Lessons (re)Learned from Having COVID-19


“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”

– Elvis Presley

Are you well?

I invite you to pause, and really think about that question. Are you well?

I’ve had a crazy few weeks and am happy to share that my family and I have recovered from COVID-19!  I am grateful for always knowing, that while we felt terrible, we were not going to need to be hospitalized.

I am always looking for patterns and lessons in life, and having COVID certainly provided some!

Being forced to slow down was a gift.

My journey in curating my Next Chapter these past five years has been guided by what makes my heart sing, through a growing sense of intention and purpose, and the power of the present moment. And yet, life continues to show me the layers and layers of self-discovery that this mindful and life-long practice creates.  

Lessons (re)learned from having COVID, that you may find helpful in a variety of leadership and life scenarios:

Asking for help, helps ground us in the present moment.  What do you need? What do you really want? Where do you want to give your time, and what do you want and need to release?  When you drop down into your body, and really listen – the answers may surprise you. 

In the work environment, having a situation where you are being ‘forced” to delegate, can reveal creativity, strength and leadership in others. These moments can also be a great way to reveal limiting beliefs and test assumptions about what is and is not possible.    

Part of that practice is to question your beliefs about what “should” occur, i.e. “stop should-ing on yourself!”  For me, I thought I “should” send out a Happy Friday email even though I was sick. My thoughts were along the lines of “In five years, I’ve never missed sending a Happy Friday email out.  I’ve GOT to do it.”   Instead, I listened to my body (I could hardly move!), and determined that I had an underlying false belief (“It is unprofessional to not be consistent.  Everyone will think I’m flakey, etc., etc.”).  I didn’t do the email.  I rested. Nothing bad happened. 😉 Letting go of “should’s” is freeing!

Many of you have heard me share the “What if…” exercise I learned from my mentor.  When facing big decisions or new situations, the impulse is strong to think “What if something bad occurs?”  In some cases, the question is a healthy part of analysis, but if you find yourself suffering, try flipping the second half of your question to the positive.  “What if… something good comes from this?!  What if the opposite of what I believe, is true?”

Having a moment to re-set – whether you create it yourself, or it is forced upon you – is important. Being in charge of our lives, setting intention for how to BE, creating the impact you are meant to have on others, are all part of actively curating our lives of meaning and joy.  And we get busy.  While I was able to keep working from home, it was a wonderful, almost luxurious time of reflection, self-observation and re-connection to what is truly important to me.

Accepting offers of help, is a joyful expression of gratitude. Leadership is not only about caring for others, but also letting others care for us.  This is a new practice for me, I’ve always responded with “oh, that’s not necessary.” I am fortunate to have people in my life who are showing me how to say “yes, thank you!”

Now that I am recovered, I feel an electricity in the air here in Santa Barbara where so many of my friends are now vaccinated, and we at the Symphony are actively planning and producing our concert broadcasts.  There also seem to be many days where the possibilities seem to be in stark contrast to the news of the day; where colleagues are in hospital, or where best laid plans have to once again change due to a new COVID protocol, or where we are just fed up with having to constantly be running scenarios and changing plans over and over.

It’s all part of our new normal, and I am so very grateful to being a part of a team that cares for each other in good times, which creates an ease in knowing how to help each other when faced with unexpected challenges.  I am grateful to my coaching clients, who inspire me every day by your courageous vulnerability to commit to showing up fully as you are curating your amazing Next Chapters.  I am grateful to be a part of a community that helps each other. And, I am grateful to you, dear reader. 

As always, I love hearing from you and knowing how YOU are mindfully curating the life of your dreams. and how these lessons can be applied to your scenario!

To your success,

Kathryn

Next Chapter Coach
Creator of The Career (Life!) Breakthrough AcademyTM

P.S. – This time of year can be challenging if you’re at a Crossroad Moment, trying to figure out what to do, what is possible, what you (really) want, and what you should do next.  If this is YOU or someone you know, I’ve opened up times on my calender to get on the phone for a confidential call.

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