Stop the Hustle: On Slowing Down, Stepping Up & Paying Attention

Stop the Hustle | Oh My! Handmade

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hus•tle (ˈhʌs əl)
v. -tled, -tling,
n.

  1. to proceed or work rapidly or energetically.
  2. to push or force one’s way; jostle or shove.
  3. to be aggressive, esp. in business or other financial dealings.
  4. Slang. to earn one’s living by illicit or unethical means.
  5. Slang. (of a prostitute) to solicit clients.
  6. to convey or cause to move, esp. to leave, roughly or hurriedly.
  7. to pressure or coerce (a person) to buy or do something, esp. something illicit or ultimately unprofitable.
  8. to urge, prod, or speed up: Hustle your work along.
  9. to obtain by aggressive and often illicit means: to hustle money from unsuspecting tourists.
  10. to sell, promote, or publicize aggressively or vigorously.
  11. to jostle, push, or shove roughly

[1675–85; < Dutch husselen, variant of hutselen to shake = hutsen to shake]

The Free Dictionary, Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary

For many this is the season of hustle when consumers and businesses large and small are swept up in a selling, shopping frenzy. Publishing this on the 10th anniversary of the day I registered my first handmade business and during our winter slowdown seems like perfect timing. I know the internet has little time for long form these days but my words don’t fit in convenient boxes lately so I hope you’ll make time when you are able to slow down and dig in. This is all about getting to the goodness always waiting at the centre when we stop the hustle, slow down, and really step up for each other.

It started with seeing Hustle everywhere. A quick Etsy search for ‘hustle’ results in thousands of items with the word shining in gold scripty font on everything from pencils to prints, even your baby can rep a onesie on the virtues of conning each other in the name of personal progress. Currently the word is being used to mean working hard in your business or toward your goals with everyone from would-be business gurus to lifestyle bloggers laying down the same brand of hurry up and get what you want. There is even a conference to learn how to be a better hustler.  Regardless of intentions words have hidden meanings and using this one as motivation might deserve some thought about what is really being said.

“When we lift language, context crumbles” –John MacKenzie

Hustle as a word dates to 16th century Middle Dutch but the historical origins go back to 15th century heretic Jan Hus and his role in sparking the Hussite Wars. The word ‘huseln’ eventually came to mean an enthusiastic movement or recruitment for nasty purposes and over time evolved into what we know as hustle. The word in many communities still means to con, force, push, coerce and manipulate. Hustle implies the world is a place of scarcity and struggle so you are going to have to work harder and fiercer than anyone else to get anything you want.  Common usage of hustle as slang came up out of inner city communities through channels like hip hop and R&B, no matter how much it gets shined up or what we want to believe, it is a word wrapped in the struggle of people trying to rise in a world that won’t let them.

For most of us the casual use of hustle diminishes the very real troubles of those who are just hustling to make it to the next day. Seeing it splashed everywhere by people who have every opportunity at the same time events are unfolding in the USA in Ferguson, our own Canadian First Nations communities, and so many places of severe inequality around the world seems perfectly emblematic of what is most damaged between us culturally, within our communities, our families, and ultimately within myself.

The problem with hustle is that it is hungry and always wants more. Another word for consumption, hustle can’t be full or content because to be still is to be complacent or left behind,  I wrote about this and the Metrics of More vs. the Metrics of Enough in 2012. It isn’t just the semantics of the word Hustle that I’m caught up on but everything it represents-frenzy, panic, urgency, coercion, and ultimately oppression of each other in the crab scrabble to climb out of the bucket. To hustle is to live for the high of the future – tomorrow is going to be better so you better bust your ass today and not let anyone get in your path. Unfortunately hustle is addictive, competitive, insatiable and absolutely everywhere.

Hustle pits you against everyone else leaving no room for common goals, shared humanity, or humble giving. Instead of building the path by walking together hustle wants us all in our own individual steamrollers flattening each other in the rush to the finish line. Hustlers don’t have time for silly concepts like unity or cooperation, they are far too busy planning world domination or courting celebrity.

