Recommitting and being resilient during, and after significant and multiple challenges, is no easy feat. My last blog post was too long ago, and I am happy to be back. Much has happened personally, professionally, and globally since I last wrote. There were days I didn’t have time to write, or couldn’t bring myself to… and yet I am by nature, a writer. After all, I come from a loquacious family and am an English major. The truth is, I did write for personal purposes, to heal, not for publication.
Dark Night of the Soul
I experienced my own dark night of the soul – a prolonged period of a challenging and devastating time where I needed to dig deep and hang in there. As an example, in the last two plus years, my mother and mother-in-law passed, I had several health concerns including one hospitalization and two surgeries from injuries; I took a job requiring 80% travel – and left the job; my partner lost a job, started a job and now is reconfiguring a job amidst COVID.
In the middle of all that he had open heart surgery and was hospitalized two additional times with complications. My daughter and stepson graduated college and both have jobs – so some good news! The pandemic hit, and well, we all know what that, amidst social unrest, the U.S. elections and the climate crisis, has brought – a VUCA world – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. My business has had to pivot, like many.
Getting Through and Reclaiming Myself
Whew. As I wrote all that, I realize I just touched the tip of the proverbial iceburg. Amidst change fatigue, uncertainty and sometimes deep grief, I continued to show up for my clients, even at times not knowing how I was doing it. I was able to get through and indeed, feel a sense of my own resiliency and inner strength. During this time, I re-embraced my childhood nickname, Suze. Names are mantras, and every time someone calls you your name, they are invoking the name or meaning of your name. For me, Suze is reminiscent of happy childhood memories.
Now, my country, the U.S., is going through its own dark night of the soul. We are a country deeply divided. Regardless of who is in office, unifying is on us. So much to think and write about!
I am recommitting to writing in this blog, despite, and because of, my challenges and the challenges around me. We are swimming in an ocean of opportunity to recreate the world a new – even if it is only in our mind’s eye. When our perspective on something changes, our world literally changes. When I change my neighbor’s perspective, we collectively change.
Finding the Light In the Darkness
It is a time to find the light in the darkness. My symbol for this is the sunflower. The photo is from my garden. For the first time, this summer, I was able to successful plant about twenty sunflowers. One grew to over twelve feet fall. This photo is taken at night. The sunflower is considered to be a symbol of faith and loyalty to something that is much bigger and brighter than themselves. The sunflowers face the east and keep themselves best positioned so they can optimize how much sun they receive. This nourishment allows them to grow, and grow tall. This is a metaphor for our times – we are all called to find the light in some of the darkness with so much unrest all around us, and to connect to a purpose bigger than ourselves.
I will once again share my thoughts and perspective on leadership, career, and life. I plan to write every Monday – Movement Mondays.
I do a lot of executive coaching and my intention for each of my sessions is to hold the space for my clients for some kind of inner or outer movement to happen – to deepen their awareness or insight and/or further their commitment or action toward their goals.
Movement & Stillness
Sometimes when we are still and it looks like nothing is happening on the outside, a lot might be happening on the inside. So too, when we are moving on the outside, there may be a stillness deep within. Life is not always what it seems. My intention is to provoke a thought or share an experience that will move you in some way. I will share writings, videos and some of my cable shows.
Self Care Strategies
Key strategies that got me through so much in recent years are: exercising extreme self care, which are not spot coping strategies but daily, consistent practices that help one maintain their ability to meet life challenges and thrive, despite it all. I did lean on the support of close family and friends. In addition, I’m a devoted yoga and meditation practitioner, gardener, health foodie, and overall lover of the arts (music, dance and fine art), nature and the outdoors. All are balms for the soul.
My work also feeds me as I am passionate about helping people realize their potential. This often means stepping up, or into, significant work or life challenges. We need nourishment to forge ahead fervently into these places.
What is one thing you can do, or not do today, that feeds your soul? Sometimes not doing something can be a very nurturing act.
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Suze is an executive coach and leadership & organization effectiveness consultant. She also teaches yoga and meditation – tools to keep one sane in insane times. She helps professionals step up to their fullest leadership and growth potential. At times this means getting out of their own way to get important stuff accomplished. www.sagelead.com.