“There are years that ask questions and years that answer,” says Zora Neale Hurston. I’m not sure about you but I’m hoping 2022 will be a year of answers.
For example, over the last four years, several life-changing moments have occurred causing me to question many things. It’s a list that covers the gamut of leaving the corporate world to become a solopreneur; navigating COVID; experiencing family loss twice; a physical move.
Certainly, I’m not alone. I know there are many facing life’s crossroads for any number of reasons. Perhaps as a business owner: What will revenue look like this month? Or living with family: What’s the best way to navigate family dynamics? Maybe you lost someone: How long does it take the heart to heal? And across all of this and more: What’s my purpose in life?
I hope this post encourages you to sit back from the grind, the hustle, the need to be in control, and on top of it all. I hope it helps you find a way to ‘sit and be’ as answers come. In their own time. To whatever it is you’re questioning.
The gift of neutrality
Recently, I listened to an interview with Brené Brown on SuperSoul Conversations. It was part two of a podcast series talking about her latest book, Atlas of the Heart. She discussed moving through COVID with her family. She was afraid for her kids and her Mom. Two sisters and their families moved in with her, along with her Mom. Consequently, the pandemic put a strain on her marriage.
When asked if her faith was tested, Brown was reminded of “the gift of neutrality…not running towards something and not running away.” She went on to say the condition for neutrality is to be in “fit spiritual condition.”
For so many of us, we doggedly chase after questions in the relentless pursuit of our goals.
- Business success. How is success defined as a business owner or as a professional working for a company? What’s the pinnacle point and how do you know?
- COVID fallout. Healthcare is a heated topic and COVID sits at the center of the debate. What’s the best way to rise above the chaos and understand your role in this national journey?
- Loss – of any kind. What are the best ways to talk about and manage grief? What’s deemed “acceptable?”
- Life’s purpose. No matter what trials are faced, how do you seek out and ensure that what you do matters?
Given these questions, I’m reminded of the Beatles song, “Let It Be.” Let it be – as in letting it all rest. Let it be – as in what comes will come. Sit in neutral versus fifth gear. Trust and have faith that Father God and Mother Earth will get your back.
Right foot, left foot
Side story. On Christmas day, I had the rare opportunity to speak with two of my Sudanese brothers, connecting them on the phone for the first time in years. What a joy it was to hear them speak excitedly to one another, drifting in and out of English and Dinka. I smiled, my heart expanded, and tears fell.
At one point, Malou and Yai were talking about their travels home to Sudan after being here in the US for 20 years. Malou said: “If I step my foot there, I know where to go.”
Those words struck me. Don’t we all want to know if you step your foot “there,” you’ll know where “there” is and where to go?
If you’re facing a crossroads for any reason, I encourage you to consider the gift of neutrality. Especially if you’ve been going hard and grinding it out and realize you have more questions than answers.
- Pause and open yourself to the gifts of others.
- Be teachable along the way.
- Neutrality doesn’t equate to quitting; it’s trusting to be led and having faith you’ll see the way as it presents itself.
Help others find their direction
I welcome your thoughts. Are you in a place where the gift of neutrality makes sense? Likewise, maybe you’ve found other ways to manage a constantly questioning mind? Share, comment, question, respond. We’re a community and learn from one another. As I said earlier, any one of us is facing a crossroad of some kind.
In closing and courtesy heads up, my blog will be on hiatus after this post. I think you know why. : ) It may be short or long; I’m embracing the gift of neutrality
Debbie Schallock is a content and brand strategist, DEI ally, communication thought leader, and content marketing partner to agencies. She’s the founder of Seachange Branding, arming startups and SMBs with the right tools to clarify business positioning and carve a competitive advantage. She blogs on the topics of branding and inclusion. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities & Nations – A Space for Gray: The Value of Difference.