Here we are entering Spring after a very different 2020 to what most of us were probably expecting. If you were anything like me, the start of the year was looking really good and I felt positive, like 2020 was going to be MY year. Em’s Power Cookies new NZ distribution started with Neill, Cropper & Co. (Bundaberg) in Feb, and we finally got to a position of achieving professional-level availability in the NZ market, something I had always struggled with! After 16 years of hard work, slogging it out in an ultra-competitive and cut-throat industry, I was finally starting to see the hard work come back to me with reward. I felt like I had won lotto, in the sense that after so long I could finally work ON the business. But then we were knocked out of our comfort zones and into uncertainty…
I actually enjoyed lock-down. I live on a block of land and got a lot of work done. It was great, and I am actually really happy with my personal space and time. I used the time to think about society, and where we’re headed. I felt like maybe the world needed a reset, and that Covid would make us all think about just how vulnerable our economic system is. Maybe Covid would make us all look to more sustainable ways of living. Less plastic, more gardens and definitely more connections.
Focus on what is really important. One of my favourite things during lock-down was the Zoom calls with my family back in Canada. They would go on for hours and we would laugh, tell stories and drink probably too much beer! I have 10 siblings and we are all close, we all have similar, bubbly personalities, and we all enjoy eachother’s company. It’s a bloody hoot. I feel very fortunate to have my family. Big love there.
I am not sure what the future is going to look like, and I do have some anxiety about that. So I have been working on re-invigorating some of my mental techniques from when I used to race to deal with the different emotions I’ve been having. My training was physically demanding of course, but I also spent many hours working specifically on my mental game. And just like the physical self, if you don’t nurture your mental and emotional self, you can slip into bad habits of negativity and allow your emotions or stress overwhelm you.
One technique I use a lot is to allow emotions to flow through you, don’t fight them. Feel the good ones: the happiness and the highs. Ride the wave and enjoy it. Conversely and equally, embrace the pain and the worry. Just let it flow in an objective and clear way through yourself. While I’m experiencing a particular emotion (high or low, doesn’t matter) I take a mental step back and just watch what it is doing. I ask myself where is this coming from and what does it mean? How is this affecting me, and does it really matter? What can I do about it? What can I control and what can I not control?
This takes practice to do in the heat of the moment, and is not easy. The technique allows me to experience the raw nature of the emotion, but in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or flood me. It’s kind of like a mental power game, something I discuss with my 87 year old mum, with whom our recent conversations have been about neuroplasticity and hyperbaric therapy for brain injuries (she’s amazing). It’s like becoming more flexible and brain-fit. Give it a try!
By implementing mental techniques on a regular basis, I feel more controlled and relaxed, yet at the same time I have a highly intuned experience that is connected with awareness of the human condition and my own existence and meaning. It’s a buzz! I have also been doing more yoga and running which for me is active meditation and is another important key for mental health and well-being. It’s easy to slide out of routine and let bad habits take over. Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t beat yourself up with big expectations. Just do a little at a time and try to be consistent. Nobody is perfect. It’s OK.
As I am getting a handle on this new journey in the Covid world, I have been working on my business strategy. Although we took a huge hit we are surviving and working hard to recover. I am optimistic that as we go into Spring and Summer that things will get back on track and the set-backs due to Covid won’t matter. We have events coming up that I am very much looking forward to, such as Spring Challenge and the Food Shows.
We have quite a bit of stock that expires in March 2021 and we need to move it. So I am running a web special to help clear this. Please support us, your belief in Em’s is very inspiring for me and it keeps me doing what I do. Keep on adventuring and keep yourself fuelled with yummy food, preferably NZ-sourced.