“Walk Outs are people who bravely choose to leave behind situations, jobs, relationships, and ideas that restrict and confine them, anything that inhibits them. They walk on to the ideas, people and practices that enable them to explore and discover new gifts, new possibilities.”
Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze
I am a Walk Out who is Walking On…to what, I have yet to discover. But by delivering my letter of resignation last week – really retirement, but that’s not in my lexicon or belief system – I’ve given notice…to my employer, to the Universe, to my Life that I am ready for “what’s next.”
I am creating space to attract new…. possibilities, practices, partnerings. Space to take stock of lessons learned, wisdom gleaned, to rest a bit and recover from months of holding the tension between the “two competing roles”…that of thoughtful and compassionate hospicing to what is dying, and experimenting, pioneering and edge-walking with a future being born. Every day, I feel relief and a growing lightness and interior spaciousness.
Not a surprise as both my writing and art have been a foreshadowing. This simple act is the culmination of many months of deep pondering, intention setting, and holding space in which it coalesced, quite suddenly, with several concurrent realizations:
1. That when I looked again at the Theory U model, this time more closely as I shared it a few weeks back with my mandala mates, I saw that movement up from the depths of the U, where I’d been sitting for many months, corresponded with “letting come.”
2. That my job next year would not shift much despite knowing my particular talents and competencies would address a tactical oversight in the reorg.
3. That all change requires movement.
Early last September I read this excerpt from Walk Out, Walk On, and found it both affirming and reassuring. Over the months, it’s been a touchstone, really more like a “heartstone,” to borrow from a friend and colleague. And a few days ago, I was given the mini-miraculous opportunity to say “thank you” to its co-author. I had phoned in a few minutes early to a teleconversation with Margaret Wheatley, hosted by Paul Born and Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement. For a few minutes it was just me ‘n’ Meg as we waited for others, and she invited me to talk with her. I told her I had been guided by her book and had a few days earlier given notice. I told her how much her work had mentored and influenced my practice over the years, and through me the work of many of the district’s leaders. And I told her “thank you” from us all.
You must give up the life you planned,
in order to have the life that is waiting for you.