We’ve got a new year underway, it's been a big one already, and I’ve got one thing on my mind.
Especially for business owners, leaders, and anyone carrying a heavy load for the sake of work.
Mental health is on my mind for a few reasons:
1. I’m struggling with it.
2. My clients are struggling with it.
3. The world at large is struggling with it.
I wish I could tell you I have solved the mental health “thing.” I haven’t. I was afraid that if I didn’t have it all figured out prior to talking about it, I would be judged as unqualified to be here, in this conversational space with you. I felt ashamed about my struggles.
In the last few days, a deeper vein of truth has emerged thanks to some incredibly supportive people in my life and the privilege I hold to access resources, a privilege I know many others don’t share. (For the sake of focus, I will save my outpouring of thoughts/feelings about white privilege and racial/social inequality for another time).
Thankfully, I feel a stronger, more embodied sense of empathy and compassion rising, for my own struggles post-partum and for all people. A more aware and inclusive connection to what it means to be human.
More humility, more grace, less shame. And no stigma.
I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from high school:
“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.
Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Letters to a Young Poet”
As we live into this big question together — how do we become and stay well as whole, complete people, when we’re up to really big things in the world? — I’m compelled to offer what I can to add to our shared understanding of how mental health and leadership intersect.
Remember, to lead well, we must be taking care to be well, whatever that means for us.
I’m here to help. I’m here to learn. With you and for you.
To (Our) Thriving,