Aging reveals to me that I am always in school, the school of life. Yet September is burned into my brain as the time of year to reflect, inventory my experience of the year so far, consider what remains to achieve and how I can tune my body, heart, mind, and spirit to meet the balance of the year with vitality and clarity. How does September influence you? By the way, did you know that September is recognized in the US as National Self-Improvement month? There’s a lot on the line for humanity. As we acknowledge the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedies in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, current global events bring that history into poignant focus, again, pouring salt into the wounds that struggle to heal. From the wisdom of Amanda Gorman, what breaks through our inaction and inertia?
Phenomenon, natural and manmade -- fires, hurricanes, wars, a sustaining pandemic, injustice, uncertainty, and incivility – continuously interrupt my ability to courageously choose. Yet, choose I must, as long as I have breath and a pulse. My choices create a legacy, even if no one notices because, each choice compels action and an outcome that impacts me and others, even people I don’t yet know. Each choice is a decision to say yes to one thing and no to another. The opportunity to challenge my worldview and shift my mindset carries the potential to uplevel my mental and moral strength. That’s my short definition of courage. If I want civility in my world, I must pause my habits that provoke incivility – even when I do not intend that outcome. I must choose courageously to step in and stop incivility in any form and from any source, including with me when my personal choices are not sovereign. I am responsible for my life experience, especially when so much is out of my control. The choice that remains in that moment is to breathe and remember that how I perceive and make meaning is inside of me, even when my heart breaks, tears roll and hopelessness creeps into my awareness. The weight of that experience feeds my urgency to unhook from the outside messages and connect with my center, the core of my being. Changing the world starts by changing me and I accept the challenge. Do you? Let’s all go back to school this month, together finding a way forward in love.
In January 2021 I accepted that the year might require me to learn stumbling forward. It has. Each time I forgot that I am whole, resourceful, capable, and creative, life reminded me. Sometimes with a 4”x 4” to my head with an idea or opportunity out of nowhere, I consciously recognized. Other times life raised her hand in front of my face suggesting that stopping and standing still would create the break in my habits and preferences for an alternative path forward to emerge. No matter how much I feel suffering, suffer I do not. Gratitude fills my heart for the privilege to write this column. I am grateful for the community of people I engage around the world, for the health and love of my family and friends, and for the breath that feeds me to be in the world from my full potency. May you allow moments to fully breathe into your potency and bring your voice and choices forward for greater unity and dignity in our world.
Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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