A Reflection on Grace & Space
Written by Seruola Maruska
It’s March of 2020. My consulting business is taking the long way to growth so it’s time to look for supplemental income.
I’m not happy, because it’ll take away the time I have to continue growing my fledgling business, but, our finances are saying it’s time to find that steady pay check.
Thursday, March 12, my son, who’s the lead in the middle school play, his final year in middle school, is scheduled for play rehearsal. The memo comes through that all after school activities are cancelled, and there’s no school on Friday, the 13th of March.
On Saturday, March 14, 2020 the stay-at-home order comes through.
Groceries for two weeks. Call all creditors. Check on family and friends. Stay home. We can hunker down for two weeks.
It’s been just over a year now.
No one has to tell you how quickly things can change. We’ve experienced it, collectively, this past year.
We know that a tiny bug can cripple the whole world and cause chaos in ways we’ve never imagined.
But does knowing help us understand how quickly things can change in other areas too?
Last year this time, I was driving for UBER, homeschooling my daughter, slowly growing a coaching and consulting practice, and looking for a job so we could keep our finances on track.
This year, my daughter is enjoying hybrid school, my son is excited to finally get to go to high school, and my tiny consulting business is finally spreading its wings. All this during a pandemic that had us fully stressed.
Let’s chat a little about how that happened.
The first thing I thought when we received the two-week stay-at-home order was “Okay, in these two weeks I need to really push hard and get things going in my business.” Yet while the intention was there, along with the willingness, I didn’t anticipate the anxiety that would come when the two-week order was now going to be much, much longer. I didn’t anticipate the lack of focus that came with all the uncertainty in the air.
And then, once I realized I wasn’t going to get much done without harming my health, I moved away from the anxiety and fell into grace.
Then there was space. After going through cancer treatments in 2018 I learned how valuable space was. Yet, instead of going straight to that learned lesson, I panicked. Getting a job wasn’t going to be fun so I reverted to my old self - pushing and forgetting the importance of space.
Space is when in the midst of overwhelm you stop and allow everything to fall away. It’s when you do nothing but breathe, and listen to your inner self. It’s where you allow yourself to know and understand that there’s time, there’s enough, and there’s space for all that you want.
As womxn we take on a lot of responsibilities because it’s what we’re taught. We’re taught to take care of everything and everyone around us but not ourselves. Taking care of ourselves, that is rarely taught.
But it needs to be.
Giving yourself grace and space
Change your mind – Yes, It’s allowed. It’s recommended for growth. When you learn more, you can make a more informed decision.
Decline an opportunity – Yes, you can. If it’s not in full alignment to what’s most important to you, say no. Leave space for something that’s truly right.
Cancel an appointment – Yes, if you realize something is too draining, not a right fit or just too much, cancel the appointment. It’s allowed and done all the time by those whom you see as successful.
Take a day, a week, a month off – Yes, your mental and physical health require it. Whether it’s one day a week, two weeks a month or three months a year, it’s your decision to make. It’s your mental and physical well-being at stake.
Trust yourself – You’re the expert on yourself. You know what you’re capable of doing and you know what you want to achieve in this life. Trust that inner voice that says yes or no. It knows.
When you decide to give yourself grace and space, you’ll realize how much more you get done.
You’ll focus on what’s most important to you, and everything else will fall away.
You’ll find more success.
It doesn’t take overworking and feeling stressed and overwhelmed to succeed.
It takes knowing what you want, focusing on it, and getting it done in the time you’ve allotted.
Full article available in the March/April 2021 issue