Sunday Gratitude


Today I am grateful for family silliness.  I have been working through some emotion about things to come this week and it was nice to have a break and laugh with my family about nonsense.  Even when my son hit the switch to turn off the internet disconnecting us from the line we were using, we still laughed about it when we connected later.

Today I am grateful for a much needed break from being indoors the last 4 days.  After the video chat, my husband and I took our son and the dog for a long walk and took in the gorgeous sun.  It felt like heaven with it being almost 60 and to see the sun shining again.  Movement is so necessary!!

Today I am grateful for a reminder to release the reins.  I was working with my son in the kitchen, teaching him how to make a quick dessert and he just wanted to play.  Of course he would, he’s 3.  So I’ve been wrestling with my control demons over the last few weeks as I come to terms with the work I need to do to move forward in my business and I took a deep breath and let him have his fun.  No, it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to—it turned out better.  He had a ton of fun and he saw his mother relax rather than freak out at him for being 3 and not doing it “correctly.”  The result is pictured above!

Today I am grateful for some much needed clarity in my business.  I’ve been struggling with next steps to take for a while.  All of the pieces I need are blessedly there along with all of the tools—but I’m still struggling to put things together.  It’s like I bought something from our favorite Swedish furniture store and they didn’t put the instructions in.  I still feel overwhelmed, but with the help of my discussion group, I’ve gotten a little more traction underneath me.

Today I am grateful for clarity in how I want to direct my life.  Over the last two weeks I have been gifted new insight into how I want to live and the type of life I want to build.  I have been able to see what it would be like truly working on my own schedule and following the natural flow that my mind and body want to take—and it was AMAZING.  I have such an incredible sense of freedom in making the decisions I have over the last two weeks.  It all works out and I feel like I’ve had full ownership of myself.  Not until these last few days as we approach this new week have I felt off or upset or anxious.  That in itself shows me what path I need to follow.

Today I am grateful for progress with being enough.  If I had waited on everything in my life to fall into place and be perfect before taking action, I’d be nowhere.  For Pete’s sake, I have taken massive action and still felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere.  But the point is, if I had just sat on my laurels waiting for things to fall into place it wouldn’t happen.  So I have been able to come to terms with the small steps being the big payoff.

Today I am grateful to give myself a break—emotionally.  I realized that I’ve been trying to be super woman, entertaining my kid, working full time, trying to get my business started, and still be a good wife, friend, mother, person etc.  I’ve been really hard on myself—again.  But like I said earlier, getting some clarity on the things I need to do next (for my own sanity and for the joy of creating a life I love), and letting go of the reins in my life, I feel the creative influence flowing again.

Reach Out

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Photo by Matheus Viana on

I’ve had some intense feelings of separation lately.  Separation from myself and others.  I’ve struggled to stay in alignment with who I am.  Today I woke up and I just felt off.  My son and I got into a fight—I got into a fight—with a 3 year old.  It was at that moment that I paused everything.  I scooped him up and I told him, “No, we are not starting today like this.  We are starting over.”  And that worked well for a while—but he was not having any of what we needed to do today.

It was somewhere around the 50th argument that I realized we were out of resets for the day.  Today was just one of those days and we were going to have to deal with it.  But I didn’t want to have to deal with it myself.  I started thinking of the things that were getting under my skin and why.  I’ve been in a state of dread thinking about going back to work next week. It has me anxious, but it doesn’t make me frustrated.  I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to get my business up.  And there is a lot of work to do for my business but I’m concerned (and confused) about what steps to take next.  That is when I knew that I wouldn’t get the answers for myself.

I reached out to my B-School group for assistance.  I have struggled with connection for a long time.  Trusting people and knowing when to reach out for help is really difficult for me so reaching out like that was going out on a limb for me.  And they came through.  They validated my feelings and gave me some actionable advice to take moving forward.  I took a chance and it paid off.  While not all of my problems were solved, it was nice to know that I was not crazy.  It was also nice to focus on something that wasn’t my argumentative 3 year old.

It was a nice reminder that there are people who care and who will help you through.  Sometimes vulnerability is all it takes to find the answers you’re looking for.  It’s a reminder that I want to share with all of you.  During times like this, when isolation is mandatory, it’s easy to feel like you have to solve it all on your own.  Sometimes it drives you crazy because you feel more alone than ever.  But we are not alone.  Sometimes all you have to do is reach out and ask.