If you’ve loved or been an addict you know that hustle fills the void. When you are in a place of addiction to anything, whether it is the high of adrenaline or the distance of heroin, you hustle for a fix. As a culturally mashed up child of the inner city, a former addict, and someone who has held loved ones through both overdose and withdrawal I’ve seen hustle in many forms. I’m always trying to spot it in business, community, and daily decision making but this year it was especially personal.

For the past 11 months my mom and I have been on a healing + hustle busting journey together. Ten years ago when my oldest daughter was born my mom was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of severe trauma after trauma throughout her life. Back then I was 21 and struggled to understand fully what the diagnosis meant or how to support her. Last January after a year of depression, poverty, and overt racism in her apartment complex my mom sunk into a black place of near constant anxiety and ended up in the ICU on life support when her body shut down. Sitting beside all the machines breathing for her something shattered in us but we didn’t break like it seemed at first, we were broken open.

“I met a woman once when I was a teenager. I knew she had gone through a lot but she was so strong, so compassionate. I asked her how she could be the way she was, and you know what she told me? You can be broken, or broken open. That choice is yours.”

Erica Bauermeister, Joy for Beginners

Since then I’ve spent a lot of time learning about PTSD and how to step up into a new role with my mom as a caregiver and support system so she can weave the broken bits into a new whole. I had to learn how to stop the hustle in myself first so I could slow down and step up. My job became being a master of spotting where I participate and fuel frantic thought and how I have the ability to guide both my mom and myself into a place of calm and safety.

What helped make the connection between Hustle and PTSD is learning more about what is known as the Fight or Flight response and how it affects our sympathetic nervous system. Hustle and PTSD (as well as anxiety, addiction and stress) stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and produce stress hormones. Adrenaline causes blood to move to the action centers of the brain telling it to increase heart rate and blood flow and we get a sudden surge of energy as hormones flood the body.  The trouble with this?

The sympathetic system’s activity breaks down the body when stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol run unchecked. When this system dominates, energy is diverted from healing, building tissues, and eliminating waste. The energy for this system comes from demands placed on your glands (as opposed to the kind of energy that comes from eating food). And while it feels good or great at first, it is often followed by fatigue or even a crash. Over time, too much sympathetic nervous system activity breaks the body. 

Source: The Suppers Program, Fight or Flight vs. Rest and Digest

High stress situations like struggling for survival or dealing with constant trauma cause the body to exist in a constant state of hustle, hustle, hustle, then collapse. Collapse happens when the body can no longer deal with the elevated levels of stress and the immune system begins shutting down. Stress impacts our creativity, our problem solving, and our ability to collaborate effectively. Coping with PTSD or a panic disorder is like being kept in that place against your will all the time and not being able to find the escape hatch. The choice most of us have to slow down is harder to recognize when you can barely remember to breathe. So if the stress of hustle isn’t healthy why do we choose to buy into the idea that ‘working like a boss’  is something to covet or make decisions from a competitive place instead of a collaborative one? Even when the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease Survey states current predictions indicate by 2030 depression (and other stress related illnesses) will be the leading cause of disease burden globally?

Scarcity. Consumption. Expectation. The Metrics of More. Hunger.

“All sins are attempts to fill voids.” Simone Weil

Have you ever been truly hungry for something? It is a terrible desperate need, much like the emptiness of hustle since the two are all wrapped up in each other. When we are hungry for anything be it food, love, power, travel, recognition, friends or success the hustle often creeps over us. It makes us narrow our focus to that thing we don’t have and unable to recognize all options we already have access to. We start to think that the only way to get to our dreams IS the hustle.  Changing the pattern from scarcity to abundance is really the simplest, hardest work. It involves the willingness to slow down, fill up, and pay attention, every single day regardless of how chaotic the world around you is. This isn’t some sit on a pillow and ohm three times kind of meditation, a practice of cultivating positive thoughts, or a course you need to pay for- it is much easier then any of that and requires nothing but what many of us are blessed enough to have access to. Our bodies were made for it after all.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” and inside us we contain the opposing force to our own Fight or Flight response called the Rest and Digest response or the parasympathetic nervous system. This response is the one associated with healing, digestion, building immunity, and cleaning our bodies of toxins. Since it is the biological opposite of Fight or Flight we physically can’t enter that state while we’re stressed or riding adrenaline, so what will get us there?

