When we do big things that require a lot of effort, it’s normal to feel a little let down after the fact.
When we expand, it’s normal to contract a little—to try to go back to the way things used to be. But once we expand, we can’t go back to the way we were. We have to learn to inhabit our new, bigger, life. We need to get used to who we are now.
It takes a little while for that to happen.
I have noticed this expansion—contraction—too spacious—just right—process for many years.
It happens every time I go on a retreat or attend a conference where I focus on just one aspect of myself or my life.
It happens every time my husband and I reach a new level of understanding with each other.
It happens every time I go from seeing myself as a student to seeing myself as a teacher.
It happens every time I try to do something I’m not quite sure I can do—whatever the outcome: Because the catalyst to me being bigger is my effort, not the result.
I have been having this feeling of having a little too much space this week—I’m a little scattered, a little unfocused. Luckily, I’ve been here before so I know what to do.
In this case, I’ve been studying for the Family Medicine boards for months. Last week I traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to attend a Family Medicine Review Course, where I earned 56 hours of CME credit.
On Monday, I sat for the Family Medicine Recertification Exam. It’s an 8-hour test on general Family Medicine knowledge.
No matter the outcome, I am different for having made the effort to take (and pass!) the exam. I’m bigger.
So this week I’m rattling around inside my life, trying to figure out what to do next.
The only thing I really have to do is give myself permission to process this most recent effort, before moving on to the next.
I’m taking a few deep breaths, taking care of a few mundane chores that were neglected recently, and enjoying having done something difficult.
For everyone who is in the midst of NaNo and for everyone who is tackling some other new project or way of thinking: Can you give yourself permission to take a little time to become this new person? Just allow it to unfold.
When you do, you will honor your process and allow whatever’s next to reveal itself to you in it’s own time, rather than trying to muscle it into reality.
This is the process that works for me. Will it work for you?
Diane MacKinnon: Hi, I’m the slacker who’s not doing NaNo this year! But really, you can’t do everything, right? Even though I sometimes (often) convince myself I can do everything, this year I’ve finally faced reality–at least with regard to NaNo! Best wishes to everyone slogging through their daily word counts!