Sit with it just a little longer

Where I live, we’re two weeks away from the start of school after summer vacation. I no longer have kids living at home, but this remains the season of new backpacks and fresh starts. It is a very in-between time, where I’m not yet willing to say summer is over, but a new season is definitely looming, and I want to be prepared. My heart aches and leaps for all the families who are anticipating the fall with that potent mixture of excitement and dread.

Part of this liminal time involves thinking back to where we thought we’d be by this time in the summer. Better rested? Deeper into the stack of books we intended to read? Clearer on a path forward? Another source of mixed feelings: you’ve had a good summer, but had really hoped to….

I’m reminded of Dan Sullivan’s The Gap and the Gain. We can choose to focus our attention on how far we’ve come or on how much farther we wish we’d gotten.

As I restart the “wiser decisions faster” blog for a new season, I’m sitting in that choice. Back in June, I thought I might be ready by now to tell you about some big new plans that have been percolating. I’ve made progress and they are taking shape, but I’m not quite ready for “the big reveal.” In fact, I wonder if there will be a big reveal, or more of a gradual, organic unfolding.

It’s helped to remember that people often like to be brought into the authenticity of something developing rather than just seeing the polished finished product. So I’m back, bringing you into the midst of the mess.

For those who are new here, I am a high energy strategic planning facilitator, speaker and executive coach based in Ontario, Canada. I am in year 27 of my business supporting community benefit organizations and their leaders — most often large non-profits, philanthropic foundations, universities, health organizations and issue-based coalitions. I’ve written three books — the most recent one is called ELASTIC: Stretch without snapping or snapping back. I help people increase their adaptability, curiosity and collective imagination. I’m also a mom to four and ‘Minga’ to two, who loves travelling, knitting, farmers’ markets and board games and is adjusting to an empty nest.

The “I” in ELASTIC stands for imagination — and I am becoming increasingly convinced of the value of pausing in the midst of these liminal seasons to reimagine how things could be different. It’s easy for us action-oriented, achiever types to jump too quickly into planning.  We double down on our activity, trying to move through our discomfort faster. What happens if making wiser decisions faster requires slowing down — not for its own sake, but to pause wisely and consider questions of “What if I…?” or “How might we…?” before landing too soon at “I’m going to…”?

If it feels tricky, I’d suggest inviting someone else to play along with you. I’m convinced imagining is better as a team sport!

So, if you’re in an in-between time, welcome! I hope you’ll join me in sitting with the discomfort just a bit longer than the calendar or your temperament might want you to. Use the time to imagine rather than to solve, and see what comes up!

Photo of of an interior hallway in a building with many doors.

Photo by Scarbor Siu on Unsplash

One Reply to “Sit with it just a little longer”

  1. Thank you, Rebecca. The perfect message for me today. I get anxious when there is ‘too much space’ and I want to fill it. I love the idea of sitting with it and seeing what happens in the discomfort. Here’s hoping for a wonderful extended summer and autumn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *