Walk Out, Walk On

“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.

Joseph Campbell

About Katharine Weinmann

living and leading with courage, clarity, compassion and creativity
This entry was posted in Community, Emergence, Theory U, Vocation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Walk Out, Walk On

  1. Susan Sereda says:

    Congratulations Katharine – every new journey starts with one step. I knew that this step was coming so I was not totally surprised by your announcement. I am glad however that it has come at this time – unfurl your wings my friend, take flight and enjoy!

  2. Terry Stevens says:

    Congrats on taking the leap of faith and for believing in yourself and knowing that there is something better for you.

  3. Cynthia says:

    Yeah!! It’s Mother’s Day here and I am happy to hear you are birthing your new life. Congratulations and I can’t wait to hear more of this new journey!

    • You, dear Cynthia, and your story about the consequences of speaking truth to power (you were the first I heard use that phrase) have been a constant source of encouragement and possibility, even now, with several oceans and continents between us. Happy Mother’s Day.

  4. Terri Blair Maracle says:

    Congratulations on your courageous step out of the ‘safe and familiar’ and into ‘inventing and adventure’!! This is similar to what happened to me last year at this time. Due to a reorg, my college changed my ‘life’ and I was not prepared to take the ‘job’…..so I too “retired”. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I am still waiting to see where next will take me, but in the meantime (and I love ‘meantime’) I am exploring life and all that it offers, on my terms. Breathe deep and blow kisses at the moon so that they may rain down on all your friends and family. The best is yet to come!!!


    • I didn’t know this parallel story about our work, Terri. I love your line about the moon…you once offered me another, when I was journeying abroad, that we all sleep under the same moon. Thank you for this, for your joyful wisdom that crosses the miles and years between us. It has been a sweet gift to reconnect with you.

  5. Kathy T says:

    I can’t wait to see your new and spacious life unfold: bold, free, authentic and powerful; in a sacred feminine sort of way. Namaste dear friend.

  6. Donna Scotten says:

    It was inevitable and all you needed was time to be ready to ‘let come’! I am delighted because now the world gets to have you offering your real, most precious gifts out there. Can’t wait to see what you manifest. big hugs, halifax sister

  7. Connie says:

    Trepidation, re-thinking, ……. all take so much energy.
    Katharine I am so happy for you and especialy thrilled that you feel lighter. You will never regret your decision, trust me on that.

  8. Shannon says:

    Congratulations on your decision to walk out and walk on. There is so much here that resonates for me. I’m speechless… and on my way to engage in my new passion: running. Only 8 days until my big race. 🙂

    • Run on, dear Shannon. Thank you and big wishes for a great race!

      • Shannon says:

        Farther than ever before. Six weeks ago, I began with running 1 minute and walking 1, 10 times. Today, I ran three 10’s! Slow and steady improvement. Running has become both my metaphor and my medicine.

        When I met you, dear Katharine, I said to others: “I have met the most brilliant person in Edmonton Public. If she is part of our leadership team, my faith is restored.”

      • Congratulations, Shannon. The gifts of perseverance and consistency. And thank you, again, for your support and belief in me. Warmly, always…

  9. Heather Plett says:

    Sending you blessings and friendship as you follow this new path. Let’s have a conversation soon.

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