December: Celebrating What Was

In November, we enjoyed a bit of a whirlwind of events that stretched our minds, provided us with some tools to say yes a little bit less, and reinforced how generous our community and how grateful we are for them. As we say goodbye to November, we hope you stay connected to a few of the ideas we shared with you: demonstrate gratitude for those in your life, be grateful for all things big and small, and be the ripple.

This month we Celebrate What Was! Beginning on December 8, we will be sharing moments from our work over the past year that celebrate our accomplishments and demonstrate how this community lives LeaderShape, in person and virtually. Without the participation, support, and energy from all of you, we could not have made our 31st year as an organization (33rd year of the Institute!) as meaningful as it was.

But first, we have Day 7 to celebrate! So spread the word, connect with LeaderShapers and get ready to Celebrate What Was.

Participants of the Institute may find that Dec 2018 Day 7 Theme (1)this theme sounds familiar to day three of the curriculum, Challenging What Is, Looking To What Could Be. Those who haven’t experienced the six-day program should know that this day begins by uncovering what values we hold and, later on, includes a practice to connect us to what we truly care about called the 5 Whys. By asking ourselves “why” multiple times, we are able to crystallize what it is we truly and deeply care about impacting in the world.

#Day7 will follow suit this month. Get ready to explore the what, and ask ourselves why? This Friday, December 7th, we will tap into a how-to guide of celebrating this past year, from an individual perspective. Folks that participate in #Day7 will be able to try out some tools to develop a mindset that will help us to take stock in our accomplishments of 2018 and then look ahead to what we hope the new year will bring. We hope to hear from you on 12.07.18!

It’s the end of 2018, friends! And we want you to join along in this month of celebration, reflection, and looking to what could be. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to do so. #toleadlive

Power of Gratitude

Thank you all for joining us this month as we encouraged the LeaderShape communityGetting behind the movement to get behind the movement. One way we put this idea into action was through the practice of gratitude.

We believe in the power of gratitude and its positives contributions to our well-being, mood, and self-esteem. It’s so important that we hope living in gratitude becomes a way of being for all of us.

To help cultivate an ongoing sense of gratitude in the LeaderShape community, we have a few ideas we hope are helpful to you.

Demonstrate gratitude for those in your life

Supporting others through gratitude is uplifting for you and for the person on the receiving end. We talked about Getting Behind the Movement on social media this month and showing your gratitude for the work that another is doing is a great way to get behind their goals and vision.

This act of gratitude will have at least 6 benefits for you as well; feeling happier, being more optimistic, increase energy levels, being friendlier, increase self-esteem, and increase your productivity levels.

When we feel better, we do better! And we are counting on this LeaderShape community to go out and make the world better.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie

Be grateful for all things big and small

The more you practice gratitude, the more you will find to be grateful for. It doesn’t matter if our gratitude is in recognition of something massively significant or through a small expression like a note or a hug. Big or small, each moment of gratitude felt and shared can move us from a place of hurt and ego to a place of love and humility.

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Be the ripple

The Ripple Effect: the continuing and spreading of results of an event or action
In our Institute program, we end the week with an idea that each person is a pebble and has the opportunity to create positive ripples as they continue their leadership journey. Creating a ripple of gratitude in your life and in your corner of the world can have lasting effects that you will probably never be aware of. Focus on those feelings of gratitude for what your life holds! Find opportunities to demonstrate your gratitude for others and their contributions. Your pebble of gratitude will go on.

Day 7: Gratitude

This month’s Day 7 has focused on getting behind the movement by supporting those we care about and the work they are doing and by showing our gratitude to the people who are there for us in the same way!

7 days of gratitude

If you’ve been following along on social media, you’ve seen that we’ve been demonstrating a variety of ways that you can show the support and gratitude that you have for others. Although all of the activities we have practiced this week are meaningful and sincere ways to show appreciation, one of the best and simplest ways to show gratitude is to put your thoughts into action and tell people exactly how grateful we are. We want to encourage you to take that step todayWe’ve made it easy for you, too.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

Download this template and use it for those who have made an impact in your life. Not sure where to start? Here are a few people to say thanks to:

Parents and care-givers, siblings, grandparents and other family members, friends, your spouse or partner, teachers and mentors, neighbors, roommates, advisors and supervisors, co-workers, your mail carrier, barista, or mechanic, and any other person who you can think of that makes a difference in your life.

For us at LeaderShape, we are grateful to have so many people to thank for getting behind our movement of a just, caring, and thriving world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible! Campus partners, sponsors, facilitators, donors, participants, and anyone in our community who is living LeaderShape. Today we want to take a moment to show our gratitude for just a few of our past graduates.

Varun Arora –  OpenCurriculum
Varun is the CEO at OpenCurriculum, a California-based nonprofit education technology company that is helping teachers all around the world teach better. Their a mission is to bring openness and innovation to K-12 curriculum around the world.

Varun participated in the Institute in Doha, Qatar in 2009, and in 2011 Google named him a Zeitgeist Young Mind. We believe in life-long learning and appreciate Varun’s commitment to the continued learning of teachers and their students.

Marly Q. Casanova – PARK Project
Marly has been spreading kindness through her PARK Project, which stands for Performing Acts of Random Kindness. Not long ago, Marly shared a copy of her Breakthrough Blueprint from 2004 and how it has been a driving force in her life. In 2017, she came back to a national session of the Institute as a Guest Leader and was invited to do the same at the South Florida consortium session. Our thanks goes to Marly for living and sharing LeaderShape!

Jessica Ekstrom – Headbands of Hope
Founder of Headbands of Hope, named Women’s Health Magazine’s Ultimate Game Changer, professional speaker, creator of the Mic Drop Workshop, and more. Jess cares deeply about helping kids feel confident during the difficult time of cancer treatment and empowering women to join the #SisterSpeaker revolution by helping women feel confident in their story, impact, and public speaking. We want Jess to know how much we appreciate how she has activated her care for others in the world through her work and life. 

Tyler Tolson – Denik LLC
As one of the founders of Denik, Tyler is an example of someone who lives out his values and vision through his work and beyond. Denik is a social enterprise that empowers and enlivens artists and helps to build schools in underdeveloped areas – and they do this by making beautiful products like notebooks. Each purchase helps to fund education projects worldwide. With the help of their partner Pencils of Promise, they will soon build their fifth school!

“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” Mahatma Gandhi

We know this isn’t an exhaustive list of LeaderShapers out there doing great work. But it’s a start. We hope you’ll make a start with us!