The time in between

As I wrote this blog my eye caught this card that a dear colleague gave to me on the last day at my previous job and the beginning of my new journey.

The time in between is sometimes challenging.  You’ve taken the courageous step to resign and start your own business. The first few months are still fine. You manage to live on the savings, but then the growing of the new business takes longer than you anticipated. You realise that this is the time in between. This is the uncertain time that you feared and nearly prohibited you from taking the leap of faith.    You become more aware of the competitive environment you are entering. You are confronted with the your own familiar critical thoughts of ‘Did you really think you could do this?’, ‘Why will someone pay for your services if they can contract other more capable people?’. This is the moment when your true colours are tested.

Are you willing to sit with the discomfort and uncertainty for a bit longer and keep on trusting that your inner voice will guide you on your unbeaten path? Or are you going to let the voice of fear of ‘what if’ overwhelm you and turn back to the familiar road even though you know that path is not good for your soul.

You realise that all the reading and mental preparation you’ve done are now put to the test. You remember practising being comfortable with uncomfortableness. That the secret is to stay calm in these in between times, not try to frantically find something to do, not to start looking anxiously around but to sit with it. To use this time to become aware of your emotions, thoughts, body sensations and to learn from it. In the sitting I’m reminded of the beautiful poem of Mary Oliver,

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice –

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognised as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do –

determined to save

the only life you could save.

After reading the poem again I realise I am not ready to turn back and to give up. I know that I need to go deeper.  I need to simplify my life and leave behind the critical voices that don’t serve me anymore. I need to let go of the ‘false securities’ that I’m clinging to. This is a journey that I feel called to follow. It is one that I need to live before I can guide others on it. We all have our own unique journeys that we are called to follow. Are you on your journey?

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