We live in a culture that says you should be able to power through anything. Life will very generously remind you that you cannot, and it will very generously break you at times and very generously show you.”Elizabeth Gilbert
Whew! What a year 2020 was. We were pitched into and out of a warzone, landing face down onto the beach of soggy sand and jagged rocks wondering, “What the hell just happened?” Essentially, the feeling could be likened to being in a blender set to ‘puree’.
February, the shortest, darkest month, with the highest suicide rate internationally has gratefully come to an end. It brought a glimmer of hope with vaccines being rolled out, and then a fog of frustration when the vaccines were nowhere to be found for most of us here and around the world. February also brought the heartbreaking headline of 500,000 dead in the US as a result of the virus.
And the beat goes on…and the masks continue to go on too.
I find that every crisis of our age runs through fault lines of human hearts and well-being — pain and fear and dreams and longing. Work once imagined as ‘soft’ is urgently pragmatic. Calming fear. Expanding hope. Recharging social courage and creativity. Attending to the wholeness of every person: the life of the mind, the truth of the body, and the elusiveness of the human spirit.
Stay well and together we’ll get through this.
Questions to Consider
After a year of heartbreak in so many forms for so many of us, here are some questions for you to consider:
Where do you find solace?
Be specific. How often do you go there? What happens to you when you arrive?
What specifically heals your unsettled or grieving soul?
Is it a person, a place or a thing? Or all three? What else might be added to the collection of self-nurturing strategies?
What are you proactively structuring for joy to occur?
What brings a smile to your face? Do you intentionally schedule this positive thought into your calendar so joyful moments don’t happen by accident?
Who are your wing-people … the ones who always have your back as they provide support and cheerleading?
How often do you allow yourself to recharge your batteries with them?
What is the actual speech you say to yourself when you are broken of heart or spirit or lonely amongst a sea of people? How often do you practice it? Do you trust your own self-advocacy?
Now it is your turn. What do you think? I would love to hear your questions. Feel free to email me your thoughts.
5 of My Favorite Newsletters
This month, our focus is on newsletters which I hope you will find practical, inspirational and/or insightful. Feel free to email me your favorites as well. We will keep adding to the list.
- Daniel Pink: The Pinkcast
Dan’s newsletter goes out to almost a quarter of a million people in every major business and industry, and I always pick up an idea, tip or strategy which goes into immediate use in the educational realm. He is all about leading smarter and with great clarity. He is connected to an exceptional thinktank of friends who are sharing their newest ideas, projects and books. His newsletter highlights a video explaining a new leadership skill. I look forward to every issue.
- Eric Barker: Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Eric’s newsletters are winners every time. Every one of his leadership articles and interviews are practical. He highlights focused ways to negotiate, solve problems, listen deeply, withhold your judgement, persuade the opposition, stay calm in chaos, to name a few. His newsletters became such a hit that he recently published them into a #1 New York Times bestselling book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is Mostly Wrong
- Adam Grant: Granted Newsletter
Maybe it’s because he is an organizational psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, my alma mater, or that everything he writes or teaches shifts my thinking, but I seek him out in every medium as consistently as possible. His monthly newsletter gives a dose of insight on motivation, meaning, and leading a more generous and creative life.
- Krista Tippet: The On Being Project
The On Being Project is a public life initiative which pursues deep thinking, moral imagination, social courage and joy, to renew both your inner and outer life within a supportive community. Their newsletters, articles and podcasts explore the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, community, poetry, and the arts. Every interaction lifts my spirit.
- Tim Ferris: Experiments in Lifestyle Design: Tim Ferris Five Bullet Friday
Tim Ferris is seriously ahead of the curve. His lifestyle vision is beyond the horizon and invites our brains to join him there. His blog always leads me to question and wonder. His blog leads to scores of thought-provoking interview transcripts which keep me inspired. His way of seeing interrelationships is always spot on. Check him out if you haven’t already.