Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the In-Between. I was feeling strange because everywhere I looked, my life seemed to be in transition. It felt like that moment between an inhale and exhale, when everything is suspended, and nothing is happening. It seemed to be lasting forever to my “go, go, go” personality. I love creating and doing stuff, and I’ve had to learn how to trust the times when I’m not.
I wrestled with the In-Between, but finally sank into it and just let it happen. Then, just like that, it was over. Suddenly, the house renovation started moving forward again. The website concepts started coming together. I started knowing exactly what I wanted my living room to look like. I knew just how I wanted to put together new materials for my clients.
I went from inertia to motion in what seemed like moments. I kind of miss the In-Between. After all, I had just befriended it!
Somehow, suddenly, things are moving fast. This past week, I was out of town giving a workshop with fellow coach Koelle Simpson and then leading the Martha Beck Meet and Greet in my role as Life Coach Training Coordinator. I coached up a storm, presented, taught, and generally had a blast professionally in a whirlwind nine-day trip.
Meanwhile, at home, boxes with lamps and decorative pillows and other décor poured in the door. The contractor renovated the living room. While giving workshops, I kept getting texts from him including pictures of my house. I came home to piles of boxes, a fantastic new look throughout the house, and new shelves everywhere. The graphic designer for my website sent logo ideas to review. My assistant busily added meetings and updates to my calendar. Progress, at full-tilt.
The whiplash of moving from nothing to everything caught me by surprise. Last Wednesday, I got an intense muscle spasm in my lower back. Then, I woke up in the middle of the night to let the dog out, bonked my thigh on the new shelf in our bedroom, tripped over an unpacked suitcase, and stumbled into the bedroom door. Thursday morning I woke up and realized that it was a cosmic convergence in which I had somehow scheduled roughly 47 clients, a meeting, a dog grooming appointment (for which I had only allotted 15 minutes to drop the dog off and get home for said meeting), a tree service to remove large parts of our landscaping, and, of course, the re-grouting of my bathroom tile.
Though I had specifically told the tree crew that I work from home, they periodically rang the doorbell for a chat throughout the morning. This caused my dog to bark manically while I apologized to clients and tried to shoo the tree crew back to work. Then they would return to making chainsaw/Earth-ripping sounds outside my office window.
Mid-morning I grabbed my dog and his leash, talking soothingly to him about his grooming appointment as we headed for the door. The contractor poked his head curiously out of the bathroom, thinking I’d finally lost it and was talking to myself. Almost.
Luckily, one of my trained coaches was scheduled to call and coach me (a part of her Endorsement process). My back spasm was still screaming at me, so she deftly used the mind-body tools to extract its message. (Sometimes there is nothing like having help, even when you’re a coach and have a million coaching tools handy.)
Not surprisingly, my back was asking me to stop. It was asking me to slow down. It was reminding me that though I do love action and creating, there is no reason to do everything at once, at full speed. It asked me to put a little do-nothing time back into my schedule.
Truthfully, a little do-nothing time is the perfect prescription for me. I love the power of doing nothing and how it makes me more efficient and effective. I get better ideas, clearer directions, and have more fun when I make sure to do nothing often.
The In-Between is over. I’m now in the Full-Tilt. So here I go again, learning how to navigate this part of my life just like I learned how to navigate the In-Between. I’m remembering that discomfort always has a message for me, and knowing that this, too, is perfect.
I have a feeling that this Full-Tilt is teaching me how to manage my full plate without losing my mind or not listening to my body. It’s likely teaching me how to slow down and listen to my inner wisdom right when I think I should speed up and get more done. It’s probably teaching me how to insert doing nothing into the Full-Tilt so that this full-speed train doesn’t derail.
I’m being reminded, by the over-scheduled day and my back spasm, that I am the one creating my life. I can tap the brakes when necessary. I love living from this place of strength. It feels good to ask myself what I want and to honor that answer instead of shove it down or ignore it, as I used to do
Looking back over the week, I am laughing at myself, at the ridiculousness of the schedule, and I’m prioritizing some do-nothing time. My Full-Tilt stamina will last much longer if I do intervals. Do nothing. Do a lot. Do nothing. Do a lot.
The funny thing is, the same question that helped me through the In-Between is now helping me with the Full-Tilt. It is, simply, this:
What do I need right now?
My answer? Right now, I need to do nothing.