A New Pace to Embrace

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Written by Gaïna Dávila

Kafe on the African Atlantic Coast. Dakar, Senegal
Kafe on the African Atlantic Coast. Dakar, Senegal

In the words of Langston Hughes, this year “ain’t been no crystal stairs.” Similar to last year, 2021 has challenged us all, for better or for worse.

While living in West Africa for work, I’ve witnessed some historic moments, including the Ebola epidemic, and a military coup d’état while navigating motherhood and a pandemic.

Living abroad and working in a high-stress environment taught me to value the moments that make life worth living. The seemingly insignificant pauses like a sloppy kiss from my toddler, a freshly brewed cup of kafe, a call from one of my girlfriends, or the excitement of finishing a good book. New seasons teach us to embrace a different pace for live, work, and everything in between through ebbs and flows.


New seasons teach us to embrace a different pace for live

Here is the truth: Time is our most finite and precious resource. Earlier this year, David and I decided to exit our culture’s toxic “rat-race.” We knew it would come at a cost, but did not doubt that the benefits would outweigh whatever opportunities might be lost.

I’ve seen days fly by only to realize that I spent the better half of 24 hours in ways that didn’t fully represent my goals and aspirations. Can you relate?

Dakar, Senegal
Dakar, Senegal

The weight of all the non-essential activities we were taking part in started becoming too heavy a burden to bear. I knew we desperately needed a change of pace, and I know now that we aren’t the only ones. If you’re feeling spent, like we were, here’s two ways you can flip the script and embrace a pace that elevates your well-being while moving you (and your family!)


forward.

1. Create healthy internal boundaries. In other words, start paying closer attention to your thoughts and emotions –don’t ignore them!

By creating a “no harm” zone in my mind, I learned how to reevaluate the way I manage my time and myself without judgement. I started to look at time management as a journey and something that is, first and foremost, an inside job.

You see, I had to teach myself that each day is an opportunity to bring a grain of sand to the shores of my peace. The key here is choosing incremental growth towards balance and wholeness instead of spurts of short-term gratification.


Dakar, Senegal
Dakar, Senegal

2. Start saying “no.”

In my twenties, I wrestled with saying “no.” I used to think it was a sign of ingratitude so I said “yes” to almost everything. Not a good idea then, and definitely not a good idea now!

What empowered me to adjust my perspective was realizing that every time I said “yes” to one opportunity, I was also saying “no” to another that was perhaps better aligned with my personal goals.

Bottom-line? No one will respect your time unless you do. Create margin by prioritizing and don’t be afraid to say “no” when you need to.

As we approach another holiday season, I hope you feel inspired to embrace a pace that moves you closer to the life you want to build. I know it’s easier said than done, but we must not settle.

Everyday presents us with opportunities to create healthy internal boundaries, and opportunities to say “no” in the pursuit of creating a life well lived. I’m challenged to do better in my own life as I prepare to usher in 2022, and I’m excited to move forward alongside you.

Stay fueled,

Gaï Dávila

Co-Founder of the Dávila Kafe Coffee Company


Dakar, Senegal
Dakar, Senegal