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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: December 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Better is Not So Far Away is Here (small steps do actually move you forward)

At long last and with much gratitude to all who helped with this project - Better is Not So Far Away is finally not so far away!  It was released by McGraw-Hill Education a few weeks ago.

For me, one of the best things about the experience of writing this book and seeing it through to publication is the experience of seeing a process made up of many small "next right steps" and "keeping on keeping on" come to life.

Sometimes process is difficult to wait through, especially when there is emotional pain, confusion, or a feeling of time passing.  There are so many things that are worth shining the light on to see what lies below the surface of our wantings, our longings, our pull or push to move things along.

And sometimes here in the office, we see the opposite - the hesitancy to change, to move forward, a pull toward staying with or in the status quo, to keeping things as they are.  Sometimes this is fear of change, a clinging to what is known and familiar. Even in emotional pain, changing or saying, thinking, feeling, doing something new, can seem too risky, too strange, too different and unpredictable.

And the culture backlash these days to the competitive, achievement focused world is to encourage mindfulness, personal vulnerability from a position of self reflection and grace and gratitude.  And to be in the moment.  In the small moments of the moments of the day.  But even this, sometimes, can seem too far away or like a pressure of a different sort.

What I came to believe through the process of writing this book is that you can have both.  Back and forth and with ease at times, and at other times, a bit of difficulty.  But the difficulty is so valuable because when you get through each bump, there is a renewed sense of purpose, of accomplishment, of both quiet mindfulness and personal movement and meaning.

It means that just doing one more next right small thing is small enough that you don't have to jump farther or go faster than you can, but that you can go somewhat forward toward progress and still not miss the meaningful private moments in life.  That you can compare yourself to yourself, and that it does add up to something as well, but the process is in its own right is something of value, and the destination comes along as a soft reminder that we don't really have to move fast or big.

Things don't always have to be exciting to count.  They can count just because they are part of our process.  When we look at how we spend our time, what is valuable to us to devote our attention to, we can  - yes - have meaning and movement both getting there and being there.