claudesilver
4 min readDec 31, 2017

2018: Love so deeply we crack open the world.

Someone asked me recently if I was ready to look back at 2017, review my wins and challenges and create personal and professional goals for 2018.

This question puzzled me this year. Maybe it’s because my personal and professional life have become fused. We all make resolutions and wishes for our new year, however I’m not one who normally writes things down and checks them off the list as I complete them. I measure my life in daily chunks or universal goals and spend most of my time thinking/feeling in emotional language. Sounds esoteric? It is. :-) However, the 2017 question lingered and gave me the chance to reflect on a year of heartache, change, and beauty.

2017 started with a crippling blow. The death of my Nana, my heart. Even though I knew in my bones she would not live to see her 102nd birthday, actually losing her brought me face to face with grief and a loss of language. The world experienced and saw many sad and horrific events unfold. We all witnessed people treating others in ways that harken back to the dark ages. Experiencing all of this set off a fire inside of me, one that I was not consciously aware of until I looked up from what I was doing in these last few weeks of the year.

Losing Nana required me to find new ways to share my unwavering belief in people and philosophies regarding living in a world of loving kindness with others. Seeing the way devastating local and global events in the world affected each of my colleagues lives at work, meant I would have to find uncharted ways of bringing more empathy into the workplace. One of the ways I did this was to bring my whole self to work and foster a sense of belonging and connection within the walls of VaynerMedia. I made a choice to become much more overt and public with my beliefs.

Choosing to bring my whole self to work provided me with a canvas in which I have had the honor to share my feelings and thoughts on leadership, building strong corporate cultures, and team work with my VaynerMedia family, my friends, and with a wider audience found on social media and conference stages. The change meant taking a lot of personal and professional risks and what I noticed is that the more risk I took in revealing myself…..the more beauty came into my life.

As I have shared my thoughts on culture, business leadership and optimism, I have been able to connect with an amazing community of people around the world that share this same passion and are eager to be a part of what I am creating daily.

As we look to 2018, the one thing we can be sure of is that change will continue to happen. It’s my work, to help the myriad of people I interact with to see this change as opportunity. It is my work to start conversations and build communities that are grounded in trust, empathy and resilience and have the ability to see the glass as full. This is a time of “we” not “I”.

Somebody out there needs you to show up as you; in other words, you have the ability to have impact on people around you when you bring all of yourself to life.

I have the incredible honor of coaching people daily on being their most brilliant and best selves. This means helping them to recognize their negative thinking and imposter-like behavior, and guiding them forward with self-awareness and courage. I listen to hear where that opening is in a person’s story, and with intention, we work together on ways to let that light grow until it becomes a ball of awesomeness. It doesn’t get any better than seeing and celebrating what makes a person unique and then setting them up to grow and shine.

My friend and boss Gary Vaynerchuk calls this “emotional optimism”. I am able to do this everyday; to live my purpose of being of joyful service and to bring more emotional optimism, awareness, mindfulness, kindness and tenderness into the world (that’s a lot of “ness”).

My wish for 2018 is that whatever we do, we do “it” to make a difference and connect with others. We do it with integrity and love.

Buddhist psychologist Tara Brach says, “by offering love you become love”. And I’ll add, this is the time to love so deeply we crack open the world.

We are awake now.

The time to play small and forget who we are is over — we are unlimited. Let’s not underestimate the amount of goodness we have in our lives. There is nothing we cannot do, especially when we come from the place of heart.

I am so grateful to every person I have met in this last year. Every sign I have received that I was on the right track, every email and tweet, every wink and smile. My goal is to return this encouragement, love and energy tenfold to everyone this next year.

2018 is going to be Epic!

With love and so much gratitude for you xoxox

claudesilver

Heart Leader. First Chief Heart Officer. @VaynerMedia. Emotional Optimist! Always have a song in my head!