Need Bravery? You Already Have It

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Bravery comes in many forms.  Right now we are all being asked to be brave.  We are all tasked with going outside of our comfort zones.  It’s difficult because our comfort zones are what often give us the most joy.  But they are also what hold us back.  So we need to do what is necessary to shake off what has kept us safe—and stuck.

Bravery can look like taking the leap.  Going for something you really want but normally wouldn’t go after.  It can look like taking action.  When you’ve waited for the right moment and decide there is no right moment, there is only right now.

It can look like talking it over with someone.  In this case reaching out to save a relationship is equally as brave as reaching out for help. It takes a lot to admit our wrong doings and to admit when we need help.

It can look like making a decision.  When you’ve allowed yourself to sit in hopes of some big break crossing your path or because you were afraid of the consequences but then you make the choice and suddenly life rushes forward to meet you.  It can look like learning through decisions.  There are certain times in life when you just have to make that decision, and whether or not it turns out how you planned, you learn.

It can look like accepting…everything.  When you wish and hope for a thing to be a certain way and you finally accept that the damage you cause yourself from expectation is worse than just dealing with it as it really is and you finally embrace it.  There is freedom in it.

It can look like leaning into discomfort.  Along with acceptance, learning to feel your way through it and letting yourself get to the other side without judgement can make it a whole lot easier.  Understanding that the discomfort is temporary and that going with it rather than fighting it can get you to the other side faster is a whole different level of comfort.

It can look like being still and trusting your intuition.  Understanding that you need to trust yourself first and that there is always a reason behind everything teaches you that you can trust you will get to where you need to go.

You are already brave…carry on.

Sunday Gratitude

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Photo by Ashan Rai on

Today I am grateful for learning.  I was able to take a few online classes today and to get through some work for my business.

Today I am grateful for recognizing emotion in my body.  I was having a really difficult time today because it was so gorgeous outside.  There was work that I wanted to be doing inside, but not taking advantage of going outside felt like a waste.  Plus my family was outside and I wanted to enjoy this day with them.  I felt the conflict in my heart, I felt my shoulders tense, I felt my mind being pulled in a million directions.  So I stopped and I put my hand on my chest and asked for guidance.  I went out for a while and I enjoyed the light while I could.  Then I came in to work.  Yes, I know, completely obvious to many, but once I get distracted, it’s hard to get back in the game.  So I consider it a small victory that even though I was distracted, I still managed to make some progress.

Today I am grateful for the discomfort I described above because it pushed me outside of where I was.  I was able to really evaluate what I wanted to be doing and it was a chance to practice listening to my intuition again. I’ve been struggling with follow through and motivation on a few personal projects so it felt like a test of my resolve.  I wrestled with it for a while and then listened.

Today I am grateful for family time.  We were fortunate enough to have time for a virtual family meeting so we got to see each other and laugh.  It felt like they were some of the most genuine laughs we’ve had as a family for a while.

Today I am grateful to evaluate what my contributions are.  I’ve been evaluating the type of person I am and the person I want to be and all of the conflict I’ve been feeling, all of my concerns about time and my worth are constantly grating on my mind.  But chewing on thoughts isn’t enough, it’s about action.  I am working on sharing my message and developing programs that people can use.  But right now I am working full time and I am at home with a toddler so I needed to level set a few expectations of myself; sometimes you just have to accept what your limitations are.  I may not be contributing as much as I feel I should be right now, but my energies are being directed where they need to be: toward my family and raising my son, toward creating work that is meaningful, and getting healthy.  Without those things, I wouldn’t be able to contribute anything.

Why I Choose to Feel it All

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Photo by Jeswin Thomas on

Often it takes something major to wake us up, as we struggle to maintain the illusion of control.  The mind will fight for any sense of normalcy, it will struggle to maintain the story it has been telling itself simply out of habit. I started to think about what this pandemic is doing for all of us.  Sometimes it takes losing a little freedom to realize the precious gifts we have right in front of us.  The air.  The joy of our little piece of this world, together.  The beautiful sound of my son’s contented sigh as he sleeps.  That is one of my favorite sounds in the entire world.  In hearing that little intake and release of breath, I feel the whole world expanding.  I feel the promise, the potential in him.  I also feel the innocence and trust and absolute unconditional love.  How one little sound from a tiny being can create so much emotion is beyond me, but I am grateful to feel it.  I am thrilled to feel it.  I am complete when I feel it.  And it is only those little things that we really need.  As we slow down and pause, remember what it is that you need.

