Riding the waves
Slow times offer the best and worst of all things. On the one hand, there is space. Space to think. Space to explore and create. To connect. To find something new about one’s self. In many ways, those of us who work a bit non-traditionally require slow times. If all we are doing is working, we will end up recreating patterns that don’t support the growth and evolution of our work. And it seems to me that this is a part of our work: to develop and grow. To figure out what’s new.
You’re waiting for the “other hand”, yeah? Well, there sure is one. I’d imagine that this “other hand” looks different for most of us, but I can certainly speak to what it
looks feels like for me.
Earlier I said, on the one hand there is space. Well, on the other hand, there is space. Space to isolate. Space to disconnect. Space to ruminate, worry, and make up (or crystalize) stories that prove the why behind the slowness. Did I mention space to analyze and determine the why behind the slowness? There’s plenty more.
These two “hands” are a tension. They are both at play at any given moment when things slow down. They are both there, and ready to fill whatever vacuum gets created in my world1. This is one of those lessons that I’ve been with for the last couple of years.
The tensions that are alive in us can show us a bit about our conditioning. They can help us understand the places where we might be taking ourselves out (one of my tendencies) or where we might hide. They can show us our second guessing. They can show us the ways we limit ourselves.
But here’s one of my biggest learnings of recent years: to “buck up” or “armor up” and push through these experiences, and to almost insist on the “preferable” side of the tension is a surefire way to keep the push-pull alive. Riding this wave with curiosity, however, can have a much different impact. Curiosity, and, I might add, compassion, are tools for uncovering the space within the tension that is seeking release. Where the lesson can come into clarity. And where fully accepting the self—including the beautiful intelligence behind the very thing that is behind the “negative” side of the tension—becomes possible
Like I said, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m starting to see, with a totally new kind of clarity, how learning to ride the waves is one of the most fundamental practices we can have. Energetic surfing.
I’ll stop acting like I can speak for anyone else who works for themselves. I have a sense of this for people I know, but don’t want to speak for anyone but myself.↩