I am loosing the count of days... 10, 20 ...I think it is 20 days since I have been self-isolating. I still remember my last ski run.
So much has changed in that time. I wake up every morning, smile thinking I am waking up to my old life. I used to love my old life - I had spent years optimising both life and work. And then I remember that I am doing something else right now. That we are all doing something else right now.
So how are you all doing? Where are you all at? How are your loved ones? How are you all adapting to all of this?
Recently someone ended their email to me by saying ‘rest well during this period’. I was puzzled at the different experiences we must be having(!) I haven’t quite got to the rest point... It's been long days... none of it paid work... simply following what I know I must do...
I have spent the last two weeks on the phone, from 8.00am until 1.00am - on any of helping people pivot their business, supporting some to get their heads around what is happening, being there for those that are now sick and are scared and getting organised as a family over three countries to be able to eat and get any care we need.
I have been involved in lifting three projects (in a week) that can really make a difference now. One to support local businesses by buying vouchers we can spend later to help them sustain cashflow. A second one on getting a community of visionaries, disruptors and innovators to hack the new challenges facing the medical community - starting with the supply of the equipment they need. And finally getting a system of support within our village up and running for those at risk.
Why I share this...
As the life you know disintegrates, you can feel out of control. It’s vulnerable. It’s hard. You feel powerless. I had some heart wrenching days when I realised that 8 members of my family were already, or getting ready to be, on the front line - as doctors and nurses. 8 is a lot for one family. I also had a lot of fear come up as I saw the business leads I had carefully nurtured over the last few months suddenly disappear.
The change process is doing its thing... the realisation of what this new reality actually means hits little by little... Everyday a cocktail of new emotions bubbles up to be digested.
How to navigate the change process is for another post. This is what I would like to say for now...
Be gentle with yourself, be kind to you as well as to others as this whole thing unravels. It’s big for us all. Slow down... Take time to sit and process what is happening. Don’t bypass - be there for yourself in a loving way.
And at the same time, decide who you are going to be through this whole thing.
I remember once a trainer explaining that there were three types of people who attended trainings: participants, passengers and prisoners. This applies here too. You can be a resentful prisoner or just a disconnected passenger. Or you can be a conscious participant - where you take responsibility for the part you can do.
I can’t stop the fact that the members of my family are going to war - especially as a number of them actually volunteered to come out of retirement (even before they were asked) to help.
But I can leverage my network and inspire leaders to step up - to make sure that doctors and nurses have the protective equipment they need.
I can use my social media following to get the messages across to the general public that will give medics a fighting chance. I now ask my family what messages they need me to get out there for them.
I can be brave enough to take on the dissociated cynic who say it’s just the flu.
I can take a stand so that the unconscious socialite who has just met up with his mate from Northern Italy the day before the lockdown does not go visit his mother the next day. (true story!).
I can’t stop the businesses in my community suffering.
But I can order food from the local restaurant who has pivoted to offer delivery. And maybe do that more often than usual.
I can help the businesses I know and love get online. Or call them, buy something from them and get them to post it to me.
I can offer to pay my beautician now for that pedicure I will have when all this ends! Or, as one of the people in my programs did, add up how many cups of coffee he would usually buy in a month. And go and give that amount as a donation to his local coffee shop.
I can contact the local farmers and see if they deliver vegetable boxes and if they don’t already help them get organised so that they can.
One of my favourite quotes of the moment is ’and without warning our focus on things faded and all that really mattered was what kind of human we decided to be.’
Says it all really...
The writing urge is back...to be honest I am not sure if it is for yours or my sanity... but what is for sure is that you will be hearing from me regularly.
Until Next Time,
Louise Le Gat is a Next Generation Leadership Catalyst and Advocate. She supports Leaders to become the Visionaries, Disruptors and Change Makers who are building the sustainable world of tomorrow.
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