Think of all the incredible things we didn’t get to hear because someone was scared we would see them cry. Jennifer Palmieri, author of Dear Madam President
In her book, Dear Madam President, Jennifer Palmieri writes an open letter to future women leaders who, in her words, “will run the world.” Palmieri imparts valuable advice to these potential leaders including—show up as women, don’t try to emulate men, be who you are.
In addition to her specific leadership advice, Palmieri writes, “Think of all the times you have heard someone say they passed on sharing something that was particularly moving because they didn’t think they could get it out without crying. That’s a shame.”
In the wake of a worldwide pandemic, tears are being shed by unlikely people in unlikely places—in front of computers as we attend virtual church services, by nurses in the hallways of hospitals, in front of televisions as we try to absorb the drama that is unfolding, during FaceTime calls with our loved ones, following Zoom meetings where people were laid off from work, in our beds as we awake to another day of isolation. It’s okay to let the tears flow—they are healing.
Affirmation: My tears are a special part of me.
Coaching questions: What have you held back because you were afraid of displaying tears? What difference might you make if you showed your emotions?
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By showing up with hope to help others, I’m guaranteed that hope is present. Then my own hope increases. By creating hope for others, I end up awash in the stuff. Anne Lamott, author
When our world looks bleak and we feel like we’re drowning in fear, grief, pain, or anger sometimes we must rely on hope and faith to get us through. Tightly hugging hope to our chest is a way to stay on top of what is happening in our world.
Like a life preserver works in the water, hope can keep our heads above the surface as we tread towards the shore. Hope comes from friends, family, faith, or even your pet.
Affirmation: I’m hopeful.
Coaching questions: How do you remain hopeful in these difficult times? Where do you find hope and inspiration?
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Flowers always make people better, happier, and more hopeful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank, botanist
Living in southwest Florida, I’m surrounded by flowers year round—I know, I’m a lucky lady. Magnolias are rare, however, because of our soil. Never-the-less, I’m fascinated by their history.
Magnolias are thought to be the oldest flowering plant on Earth dating back about 145 million years. They appeared just after the ferns and stood among the dinosaurs. Beetles served as their first pollinators since bees wouldn’t show up for about another 15 million years. There are over two hundred species and they come white, pale pink (as shown here), yellow, and deep magenta.
Affirmation: Flowers are medicine for my soul!
Coaching questions: What is your favorite flower or flowering tree? When was the last time you took time (now is a really good time) to “smell the roses?”
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Stay in your seat in times of trouble. Only the people who jump off the roller coaster get hurt. Paul Harvey, radio broadcaster
Today I wanted to write a blog about something, anything, other than the crisis we are facing around the world. I’m “virus fatigued” yet hungry for the latest news. It feels as though we are on the roller coaster ride of our lives, Paul Harvey’s advice is relevant, and, once again, I’m writing about our shared experience.
We need to stay in our seats (at home), stay calm, virtually reach out to our friends and family for comfort, a good laugh, and remember— “people who jump off the roller coaster get hurt.”
Affirmation: I will stay in my seat on the roller coaster ride of my life.
Coaching questions: What is helping you stay “seated?” Who can you help stay calm and unafraid?
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If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do. Lucille Ball
People used to ask me how I got so much done. I hadn’t seriously considered the question until now that my new reality of isolation is moving into week two. Without my DAILY schedule of meetings, groups, events, outings, I’m getting less done than I used to. Lucille Ball was right!
While it feels okay right now to be in “gear-down” mode, in the future I want to be sure that I’m using my time well by honoring my gifts, taking good care of myself, taking care of others (remotely), and generally living each day to the fullest as I always have. I’m allowing myself another few days of “down time” then I’m getting serious about my to-do list, limiting my time on social media, and setting new long-term goals.
Affirmation: I will remain true to myself in this new reality.
Coaching questions: Is there anything tripping you up as you gear-down in this new reality? How will you stay true to yourself? What’s the best part of being home-bound? What’s the worst?
Leave me a comment about how you’re doing. I’m thinking about my blogging community worldwide!
We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the earth, a new experience of being human. Charles Eisenstein, author and speaker
In these unusual times, it’s important to establish a “new normal” for ourselves and our families. Most people thrive on routine. Although it might feel like you’re on vacation for a while, the lack of structure can be detrimental especially for younger people and those who are accustomed to going to an office outside their homes.
Years ago I taught day-long workshops on How To Work From Home Successfully (I successfully worked from home for almost 20 years). Here are a few tips from that workshop:
- Get up at the usual time (go to bed at the usual time too)
- Get dressed (do NOT stay in pajama pants), shave, comb your hair, shower
- Establish a work routine including coffee break, lunch break
- If possible, create a work space that is out of the family zone
- If necessary, educate your family on the fact that you’re working so they can have food on the table.
- Work your normal hours (8 am-5 pm, five days a week or whatever is normal for you)
- Resist the temptation of household chores, social media, text messages, television, or personal emails during your work day.
Affirmation: I will embrace my new normal.
Coaching questions/request: Create a “new normal” routine for yourself. What’s your biggest challenge right now? What’s one step you will take to overcome it?
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Courage is knowing what not to fear. Plato
Fear is running rampant in these troubled times as we face the Covid-19 virus and all the upheaval it’s causing. Some healthy fear and a good dose of caution is warranted. Here are tips to help you keep manage your fears:
- Stay informed but know when to step away from news of all kinds. Be aware of how much information is too much for you then have the discipline to step away.
- Get yourself out of the way. Consider what you can do, either virtually or in person, for those who may be more affected than you.
- Take care of yourself. Keep up your healthy routine including good sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and a spiritual practice (especially if your place of worship is closed).
- Acknowledge your fear. Validate your feelings. Treat that scared little girl inside gently.
- Make a plan. Create a to do list (i.e. clean out the closets, make soup) and consider how you’d handle a health emergency. Planning is more useful to help you gain a sense of control than buying more toilet paper.
- Keep in touch. Call a friend or family member if you’re feeling lonely. Keep your extended family informed. Email and texting may not be as satisfying as they once were. It’s nice to hear a loved one’s voice when we are isolated.
- Trust yourself. In my experience people generally have a greater capacity to handle hardship than they think they do. Affirm your capabilities!
- Fear not! The words “fear not” show up in the Bible 365 times for a reason.
Affirmation: I trust myself and my capabilities.
Coaching questions: Who can you turn to for support right now? What can you do to help others? How will you use this time “away” productively?
Please note: If you are feeling severely depressed, anxious, or fearful, seek professional help. If you think a few minutes talking on the phone with a Certified Life Coach would be helpful, let me know in the comments section below.
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