Kerouac said to be in love with your live, every minute of it.  I used to be afraid to show my emotion because of my “too muchness” and how easily people dismissed me or started to exclude me because of how I expressed myself.  I was too loud, too emotional, too dramatic for so many people that I knew I needed to dull how deeply I felt and expressed things.  It was only with time that I realized I was diminishing myself for their comfort.  And I hated it.  Those moments, the little ones like today, remind me so clearly why I don’t want to dull that emotion.  Because the truth is I would trade every dull, pointless clubbing experience, every night drinking and bingeing, every 50 hour work week for a minute of listening to my son in complete peace.  And that is the essence of loving life.  Because that is what life really is.  Life happens in the in-between when we are searching for that big moment.  It’s the fleeting feeling of the sun so warm on your face as spring awakens.  It’s the breeze of the air when you open the windows in the morning.  It’s the smile you feel spread across your face when your favorite song comes on the radio randomly.  Life isn’t just the big moments, it’s all the moments.

It took me a long time to realize that, as desperate as I was for acceptance and to control things, life isn’t about acceptance from other people and how big your friend group is.  It’s about what you make of it.  It’s about the joy you bring to it.  It’s about how much you accept yourself.  For me, I need to feel big.  The feeling may not last a long time, but I need to feel it exactly as it is.  I feel bad for people who believe they need to quiet themselves because they won’t be accepted.  I feel bad for those who judge others for feeling big because in my heart, I know they were judged too and they are missing out on what it feels to be alive.  Maybe if we all acknowledged what we’re feeling, we might have a little more tolerance for each other.

It’s amazing how much we take our lives for granted.  How easily we fall into the routine.  I know this isolation due to the pandemic is causing a lot of people to feel claustrophobic or bored, but I have never felt more alive or more hopeful in my life.  I feel a different connection to myself again.  There are parts of me that I will never take for granted again.  There are new connections to the people I love as well and I don’t want to go back to the way things used to be.  There is a different kind of strength that comes from authenticity.  It is the raw vulnerability of being exactly who we are.  And it is beautiful.  So love your life big.  Feel everything big, honestly.  And in doing so, you will find the little moments that truly speak to you, and you will never take them for granted again.

A Necessary Rant

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I began working from home this week.  I had mentioned in previous posts about how there has been a lot of blatant underhanded snark (Oh, go ahead and do what you need to do then 20 minutes later sending a text about “real” leadership).  I’ve also mentioned coming to the decision that I’m not going to let that bother me—and that’s helping because I have a decision to stand in whether other people like it or not.  I still feel immense guilt but I know I have to take care of my family.

I took my guilt and I started thinking about how this is playing out during this pandemic.  I’ve been looking at the story we are constantly telling ourselves and I find myself becoming more and more frustrated.  I’m talking about the story of what leadership looks like.  The truth is I have yet to see any real form of leadership from those in power.  I HAVE seen leadership in the people who have stood up and said we are not going to take this anymore and they have organized to get PPE for medical staff.  They have helped their neighbors get food and supplies.  They have told those people ignoring the stay at home order that they need to get home.

I am SO proud to work in a field where people are there to help others.  They are there to fix what is wrong and what can’t be fixed alone.  They help people at their weakest and in their greatest moments.  But I am not proud of the fact that these people are being exploited as heroes because of the bad decisions those in power have made.  This was an entirely preventable tragedy when it came time to make the decision to take measures to keep this illness at bay.  Instead we have a country that did the bare minimum to lock down and the disease spread like wildfire—just as they knew it would—and those in power offered no real relief in the form of suspending bills, utilities, rents/mortgages.  They told people to stay home all the while ignoring the fact that these people were going to lose their jobs, their homes, lose everything if they didn’t work.  Our government put all of us in the position of choosing between our livelihood and our lives because they refused to help where it was needed.

And then in my field, in my organization specifically, to be guilted into their version of what leadership looks like, to put all of our lives on the line as if this was some noble cause instead of the preventable tragedy it is.  It makes me sick.  To STILL continually see people out socially frustrates me as well because the longer we go on like this, with half measures in place, the longer this disease will continue to spread.  New Zealand chose the route of a specific time of universal hardship and it WORKED.  Why on Earth would we all not follow?  Why do we have this mentality that we are so special, that we are the only ones who’s way of life can’t be disrupted?

Because we are run by money.  We determine worth by what’s in your bank account, where you live, what clothes you wear, who you sleep with.  We like to pretend we are more evolved than that and that we are really being taken care of during this crisis.  But the truth is, if we were all truly unified, if we were all being taken care of, we could have put a dent in this madness already and potentially have even stopped it.  We would have had leadership that stood up and said, for all the people we are going to change and make sure as many people as possible come through this alive.  We wouldn’t be reusing soiled protective equipment and touting it as an act of bravery.  Believe me, I know it IS brave—but I also know that there were ways to prevent this.  So the people who run the show don’t want to be on the frontline—that is fine, but at least have the damn decency to provide for those who are protecting the rest of us.

I have also seen the story of men in suits pretending that this is going to be business as usual someday.  I pray to God it NEVER goes back to business as usual.  When this is all over, I pray that we remember what we are all going through right now.  I pray we remember so we don’t go through it again.  I pray we remember why we have to do things differently.  I pray we no longer take our freedoms for granted and that we no longer allow those who have actually done the dirty work for the rest of us, who have put their lives on the line, to be taken advantage of.  I pray we actually appreciate each other and not just the dollar our efforts bring to a business.  Because the only thing stopping us now is a bullshit belief that we have to put in the time to make a dime.  I’m not saying that we don’t have to work for something—I am saying that we are all worth more than a God damn dime.  Until we shift the mentality that allows businesses to throw people away for the sake of a dime, we are going to suffer because we confuse the purpose and value of life.  Let’s remember that all lives are worth it and let’s actually remember what it means to live again.  Let’s do that.  And let’s stop pretending that we CAN’T do that.  We can do anything.  So let’s do the right thing for everyone.

Sunday Gratitude

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Photo by Andre Estevez on

Today I am so grateful for technology.  Given the current climate affecting all of us, we were not able to physically be with family today to celebrate Easter.  Instead we spent a beautiful early afternoon having a virtual family meeting.  There was just something about being able to see my family and to speak with everyone that helped even though we weren’t together.

Today I am grateful for progress.  There has been a lot of talk about not using this time to force progress or productivity—which I whole heartedly agree with.  But I have seen this time as an opportunity to get things done, both personally and professionally.  It has been a time for me to rewrite some goals and to redefine what I want to do.  It has been time to develop clarity in my life.

Today I am grateful to allow.  I have struggled a lot with letting go because I struggle with control issues which are a result of trust issues.  I’m learning to stand up for what is right for me without worrying about what is right for one particular person or an organization.  I am learning to not be guilted into action.  I am allowing myself to move from a place of what feels right.

Today I am grateful for common ground.  In this new normal, for lack of a better term, I am learning that we are all trying to maintain the equilibrium of what we knew before.  The problem with that is we can’t continue to operate from the place we knew because this is not that.  And the common ground that I found today was that we are all disoriented.  We are all adapting to something unprecedented.  We are all emotional about it on some level.  And we all have issues we are trying to heal.  For some of us it is around trust and knowing that we will be able to provide for our families.  For others it is about adapting their business and functioning differently.  But either way, we are all trying to adapt to something.  We are all working through something.

Today I am grateful for change.  In spite of the things we are struggling to learn, I am grateful that this time is exposing new ways of doing things.  We have such an opportunity here to make an impact on people and their lives as well as on the world.  In spite of how horrible this situation is, we have an opportunity to make the world better.  In spite of how scary those changes may be, the reality is that they are very small changes and it could be much easier than we think to create a sustainable way of life for everyone.

Today I am grateful for the shift in outlook.  Hand in hand with change, there has been a shift in how we look at the world.  We have a new understanding of our roles and our position in the world.  We have a new understanding of our impact and what our capabilities really are.  We have a new understanding of what we need to look at for the future.  I have confidence that we are working toward new things that will benefit us beyond profit.

