Inspired to Thrive

How giving, learning & achieving can launch you out of uncertain times

There are so many reasons women end up on the cover of this magazine. They build community. They serve a need. Their story inspires us to be more, do more, live more. The women who grace the cover of this magazine have given me reason to smile, to cheer and to feel like this is the best possible place to live. 

Having been on the cover, I can tell you it is quite a thrill — first to be considered cover worthy— that, for me anyway, is a moment you never forget. Then, seeing your face in the grocery store, or on waiting room coffee tables, well, that is both hilarious and humbling. During my time as a cover girl, friends and relatives loved to send me pictures of where they found my face, usually with a snarky comment or an “atta girl.” 

I am telling you this because I have a feeling the women on the cover of this magazine never dreamt they would be there, and never in a million years imagined why they would be on the cover. For the next few months, they will feel like they are everywhere, that they are a hometown celebrity and that they are receiving recognition they were not looking for. 

These women helped us, inspired us and cared for us when we needed them the most. I know that I was not even paying attention to all of the work they were doing, because they are servant leaders who did what they could, what they had to, when we needed them, quietly. They will, if you press them, tell you it was nothing, that it was their job, that they just did what they needed to do. But, I will tell you this, their work made a huge difference in our lives, and their bright smiling faces on the cover of this magazine is less than they deserve, but more than they sought. 

As I write this article, I do not know exactly what the world will look like when this magazine hits the racks. I do know this, that when we look to our left, and we look to our right, we see new heroes, new role models, new ways of doing business, of communicating, and of celebrating this ride we call life. Some of the changes we see were thrust upon us, some we created ourselves. Some we like. Some we do not.

But, when we dig in, when we look deep into our hearts, into the hearts of others, we will see this amazing human capacity to love, to help, to give, to learn, to change, to survive, and in the best of cases to thrive. I dedicate my life and my work to helping people, individuals or groups, to move forward. To claim their Nexts, and this COVID-19 ride has given me a renewed energy to do just that. It has also given me a renewed appreciation of how we do all of these things with complete abandon when we do them for others, as the women on the cover did. 

While going through shelter in place, I felt lost. Team building was out. My mom had just passed, and we couldn’t gather to celebrate her life. My coaching clients were spinning in their chairs. The nonprofits I support were hurting, closing and sinking under the weight of unprecedented client needs. For a few days, I sat on the couch with ice cream and a remote, hoping to find clarity. I didn’t find it there. I found it on my knees. 

When I prayed not to lose my sanity, my business, my health, I heard, with a reverberating cacophony, that I could both survive and thrive. I dug in and found new ways of moving forward, and new clarity for surviving stress.

There were three things I leaned into, that you can lean into today, if the world is not quite the world you want it to be, if you are not quite sure of tomorrow. They are simple, but they are powerful, and I hope they will help you to keep moving forward.

1.      Give. You have a spark, a gift, a talent, a way of looking at the world that no one else does, and I promise you, there is someone praying for that light right now. Find a way to give the best of yourself to as many people as possible. Write a book, bake a cake, run an errand, hold a hand. As you give you will grow, and you will find only the best in the world.

2.     Learn. I am proud to tell you that I now make killer sauerkraut, and I am sure those little probiotics helped us get through spring. When you learn, you show your brain that you are in control, that there are new things to discover, new ways of looking at old problems, and that there is hope for tomorrow. Learn to play the guitar, to identify birds, or to make a mess with paint and a canvas. The more time you take to learn, the more time you have to expand and to thrive.

3.     Achieve. When you set a goal you naturally move towards that goal. When you achieve it you feel powerful, generous and alive. My husband, who is on his feet all day as a carpenter, set a goal to be in the top 3 percent of people his age in a worldwide walking challenge. He walked over 200 miles a month this spring, and it inspired me to walk more than ever before. That’s the beautiful thing about achieving. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the goal. When you move forward you inspire others to move forward as well.

When I look at the faces on this cover, I think of all of the work that they did for us. I imagine that they too found ways to give, to learn, to achieve. That’s how they earned this small honor, and why they continue to inspire us.       

Contributor

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