elephant andy brunner

Life Lessons Learned From… Kicking the Elephant Out of the Room

Death. Illness. Divorce. Job loss. We will all inevitably encounter hard times through devastating losses in our lives. It is through how we deal with our grief and eventually rebuild from tragedy that we discover the full capabilities of the human spirit. Someone who has known this well over the past two years is Sheryl Sandberg.

In Sandberg’s latest book, Option B, the Lean In Foundation founder and Chief Operating Officer of Facebook draws from the experience of her late husband’s death to open up the discussion around building resilience in the face of adversity. The concept of post-traumatic growth and finding greater strength and deeper meaning in the wake of crushing blows resonates with me. In particular, I found the chapter on kicking out “the elephant in the room” to be most profound. During a loved one’s time of bereavement, we tend to avoid discussions on loss and grief, which, will well-intentioned, can actually have the opposite effect of providing comfort during tough times. This is a hard truth we need to rectify.

Continue reading “Life Lessons Learned From… Kicking the Elephant Out of the Room”

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rome italy roman colosseum roma italia

La Dolce Vita in Italy!

From March 29th to April 11th, I ventured to Italy for two weeks of eating, playing, and exploring my way through the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice. The Eternal City is the last city in my trio of major European capitals on my travel bucket list—London was in 2015 and Paris was in 2016, so naturally Rome was next on the hit list. I was also curious to witness the birthplace of the Renaissance in Florence and wander about the winding canals of the floating city of Venice, so I extended my sojourn into a two week excursion to cover multiple destinations. Thus, my fortnight of an Italian extravaganza was born!

While solo travel in the spring is a tradition of mine, this particular trip was quite the spur-of-the-moment decision. Due to the sudden life changes that had occurred at the start of the year, I had originally postponed my trip planning as I tried to determine my next career steps. However, after encountering bouts of anxiety over the uncontrollable uncertainty of my current situation, I realized that I wasn’t ready to enter the next phase just yet. I needed a break. I needed a temporary escape. I needed a vacation.

So, three weeks before my eventual departure, I booked an open-jaw ticket from Vancouver to Rome, and from Venice to Vancouver—and added train tickets from Rome to Florence and from Florence to Venice—and I vowed to take a breather and mend my mind, body, heart, and soul through living la dolce vita in Roma, Firenze, and Venezia.

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woman girl train station

Building Resilience and Moving Ahead Through Tough Transitions

Breakups and layoffs suck. Whether it’s the end of a long-term relationship with someone you love, the loss of a job you were dedicated to, or another life-altering situation, being thrust into these scenarios where a big part of your life comes to a sudden end is downright unnerving and terrifying.

You enter into that uncomfortable grey area of uncertainty, where before you looms a tough period of passage from what you knew towards what is unknown. To help you build resilience and respond better to an imposed transition, we share a few ways you can begin to part with the past, return to the present, and move ahead towards the future.

Continue reading on The Hudsucker…

Featured image by Eutah Mizushima.
jordan sanchez girl woman forest woods

The Stages of Grief After Being Laid Off

A calendar invite for an agenda-less early morning meeting with my leadership team at an off-site location arrives in my email inbox. A sense of foreboding forms around me. To quote a little indie film franchise you’ve probably never heard of called Star Wars, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

My worst fear was realized when I received the news that my time at the company I’ve dedicated myself to for years was coming to an end.

In the 24 hours that followed after being laid off from the job I had loved, I experienced the five stages of grief — denial, depression, anger, bargaining, and acceptance.

Continue reading on Medium…

girl mountain sky

Edge of 2017

It’s the return of my lucky number 7 in 2017. Looking back, 2007 was a monumental year because it was the year I graduated from high school and entered a brand new phase of my life—adulthood. Now, ten years later, I feel like it’s time to make some more transformative changes.

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