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Ringing in the New Year with Friendship, Strategy and Grace

I spoke to thousands of women about The Policy Circle in  2019, and what I enjoyed the most was learning about the actions that their Policy Circle experience has sparked – from identifying areas of focus for their company across functional areas, inviting public office holders to their meeting, starting a circle with women in their industry, organizing community wide forums, personally meeting with their mayor, signing up to be election judges, to speaking up with facts such as the history of the immigration system in the U.S.  It is inspiring to hear personal stories of women who realize that “the buck stops” with them in their communities.

Each year I identify three words that set the course of my coming year. Last year, they were  Humor, Trust, and Twelve (as in 12-week reset). I can say that I actually lived by those words! This season, I am finding myself yearning to reflect on the three words that I discovered and want to keep in my heart  for 2020. 

The first word is Friendship.  As an introvert, I tend to be withdrawn. The Policy Circle roundtable discussions on complex topics have expanded my comfort zone and taught me how to interact with people differently and engage with them about their experiences, values, hopes and priorities. These conversations spark ideas to pivot and lean into life in new ways. I’ve become a better friend by discovering that friends see and ignite the potential in each other.  Friends lighten each others’ loads through their words, actions, connections and the timing of their check-ins. Friends are authentic, friends help you see solutions when you hit a bump; they are who they are and you love them for that. And to have friends you have to be a friend. I hope your Policy Circle gatherings deepen and expand your friendships.

My second word is Strategy. All my life I’ve felt like an impatient bulldozer. I have been trying hard to become a gardener who thinks ahead, has a vision and is patient. At The Policy Circle Summit, Denise Morrison presented the concept of having a strategic plan for our life with some key building blocks. It is calming to think of life as chapters within which you can plan two moves ahead. Patience enables strategy. Strategy is my word. I am honored to put this word to work for Policy Circle members and friends in 2020.

Over the past few days, I have come to understand the meaning of Grace. A few years ago, my friend Kirsten shared with me the draft of a blog post she wrote about grace for her beautiful blog Hold Loosely Live Freely in which she compares the feeling of grace to floating on a river. At the time I did not get it — at all.  But yesterday she sent it to me again and I understood that grace is a feeling of surrendering — almost joyfully — and accepting that some things happen for a reason to grow, learn, love and adapt.  Grace helps you go with the flow. Sometimes you hit a rock and feel like you are pulled to the bottom, only to find that you are lifted up to swim a little faster. Whatever happens, good or bad, that feeling of inner calm stays with  you. That’s Grace.

Friendship, Strategy and Grace are the words that I want to carry into 2020. What are yours?

Happy New Year,