As an entrepreneur, the time you take to rest is just as important as the hours you spend at your desk. After all, your business isn't the one who decides how you spend your time, you do.
And the hard truth is if you are spending all your life energy on growing your business, you might find yourself reaching the next financial milestone burned out and alone.
It is essential to rest in a way that nourishes you and in this episode I will walk you through how to:
- Get creative about how you rest
- Find the style of relaxation that is most nourishing for you
- Create a self investment itinerary
One of my favourite ways to make sure I am seeing the big picture in my business and not overworking is to use Tarot and Oracle cards. Sign up for my Tarot Card Class to unlock your business intuition.
Welcome to the Love and Success Podcast. You are listening to Episode 183, Intentional Rest. Hello there, lovers! My name is Erin Aquin.
A few weeks ago, I did a podcast on intuition versus inertia, and really helped you sort out the moment when you are just feeling the pull of energy towards resting, relaxing, sleeping or maybe not following some rigid system or calendar when that energy is coming from your intuition or when it is inertia. And I have had some really interesting conversations and coaching sessions with my own clients around this because I think for a lot of us entrepreneurs – we tend to think of rest as being lazy. We tend to assume that “it's never our intuition telling us to slow down and take a break, that it's always just laziness and inertia.” I'm not going to say that that doesn't happen. But for the majority, at least some of the people that I work with are used to working very hard. We are the generators of our lives. We are not in entrepreneurship because we thought it was going to be simple and easy and, therefore, we make it harder than it needs to be, including giving ourselves a break. So, if you have trouble sometimes taking what I'm calling “intentional rest” – which could be anything from a day off or to slowing down for a longer or more extended period of time, I totally understand it.
Today we're going to talk about how to do it in a way that actually supports you and fuels your business growth, and of course supports your life. We are not just here to have thriving businesses at the expense of our own self investing our own self-care or the important people in our life. My whole coaching practice exists to help more people have the kind of business that they want in a way that feels more aligned; it does not lead to ruining your personal life.
It’s no fun to get to a huge financial milestone and realize you have no one around you to celebrate that with. I know so many entrepreneurs that have worked themselves into the ground and totally bulldozed over the people in their life and have had divorces, breakups, weird relationships with their kids or other family members, and they really do just end up feeling alone in their riches. And we're NOT about that here! I want to really help you create the kind of business you want as you do it while making room for everything important to you in your life. And so intentional rest is something we have to do even if it doesn't come naturally even if you have previously told yourself that resting is bad, it's lazy and it's evil.
Here, we are going to talk about how to do it in a way that is supportive to you and how to do it before burnout. Another thing is, I know some entrepreneurs wait till they are totally burned out before they learn how to rest. That’s why we are here to talk about intentional rest – it is creating space and time to not do, to not create, and to not put things out into the world. And I've struggled with this myself, not only in the period of time when I was working so much that I experienced burnout and got very ill physically, but even sometimes when there are periods of time where I'm in a creation mode. This is usually when I'm writing a book, or creating a program where my muse, my oracle, will wake me up in the middle of the night and flood me with ideas, and it's very hard to turn that down. It's like I’m in a creative booty call – waking you up in the middle of the night, and it's hard to sometimes say no to that. However, this is something that is so important to do and when you actually are very committed to putting some bookends around your creation time and your output time and your work time when you really become more of the guardian of your spare time, more protective of that, and you start to really value your off time, your downtime, or whatever you call it.
What I have actually found happens is that you get more creative inspiration within your working hours. This is something I'm always trying to explain to my clients: when you trust that you are naturally creative, you don't need to wait for something to hit you. You can just decide I'm going to open myself up to a new idea to a creative solution to a problem. It will always come when you just trust that, and you haven't created a relationship with yourself where that is your default belief about how things work. Guess what? That's how things work! You don't need to worry if you get woken up in the middle of the night thinking that one idea is the only one that will ever come to you. A classic one is that during meditation, your brain comes up with all these beautiful solutions. You don't have to jump up and go write it down because you are either you're always trusting that if it is an idea that is supposed to stick around it will and if it doesn't stick around, you're not missing anything because what you're valuing in that moment is the intentional rest. We're making that the priority. I know that this can be hard to grasp if you happen to be a newer entrepreneur, you think like ideas just come in, come from the stars and you must capture them. But as you get further in your business as you grow, and you start to really establish a relationship with yourself that you could just call on the creativity naturally available to you.
