PEACE & Gratitude from PINKK
It is the Christmas Holiday week and today is the first day of the winter season and is the winter solstice. That means today is the shortest day of this very long year!
Now is the time of year we CELEBRATE with our family and loved ones. This year may be a different kind of celebration for so many of us. No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday season I hope we all can take the time to be grateful in the moment. I know so many of us (me included) are happy that 2020 is coming to an end. That is inevitable and impermanence is part of our journey, so let's take the time to be present for the moments we cherish and then put energy into a positive 2021 as we wrap up this year and enjoy the holidays just ahead of us right now!
As is the PINKK practice, we each choose our own one word to share as to how we each are showing up in the world. GRATITUDE is so key and this is what has got me through this year. Now as we wrap up 2020 and celebrate I want to add one new word for all of 2020, that I will build upon for 2021, and one that perhaps encapsulates, in a deeper sense, the shared experience of billions of people this year. That word is “resilience.”
“Resilience” is my word right now for 2020 because resilience is the quality that was summoned in us by all the challenges of 2020. And it’s also the quality that’s going to carry us forward into 2021. We needed it and still do!
Resilience is often spoken about in terms of navigating or simply getting through challenges. But the key part of resilience isn’t about bouncing back, it’s about bouncing forward. It’s about using adversity as a catalyst to get better and become stronger.
Of course, we’ve always needed resilience. But what we’ve learned in 2020, at both the individual and collective levels, is that at a time of so many losses and such deep uncertainty and anxiety, we simply can’t do without it. As I talked with a dear friend she said, "Okay glad you are positive about 2021, but what is going to make 2021 suddenly so much better as you seem to think? My father is still gone from this earth and due to Covid I did not get to say good by, and my business is gone and ..."
It caused me to pause and reflect as our challenges just won’t simply end when 2020 and the pandemic does. But we will find ways to get better together if we choose to do so. Also, when we are all focusing on and intending for positive change collectively and more powerfully together and looking to new beginnings there is an energy shift. The year ending will not bring back our losses of loved ones, financial losses or business losses or magically give us back good health (mental and/or physical) by a turning of the calendar page, but we can resolve to do better, get better and love more and spread more kindness. To do that we need resilience.
Resilience is our immune system for the inevitable ups and downs of life, allowing us to tap into deeper resources in ourselves we didn’t even know we had, not just to overcome the obstacles but to be transformed by them.
The power to build resilience is within us; just as we can learn other skills through practice, we can teach ourselves to be more resilient.
As Stoic philosophers have taught us again and again, while we can’t control what happens in the external world, we do have control over our inner world and how we respond. For Epictetus, this meant that “men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by the opinions about the things.” In other words, do we see crises solely in terms of the havoc they have wrought, or also as opportunities to get stronger and grow? I know personally there were teachable moments in 2020 that I could have responded with more kindness (or perhaps better to have not responded in the moment at all) and I also know that I can and will just keep trying.
This has been a tragic year for so many and a year of setbacks— a year of so many losses and so much grief. And yet, what the science and wisdom of resilience show us is that, as horrible as this year has been, the long-term impact on both our individual and our collective lives as a society is not predetermined or fixed. It's no coincidence that the group of people whose lives were shaped by the Great Depression and World War II were branded The Greatest Generation.
Also I was reminded by another dear friend that when the Spanish flu pandemic happened in 1918 we then had the roaring 20's! Indeed! I then built upon that and commented that perhaps we have learned from all of this and instead of repeating what followed with "the crash" we know what course to take to keep us going on the right true path. As humans we love pleasure and I know that once we are "set free again" we will prosper! We will be grateful for what we have missed so much - for most of us that is just missing each other and grateful for that simple and so missed hug.
This has been a year in which we’ve learned what we need and what we don’t need, what adds value to our lives and makes us stronger, and what depletes us. By tapping into those parts of our lives that many of us were ignoring or not tending to before this year, we can nurture our resilience and create a new way to live in 2021 — one that’s not simply going back to the pre-pandemic status quo. I keep hearing about just getting back to normal. I am not a fan of "normal" and that sounds so "judgey" to me so I say to get back to what and how we want to show up and live that is for the better in all of us - based on what we learned, It’s our resilience that offers us a chance at true transformation, allowing us to go deeper, connect with what we truly value, grow and expand.
It’s a common refrain to want to say goodbye to 2020. But our goal should be more than to just get through 2020, which will pass no matter what we do. In the book The Art of Living, by Thich Nhat Hanh in a passage and spiritual practice he titles Re-envisioning Garbage he says
In the garbage, I see a rose
In the rose, I see compost.
Everything is in transformation.
Impermanence is life.
Perhaps 2020 is the garbage year and within garbage of 2020 there was a rose or two for you? We found our PINKK roses this year with our virtual events and seminars and webinars our casual zoom PINKK Power Hours and super PINKK Pods and our second annual (and first virtual)2020 mentoring program! Again lives were changed for the better and we persevered and actually thrived in so many ways!
With all the issues we offered our events and mentoring program all FREE to members and to to anyone in need.
We wrapped up 2020 with our Annual Holiday Kindness Luncheon virtually of course. Befitting with 2020 we had an earth tremble experienced by our wine sponsor in California during our luncheon, perhaps simply to remind us we cannot take anything for granted, even the earth. THANK YOU again to all of our sponsors and community support: #VENeffect, #CommonThreads #TheChoppingBlock #FamiliaKitchen # Dineit4ward #EqualityVines #Sarah'sCircle #Mysocialsherpa and ALL who joined us and supported our community of kindness!
We are grateful to all who showed up in 2020! We all know (thankfully) the new year will inevitably come, but what kind of year will it be? What lessons will we carry with us to shape it into a year of hope and possibility? How will we have been transformed based on what we have experienced? That is up to us. And the more we summon and strengthen our resilience, the more we can bounce forward into a new and better year.
At PINKK we are creating a thoughtful 2021 for our community. We will be back early next year with our 2021 plans in PINKK style filled with powerful purpose and kindness and new knowledge gained collectively in the past year. My heart is open and ready to start the holiday week. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
With kindness and powerful resilience,
Athena and the PINKK community
STORY TELLING and KINDNESS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!
If you need a holiday gift our book can make a great stocking stuffer!
Proceeds go to PINKK programming so please consider purchasing and supporting our community. We donated to local area libraries and a few book stores in 2020!
FLYING BY THE SEATS OF THEIR SKIRTS
Have you wondered how your personal story can affect and inspire others? Flying by the Seats of Their Skirts is a collection of stories from real women that do just that. Inspire someone new this year!