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(Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash)

As a leader, you plan and proactively problem-solve daily. Carrying the weight of your company on your shoulders may be a common worry. Receiving a call from an employee saying he or she lost a loved one or is facing some other major life challenge? Likely not.

Despite our best-laid plans, life has a way of throwing things off kilter. Baz Luhrman once said, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.”

For me, the thing that never crossed…


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Photo Courtesy of Writer

The goop came in a six ounce mason jar with my name scrawled in black sharpie on the metal lid. A Post-It note with a clear message clung to the glass.

“Call for instructions.”

Carrying the package inside, I placed the mysterious ingredient on my counter. At the same time, the biggest historical event of my lifetime crept closer from overseas.

In February, I was given a small batch of sourdough starter. A family friend fed and split the mix for the last twenty years. With roots in Alaska, the starter followed her to Oregon, and ended up on my…


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(Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash)

The Importance of Cultivating a Spirit of Thanksgiving During Tough Times

Leaders keep asking me, “It’s been a year, hasn’t it?”

I nod, knowing this year has brought challenges, fears, and frustrations to each of us.

This season of Thanksgiving won’t be the same as years past. Your worries are likely different. No team holiday potluck this year. People are feeling low about missing family feasts. Or maybe they are planning road trips, and you’re worried about people being exposed to COVID-19 over the holiday weekend.

You’re not sure what 2021 will bring, and frankly —let’s say it —this sucks.

When I was fresh out of college, I took an AmeriCorps…


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(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

After Months of Uncertainty, It’s Important to Acknowledge Exhaustion and Take a Break to Recharge

In the course of three hours, I heard of a colleague with a fever, winds howling, and cabins filled with history and family memories turning to ash. The community where I grew up is threatened by fire. Where I live and work is hurting. It was a tough day.

This year unfolded with more tough days than easy ones.

We’ve been breathing shallowly, and washing our hands, and hoping things will shift.

Whether working overtime or wondering where the work will come from, leaders are facing the double burden of caring for both their people and their businesses.

Like the…


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Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

“I think you may be acting out of your anxiety,” someone gently said to me.

“It will be ok” says my husband on repeat.

Hugging myself, I try to create a semi-circle of grace to combat the feelings of self-loathing because yes, these past few weeks, my anxiety seems to be winning.

Being a sensitive person during a contentious election season is hard. Smack on the truth that 900 people are dying EACH day from a virus the government shushes and I want to scream, “How are the rest of you NOT anxious?”

Perhaps you aren’t. Lucky you.

I am…


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Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

After six months at home with limited social interactions, I didn’t think I could look much further inward.

Inward is where I’ve been living — perhaps for the last four years. Grief turned me so inward, I turned inside out. Insides exposed — skin raw, even still. Prickling with the constant bombardment of suffering, of loss, of what it means to have tugging skin as your wounds heal and re-arrange. After four years, I was ready to get out into the world again. And then a pandemic hit.

With news cycles imploding on the hour, and violence bursting across our…


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Photo of Smoke in Northern Colorado taken on my cell phone

The spruce trees sheltering my childhood camping outings burn up into plumes, wandering far from their roots.

Pine needles turn white. Ashes fall.

Landing lightly, the burned remnants smear black, dirty, and dark on parking lots full of cars with nowhere to go.

Hours later wind blows and temperatures drop. Snow falls. Wet, slushy sleet sent to sizzle the flames.

As skies turn from purple haze to a pre-mature, wintery, orange reflection of light, so does my anxious spirit waiting to be extinguished. The world seems aflame.

Embers and ice crystals.

Both exist.

Both forces can’t act alone. When one…


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Photo Courtesy of James Yarema on Unsplash

*Trigger warning* — Mentions sexual assault

I remember the first time the connection between the numbers in my text books fused with the actual people generating the data in my brain.

I was a senior in college waiting for my friend from Sociology class to come over to work on a group project. She was late. Her text buzzed in, letting me know she wasn’t going to be able to come over. She’d fill me in when we could be together again, in person.

I don’t remember when she showed up at my door — maybe later in the evening…


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and this Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

This morning I sat in my home office and rolled my shoulders back before clicking ‘join’ on yet another Zoom call. My posture seems to be suffering, as does my spirit.

As the conversation with a new colleague unfolded, we both smiled knowingly when I said, “Five months really isn’t that long in the great scheme of things.”

March. April. May. June. July.

This creeping passing of time feels long enough.

I hope this season is but a chapter in our lives.

In my experience, there are some chapters that shape us more than others.

I keep thinking of all…


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Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

In my experience with personal pain, the two things I found least helpful were this …

  1. When people said “There are no words.”
  2. When people asked me, “How can I help?”

I’ve sat and watched, while taking sipping breaths, my country erupt with all kinds of emotions this weekend and with each repeat of a horrific video, at each angry response or defensive, violent reaction, or attempt at peaceful protest and I’ve wondered.

How do we continue to hold space for the pain each of us carry?

I don’t know what to say, or how to help, but I also…

Katie Huey

writer, marketer, and administrator who believes healing can be found in the pursuit of beautiful things — www.52beautifulthings.com

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