One of the fun ways I'm talking about this in my intuitive business series is through tarot cards and oracle cards. I'm doing a workshop coming up this month, where I'm teaching some of my favorite business spreads: the layout of the cards in certain ways and how to interpret those things for everything from solving a problem in your business to actually creating content. I use tarot cards and oracle cards for my marketing all the time, and it's so much more fun than sitting at my desk staring at a blank screen and wondering, “What am I going to say today?” So, if that sounds fun to you, you can join me for that workshop coming up. The link is in the show notes for the workshop, or you can find it over on Instagram can follow me @ErinAquin, and you'll see more information about that workshop. There are cards, but this is just one of many tools to keep you in touch with your creativity with your problem solving ability with your powers of manifestation at all times.
Another fun way I use that tool is to check in with myself about intentional rest. When is it time to slow down, take a day off maybe take a vacation I love using divination tools for that insight as well. As a general rule, I think it's one of those things that you probably would want to build into your regular routine. I love there's so many different ways you can do this but personally I take three days a week off. I am not in my business Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Fridays, I call them CEO Fridays and I will work on myself as the CEO of my business like doing some kind of deeper self-care: sometimes a spa day or getting a massage, and other days, it is reading some personal development or spiritual development material. Some days I'll like to give myself a personal retreat.
One of our COVID projects was to renovate two buildings on our property, and one of them is my private yoga and meditation space which also has a sauna. Some Fridays I'll just spend all day out in that space really caring for myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and I would consider that intentional rest. I know other entrepreneurs that like to work in cycles. They will do regular nine to five Monday to Friday type of work and then they'll take every six weeks off. However, another thing that we do is we take a month off every year… sometimes two and go to Hawaii to just chill out with our kids and have fun, and just totally change our surroundings which are beautiful in the middle of the winter. Just like getting away from our regular day to day life, it doesn't totally matter how it should fit with what you like, but intentional rest should be meaningful. What I would love to do is give you some guidelines, some ideas about how to create more intentional rest in your life as an entrepreneur. I will say this until the end of time. But as an entrepreneur, whether you have a team of 20 and you think of yourself as the CEO of your company, or whether it's just you and your note you're starting out and you're round your first 100k really just like picking up steam in your business – you are an integral part of the existence of your company. You are the person who took an idea, a vision and is turning it into something in the world that other people get to benefit from. I call that real life magic. Taking an idea and turning it into something real is the definition of magic, like you created from nothing. I think that sometimes as entrepreneurs we get so caught up in the day to day that we forget the mystical that we are bringing to life. We forget that almost spiritual nature to what it is we're here to do. And whose lives we're here to affect and change. Now I know not every entrepreneur has some big, huge legendary mission. Well, maybe you design T-shirts, and you know you exist to put a smile on people's faces and have them wear comfortable clothes. That is still something that is so meaningful, and you need the spiritual juice behind that to keep that going especially when things get challenging and hard. So, one of the very first guidelines that I would invite you to play with is to make sure intentional rest is on your calendar often. You could even time this if you know that, you know in the winter for instance, you tend to be more sluggish and not as productive. Maybe you don't plan your next t-shirt launch around that time of year.
In my upcoming mastermind program, we're going to be talking a lot about how to design your business in the space of flow productivity, which is really a fancy way of saying that we design your schedule based on how your natural rhythms or the seasonal rhythms where you live really work. I love to time things in my business according to the lunar cycle. Right before a new moon or dark moon depending on how you like to think of it, I like to make sure that in the week leading up I have plenty of time to think, to reflect, to meditate, and to be coached. I always have coaching sessions from my coaches during that week so that when the new moon comes, I can start that cycle feeling refreshed and rested. Then I use the waxing moon energy to build the full moon to really manifest and then the waning moon to release, to let go, and to re-evaluate… and that has been tremendously useful. When I look back at my most successful projects in my business, they all happen to follow that particular cycle. Other entrepreneurs may time it based on their menstrual cycle or seasonal cycle, or like the six week cycle that we were talking about that sort of thing. But whatever it looks like for you, whether you need to know, whether you thrive and you rest more in concentrated shorter bursts of time, or whether you're one of those people that needs a week.
