Written by Cristina Houston
I was having a conversation with a friend/colleague today who is also a business owner. She’s in a space of inquiry around what her next step for her business is. She said “I just don’t know if I’m ready to go bigger with it or if it’s time to walk away and give it to someone else.”
My response: “Maybe it’s both! Consider that your legacy is building it to its best version and walking away knowing you’d done your best.”
This really had me look at my own life and projects. Where am I attached? Where am I stuck and I’m not willing to scrap it and move on? Whether it be a project I initiated and am too proud to pass off, a successful event I’m trying to recreate and surpass, or conversations in my relationships, I discovered this was a common thread. The truth is, we (read I) get easily attached to what we feel is ours.
I remember working at lululemon years ago and hosting two consecutive yoga events which were well attended, fun, and unique. When the third year rolled around there was no sign of hosting this event, my community director said to me “Never milk an idea or event too much. Leave people inspired and with the memory of it when it was great, not of when it’s fizzled.”
Brilliant, I thought. But then what? You start over? Why wouldn’t you keep something that is proven to work?
“We start to rely on the product itself and in the process decrease our intrinsic motivation to create for creation’s sake.”
Here’s the thing about generating and creating. There’s a fine line between using something that is working, and milking it. When something is working really well, it’s easy to fall into routine, comfort, and expectation. Our creativity actually becomes stifled, not enhanced. We start to rely on the product itself and in the process decrease our intrinsic motivation to create for creation’s sake.
What if, instead, we were willing to practice releasing things when they’re at their best? Imagine being able to release something powerful and successful at its peak. You and those impacted by your product are left with an experience of celebration and affinity, and eliminate future conversations about the good ole days because now there’s a void.
Create. Release. Repeat.
As a practice, check in with yourself (like really, on paper) about where you’re remaining attached because the idea of starting something from scratch is scary. Or you’re milking something because it’s quietly stroking your ego and you know releasing it could serve more than only you.
Start small. Celebrate it. And release it.
This post initially appeared on Cristina Houston’s personal blog, and has been shared here with permission from the writer.
Cristina is a Forrest-inspired yoga teacher and trainer based in Houston, Texas. She is the co-founder of Mind Tribes, a leadership consulting, coaching and yoga certification program, which is currently studying the effects of breath techniques, or pranayama, on heart rate variability in partnership with Chatham University. She also co-founded a non-profit, In-Powered, which provides mindfulness and yoga trainings and retreats for Houston-area schools.
Cristina is also a facilitator of Create Karma, her and her husband, Dan, will be leading the Heart Chakra weekend, June 29th through July 1st, of this year’s training.