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Grief and Gratitude

I can’t believe it’s almost December. This year has been VERY interesting. It’s included struggle, opportunity, creative thinking, major life change, and all the emotions that come with these.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving in the USA, a time when we pause to be grateful for what we have, what we’ve accomplished, and where we’ve come in the last year. The holiday usually provides an opportunity to gather with friends and family to celebrate and express our thanks. This year is unlike any other, with a global pandemic is keeping us physically distant, potentially from those we love most.

So in addition to encouraging you to express your gratitude for the good things that have come out of this year, I want to encourage you to verbally express your grief. Grief comes in many shades and colors, from anger to depression, from apathy to obsessive thoughts. We need to be present to what’s in us, and give it space to be expressed.

One of the things that I’ve recently re-noticed is that sharing when I’m not doing well is freeing for me. Last week was a rough week. I was in a state of mild panic for two days, and it stopped my mind from working very well. When I shared what was happening with a few, trusted people, I felt the burden of trying to keep a smile on my face while internally imploding reduce significantly. Noticing what was happening and speaking it out loud was empowering and freeing. Yet I was hesitant because I was afraid of rejection and being shamed for not being able to handle stress.

Naming our grief, that which we’ve lost and has been cancelled, postponed or left behind, is part of being a self-aware and authentic leader. We can’t lead authentically from a deep place of integration without being self-aware and paying attention to the thoughts and feelings stirring within us.

This year has been overwhelming for many of us…in good ways, bad ways, and both good and bad. Give yourself permission to release that which is weighing you down.

If it helps to have a visual, choose to light a candle for your grief and one for your gratitude. Draw a picture and hang it on your fridge. Write out your loss and thanks on a piece of paper and set it on fire (in a safe, legal environment, of course!). Regardless of how you acknowledge it, let’s take a pause to express our grief and gratitude.

Send us an email about what your grief and gratitude looks like at present. We’re happy to grieve and celebrate with you.

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