Wednesday, May 21, 2014



It's happened to us all...

You wake up.
It's still dark outside.
What time is it?
Yes! Three hours til the alarm goes off. Back to sleep.
20 minutes pass.
45 minutes pass.
60 minutes pass.
Ok. Two hours til the alarm but you have to fall asleep now.
20 minutes pass.
45 minutes pass.
60 minutes pass.
Only an hour left.
20 minutes pass.
45 minutes pass.
You fall asleep.
60 minutes pass.
Alarm goes off.

When you need to be up for work or have a full day of plans & you hope/want/need to be alert and energetic, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back to sleep is incredibly frustrating.

I learned last night that when you DO NOT need to be up for work or a full day of plans, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back to sleep can actually be pretty great. I do hope/want/need to be alert and energetic today (and everyday), but I have the week off from my day job so I'm stay-cationing at the moment & working on a few projects at home. Because I wasn't focused on trying to get back to sleep I was able to just BE in the moment. Wide eyed at 3AM. There was nowhere to be but there so I chose to embrace it.

In my 3AM moment lots of things were rolling through my head, but I'll share the one that felt most pressing or prominent as I laid there.

I'm going on several months of desiring and dreaming of changing directions career wise. I've pretty much been in my own way all this time. As Dr. Seuss put so well in his book Oh, The Places You'll Go…

"I'm sorry to say so 
but, sadly, it's true 
and Hang-ups 
can happen to you. 

You can get all hung up 
in a prickle-ly perch. 
And your gang will fly on. 
You'll be left in a Lurch. 

You'll come down from the Lurch 
with an unpleasant bump. 
And the chances are, then, 
that you'll be in a Slump. 

And when you're in a Slump, 
you're not in for much fun. 
Un-slumping yourself 
is not easily done. 

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. 
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked. 
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin! 
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? 
How much can you lose? How much can you win? 

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right... 
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? 
Or go around back and sneak in from behind? 
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find, 
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind. 

You can get so confused 
that you'll start in to race 
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace 
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, 
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. 
The Waiting Place…"

Ugh. The Waiting Place truly is SO USELESS. I've waited for affirmation, I've waited for answers, I've waited for certainty, I've waited for tomorrow and when tomorrow comes I've waited until the next day. Not because of laziness or apathy, but because of feeling overwhelmed with where the heck to even start. When I woke up I felt a sense of urgency, a calm sense of urgency not a panicky one, that was simply this: Don't delay.

I checked instagram at one point while I was in my moment because I'm addicted to checking it and like a robot it's the first thing I look at when I'm on my phone. Anyway, this nugget of wisdom popped right up:


At 7:15 in the morning, when I was halfway finished writing this post, I got a call from a friend who had no idea I had the week off and we talked for an hour. First, who calls someone that early? Also, if I hadn't been up since 3AM and out of bed since 5AM - I would have 100% missed or declined the call. But I was up and I answered and we talked. Not about just anything, but she called and had some very specific things to say as a continuation of recent conversations about developing skills, about leadership, business, driving change, courage, risk, people, friendship, and our FAITHFUL God. 

I freaking grabbed a piece of paper and took notes. 

One thing she said really struck a chord, especially as I begin taking bigger and bolder steps into the unknown and reaching higher, she said, "Seek transformation, not affirmation." Of course! Affirmation is lovely and it feels really good to be affirmed, but as a believer and a leader, I seek to be a driver of transformation. Of the world and of people. In a way, my starting place is asking myself with each step I take from here whether what I am doing is being driven by the motivation to transform, or driven by the desire to have others affirm me. My path will illuminate as I move. Standing still, as I now know, is pretty dark and very useless.

All of this before 8:30AM.

This is all so fresh and perhaps not the best written/articulated post of my life, but I hope that those of you reading it will find encouragement in some form or another as you live your story. Whether it's to be in the 3AM moment and to pay attention even though you'd rather be sleeping. To stop waiting and get moving. To question your motivations as you step & to step in wisdom. This is me saying that I don't have everything figured out and sometimes I'm afraid, but I'm 100 times more afraid of waiting than moving…so let's get going.

Feeling incredibly joyful this Wednesday!


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