Leaping Goldfish!

Hello brave friends!

I attended my daughter’s college graduation this weekend. I know this is happening all over the country and I see the posts on social media of the elated graduate with their diploma in hand standing with their gleeful family. On the faces of both the graduates and their loved ones you can see a collection of joy, relief, pride, perhaps a tinge of regret for opportunities not taken and then maybe curiosity about what is to come. These endings that are also beginnings bring out a sea of emotions in us, no matter the role you play in them. There is a beautiful dichotomy in these moments where we can feel what we might assess are conflicting emotions. Joy and apprehension, pride and regret, fulfillment and longing. These endings that are beginnings give us this gift of contradiction that, if we can lean into it, give us the experience of being fully human.

It is soooo tempting to take that path and talk more about this dichotomy, but this mini is destined for something greater. First we must honor this place of contrast and lean into the pull we feel from each side of our emotional spectrum. I know that for some of you this is agonizing. Sitting with one emotion is challenging enough. Being able to allow for, dare I say, invite two seemingly contradictory emotions is well… torture. You may be saying, “hard pass, my friend”. But… if I can get you to hang in with me, the place we are headed is worth it.

During her graduation speech, the president of Thomas College, Laurie Lachance, left us all with this final thought… “Leaping goldfish”. Yup. Goldfish that leap. Her explanation went something like this: Goldfish will only grow to the size that their environment will support. If they remain in a small bowl, they will remain small. However, if put into a larger bowl, they will grow with the expansion of their environment. She issued a challenge to the graduates that they leap into bigger environments and GROW! 

And there it is, that dichotomy again. The challenge and excitement of leaping into something or somewhere new that offers growth… coupled with the fear, apprehension and loneliness that can be part of taking a bold and brave leap into the unknown. It is that fear and the comfort of our small bowl that often keeps us from growing. The leap is too much.

So here is where we land on this Monday in May that offers the promise of spring and then summer, of rebirth and opportunity for growth. My Mindful Mini invitation for you is to LEAP! Lean into the contradiction of excitement and fear, of joy and longing, of sorrow and hope. Take a breath and with courage leap out of your smallness, out of the bowl that keeps you from getting bigger. Embrace the largeness in you and boldly declare you will rise up to be all that this great big world has in store for you. You are meant to grow, you are meant to lean into the feelings that pull you in two opposing directions, and you are meant to bravely leap into that bigger bowl. There are times when staying small feels right and we need that safety, but please don’t stay for long. You are meant to grow, you are meant to embrace all that contradiction and bravely leap into something greater. The world needs this now more than ever and YOU are sooo worth it!

Yours in heart,

Kelly Lynn Driscoll

About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn Coaching & Consulting

I empower districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled and aligned with purpose. With over thirty years experience in education and education administration, I specialize in supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL), balance and a culture of wellness. It is my MISSION to bring joy back to education!

Contact Kelly Lynn

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