“What I really need is to set goals for myself“ I told my coach at the start of our call “if I knew what I was working towards, I would be able to take action”, I continued.

Within thirty minutes on this call, I was in tears, admitting both to my coach and to myself that what I really needed was the exact opposite of goal-setting.

I needed to take time out.

I needed to stop thinking.

I needed to make space.

I was craving direction and was desperate for anything or anyone to give me a clue. None came. I always felt lost and at a loss because there was no way for me to make a choice. When I tried to look towards the future, a dark curtain would shut in front of me and there I would be, back to square one and forced to sit in my own discomfort.

I got off the call, booked a ticket to France to visit my family the following month and told everyone around me, including my clients and others through my mailing list that I was going to slow down. I made the decision to serve my existing clients and do nothing else. I surrendered.

That is when I discovered the Inn-between: the place where I could stop, feel safe and re-connect to myself.

Anyone moving through a deep transformation needs a vacation at the Inn-between. The question is whether they are willing to take it: it goes against everything we are ever taught. It can be seen as selfish, a cop out, a failure… and yet, it is NECESSARY. I repeat: taking time out for yourself is necessary.

WHY should I stop at the Inn-between?

Our identities are based on our circumstances and our environment. We are parents, partners, children, colleagues, travelers, foreigners, neighbors… And for many, identity is based on profession: lawyer, engineer, housewife… By allowing yourself to connect to your core, you can peel the layers of identity you have created throughout your life that no longer serve you, making space within.

You have been through a period of loss and mourning and now, the Inn-between is a place and time to consider who you are, without the influence of the job you just left or the relationship that ended. It is where you can be unapologetically you because you are only connected to yourself. It’s a sigh of relief.

HOW do I get there?

While literally going away to a lovely place to rest and disconnect is amazing, it’s not exactly the most practical or accessible solution! Luckily, there are plenty of other ways you can book some time at the inn-between.

If you have a meditation practice, strengthen it even further.

If you enjoy any sort of physical activity, practice it without distractions (e.g. no music or podcast) so you are alone with your thoughts or even better, without them!

Make a point of taking a walk every day, alone and with no music or anything else and if you can be in nature, even better!

Book a massage or any self-care activity that will allow you to relax and have no external influence.

You get the gist: alone time, with no input or or noise from the world and with the conscious intention to simply be. It’s a challenge. Surrender to it. The only way out is in.

WHEN should I book a room at the inn?

When you’re desperate for direction and yet, each time to try to find it, all you find is a big ball of yarn that you just can’t untangle, book yourself a room. If you think that all you want is the exact opposite of rest and alone time, then rest and alone time are probably exactly what you need most.

WHAT are you talking about? I can’t do this.

Transition is a process. If you want to truly transform but are not willing to go within, you are simply cheating that process and will end up back at square one soon enough. This is not about can or can’t. It’s about must.

You might feel scared, fragile or even defeated. It’s ok. You are choosing the narrative that will make up your next chapter. Allow yourself to be lost, and instead of beating yourself up about it, book a lovely room at the inn and enjoy the moment.

8 months after the call I mentioned earlier, I had a clear vision and was taking steps towards making it happen at an incredible speed.

Deep transformation takes time. You got this.

Author's Bio: 

After 15 years in educational leadership in international schools, coaching teachers and promoting the development of high achieving students, I took a leap and decided to start coaching high performers. This lead me to planning and facilitating group sessions and workshops and entering the world of public speaking. I work with leaders and entrepreneurs and I challenge my clients to slow down, dig deep and reflect as they transform and create the next chapter of their personal or professional life.

I am a writer contributor for Thrive Global as well as Relationship, Development and Transformation.

I am originally from France and I have lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the US and hold a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Change. I am an ICF certified coach and trained as a brain-based coach with the NeuroLeadership Institute. I live a peaceful life in Brooklyn, NY with my partner and Professor, the greatest dog ever!