Today I am grateful for music.  I started my day today dancing like crazy around the house.  I’ve been good about getting my body moving the last couple of weeks—and it has felt AMAZING—so it was a fun new way to get the day started.  The power of music is something that has always moved me and I have always been appreciative of.  I was even more appreciative of it today because I knew I was going to be separated from the rest of my family today and starting the day with something uplifting that also got me moving was great.

Ready or Not, the Time is Now

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I’ve stopped and started a million times, always believing I needed the “right time” or the “right thing” to say.  I’ve felt that I wasn’t qualified enough to share my views.  I let all of those feelings hold me back.  If we allow ourselves to be really honest, we can all account for at least once in our lives when we let a feeling dictate our actions.

Whenever we feel ourselves pulled by an emotion rather than a place of driving action, that is when we have an opportunity to slow down and determine where we want to go.  In making any decisions in our lives, we have to learn to cut out the extraneous and learn to trust ourselves.  Trust is a delicate thing, even when we are speaking in the context of trusting ourselves.  Think about how much energy we focus on our mistakes as opposed to our successes.

In The Judgement Detox Gabby Bernstein talks about our habit of judging things and she raises an important point:  When we judge, we do so because we are separated from love.  When we are connected to love we have no need to judge ourselves or others.  That separation from love also leads to mistrust in our own abilities.  When we judge ourselves as incapable, that is a lack of trust in ourselves.  We begin to form a habit of using defense mechanisms and we throw judgements around rather than taking the time to connect back to source.  When we are disconnected from source, it is difficult to trust that we will know the right action to take.  When we find that connection again, that is when we learn to believe in ourselves.

When we find that trust again, we know that we can take action without permission.  This means we can act before we are ready.  We can take up the space we need.  We can learn new skills.  We can develop new relationships that bring us right where we are meant to be.  Sometimes taking steps that don’t make sense are exactly what we have to do.  That is a profound act of trust in source as well as within ourselves.  And honestly, life is too short to believe that we have to qualify doing what we are called to do.

Character–A Few More Points

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A little follow up from the discussion the other day about character.  Over the last couple of days, I’ve had to make some decisions that were direct tests to my character—moreover to the character of the person I am becoming.  I realized that what I said was more true than I initially thought.  I realized that I need to stand firm in my decisions.  I’m a grown woman, I own my own home, I’m starting a business, I’m a wife and a mother.  There have been some concerns for me at work so I opted to take some time off to make sure my family is taken care of and that no one is put in harms way during this time.  After I’d made the decision several comments were made insinuating different things about my leadership.  That is a sensitive topic for me as I pride myself on taking care of my teams and guiding them through.  Talk about instant spiral into questioning everything.

I went from feeling secure in my position and comfortable with the choices I’d made to immediately crumbling into the attention seeking child needing approval.  And that’s where something just snapped for me.  I have worked too hard and too long and I have sacrificed too much of my life hoping that I would get some recognition or even some reprieve and be able to call the shots for myself some day.  At a minimum that I’d be able to make decisions that wouldn’t hurt those I love as well.  So I realized that it’s time to let go of all of that nonsense.

I’m not going to hold this guilt any longer.  This insecurity that I’ve done something wrong.  The belief that I’m being fed that my actions alone are the downfall of anything.  When the comments were made, I even tried convincing myself this could be an opportunity to shine in my organization.  But it hit me that my experience tells me they wouldn’t listen anyway.  I’ve come in before with ideas that no one heard.  The ideas were used, but not when said from my lips.  That latter part has nothing to do with recognition and everything to do with wasted energy.  I could run around screaming at the top of my lungs in a crowded room and no one would hear me—so it’s about making a choice to use my energy wisely.

This guilt merely eats up space and keeps me from what I need to be doing.  It helps me from hearing my calling.  I am a helpful person and it doesn’t make me selfish to do what I need to do to protect my family.  I’ve been given a golden opportunity HERE.  I can finally take care of my baby and have TIME to be with him.  I can have TIME to work on my projects which are my gift, my contribution in all of this.

