First I want to say thank you for reading my newsletters, for responding when something moves you (haha or makes you angry) and for generally being neat people who share your dreams and goals with me.
Second, I am in a contemplative and questioning mood a lot lately. Certainly part of that is due to having had a baby nearly nine months ago. I think questioning is a result of the miracle of life and of sleep deprivation.
But something has just happened that I just can't get out of my mind. My amazing assistant, Sandy, is in a hospital in Portugal in an induced coma. A motorcycle hit her one morning last week and she suffered some head injuries.
I'm not reporting on this to be a debbie downer or a drama queen. At first I thought maybe those reasons were why I couldn't get Sandy's picture out of my head. But after a little more digging, I realized my constant attention on what is a tragic event was coming from somewhere else altogether.
All I saw was joy and hope and light and love and an almost equal measure of "what is REALLY important to me?"
Let me explain.
Sandy makes everything better. We were skyping (our version of a software scrum) most every day. Baby and I would start our mornings with Sandy. Her smiling face, calm demeanor and ability to follow my jumpy trains of thought make her an invaluable part of my team. She handles all my work scheduling. I was considering giving her my social calendar too! ("Honey, just book our date with Sandy.")
She gives me feedback on pricing and launch strategies and email wording.
And the baby loves her. Every time I get on with Sandy they have their moments of cooing back and forth on the screen...across the ocean. Technology is amazing.
My friend, the incomparable Kacy Paide (fab office organizer if you need one), introduced me to Sandy and we both dream of sharing her full time and going on vacation with her.
When she's not doing an amazing job for her clients, she's making friends and frolicking with her dog Chico and enjoying the sunny dolce vita in Europe.
It is incredibly tragic. And if you are the praying type, I hope that you say many a prayer for this amazing woman and a speedy, full recovery because right now she's been in the coma since Friday May 21 with massive head injuries (the coma is induced by the doctors so that the swelling in her brain will go down) and multiple fractures in her leg.
So what of this joy and light and hope and love?
Sandy's friends and family have posted numerous notes of encouragement on her facebook wall to show their support. There's a public page with updates on her condition.
And I am thinking of her many times throughout the day, mostly with a constant, tugging feeling that all will be well for this shining spirit of a young woman. And occasionally with sadness that this has happened to her. And sometimes with the feeling of: so much of what we expend energy on DOES NOT MATTER. And in light of that, what do I really, truly want to put my energy and effort into?
For me, the answers have been vague... I don't get nearly the journaling/alone time I once did and it often feels tough to deduce what is my soul's yearning in the midst of just-in-time activities that center around my baby girl. And yet, what truly matters?
Here's what I've come up with (for myself):
1. Connection to/communion with the divine. I can cultivate it while "one the run" if I so choose. It's present in my baby's soft skin and sweet breastfeeding time. It's present when Justin and I choose to be kind instead of petty. It's there when I smile at the neighbors on the block. It's in the cool and welcome breeze at the end of the day and in the smile beaming out of a pic of Sandy on facebook. All it takes is presence and remembering.
2. Good food/good hydration/solid rest/decent exercise. Nurturing my body is vitally important. It's my vehicle on this earth, so it's great to treat it with love and respect (after so many years of belittling and abusing it).
3. Love! Hugs and kisses and text messages to those who are in my life by blood and by choice. (or both!)
4. Creation. This one is perhaps the hardest for me right now. Creativity comes in so many forms- we don't have to create an epic piece of art everyday. But for me, I MUST write or paint or dance or sing daily- and that goes back to number 1. Creation is a way to connect with the divine. Our world is generative. We are hard wired to create: ideas, things, people. And so we must.
N.B. Money, stuff, status. None of these are on this list. Yet those are often the things that fill our minds and drive our ambitions. When I stop and think about what truly matters in the face of someone else's tragedy, I want to live my life by numbers 1-4.
Which brings me to today.
I have some questions for you.
1. Will you pray for Sandy? If you (like me) have a mom who has a prayer list at church or otherwise, will you send Sandy's info to her/them too? (details below)
2. Will you ask yourself what truly matters?
3. When you hear the answer, will you act on it?
A deep thank you.
Sandy Leveque was hit by a motorcycle on Friday morning May 21 in Lisbon Portugal. Her sweet dog is being looked after by friends and her parents and brother have arrived from France. She is in intensive care at a hospital there in the city and is still in a very critical state. She suffered extreme trauma to her head and multiple fractures to her leg. She loves: the ocean, internet marketing!, helping her clients, her doggie Chico, and dancing. She is one of the shiniest people I know. Her public facebook ishere