A Holiday Love Letter

On Friday night, I dreamt about attending a wedding. As part of the wedding festivities, I found myself  in a fancy dress, bowling with actress Maya Rudolph. My daughter and I had watched Maya on Nailed It! Holiday! before bed so that explains why she made an appearance. At a certain moment in the dream, I noticed I wasn’t wearing a mask and no one else was either. In the next moment, I had this sinking feeling…why had I travelled to the U.S. to attend a wedding for people I hardly knew, during a global pandemic? Gah!

I think I dream like this when I feel a broader anxiety or vulnerability, when I feel exposed.

Even though I have had MANY moments of thriving this year, for which I am deeply grateful, I have suffered at times.  I have sometimes felt alone. At times I have worried excessively about things beyond my control. And I have braced for loss while watching it happen to others.  I have felt porous to stories about local entrepreneurs who feel scared about their abilities to keep going. I have felt a mixture of anger, fear and sadness about off island friends who no longer trust people or their government. And I have felt despair for people everywhere who have been sick, lost loved ones, or who don’t have enough to sustain themselves during COVID or anytime.

These days I feel some fear about our broken streak of COVID free times on the Island. It does not surprise me that my dreams somehow mirror my reality.  And what I believe to be true is “if you can’t get out of it, get into it”.[1] In other words, the only way out of my feelings of fear and vulnerability are to feel them.

And while the first part of this post might seem more like a “fear letter” the back half is truly a “love letter” for the holidays.

I say love because that is what it feels like when I am able to hold the space for me and others to be more fully themselves. It’s what it feels like to truly want the best for someone and not need to solve or fix anything just to make myself look good. When we can do this for each other, suspicion can turn into trust, impossible can become plausible, and despair can become hope, even if only for a moment.

As we finish out a remarkable year, I want to share some appreciation I have for my communities.

To The Conscious Leadership Group, The Leadership Circle, and my many coach friends and colleagues: Because of you, I was better able to help myself and many leaders to move through 2020 with simple practices that make a world of difference.

To my team–Lisa D-M and Julie Ann: I see us as three strong pillars that can hold so much more when together.  Your support this year has really touched me.  I am also grateful to a number of professional advisors who have helped Chandler Coaches to thrive.

And finally, to our leader clients: Though inner work is “deeply personal, it is not necessarily a private matter; it can be helped along in community”[2]. In saying yes to our Conscious Leader Forums, you had the courage to look more deeply than most leaders. Our Island is much richer for it.  Thank you for what we have created together.

Now, with a little time travel to the 1940s, it’s time to get your swing on… With the whoop-de-do and dickory dock, don’t forget to hang up your sock… Happy Holidays to you.

[1] Annie Dillard quote in Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer.

[2] A quote from Parker Palmer, also from his book Let Your Life Speak.


  1. Julie Connolly on December 17, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Always such a pleasure to feel your honesty & wisdom in how you share with us Lisa.

    Happy Holidays to you & Lali!

  2. Kirstin Lund on December 18, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I enjoy your blog posts, so well written and thoughtful. Merry Christmas, Lisa <3

  3. Wendy MacIntyre on December 29, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    I hope you are getting some rest and rejuvenating this holiday season. You’ve all likely been “on” for a long time. Take care and happy holidays to you, your family, and your team!

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