Embracing the Mess

I was cleaning our mud room closet the other day – a big mess of coats, snow pants, toques, mismatched mittens… not to mention mud, salt, sand, and a thriving population of dust bunnies.

I’d been avoiding it.

And as I looked at the mess all around me, I realized the part that I had been avoiding was the inevitable mess making that is involved in sorting it all out. There I stood, amongst the piles of laundry, boots, and various odd things that somehow called our mudroom closet home over the past year – feeling uncomfortable and annoyed about it all.

It was in the mess that I had created that I realized that this feeling of aversion is natural – the yang to the yin of our the desire to see the outcome.

It’s hard to wade into a mess and to knowingly make it more messy. To just be with the pain of it and embrace it as part of the process. And yet, messiness is part of every event where change takes place – whether we chose to embrace the pain of it or not.

When I see all the angst expressed in the workplace as teams adopt new ways of working, I wonder how accepting we all are – as coaches and leaders of change – with embracing this messiness? How can we help others to dive into it all, knowing that it will only get more messy before it gets better?

The closet is now btw – looking fabulous – and while I enjoy this fresh state of things (new beginnings are so full of promise), I do so knowing that I will be encountering dust bunnies and new odd things that will have somehow ventured into our mudroom closet again in a few months time… but maybe this time, I won’t actively avoid what it takes to get it where it needs to be for me and my family.

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