Inspiring Nuggets

From Annelies & Conduit for Change, LLC

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Each season I provide inspiring nuggets of wisdom through my newsletter which includes invitations to upcoming events. My goal is to help YOU better cope with life and learn how to cultivate success through mindfulness and creativity. Seasonal teachings come through both my personal and professional experiences and the Chinese Five Elements philosophy of Wu Xing (wŭ ching) and Tao, among other philosophies and sciences which highlight and explore unique nature-based ways to understand the processes of change. In addition, each newsletter aims to help you create a mindful mindset and provide resources to build resiliency in the face of personal, professional and cultural change. Find this newsletter useful? Be the gift that keeps giving, share it with a friend! Want to hear more? Invite me to speak at your next conference, place of business, networking or civic groups. Enjoy!


One of the ways I help professionals become better leaders at work is to help them cope and manage change in life. We cannot separate the human condition from our work life. They're inseparable. When we try to separate our humanity from the tasks, lists and linear roles of the work-world we harden ourselves and become hard towards others. What's more useful is understanding how to integrate humanity into all expressions of life, even at work. As life gives us a variety of challenges to cope with, exploring problem-solving through nature is not only interesting and inspiring, it's also a unique way to better understand our own nature.

Let's start with one perspective from an Eastern tradition which focuses on the 5 elements of nature. According to the teaching of Tao, there are also 5 seasons, each represented by an element, color and emotional characteristics. Here's a simplified explanation.
• Winter : Water : Blue : Stillness : Fear
• Spring : Wood : Green : Creativity : Anger
• Summer : Fire : Red : Connectivity : Joy
• Late Summer : Earth : Yellow : Integrity : Gratitude
• Autumn : Metal : White : Acknowledgement : Grief

Autumn is related to the METAL element which represents the emotion of grief and informs a sense of awe, inspiration, loss, acknowledgement and letting go. Through the season of autumn, we are invited to honor the inherent qualities of change and reflect upon the aspects of life which are deeply sacred and transforming. Autumn is a lovely and beautiful season. Leaves change, temperatures cool, we remember our friends and meet for gatherings, festivals and fairs. It's also an invitation to honor what we may have lost along the way or let go completely of what no longer serves by finding appreciation with grief.

Between August and October of this year here in the US and around the world we've encountered multiple layers of chaos from large-scale devastating hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Maria), to multiple terrorists attacks (Charlottesville, London, Paris, Barcelona and Vegas) to a ripple of social political outburst to and from political heads, public and media. It's a painful time to know what's going on all the time. All this suffering we're exposed to has to go somewhere. If you don't feel sad right about now.. you've either got a good outlet to cope or it's silently hiding. I call that hidden grief.

The act of grieving is not something we tend to readily dive into,
in fact, we resist it. It can be an anxiety-provoking, difficult and lonely place to explore. And yet, it's often an emotion we all face in our personal and professional lives, a little bit each day. It sneaks in as change. Overtime when we don't address and acknowledge its presence we can be inundated, overwhelmed and drowned by the sensations of loss when we finally look back at what's changed or get knocked off course by an unexpected trigger event that forces us to look back. Acknowledging what is, what's changed and what's changing is tremendously healing. It prepares you for new growth, a new season. It's good to let go.

THINK of all the ways that change shows up
and affects you. Although, there are many, I believe change falls under three distinct categories.

  1. Trigger events happen quickly. They're unexpected surprises that set off an abrupt series of change. Some examples are death, illness, job loss, restructuring or job related move, natural or man-made disasters like hurricanes or terrorist attacks, also divorce, pregnancy, unintended changes in direction of a project, political or cultural shifts, etc. One day you're doing one thing and the next moment you've lots of concerns or decisions to make all at once. It's change you didn't plan for and brings a whirlwind of chaos and upset.
  2. Intentional change requires thought, planning, preparation qualities of leadership, and a mindset of acceptance and action. A few examples are planned career change, retirement, a collective decision to partner up or separate, family planning, a management decision to let go of or hire staff, project planning, vacation planning, a choice to loose weight, get stronger, to move, etc. It's change based on choice to initiate a mission, vision, milestone goal or outcome.
  3. Lastly, there's what I call, natural change. It’s that slow sneaky change that shows up behind the scenes of life. Weight gain, debt, aging, architectural decay, dehydration, hunger, dis-ease etc. It’s those things that over-time may cause major problems if we don’t address them, notice them, care for them, nurture or regulate them.