Unlike the quick high of Fight or Flight that gives us a surface leap of energy and action, getting our bodies and minds into a state of Rest and Digest takes more time, and doesn’t have a fancy tagline. Simple whole food, a place to feel safe, the comfort of connection and community, and what may matter most-creative, sustainable work to unite and quiet our heads, hearts, and hands. Crafting anything with time and intention whether it is a garden plot, a friendship, or a well rooted business, grounds and connects us to a deep well of resiliency and an internal strength that refuses to be hustled. 

This year when my mom was discharged from the hospital without a home I hustled to keep her from homelessness and give her the stability she deserved in order to heal. But it was only when I slowed down enough to pay attention that the crisis found a resolution and the real work began. Many times since then mom and I have navigated Fight or Flight and the panic that comes over her through talking on the phone. With love, safety, and the kindness of strangers + friends her blood pressure has lowered without medication, increasingly she turns her thoughts and body to a place of rest, and has applied to school and been accepted with the dream of getting her masters degree. By my taking the time to really pay attention to her she was able to start giving herself that same attention and learn to spot the internal hustle before it takes over. This isn’t easy work-she lives on $220 a month yet she is planning a future and for the first time in years spends more time counting her blessings than tallying her losses.

As for me, when I stopped my hustle I was able to think clearly and without even looking found the work that mattered most. I became more aware of the ways we hustle each other online/offline and how I don’t want to participate. I found it harder and harder to engage with an internet that acts more like a full blown panic attack than the friendly cooperative neighbourhood it once was so things slowed as I figured a new way forward. That slowness made space for unbelievable opportunities to really learn about myself and why handmade/making matters including learning how to weave myself into the whole and gathering to begin making real community. I travelled from one end of Canada to the other from Prince Edward Island to Cortes Island, talking to thousands of creative people, finding and sharing with the dearest friends and comrades. While I worry for our communities and the world seems like a never-ending newsreel of trauma, in each moment I am pretty much happy all the time. Instead of leaning in or leaning out I choose the middle path of abundance – to plant firm roots and invite you to share the harvest. 

Hustle is human and a reminder we are not long from our caveman origins when Fight or Flight really was essential to our survival, it just isn’t serving us well anymore. If we want to start healing so we can act on the very real suffering in our own hearts and communities we might want to stop relying on adrenaline and start relying on our ability to pay attention, choosing rest over fight and digest instead of flight.

What is the opposite of hustle? What can fill the void? I believe part of the answer is and always has been keeping handmade at the heart of our communities. Simone Weil also had part of the answer for us in her eloquent writings on Attention to the Real and the union of Thought and Work. To her the art and act of paying attention and using our head, heart, and hands was both prayer and an invitation to grace. She believed that truly paying attention to another person or a cause was not only an act of compassion but ultimately rebellion. We have always had the power to be creative citizens who manufacture our own collective success instead of passive consumers of hustle.

No matter how lost I have been this year or in my life I come home to handmade, to what makes me not only human but humane is where there is healing and abundance. Making something with care and thought whether it is a meal, a letter, email or blog post, a work of art or design, a relationship, a safe home, a community, or even a slow social movement is the ultimate act of paying attention. In times of mass distraction where the biggest, newest, bestest thing is always one click away paying attention to what is in front of us and then making more from those resources is revolutionary.

“We can blossom and grow in contentment.” -Genevieve Olejnick 

This year the internet seemed more sure than ever of the answers to life, the universe and everything, how to manufacture success, gather clubs of sameness, and streamline our hustle so the bright ‘new economy’ looks suspiciously like the old one while crisis after crisis set fire to social media. The more we shout statements the more questions I have…

If we all stopped hustling online + offline and started paying more attention to each other, would we realize we already have enough and start sharing instead of scrambling for more? Would we spend more time connecting and less time consuming? Reach out to our neighbours? Cultivate more compassion and engagement with everyone? Imagine if we gathered in our local communities just once a month to cook and make a meal then share our skills/gifts with each other? If we stopped to make as a real community, would we fight less and value contentment more?  

