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  • Writer's picturekristen lessig schenerlein

Having a Grateful Heart

When you arrive at the destination, never forget where the journey began.”

~Lailah Gifty Akita

Things have been busy the past few months however, in the midst of the many highs & lows and twists & turns, there have been numerous opportunities to feel a deep sense of gratitude for what is my life.

There is something to be said for the journey that brings you to your current place and time... for the perspective gained in reflecting on milestones along the way and really allowing yourself to FEEL all of it, deeply, all over again.

The path we are on often gets taken for granted. We do not recognize at the time the impact that some of the experiences will have on us later in life. We do not fully embrace those relationships that helped form who we are and how we show up in the world.

I suppose to some degree, this is just simply how it must be.

Reflection of course is a necessary process, a cycle that needs repeated. We are taught in school from an early age that by reflecting, you are allowing yourself an opportunity to make links from one experience to the next, making sure you gain progress over the course of a quarter, semester, etc. This is very similar in coaching for enhanced performance both personally and professionally.

“We don’t learn from experience . . . . we learn from reflecting on experience.” ~John Dewey

This brings me to my grateful heart. The many people that have supported me in various ways throughout my life have each taught me something important about myself. That "something" may have been an area of professional growth beginning in my late 20's when I thought it would be a "great idea" to follow my passion for adaptive sports, having identified a need, regardless of my business and non profit training...or lack there of. It also could have been a challenge in a relationship that really allowed me to go deeper into how I was showing up, potentially self sabotaging, and even maybe provided me the clarity I needed to SEE what I valued most in life and perhaps where my values were NOT aligned with theirs, contributing to the discord. Regardless of the instance, there has been a lot of great people there to support me through it ALL.

I can still remember the breakfast meeting at a favorite local pharmacy in Richmond when I shared with these two powerhouse women ( pictured with me here) my decision to move on from an organization that they had supported me leading for by then almost 10 years and that they too had been so focused on ensuring it's long term sustainability.

I am we recently celebrated 10 years of the fundraiser that was instrumental in keeping the organization afloat for a few crucial years. In addition to being reunited with two of the most intelligent, strong, passionate, and generous women I know, they are true friends for life. They along with so many others from my past came together under the steadfast mission of creating opportunities and transforming this case for people with physical disabilities and visual impairments. My first born is now 16 years old and is in the great hands of Hunter Leemon and the amazing team he has built with Forest , Cindy and the growing gang. A special thanks to Dr. David Cifu, Farhad & Amanda Aghdami, Alan Lombardo, and of course Rafe & Amy Wilkinson as well as Leigh and Nate Sewell...along with anyone & everyone that continues to nurture and expand the impact in RVA and across the country through adaptive sports. #wearesportable

And now...I continue to create opportunities for powerful mission driven non profit leaders to break free from their super human persona and align that power with their passion, transforming their lives through coaching! It must be my "thing"....

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