The radical power of rest: Embracing nature and hitting the pause button as an entrepreneur 

In our always on, 24/7 connected world, the idea of taking a break is often not celebrated as much as busyness. The fact we consider it radical tells us that genuinely resting isn’t just a courageous act, but also an absolute necessity. 

Rest challenges the modern narrative of perpetual busyness and the need for constant productivity and availability, pushing for a cultural shift towards prioritising self-care and self love. 

I also think that what rest looks like to some people, may not be deemed as ‘rest’ in the way it is constructed in society! For me time in nature is where I feel most deeply rested. 

Let’s dive in and explore the radical power of rest and how embracing nature can help you hit the pause button.

A culture of being on 24/7

As an often fully booked brand and lifestyle photographer, I know rest is often considered a luxury in the world of entrepreneurship. Where being permanently ‘on’ is the norm. I appreciate the demand of being a business owner and the pressure to respond to enquiries quickly in order to secure bookings. I get it. We’re conditioned to think rest is the equivalent of unproductive time and the disconnection might lead to missed opportunities. 

But as I’ve discovered, the truth is the opposite. As leaders, changemakers and visionaries, in order for us to show up as our radically authentic selves and make a real difference in the world, our mind, body and soul need to be well-rested, rejuvenated and refreshed. 

It is a shift from humans, ‘doing’ to humans, ‘being’.

I now understand the radical power of rest

Rest is radical.

I remember so vividly feeling the opposite of rested. Relentless. There was a time when I was juggling shooting weddings at the weekend, constantly on the move, and trying to meet everyone’s expectations. I felt like I was running on a never-ending treadmill, always out of breath but never getting anywhere. 

I worked opposite times to the rest of the people in my world. As they were winding down in the evenings and at weekends, I was switching on. But truth be told, I hadn’t switched off at any other time. I was just ramping up from an already ‘on’ place. I felt really disconnected. Having missed so many gatherings and celebrations with those that are most important in my life and only being half present on Sundays. When I was on the crash and burn after all of the energy I poured into weddings the day before. 

It was only when I was realising that I had ADHD that I truly understood this cycle I was on. I knew something had to change. I was trying to be all things to all people, but was feeling completely adrift from myself and knew that I was living to work rather than working to live. 

At that moment, a download hit me that was so clear and so powerful, I couldn’t ignore it. 

I knew that I needed to pivot my business. As much as I loved shooting weddings and family work, I made the decisions to stop taking bookings. To reclaim my evenings and weekends after a decade of lovingly pouring my heart and soul into capturing other peoples stories. 

I needed to reclaim my own story and I needed to rest.

Recognising the power of rest was a turning point. Embracing rest isn’t just about pausing; it’s about reclaiming our energy, creativity, and well-being. It’s a radical act of self-love and resistance against a culture that equates busyness with worth. Rest allows us to reconnect with our true selves, align with our natural rhythms, and show up more fully in our work and lives.

Rest is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. By prioritising rest, we honour our bodies, nurture our spirits, and ultimately, become more impactful in our lives.

Rest looks different to each of us

The radical power of rest can appear different for everyone. For some, it might be taking a nap or meditating, or unplugging in a digital detox.

For me, rest is about immersing myself fully in a new environment. It’s about escapism into the awe and wonder of a new place. Grounding myself in nature, disconnecting myself from my ‘on’ role as a CEO. Sometimes, it’s a trip to immerse in the rugged landscapes of Scotland. Where the vastness of the scenery reminds me of the world’s beauty and my place within it. Other times, it’s spending a quiet evening by the seaside here at home in Ramsgate. Listening to the rhythmic lapping of waves and letting my thoughts drift with the tide.

I know as an ADHD, rest looks very different to what ‘mainstream’ rest is. It isn’t usually about stillness, cucumber slices on my eyes and laying doing nothing. This feels almost itchy to me, a wave of restlessness washed over me as I wrote that! For a sensory seeking brain like mine, I know I need stimulation. Sure a few hours at a spa is lovely, but I feel most rested by a change of scenery and full on sensory immersion in nature. There is of course that saying ‘a change is better than a rest’ but for me ‘a change is rest’ full stop.

