First of all, thanks to those of you who responded to my LinkedIn inquiry about silver lining(s) in today’s “new normal.” Thank you for your willingness to share your silver linings with me so that I could collect them and perhaps help others shift their focus for today. Maybe, just maybe we can collectively support people in thinking about how they want to show up now and when the lid comes off—when we can shake hands and hug again and when, as some would say, “we can get back to the business of working.” My hope is that your silver linings will inspire others to look for and live into their silver linings now and in the future.

Please allow me to share some personal background with you. I am in the very high risk category for this COVID-19 beast that is making its way around the globe. I have what “they” call “life threatening, uncontrollable asthma” along with a compromised immune system. Needless to say, at the beginning of this pandemic, I chose Fear over Faith. After several days, it began taking its own toll on my body and my mind. Fear is its own disease that began to rob me of my ability to think clearly, breathe deeply, witness compassionately and step forward into the new life we are creating with courage and love. So I began to choose Faith—faith in myself, in humanity, and in the Higher Power that envelops us all (whatever “Higher Power” looks like for you).

I chose a different focus. It is true. Where you focus is what you get. I began to breathe and chose to focus on the silver linings that are showing up everywhere. What is so wonderful about us all as human beings is that we all have that choice. We just have to make it. Sometimes thousands of times a day. Thank heavens many of you are making that choice. By making choices that feed us rather than ravish us, collectively, we have much greater impact for the highest good of ourselves, our families, our teams, our communities and ultimately for the world.

The silver linings you chose to share with me fed my soul and gave me encouragement to continue on this path of moving forward in Faith. Thank you. I am profoundly grateful.

The themes you shared were strong and undeniable. Your silver linings fell into three categories that I pray we continue to focus on for the future: deeper connections with ourselves and others, simplicity and play. Let’s focus on Deeper Connections this week and we’ll look at simplicity and play over the next couple of weeks as part of this three-part series.

Connection matters. It is absolutely necessary for us as human beings to feel like we belong. It is the life breath of our beings. Riding the waves of this new normal require greater, deeper connections and there are so many wonderful ways in which people are creating, re-discovering and embracing those connections.

  • “We are having family meals again. One person whose husband travels every week said to me that she can’t remember the last time they had a family meal during the week together and now it happens every night.”
  • “On a webinar, people were ‘talking’ to strangers offering encouragement and tips to help them work virtually.”
  • “As a family, we are getting to know each other again. We are wonderful people. The laughs, for now, are outweighing the sniping that can happen when we are all cooped up in one place.”
  • “Background noise during a conference call is perfect and real life.”
  • “My morning routine now includes meditation and walks. It feels like I am seeing myself and my surroundings for the first time; connecting to the little things around me like the sun dappling through the trees in the late afternoon.
  • “I am filled with gratitude for our teachers, medical care heroes, grocery store employees, delivery people and time to re-set.”
  • “Connecting with my teams in a totally different way. I have developed a new sense of appreciation for their commitment, compassion and the fact that they have real lives not just work lives.”
  • “Virtual ways to socialize – virtual cocktail parties, game night, family face times.”
  • “I have a new appreciation and gratitude for what really matters – people, the human spirit and most of all my family.”

When life shifts again as the restrictions are loosened, and they will be, what will you do to ensure that the silver linings related to meaningful connections remain alive and well? When the pressure of “making up for lost time” makes its way into our consciousness, how will you exercise personal leadership to ensure that you incorporate boundaries to support this new lovely way of connecting deeply with yourself and each other? How will you ensure that love and compassion remain the basis of your relating and relationships versus becoming covered up by striving and competing and fear? Choose now. Create plans and practices for this now.

Do any of these “Deeper Connections” silver linings resonate with you? Do you have a different one? Please share as a comment below. As I mentioned, next week, I’ll share with you some Silver Linings relating to Simplicity.