Shake Hands with 2021

Shake Hands with 2021

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” ~Indira Gandhi

Happy 2021.

Though it feels like an eternity, it was only one year ago that the Coronavirus entered our field of awareness.

Like an early spring melt, it began with a trickle, became a steady flow and finally a torrent, flooding our fields and destroying both lives and livelihoods.

One year ago, I had a plethora of possibilities, business opportunities already inked, ready to launch—and then washed away as though hit by a tsunami.

2020 was a long, challenging year full of overt and obvious loss.


It was also a year of subtle, more covert gains, at least for me, and pockets of quiet joy:

I learned (sort of) to play my guitar.

I read books I had been meaning to open for ages.

I revived my artistic endeavours and lost myself in gardening and painting rocks and crocheting sweaters for my grandchildren.

I re-examined my priorities—time now being abundantly available—and found that certain relationships and activities faded into the background, their importance withering on the vine due to lack of necessity or desire.

Time I once spent on make-up, hair and nails became available and was redirected toward more meaningful matters.

While alone on an island all summer, I befriended a small bird and a chipmunk who ultimately ate seeds from my hand. I found as much (or more) satisfaction in their trust as I feel with my coaching clients.

As I reflect on this tumultuous year and my own journey towards acceptance of our new global reality—though not fully formed nor as yet revealed—I am reminded that clenched fists prevent us from holding… anything.

I believe that it is incumbent upon us all, now, at this point in human history, to open our fists to new possibilities, to loosen our grip on the past, extend our fingers, reach across the aisle of the unknown to create new kinds of alliances, and to dig deep into our hearts, for that is where courage and appreciation abide.

Clenched fists may now be a new norm when greeting one another physically, but they are a lousy way to greet the future emotionally.

It takes courage to open our hands, hearts and minds to any new reality.

2021 is the year to shake hands with it.

Stay connected with our Monday Morning Message

Cynthia Barlow

Founder Cynthia Barlow

Facilitator, Author, Coach

Helping businesses build their people

When your people have the skills to communicate more effectively, they can connect more easily and collaborate more productively. Not only on the job, but also in life.

Communication, Connection, and Collaboration—the three “C’s”—are the cornerstones of all successful businesses. They are the result of Emotional Intelligence in action.

More details can be found in my recent best seller with co-author Jennifer Eggers:
Resilience: It’s Not About Bouncing Back

The power of resilience within organizations and can transform an average company into a powerhouse. Yet, even in times of rapid disruptive change, there is no manual for building resilient organizations. This book is that manual.

“If you  want to build more resilience intentionally—personally and professionally—read this book.”
Fran Karamousis, Chief  of Research, Gartner


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