June Personal Reflection—Hardest Project of My Life

What I learned from the hardest project of my life

Each month I’ll be sharing a personal reflection that shares my personal growth as well as themes I hear in my coaching sessions and webinars. My goal is for us all to deepen our learning together.

June in Seattle is a manic month: sunny + high 70s one day and cloudy + rainy the next. We want to put away our sweaters and boots so badly, but we just can’t yet. Everyone is antsy to step into their summer-version of themselves sipping wine on a patio, wearing cute hats, and warming our toes in the sun. But, the weather has other plans.

This is a lot like when you have been in a period of survival at work—pushing hard through strenuous deadlines, multi-tasking to the hilt, and being available to too many people. You’re beyond burnt out and feel disconnected from yourself.

You want to be the summer person, but you’re stuck in your winter sweaters!

Hardest Project of My Life

June Personal Reflection

Earlier this year, I did the hardest project of my life: I moved my parents from Phoenix to Seattle. We sold their house, cleaned out 40 years of hoader-level stuff, filled the largest dumpster available, and moved them to be near us. I spent most of January to April flying back and forth from Seattle to Phoenix. I really got to know that 6am flight!

I’ve never physically worked so hard and mentally held so many details in my mind. I did it—but at a steep cost. After the move, I was injured and exhausted.

I hibernated for the month of April. My focus was on rest, ice/heat to my elbow, and body work: weekly chiropractor, acupuncture, and massage. It was frustrating to just SIT. But my body and mind needed it—not only to recover, but to sift through and process what I learned through this intense challenge and to allow myself to take in those lessons and grow.

Challenges reshape us to the core. It can come in the form of PTSD or it can come in the form of growing into the kickass version we want to become. A period of survival must be followed by a period of reflection and introspection.

You’ve found yourself here because you believe in growth and transformation.

If you have just come out of a period of survival, check out my reflection templates that inspire personal reflection and sign up for coaching with me. We can work together to process this experience and transform into the next phase of your life.

By May, my elbow hurt less and my passion was fired up for this: Monsoon Leadership. My parents’ move taught me what I can do, but it also showed me want I want to do: be in service to you all and build healthier workplaces.

The sun is out, sandals are on, and I’m ready to step into summer with you all.

Until next month…a question to ponder: “When was I last in a period of survival and what did it show me than I can do?”


Shannon Bowen, Founder + CEO of Monsoon Leadership is a career advancement coach, job search expert, salary whisperer, nonprofit executive, and a lifelong straight-talker. She's dedicated to helping nonprofit professionals land their dream job and dream salary!


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