When I started this blog several years ago, I called it Be Still and Know because of lessons I had recently started to learn. Stillness had not been a part of my life for many years. Presence was absent. I’d been missing the joy and peace of living in the moment as my thoughts absorbed all my attention. Over the past five years, I’ve learned many things that have enriched the initial awakening that started the summer of 2013. Learning mindfulness techniques and acceptance was just the beginning. Recognizing that I’d long lived with a fixed mindset was very important and impactful! Recently studying the Enneagram and realizing my perfectionist (Type 1) tendency has opened new avenues for exploration and growth.
A couple years back, ideas for a book started percolating in my heart and mind. Particularly while out on runs, I’d come up with great ideas. Alas, it wasn’t convenient to jot them down while miles from home with nothing to write on! Life kept getting in the way of writing. I prayed for God to help guide my efforts.
Then, this year of change occurred. The kids switched schools. We remodeled our home and did major construction on the backyard. We traveled and I got promoted which involved a lot of transition at work. In short, life happened. Writing a book fell really far down the priority list. But, writing this today I don’t feel discouraged from my dream. Instead I hear a clear message from God: You’re not ready to write your book… yet.
Last week I had breakfast with the Head of School and Director of Advancement (and church family friend) at The Cambridge School. We had a delightful meal as we discussed classical Christian education and how our family has transitioned to the new school. I shared with them my struggle to embrace a growth mindset and release a fixed mindset. It’s very humbling to admit that I needed to start down this path of growth myself before I could nurture my children through their education. The Head of School wisely shared that, in teaching with a growth mindset, one of the main words they use is “yet”. As in, “you haven’t learned how to solve complex fractions, yet.” Or “you haven’t developed a strong organizational system, yet.” This simple word helps encourage students to keep working to learn and grow.
A consistent pattern in my life has been this persistent feeling that I need to have everything figured out. It’s a remnant of the fixed mindset and I’d venture to guess something that many Enneagram Type 1 personalities struggle with! It’s the antithesis of growth and acceptance. When life gets really full and busy (like it’s been the past 6-8 weeks!), this sense that I need to figure out everything that’s going to happen intensifies. In these moments, acceptance of my feelings and my limitations is key. When I finally slow down, let go of my persistent (and often unhelpful) thoughts, and remember that I am (and always will be!) growing then I can surrender to God’s will and be present in the moment.
This pattern will likely continue throughout my life because I’m human and sinful. Through God’s grace, I’m growing through each season of life. One day, there may be wisdom that I can share in book form. I would love to write something that’s helpful for others on this journey of life. But, that time is not here… yet.