Leaning into change

by Debra Gerardi

Mendocino coast in winter

Mendocino coast in winter

It it the beginning of the year and one of the joys I have this time of year is the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, former clients, and colleagues. Many of us are just starting to reemerge from the holiday cocoon- that temporary space we create to give priority to family and home. We spend time cooking, decorating, sleeping, eating, hiking- all courtesy of that small moment of permission we give to ourselves so that we can hold our work life at bay and enjoy those things that make our lives feel meaningful and comforting. For many of us, it is difficult to return to the rapid pace, endless meetings and emails, and elongated 'to do' lists that await.

This past year, I have heard from many of my colleagues who have worked in healthcare for a long time that they find their work environments to be so much more difficult than they used to be. The problems seem endless and unsolvable; the direction set by leaders is unclear or constantly changing; and the energy required just to keep up is untenable. At the same time, they feel committed to making a difference and continuing to do good work in spite of the challenges.  I hear a similar lament from others who are just starting their healthcare careers. It prompts me to wonder how we can use our strengths to tap in to the generative energy of change and use it to better ourselves and our work.

Leaning into change...

We definitely find ourselves in a time of great transition in healthcare, and globally. A large shift can take a toll on us as we live out the pace of change day-to-day. With this blog, my intention is to create a space for all of you who are seeking ways to lean toward change and embrace the opportunity for personal transformation that emerges from periods of social transition.

Leaning into change relies on an open mindset- a learning stance that enables us to ask a different set of questions.  Adopting an open mindset gives me access to transformative questions such as:

  • What kind of impact do I want to have in my work at this point in time?
  • What is needed for me to enhance my personal resilience while staying present with my work?
  • How can I ask for help when I need it?
  • What am I responsible for and what work do I carry that belongs to others?
  • How can I bring more of who I really am to my work?
  • What does it look like to be an exemplar and not just an expert?

These questions make me feel energized and more alive just typing them! I hope you feel the same as you read them. Find a question that energizes you and play with it, roll it around in your mind, see if you can use it to lean into change and begin your own transformational journey...

Debra Gerardi,

January 2013

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