Fall Back, Embrace Challenges, and Practice Gratitude (2 of 4) | Explore Change to Embrace Challenge
For someone like me, who is highly scheduled and task-oriented, finding gratitude in the unplanned situations of life is really refreshing and freeing. It’s so much less stressful to trust that my days will unfold as they are intended to, without my trying to orchestrate things. And to write about these moments in time at the end of the day as I journal is such a joyful way to reflect on a day that somehow turned out to be perfect, even if what I had planned never got done. What was important for that day took priority.
When I think about how I got into this space called Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, I’m grateful for the hard lessons learned several years ago when I was first starting out. I often felt like I had “fallen back” – regressed, or even retreated, but realized that those times also taught me a lot – about myself and about others and about the work I really wanted to be engaged in! Lessons that helped me to trust my own voice in a way that has evolved over the years into a sense of certainty that my approach works for me and benefits others.
I’m grateful for the affirmations I receive when people say things like, “Your workshop was like therapy”, or “I left feeling so inspired by you”, or, “This diversity class wasn’t what I expected… it was more like a leadership class.” These were especially supportive on those days/weeks/months when I may have doubted myself. I am grateful for the challenges I faced and the people who encouraged me along the journey.
Because of the bumps and bruises along the way, I am even more willing to step into the discomfort and challenge that sometimes comes with facilitating the process of raising awareness with others. It’s a challenge that I’m grateful for because it means I’ve placed myself in the same place I’m asking of those I am facilitating: the place of growing through the discomfort and getting to the other side of knowing. I recognize when people feel like they are falling back, regressing or retreating, and I can offer them the same kind of support and encouragement that others offered me along my own path – the path I’m STILL on! Because DIB work is lifelong! Every day, in as many ways as we can handle.