Waiheke, New Zealand

January 12, 2020

Growth and Stability

As I've continued my get-things-sorted-out tour de force of my life and Ink and Feet, I've been caught by a powerful thought, stolen from Esther Perel's Mating In Captivity:

All living things alternate between periods of growth and periods of equilibrium.

Too much growth and no stabilization leaves us in chaos and prone to falling to pieces.

Too much stabilization and no growth leaves us stagnant and prone to withering.

Throughout my life, I've alternated between these approaches on a basically ad-hoc basis, with no idea that's what I was doing. I've largely navigated the dichotomy with a mix of full-speed do-all-the-things growth, followed by burnout - and then feeling guilty about the burnout.

But since coming across that concept a few weeks ago, I've been really taken by an idea: what if I was intentional about alternating these periods? What would it be like to understand my needs for each, and then constructively create spaces and goals to support them?

And even here, just at the beginning - it feels fantastic.

I've put this idea of alternating growth and stabilization at the heart of how I'm thinking about and planning the year, and for the first time, instead of feeling "if I really push myself for this, I can get there", it feels like, "this is a really possible and sustainable way to do these things."

And for me - that's a life-changing experience. :)

I wonder - have you noticed this pattern in your life, too? How do you manage it?

Have a balanced week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this short but heart-tugging video about a dog - and his mountain biker. :)

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