I've got to say, this last month -- not to mention this whole year -- has been a... "doozy." Pandemics, politics, wildfires, hurricanes, more violence, unrest, and racial injustices, people and businesses I love changing forever, people hustling and finding new meaning in ways unknown before, distance learning, sending my son back to school and the multiple levels of tenderness that go with that, not to mention the death of someone near and dear taken far too soon and attending a funeral during a pandemic -- outdoors, amongst the smoke, with loved ones in tear-stained masks, six feet apart... It feels like every week brings a new level of intensity, darkness, and grief, but also lightness, grit, and grace...
It also feels like every week pulls back a new layer of who we really are, what we're really made of, what we're really capable of, what's truly important, what we can truly do, and who we can truly be -- for ourselves and for each other.
2020 is not messing around. And neither are our lives or the response-abilities we have in stepping into them in unprecedented ways.
I don't need to tell you this. You know. You're experiencing this time in your own way. No one I know is not. No one.
In the last month alone, I've met with family, educators, CEOs, executives, physicians, talent professionals, performers, tech, and other leaders from here to the other side of the world -- we're all having our experience individually and collectively.
Some of us are having superbly different experiences. Everyone is learning, seemingly, what is up for them to learn right now.
One theme I notice over and over again for everyone?
Anything that is incongruent, out of alignment, not true, in the dark, not working, or simply not healthy for the greater good is rising to the surface and getting cleared, claimed, closed out, or redesigned and re-worked. Relationships, policies, systems, agreements, untruths, inconsistencies, disregard -- it's coming to the light. And with this, a new level of meaning, collaboration, care, love, consciousness, compassion, empathy, grit, and new beginnings is also coming to the light.
It's a powerful time to be alive and to be here in this unfolding as we all learn how to lead better together, how to lean towards solutions and helping things go right, and how to be kinder -- to ourselves and each other, as well as smarter and more discerning with where we put our energy, time, and trust. Can you feel it?
I can. Yesterday it hit me extra big. I was moving a tremendous amount of energy through. I posted something on my Instagram story about lying on the floor feeling the impact of it all and letting it process through to decide next steps and how to best be in it, with it -- I got more responses to that one blip with "me too, I'm glad I'm not alone" than I've gotten to any story I've posted. We're all feeling it.
Lest this sound doom and gloom -- it is not. It IS the dance that so many of us are doing. It's the dance of the dark and the light. Of breaking down and becoming. Of shedding and growing. Of "surrendering" and leading.
We dance with optimism and energy and joy, and then we have our moments and days of "What the h*#@?" We dance with feeling great progress and magic, and then... sludge and mud. We dance with feeling like we're all in it together and it's going to be just great, and then we feel solo, and even "What's the point?" We dance with feeling productive and like we can do something about all of this, and then we feel helpless and daunted and simply overwhelmed. We dance.
It's a dance. It's an important one. Because if we don't allow ourselves to have our authentic experiences and emotions, not only do we rob ourselves of our humanness and our own hearts -- we can't actually do anything productive or real about that which hurts and brings about the dance in the first place.
So dance. Be where you are. Be in it. And when you're out of it and feeling great, be that gentle space for someone who isn't.
We need each other. Thank God.
While this is a powerful time for us individually in our own becoming and growth, it's also a powerful time to be leading organizations, industries, families, and people in their own becoming and growth. We are in a crucial moment of culture creation.
This moment deserves presence. It deserves intention. And it needs your energy -- your healthy clean useful real energy.
Here's what I want for you today. Self-care. An extra bit of tenderness. A moment to allow full permission for the NOW. Let yourself have it, make sure you give yourself a bit extra TLC, and then pay some self-care and love forward in whatever big or little way you can.
Here are nine things I'm leaning into extra right now to make this "moment" count and to take great care of myself, use as they serve:
- Daily morning ritual to set the tone and claim my space: meditation, journaling or morning pages, prayer, and the IEP Sheet (download for free here).
- Workouts and conscious food: Sweat serves, movement is magic, the body knows, and food is fuel and medicine. Proceed accordingly. (Is that thing you're about to put in your body, and/or how you're taking care of yourself going to help you lead better?)
- Gratitude: For... everything. Nothing is too small. Everything counts. Right now I am extra grateful for YOU and that you read my stuff and apply it.
- Essential oils and flowers: My favorite oil right now is "Adaptiv" by DoTerra, and simple white roses by anyone.
- Contribution and service: The little and the big things count. I've made it a part of my daily ritual to reach out to support where I can, to be useful and kind in different ways, and in feeding people. Right now we're donating a large portion of proceeds for our online programs to That's Caring. (Check them out.)
- Vision, purpose, listening, intuiting, and gritting: I'm going back to the drawing board, doing some major up-leveling, listening in the deepest of ways, and bringing everything with me -- and more -- as this work evolves to serve the NOW.
- Growth and courage: I've made it a daily practice to do at least one meaningful and "scary growth thing" a day. This new habit is adding up and teaching me more than I thought I'd learn (serving #5 & #6). (Looking forward to sharing some of the outcomes in the coming months.)
- Rest and self-care: Resting whenever I can. Catnaps, early bedtimes when possible, timeouts lying on my floor (like yesterday), and little acts of self-care and self-kindness here and there have become my valuable new norms.
- Love: Lots of it. In every way, shape and form. Love.
How do these feel to you? What helps? What can you use? What feels awesome? What feels impossible? What would you add? Great. Let it be and do what you wish.
Please take care of yourself, please let yourself have it all authentically, please let yourself have this time, please use it for good, and please reach out if we can help via one of our programs or in private work with me.
I'm feeling like it's time for a live open enrollment event (I just did one privately for an organization last week that I loved) -- so we'll be hosting a live IEP session in September. Make sure you're on our subscriber list so we let you know details.
To the big everything,
PS. Things to do off of this post:
- adopt any of the things I've listed as ways to support yourself and your people
- download the IEP Sheet (free)
- get on my Instagram or LinkedIn as I'm putting more content there now
- let us know you're interested in a live event in September (virtual, online)
- contact me for private work or to talk to your leadership team (or organizational event) about navigating this time