cutting out what holds you back

There’s a large green hedge that sits at the corner of our office entrance. Over the winter months, it grows a little unruly: some branches sticking out further than others; its tiny, prickly leaves poking any stray arm that crosses its path.

On a clear day, you’d pay no mind. But on a rainy day, it obstructs the stone path that keeps you out of the muddy grass. And of course, no one wants to stand in the rain to cut a bush. Then, when the sun comes out, you’re not worried about the lost access to the stepping stones. But taking that time out of the good days to prepare yourself for the tricky ones – that’s the rub.

Last week, the sun was shining. Rain was coming. And my bare arm brushed against one of those outstretched branches with just enough vigor to remind me of how nice it would be to my future self if I just took the time to cut it out. So I did. I cut and I trimmed and I coiffed and I prepared my path for the coming storm. And when the rain did come, wasn’t I glad to avoid the flood around me?

These last couple months, I’ve been trimming the hedges and aligning the stones to forge my path for 2020. I’ve been taking a hard look at the things that hold me back and finding ways to cut them out. The process is hard and grueling, sweat-inducing and labor-intensive. It’s given me many moments for pause, forcing myself to stop, notice, and think before I jump to the next big thing. As weeks go by, I feel myself growing anxious, as if I’m just putting things off until they’re “right.” But I find strength in knowing that I’m doing the dirty work now, rather than later. And hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.

I realize now that I live in a world consumed by noise – noise that I use to drown out my own thoughts, because I’d rather research and collect and distract and procrastinate than risk my next impending “failure.”

But it’s taking the time to hear the silence that paves the way for clarity. It’s cutting out the noise, the barriers, the comparison, and the need for more that allows us to strip ourselves down to the barest parts – the ones that need to be shared in order to make the strongest impact.

All that to say, big things are coming, and I’ll have a major announcement in the next week or so. Until then, I strongly encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss out on anything in the shuffle! I’m crossing my fingers that this will be the right move at the right time, something to benefit all of us.