It was a year ago … I was in Chicago, resting quietly in my hotel room – a room I was familiar with, having traveled frequently to connect with clients. The TV was on, and the president was briefing the United States about a new virus. I sensed, almost immediately, that it was something that would significantly change our lives. I called my husband, telling him I thought ‘The Virus’ should be something we should prepare for, and suggested he go to the grocery store for a ‘supply’ of frozen foods and canned goods.
Checking out of the hotel the next morning, I felt the urgency to return home, to be close to my family and find some reassurance or counter argument that what I was fearing was absurd, inaccurate and impossible. That was my last trip to Chicago, and the dark beginning of … fear, anxiety, hopelessness, panic, despair, exhaustion, helplessness and isolation – all of which were palpably present, experienced and amplified in new ways, each day, for the past year.
It was also the beginning of a journey that would bring about a re-set; one prompted by a re-discovery of our best, most magnificent, selves; fueled by the need to re-connect to what matters most; where we re-imagined a world filled with love, empathy, understanding and fulfillment and guided by inspired, intentional, imperative actions.
As I think about this notion of re-set, it feels as if we’ve lived through a year of continuous resets – each day assessing, declaring, acting, revising – masks/no masks, schools/no schools, lockdowns/no lockdowns, airborne/not airborne – the uncertainty and constant change adding to the instability and anxiety of The Virus reality.
There were glimpses of lessons we had a sense we should be learning, and an awareness of how things could be different when ‘this was all over’. But, the struggle to get there would be hard, filled with pain and deep trenches of long held beliefs and behaviors that would need to change. And yet, as we tired from the strain of uncomfortableness and loss, there seemed to be a quiet, collective, commitment to re-set – thoughtfully, intentionally, and with our hearts full and wide open, palpably connecting to the pain of the past, and harnessing the humanity within us, to show up differently in the world together.
How you choose to show up matters. And, 2020 without a doubt, magnified and amplified the impact of our individual and collective choices and actions – the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly – reinforcing the spectrum of choice we have in how we show up.
Through the lens of meaningful change, however, I re-discovered the importance of hope, strength, perseverance, creativity and agility necessary to create a new reality – one better than before where we thrive together … but only if we continue to do the work. Where we are today is not by accident. There is a path forward, one discovered, yes, through grave suffering, but also forged through strength, compassion, commitment and perseverance made real through the magnificence with each individual.
I define magnifi-cence as the ‘quality to magnify the essence or intrinsic nature (that which is within) of an individual or experience’. The magnificence present in the past is the magic of our future. The essence within – love, kindness, encouragement, commitment, empathy, patience, collaboration, understanding – are the strengths of our humanity, re-discovered in each of us in how we showed up, unearthing an energy and invitation to BE essential to each other; to BE an everyday hero, and to BE magnificent, revealing the magic within and re-connecting to what matters most.
Most often when I think about ‘re-connecting’ to what matters most, it’s generally in the context of recalling the relationship something meaningful has to me. And certainly, the isolation, loneliness and separation from my friends and family have re-connected me to the importance of these treasured individuals in my life; prompting new actions, attitudes and behaviors that ensure I make the time and open my heart to accepting others unconditionally and empathically, bringing love, laughter and joy more fully into my world.
Yet, mentally re-connecting to what matters most is merely the impetus to change. Connecting, by definition, is to join, unite, or bring something together. And, in this case, where a universal re-set is beckoning, and a re-imagined existence is clearly exposed, connecting together with a shared vision and intentional action is imperative.
So, as we pull back the dark veil of The Virus, and the extraordinary insights into a better world it uncovered, an inspired invitation is being offered. The universe is appealing to the magnificence within each of us, to bring our best selves forward each day, stepping further into the light of a re-imagined, inspired imperative, experiencing the magic of each individual’s capacity to change a world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diane Rogers is a facilitative, leader with a collaborative approach inspiring individuals and organizations to raise the bar toward the Achievement of New Potentials, together. She has a diverse background, with a history of demonstrated leadership positions across multiple industries, including healthcare, software IT, aerospace and nuclear power. Diane can think big and put the details in place to design effective action plans building trust and respect along the way. With her unquenchable energy, she tenaciously engages stakeholders to join the improvement journey and, along the way, cheerfully nudging the players, bringing them to the same page, to move beyond their potential.