The latest chapter in this wild adventure to building a Business Decelerator brings together the learnings from my relationship with Josh Holiday on the Shambhala Farm and the remote co-designing of the Beepbreath with Murray, Rob and the Syntropic community.
“Imagine a business accelerator that consulted a farmer in the design process?”
These words fell out of my mouth on the end of a jam with Murray yesterday.
Murray is our guide.
Stewarding Rob, myself and our Beepbreath through a codesigned decelerator (neo-accelerator) for businesses who believe in a world with a future.
If you’ve not been reading my posts, we’re tapping wisdom from Syntropic.world.
And this is a decelerator in the sense that, sure we’re building something with pace built in, but we’re also ensuring we slow down at the same time
At the Micro-level it’s simply starting every jam session (meeting) with a true enquiry into how we all are.
The invite is to share your % for where you’re at.
And if that % is on the way up or down.
Simple, effective and when I present to businesses (startup to multi-national) I recommend this as best practice.
Thank you Brene Brown for the insight.
At the Macro-level it’s how we build a regenerative business that accounts for the many different facets of what this means.
And this now means bringing in some farmers to help us co-design the thang.
And when we say farmers,
we’re talking about Soil Whisperers…
I lived all of October on Shambhala Farm, living in a shipping container with my buddy Josh Holliday.
And it’s not until I returned to my flat, a street back from Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast, that I realised how good I had it.
I’m wholly aware that both of these places are paradise, but within the context of building a regenerative business, one far outweighs the other.
And here’s why:-
My weekly “schedule” at Shambhala Farm:
Which is turning out to be a pretty good first run at what a live decelerator or Syntropic Bootcamp could look like…
We wake up on sunrise to the sound of the birds and warmth through the window.
Down 600mls of water from the farm’s rain water tank and walk 150mtrs to the Yoga Shala: A 40 person Yoga Barn that you have to feel to believe.
It’s the literal heartbeat of the farm.
We’d settle in and I’d lead at 5–10minute breathwork session.
Josh would then guide us through a meditation of the same length, sometimes longer.
We’d then finish with Yoga
or bounce straight to the beach.
At the beach we’d have a surf
or at least a swim.
Connecting to the ocean is my happy place,
but after being on the farm I’m now a Gordita ( little piggy in Spanish) and am finding nourishment from both the land and the sea.
Oh fuck, and I forgot to mention.
NO EMAILS, SOCIAL MEDIA or any of that bullshit,
I’ve taught myself / still need to remind myself, that nothing’s happened I need to know about and nobody cares what I’m doing.
Just keep everything in your pants and enjoy the morning.
After drying ourselves off amidst a few “Yews”, we drop into a cafe. Often changing up locals as new environments drive newral* connections, while strengthening our brain’s and human to human networks.
a couplea’ coffees:
Joshy Long Blacks
Benny Cococinno 1.5
Happy little vegemites or the weirdest gangsters in South East Queensland.
Here we’d drop into three hours of solid flow.
Occasionally we’d ask each other advice, but mostly it was ‘head down, get shit done.’
Part of my other day job is to coach people around the world on how to find flowstates (Optimal Performance) and morning routines, surprise surprise, are paramount to success.
How are you stacking your day for a higher likelihood of finding flow?
What you’ve just read above is as perfect as I can think of:
Sleep Hygiene / Nutrition / Mindfulness / Movement / Connection
And the last one,Recovery…
Once we’d finished (between 10–11AM).
Time to get back to the farm for breaky or lunch, whichever way you look at it, with eggs and salads from the land and the bread from a baker down the road.
Ingesting hyper-local (on the fecken farm) produce, supporting local businesses.
Whatever the fuck we wanted.
We might help out with something on the farm, like putting up a fence.
And I’d have a call some of the days with Rob about progress and our froth levels.
On Wednesdays we’d jump in our community garden to connect with the other residents (past and present — people come back who’ve left, such is the magic).
By the evening, I was really into the books I was reading. I gave myself full permission to Gordita again.
Tao Te Ching / Sand Talk (for the third time) / Time of the Black Jaguar.
Also a dream hack —
Want powerful dreams of substance?
Read powerful books of substance before dropping off?
Truth be known, I was also putting together a lot of stuff for the Beepbreath which involved video exporting on my seven year old mac, so I could time my edits and exports with chapters or other little tasks each night.
We’d hit bed between 8–9pm and glorious sleep ensued, except for a few gnarly thunderstorms.
