The Confession of a Vacationer

September 24, 2015 By Katherine Tyler Scott

I am preparing to leave for a vacation and no matter how organized I am it seems as though the work multiplies in the week prior to my departure. Mini-crises pop up, urgent phone calls are requested; new deadlines appear and my carefully thought out list of things to do seems to get longer. The tightness of time and the press of multiple demands and a myriad of details remind me of how important it is to take time away from what you do every day and allow your mind to rest and yourself to just be. In this quietude is a replenishment of the spirit and joy that fuels creativity and new ways of seeing the ordinary. 

I am learning that if you don’t give yourself this time it may never happen because the more you do the more is expected of you to do particularly if the results are usually great.  What may look effortless and easy to many is the result of days of preparation and years of experience. 

In the world of adaptive leadership there is no permanent or formulaic approach to transformational work. It is ever changing, dynamic and challenging work that demands the whole self. That means being present in the moment and fully yourself. This level of consciousness and self -awareness is the psychological edge that the adaptive leader brings to any situation. The adaptive leader is the conduit through which gracious space is created for the learning and growth of others but if you aren’t permitting gracious space for yourself it will not be there to give to others. 

I have been told that I “have the gift of calling people to unknown territory that makes their world larger and richer.” I have had difficulty embracing this feedback because sometimes it seems as though I am calling them kicking and screaming into the unknown. I am comfortable with it more and more because I can accept my own fears and anxieties and concerns about the unknown much better and as a result am able to hold the space for others to do their work. I can accept this gift because of the understanding that I must accept it if I am to give it to anyone else. And this brings me back to my opening thoughts because unless I have the time to nurture the gift and to engage in deeper exploration my ability to call others into an enriched environment will be diminished. 

So vacation is really a time in which my interior world is enlarged. The eternal dialogue between the self and the environment remains.  When I return it will be a return to new ideas, discoveries and connections that weren’t able to find the space in which to form and emerge. As a result watch this space.