Whenever I’ve had a new season to navigate, something that makes me feel uncomfortable and out of my depth, whenever there’s been an increase of pressure to my capacity, or something that feels like it’s best to be avoided, I go to my Mum, who always tells me to “lean in” …
I then momentarily regret going to my Mum, a speaker of truth and wisdom, because sometimes? You don’t want truth or wisdom, you want chocolate and Netflix.
“Lean in” has become a phrase I adopt for every new situation, and anything that threatens my comfortable, routine-driven boundaries.
It means that rather than hiding from a new day, running from an increase of responsibility, wallowing under the duvet when your kids call you for the thousandth time, you lean in and go forth, bringing whatever you have into that situation.
It means that rather than taking the backseat, lagging behind, dragging your heels, you take ownership, hop in the driver’s seat, whip out the map and make the choice to get all in “its” (whatever it is) face.
It means that rather than being a victim of fear, of doubt and anxiety and chaos and confusion, you decide to open your life to other, trusted, wise, sensible people, open your heart to feel – really feel – what it is that’s going on, open your mind to the possibilities and your eyes to what it is you’re actually facing. So that you don’t get dragged from pillar to post with every emotion and feeling, but you stand strong and firm and embrace the lessons to be learnt.
What is it that you need to lean in to this year?
Maybe it’s quite simply, a new year. Maybe the last didn’t go as planned, as hoped or dreamed or prayed for. Maybe you need to lean in to courage. Courage to dream, to hope, to believe again.
Maybe it’s a new job, a decision to expand your family, a commitment to start that thing that’s been in your head and heart for too long now.
I’ve had a thousand moments that have required a choice: Lean in or shrink back?
Do I lean in to expanding a ministry that is way beyond my comfort zone, or do I keep it safe and easy? Do I adjust my mindset to believe that I am the right woman, the right mother for the job of raising my babies, or do I give in to every emotion and feeling that comes from exhaustion and endless, snack-like demands?
Do I look at this new year as same old, same old? Or do I lean in to believe that there is something new, something different, something unchartered to be explored, gleaned from, celebrated, nourished?
May this new year be one where you lean in. Where you lean in to others, to the moment, to creating memories and pursuing passion and purpose.
May it be one where you lean in to the good times, the painful times, the stretching, enlarging, sometimes overwhelming times.
May you lean in to God, to an ever-present, ever-flowing well of goodness, love, truth, justice and mercy. To strong arms and a wrap-around presence that will never fail, always guide, never leave, always surround.
May you lean in to the decisions that scare you, cost you, require of you. And lean in to the courage it will take to say “no” or “not now”, knowing that it is right for it to be well for your soul.
Lean in this year. Xo