I measure my sleep using Oura and my regenerative (There’s that word again) was sometimes double what it was back home on the GC.
But I can hear you through your screen.
“Hold up! Hold up Ben.”
I dislike it when people call me Ben FFS.
I see you’re a bit startled at this reaction. Good, but you recollect yourself and ask anyway…
“How is three or four hours of solid work OK for a successful day?”
Well if you want stats, McKinsey Co did a 10 year study on executives and found them to be 500% more productive, creative etc in flow.
Steve Kotler made a joke that you could go to work on Monday and take the rest of the week off.
But while this is cool ‘Wah wah fucken’ wah’, that means nothin’ to nobody if they’ve not experienced flow in the workplace, it’s just some fanciful statistic.
So if you’ve not found that flow check out the Flow Genome Project as a place to start.
You see (actually you read), I was easy getting 6–7 hours done in those first 3 and then occasionally, I was popping off another couple a night with the exports.
Upon reflection, I’ve never looked forward to Monday-Wednesdays more in my life.
And probably not Thursday-Friday either.
Same morning mindfulness routine with the sunrise, except we wouldn’t head to the beach.
At 6AM, we wandered up to the shed to meet the gang and get cracking.
Harvesting, planting, weeding, digging, building, laughing and sometimes a chase if one of the pigs had escaped.
I was learning a fuck tonne
from Craig — the owner and Steward of the farm. Craig’s been running a live program too that I’ve been lucky to assist with. Anyone can also grab the online version too .
Mick the ‘old school Aussie’ head-farmer. He’d been working with the property the longest. A top bloke and great for a yarn too.
But the one I’ve spent the most time with is Seb, both with hands in the soil and yarning under the stars at night.
Seb’s a Chilean farmer, same age as me, who is what I’d call a ‘Soil Whisperer.’
Seb literally lives on the doorstep of his garden beds.
He’s always watching and in dialogue with the soil, the plants and their inhabitants.
He also needs to have a word with pesky ducks sometimes as the cheeky fuckers sneak past his netting.
Seb the Soil Whisperer. I’d learnt this magical title from the Syntropic Crew, because there are a few among the group.
Kim Deans runs ‘heart and soil’ with her partner and has been coaching farmers on how to listen to the soil for decades.
And Nikki and Peter Thompson are also Soil Whisperers when it comes to holistically looking at how we can nurture diverse ecologies of place, people and practice.
Very blessed and grateful to continue to listen, learn and work with these humans.
But back to my routine
Most of the time, we’d have the same nourishing lunch around Midday, before rounding out the day with more of the same.
Between 2 and 3pm we’d knock off and the rest of the afternoon was ours.
We often hit the beach, but sometimes just sit around and read books or head down to the cafe for a late sesh.
I was also coaching with the Flow Genome Project, so I’d finish off with a coaching session or two on a Friday.
I originally thought this might be a bit tough. But they’ve been some of the best coaching sessions of my life. Rad :)
Saturday — Sunday
Usually a cafe session in there — because I love the coffee and the vibes.
I’d also fit in a 30km cycle with my music playing. More often than not some minimal EDM to keep the legs pumping and in sync.
Or I’d be dropping punk rock bangers from the early 2000’s and singing and or dance-riding on Eumundi-Noosa Road.
Nostalgia is a drug that can blast the body into performance mode pretty damn quick.
I’d also hit 1km in the pool, get all the right food in, and by Monday I’d be feeling renewed and regenerated across the board.
As I type this, I’ve just come back from a 5AM surf out the front, had my morning GET ritual with my partner Jacqui and drank some Chai on the rooftop.
Life’s fucking good, but I’m not finding the coherence with the natural flow of the universe, like I felt on the farm.
Big on my values list is connection and getting to live and work with Josh, still on our own projects, there was a resonance and a propulsion toward doing the work that matters.
Evidently if you zoom out, we’re both working on the same project:
To build a regenerative ecosystem of work and living and giving the gift of this to ourselves and then to others.
There’s also a nerdy phrase which I like,
The Mind Body connection with reciprocal influence over one another.
Or get off your fucking computer and use your hands to create something regenerative( like growing food). Here you’re signalling the brain to understand this as a way of doing and being that will become infused into said fucking computer work.
In my humble epiphany, to bring forth a regenerative and syntropic business, embodied cognition needs to come from somewhere and where better than hands in soil.
Where better than being in the company of Soil Whisperers.
*New Neural connections because I’m a lazy C**