I pray this post finds you healthy and safe. And, I hope that it also finds you in action, working to devise solutions to the many challenges we’re facing in our new normal, sheltering in place, working remotely, homeschooling, and generally hiding out to protect ourselves and others from the COVID-19 virus.
This week, I wanted to share the power of intention. It turns out that my 2020 THREE BIG WORDS have been amazing life preservers in the COVID-19 crisis sea! Who knew?
Let’s start with the word FLOW, because that’s all I’ve been doing since mid-March when the crisis hit. When I chose FLOW in January, it was to, “symbolize my commitment to faithfully make space and allocate time for ideas, solutions, strategies for change and higher-level “world” energy.” Oh boy! At ConvergenceCoaching, our “in-person” learning and retreat business for the first half of 2020 has either shifted to remote delivery, pushed to the 2nd half, or canceled. Time we’d usually spend right now preparing materials for late April, May and June engagements has freed up so that we could outreach to clients, think big, write and create remote service offerings. Long days have been spent helping clients make the overnight pivot to remote work, shift their staffing strategies, and generate ideas to keep the traditional compliance services moving and identify new COVID-19 crisis services, too. We’ve dug in and re-projected our revenue, expenses and cash flow. We’ve held several super-transparent team meetings to let our people know where we stand and what we’ll need from them to weather the storm. Like so many of you, what I thought I’d be doing isn’t happening and instead, I have a plate full of new activities and strategies to execute – and those shift daily. Not knowing when the risk of illness will pass, when we can emerge from our shelters, when we can engage in business and school in ways similar to before, or what the “after” normal will look like all cause me to let go of my expectations and instead, go where the flow directs me. FLOW is at work in my life.
Next, I chose the word GRATEFUL. My intention was to, “express gratitude to my family and team members as a daily practice.” I still have room to improve in my daily expressions of gratitude to others. That said, expressing gratitude for what I have in this crisis – versus what I don’t have anymore – has been wonderfully helpful in maintaining my positivity. I am grateful that we are healthy, safe, sheltered and well-fed. We are still able to exercise, and I can still run outside, albeit alone (or with husband Brian following me on his bike). I am so lucky to be with my precious family and so grateful to have this quality time together. There is a humbling gratitude for the selfless acts of others who are working tirelessly to keep us safe, including healthcare workers, frontline responders, food suppliers, grocers and more. I’m grateful for the positive, flexible, innovative, and can-do ConvergenceCoaching team and for the 20th anniversary we just celebrated together. I’m grateful for spring beginning to show her colors. For technology that allows us all to stay connected when we can’t meet. For the ability to attend Easter service via Facebook Live. And for so many other things I can’t list them here. This crisis has brought my many blessings into sharp focus and for that, I am so very grateful.
My last word was really my first word this year, HOPEFUL. In 2020, I wanted to more intentionally seek silver linings when faced with challenges and to lead myself, and others, in listing hopeful possibilities for themselves and their firms. Last Friday, a blog on 11 silver linings I’ve noticed in the COVID-19 storm came pouring out of me and will soon be published. As we’ve faced some of the pivots we need to make during this uncertain time, we’ve worked hard to find the possibilities for this crisis in our home and work lives, too. This exercise of finding hopeful interpretations is one we teach regularly to help shift mindsets, expand mental boundaries and keep from making others, and situations, wrong, in ways that will block creativity and collaboration. Here are some examples of my latest hopeful exercise:
The positive, hopeful opportunities coming from this sad, scary crisis are limitless. It’s up to you to decide if you’ll focus on the losses – of which there many – or practice HOPEFUL every day to generate what’s possible and then execute new strategies to achieve those potential results. We can each find HOPE and possibility in this dark time.
My practice of choosing three words has always had an impact, but I had no idea how significant that impact would be this year -- and we’re only in mid-April! I’ll keep looking for ways to be hopeful and grateful and flow with the circumstances and opportunities that come my way. I hope you will, too.