“Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.” - L.R. Knost -
On the eve of the new year, I find myself reflecting on the whirlwind that was 2022: A year that reminded us that life unfolds in a messy, unpredictable, chutes and ladders fashion, though we may cling to the illusion of a neat, linear progression. On a global scale, 2022 showed us that the only certainty is uncertainty, similar to the prior pandemic years, and brought equisite moments of joy offset by excruciating periods of despair. We witnessed the brave women of Iran leading a courageous revolution and people of Ukraine battling Russia’s invasion. We saw women’s rights assaulted through the Taliban’s oppressive regime and at home in the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade, all accompanied by an upswelling of activism. We saw the Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” spurring many to reassess their lives to align with deeper purpose and better balance. Though times remain uncertain, rays of hope persist.
On a professional note, 2022 gave me much to be grateful for. I continued to build my private coaching practice with inspiring clients and deeply purposeful work, along with continued partnerships with Chief as a Founding LA Guide and Paradox of Leadership, The Sabbatical Project, and Voray’s Chief of Staff Collective as an Executive Coach. I also had the pleasure of appearing as a guest on a favorite podcast. Since I launched my coaching business, I have coached over 200 individual and group clients, comprising 1000+ coaching hours. I am currently working towards my ICF PCC certification. Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about any aspects of my work.
2022 was a tough one for me personally. Every month seemed to bring a new personal challenge—a cancer scare leading to surgery (all is fine now!), a cancer scare with my cat (he is ok too!), a loved one hospitalized (they are ok!), my bout with Covid, and a mold infestation, just to name a few of the lowlights. I found comfort in community, nature, and quiet moments of joy.
On the brighter side, 2022 marked a return to my first love, travel, with a transformative trip to the beautiful Baja Mexico Campus of the Modern Elder Academy for their restorative SabSesh (see trip highlights).
I also traveled to France for a pinch-me-am-I-dreaming opportunity to join one of my favorite artists, Lisa Congdon, and nine other beautiful souls on an art retreat in Hyères hosted by a lovely family. Lisa’s creations, activism, podcast, and spirit have long inspired me and helped me through this messy thing called life. That week with Lisa and the others gifted me with the reclaiming of my inner artist, lifelong friendships, and the feeling of coming alive again. I also traveled in Paris and Provence, soaking in the sights, museums, food, people, and nature. (See trip highlights: Hyères1, Hyères2, Porquerolles, Cassis, Provence1, Provence2, & Paris). Another pinch-me moment came when I met the poet/philospher David Whyte in-person at an event in Santa Monica. David’s poetry speaks to navigating liminal spaces and the homecoming to our true selves like no other and has been such a salve in my spiritual journey.
Exciting News - Fall 2023 PROVENCE RETREAT! The stars are aligning for me to lead an intimate retreat at the same beautiful location in Hyères for a week in May 2023! I will lead interactive workshops for a small group focused on dreaming big, shedding things no longer serving us, and bolstering connections with our true selves. We will also have ample time to relax, play, and explore the area through fun activities with our local hosts, such as a cooking class and exploring Provençal markets. If you are interested in learning more and joining us, please email me! Only 9 spots are available.
For 2022, the greatest lesson for me has been in embracing solitude, stillness, and slowing down, which I wrote about in a new blog post in the hopes it may resonate. I find myself, like many of you, entering the new year with a sense of trepidation mixed with cautious optimism, knowing we will face many challenges and uncertainties ahead, anchored by our resilience, compassion, humanity, and arc towards justice. Wishing you and yours a healthy and Happy New Year filled with joy and peace. With gratitude, Gena