Hustle + Flow

by Jana Krumholtz

When I first met Jana at a yoga studio in L.A., I knew I wanted to be her friend almost instantly. We bonded over having just moved to town from New York and how different this city felt from the Big Apple. I had just gotten out of the international nonprofit industry and her boyfriend had just gotten in, and the conversation FLOWED with ease.

Over the course of the following months we had coffee dates, yoga dates, and barbecues and would dive deep into conversation, to the point where hours would pass and our breakfast date would start running into lunch hour. It was just so easy to dive deep with her, to be really authentic, and talk about the meaningful things in our lives. What I adore about Jana is her determination to be herself and to follow her dreams. As a dancer, model, and actress she is in an industry that doesn't allow any space to coast or to lose your belief in yourself. But even so, I have been so impressed with how Jana is able to balance her full schedule of auditions, filming, and photo shoots with travel, time in nature and with family, and self-care.

I'm convinced it's that balance that keeps her smile so bright and infectious and attracts people and opportunity to her like a magnet.

So I was delighted when she agreed to contribute to Soul Stories and to share her strategies for not just finding balance, but INTEGRATION in her life. When work and play blend is where the real magic happens. And I think you will see her magic shine through in this piece. 

Hustle + Flow

Wake up. Roll over. Reach for phone. Open Instagram. Scroll... scroll... scroll…. Before you’ve even swung your feet out of bed, your brain has been bombarded with hashtags: #teamnosleep, #onmygrind, #hustle, #makethatmoney, #morecoffeeplease, #nodaysoff....

By the time you get to bathroom and look at yourself for the first time in the mirror, you are already subconsciously beating yourself up for sleeping later than you should have, or for that matter, even sleeping at all!

Our unconventional, entrepreneurial generation breeds this kind of culture: admiration and respect for people who work 16-hour days, and confusion with a side of disdain for people who seem content with a simple work situation, or perhaps, none at all.

Now, you’ve made it to the kitchen. You’re standing in a semi-yogi tree pose while waiting for your coffee to steep in your French press. You think to yourself, ‘Oh, I’ll just check instagram, why not?' … scroll… scroll… scroll… and your eyes glaze over beautiful yogi bodies in different poses blessing the sunrise with hashtags like #findyourzen, #tunein, #becalmbestill, #innerpeace.

You press and pour your coffee, sit in your favorite chair, and start to sip. Now, if you’re anything like me, two options lie before you: to Hustle OR to Flow.

Do I Hustle: go off running to make my day as busy as possible to create the maximum amount of success for myself?

Or do I Flow: take it easy, love myself in the slow beauty of today, stretch, go to yoga, and with a sense of presence, see where this day takes me?

I don’t know if it’s the Gemini in me, actually, I don’t even know if I’m a Gemini after NASA apparently changed the dates (did you hear about that?), but my natural inclination is to break every situation down into TWO possibilities: either/or.

I seem to live in a world of 0s and 1s. I’m binary when it comes to all things: planning my day, choosing food, or even in conversation when I wonder what other people are thinking. My boyfriend pokes fun at me for this and is constantly asking, “Are those the ONLY two options?” Well, aren’t they?

And so the battle begins. The binary battle: to HUSTLE or to FLOW? Who am I today, the #girlboss or the #zenyogi?

Let’s try something. Grab a blank sheet of paper and write HUSTLE and FLOW in big letters on the top, splitting the two words with a line down the middle like a PRO/CON list. Now underneath HUSTLE, write what action words represent hustle for you, your career, and your ultimate goals.

Underneath the word FLOW, write what activities provide you clarity and fill your soul. No Netflix allowed, sorry, even though Michael Scott and Lorelai Gilmore are two of my favorite people in the whole world. The flow activity is something you truly know is a good way for you to relax and center in (not out!), whether its going to the gym, meditating, reading, writing, painting, gardening, etc.

My HUSTLE is being a professional dancer, actress and model. What I do is just another type of freelancing. I have agents that send me on auditions, but I am my own boss, I create my own schedule, and dictate my future by controlling how hard I push myself and what goals I set. If I’m not booked on a job or auditioning, that doesn’t mean I get to chill. I need to be present in dance classes, show my face around town, work out, create new photo shoot opportunities, network, and go to acting class. 

 Hustling for Reebok in their catalogue.

Hustling for Reebok in their catalogue.

 Hustling as a dancer on Lip Sync Battle.

Hustling as a dancer on Lip Sync Battle.

A relaxing yoga class, camping, spending a full Sunday reading the Times in a French bakery are some of my ways to FLOW. Fill up the list with as much you can think of, and be honest.

 In flow on a hike in LA...

In flow on a hike in LA...

Now, cut your paper down the middle, separating the two lists of HUSTLE and FLOW. Then cut each activity out separately. Get a new piece of paper and title it hustle AND flow, and outline the AND with a heart.

For real, it sounds silly, but keeping love present in everything we do is so important. In fact, it is the main reason for all my successes: in my career, my love life and friendships.

Now, tape all of your activities back on this new page in a fun and playful manner, in an order of highest to lowest importance, or from most exciting to least, or just a random order, it’s up to you! You can also include pictures of inspiring people or quotes, similar to a vision board.

Take a step back and look at this new thing that used to be just a plain binary list. This new sheet you just created, that’s what life is to me.

Life is a mixture of all these things, scheduled and unpredicted, work and play. The more I embrace that, the more I release the need to control and neurotically judge everything I do and every choice I make, the more I trust my own voice, the more I am honest about what I need and want in the moment, I find that the universe opens up to me and gives and gives and gives.

Even if I can’t see it, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, the universe is giving me exactly what I need in this moment (the only moment). The best thing you can do is to create a strong center and foundation within yourself; to love yourself, to be open to what the Universe gives you, to be open to what it takes away, to know, whole heartedly that this is exactly who I am, and this is exactly where I need to be.

So tomorrow morning, if you wake up with that familiar stuck feeling when thinking about this wide open day in front of you, not sure what to do with it to get to where you want…look at your hustle AND flow sheet. Feel the love and go towards which activity attracts you most in that present moment. Don’t choose something out of guilt or shame, pick with love and give yourself what you need. Every day can be your perfect day, a joint effort of hustle AND flow.