The Power of Leadership

Executive Vitality™: Heal the Divide and Heal Yourself

Executive-Vitality: Heal the Divide and Heal YourselfIt has been said many times recently that we are a country divided right now. As November ends and we move into December, about half of us are perhaps content and the other half of us are distinctly unhappy.

Whether you are in the latter bucket or not, there are steps we can all take to heal the divide and heal ourselves. Probably you know someone, even if they are not amongst your closest friends, with whom you disagree on basically all fundamental issues that affect the direction of the country. If that person is a relative, a colleague, a member of an organization you belong to, or some other relationship – that might be a relationship you want to work on preserving. This may be a very good time to reach out to that person and really connect. You may or may not start a conversation about what divides you; use your judgment. Whether you do or not is not relevant to strengthening the relationship through reaching out in kindness. Just practice being kind to someone you disagree with. You will both feel better.

What else can you do to heal the divide and heal yourself? Try volunteering, giving back, giving of yourself to others – whatever you want to call it. Volunteering usually means that the people you are helping are people you don’t know personally. They may also not agree with you. If you volunteer in a thrift store, soup kitchen, hospice, hospital or school, you are reaching across a divide of sorts, perhaps more divides than you know about – but that really is not relevant. The healing experienced on both ends of a volunteerism “transaction” is what counts.

What can you do just for yourself if you need some healing? The answer will be different for each person. When is the last time you blasted music in your home that makes you feel young, silly, and free, and makes you want to dance (like no one is watching)? Physical activity – think endorphins – is important if you are feeling down. You may feel like curling up in a fetal position on the couch – and that is ok too – but don’t do it to the exclusion of physical activity which is good for the body, mind, and soul.

Think about what really matters to you and how you can make a difference – whether that is justice, politics, poverty, education, health causes, or whatever area you are passionate about. Get a plan together to make an impact—no matter how large or how small. Taking action will go a long way toward alleviating feelings of powerlessness or hopelessness. You can create your own power and hope.

What do you need to do to reach across the divide? What do you need to do to retain/regain your positive outlook and efforts to support your own executive vitality?

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