What Meaning Can We Make Today?

Over the last couple of weeks, many of the conversations I’ve been having with clients have led us to an important topic: the ways we are struggling to make meaning today, knowing that our future is no longer something that is promised. 

Of course, the future never is promised, but we all had plans for next year, this summer, and even next week, that we are no longer sure we’ll be able to carry out. Just planning for tomorrow feels like a challenge. As it turns out, a lot of the meaning we make of our lives happens when we set our wonderful goals and work on fulfilling them over time. How do we make meaning in our lives, when we aren’t sure what tomorrow will bring? 

It’s a time of high anxiety and a real sadness for many people, as we recognize the loss of life as we knew it.

Yet, while it can be hard to summon the energy to think about what brings us a feeling of purpose and joy, we still want to feel creative and alive.

So how can we make meaning of our lives today and stay connected with our inner selves, even at this time of uncertainty? 

Here are a few practices that have been gifts for me in recent days: 

  1. Looking for joy in the every day. This was already something I valued, but now that value sits a lot higher for me. 
  2. Noticing the new things I’m learning. As humans, we do need to evolve and that’s part of how we grow. So I’m working on highlighting what I’m learning every day—even if it’s a forced learning, like developing my online meeting skills.
  3. Paying attention to the things that are better in my life today. I know this can be difficult to find on a rough day, but here are a couple of my “better” things: now that I am working from home, and my kids’ schools (and all of our other activities) are canceled, I am not out battling Seattle traffic anymore. Because of this, my life is less hurried, and I feel more present for myself and my family. I am also happy that we are cooking more than ever and eating the diverse, delicious foods I love. 

As a coach, I ask, what ideas do you have for how to make meaning today? What can you do to keep your spark and sense of purpose alive during this upheaval? 

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