We can’t stop change, let’s be clear about that. Personal, professional, social, cultural, economical even environmental change is imminent. Change is life. It's best supported by a natural law called entropy (<--interesting video). It’s nature's way of creating new by dismantling what was. It's the universe's propensity towards disorder, chaos and change. Chaos is natural!

Entropy is nature's way of reallocating energy to make new and force you to re-invent and work hard to keep things as you desire. It’s about heat transfer and physics, and has something to do with the 2nd law of thermodynamics. A bit more complex than what we’ll get into here but what's important to acknowledge is that in order to make peace with change, whether intended/planned or by an unexpected trigger or by sneaky mother nature changing things for you quietly behind the scenes while you sip lattes and run around in busy-bee mode… in order to make peace with change, I invite you to find a way to accept chaos (breathe) as a valuable part of life. Accept the mess. Feel the sad. Find the good. And like nature, learn to create something new.

Ellen DeGeneres summed it up well with her quote,

"Care. Love. Be outraged. Be devastated. Just don’t give up.

The world needs good humans today."

To weave this back to the teachings of autumn
and the metal element, consider the reality of what chaos is around you today. Look at the micro-world chaos of something close to you like your desk, health, stress-level or your ability to help or lead others. Acknowledge what is. Don't fix, just notice. Then observe what can be adjusted. Make small changes. Do the same for the macro-world chaos. Look at the things that are messy. Feel the sadness, feel the loss, nod to what is. Take a breath. Do what you can. You cannot do it all but you can do your part. Acknowledge what your part is. Let go of the rest. And if not today... in time, you'll be able to let go.

Time to Reflect

Humans function like seasons of the natural world. We often easily respond to the expressions and changes of the natural world. Nowadays, many of us are inside, working year-round, many are isolated with no windows to tell our bodies where we are in our natural cycles. So, if this describes you- I encourage you to give extra attention to exploring your inner nature this season by exploring in nature. Go outside, get off your devices, sign up for a class or retreat, (schedule this now!) go camping or take a get-a-way that's days, hours or even a few minutes long that will tempt, tease, teach and release your genius. Engage in exploration for the sake of savoring what's good.

Remember you're a human being, not a human doing. Step back from the doing to just BE. Pause to notice the small shifts in and around you. Explore the season of late summer and its Earth element through these inquiries.

  • Where might you be in or out of alignment with your values?
  • What are you tolerating and how is that showing up?
  • What is your relationship to loss, death or grief?
  • What have you lost or gained lately?
  • What must you let go of in order to make room for what's new?
  • How do you acknowledge the talents, gifts or skills within yourself or others?


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• In transition, at a personal or professional crossroads?
• Ready to grow, slow or explore what’s next?
Interested in learning how to cope and create success through mindfulness and creativity?
• Experiencing stress, overwhelm, grief or disconnect within your relationships, staff, team or self
IF YOU are ready for a different kind of success, let's talk.


"UNPLUG" 3rd Thurs

EVERY 3rd THURS from 11AM-12PM

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Come walk with me and unplug for one hour!! Join me for brief guided meditation and a nature walk. Go solo or bring a friend, we'll chit-chat as a group for 10-15 min and then go on a walk-a-bout down the greenway. No stress, no fee, weather permitting. If you're not near the RTP area, make 3rd Thursdays your reminder to invite a friend or new face to go outside. Create novel, special or nostalgic ways to connect with one another in nature. NCMA :: 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607. Park by the big chimney, there's a meeting space there, then we'll go to the grassy circle/ellipse. If it's raining, it's canceled.



Online & In-Person Seminars (next group begins OCT)

Are you ready for a different kind of success? Do you have a business, project or idea you want to fuel? Do you work better in community? Wisdom Circle is a facilitated 6-month mastermind group. Bi-weekly meetings, accountability partnerships and coaching support helps serious professionals define themselves, grow their business, fuel their visions, catalyze ideas, gain traction, direction, community and peace of mind from personal and professional accomplishments. Due to the extraordinary personal nature of this mastermind, Wisdom Circle is open to 4-6 seats and requires an interview. $3200 (One partial scholarship is available to a qualified applicant.) 6-months :: Bi-weekly READ MORE

Contact Annelies

Inspiring, informative and transformational experiences for you, your company and community. Conduit for Change, LLC


If you're new to my updates, WELCOME! FYI- I make a concerted effort to email only important and useful info and try to do so in about two emails or less, a month. Reminder notes are specific to events coming very soon. Inspirational Nuggets Newsletters are seasonal and come five times a year. If there's an extra email once in awhile, it's because I trust it's useful and you'd want to be in the know! ;)