Maybe then we could all stop the hustle for what we think we don’t have, slow down enough to step up for each other and ourselves, and really start sharing the abundance all around us.

Because the thing hustlers forget about is that no one gets anywhere in isolation. There are no ‘self made’ people. In every success story there are small gifts and helping hands, people who were willing to share their time, knowledge, and resources. There will always be those of us who refuse to join the crabs in the bucket and instead choose to stand on the rim and lift our siblings out.

Ours is the movement of abundance. There is no limit to our gifts, our associations, and our hospitality.

We have a calling. We are the people who know what we need. What we need surrounds us. What we need is each other. And when, we act together, we will find Our Way. The citizen’s way. The community way. The democratic way.

We are called to nothing less. And it is not so wild a dream.

Community Capacities and Community Necessities, John McKnight

All these thoughts (and more) are informing the plan I’m crafting for my future and OMHG beginning in 2015. I started my journey to a handmade life before Facebook, Twitter, or Etsy even existed and I’ll be here making my own way while lending a helping hand to others for decades still to come. I just registered my first trademark for the evolution of OMHG and am working on a ten year vision because this year the biggest gift was to know my own strength when standing still. The river can go on rushing and hustling on it’s way without me, I know in the end it always ends up at the ocean. The big, real, powerful things don’t have to rush for anyone, they are timeless enough to wait for us to come home.

If this connected with you and you’ve read this far please do me a favour before you click away, consider it a 10 year business anniversary + 32nd birthday present to me! Let me know if this connected with you in some way-you don’t have to agree, just share your thoughts. The great thing about abundance is that there is room enough for all our ideas. Comment here, come to our next chat, join the OMHG community, send me an email, rest a bit and be welcomed. 

  • Sara DiMantova

    Just read through this – beautifully written! An eye-opening dissection of “the hustle” and potential impacts. Definitely something to think about. I’ve never really liked “the hustle” or considered myself a hustler w/ my biz (I certainly haven’t accomplished as much as others in the same amount of time, if I use that as a metric), so this appeals to me in that way.

    Everyone is different though, and I’ve seen people “hustle” and be successful + happy + maintain a healthy balance of pushing self and also helping/including/remembering those around them. But I wonder too, if perhaps the trend of hustling – being on my grind, a hustler – makes it a go-to word, when really “the hustlers” are just working hard for a goal they feel passionate about.

    Well written + succinct thoughts to stir the soul, as usual Jessika 🙂

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thank you so much for reading lovely friend & for sharing your thoughts here-it is such a gift to me! You are definitely not a hustler but you have accomplished more than you realize not just in your biz but in your own personal evolution over the last couple of years. Watching you grow into yourself has been lovely, don’t ever stop!

      I agree that we are all different with our own metrics of enough but I don’t think working hard, being driven, or even needing to put in crazy hours in order to take a big step is hustling or unhealthy-unless you are stepping on someone else in order to reach that next step of course!

  • http://aeolidia.com/ Arianne Foulks

    I think it’s a catchy word that no one’s thought long and hard about, so bravo to you for thinking long and hard about it! I was just listening to a podcast interview with Seth Godin today, and his thoughts on scarcity and abundance were good to hear. He said when you’re coming from a place of abundance, what you value is connection and time, rather than things. Not everyone needs to know about your stuff, just the people that it will matter to. Relaxing thoughts, and the opposite of hustle. More like this, please!

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thank you for sharing your ever-insightful thoughts Arianne! Our conversation about hunger at our Maker’s Retreat made its way into this piece & I love Seth’s thoughts on scarcity + abundance (a heck of a lot more than I like his concept of tribes!). Operating from a place of abundance means we have time to really develop connection because we aren’t looking to the person behind the one who shows interest in us, developing that one connection is enough. In retrospect every time I hustled for my business/life I made the wrong connections, doors closed, things broke-but whenever I trust in what I already have everything opens outwards. Why is this not our default?

