In 2021 I got to relearn the lesson that sometimes the best action is inaction. The story actually begins in 2009 when I was beyond frustrated that the real estate market crash had left us upside down in our house. I had two toddlers and was driving my teenager across the county twice daily for high school. My business’ future was uncertain due to the recession and the predictions that it would last for 3-4 years felt intolerable. As a person with a strong bias for action, I wanted to do something (anything) to move forward toward better things and times. It was not in my nature to wait. In this season of my life, I taught myself how to constructively idle my drive, recharge my reserves, and allow opportunities to emerge from the mist of ambiguity. More than a decade later, I am once again drawing on the wisdom of what it means to stay.
“Preparing to stay” is a state of being that requires deep self-trust, the ability to quiet one’s anxiety to soothe the fear of others, and the courage to stand steady even when all you hear around you is the thundering of anxiety-driven action. I am aware of restless energy borne of the hardship, ambiguity, and complexity that the pandemic has forced into all our lives. The state of our larger context is uncomfortable. I can feel it in myself, hear it with my clients, and see it in the larger community. The desire to leave the discomfort by any means possible is widespread – excessive busyness being the “prettiest” of the exit strategies. I remind myself and my clients of the power of staying with, rather than solving for discomfort. Think, “What shifts when you consider that the necessary action may be inaction?”
Three Brave Ways to stay
(When All You Want To Do Is Go)
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