Dear Why Team members,
I hope this email finds you well and encouraged.
Two weeks ago this morning, my mother was admitted into hospice having battled cancer now for over fifteen years. As I sit here next to her bed, thinking how I might best serve you, I am struck by the realness of this place. Here there is no place to hide. No matter how one chooses to cope throughout their life, there comes a time...
...when connection is all that matters. Over the past two weeks I have been brought to tears several times just by encountering the kindness and caregiving of the nurses here. Imagine your job every day is to take care of those who are dying. Imagine the multitude of emotions shared by the family members as they come to terms with the brutal truth of life.
I'm reminded of the book Good to Great by Jim Collins and how the author discovered that the Good to Great companies were the only companies willing to embrace the brutal truth of their industry and to do something about it. Maybe the call for each of us, to go from Good to Great as individuals, is to embrace more fully the brutal truth of our physical life coming to an end, and to act more intentionally with that end in mind.
My Mom has been far and away my greatest support and my greatest teacher. Even now she is showing me the way. These past two years with her in outpatient hospice, we knew her time on earth was very limited, this kept us all the more effortful toward sharing the things with each other we thought most important. I know it is our way as humans to act as if we will live forever and to often put off those moments of vulnerability to tomorrow.
I cannot urge you enough not to wait. If not today, put into your calendar the date and time you intend to do that which you have been putting off. As the old teaching goes, if you had a week to live, what would you do? What axes would you bury? What love would you convey? Tomorrow is promised to no one and that is what makes today so precious. My mother, these past two years taught me how to live more fully in the moment. I remember just recently, with her strength failing, the appreciation she had for the sun coming through the window. She said, "Look, all I have to do is tilt my head to feel the sun on my face" The birds outside her window were comfort enough and her favorite verse, "Today is the day the lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it".
I know this weeks Why Team Weekly is intensely personal, but is that not the call for all of us? To let down our guard, at times, for others? Why? To connect, to come together, and to be more for others by doing so. I cannot recommend enough to all of you the work of Brene Brown. Please see her Ted Talks - the first on vulnerability and the second on shame - and I highly recommend her book "Daring Greatly". It is among the most important books I have ever read. Our great deficit today, is our fear of failure, our fear of not being enough - this fear does more to separate and impoverish us than it does to bring us together and enrich us.
I hope through my sharing you will appreciate this new day, you have received, all the more. May my Mom's journey and her guidance through me serve you this day and in the days ahead.
For today is a new day to make a difference in the life of another, and no doubt in doing so, you will be all the more glad in it.
Make it a great week,