Episode 8 Running Away or Running Towards ?

January 18, 2023

I got a message from somebody yesterday and the question was, so how long are you going to be in town? And it was very revealing because I live in New York City, but I come and go a lot. As I mentioned in a previous show, last year I was very much focused on visiting and spending time with friends and loved ones and I traveled quite a bit. Anyway, I responded to this person, I’m going to be moving around a lot less this year, and I’ll be here from now until March. Hearing myself,  I was like ‘wow, I haven’t stayed put in one place for three months in a very long time.’ Now, I may take a three-day weekend for a silent retreat in South Carolina with a new friend of mine at the end of January  to get out of the cold in New York, even though now it’s almost 60 degrees. But anyway, the point is I’m going to stay put for the first quarter of this year, for the most part.

That exchange of messages got me thinking about a conversation I had some years ago with my old therapist. I wasn’t in therapy at the time. We were just doing a few phone calls because I was at the end of a long-term committed relationship. I was engaged and living with someone for eight years. Not to get too personal, but those were the circumstances. I was saying to her on our Zoom call, “I can’t decide whether to take this big trip or not”. It was really funny. She’s very funny. She said, ‘Constance, look at me right through that zoom camera. I want you to hear me. If you think you’re going on that trip, I’m going to get in a taxi and come tie you down. You need to stay put.’  She’s not emphatic that way very often and it was quite out of character. Somehow, I had been telling myself that I needed to push and be out in the world when in fact I was coming off a long term, really intense, loving relationship. Her rather explosive reaction really caught me off guard. She was being funny, but she was also being very serious. It was like a command to stay put and I said, “I just feel like I should be out there. I should, you know, take off.  I don’t know.”  And she said to me, “you have been running away for the last two years. You’ve been running away to make space for yourself. You’ve been running away to find your voice, and now it’s time to reclaim your space and to stay put.”

I thought to myself ‘wow, that’s pretty obvious. I need to find my footing, right?’ She went on to say this to me: “you always need to ask yourself this question. Are you running towards something or are you running away from something?” That was the first time I had ever heard that question. That may sound strange, but it’s true. I had never heard the question, are you running towards something or are you running away from something. It has really helped me ever since I heard it because that is one of the ways I think when I’m trying to plan my year or plan my travel or decide whether I am going to participate in an event or attend, a conference. Am I running towards something or am I running away from something?  It’s been super helpful.

Bringing it back to the text exchange. I am staying put for the first several months of this year because I want to be here. I want to be in my space, in my creative mode.  I’m finding my footing as I put my voice out into the world, and as I double down on becoming the writer that I’ve always wanted to be.

So, I just want to leave you with that because it was very helpful for me. I don’t know who needs to hear it or who might benefit from hearing that question. It’s a great filter through which to think about travel and movement and attending conferences and saying yes.  Sometimes you just need to say no and stay put.  Am I running away from something or am I running towards something?

I’m going to leave it at that.  That’s all for now, from my heart to yours

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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