Anyone else feeling done with COVID? Just blah and like you're losing hope? You're not alone. But if there's anything that gun robbery, multiple miscarriages and domestic abuse have shown me, it's that we humans can come back stronger.
Throughout the past week, I've given 4 talks to organizations on coming back bigger and better after COVID and people have LOVED it SO much – sharing that they cried with Hope, finally felt Inspired to move forward, and Ready to create, that I want to share the highlights with you. From 40 women online to 500 dentists and hygienists on Zoom, to 250 people worldwide in conjunction with Ecoversity and Columbia University, here are the main points for us all:
1. We are all Weeble Wobbles. When Candy Lightner's daughter died at 13 in a drunk driving accident, no one would have blamed Candy if she had given up on life, become an alcoholic or never come back to life. But in time, Candy got MADD and DID something about it. She created Mothers Against Drunk Driving which has decreased drunk driving accidents by 50% and saved 370,000 lives since its inception. We all have “Candy” in us.
Remember that toy that was shaped like an egg and no matter how many times you pushed it down, it came back? That's the human spirit. Every person I know has been through so much. Many of you have emailed me that you've survived abuse, infertility, divorce, heartbreak, children being sick, and more, and you still get up to feed your kids, take a shower, and go to work. So I KNOW you can get through COVID, too. YOU WILL RISE UP. Just as you have before. Does it mean that you aren't entitled to exhaustion, fear, anxiety and anger? You're human – Feel it all. Punch pillows, scream in the car, call a friend and cry it out. Have a TON of compassion for yourself. Love yourself. All of that is important to feel and turn into fuel because in it all is a big way forward – like Candy.
2. It all begins with HOPE. As cheesy as that might sound, we know from the late scientist C.R. Snyder that HOPE ignites your brain to be motivated and to think of strategies forward. It's literally the great matchstick to spark your goals. Think about it – when you're hope-LESS, you feel HELPLESS and POWERLESS and then you have no way to move forward. But even the tiniest spark of Hope can get you moving forward.
When I suffered my miscarriages, I felt helpless and told Josh I wanted to end my life. But YOU were my spark of Hope. All of you PurposeGirls – all of my coaching clients and EMPOWERED and Goddess on Purpose students – who tell me that I'm like a Mom to you. So I meditated, “Show me what else I”m here to birth…” and the image of women around the world also suffering from depression came to me and my not-for-profit initiative, “Women's Global Happiness Day” was born. For the past 2 years, on the anniversary of the second miscarriage, women have gathered from Abuja, Nigeria to Toronto, Canada, to Singapore and West Palm Beach, Florida — nearly 200 events on 6 continents have taken place. So, as hard as this situation is, in 4 years, what are you hoping to be able to say about how you showed up during COVID and what you did with it? Ignite the Hope within.
3. Repeat “I CHOOSE.” These 2 words are so powerful that I wear them around my neck as a daily reminder. We didn't choose COVID. We didn't choose quarantine. We didn't choose all the chaos and loneliness and hardship. Heck no. But we can choose what we do with it. Someone I know is choosing to research new sources of income. Someone else I know is choosing to homeschool her kids in baking and art and it's FUN. I'm choosing to focus on the excitement of the Baby instead of the grief about birthing him during COVID. Similar to Hope, I CHOOSE is about Mindset. What you think leads to what you feel, which leads to your behavior. So if you think “I'll never get up from this,” you'll feel defeated and not take any action. And action helps with anxiety. So you want to question your thoughts and see if there are new thoughts to choose. Like, “This sucks, but I can do hard things,” or, “I'm tired, but I believe in myself,” or, “I will find a way through.” Each of these thoughts helps you. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes.
When Dick and Judy Hoyt's son, Rick, was born with the umbilical cord around his neck, doctors said Rick would be a “vegetable” and they should put him away for his life. But Dick and Judy chose to bring Rick home and treat him like their other boys. He couldn't talk or walk, but they knew he thought and understood. He got a voice machine and to translate thoughts and told his dad that he wanted to run a race to show other disabled people that they can be alive, so Dick pushed him in the wheelchair for miles. Rick loved it so much that Dick and Rick went on to run many marathons and Ironmans. Rick also graduated from college and they are an inspiration to millions. Dick and Judy CHOSE and it made a huge difference to their son's quality of life. Then Rick CHOSE and it's made a huge difference to the world.
