My son, Michael, Jr, devotes his life to the healthcare industry, with an emphasis on improving the “patient experience.” His company, GetWellNetwork, has helped over 11 million patients in hospitals throughout the US. In his journey, Michael has met tens of thousands of what he refers to as “angels” in hospitals, be it doctors, nurses, patients, and caregivers. Recently an “angel” shared a personal story with Michael and he, in turn, passed it on to me.
The well written note described a woman named Honor, who had recently passed away. Among all the beautifully constructed paragraphs about this highly respected woman, one particular phrase caught my attention. While describing Honor as someone who devoted her life to helping others achieve success, the writer offered…
“She was always leaning into the next chapter, not only in her reading, but in life.”
I like that idea, “…leaning into.” I have never met Honor, but I could easily visualize her leaning into. If Honor was always leaning into the next chapter, then Honor was not a hesitant woman. She was not a fearful woman. I see a strong, confident woman leaning forward with a smile on her face anticipating the next day or challenge. She was not back on her heals apprehensive about what was to occur. Honor was leaning into a new experience, welcoming its occurrence, and ready to embrace it.
Many of us facing a new decade, do so with trepidation. We search for ways to hold on to today. We try to hide evidence of our years by changing the color of our hair or removing the wrinkles on our face. Honor was not trying to hold onto her youth or life as it once was. She did not dread the next decade, rather Honor leaned forward, with anticipation of whatever was to come. Apparently in her last months, with serious health issues, Honor continued to “lean forward” to embrace her last breath. I have never met Honor but I will keep the mental image of her leaning in as a model.
Women with high SUCCESSTROGEN are leaning in most of the time. They are “in position”, ready for whatever comes. When something is wrong, they work to make it right. When there is a new opportunity, they are in position to seize it and when they need help, they are in position to ask for it. They do not wish to hang on to life as it is, but rather lean in to life as it may become. These remarkable women assume the position of “leaning in.”
I “lean in” when it comes to helping others adjust to living in our community, introducing them to others, and getting them involved. And I “lean in” when it comes to taking on added responsibilities such as taking on the role of a university professor. I am reluctant however to lean in to new relationship with a man. Rather, I find myself resting back on my heels, resisting even the gentlest of approaches, not trusting and very, very cautious. And while I claim I wish to learn the language of my ancestors, I fail to lean in and instead create excuses for not doing so.
How about you? When do you “lean in” as Honor did, with confidence? When do you sometimes miss out because you are hesitant, and hang on to what is?