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  • Writer's pictureDana Kent

I Can Indeed Do Hard Things

Before I begin, I must acknowledge the inspiration drawn from Glennon Doyle, her wife Abby Wambach, and sister Amanda Doyle’s podcast, "We Can Do Hard Things." While my creative spirit yearns to claim this concept as my own, "We Can Really Do Hard Things" perfectly encapsulates the essence of this post. My deepest apologies and heartfelt gratitude go out to them. Consider this an homage to the profound impact they've had on my personal journey.

About three weeks ago, I faced the most challenging period in my career, condensed into a grueling six hours over two days. While those in my inner circle are privy to the details, today's discussion transcends specific events. It's about recognizing—and embracing—the grit within us. This grit, however, demands practice: a practiced awareness of our emotions.

To understand my resilience, it's essential to know who I am. Those who know me are aware of my appreciation for life's simpler pleasures—the first cup of coffee, quiet mornings accompanied by music, the mountains, walks with my dog, and the art of being with fierce presence. This fierceness anchors me, especially during the recent challenges.

I often discuss the importance of the "sacred pause" with my clients, a concept borrowed from Buddhist philosophy and highlighted by Brene Brown. It's a moment of stillness where we need not speak, fix, achieve, resist, or flee. Instead, we simply observe. It's within these moments of surrender that we find balance and navigate through the toughest of times. This pause allows us to align our response with our true selves, rather than reacting impulsively.

My fiery spirit, a trait I was seemingly born with, hasn't always allowed for this discipline. A memorable childhood incident involved my older brother locking me out of our farmhouse in Jericho, VT, testing my patience to its limits. My response, fueled by frustration, was far from a "sacred pause”, as I, with precision I might add, launched my winter boot straight through the single pane of glass as he grinned from ear to ear. A story that is still shared around our family kitchen tables. With the gift of age and reflection at the age of 52, I now recognize the importance of that moment and the power of not responding to even the most acute form of stimulus. THAT is our power.

Mastering the "sacred pause" requires practice and a profound engagement with our reactions, particularly those driven by anger or passion that we might later regret. The discipline I've cultivated over the years prepared me for the pivotal professional moment I mentioned earlier. Stepping into that arena, I was equipped with the knowledge that I could indeed do hard things, grounded in my own “sacred pause.”

Mastering the "sacred pause" is an act of power:

• It's powerful to sit with our emotions.

• It's powerful to control our narrative.

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