As the Trump presidency continues to unravel and partisan bickering and policymaking in the U.S. continue to intensify, I’ve lost count of how many times friends, neighbors, colleagues, and clients have expressed their frustration, exasperation, anger, fear, confusion, grief, and disbelief about the state of our country.

Too often in those moments, I’m at a loss for words. I share their frustration, confusion, and grief. I wish I had something profound and hopeful to say, but often I don’t. I want to say or ask something that invites open and explorative conversation – something that encourages broader perspectives and discoveries. These are things I usually do very well. Yet recently when this topic comes up, I become very quiet.

I’m also fully aware that similar conversations are happening these days in many countries, not just in the U.S. Perhaps you, too, find yourself not knowing what to say or what to do.

What I do know is that, much as we would like clear answers and dependable, agreed-upon strategies for moving forward, that’s just not where we are right now. Where we are is messy, confusing, and unsettling. And it’s not going to change anytime soon. In fact, it’s probably going to get even messier, more confusing, and more unsettling in the coming months.

Which brings the question:

How can you best show up –
as a leader, coach, parent, teacher,
or concerned citizen –
when you don’t know what to say
or what to do?


This question has been working on me for weeks. I’ve been asking for guidance in morning meditation, on walks with my dogs, during quiet times alone in the car, and in the solitude of long flights. For some time, it has felt like a message was trying to come through, yet every time I sat down to write, nothing was there. Until now.

In a recent early morning meditation, the following words spilled out onto the journal page.


Stand Tall. Be Love. Shine Your Light.

Stand tall.
Be Love.
Shine your Light.

Be true to who you know yourself to be.
Walk humbly in your strength and speak your truth.
Hold space for others to do the same.

Stretch your awareness for the full picture,
Not just the view from where you stand.
And then stretch again.

Stand in the shoes
Of those who are at risk of losing everything,
Or already have.

Stand in the shoes
Of those whose lives or opinions
You can’t comprehend.

Acknowledge all that you have
And your place in society.
And that it’s not the same for everyone.

Give all you can give.
Love all you can love.

Trust that there is something bigger unfolding
That you may not yet understand.

Not arrogant or privileged trust.
Humble trust.

Say yes to what each unfolding moment asks you for.
You will not always know why.

Say yes anyway.

Trust that you will know
The right moment to speak.
And in that moment, the words will come.

Trust that you will know
The right moment to act.
And in that moment, the next step will be clear.

Until then, remain fully engaged.

Stand tall.
Be Love.
Shine your Light.

This is what you can do right now.
Today, and tomorrow,
And the next day and the next.

You’re all in this together.
Every one of you.

Pay attention and you will find your way.
And so will the world.

~ ~ ~ 

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