Day 86

Saturday, March 31

I’m not sure which of these is cooler:

The fact that my lovely sister (loving supporter, avid reader and advisor to this blog, and mom to Liam and Maggie–2nd birthday shout out to Liam, by the way!) choose a bridesmaid dress for her wedding that is beautiful enough to be re-worn

or,

that I proudly wore that dress tonight to an event and felt even more confident in it than I had 4 years ago.

I had a community-filled day today, though I missed the first FitBodies Hero WOD Saturday (sad face). From what I’ve heard, I missed a great time, and FitBodies readers, I’m really hoping to make-up Murph this week!

Instead, though, I had the pleasure of serving the community through my role as Alderman (not widely discussed on this blog, I guess) in a day-long budget work session. So how does one survive such a thing on Whole30 (or at all!)? Well, its not nearly as difficult as you may think. Actually, as I told Rob when I got home, usually days like today, regardless of topic, leave me feeling drained and tired. You may know what I’m talking about; it seems like whenever I have a long meeting or a conference, the process of sitting and listening (especially out of my routine), makes me feel sluggish. I guess all the sweet and salty snacks that find their way around the table don’t help either. Today, though, I had more energy than I ever before and maintained it throughout the day. Thanks Whole30! Not sure my council colleagues fully appreciated it though 😉

Tonight, I had the opportunity to support the graduates of the Multicultural Leadership Program Class of 2012. Of the many blessings of our community are the excellent leadership programs and their participants. Earlier this week, our class at Illinois State University (the one I teach, also not widely discussed on this blog, I guess) discussed leaders in social issues and social movements. We considered a point made in our textbook that “more leaders means more power.” As we discussed this, we observed that when we think of leaders and leadership in a somewhat traditional sense and in some contexts, that we are more inclined to see leaders more singularly–there is a boss, a person in charge, a team captain–we don’t always consider the benefits of the plural form of leadership. As we explored, though, isn’t it more beneficial if everyone is actually a leader? If we can work in a group or be on a team, don’t we want to be a leader surrounded by leaders?

Supporting the growth of leaders everywhere is truly empowering, so tonight, I’m celebrating that leadership best defined includes everyone. I hope there are communities all over the place just like ours cultivating leaders at an energetic pace. And I hope those leaders are listening to the advice of people like the incredible hero Paul Rusesabagina, the inspiration behind Hotel Rwanda, who shared his powerful message of leadership tonight. In 1994, Mr. Rusesabagina saved the lives of over 1200 people by providing refuge to them in his hotel during the genocide that swept and devastated his home country, even killing members of his own family.

His message is inspiring and here are a few of my highlights:

His name means “disperses enemies” so he opened by describing himself as “he who disperses enemies.” What’s amazing to me is not only that this is his given name, but that he embraced this calling and definitively lived up to it. This leads me to think, what are we all here to live up to and, regardless of what that is, even if (when) it isn’t easy, are we willing to embrace it and live up to it?

Wow.

Mr. Rusesabagina shared five ideas for leaders:

No one is completely bad. Everyone has a small spot in their heart for good. A leader’s job is to find it.

The best advisor in your life is your own conscience. Leaders listen to it.

Leaders stay calm and focused. All the time.

The best way to lead is to have all stakeholders involved.

The best weapon in the human’s arsenal are their words. Leaders solve conflicts through words.

Thank you, Mr. Rusesabagina for sharing your legacy to support leadership in our community.

And, thanks too to my friends and supporters and readers I saw tonight. Certainly Whole30 has brought a new dimension to our conversations and I thank you for your ongoing interest and support. Knowing you’re reading (and listening), keeps me writing (and talking–you know that!)

WOD: 4 mile run (not quite Murph!)

(and now a re-run of Stefon on SNL–please Google it and watch a video)

Nutrition:

PWO SFH shake

2 eggs, sweet potatoes, kale

Chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes

1/2 small apple and almond butter

chicken, peppers, and sweet potatoes

Coconut manna and a few raspberries

(okay, a little redundant, but tomorrow is cooking day!)

Be a leader today! Live up to your challenge. Go get it!

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One Response to Day 86

  1. Melinda says:

    It was GREAT to see you and Rob last night at the MCLP graduation. Thanks for supporting a group whose goal is to develop diverse leaders. My favorite of Paul Rusesabagina’s advice was: Words are the most powerful weapon we possess…how true for him during the genocide and in our everyday lives.
    Oh, and you looked dazzling. Kudos to your sister for her choice in bridesmaids dresses! Lovely!

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