We’re approaching a time of year to slow down, shut off, and spend time with the people we love. But, the holidays can be stressful for many of us because of the pressure to hit deadlines, buy presents, and host family and friends.
Naturally, our state of mind affects how we enjoy the holidays; we need to remind ourselves that this is a time to reflect and be grateful for what we have, what we’ve achieved, and where we’re headed.
This month I’m inspired by people and ideas that put us in the moment to enjoy simple pleasures: getting lost in a good book, the satisfaction of cooking a meal for your loved ones, and being inspired by perspectives that shape how we think and act in the year ahead:
The Art of Stillness, In Conversation With Pico Iyer via On Being podcast
Doing nothing is hard, especially when we live in large cities, travel for work, and make big decisions for our businesses. That’s why I was intrigued by this conversation with author and journalist Pico Iyer. He travels the world for work from Ethiopia to North Korea and Japan, but he also retreats to a remote Benedictine hermitage as his second home to practice what he calls “the art of stillness.”
In this podcast, Iyer discusses his inner life: what he’s learned about himself and others by putting himself in the wilderness. He said something powerful in the conversation that aligns with how a lot of us feel as technology increasingly integrates with our lives: “...I noticed when I began traveling a lot 30 years ago, I would talk about going to Cuba or going to Tibet, and people's eyes would light up with excitement. And nowadays, I notice that people's eyes light up most in excitement when I talk about going nowhere or going offline. And I think a lot of us have the sense that we're living at the speed of light, at a pace determined by machines. And we've lost the ability to live at the speed of life.”
The Winters by Lisa Gabriele
The holidays are a perfect time to catch up on reading and get lost in a good story. So I advise you to run, don’t walk, to a bookstore and buy The Winters by Lisa Gabriele, author and award-winning TV producer, writer, and director. This story will have you on the edge of your seat.
Goodreads describes the story as, “Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, a spellbindingly suspenseful novel set in the moneyed world of the Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that can’t be escaped.” I read this book in October, and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t recommend it enough.
How Animals Show Their Love via OP Veterinary Science Faculty, The University of Pretoria
Being around an animal, whether walking a dog, petting a horse, or listening to birds sing on your morning walk, can have an immediate effect on our wellbeing. Anytime I need to destress, I make sure to get outside, even if it’s for a five-minute walk. This two-minute video shows how a horse, with a lot of compassion, is visiting hospitals and homes to bring sick people joy.
If you find yourself having a tough time this holiday, take a moment to be with an animal if you can: go for a trail walk, take a longer walk with your dog, or visit a shelter and volunteer your time. A few minutes can make a big difference in how we feel.
We’re All Content Providers Now via Financial Times
As the year comes to an end, it’s normal that our minds will wander into the new year and new work. This story from Financial Times is one I might find myself mulling over throughout the holidays. Sharing stories about the companies we fund at District Ventures Capital is so important and this article embodies that sentiment.
I enjoyed this piece, because it’s a reminder that no matter the varieties of content out there, there’s always one constant with storytelling. Journalist Roger Tredre lends his perspective: “tone and aesthetics vary greatly, but the ‘arrest, engage, activate’ process is the same.”
This article, in my opinion, is a good reflection piece for setting the intention of your own content. We encourage our clients at Venture Communications to tell compelling stories about their products and services that customers will find themselves repeating with family and friends.
At the end of each year, I post a public message to my followers and ask Canadian entrepreneurs to reply with a link to what they make and sell, so fellow Canadians can support their businesses by buying gifts over the holidays. More than 700 people have replied, reminding us of how many incredible products and services Canadians are providing across the country.
Some of the products I have on my shelf, especially at Christmas: Drizzle Honey for my morning tea and as a new ingredient in some of our family dishes. For convenient and cozy mornings, I love the waffle mix from Calgary’s Torill’s Table.
Tell me, what is helping you slow down and reflect in December?
Tags: arlene dickinson, confidence, diversity, dragons den, entrepreneur, female entrepreneur, inspiration, leadership, mental health, online reading, reading, self-confidence, small business, stress, women