September 16th is always a special day of reflection for me.
On this day in 2007, I almost died when I accidentally crashed my motorcycle into a telephone pole. My injuries were so severe that the doctors at Mass General Hospital were not sure if I would live through the night. I was in a medically induced coma for 6 days.
I was 29 years old. (I’ll do the math for you: I’m 44 now.😉)
So much has transpired since that day….many, many good things, and many, many not-so-good things. I can tell you that nothing about my professional or personal journey has been traditional or linear. I have checked just about zero of the ‘right’ boxes and I’m certain that from the outside the path of my life looks more like it was drawn by a hamster with a broken spirograph than any sort of indicator of upward trajectory.
Interestingly, this has become my biggest asset.
I always follow my inner voice and don’t settle for what other people think is ‘good’ or ‘right’ or ‘true’ or ‘should’ be.
This allows me to see other people for who they really are underneath all the layers of ‘good’ or ‘right’ or ‘true’ or ‘should’ that have been foisted upon them by others throughout the course of their journeys. I help them shake off all of that and tap into their inner wisdom, inner strength, inner grace, and gratitude, and creativity and excitement. And then I help them figure out how to communicate that with the world around them.
Sometimes, that looks like refining an investor pitch.
Other times, it looks like speaking up in a meeting.
Sometimes it looks like having a difficult conversation with a loved one.
Other times, it looks like asking for more resources or stepping more fully into leading a team.
A lot of times, it looks like learning how to break down tasks, build a new system, or make a better plan. (It’s interesting that so many people don’t realize how much basic planning and problem-solving skills significantly impact the ability of a team to communicate effectively. But, I digress…)
Occasionally, though not as much these days, it looks like conquering a fear of singing and taking up space in a whole new way.
*Always*, it looks like helping people feel safer and more comfortable in their own skin, in their own thoughts, emotions and experiences. It looks like helping people get comfortable with looking around at the uncomfortable sticky parts of themselves (and the world), as well as getting comfortable with acknowledging and celebrating their golden parts, too. Which, weirdly and unfortunately, is usually more difficult.
Anywaaaay, on this, the 15th Anniversary of the Day Samantha Whitehouse Almost Died, I offer you this:
This is your one precious life.
Do whatever the fuck you want. It doesn’t matter if nobody gets it. It matters that YOU get it. Be bold. Be brave. Be curious. Don’t be a dick – to yourself or anyone else. Go forward. Go back. Go forward again. Start small. Start here. Start now. One breath.
I see you.
You got this.
Get to it.❤️
(PS: Wear a helmet.)