Last year we learnt that we aren’t in control, that things can change in an instant and – most importantly – that we can weather what life throws at us. This year, we’ve already realised that change is not a sprint – it is a marathon. We need to pace ourselves and continue to adjust our lives to thrive, regardless of the context – be less hare and more tortoise!
Here are 5 ways to help you and yours thrive in 2021, from our friend, Nikki Levitan. They are based on her expertise as a wellness educator and are good for everyone of any age, life stage, gender and experience –
STAY CONNECTED: Reach out each day to a friend. Share something that was good – and also something that was not so good.
BE ACTIVE: Leave the house to breathe some air, look at a tree or the sky. Move your body. Dance! Or try 10mins of Yoga.
TAKE NOTICE: Be conscious of the small things that usually go unnoticed: a nice bath, the smell of home-cooked food, the colour of the sky, a message from a friend that makes you smile. Perhaps keep a gratitude list?
KEEP LEARNING: What do you learn today, that you did not know before? What are you learning about yourself in these times? Join a She Leads Change event or programme to learn more, with others.
GIVE: Your time, love, energy to someone else. Offer support to a shielding neighbour, call a relative you know is alone or a friend who has poor mental health. A little kindness goes a long way and makes you feel good too.
At She Leads Change, we offer both learning and community – please join us for:
LeadMore – a regular dose of expert learning and thoughtful connection every month for anyone wanting to be part of a vibrant, learning community
Leading from Within – a 3month transformative leadership programme, for women at any stage of their journey, wanting to bring themselves more fully to their work and lives, starting 23rd of February 2021.
Leading Collective Impact: a 4month programme to explore and expand your leadership capability – engage the collective in leading transformational change, in diversity and inclusion, starting May 2021.
“IT IS NOT HOW WE LIVE IN THE LIGHT THAT ENLIGHTENS US, IT IS HOW WE LIVE IN THE DARK.” —RUNE LAZULI
Let’s imagine our best possible year and find ways to live into it, together.
There are some poems that give me strength in the reading of them – that help me stand a little taller, move a little easier in the world. This is one…
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Our partners at Pearsonare hosting at free online virtual event – Diversityin Science 10am on 9 July. The aim of this event will be to work towards our mission of supporting science education that is universally accessible, relevant and engaging to all learners.
Diversity drives innovation and science needs innovators. Therefore, we want to build a culture in science education where difference is valued and part of what makes science inspiring.
Passionate about learning and development, Pearson are proud supporters of She Leads Change. We’ve loved working alongside Pearson and are looking forward to their next cohort joining our Open Programme and Collective Impact programme in September.
“I have been given a glimpse of the future and the path I can follow, safe in the knowledge I am making a difference and a change, so world here I come…”– Melanie, Pearson She Leads Change participant
If you’d like to find out more about our upcoming programmes and how we can support you on your leadership journey, join our virtual taster sessions running throughout July.
Wherever you are today, however you are holding recent events – we invite you to take a deep breath out. Perhaps the time taken to read this note could be an opportunity to let go of fear related to uncertainty and to step into a more nourishing space.
We are exploring the following questions – and invite you to join us:
How do I make sense of this?
This is an important humbling experience for any of us who thought that we had control – either individually or at an organisation or systemic level. It reminds us of our limited ability to take action and influence.
We can remind ourselves what is in each of our remit of control and let go of anything outside that narrow space. And yet, paradoxically, narrowing our idea of control could be accompanied by a bigger understanding of that which connects us all, globally. We can realise that our action – or inaction – could free up hospital beds, bring comfort in community, support local livelihoods and stop the death of an immune compromised person.
We are both powerless and powerful. This situation asks us to be more conscious of our own limitations and clear in our universal responsibility.
What does this mean for me?
At worst it could be a time to panic buy, create ‘others’ and isolate. At best, perhaps, it’s a time for reflection and discovering new ways of connection.
It is a time to take care of yourself and that doesn’t mean (necessarily!) chocolate, beer or bubble bath – it means deeply nurturing yourself with the best of clean foods. It means creating space for seeing and acknowledging the positive in this new way of doing things. It means not putting yourself in a compromising situation for your health. It means giving yourself a break from all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ in your life and finding time to refresh and renew to ‘be’.
‘Be’ quiet with yourself, in your most precious spaces and fortify yourself with calls to those who make you smile inside – and those that need to hear a friendly voice. Give up on when/what and if and make friends with the present. Surrender.
How do I best support others?
First, do no harm. Even if you feel fine, even if you’re not in any of the most vulnerable groups – don’t inadvertently become a carrier. Where you can, change your travel pattern – don’t travel unless you are an essential worker.
Don’t judge other people – or their reactions to this crisis. This will mean different things to different people – try and understand the impact from their perspective – an over-reaction to you may be a self-employed single mom wondering how to look after a child taken out of school and pay the rent when her clients are disappearing.
Find ways to help others. There are petitions in support of the self-employed. Lobby your service providers – banks, energy companies and phone companies to flex payments during this time – to support those unable to earn a living.
What can we learn as a society?
In Italy people are singing from balconies to one another. Communities are providing support to the aged. Air pollution is dropping. They say in Wuhan you can hear birds singing, again. We take so many of our social systems and norms for granted.
May this time give us an opportunity to reflect on what works and what doesn’t, what joyful means for each of us and look within for ways to design better societies.
What can we do to make things better, together?
What is it that we can do or create for you to navigate these times?
What do you need/want? Any other ideas of how we can support each other and others?
We have already started our morning Cup of Calm, ALL welcome more info and joining details here. Read more about how else we plan to support the whole community.
Please do drop us a note on firstname.lastname@example.org. if you’re keen to sign-up to one of the offers above, sponsor an idea or support us in delivering it – please do say which one!
Hope to see you on-line soon – meantime keep your hands clean and your heart open.
Our SLC community fairly bursts at the seams with leaders, dreamers, visionaries and pioneers, developing, transforming and leading individuals, teams, businesses and society – all with the heart to creating a positive legacy for our future generations.
One of our current participants has shared a request from Arise – they are looking for ‘ordinary, extraordinary’ speakers – everyday people who are trailblazing change, often quietly and without fanfare and who would not necessarily describe themselves as trailblazers to share at their upcoming conference in London…
Their focus is “on the empowerment of women as leaders and we totally welcome and are inclusive of men as speakers and attendees at this event.”
If you would never normally do this, maybe today is your day! Arise encourage you to step up and join as a speaker – it’s a massive confidence boost and a great experience. We’d love to see some of our SLC community stepping up and into the speaking arena – you lead change every day and your experience will empower others to do the same!