As I head into week three of working from home and sheltering in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am so grateful to work for a company and have a job that lets me easily work from home. Aside from the inconvenience and heartbreak of missed events, I know that I am blessed not to have financial worries on top of health concerns. Not only that, but my company, Solana, cares deeply about our employees, our customers and the people they serve. Last year, they partnered with Diana Patton, a truly inspirational woman. We each had two, one-on-one coaching sessions with her. Her focus for each of us was on emotional intelligence and empathy as a means to inspire innovation. While I have always felt like I am an empathetic person, she helped open my eyes to ways I could be doing more and work on me so that I could be a better advocate for others.
As you know, life happens and while initially I began to focus on doing just that, I became lax and content to spend my evenings watching Netflix and playing Wordscapes on my iPhone. This past week, my company gave us the opportunity to mee with Diana again. I seized on that opportunity had an uplifting session (via Zoom) with her where she reminded me to not igonre the voice inside of me that wants to speak out. She encouraged me to do what I do best -write. Her words of wisdom to me in her follow up email were:
Now is the time for you TO ALLOW your inner HERO to come out. You have great things to share and I SAY WHY WOULDN’T you just go for being you. Here’s what I know for sure: When you start caring less about what others think about you, and start caring more about what you think of yourself, your true potential can be set free. That’s a fact. So, let’s make this happen. “Diana Patton, Founder and CEO of the RISE program.
The last time we met she recommended writing a personal manifesto for myself. I spent a lot of time drafting and refining it to reflect me. I try to read it often to remind myself of who I am and who I want to be. So, I am going to lean in to my inner hero, be a bit vulnerable and share part of that with you. May it inspire you as this virus forces us all to slow down to reflect on who you are and who you want to be. Thank you Diana!
My Mission Statement
To advocate for others, love myself as I am and inspire kindness, empathy and both/and thinking through my writing, actions and interactions with others.
My Top Five Values
- Family – I value connecting with and spending quality time with my daughters and boyfriend as well as our families and friends.
- Creativity – I value spending quiet “me” time reading, writing, gardening, walking, taking/editing photos or working on some other creative project.
- Integrity – I value meeting my commitments/deadlines and keeping promises.
- Peace of Mind – I value having a sense of “order” in my life (bills paid, house clean, laundry done etc.).
- Making a Difference – I value helping others, being kind and generous and inspiring others.
My Core Beliefs
- Strive to be more, but remember I am worthy of love as am I in the moment I’m in. #iamenough
- Personal boundaries are a must for healthy relationships. Speak up when they are crossed.
- Focus on helping others, but not to the detriment of my wellbeing.
- Ask for help when needed. Needing others doesn’t make me less.
- Be generous and trustworthy. Keep promises. Don’t say “Yes,” when I want to say “No.”
- Words and actions should match each other.
- Lift others up and reach out when someone is struggling.
- Respect others’ time. Be on time or let others know when running behind.
- Listen before speaking. Try not to be quick to offer advice unless asked.
- Treat people with kindness and do not take things personally. Refrain from name-calling and defensiveness when someone disagrees.
- Equality does not equate to equity. Stand up for those less fortunate and use privilege to help others.
- If two people love each nothing else matters.
- Diversity makes the world a better place.
- Go on adventures, be curious, continue learning and don’t be afraid to leave my comfort zone to try something new.
- Experiences are more valuable than things.
- Family and friends are more important than money.
- Determine whether a purchase is a “need” or a “want” before buying. Impulsive spending depletes savings quickly. Having savings is important for rainy days and peace of mind.
- Embrace vulnerability. Live authentically. Don’t let what others think change who I am.
- Worry solves nothing. Beating myself up over past mistakes and obsessing over the future do not change what I can’t control. Live in the moment. Forgive past mistakes. Plan for tomorrow.
- Taking a deep breath, going for a brisk walk and knitting help calm me down when I’m having anxiety.
- Quiet time helps me recharge.
- Comparing myself to others serves no purpose. Judging others is unproductive. Everyone is unique and valuable in their own way and so am I.
- Black and white either or thinking leads to polarization. Multiple ideas can be valid at the same time and can co-exist. Both and thinking creates harmony and inclusiveness. Being right at all costs will leave me lonely.
- Make good food choices and take time for personal development. Exercising, meditating, journaling, reading and active selfcare lead to a healthy body and mind.
- Resist “googling” symptoms and test results before talking to my doctor. Doing so leads to worry, which solves nothing (see above).
- Limit social media and news consumption. Reading and responding to negative comments saps my energy. I won’t change minds here. Take action in other ways to make a difference.
- The Earth is a gift with limited resources. Take care of the environment so that future generations can walk in the forest, swim in the ocean and breathe fresh air.
- Put things back where I got them and clean up after myself. A tidy space makes me happy.
- Religion isn’t always truth.
- God is love.
- Fear is the enemy.