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I will come right out with it.

 

I don’t think I am the same person that I was when this pandemic started.

 

Not diminishing in the least how lucky I am to be well when so many have suffered and  paid the ultimate sacrifice, there were many moments in the past year when I have resented being locked away.

 

My life felt like it was on hold, and at times, as if time itself stood still.

 

Especially as I am getting older when every minute counts.

 

I live alone and have not seen my family or most of my friends since last October, and then only for a few hours.

 

Somehow I have been kept going with my work, social-distanced walks with neighbours, and the intuitive feeling that despite the lack of seemingly moving forward,  I have been evolving anyway.

 

As I said, I don’t feel like the same person that I was more than a year ago.

 

 

 

So what has changed?

 

It’s hard to put my finger on it exactly but my priorities have shifted I think.  Let me give you an example.

 

I am a big fan of Rhonda Britton and her book Fearless Living

 

She has an exercise in her book where one chooses from a list of 10 words to determine what she calls one’s “Essential Nature.”

 

Britton defines this as the “state of being that fuels your passion and gives you an abiding sense of purpose.”

 

Here are the Ten Words:

  1. Authentic
  2. Creative
  3. Compassionate
  4. Accountable
  5. Loving
  6. Beautiful
  7. Courageous
  8. Focused
  9. Generous
  10. Trusting

 

The idea is to pick the ONE word which speaks to you, about you, more than any of the others.

 

Mine?

 

Courageous.

 

Well, that was the word I picked 10 years ago when I did this exercise for the first time.

 

In fact, I have spent my life with an insatiable drive to be courageous.

 

I enjoyed that role but I realize now that it was driven by ego as if I would not be good enough if I didn’t do that. Being out in the world everday just fed that impulse.

 

 

 

 

I just happened to pick up this book again a little while ago.  This time, surprisingly a new word came to the forefront.

 

Loving.

 

You could have bowled me over with a feather.

 

Me?  Single lady, career woman, a champion for independence and self-reliance.

 

Well, that’s what a year of solitude has done for me.

 

It has broken down my walls.  Peeled away those exhausting layers of feeling that I have to prove myself.

 

Liberating.

 

How ironic during a pandemic.

 

Proof that stagnation is but an illusion.

 

What about you? How have you changed?

 

 

Let’s Celebrate Other Women

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10 Comments

  1. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on April 25, 2021 at 8:16 am

    My word after a year of pandemic isolation is FOCUSED …. I’ve always been organized but more so as each day goes by. It helps me to have a routine. I chafe at being stuck in one place and not having friends around … but I’ve discovered zoom meetings and email / telephone calls keep me connected! We WILL get through this …..

    • Diana Bishop on April 25, 2021 at 4:27 pm

      “Focussed” is a great essential essence. Very hard to be that during this particular time! Good for you! Best, Diana

  2. Shardie Stevenson on April 25, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    I always enjoy your blog but this one was particularly thought provoking, BFF.
    I know that we did this exercise together a few years back and I can’t recall what my word was ….. I seem to think it was ” loving ” .Hmmmm. I do remember that yours was courageous. It’s interesting how you perceive you have evolved over this challenging time in our lives and that ” loving ” is the word that jumps to your mind now.
    When I did the exercise just now , mine was ” compassionate” . I am not as in tune with my own feelings ( tend to push them aside ) about myself as you are , but I am in tune usually with others . Have I evolved????

    • Diana Bishop on April 25, 2021 at 4:32 pm

      I think if I remember correctly your word initially was “generous” and so “compassionate” might indeed be your evolution. One can be generous sometimes for the wrong reasons, as in the hope that if you do something for someone you will be appreciated, but “compassionate” means that even if you don’t like or agree with what someone, you can still have compassion for them. If that is how you have changed during COVID, this is wonderful, Shardie. I think you are in fact very in tune with your emotions! Diana

  3. Margaret Ann Gendreau on April 26, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Hmm… this one has given me a lot to think about. I do wish I had picked a word before, perhaps it would have been compassionate, I was a nurse and certainly hope that is the way I presented myself. I have changed, I have learned that I am actually quite content, so not a word on the list but certainly something I and my husband have been surprised by as my life was very busy and social. I am quite happy in my own space, no commitments, no stress, no busy, busy, busy. Of course I miss family terribly, close friends, and travel but certainly not the pressure I had obviously put on myself of having to have a purpose to my day. Now I know the purpose can be a good book and favourite music.

  4. Margaret Ann Gendreau on April 26, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Hmm… what would my word have been if I had picked one a few years ago? I’m thinking compassionate. I was a nurse and certainly hope that is how I was seen by those I cared for and their families. I don’t really see a word on the list that I would give to myself now other than authentic. I would have picked content if it was there because I have learned that the busy and social life I had pre pandemic was not really good for me and I have become very content, a real surprise to my husband any myself. Of course I miss my time with family and really close friends and travel but I don’t miss the idea I had of everyday having to have a purpose. My days do have purpose but that purpose now consists of reading a book that grabs me, listening to some fun or beautiful music, trying a new simple recipe. The bonus, I have slept so much better this past year! Who knew?

  5. Charlotte de Heinrich on April 29, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Diana, what a beautiful sharing your blog is this week. It caused me to pause and reflect, but also to marvel at your evolution. What a beautiful outcome for this year of trial, year of grace.

    It’s funny but none of those words speak to me this moment, but I have chosen one that I want to live into, to have it become my theme. Trusting. Yes, I’d like to nurture and meditate on being trusting that things work out, that there is purpose present, that there is meaning if only I would listen and see clearly.

    Thank you Diana for opening up, and for opening up this conversation.

    • Diana Bishop on April 29, 2021 at 11:25 am

      Thank YOU, Charlotte! I think it is a valuable conversation to have with oneself at this time in our history.
      I think I have noticed that you have become much more trusting this past year. I would have put more in the “accountable” category though overall. I have never met anymore that you can count on more.. as a friend, as a wife, mother, coach, and athlete. You are always there and willing to help or contribute.
      I admire you for many things, but this is at the top of my list about you. Much love, Diana

  6. Catherine Willis-O'Connor on May 2, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Courage . How ironic. I chose this too. Naturally. But does it fit now? Sort of. Patience. I seem to be working courage with patience and from that I have strengths I never perceived. So yes, I have seen change too.
    Diana you have always been loving. Maybe you just didn’t know you were.
    Hope to see you soon.
    Xxoo twink

    • Diana Bishop on May 2, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      Ahhh! Thank you, Twink. Much love, Diana

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