Updated: Jul 17, 2018

I've been thinking about "my why." What is the reason I do the work that I do? Recently, I heard about about Simon Sinek and I've appreciated the opportunity to reflect on this a bit. It makes sense to me that if we tap into our why - the true, deep reason that we do what we do - we can create connection and inspire others.

My why is this: I have become very comfortable with discomfort. That is the basis for the work that I find most fulfilling. It wasn't always this way. In all honesty, I lived a large part of my early adult life burying my feelings. That created huge disharmony for me internally. Outwardly, there was calm, but within myself, there was great suffering.

When I eventually gathered some extra strength and courage, I was able to peek inside at some of the 'hard' emotions. With Brene Brown's help, I learned that we can't truly feel joy and love while, at the same time, block out hurt and sorrow. We need to be open to feeling it all; we must become vulnerable. Slowly I learned that feeling the pain - I mean really (!!) feeling it - was something I could survive and from there could grow and thrive. And then I began to learn about mindfulness.

Mindfulness helps me:

- notice what I am feeling in my body, and allows me to pause and have more choice of responses;

- get out of the stories I am creating in my head and realize that not everything I think is reality;

- understand impermanence; nothing stays the same because change is constant; and

- slow things down, be in the present, and feel grateful for this very moment (whatever it is).

Most of my work is in the areas of transition, loss, suffering and grief. I am no longer afraid to face these experiences. In our society, we receive many implicit and explicit messages about these topics; and they often include a level of inherent discomfort and the feeling that we should keep things private. But, this is the human experience! There is so much power in recognizing our common humanity; we all encounter these truths.

I have learned that there is great liberation in sharing our own truth, in bearing witness to another's suffering, in accepting one another, and in making meaning of the many life experiences that we encounter. I hope to continue to share myself, and inspire others in their journeys, and appreciate the growth from that vulnerability, authenticity, and connection.