The best-laid plans…
I started off 2020 with what I’ll call Plan A. I was filled with excitement and anticipation about finally launching my business as a certified life coach and Warrior Goddess Training facilitator. Everything was coming together for me to step out of my comfort zone (I’m a “gregarious introvert” on the MBTI scale) and walk my talk about sharing skills I’d learned to empower women to reach their highest potential. I was focused, I was motivated, and I was ready!
Plan A included holding a free, in-person pilot of the Warrior Goddess Training workshop with a few close friends on March 15, 2020. I wanted to gain experience presenting the material, as well as get honest feedback on ways I might improve. Everything was in place: the venue, notebooks, pens, copies of the Warrior Goddess Training book, and orders for the free lunch I was providing. I’d spent the previous three months practicing my delivery, and I was as ready as I was ever going to be.
Plan A also included a month-long trip to Hawaii, beginning on March 20. A dear, Honolulu-based friend I’ve known for many years – someone I consider “my brother from another mother” – had given me a generous makana (the Hawaiian word for gift): a chance to launch my business on Oahu by introducing me to various women’s groups in his network. This would allow me to meet with them in person, rather than via email, text, or phone.
I also was going to visit my family and friends in Hilo. In addition, I was going to be there for the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, about which I’ve always been passionate! Needless to say, I was feeling elated and extremely blessed. I had my airline tickets and rental-car reservations, and I was ready to go.
And then came COVID-19.
Life in the time of pandemic
Social distancing and sheltering in place brought Plan A to a screeching halt. I was forced to cancel my pilot workshop, my flights, and my car reservations. There would be no networking opportunities on Oahu, no time with my family, and no Merrie Monarch Festival. I tried to process what this meant for all the time, effort, emotional preparation, and anticipation I’d invested in Plan A. At first, I assumed the pandemic would be over by summer’s end, and I’d be able to pick up where I’d left off, so I could pause and enjoy some of my other hobbies, such as cooking and reading.
As time went on, though, and it became apparent that the novel coronavirus wasn’t going to disappear in the foreseeable future, I subconsciously slipped into a state of inertia. I began to second-guess myself and question my ability to make a difference. What was the point of even trying? I became consumed with self-doubt, slipping back into the old, negative agreements I’d made with myself that I was “less than.”
Eventually, I realized I needed to lean into my own life-coach training and re-focus on the goals I’d set for myself. I had to get unstuck! Another dear friend reinforced this by reminding me to remember who I am. As a way of centering myself, I’ve always envisioned myself where I was born on the Big Island of Hawaii, standing atop Mauna Kea (the tallest mountain in the world, when measured from its base at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean) and sinking my feet deep into its core. Keiki ‘o ka ‘aina (child of the land), tap into that wondrous energy and fill me with the confidence to imua (move forward)…
As the pandemic spread around the world, and the days of sheltering in place turned into weeks and then months, I noticed an increase in the negativity, hatred, and unkind exchanges between individuals on social media, which already had been bad enough. The toxicity was palpable and discouraging, and I often felt the need to take breaks from its bombardment. Longing for positivity, I became determined to find ways to put joy back into my days.
I soon came across wonderful, interesting articles that did just that. I encountered individuals who were doing positive things, despite having to deal with the reality of COVID-19. I became inspired by how they were adapting to the “new normal,” and I found myself looking forward to discovering others like them. They became lights in my world! Then came the epiphany: I could add to the positivity by sharing my discoveries with others.
Plan B: “Follow the Light”
So here’s my Plan B – and I’m excited to share it, because I feel that we need more kindness, positivity, and joy in our world, and we need to have the courage to move it forward.
First, I’ve decided to write a blog that, each week, will feature one of the individuals whom I consider to be lights and why I feel this way about them. My hope is that, by highlighting their contributions to what’s positive in the world, this awareness will have a ripple effect in spreading joy. I’m calling my blog “Follow the Light.”
Second, because of the lights I’ve encountered, I’m motivated to revisit the Warrior Goddess Training workshop and convert it from an in-person format to an online format. Once I’ve presented the pilot, received feedback, and made any necessary updates, I’ll launch it on my Koa Leaf website. Making it available online will enable me to reach more women than I would have by only offering it in person.
Third, I’m looking forward to doing one-on-one life coaching with women who are seeking ways to reach their full potential. I’ve learned through my own life experiences about the many challenges women face in navigating work/life balance, self-care, old “tapes” that play in our minds and sabotage us from finding joy, and so much more. I’ve acquired skills to overcome these challenges and would love to share them with others.
I’m ready to implement my Plan B and hope you’ll join me on this journey to follow the lights in our world, learn what it means to become a Warrior Goddess, and take the time to invest in yourself and find your voice and true potential.
My new mantra comes from an inscription found in Anne Frank’s diary: Soit gentil et tiens courage. (Be kind and have courage.) Anne continues to be a light. We need to follow more like her.