Caroline speaks on the joy of in-person celebrations
I hope you are taking good care of yourselves.
So...is your hybrid schedule as unsettling as mine? I am pretty sure I’m going to start having anxiety dreams where I think I’m leading a workshop or something online and just as I’m about to log in, I realize that it’s actually an in-person event that is hours away.
But the recent in-person events I have been able to attend have been worth every bit of anxiety they may have caused, and have been a much-needed oasis away from all the sad things happening in the world.
Our Body Politic Event
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a small fundraiser for journalist Farai Chideya’s podcast, Our Body Politic. I wrote about my own experience of being on the show in my March 2022 post.
Our Body Politic Event
Even though the event was outside, I felt out of practice walking up to strangers to chat. Instead of feeling the fear of missing out, I sat back next to two people I knew and simply enjoyed the scenery of the NYC skyscape in the beautiful May weather. Seeing this buzzing hub of smart individuals dressed in beautiful going-out outfits, talking, laughing, and connecting made me so happy. I also took in Farai’s featured conversation with Bill Whitaker of 60 Minutes. He said, (I’m paraphrasing here..)
“Nowhere in the annals of Black American history did it say, 'and then they gave up.' ”
That’s right, I said in my head, then I wrote it down in my notebook to keep me inspired during this crazy time.
To support Farai and Our Body Politic's work of uplifting women of color and double-clicking on truly important things, you can do that here.
Meeting my Chief Core group in person
Another event that made me feel so happy was a special birthday celebration of a member of one of my Chief Core groups. Chief is a private network of women executives that aims to bring gender parity to the C-Suite. I have two peer groups I facilitate as a Chief Guide. One such group of senior VPs and I have met seventeen times for two hours each over Zoom since October of 2020. I finally got a chance to meet a few of those members in person recently, and then one member, an amazing nonprofit leader, threw herself an all-out 60th birthday party to honor and celebrate with 60 women in her life. She invited our whole Core group and most of us were able to make it in person.
We know this leader to be a woman who serves everyone and never does anything for herself, which made this event even more special. Calling it a wedding she never had, she lavished the guests with beautiful food, vacation music, and thoughtful gifts in a total COVID restriction-compliant event. We all laughed so much, danced in our seats (some did not stay in their seats but I was busy eating), and sat there looking around at all the women who love her and just felt so much joy. Another Chief member said with a smile, “This is how it’s done.”
Her mother even got a standing ovation from everyone in the room. I was so inspired.
Podcast: Coaching Real Leaders
Speaking of Chief, my fellow Chief Core Guide Antonia Bowring recommended Coaching Real Leaders with Muriel Wilkins, a Harvard Business Review podcast, and it’s very good. I understand that these one-time sessions are probably edited for clarity but still, I love how the coach Muriel Wilkins doesn’t get wrapped up in too many details and cuts straight through to the core issues where the clients may be holding themselves back from truly flourishing. If you want to learn from other people’s leadership challenges or are just curious about what good executive coaching sounds like, I highly recommend it. I’m still working through the three seasons but here are four episodes that I recommend.
Before I go, there is one more thing I want to say. This month, my children’s small school community is reeling from the sudden loss of a young person who has been dealing with mental health issues and ended his own life. This week we are all shocked, yet again, by a mass shooting and the murder of innocent children and educators in Texas. Our hearts are broken.
For times like this, I have a group of wise women I turn to who always know what helps. In our email conversations, one shared, adding she had seen it on a letterpress,
“I see your grief and I offer my love.”
I love the simplicity of that. It’s a good place to begin. I’m holding my kids close and offering my love and support.
As always, I cherish your response to these notes. Please write back and let me know what you are up to! Wishing all of us a happy start to summer 2022!