As an entrepreneur, when your passion is your business, switching off is even more challenging. Photography is woven into every fibre of my being; it is my raison d’être.

But I find something invigorating about experiencing it as a hobby again, with no stipulations or deadlines. Capturing moments that aren’t narrating a client’s brief, but simply for the love of it.

For me this is where my curiosity gets to follow side quests. That might be following amazing light down a glen or spending an hour faced down in the sea mesmerised by how the kelp forests are home to so many incredible creatures. It is in these wild edges that enchantment and awe wash over me and with them bring such deep relaxation. It’s a reminder of why I fell in love with photography in the first place and a powerful form of radical rest that feeds my soul.

Rest is a privilege

I’ll say that again, rest is a privilege. 

Rest is a universal human need. Yet in reality, it is a privilege that is unevenly distributed due to systemic oppression and social inequalities. The ability to rest is intricately tied to so many factors. Gender, race, finances, worker rights, health, disability, care-giving responsibilities and so many more elements that intersect with someone’s available space to stop and rest. 

These disparities highlight how capitalism has thrived on systems of oppression. Creating a world where rest is a luxury rather than a fundamental right. Addressing these issues requires a comprehensive approach and policies that recognise and value the importance of rest for all individuals and for society as a collective. 

And for those of us who hold the privilege to rest, it is my hope that we come back from that time, energised to dismantle these oppressive systems and structures. Ensuring rest becomes a reality for everyone, not just a privilege.

How to create space for the radical power of rest

Creating space for rest when you run your own business can be challenging. We tend to feel the social constructs of guilt, as if we’re shirking our responsibilities and are going to lose out on work. But it’s during these quiet moments we can often find the most inspiration and creativity. That’ll do wonders for our business once we recharge and rejuvenate.

Grounding in nature is one of the most powerful ways to disconnect from our daily lives. Nature has a soothing, healing quality. I truly believe we find magick in these liminal moments and wild edges where we can be truly present with ourselves and nature.  

Stare up at the sky to marvel at the clouds or the stars or lose yourself in the sound of nature in the wind and air. Connect to the momentum of a waterfall or simply sit in silence on the beach looking out across the horizon. 

Immersion in the beauty of the natural world acts as therapy for our busy minds. It connects us back to our roots and recharges us in a profound way that modern life often doesn’t permit.

Disconnecting to reconnect

As I prepare to sign off for a week to adventure south west in the seas of Devon & Dorset, I know that when I re-emerge, I’ll be brimming with renewed energy and creativity. Ready to take on the world and make magic happen once more.

Rest is a sacred space where our dreams gather strength and our souls find peace. In the embrace of rest, we rediscover the joy of simply being, preparing us for the wonders yet to come.

When we’re rested it allows us to show up. From a place of feeling good and to do good brings change in the world. Shaking up broken systems and structures that try to tell us otherwise.

Here’s how I prepare for holidays and radical power of rest periods, as a sustainable and soulful business owner: 

Preparation: In preparation for holidays to ensure I can be present at that moment, I create content in advance for my email list and social media. So it can be running in the background keeping visible while I am away.

Research: For me, rest is all about the awe of discovering somewhere new and transporting myself to another world. I do a lot of research in advance before visiting a new place. So I can immerse in the place and minimise time on devices while I am away.

Communication: I’m open and honest with my clients and audience about when I’m away, putting in boundaries about when they can expect a response from me about bookings and availability.

Behind the scenes stories: I never set out with a plan to be connected or disconnected. I like to lean into the energy I am in and if it feels good, share spontaneously from the trip. So much of these adventures fuels creativity and helps folks to get to know me and what lights me up creatively in an informal way.

Nature watching: Immersing myself in nature is who I am. Connecting with nature and activities like bird watching, hiking and getting into the sea all help you slow down and truly disconnect from our fast-paced lives.

Remember, rest is not just radical; it’s revolutionary. And it starts with you. 

So, go on, give yourself permission to rest. It works wonders for you personally and professionally.

Find me over on Instagram for more conversations about the radical power of rest.

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