Over the past week and a half, I had what could be considered a “really bad week.” And at the same time the “really bad week” led to a dozen or so a-ha moments that will massively impact my career over the next year.
Starting on Monday and Tuesday of last week, I noticed that I felt exhausted and lacked enthusiasm for a lot of things in my business – which was very unusual. I mentioned this slump on Facebook to see if other people were also feeling this way, and Regina P. pointed out that it could be due to Mercury Retrograde.
Not knowing what Mercury Retrograde was, I looked it up. It turns out that astrologers believe that Mercury Retrograde wreaks havoc in all sorts of different ways. Though I wasn’t completely convinced that my energy was being zapped by a planet’s orbit, I did think it could have had to do with PMS and the gloomy weather we’ve been having at the very least.
But once other difficult situations popped up on Wednesday and Thursday… I was starting to get suspicious of this Mercury in Retrograde thing.
Then Friday happened. First thing in the morning I lightly bumped my head which would normally not be a big deal at all. But because my neck was bending as it happened, the pressure on my forehead shot down to a disc in my lower neck and knocked it out of alignment. Just an innocent little bump caused immense pain and landed me on the couch for the majority of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (thank God for Tiger Balm).
After such a dismal week, finding myself immobile on the couch was disheartening to say the least.
However, two positives did come out of this couch-bound situation. The first was that I watched hours of You Tube interviews with thought leaders that I admire. I watched Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, Jonathan Fields, Chase Jarvis, and more.
Because I wasn’t able to act on anything in my business, literally, I was forced to listen.
And it turned out to ten times more productive than if I had taken action without listening first.
Rather than operate and make business decisions based on my “in the trenches” perspective, I was able to elevate myself to a higher vantage point by listening to successful people speak from their experience about what is most important, what is essential, what is next.
By simply clicking an interesting link from the recommended videos on the You Tube sidebar again and again, I was able to create my own personalized MBA on the topics I care about with the “professors” and “lectures” that I crave.
I highly recommend trying this on YouTube. Simply search YouTube for someone you admire and would like to learn from. Then, watch the videos that appear and then let the recommended video sidebar on the right guide you from there. Overall, I found the longer interviews were more powerful than the quick 3-5 minute clips. So if you have a chance to devote a few hours, I would go for the deeper content first.
The other blessing that this whole “Mercury in Retrograde week” presented was the idea that I can be consciously choosing weeks in the year that involve deep listening.
It turns out that MR lasts about three weeks and occurs three times a year. Rather than look at this time as a negative, I would actually like to devote these seasons to listening, learning, and absorbing. I would like to let them be a time for reflection, tying up loose strings, and carefully contemplating the actions I’d like to take going forward – all of which happen to be the positive side of the MR coin.
Historically, I tend to get an idea and try to implement the very next day. But after my experience this week, I now feel a sense of calmness and peace from creating three-week seasons to clarify. In the future, I plan to clear my schedule of regular business activities – as much as possible – during these seasons to make sure I can have that time to read, listen, and think deeply.
At this point, whether Mercury Retrograde is really a “thing” or not is irrelevant to me personally. Either way, I am now convinced that businesses improve when business owners include seasons for deep listening.
May something wonderful happen to you today,
Thinking of doing a Grow with Intention session with me?
I’m so glad I took the leap and invested in a business coaching session with Jess. I walked away with a strong purpose statement, a much better understanding of myself and the direction I want my business to go.
Alexandra Evjen, AVE Style
Jess Creatives wants to engage the community through outstanding and creative graphic design and photography with a Christ-like perspective. I love being able to help my clients improve their brand with print and digital promotional materials, as well as websites and social media.
Jessica Freeman, Jess Creatives