As I write this, it’s the end of the fourth week of lockdown here in the UK. And the question over whether the bird song is louder than previous years is one that I’ve been pondering on for the past few days.
I took a break from my hour exercise today and sat on the grass in a little valley, nestled in the Devil’s Punchbowl. I feel incredibly fortunate to be living just five minutes walk from acres of National Trust land, here on the Surrey/Hampshire borders.
As I closed my eyes, the birds around me were singing.
Are they louder than previous Springtimes?
There’s no doubt that for those of you who live in the cities, that the birds sound louder than ever before. But for me, sitting on that grass, I rarely hear traffic, even on the busiest of days.
I refrain from googling this question now I am back home because my educated guess is that, no, the birds aren’t singing any louder than before. Yes, we have seen some dramatic changes to pollution levels across the globe; from Venice to the banks of the River Ganges. But I doubt that our birds are pumping up the volume because we are all in lockdown.
The reason is more likely to be because I am quieter than usual.
Without the hustle and bustle of trips up to London for meetings, the regular family taxi pick-up from the train station and meet-ups with friends, I find myself, along with the whole nation, with absolutely nowhere to go, except my daily exercise hour and essential grocery shopping.
I find I have the time to sit on my bench in my front driveway to have my morning coffee. I have the time to take my hour exercise every day, walking across acres of heathland and woodland. I find I have more time to spend with myself, despite the fact that there are four other adults in the house with me.
My awareness of outside noise such as the Springtime bird song is simply turned up because I have been more still in one place than for a long time.
Now, what has this to do with business?
Plenty, I promise you.
Because it’s this stillness that allows you to experience your own business. When the emails are closed down, you stop scrolling your newsfeeds and the Zoom calls are finished, this is your opportunity to sit in the stillness.
I get it.
Stillness can feel incredibly difficult for a lot of people; especially for those Dominant Do-ers among us. It wasn’t something that came to me easily, either. As a self-confessed strong, independent woman who has spent the first 40-odd years of life being a person who strives in getting stuff done, I have had to learn how to be still.
I have taken courses, hired coaches and invested a lot of money in helping me settle so I can hear the stillness. Some may say it has been the menopausal awakening that many women experience during the start of their fifth decade. Others may call it a mid-life crisis!
But stillness has become the place I come back to any time I need to make a decision.
Stillness has become the grounding I need before switching tasks or taking on a new project.
Stillness allows me to connect with my True Profit Compass; my version of how I want the energies of money, creativity and impact to show up in my business.
And stillness now is allowing me to hear the bird song.
I’d love to know what you are noticing now you have nowhere to go. What has been amplified around you now you have nowhere to go?
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
About the author
Karen Skidmore is a midlife leadership & business coach for entrepreneurs scaling their purpose & profit. Business Books Awards finalist 2020 & podcaster, Karen uniquely combines the being-ness and doing-ness of business to help you grow, without burning out.
The first step in discovering the True Profit in your business is to take the True Profit Test.