Stepping out of our comfort zone is disturbing. Crossing thresholds are hard work. And this week I’ve been conscious of pushing at both.
It’s one thing to decide to do something. To be prepared to be open. It’s quite another to do it. To take action.
I suspect that I’m not alone in being tempted to take a rest at the wrong time. It has usually required quite a lot of thought and gut wrestling to come to the decision point. This is the way I am going. This is what I’m going to do.
But here is not the rest point. Pause maybe, but don’t sit down.
However, looking back I’ve often not felt confident enough to push through and in pausing too long, have come up with yet another option…
I recognise that I still have vestiges of Carol Dweck’s ‘fixed’ mindset. Subconsciously believing that if I was any good, it would be easy. Right? Therefore, not feeling confident and not finding it simple must mean that this isn’t the ‘right’ way to go. I will fail because there’s nothing there…
So this week I faced my fear and got on with it. Making small decisions each day to stay with my discomfort and keep moving anyway.
It becomes easier as we unmask what’s going on. Naming our fears and seeing them for what they are. And who they are protecting… or not!
As we do, I suspect we are more open to receive the little drops of encouragement that are there for us along the way. The nudge from a friend or colleague. A kind and affirming word. An inspiring piece of writing or an amazing view. Things that grow our capacity for change and water the seeds of hope.
Coming to rest
And so to rest.
It’s great to look back and see how far we’ve come. We have travelled and the thresholds we’ve crossed become clearer with hindsight. It’s not just in our heads.
But we also need to give ourselves permission to rest. To recharge our batteries and replenish our souls. Because this ‘difference-making’ we’re about matters. And we can’t do it as ragged or shrivelled up loners, continually pushing as far as we can go.
Last week a good friend sent me a card with a screenprint of swans returning to a loch. In our exchange over the next few days, she recounted a time when she had been on holiday with her lovely family:
… I was on the beach at the age of a vast sea. The joy of going into the water beyond where the waves break on the sand. Out to the still, slightly deeper water and just floating on my back looking up to vast clear blue sky. My arms and legs out, star-shaped. This was such a wonderful experience of trust, peace, fun and joy. Me being me. I loved it, then coming back to shore and the family…
As I read it, I realised that I couldn’t easily remember an experience like that. Of being so restfully held, of letting go and simply enjoying the experience. And I yearned for it. Not the detail of floating in the sea – though that would be nice – but feeling that quality of rest and peace.
I know that’s an inner peace – not of absence, but of fullness – and I want to experience more of it. Because I know that the kind of difference I long to make in the world has to come from a deep inner pool. A trickle isn’t enough, especially given the aridity of the world around us.
Just maybe this is the place where deep calls to deep. And we can’t hear it if we’re not there.
I wonder where you come to rest? What echoes are you hearing?
Thanks for reading
I have been conscious that this week’s posts have been challenging in their own way. So I hope you will give yourself some rest, too.