Thursday, April 16, 2020

April 2020 Quashing Quarantine edition: Relationships, Resilience, Refocusing, and Real Leaders

Greetings one and all, from my home office to yours. April 2020 will certainly go down in history as a month like no other... but admittedly, I fear May 2020 may offer little change? The rest of 2020?

But rather than go dark on you, I'd rather pass along the many HELPFUL and POSITIVE things I've come across in just these past two weeks. In this past month I have virtually traveled to Romania, Bosnia, Kuala Lumpur, Washington State, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, and many places in California. It has been incredibly profound for me to be sharing the same experience with people from all of those places, at the same time! We are all going through so much and it will take us weeks, if not years, to process it all. As you come across valuable resources, PLEASE feel free to share yours with me. If I get a few, I'll post 'em! Here is what is staying with me this week...

Esther Perel Zoom Discussions on Love, Loss and Loneliness during Lockdown. Esther (pronounced Ess-tare!) is a gifted therapist (and her Belgian-French-oui-oui accent is amazing) who is able to give words to so much of what we are experiencing right now. She has a wealth of valuable podcasts, articles and short videos, but what I've enjoyed the most right now have been her Wednesday Zooms. These have been the topics:

Gretchen Rubin WFH Tips. I subscribe to her weekly newsletter and I often find valuable tips, ideas, articles and reflections. Take a close look at the graphic that I have posted next to this. There are some truly useful ideas for how to focus some of your restless energies in productive ways right now.

A housebound world finds solace in Yale’s ‘Science of Well Being’ course. Guilty as charged! I heard about this course on my nightly dose of BBC World News podcast (a practice I would highly recommend as a counter-weight to the frantic newsifying currently available) and decided to give it a go. On the whole, I like it. The lectures are quick and easily digestible, and I wonder if there has been a more significant time (in history?) to think about resilience, happiness, and well-being. So far (I'm on Week 3), I've most enjoyed a resource they suggest using while taking the course: the ReWi app, which provides some gentle accountability related to self-care. I have used it each night to reflect on gratitude, connection, meditation, exercise, sleep, etc. Just do it!

Real Leaders are Forged in Crisis. If I was sitting across from you for a leisurely lunch (I yearn for that day!), I would enjoy hearing how your work life has already changed, and how you anticipate it will be changed permanently by this time. On one level, as an independent contractor, my work life has felt a bit tenuous. After all, "leadership development" might be a bit of a luxury? But for several of my clients, the stress and unfamiliarity of work life as it keeps unfolding has fostered some of the best conversations of my career. People are truly grappling with difficult issues and fears, and I feel fortunate to provide some space for those reflections. 

In light of all that, please do not skip this article. It is challenging and motivating. I love these words from the opening paragraph:
I know that real leaders are not born; the ability to help others triumph over adversity is not written into their genetic code. They are, instead, made. They are forged in crisis. 

Goodie Bag: My Current Coping Mechanisms.

  • Some Good News with John Krasinski. This has been THE BEST. My link sends you to Episode 1, but make sure you tune in to Episode 2. Tears. PS He's putting on a make-up prom for Class of 2020 this Friday. SUCH a great guy.
  • DJ D-Nice livestream dance parties on Instagram. He plays lots of current stuff for the young folks, but oh, when he throws back to Earth, Wind & Fire and the Commodores, I'm in 70's funkadelic heaven! 
  • Takeout food. My housemate and I had an especially bad day last week and we did not want to be defeated by it... so we got rib tips and sweet potato fries for dinner. Do not judge me.
  • Homeschooling during Coronavirus? Quite possibly the best little video I've seen so far. Enjoy.
Again, please let me know what you are experiencing through COVID-19 and beyond. Contact me with feedback and questions at Please take good care.


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