We can all relate to that feeling of stuck-ness, when we're in one place and want to be in another. When we have to wait. But what do we do in these times?
If there's one lesson I've learned these past few years, it's this: Be here, now. There's always another milestone to achieve, always another event to plan for. The hard part is to be present, especially when it doesn't feel that exciting.
If you know what I'm talking about, then you're going to like my new book, The In-Between. We just released the trailer last week on YouTube, and folks are loving it. You can watch it below (click here if you're reading this via email or RSS):
Crowd-sourced advice for those who feel stuck
I wrote this book for anyone who felt stuck, who struggled with the tension between now and the next big thing. To help people make sense of the slower times in life. After hearing feedback from early readers, I asked them to share some lessons they were learning from their times of waiting:
We are so conditioned to keep striving for something more, but the most beautiful moments are when we can learn to truly live and treasure the now.
There was a young man who attended high school with my daughter and was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He fought valiantly, but lost his four and a half year battle when he was just twenty-two. In that short in-between time, he touched innumerable lives and provided tremendous inspiration to everyone around him.
There's a bit of grieving, a little death that happens when you realize ‘some day' is now. In the end, it will be freeing; but at the beginning, it's tough. It goes against what we hear and are accustomed to thinking. It takes a while to turn off the waiting hope and live for today.
Dream big, plan smart, and be fully engaged in the now. It is just as important for me to sit down to play and build a Lego dream house with my children today as it is for me to continue working hard and build the foundation for my family's dream life of tomorrow.
When you get in between one big thing and the next , you are still as awesome as you were before. Now, you are charging your batteries, collecting new strength and growing inside. The in-between period is a time when you still advance, simply in a different manner. You grow, you learn to appreciate the ‘here and now' and you get prepared for the next great thing waiting for you ahead!
Our children have learned to be creative with what they have. They've learned that fun is something they create, not something we buy for them. I now see the treasure of these moments and believe this formative season is shaping how they will someday offer themselves to the world around them.
My husband and I have been moving our family of six around the country as his career directs. We spent time on the lush Eastern seaboard until God decided we needed some time in the desert. While most people would consider the desert a dry and barren place, I now have a different perspective. This is the place where if we dig deep enough, we can find riches, blessings, and oil for the journey.
You and I are incapable of running a marathon or even publishing a book on a daily or weekly basis. In our human frailty, it is just too demanding. The reality is, although we may not always like them, we need times of in-between. Time to recover from the amount of physical, emotional and spiritual energy exerted in achieving your accomplishment. Time to dream and discover and plan and prepare for achieving the next major milestone (whatever it might be). Time to simply be present in the moment.
When I look back over the journey I've taken so far, it's been the times of waiting that have been most memorable and special to me. And, I know I've missed many blessings of the in-between because I was too preoccupied with what was over the horizon.
Without the in-between moments, I wouldn't have changed and grown the way I have. I know that I am not at the end, but I am encouraged to persevere.
Video contest: Share what you're waiting for & win!
Hearing other people's stories can be encouraging, even empowering. So we're going to do something fun, all of us, to incite some more story-sharing…
Between now and Aug. 8, I'm hosting a video contest. First prize will be a Kindle Fire, second prize a $100 Amazon gift card, and third prize a $25 Amazon gift card. How do you enter? Simple:
- Record a short video (30-90 seconds), explaining something you're waiting for and what you're learning in the “in-between.”
- Upload the video to YouTube, linking to inbetweenbook.com in the description of the video.
- Go here and enter the link to your video (if you have trouble, email jeff at goinswriter dot com).
- Wait (heh, heh) for me to announce the winners by Aug. 15.
Some tips to give you a competitive advantage (not required, but recommended):
- A little humor doesn't hurt.
- Shorter is better (trust me).
- Write something interesting and original.
- Practice once or twice before hitting record.
- Learn from winners of previous contests.
Everyone is waiting for something. What we choose to do with those times is what determines who we will become. So what are you doing with the wait? [Tweet that]
Find out more about the specifics of the video contest (including rules) here.