Greetings, may all reading this blog be safe and healthy. May all impacted by the COVID-19 illness be in peace and comfort. May all affected by the systemic challenges affecting income, access, and connection find ease and receive support needed to navigate these uncertain times.
As conversations and coverage of the pandemic have taken shape, I’ve reflected on the “The Stockdale Paradox” from the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Admiral Stockdale was a Vietnam prisoner of war for 7 years. The eponymous paradox Collins wrote about details how despite being repeatedly tortured, Stockdale came out “stronger than he went in.” The paradox goes as follows:
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
“Have unwavering faith that you will prevail in the end and confront the brutal facts of your current reality.”
At its core, this paradox says sustain faith and acknowledge facts. In times of adversity though there can be a tendency to look at faith, also known as hope, vision, belief as being at odds with acknowledging difficult facts or data. Adversity can reveal a tendency to take sides: you are either positive (faith-full) or negative (fact-full). But we are not “either/or” beings, we are whole beings.
Our wholeness allows for different, seemingly conflicting, sensations, feelings, or thoughts to be present within ourselves and within the groups of which we are a part. By recognizing the presence of multiple realities we can acknowledge feeling scared and hopeful. Within a group, someone can be enthusiastic about an idea and another can have doubts. Both realities can be respected as valid and valuable. Our opportunity is to move from comparing or competing between realities and instead we can choose to acknowledge and explore those realities so that we can discover how to work with them. This is my hope for us.
We can hold the multiple realities of understanding the difficult, emerging facts of the COVID-19 pandemic and sustain hope, relentless faith that we will prevail. I have come to believe that prevailing is not something that will happen in the future. Prevailing is a practice happening right now. It’s happening in the way we work with our circumstances. Look at how we are adapting, focusing, and connecting to accomplish what is needed now. We are learning to work with adversity, its losses and challenges as well as its opportunities and wisdom. We are meeting these circumstances with the best of our human being and doing.
My faith in us is grounded in lived experience. I have learned from circumstances in my own life and from the stories I’ve studied of our heroes. Those great stories of human triumph such as Apollo 13, Nelson Mandela enduring 27 years in prison, and the Chilean miners. We are writing the story of our triumph now in the presence of the COVID-19 adversity. I hope that I might offer something in this blog and website to serve you in connecting with the wholeness, creativity, and resourcefulness that already exists within you. I hope to support you, your team, and organization to move through difficult circumstances in life-giving ways.
Here are a few offerings:
1) Pay-what-you-can virtual coaching and facilitation
These challenging times offer an opportunity to discover what it means to thrive beyond circumstances. For accomplished leaders to emerging entrepreneurs, the practices of Whole Life Thriving can serve you to connect with the best in yourself and others as you navigate the realities of your external environment in life-giving ways.
Click here to book a session or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore how I might support you.
2) Individual practice to connect with peace in the moment
During these times in which we can experience disconnection or discomfort, there are practices that help us to center and connect with peace in the moment. To remind us that we are already whole and that we are connected, even if at a physical distance. Here is a practice that you can do individually, with people at home or in a virtual gathering. If you or your group would like to book a live guided session or a recording of this activity, please reach out to me. Click here for “A Centering and Connection Practice” eBook.
3) Team practice for getting virtual meetings off to a good start
Our current environment is making the virtual meeting an essential tool for maintaining relationships and producing results together. This way of meeting can be satisfying and effective if we get off to a good start. Just as with football teams, orchestras, and surgical teams, the warm-up is what determines the quality of the performance. Here is a brief article with tips on how to begin a virtual meeting for effective performance. If your team would benefit from virtual facilitation or a brief professional development segment during an upcoming virtual meeting, please contact me. Click here for “How to Make Virtual Meetings effective eBook.