March 12, 2023

We need community now more than ever. Here’s why … and how to be part of it

My last blog post introduced you to the Bespoke Life Network. I hope you will take a look around and consider joining. It’s free and easy. I also think it’s pretty important. Here’s why:

I truly believe humans seek and need connection.  We are connected to our families, sometimes to faith communities, perhaps to political communities, neighborhoods and workplace communities. These communities give us context and a sense of belonging. But many of these connections have changed over the last few years.  And we are addressing some serious questions in our lives, such as:

  • Why am I doing the work I am doing in the world?
  • Am I in the right job?
  • Is there meaning and purpose in my life?
  • What does my family need from me right now?
  • How do I take care of myself as I work to meet the needs of those I feel responsible to and for?

These questions have deep importance in our lives, but they can also be fraught and difficult to answer. And isolation from our communities physically, geographically and in other ways has made it difficult to find the support we need to navigate the challenges of life. That’s precisely the gap I am working to bridge.

It is my hope that the Bespoke Life Network can become a community of people willing to ask and answer questions like those above, and that it will help us create intentional lives of meaning and purpose while doing good work in the world.

Here’s a deeper look into my thinking about what we might build together:

I believe community is ….

 … an interactive social structure in which people who have a common purpose or interest come together to support each other, share ideas, successes and challenges, encourage each other and learn from and with each other in a respectful environment.

The common purpose for the Bespoke Life Network is

to positively impact the world, intentionally design lives of meaning and purpose and create good in the world around us. We are a community of people who believe in and support the common good of humanity and who want to intentionally craft a life that supports these goals. 

Community has enhanced my life …

As a physician,

  • by helping me understand the context of my patients’ lives, struggles and celebrations.
  • by helping me find others in my field I can learn from about the science and the art of the profession.
  • by helping me find a few close mentors and sponsors who have helped me shape my career, question it deeply, step away and re-enter that profession, and develop my encore career as a coach while still being deeply connected to medicine.

As a coach,

  • by connecting me to others ahead of and behind me on the journey to becoming a coach – I learn from all of them.
  • by grounding me in the realities of my work life as a coach, and holding me accountable for overcommitment.
  • by inspiring me to be my very best, in the service of the client at all times.

As a human being,

  • by keeping my feet on the ground when I dream big and don’t implement (I do have that habit).
  • by reminding me that I have to take good care of myself, or none of the rest of this matters.
  • by offering me love and compassion when I am at my best AND when I am at my worst.

Communities should speak to our professional and personal sides because …

 … we don’t come in a divided package of professional + personal.  I’ve written here before about my dear friend and mentor, Dr. Lois Nora, who taught me that “Personal and professional – it’s all one life.  It’s up to us how we use it.”  It would be difficult to build a bespoke life that only speaks to part of who you are. That’s why I am working to create a community where we can meet each other where we are in both the personal and the professional parts of our lives. Because it’s truly all one life. 

A Bespoke Life is ….

… a life that:

  • requires self-awareness and the courage to ask challenging questions about our personal and professional choices.
  • asks us to be intentional and persistent in the lifelong pursuit of our best selves.
  • calls us to do at least enough self-care that we can care for others from a place of well-being.
  • leads us to the creation of meaning and purpose in our personal and professional lives.
  • intentionally brings us to lives that support the common good of all.

Now more than ever

We need Bespoke Lives now more than ever because so many things compete for our attention and our intention.  It is only by committing to pay attention to our own choices that we will create lives built proactively around our priorities, rather than in reaction to the circumstances, crises, news and dramas that surround us at any moment in time.

The Bespoke Life Network will provide you with the tools and resources you need to start asking the right questions to get to a life that is uniquely you, and uniquely satisfying. It will take work, but you won’t be alone. The community I am building will challenge you and support you, providing the thought-provoking sounding board you need.

If you haven’t joined yet, I hope you will. And if you’re already signed up, please give a shout in the comments and share what you are most hoping to give to and get out of this community as you work to create your own Bespoke Life.

Unlock your potential and align with what matters most to you. 

It’s that simple.

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