I know many small business owners who struggled the last 12-18 months due to the economy. Many lamented at how rough it has been and are looking forward to business picking up this year. I took note about how they were using their downtime. Those who focused on their fears had a harder time with the uncertainty and doom & gloom news. Those who saw this down time as an opportunity to explore new options rode the waves skillfully through this unexpected downturn. These tsunami surfers used the down time to revise their website, learn about social media marketing, get more certifications, cultivate strategic alliances etc. It was interesting to note those business owners who specifically saw their down time as a God thing. They used it as a chance to deepen their faith or saw it as God’s grace that allowed them to pursue other opportunities.
Too often when we have downtime we quickly try to fill it with some other activity. Yet that isn’t how nature works. Nature follows with the rhythm of action and stillness, creativity and renewal. I recently completed the 40 days of the Winter Feast for the Soul program (see my January 11th blog). Those who joined me for weekly meditation gatherings said that they found the 40 minutes of daily reflection not only energizing, but very helpful to ground them throughout their day. We all felt that using the darker winter time for quiet reflection or meditation was beneficial for our soul. Now as the spring starts to emerge we are more ready and focused. Several participants said they want to continue longer than the 40 days because they found this quiet time so valuable and meaningful.
Downtime to renew your Spirit
Rather than seeing down time as time out from your work, look at ways you can use downtime to renew your spirit. Think of it as God Time. That is after all what the Sabbath represents, time to be quiet, reflect on your spiritual path, engage in prayers, meditation or spiritual practice to connect more intentionally with the Holy One. Our frenetic 24-7 business climate doesn’t seem to support taking a whole day off from busy activities to connect more intentionally with the Source of our being. Yet often it is in the silence, or the non-doing, that we get clarity, renewal, or affirmations for our next course of action.
Next time you are delayed from doing something, perhaps sitting in traffic, waiting for a delayed flight, or not getting projects started when you expected they would, look at this downtime as a gift. See it as an invitation to explore some aspect of your spiritual practice. Take this time to deepen your connection with your Higher Power. If you feel fear, stress, or uncertainty about your future, how can you use your down time to strengthen your faith?
You are always supported in your journey whether you are aware of it or not. Stay open to all the marvelous opportunities that await you when things don’t move forward as you planned. May you experience the gracefulness of sweet suspense in the unexpected slow times.
Bright Blessings unfolding for you.
For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.
Linda is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. Go to her website www.lindajferguson.com to read more about her work, view video clips of her talks, and find out more about her book “Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work” – paperback version available on Amazon. NOW NEW!!! the pdf version of Path for Greatness is available for download from her website.
P.S. Thanks to all of you who commented on my last post about The Power and Meaning of Money. I’ve recently uploaded the first five chapters of my new book, Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand, on my website. Go there to get a copy of these chapters. I’ll upload the remaining chapters in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!