Writer, Advisor + Consultant

When You Can’t Take Action


It was my last day at The Arivaca Ranch, nestled along the Mexican Border in the State of Arizona.

My friend Emma, a massive 4-legged horse had taught me a lot that day. I felt a connection to her and was grateful for the insights she brought out of me.

If that sounds at all strange, just think of a cat or dog, how when you hang out with them you might find yourself feeling, thinking, or knowing something that you wouldn’t have known had you not been in their company.

As I said goodbye to Emma I wanted to give her a pat. I was right up close to her but somehow I just couldn’t do it.

I wanted to, but for whatever reason the anxiety was so great, I just couldn’t manage to take the action. My teacher said to me:

 “It’s OK. Either you’re not ready or she’s not ready. It doesn’t matter why. Just acknowledge and accept that it’s not time”

And although I did not get to say goodbye the way I wanted to in my mind, I walked away with another profound lesson.

Sometimes, in life there are things we want. But for whatever reason we’re not taking action. We may have all the moving parts in place. We may have all the pieces right in front of us, but for whatever reason, usually unbeknownst to ourselves we find ourselves unable to make a move.

What if instead of beating ourselves up, or telling ourselves that we’re losers, made a mistake, missed an opportunity, screwed it up, or procrastinated once again….What if that was divine guidance acting (or non-acting) on our behalf?

With the New Year upon us it’s an exciting time to make resolutions, set goals and start new projects.

Yes, set the intention. Have a goal. Dream a dream. Craft a plan. Take action.

But stay present. Stay present to those times where every part of the project is set out before you but for whatever reason you find yourself not taking action. Or you find yourself unable to pull yourself together.

In these times, it’s likely a battle of your mind and your soul.

Your mind says “I should. I can. Why not?”

Your soul has a different plan for you.

The things we don’t do change our lives as drastically as the things we do.

I’m not making a declaration for apathy, laziness, or excuses. Actually I’m proposing the opposite. Take action. Go as far as you can go. But in that final moment, when you can easily take action but find yourself unable to act – imagine you could trust that as a gift?

Imagine that was Surrender acting on your behalf.

Not all things are meant to happen.

When you’ve gone as far as you can go, allow ease to take you the rest of the way.

And if ease is asking you to take a seat, have a seat. Keep breathing. Because the next thing will come along. And when it does, you’ll understand why you sat the last one out.

(Sometimes it’s as simple as we needed to be in non-action to finally learn what we needed to learn from taking a seat. Sometimes we have to get fed up with our procrastination to kick our butt into gear. And other times what seems like procrastination is the divine gift steering us to a better opportunity.)

2 comments… add one
  • Stella February 7, 2017,

    Thank you Tova for sharing that story & the profound lesson you learnt. It resonates deep inside & I am grateful! Blessings.

    • Tova Payne February 7, 2017,

      Thank You Stella! 🙂


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