Three Thoughts for Thursday – April 2020

I have been running more than usual, going on longer and longer runs to inhale the fresh air and maintain some semblance of sanity in this craziness, to steady my mind and remind me of an important lesson of distance running – endurance.  For me, running is when I process the chaos, and my brain can connect the dots and make sense of things. The run is where I leave my anxious thoughts and energy on the trail and, I find peace and connect to myself, to the earth and air, and to something bigger. On one of my Saturday morning runs, when I typically take the opportunity of the weekend to go a little further, I captured this beautiful sunrise as I ran back to the eastside, across the 520 bridge.

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I’d been meaning to run the bridge since it opened with a pedestrian space a few years back, but then we moved to LA. When we moved back to the Seattle-area,  I wasn’t running the distance needed to get me there and back. Suddenly I found myself able to cover the distance and in need of pushing myself to go a little further. Since this run, I have run the bridge several more times and keep pondering bridges. Bridges connect us and unite us, they span the gaps between spaces and places, between the past and the future, the old and the new.

The world as we’ve known it has changed drastically in just the course of a few weeks. Here we are sitting in the middle of what was and what will be, treading water at best.  I keep hearing people say, “I can’t wait for things to return to normal.”  I keep thinking, I hope we don’t simply run back to the side from which we came, but rather that we have the courage to build a bridge to the other side.  I keep thinking about all that we could learn and take forward from what we’ve seen and learned from both the side from which we came and the deep waters we now swim in to build a better world than the one we were forced to leave.

With this idea of bridges in mind, I encourage you to reflect. What bridges are you building?  What is difficult about this time for you? What do you miss about life before?  What are you grateful for in this moment?  What are you learning that you hope to take forward into the new world beyond the coronavirus? What bridges will you build to get to the new and better future that surely awaits if we dare to build it?

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Quote(s) I am sitting with, pondering and finding inspiration:

“The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow.”

~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges, and the foolish build dams.”

~ Nigerian Proverb

“He that would be a leader must be a bridge.”

~ Proverb

Podcast I’m Listening to:

Pema Chödrön: Dealing with Difficult Times – SuperSoul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey

Born in New York City, Pema Chödrön is one of the first Western women to be fully ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Pema explains how difficult times can be an opportunity for growth and change if you’re willing to embrace the situation and the feelings that come with it. One of the basic Buddhist tenets, Pema says, is that change is constant. “Things are going to keep changing,” she says. “If you’re invested in security and certainty, then you’re not going to feel good a lot of the time.”

Pema Chödrön: Welcoming the Unwelcome – SuperSoul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey

Buddhist nun, author and a pioneer of the mindfulness movement, Pema Chödrön discusses her new book, Welcoming the Unwelcome. Pema reminds us how to connect to our basic goodness. She shares the first thing we should do when things show up for us that are uncomfortable, stressful or hopeless.

Book I am Reading:

The Coaching Habit – Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever

by Michael Bungay Stanier

 In Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can work less hard and have more impact.
Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples’ potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how–by saying less and asking more–you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.

  • Get straight to the point in any conversation with The Kickstart Question
  • Stay on track during any interaction with The Awe Question
  • Save hours of time for yourself with The Lazy Question, and hours of time for others with The Strategic Question
  • Get to the heart of any interpersonal or external challenge with The Focus Question and The Foundation Question
  • Finally, ensure others find your coaching as beneficial as you do with The Learning Question

A fresh innovative take on the traditional how-to manual, the book combines insider information with research-based in neuroscience and behavioral economics, together with interactive training tools to turn practical advice into practiced habits. Witty and conversational, The Coaching Habit takes your work–and your workplace–from good to great.