This week’s edition of Cereal with Hand Poured Milk is penned by my dear friend and colleague, Antoinette Ayers.
Antoinette is an executive coach with decades of experience across industries, a masterful facilitator and coach trainer, and an exceptional connector-of-people (and what a gift that is!).
I like to tease that Antoinette is the "one to blame." It is she who first trained and gave me the language of coaching, turning my eyes towards this next phase of life and reminding me that there is tremendous beauty and promise in the rewrite.
It is she who continues, in her beautifully gentle, re-directive manner, to distill and de-complexify the bigness and scariness of the challenges we all face.
ReImagining is her superpower.
As we close out the Month of Re, I hope each of you is noticing that the floor beneath you feels a bit more stable. We are entering a time that allows for development of relational, slower, closer work; give yourself and others the grace of that pacing.
Keep connecting. It matters.
Don't forget to Chocolate. (ha! just when you think you know me...)
While I don’t consider myself an artist, my daughter certainly is. And I’ve noticed that she has a wonderful, creative process to her sketching and creation of art. It has me thinking about how we might ReImagine what comes on the heels of these unimaginable past 18 months.
She makes it look so simple. Starting with a blank canvas, she spends time in what appears to be expansive daydreaming. Then come scribbles, then sketching and finally – seemingly from nowhere at all – emerge incredible pieces of work! Sometimes colorful, other times pencil, charcoal, or paint…visuals reminiscent of Dali, cartoon superheroes, real people and even nature scenes… I never know what’s coming until she peaks around my bedroom door saying, “Mom, look!”
What stands out most, though, is the importance of time spent deep in imagination before a masterpiece can be created.
For me, this is really coming up as I hear others talking about our collective “new norm.” As we transition “back” – or, more specifically, into what’s next – we all are sorting through what life might look like. I have a tough time resonating with the idea of a new “norm.” Nothing feels normal about what we just experienced: I’m not the same person, and neither are my neighbors, friends, colleagues…
We are not the same. The world is not the same. My eyes have been opened in new and different ways – some frightening and some enlightening. We’ve gained both clarity and appreciation for the complexity of our lives and the world.
One thing I am sure about: there’s value in taking a little time before picking my pencil back up. I’m going to spend time daydreaming, staring at this canvas, and letting my imagination explore and expand on the design I envision. There’s no “right” picture for this canvas called life.
Observing my daughter has taught me the value in taking a little time to ReImagine before diving in to the “doing.”
The concept of ReImagine brings a flair of freedom, acceptance, forgiveness, fun, and adventure to envisioning “what’s next.” Sure, I’ll take stock of my inventory, my reliable drawing utensils and my sturdy, dependable easel; it is reassuring to know those tools we’ve counted on in the past can and will still serve us. Still, I like the idea of starting with a blank slate.
And why not? After all, my eye for the world has changed. This year provided a new palette of colors and replaced a few paintbrushes. I see differently: the colors have changed, a few paintbrushes have been replaced, and the lighting is new. As I take time to ReImagine what I – and we – might create, I’m noticing colors I hadn’t seen before and experimenting with new ways of mixing them I’d never considered.
Rather than holding my canvas in tightly clenched fists as if my future depends on it, I’m following my daughters’ lead: Daydream. Scribble. Sketch. I’m giving myself the simple gift of time to ReImagine my transition, and to envision and create a simpler, rewarding tomorrow.
Here's to daydreaming...
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T. E. Lawrence