When hiking through hilly terrain, in addition to the climbs and descents, there are plateaus. In these spots, we often pause, catch our breath, eat, and perhaps even sleep. Usually, we take in the view, looking at where we have come from; soaking in the vista. And likely, we’ll think about what is next and where we are going.
It is nearly impossible to find a multi-day hike up a hill or along an escarpment that doesn’t involve some ups and downs. There is not a path straight up a hill that is not a stairs. The natural lay of the terrain which paths follow will have mini hills and valleys (and some not so mini ones!). And sometimes we hike in a spiral fashion as we slowly ascend the hill.
We expect this in hiking, in fact we take joy in it. The valleys often have water in them, the ascents take us closer to our goal, and the plateaus give us views, rest and allow all the hikers to catchup, regroup, adjust loads.
If we think of change like a hike, expecting hills and valleys, but also plateaus will it help us value each aspect better? Sometimes the best thing, the most productive thing we can do in our process of change is pause, sit, share a meal together, and enjoy the view. In the pausing, we can reevaluate the loads each person is carrying, we tend to blisters.
When we refuse to pause, we lose people, people turn back.