When a part of life that has given us joy is shut down, we’re not just grieving that thing (e.g. the job, relationship, health, the ability to have coffee with friends); it’s the energy and emotion that resulted from that activity that we crave. Of course we all miss the freedom of mobility during a stay-at-home order, but I bet that we each have a very specific “miss” list based on what makes us thrive in more normal times.
Our inner talents, ambitions, and hopes have a way of finding a path when the one in front of us is shut down. I had a client who loved managing others, and when moved to a job where he didn’t have direct reports, ended up coaching little league baseball. He had a fundamental desire to invest in the growth of others; when his “day job” didn’t give him that daily opportunity, he found other avenues to direct his natural talent.
Is there a part of you that is feeling restless? That unsettled feeling may not be a sign of anxiety or worry; it could be the bubbling up of talent itching for a new outlet. Two months ago I was spinning, missing my team facilitation and public speaking work that came to an abrupt stop in mid-March. Once I harnessed the desire to communicate into writing (versus speaking), an entirely new mode of connecting with others opened and my creativity was able to run again.
For whatever parts of life that bring you fulfillment but have been put on hold because of the coronavirus, find another outlet for that passion to soar. Your gifts are needed more now than ever. Whatever your “horse power”strengths may be (e.g., creator, educator, problem-solver, manager, caregiver, etc.), find a track where your talents can still run free.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Crisis can be the mother of nurturing new parts of ourselves when one part of life (health, work, lifestyle) is disrupted.
Remember, WHO you are has not changed; but HOW you do your work in the world most likely has. Stay focused, leaning forward, grabbing the reins. You may have to find a new path, but you can keep running a worthy race.
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