I hope you are well and finding joy in your days.  I know it has been a challenge adjusting to each day and the inevitable shifts within them.  Not knowing what’s happening from minute to minute, constantly hearing that we are doomed, the high unemployment rate, collapsed economy, people living in fear and the lack of effective leadership along with missing family and friends is knocking us all for a loop. And finally, along comes some joy.  A time to celebrate.  A time to reflect, honor, and plan for the accomplishments reached and those yet to come.

Graduation!  A time when I know I felt a rebirth and definitely one in which I gave a huge sigh of relief.  The first breath as the newly discovered me.

Are the graduates of 2020 breathing a sigh of relief?  Do they know the importance and significance of these breaths?  I had three different graduations (high school, undergrad, and grad school) and each time it became clearer I was breathing, studying and walking into myself.  Our graduates are so focused on the craziness going on all around them, I worry they are not centered and grounded on what truly matters.

Here’s the deal.  Several celebrities, including President Obama recorded beautiful commencement messages to distract our graduates from their sadness and disappointment.  It is disappointing to not celebrate with your classmates, to walk across the stage and have your diploma handed to you, to have picnics and parties with family and friends, and stay up all night with friends telling stories from the past and dreaming about the future. 

Calling out your greatness, challenging you to make the necessary changes in leadership, sustainability, and humanity are typical themes for delivering motivational words to graduates.  The difference is the messages are heightened.  The call is greater, the message more inspired and the words more powerful.   For some, this may cause anxiety and panic.  It is overwhelming to think about all the responsibility you are being asked to step into.

I believe you have an opportunity to determine what is important to you rather than stepping into something outside of you.  Take this moment to understand you.  Give yourself permission to journal about your dreams and the truth that lives inside of you rather than writing your resume or reading about famous influencers.  Get in touch with your power not the power in the words spoken to you.  Discover what you want more of in your life rather than focusing on what others have.  Build an awareness of yourself that raises your confidence so much that when you are challenged you welcome the learning it provides.  Be bold, energized, compassionate, open-hearted, mindful, and empowered.  Become you and I promise the world will notice and thank you for showing up.

As we all sit in or homes waiting for the green light to physically be together, please know you are being celebrated.  Even if you are not graduating from a school and receiving a diploma, you are graduating.  You are being born into you.  You are learning more being with yourself than the world could ever teach you.  Yes, your inner wisdom is powerful!  So, breathe your sigh of relief.  Breathe in deep and out forcefully (let it be heard) because you are doing some serious learning and the lessons are challenging and causing you to stretch in ways you never thought possible.

To the entire Class of 2020, I love you!  I see you!  I wish for you to see your light, your beautiful radiance, the strength and wisdom within you.  I wish for you to trust in your knowing because it is what will continue to guide you.  It will always lead you back to you if you look and listen.  It will lead you to become the person you need.  That person is the same person the world needs.  You don’t have to invent that person, you have been born.

I’d like to celebrate two school graduates in my life.

My cousin, Jacqueline Kazanjian graduated from Bryant University on Saturday, May 16, 2020.  She is vibrant, creative and smart and I know she is going to rock the world.  Don’t let the minimal celebration take away from the magnitude of your accomplishment.  Dear cousin, our grandparents did it before us and now it is your turn, let it pass. Antzadzellah!

My 3rd grade daughter, Talia will be graduating from her lower elementary school and moving onto the upper elementary school to start 4th grade in September.  To celebrate the third graders, the school gets together on the last day (June 22 this year) and claps out the 3rd graders.  This is something the students look forward to and my daughter is sad that she is going to miss it.  I know we can’t recreate the thunderous clapping that comes from the students at her school.  We will create a thunderous something for her, after all her nickname is boom boom.  She is thunder.

For those celebrating, please let us know what you are up to in the comments and an open-hearted congratulations to you all!

Kristin Asadourian is a leadership coach best known for activating the purpose and wisdom from within her clients. She understands the importance of authenticity and courage on the path to becoming inspired and mindful leaders. Kristin believes bold actions generated by energized leaders with compassionate and open-hearts bring change. She helps her clients create an action plan to move them into values-based leadership, accomplishing their goals, and living fulfilled.

Kristin’s coaching practice is strongly influenced by her work in the public sector as a Senior Field Deputy for the City of Los Angeles, founder of the not for profit Artists for Change, which brings arts education to elementary age children in Los Angeles and the documentary film company, Seeroon Productions. She formed the internationally recognized production company that produced the honored film “Beginning Where the Soviet Ends: A Study of Social Work in Armenia.” Her years as a television and documentary film producer also greatly impact her practice. Kristin learned by interviewing several celebrities during her tenure at E! Entertainment Television that people, famous and not so famous are motivated to generate a positive impact on their communities. A natural speaker and storyteller, she uses her experiences to generate connection and laughter while guiding her audiences to become the leaders and changemakers within them.

Kristin leads workshops for adults and young people along with webinars and live talks. Her curriculum focuses on developing the whole person by building self-awareness and self-confidence. She is currently teaching her BECOME (Bold, Energize, Compassionate, Open-hearted, Mindful, Education) curriculum in Massachusetts and looks forward to growing its reach.

Kristin earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and multicultural relations from the University of Connecticut and master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She received her co-active life coaching credential from the Coaches Training Institute and continues to be an active learner in order to be a better coach, mom and human.

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