The Importance of Leaning In and Then Leaning Back: Living with Change, Waiting, and Intentionality

by | Aug 23, 2021 | Work, Life Balance

Hey, fellow women & womxn! The break is over and FSW is officially back on the internet pages.

The last couple of weeks have shown me how important it is to try to accept living in a paradox. No, it’s not always easy because our egos like compartments, safety, and knowing what’s coming. On one hand, we have changes and on the other, we have moments of waiting. Or, oddly, they can both happen at the same time.

In my case lately, there’s been mixed messages, trials of faith, and points where I noticed I leaned in too far, with too many things, and burnt the candles at both ends. Typical Virginia behavior, admittedly.

What comes to mind, as you recognize when you’ve leaned in too much? Are you relatively self-aware of when you’re pushing into things, or through them, a little too hard or aggressively? Or, are you pretty good at balancing times of go, go, go, with rest?

So many of us hear messages of “never quit,” “hustle,” or “be the best you can be” while checking off a list of 37 things in 48 hours… And sometimes we have to do it. Sometimes we’re really surviving through a chapter in life that’s kind of hard or confusing AF. However, a recent conversation with a friend helped me see:

  • There can be a balance between “pushing” and retreating back. Where we find some neutrality is in the middle.
  • We can create a to-do list that doesn’t fill the planner’s day, and it’d allow room for intentional focus and groundedness in our work.
  • And it’s even possible to take a pause and regroup, despite feeling guilty for doing so in the beginning. Shocking, I know.

Let’s talk about a concrete example of leaning in and leaning back within minutes of each other.

Experiential Learning 101: Letting Go of the Old to Have Space for the New (Literally)

Anyone who goes through FSW posts can see that we’ve moved around a few times in the last year. Since July of 2020, we sold a house, bought a house, sold that house, moved into the RV, and have been hunting for a place since this February. We’ve fallen back into an incredibly hot and challenging market, but have tried to keep faith that the right thing will come along.

Well, friends, the right thing has come along…after “sacrificing to the gods” my desktop computer. While it’s a joke now between me and mine, I’m looking at the computer still with a mixture of grimacing and some hope.

Long story short, I was vacuuming the RV and thought I’d be all brilliant and multitask. When will I ever learn, you ask? Well, apparently not fast enough ha! I bent under the dinette because the leg was crooked and I was going to move it forward an inch so I could line it up better and keep vacuuming underneath. Lesson one: don’t ever do that one-handed while holding a vacuum. Lesson two: don’t do it when the all-in-one, “love of your life” computer is on top of the table along with groceries…

Yep, the computer is now shot to hell; the screen is all cracked and chipped. I tried to catch it while Washington cider, rum, canned goods, and other crap, fell off the table and onto the floor around my feet. All I could do was yell expletives, call for help, and take it all in… Leaning back, I didn’t want to accept what happened, obviously, but I had to. It didn’t feel right at all, but I’ve seen so many times in life where closure came in really weird ways. Between ownership of items, relationships, and life plot twists, we really do not know how much time we have with some things or some folks.

After the sacrificial desktop incident, three hours later, I was provided an unanticipated lean in moment. After months of hunting for houses and properties, we got a call. We made an offer on a house yesterday; admittedly, we did it with some detachment because we’ve been burnt out in this market… Well, it’s now “ours” and we’re under contract. And while grieving the computer, it was an opportunity to lean in and commit to a 1960s home with metallic wallpaper, ocean blue tile, and only two streets from where we left last July. No joke, we’ve honestly come back to the same neighborhood we left around a year ago.

Y’all… It’s easy to say the Universe works in mysterious ways, but when we live in it, be in it, and grow through it, experiential learning is 100% opportunity. In our lifetime here, that’s what we’re working through: experiences. Take it or leave it; like it or hate it. Or, feel a mixture of these, in full honesty, while processing what’s happening. That’s ok! So, let’s reframe.

We can learn to *lean in,* gain confidence, and get through bumps knowing we’re becoming an even stronger, intentional us. A mature and wiser us.

And sometimes we need to *lean back,* take in the feelings, and sit with them… But eventually, we’ll feel better after going through the proverbial valley, when we lean forward to stand up and keep moving on.

It’s finding a balance, beautiful women and womxn. We can’t lean in all the time and maybe burn out, or lean back 24/7 and never live life. Sometimes we need to choose which one we’re doing at the moment, to respect our energy, our time, resources, etc. And then we reflect and do what’s right for us next and go forth. If you’re ever unsure a break will come, or you can’t find it in you to lean in when you’ve faced heartache or disappointments… I promise you, it’s possible. It just takes awareness, acceptance, courage, and intentionality, and I’m here to help you with that 100%.

Alright! That’s this week’s memo and I hope that it’s been supportive or at least encouraging in some ways! What do you feel are the moments where you lean in the most and see your own courage? What about the times where you say, “Ok, Self, I love you, and how about we slow our roll for a bit?” (Pro tip: this also takes courage and commitment to do.) Feel free to comment below. 🙂 FSW is about you. Your growth, your pivots, and your thriving, and this is your space. If you want to join the Circle, here’s where you sign up. Or, if you’d rather do the Quiz, hop on over here. Any questions? The way to contact FSW is here and I hope you have a beautiful week ahead!

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Carolyn
Carolyn
2 years ago

I’m in one of those “not sure I want to be in or out” seasons right now. Desperately just want it over…thanks for the encouraging words and thoughts!