Ask yourself this when you go on vacation, “Are you one of those people that likes to get on the plane and you can totally relax and let go and you're like in vacation mode from moment one or are you a person who needs a couple of days to decompress?” You find yourself reaching for your phone, you find yourself checking your email, even when you're on when you're on out of office to not to start. You kind of want to know where your tendencies are, what your patterns are so that you can build accordingly. For me having the Friday, Saturday and Sunday where I'm away from my desk and I'm not coaching clients always feel so refreshing and recharging. I don't really need a whole week, every six weeks the way that some people do. It's nice but I kind of get a little antsy. I want to know what's going on. I want to be creating. I could probably use that week, maybe to do a different creative project, which we'll be experimenting with in the new year, but I don't need a big expensive time. I would much rather take a month off every six months, then a week every month or two. Once you kind of have an idea of what's going to be most useful for you even just as a first experiment, then you've got to really commit to intentionally resting during that time. And I know it sounds really easy, but I've actually found that for many of us this can be a little tricky. So, one of the things if this is a kind of a newer idea for you is that you might want to play with something that could be really useful. Like having a theme around your intentional rest which is sort of like having a loose outline for how you're going to do it.
I remember I went to this overnight spa with my husband a couple years ago and they have like an itinerary. They gave us when our meals were and what type of treatments were on a little piece of paper. It was kind of like a bookend to when we knew we had free time and space. We could look at that and say, “Oh that might be a good place for a nap,” or like “Hey, we could go for a walk here.” And it just added a little bit of structure to our intentional downtime. However, not everybody loves that. Some people like to just be off and have complete whitespace, totally a free day and not plan anything. I do like a loose schedule. So, for me having a theme and a light schedule is a really nice thing. Some themes I like to play with are around the type of well-being that I'm going to do. If I'm going to do a retreat day, I might pick the theme of nourishment, and then on that day I'm going to eat foods that feel very nourishing and very healthy – more like cleanse food. And I am going to probably intentionally unplug so I won't be working on my computer. I won't be watching TV. I won't be consuming a course or like trying to catch up on homework for something else. I will just be breeding and resting and going for walks and being in nature and the theme will be like around and the question that I would continue to ask myself is, “what would nourish me next?” “What's the most nourishing thing I could do next?” And then that gives you some flexibility that you can be a little more spontaneous if that's your thing. Or you can say, “here are the ways that I love to feel nourished, 12345. This is what I'm going to do today 12345!”
I also love to plan something social at the end of a rest day or a rest period. I love to do date nights with my husband on intentional rest days. I feel like I spend the whole day really pouring into myself and then I have some new energy, some new perspective to focus on someone I really love and I love to spend time with. This is also strategic for me because after an intentional rest day, I know my little brain would love to get online and just check my email to do this, just chuck in a couple emails no big deal. But if I immediately have a social plan or something special to do with my husband or my kids, I can complete that day. So those are some ideas for some intentional rest: remembering that there's two important things to always remember.
One, it has to be intentional. You've got to actually know what you're doing and why you're doing it and why it's important and how it's going to fuel you for the future and how it's going to kind of wipe the slate clean for you when you do return to your desk.
Two, resting. Resting is different from switching to a different task. When you're resting, you're not just working on a different project. You're not cleaning your closet or doing the laundry when you're resting. You're also not just checking out while you're resting. You're actually doing the thing that nourishes you most.
My challenge for you is to plan some intentional rest in your day in your week. Your month is coming up and let me know what you decided to do. You can head over and find me on Instagram.com/ErinAquin. Tell me all about your plans for upcoming intentional rest if you are an entrepreneur who's making money but is feeling a little stuck right now. Maybe things are feeling a bit stale, and you are trying to create something new in 2022, I have something for you. The doors to my upcoming mastermind and mentorship are open for pre-registration soon. You can head over to the link here in the show notes to get on the waitlist. This is going to be an incredible opportunity to work with other high level entrepreneurs who are already making money on crafting your business in a more intuitive and aligned way. This is something I cannot wait to share with you. But it's limited to 10 people so if that sounds interesting to you click the link here in the show notes or head over to www.revitalizeyourrelationship.com/mastermind and apply for early registration! We get started right away in 2022.
I will be your guide on all things, love and success. I'll talk to you next week. Take care!