Forgiveness and the power of creativity
By Dr. Susan O'Leary
I awoke one morning a few months ago with this rather loud thought rattling about my head:
"We are of no good to anyone or the world with the baggage of the past.
We are powerful with the lessons learned from it."
I decided to write it down instead of just searching for my snooze button, in case it might be worth pondering. A few weeks later, I attended an excellent conference on authentic leadership, and a recurring theme was how questions of meaning and purpose were becoming an integral part of business. One of the speakers ended his presentation with elegant simplicity, stating that in any corporation or workspace, the essential values were to care for one another and for the planet. I was struck in that moment by how powerful and succinct those words were as we are looking to reframe aspects of our lives post-pandemic.
Through the growth of our society, we have been pushing many boundaries and exploring human performance, success, and creativity. This has been exciting, yet, like many fast-moving things, it is a bit out of control, the way running downhill can feel exhilarating until you realize you are going to face-plant on the pavement. Almost everyone has faced challenges created as a part of this momentum, and has probably found aspects of the experience overwhelming.
My own journey after that morning wake-up call helped me notice that I carried a simmering frustration with the lack of change in the world, in seeing people talk about problems and not take action to make a difference. I found myself at times allowing that frustration to creep in and dim my own passion and purpose. Having spent many years working to inspire others to wellness, I wanted to pause to ask how I might find a better way and lay my frustration baggage down.
Enter a memory of a moment when I stood in a field in Ireland, surrounded by sheep, standing at a very old druid site, a well that had been used to bless the earth in rituals. There I stood alone among the hundred shades of Irish green, the rainbows of mist and sun. The only sounds were of the earth—trees rustling, bird song, sheep eating grass—there was a silence yet also a sense of movement, of life and energy beyond the noise that comes with people. While taking in the beauty and connecting with the history of my ancestors, I could see how far we had come, yet also how far we had drifted from the wisdom of that time. Perhaps I am a bit fanciful from watching too many Outlander shows, but the idea that the earth is sacred and to be worshipped seemed to me a pretty sound one.
While I was there in the field, I recalled the practice of forgiveness. In the act of choosing to forgive mistakes, you focus on the solutions and lessons learned instead. When frustration was taking up more space than possibility, that morning voice was my reminder to forgive something every day to find my way back to inspiration, and use my energy for action that was creatively empowered.
I am grateful to have had this opportunity to explore mindful approaches, values, and mindsets for business, because I believe that women in business can use their talents to create the world we want to leave to the next generation. Through mindsets and values aligned with our heart, we will access the path to creativity and innovation and our greatest gift for our well-being.
Dr. Susan O'Leary
Wellbeing visionary & health professional, Wellness program Consulting
SOuL Wellbeing was formed during a creative moment when Susan was wandering the streets of Edinburgh while researching ways to expand on her years of work in wellness health care. Her 23 years of experience as a chiropractor and 30 years with lifestyle mentors in yoga, meditation, and positive mindsets complement her passion to help people express inspired lives they love. She appreciates opportunities to facilitate positive change, working with individuals and groups to curate practical solutions for well-being. Outside her work, Susan can be found humbly learning the world of horses, lost in nature, and connecting with others through travel and culture.