Is standing still progress?

January 5th, 2012 by Maryanne Honeycutt

It’s fun to run.  And if you’re in the mood, to skip or leap around. There is something freeing and energizing about moving forward with great force.  It’s like there is nothing holding you back and you leave what you want to leave behind you.  My running highs result from both the endorphin rush and the more emotional feeling of emptying myself for new possibilities.

But some days, there is no energy to move with great force. There is confusion and chaos which seems to weigh me down. Where I thought I wanted to go is perhaps not available any longer, or the stress of doing feels overwhelming. My expectations and my reality aren’t the same.

We all make commitments or goals, and then sometimes experience the stress or uncertainty of not making it.  For me, whether it’s writing new material or having a healthy meal each night (aka -avoiding the drive-thru lane), there are days when I feel like I’m no longer running a steady pace toward the goal. In fact, I feel like I’ve stopped. Out of gas. Nothing left.  Standing still.

I see this inertia with leaders. They feel overwhelmed, and it’s easier to react to the day’s fire drills than anything else. Any movement forward feels like the right movement, and it’s easy to get pulled into the force of activity or, as I like to call it, busyness. To me, busy is activity without a clear focus. We don’t think slowing down is a real choice. We see movement, in any direction, as the way to go.

But in this feeling of frenzy, can we find just a little bit of room? Room to sense more choice than we first thought possible? 

If so, then slowing down to walk, or even slowing down to a stop, can give us a powerful opportunity to see a new choice.  Can we look at stopping as actually movement?  How might our choices be different if we see standing still as progress? What could happen if we invited more space in our lives?

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