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In the beginning, Questions

the art of stopping

And not the kind of stopping that involves the potentially recalled breaks on my Toyota Prius…

Beginnings are some of my favorite things.  It’s really fun to start something new – a craft, a hobby, a volunteer position, a friendship, even a blog!  : )  But it doesn’t seem to be quite as fun or as natural to stop.  When was the last time you actually stopped something?

My guess is it was a lot longer ago than the last time you began something.  Maybe it’s because stopping makes us feel like quitters, or because we are a generation of people-pleasers who perpetually say yes, or we think we function better under high anxiety and overbooked schedules.

I’ve gotten pulled over twice for not stopping at stop signs.  (Once I intentionally rolled through the stop sign so I didn’t have to wait for an approaching pedestrian to cross the street…oops… I wisely did not reveal this to the officer and ended up with a warning.)

In short, I think a beginning may only be as good as our ability to stop.

What would happen if you stopped something you think of as crucial to what you do?  Maybe it’s a small, one-time thing, maybe it’s a perpetual commitment or habit.  But really, think about the consequences.  Could it be worth it?  What would you learn? Would the world or your job or your organization or your relationship end?  Probably not.

My guess is that over the course of your life, you’ve begun more things than you’ve stopped.  So don’t stop something now just to start something new.

It’s time to do some pruning.


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


2 thoughts on “the art of stopping

  1. So glad to find your blog. Of my friends, you’re one of the few that I am actually glad has a blog.

    I’m reminded of something a friend of mine told me a few years ago: “there are two ways to get off the treadmill: you can step off, or fall off.”

    I liked “So don’t stop something now just to start something new.” The only way we “allow” ourselves to stop is if we fill in the new hole with something else.

    Just some random thoughts – keep up the writing!

    Posted by Chris | February 6, 2010, 12:03 AM
  2. Love this! I need to stop….not necessarily a specific thing even (maybe a lot of things for a time at least), just stop for the sake of stopping. I think there is worth in that. My senior leaders need to read this post, too 😉 …might share if that’s okay!

    Posted by Lauren | February 11, 2010, 4:28 PM

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