Bringing Elizabeth’s Core Values Into 2022
The beginning of a new year marks a time ripe for transformation and growth. As we embark on another 365 days, we are reminded to center our values and act in alignment with what brings joy and peace to us and our loved ones.
Elizabeth lived each day as if it was the first day of January, bringing the notions of courage, conviction, compassion, confidence and celebration, into life’s everyday moments, both small and large.These principles maintained Elizabeth’s childlike wonder throughout her life, and it may be easier than we think to implement them in ours…
While this, the first of Elizabeth’s 5 C’s, may seem the most daunting, courage is built through baby steps. Too often we fall into the trap of believing that we are not good enough to reach our goals, or worse yet, we believe we are not good enough to try. Courage in 2022 can take the form of applying for that dream job you’ve been eyeing on LinkedIn. It could be going on a first date (as Elizabeth knows, love takes courage), or traveling to a new place and learning about a culture previously unknown to you. Courage can look like big moments, but it can also look like getting up and going to work on a bad day. From the tiny moments that make up life to the big milestones, courage is everywhere and yours for the taking.
Elizabeth was never one to shy away from what she believed in. She was outspoken on many matters close to her heart, most notably her fight for justice in ending HIV/AIDS discrimination. In 2022, there is no shortage of causes to advocate for. Small ways to carry our convictions into the new year could be asserting opinions and ideas in the workplace or donating money to a good cause and encouraging others in our communities to do the same.
In these unprecedented times, we are reminded of Elizabeth’s relentless compassion and commitment to helping others. Compassion can exist outwardly, expressing itself through gestures such as volunteering at local food banks or homeless shelters, donating essential supplies to those in need, or reaching out to a friend who is going through a hard time. It can also exist internally, as it is equally important to show compassion to yourself. Elizabeth knew that balancing these two worlds was essential, caring four ourselves so that we can take better care of others.
Elizabeth’s lifelong motto was a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To thine own self be true.” Staying true to herself allowed Elizabeth to navigate the wild, dramatic, and glamorous world she lived in without losing sight of what matters most. She believed that every single person is uniquely valuable in their own special way and that those traits should be celebrated. A sense of confidence may be bolstered through actions like experimenting with your personal style, celebrating your personal triumphs, embracing our authentic selves, and indulging in the activities that give us the most joy. Each new year provides fresh challenges and opportunities to learn about ourselves and embrace who we truly are. Elizabeth was no stranger to hardship but she came out of them stronger and more self-assured, knowing she had what it takes to handle whatever life threw her way.
New Years celebrations often take the form of elaborate parties draped in glitter and spilled champagne, the air thick with excitement and endless possibilities. This feeling of anticipation, joy, and intrigue does not have to limit itself to one night. Elizabeth dealt with a lot of hardship in her life from a young age. Instead of letting those circumstances get the best of her, she made the decision to live each day, each moment, as a celebration of the highest caliber. An action as simple as finding a beautiful flower in your garden, cooking a dinner with your partner, or wearing your favorite outfit could be a cause for celebration. Elizabeth found hundreds of reasons to celebrate everyday, supplying her with wonder at the most mundane of occurrences and a deep appreciation of the milestone moments that made life whole.
Leading with love is the foundation of Elizabeth’s core values. There are many ways to incorporate these values and instill a sense of love in our everyday life to make for a prosperous and kind 2022.
Happy New Year!