I had a retreat day today so I went down to the river to think and reflect. I’m pondering my next steps for my life.
I sat on a bench drinking my coffee and eating some chocolate looking out at the river as rain dropped on my glasses. I felt my heart slow and my eyes open and my ears start to hear. I could hear the motorway in the far distance cutting across the silence. I’ve been thinking about perseverance lately, and how a river perseveres to cut through the landscape, bit my bit, day by day, year by year. It supports a whole ecosystem. It ebbs, it flows. People travel down it to get somewhere, but also for joy.
It has a danger, we didn’t make it. It moves. It changes. Think about last time you saw a river.
And then, as I walked I saw the motorway that crossed the river. Modern life, and certainly social media, marketing etc, feels like the motorway. Man-made. Chocca block. Stressed. Grey. Hurried. That’s what hustling, selling, buying fans on Facebook etc can feel like.
I’d much rather get into my rowing boat, and meander down the river. Be able to see the colours change (as they did in my painting I did above) see birds dive in, see paddleboarders and wave at them. In my business, this looks like networking, helping, teaching, coaching, noticing, innovating, asking questions, sharing.
A river is also a channel, which is what we call social media. It’s just that, a channel. I care about relationships, creativity, connection and honesty. I don’t advocate hard selling, buying fans, funnels etc. The most enjoyable work I do is really based around relationships and helping people to free themselves from fear (yes even with social media, branding and websites!)
I’m thinking about my plans next year and beyond. I plan to study Pioneer Ministry (doing church for those who don’t want to go in church buildings, eg caravans, shops, cafes etc) but I also love my work helping people with Joy Factory. I really want my activities each day to be like a journey on the river. Ebb and flow. I don’t want to be fixed in one place. I want to be able to see a need and respond and help. I care deeply about my Kickass Women network and I see that as a way of sharing the joy and love of life and God, too. Do I need a collar to do this? I’m not sure.
I guess my point is that we can slow down. So much of the hustle and hurry is just an illusion. What is it all for? What really matters? Why do we need to get to ‘x’ so fast? What if the journey is just as important?
People go on the river to mess around and play. Who does that on a motorway?
So get yourself a boat, get on the river and see where you end up and look around as you travel. If reading this has got you thinking then feel free to get in touch or comment. I’d love to hear!