The truth is if I have to give anything through guilt 1. It’s not mine and it’s not genuine because it doesn’t come from me and 2. There’s a debt to it in the guise of “have I earned or done enough here?”  I’m tired of living like that.  For me as a people pleaser, the question then became “What am I really trying to satisfy?”  Is it my ego by proving what a good and noble person I am?  That’s a losing battle because there will always be someone to tell me I’m not good or not enough or someone to tell me I’m too much.  So why can’t I shift to satisfying my calling?  I’m done waiting for some arbitrary time, some token.  I know with everything in my gut that I need to take care of my family but I also don’t want to let down my boss.  I don’t want the disapproval looming over me or the perception that I’m not a team player.  But who’s going to have to take care of mine when it all comes down in the end?  My family isn’t their business—so if I’m gone, they will easily move on.  I need to take care of us.

At the end of the day, people’s belief in me, their view of me, their perception, approval, or even their permission is not needed.  I’m not responsible for how they feel about me.  I’m responsible for me and my decisions.  Am I perfect?  HELL NO.  Has staying home from work impacted the world?  HELL NO.  But it HAS impacted my child’s world.  He sees his mother is here for him through a terrible thing.  He has been put first.  It’s impacted mine as well because I’m finding MY voice.  It is hard to accept this reasoning and not fall back into the approval patterns.  But it’s only because of old habits that don’t serve.  The new reasoning feels right. Real. Aligned. Authentic.

I no longer need to look for accolades from teaching, letting myself be pushed where they need me than what is right for me.  I’ve earned my keep and I don’t need to ever carry that guilt for living my life.  I’ve realized that chasing praise is like a brilliant sunny day where it’s still too cold out.  It’s gorgeous, but misleading because you’ll still freeze when you’re out of the light.  You feel great when you’re getting that praise but the second it’s gone, you chase it and do whatever you can to prove you’re worthy.

Something I’ve preached for a long time is something I’m still practicing myself: letting the light I’m looking for come from within so I no longer need that approval.  I am enough.  I am doing what’s right.  Permission granted—from myself, for myself.  I know I still have a lot of work to do but my main goal now is to get healthy mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  Then I can really do more and unleash this gift.  In the meantime, I’m gonna go and make salt dough hand prints with my kid because that is where I need to be.

Light Show

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Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on

Character isn’t something we inherit, it is something we have to build.  We always have a choice in how we respond and how we perceive a situation.  There are ways that we can learn to take a step back even when we are emotional or triggered.  The world won’t handle you with kid gloves, so understand that your feelings will not be considered in the grand scheme of things.  Your behavior, your attitude, your game plan, and your reactions are what will get you results.

Be the best version of yourself.  For some of us that is easier said than done because we have been told who we are supposed to be for a majority of our lives.  Even if you are in that circumstance, remember your voice is worth being heard so take the little steps to crack your shell and let yourself out.  If we only knew how toxic it is to cage ourselves with what we think we have to do, we’d never do it again.  We are never powerless.

During this time, there is an opportunity to develop who we want to be.  I recently read that now isn’t the right time to make ourselves a project.  I have to disagree on a certain level.  The article discussed that we shouldn’t spend this time trying to achieve a million and one things to fill our days and prove how productive we are—which I actually do agree with.  Where I disagree is that we CAN pick a singular project that will help in breaking the same old routine we have and help us step forward into our authentic selves.  If you are fortunate enough to be home and able to review and observe and reevaluate your life and if you are even more fortunate to take action on that, then this is the perfect time to do it.

We are all going to come out of this isolation different one way or the other.  Some of us will be forever grateful to have made it through.  Some of us will be closer to our families.  Some of us will never be stuck in isolation again.  Some of us will have lost people.  Some of us will have gained friends or have re-established relationships with people.  I say take the steps to be the person you were always meant to be and come out of this happier and more centered.  If the world is changing then we need to change with it.  Don’t fight it.  Learn to lean into it and flow.

Make your character and learn to be that person and do it unfailingly because the world is going to need a different type of person on the other side of this pandemic.  It is going to need the people who are willing to fight for the underdog. It is going to need the people who are willing to establish justice, safety, and security for all.  It is going to need people who can guide others through a transition they aren’t comfortable with. It is going to need the people who can make the world look a little brighter for everyone.  We aren’t looking to outshine each other—we are looking to make as many lights as possible visible to everyone.  So be that light.