4. Ignite Your Purpose. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and would you believe that I never heard them complain a day in their lives? My grandmother never complained about leaving her wealthy, fun life as a teenager and arriving here in the US with no money, no English and no skills. My grandfather never complained about being kicked out of his last year of medical school in Vienna, losing his parents in concentration camps, or not being accepted by any medical schools here to finish his last year. Instead, they chose to make a great life, to find other paths and enjoy their community and family. My grandfather's purpose was to heal others so he went into Public Health instead. Both of them became active in the synagogue. They made positive meaning of their lives and chose. They taught me to not just survive, but thrive with Purpose. We can, too.
Purpose is being your whole self, fully alive, fully expressed. It's doing all that's in your heart and following your true dreams and desires. It's actively impacting the world in your own unique way. And the beauty of purpose is that according to a 2011 research study, Purpose gives you overall life satisfaction, even when you're having a shitty day. So how do you “find” your purpose? It begins with knowing yourself – getting clear on your inspiration, your joy, your SuperPowers and your Wisdom to share. Then it's taking it out into the world. The women in my Goddess on Purpose class are going through this step by step and they are ROCKING it, this week sharing their gifts in videos. Similarly, the women in my EMPOWERED class just graduated this weekend with SO much purpose – they discovered their dreams of leading women, healing Mama Earth, bringing the feminine to corporate life, hosting events that bring community together, coaching people to get dream careers, and more. They knock my socks off! If you want to know when I'm holding my next Goddess on Purpose or EMPOWERED class so that you can find and live your purpose, email me here to be on the “first to know” list!
5. Create New Possibilities (AKA: Turn Shit into Fertilizer). Most of us have heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but fewer have heard of “Post Traumatic Growth” (PTG). A construct conceived and researched by psychologists Drs. Tedeschi and Calhoun, PTG is what Candy Lightner did, what Dick and Rick Hoyt did, what my client who started online women's events during COVID did, and what my grandparents did: They created new possibilities for their lives. They used the trauma to find new meaning – appreciating life, creating strength and courage, deepening spiritual faith and relationships. The company “Meetup” was created because Scott Heiferman found personal connection so helpful during 9-11. In this way, it's not that we create “DESPITE” our trauma – but “BECAUSE” of it. This is possible for us all and it's the ultimate way to come back stronger, bigger and better.
So what are you learning during this time? What strength and courage have you found? Which relationships have you strengthened? What new possibilities do you see for yourself BECAUSE of COVID?
Listen – do you have any idea how many times I've wanted to give up in defeat? How many pity parties I've held for little ol' me? I get so scared and angry and I grieve loss. let myself have as much Ben & Jerry's as I want! But then, for my own self preservation, I turn it into LIFE. When a friend drowned while with me on Lake Erie and I couldn't save him, my ex-boss' wife said to me, “You poor thing — so many bad things happen to you.” But I don't see it that way. I'd crawl in a hole and die if I did! Rather, I see it all as happening for Purpose – no matter how painful at the time. So you, too, can turn this shit into fertilizer by finding new possibilities.
For me, having an online business already has SAVED us during COVID, having a platform to empower people has given me purpose and aliveness, so in COVID, I've seen the possibility of being even more vocal about Women RISING in purpose. Sharing their talents and gifts. Making money for themselves. I'm convinced it's the way to empower and change the world. But that's me. What new possibilities do you see?
And if you need help with any of this, email me. I'm already booking coaching clients and will have a Goddess on Purpose and Dream Accelerator class after maternity leave. We'll get you on purpose and in new possibilities together!
Finally, if you know of an organization that needs this talk, email us here. We're doing it online and I'm grateful it's changing lives!
So much love,