    • Alison @ The Petit Cadeau Blog

      Can you share the podcast link with us @aeolidia:disqus? I’d like to listen I think.

  • Cody

    This resonated with me “Hustle implies the world is a place of scarcity and struggle so you are going to have to work harder and fiercer than anyone else to get anything you want.” I do work hard & I do work fierce – to live the life you speak of, a life with deeper connections & more moments to soak up & memories to remember.

    While it is now cliche, I use the word hustle a lot because it is what I do – I cram in as much work as I can before my son gets home from school, so that I can be present and at attention for him. So, I do as much work as I can, hustling from the computer to the sewing machine to the camera and back to the computer – so when my husband and son come home I can close the door to my studio and snuggle on the couch with them, cook dinner together as a family & talk about our days. I don’t let the “hustle” interfere with the slow joy of community & connection. I “hustle” 9-4 so I don’t miss a minute with my loved ones & can still maintain a thriving business without having to hire more help. ♥

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thank you so much for being part of this community and sharing your thoughts Cody! Nothing about how you interact online or how you seem to have structured your work speaks to me of hustle or the deeper implications of the word beyond it becoming cliched. You do work hard & fierce but you do it in a way that always involves others-asking questions, offering help, knowing peoples stories. You limit your production so you can spend time with family and question the ethics around your pricing to make sure your toys are accessible to families with lower incomes. All of this to me is thoughtful, deliberate & rooted in connection, the antithesis of hustle! I think of you as a business inspiration my friend 🙂

  • Lisa Jacobs

    So much of what you write + tweet these days seems to be in disagreement or disappointment with the internet, at large. Have you ever considered taking your business offline? Or possibly shifting your focus to what you’re trying to build rather than critiquing what and how everyone else is building? Everyone’s style (in life and business) is different + unique, and I think that’s as easy to celebrate as it is to confront! To each his own.

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thank you for joining the conversation Lisa and I’m sorry to hear that is your perspective of how I’m expressing my thoughts & concerns. Judging by the beautiful emails and messages I’ve received since posting this it doesn’t stand in disagreement to others who have similar thoughts. Have I considered taking my business offline? Yes and no. I don’t consider OMHG a business but a rallying place and community. I am prioritizing human connection and making offline peer connection more accessible though – as mentioned in the post we hosted the first two OMHG organized events & I travelled the entirety of Canada this year talking with makers + thinkers. Many people I met and some of my most respected business/life mentors have shared very similar concerns to mine. These are not new concepts for me to articulate as I’ve written extensively about them over the years (http://ohmyhandmade.com/2013/heart/exceeding-expectation-my-alt-summit-experience/)- discussions around ethics, a handmade life, compassion & diverse community are my contribution to the online conversation. Have I considered no longer participating in an internet that increasingly values exclusion over inclusion? Yes. I also believe silence and agreement/complicity are the same thing and this is the internet my girls & all our children will inherit. So I will continue to share solutions and create space for different opinions to connect + look for commonalities. I hope that my life is always a celebration of our unique value + worth, and agree with ‘to each our own’ just not at the expense of each other.

      • Lisa Jacobs

        I appreciate your response (and I’m glad to hear you’re getting lots of support), though I still don’t entirely understand the sentiment.

        When you say to each his own “just not at the expense of each other,” I don’t know what you mean. In regards to this article, if one person hustles, does that cost someone else? And if so, how? I would love to know the specific examples that fueled your viewpoints, but I don’t think it supports the idea of abundance.

        In the words of Wayne Dyer, “Abundance is scooped from abundance, and abundance remains.” In line with that thinking – and to reference your river analogy – there’s plenty of ways to get things done and more than enough to go around regardless of whether you choose to float down the river or take a speedboat. Take it at whatever speed you enjoy the best, but imho, it’s silly to sit in the float, shake your fists and condemn the speedboat. Enjoy your own ride.

        • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

          Maybe our idea of abundance is just different 🙂 Scarcity mindset to me is confusing taking whatever we want or think we deserve without consequence with abundance. I think the whole point of this essay is in my very personal experience that kind of hustle can hurt us and may be hurting others + have unintended consequences that trickle down. It was my own personal journey that led me to really inspecting the history of this word and becoming more aware of how it is being used not judgement of others or their speed. The goal of this post is not to assign values to going fast/slow but to have us consider the world of hustle and its larger implications-specifically in the wake of Ferguson, missing First Nations women in my country, and the ongoing crisis I witnessed take over the online space this year that would take more time to list then I have to give.

          Going on the river analogy – in a world of ideal personal responsibility each of us regardless of circumstance has equal right to enjoy the river at whatever speed we like and be good stewards of the river as a commonly owned resource with the full knowledge that everything we toss upstream makes its way to the ocean & may last forever. ‘Not at the expense of each other’ is in recognition that we don’t all live in a world of equal access so when some people are riding around tossing their trash up river and the water is making people sick downstream maybe we should all consider that we aren’t ensuring abundance for all.

          That isn’t fist shaking or condemnation of speed it is a call to cooperation and a reminder that indeed there are different versions of abundance and one of them is the option to stop the personal hustle and choose to make more together, for everyone regardless of their speed-not just the people in our kind of boat.

          This whole river/boat analogy reminds me of when I first learned about Lifeboat Ethics in college and was totally shocked it was even a viable theory http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/articles/art_lifeboat_ethics_case_against_helping_poor.html to me it seemed so obvious – it wasn’t a question of who was in the boat, how many it fit, or who was asking for help – I didn’t understand why we just didn’t build a better boat.

  • Alison @ The Petit Cadeau Blog

    I have been struggling with the “hustle” for many months now and nothing is feeling right. I kept thinking that as a part time creative, I was not “hustling” ENOUGH to get my business out there and get the results I expected, and overall I have been losing something very important in the process as I put pressure on myself for more “hustle”.

    I am now planning a day, just to myself, to sit back and reflect, and make a plan to move forward in a way that will make me happy. This is a particular struggle for me, as I spent many years in business school, which overall, promotes the general idea of “hustle” (at least I think so), although I have kept with my beliefs and roots by making a difference and working for a non-profit for the past ten years in my day job career. I think these kinds of posts from your heart are just what OMHG needs, as this one is very timely for me and has brought me almost to tears.

    I like Cody’s points too…it’s about finding that balance and light for ourselves, what’s RIGHT for each of us, but it can be SO easy to get caught up in the “could, would, should”. Thanks for always being an inspirational voice Jessika,……and for listening…

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      My lovely friend thank you for sharing your heart in this comment, it isn’t easy to define our own enough – especially when the old economy model sells us on scarcity all the time. I hope your quiet day lets everything bubble up into a way forward that feels good for you. So often we don’t think we are doing ‘enough’ to get that big opportunity shining right around the corner so we start hustling, but it still isn’t enough so we make new plans + projections. I’ve seen so many people loose love for their work or feel like there is something wrong with them for wanting to grow slow. I was there not that long ago and for sure OMHG was acquiring new followers + customers faster than I could deal with and it was a huge adrenaline high all the time. But it isn’t sustainable or solid – those followers were there for the hustle and dropped off when I couldn’t do it anymore. However I was there for my mom and never rushed her no matter what was on the agenda, I did my best not to hustle the kids or Chris through their day, had time for supporting what I value, always had enough to eat and in the end am happier + feel like I did my best work – even if it was quieter. We don’t have to hustle in order to achieve success – the tortoise & the hare taught us that 🙂 However you map out your path forward know that I’m here walking it with you and am always ready to lend a hand! Also Maritime making adventures in 2015, yes?

  • Rachel

    Thank you for sharing your story! I have definitely been struggling with ‘the hustle’ this year at a time when I need rest and healing more than ever. I’ve been struggling with chronic pain for almost 2 years and still feel so much pressure to ‘keep hustling’ – by spending every pain-free hour I may have frantically trying to keep up with my business, my blog, meeting my commitments and others expectations of me – when instead I could be doing yoga, listening and connecting with my own body, and giving myself the rest I truly need. I’ve felt so creatively paralyzed this month especially- I am so thankful for your Winter Slowdown! This is exactly what I need right now. This post was a great read and has inspired me to stop, pay attention, and give my body the rest and healing time in deserves.

