As I set up my calendar for the month, I select a quote I’ve found that speaks to me. I write it in my planner and leave space below it to capture phrases I hear or read that speak to me and relate to the quote. I found this practice centers me for the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For July 2022 the quote was, “sit with it.”
I found this phrase in May as part of my listening for that month’s quote, “when you’re nervous about stepping outside your comfort zone, remind yourself: It feels scary because it’s unfamiliar, not because I’m incapable.” As I prepped my calendar for July, the phrase kept coming back top of mind. I wasn’t sure if it was to help me focus on less (to sit still) or to take time to get more intentional. But I did know I couldn’t shake the statement.
Here are quotes that caught my attention in July that connected to “sit with it”:
- Happiness cannot be found from great effort and will power, but it is already there in relaxation and letting go
- Choose your own personal legend
- Dream stealer
- The still waters of a lake reflect the beauty around it. When the mind is still – the beauty of the self is reflected.
- Running on automatic
- But what if you try?
- Cultivate mental space
- Reduce the noise and capture the signal
- Are you projecting shadow or light?
- Comparison is the enemy of joy
- The courage to be open to what is here
- It always seems impossible until it’s done
- Be present, be your best, be at peace
- All of us derive security and comfort from the imaginary world of memories and fantasies and plans. We don’t really want to stay in the nakedness of our present experience. It goes against the grain to stay present. These are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us strength to settle down.
- Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival
As I started July, there wasn’t anything specific to sit with but having the phrase inspired me to change my pace at work, at home, volunteering. To try to stop the habitual rushing and just “be” a little more. I tried to multi-task less. I tried to be more present. I tried to pause from the routine. For example, I sat with a young professional with the first 10 minutes of the call being about the value of summer camp and how those experiences helped us in our work life. I sat with a co-worker long after our meeting time ended and laughed more than I have in months. I sat alone, offline, and ate lunch quietly. I sat with a former teammate who reached out in need of mentorship about a job offer.
Later in the month, it was my turn to sit with a big, unexpected work opportunity. I sat with it alone. I sat with it on paper trying to sort it out. I sat with it with a trusted coworker. I sat with it awake in the middle of night (which I don’t recommend). I sat with it with my boss. I sat with it in meditation and sat with it some more. I sat with the excitement, the fear, the confusion, the worry, the challenge.
The “sit” was needed but not easy. Sitting in your body, your head, and your emotions is hard, scary, and exhausting – but also telling. The reflection helped me move past knee jerk reactions, push back on habit mental responses, and dig in on the opportunity.
And then, one day driving home with the sunroof open, a favorite Indigo Girls’ song came on, Watershed. Hadn’t heard it in years, so I cranked it up and sang with all my heart. “Standing at the fork in the road, you can stand there and agonize till your agony’s your heaviest load. You’ll never fly as the crow flies – get use to a country mile. When you’re learning to face the path as your pace, every choice if worth your while.”
This song spoke to my soul. Validate my reflection. And, in a way, cleansed my palate of rumination. I’m not sure if it was the words, the sun on my face, wind in my hair, or belting it out like their long-lost trio member that did it, but the release was physical. The reflection ended and a key realization emerged. Acceptance.
I accepted that regardless of how the opportunity worked out, things would be fine. I accepted what I needed and where I could be flexible. I accepted what concerned me. I accepted what was out of my control. I accepted I had the skills and support to succeed. I accepted I was done sitting, and ready to do.