Nick Smith's post "The joy of wallowing in a perfect mess" was a timely opportunity for me to gather together all the stray thoughts in my head.

I realised all too many "shoulds", too many "can'ts", have silently crept in over the recent years, especially during the final year at Vermillion. Success made it easy to succumb to the "we are consultants now, we should grow big fast, we should do PR, we should advertise... We can't care as much, we can't give too much away..." Somewhere along the way, I lost clear sight of what made me happy (exploring, creating, engaging, thinking, doing). I forgot the reason for starting the business in the first place - which was certainly not about building another business-as-usual (ie rules, limitations, money driven, power, egos).

"...the quality of 'flow' we experience is inversely proportional to the amount of control we impose in an effort to experience it in the first place." said Nick. And he was right. The more I tried to tow the shoulds line, the less flow I experienced. This Vermillion became a job.

I realised had decided a few months ago to give up on pushing things. No more desperate rush to organise, manage, control, complete and tidy up every aspect of every thing ASAP now immediately without delay. No more agonising over whether or not I am doing PR right, or enough. I am just kicking back, being open, responding to each opportunity as they arise, and doing what gives me joy.

My flow experience has kicked up several notches as a result. I am getting more of that buzz of doing/creating/being again that was so decimated post-Vermillion. It has taken long enough to get here.

Sure the house is not quite as tidy as before, but the dishes get done. Filing happens once a quarter instead of monthly, and it still took no longer. End resul: the stress, the unnecessary chatter linked to the shoulds have been replaced with a quiet sense of freedom - I don't have to do anything I don't want to. And I don't have to run my business according to others' expectations.

Next on my list - organising a holiday somewhere remote so i can get my full mojo back. When I get around to it.