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      Oh thank you Rachel! I’m wrapping you up in the biggest warm hug & sending you all the love and reminders to care for yourself so you can be your healthiest self & create space to do your best work. I believe expectations are often fuel for the hustle-we aren’t living up to some illusory or socially trumpeted standard so somehow our personal journeys become not enough & we work through our very real and immediate needs. I dream of communities for us that praise slowness & contentment with the same ease we praise the more obvious successes! If you ever need a reminder that you have every right to prioritize health over hustle I’m always here <3

  • janelleha

    Jessika

    Thank you for sharing your personal story, thoughts and thoughtfulness. It is, of course, why I like OMHG so much. There is a sense of community here that comes through in the words that are shared.

    I also appreciate your connecting of hustle (which is a word and energy I connect with a franticness, a distress) and the nervous system and PTSD.

    I’m going to share a blog post I wrote (stemming from my background in healing work) – not because I’m trying to self-promote, but because I think you (and other readers) might appreciate it. It’s all about the nervous system, the trauma response (where PTSD falls under) and how it gets dysregulated – as well as a couple therapies that are phenomenal and really not well-known, that help, called self-regulation therapy.
    x
    It’s long, but worth the read – and anyone wondering about the nervous system and self-regulation therapy and trauma will learn a lot.

    http://www.janellehardy.com/on-being-almost-run-over-by-a-big-truck/

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thank you for sharing that amazing essay Janelle! I didn’t find it long at all, but then I love words when they are so thoughtfully shared 🙂 Your thoughts on needing to release adrenaline in a healthy way & allow it to be processed by the body reinforce things I’ve been thinking of/reading about as well. It is funny because it also really connects to my research and beliefs around group dynamics + allowing for expansion and contraction in our lives. When facilitating groups of either adults or children a good navigator pays attention to energy levels and agitation- high intimacy/emotion/heavy thinking should be balanced with creativity, playfulness, physical movement, singing or food. If you don’t provide a good balance then the whole group dynamic can become really unstable. Our needs are really no different from children or animals – only we don’t allow ourselves to express those needs so often. It is the same thing with negative thoughts the more we suppress them the more they dominate and sneak in subversively to impact our behaviours – noticing and naming those things as they fly through my heart means they can’t lurk in the corners. I hope to come home to the wet coast soon and meet you, there are some lovely conversations just waiting to be had, until then I’m so thankful for this connection <3

      • janelleha

        Jessika I absolutely agree with you about group dynamics and adults. I think the difference is we as adults have a greater capacity for deluding ourselves – convinced that we are somehow separate from the forces and effects that our human bodies and the natural world have on us. But as an observer, it does become apparent that we’re not separate or immune, doesn’t it!
        I’m keen to connect in person too 🙂
        It’ll happen!

    • Genevieve

      This is a perfect companion piece (and incidentally, something I think *everyone* needs to read and understand)! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • http://www.quirkybits-n-pieces.com/ QuirkyK

    Ironically, hustle kicked in before reading this post!! I was intrigued by the title enough to click but then, hustle raised it’s ugly head. So it’s a long post. What was my head shouting at me…You need sleep, you don’t need to waste time reading! So i reasoned, read the first paragraph, and decide from there. Well, I can say I sat down and not only read but enjoyed reading the entire post. And of course I can also say that I am now able recognize when hustle kicked in and notice my response to it.

    With four children, a business to run, and a husband that travels a lot… I can say hustle is definitely present way more often than it should be! I can slow down and not only accomplish the desired outcome but get more out of that chosen journey, that my friend is enough to make me wake up and attempt to alter my behavior for the better! And yep, you guessed it…I’ll do so at my very own slow and simple pace!

  • Jillian Avila

    I found this at the perfect time. I’m full of self-doubt when it comes to things I make…but my heart and soul wants to share it badly. Thank you for this. I’ve been ready for a long time but it’s time to quiet my head, heart, and hands.