I am looking for implicitly, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, and imperfection.

Shibui made space for a lifestyle I’ve been dreaming of, enabling me to live A Life By Choice and do my very best work.

There is no more pressing topic for working women these days than work-life balance. At the heart of it, having a business and life you love means CONSCIOUSLY designing your business AROUND your lifestyle.
It’s easy to believe that achieving work-life balance is all about a meticulously organized schedule and throwing on your Superwoman cape so you can be everything to everyone. Nope. It’s not. It is about making smart choices in favour of less, but better.

There will be times when you’ve gotta put your head down and hustle for your business. But if you don’t learn the art of balancing, you’ll never get to enjoy the fruits of your labor when your business is flowing. Whether you’re a newbie or veteran entrepreneur, if you’re ready for more ease in your life, seriosuly consider to lead A Life By Choice.

Balance isn’t something you can achieve. It’s something you DO. Let me show you how.