Yes, I’ve finally decided to completely pull the plug on my business just one month short of my 5-year work anniversary. It was March 3rd, 2018 when I launched my coaching/consulting business and I’ve loved most of it, to be honest. Why most? Well, there was a lull period in mid-2020 when I felt deep despair at the idea of my business not taking off as much as I’d anticipated.
That quickly turned around by September 2020 when I started learning how to refocus on my business, thanks to my mentor and coach, George Kao. And by mid-2021, I had not just broken even but had turned a profit way beyond my expectations. I was finally satisfied and grateful for how things had started moving along in my business.
But, as you may know, by late 2021/early 2022, things took a slightly different turn, after I stumbled upon Oliver Burkeman’s book Four Thousand Weeks. Suddenly, life seemed incredibly interesting in the offline space, full of promise and potential, more than ever. And slowly, I started weaning myself off all social media, starting with Twitter, followed by Facebook, and finally ending with Instagram.
The more I moved offline, the quieter my mind became. There was more space for stillness, contemplation, diving deeper into soul-searching and discovering what made my life worthwhile.
In my previous newsletter, you’d recall that I spoke about how my health took a downturn in August of 2022, followed by a resolve to study nutrition and fitness from a holistic perspective.
In mid-September, I also went 100% vegan in my diet, primarily for health reasons, to combat my auto-immune condition. What I didn’t expect were the other benefits that accrued as a result: Natural and sustainable fat loss, improved endurance and stamina, better mental clarity, a radical transformation of my perimenopausal symptoms which greatly improved my monthly cycle, and falling in love with the idea of regular physical movement which now includes walking, swimming, badminton and weight lifting every week.
*I am also vegan for ethical/environmental reasons now.
My First 5K
I always thought the 5K was something that only athletes would do. Never did I imagine actually completing a 5K in this lifetime.
But not only did I finish it, but I was also only among 3 women in the whole group of 40 who actually did. The feeling was both exhilarating and humbling, on so many levels. There was so much gratitude for my body and its ability to do something beyond what I’d thought it was capable of. There was a sheer high of achievement that I had never experienced in this area of physical wellness. But most of all, there was a quiet sense of confidence that this was meant to be – this moment, this glorious moment, of being a part of something bigger than oneself.
Experiments in the Kitchen
Happiness is baking a gorgeous loaf of whole wheat bread from scratch or making 2 whole litres of fresh coconut milk, right at home. Having all this extra time on my hands means that my hands are now quite busy physically – in a good way! My vegan kitchen experiments have all improved and refined themselves further.
Our Family Trip to Thailand
Towards the end of December, we took a family trip to Thailand for 11 days which was immersive, enriching and highly enjoyable. The Wats (temples) in Thailand are breathtaking and visiting each shrine was a memory worth cherishing many times over.
*I will do a separate post about my entire Thailand trip experience, complete with an itinerary and helpful tips for those planning a trip of their own soon.
Why I am Retiring the Newsletter
The more I thought about this, the more it began to make sense.
Our lives are beautiful and full of promise. That means every moment and every second is precious to a wonderful degree. In my heart, I know that I have done everything that I wanted to do in this space – conscious business, gentle productivity, authentic growth and deep-seated connection.
A voice started speaking, deep in my heart, that the time had come to say goodbye. Not with regret and not with frustration but with a sublime sense of contentment. It somehow reminded me of Trevor Noah’s decision to bid farewell to The Tonight Show, on his own terms.
As he said, ‘My time is up. But in the most beautiful way‘
As I say goodbye today, it is with a sense of profound gratitude for everything that has come my way. The most precious things are the connections I have made through the blog, the business and my newsletter. I don’t take that lightly and I never take it for granted.
So, What’s Next?
The blog (https://www.shailajav.com) will continue to exist and it is my intention to get back to personal blogging, the way I used to do it before I went down the business route. So, expect more random musings, updates on my vegan journey, my progress on the road to physical fitness and the courses that I am studying in this regard.
That also means I am turning the commenting section on my blog back on so that we can stay in touch that way.
In the slightly distant future, perhaps a year or so from now, my intention is to get back to teaching face-to-face, in a classroom. That’s a full-circle return to the life I had, 22 years ago, when my career just began. Until then though, my sabbatical from all things work and business will continue, as I embrace this life of learning and personal growth.
Hi, I’m Shailaja, a blogger who’s been writing since 2007. My interests include books of all kinds, digital minimalism, veganism, health, nutrition, fitness and staying open to learning all the time. Welcome! Click here if you’d like an email when I publish new posts