This year has been tough. Understatement, right?

I won’t waste time listing all the things that have changed or disappeared altogether so far in 2020, because you know them as well as I do.

Lately, I feel like I’m floating in an undetermined space. I feel tired. My energy levels are so low some days that I don’t even recognize myself.

To keep me tethered and energized, I have been taking online courses. Lots of them. They have helped.

My current online learning pursuit is a writing group. Last week, the leader, Carlyn Bland, gave us this quote on which to reflect and write:

“In order to have something new, something old has to be broken, and if you’re too heavily focused on the old, you’re going to get stuck” –Joseph Campbell

Are we broken? There are days the world looks that way.

Is it a bad thing to be broken? Apparently not (if it helps us get unstuck).

What caused the break?

The Pandemic…the hammer to “the old”


COVID-19 and the requisite quarantines and social distancing has been the sledgehammer to my year, and probably yours as well.

And as much as I can lament and mourn over what I have lost, my brokenness has resulted in some notable gains.

First, quarantine allowed me to channel my energies into writing and distributing Captain Corona and the 19 COVID Warriors, which has resulted in an email distribution list whose size exceeds the list of productivity followers for whom I’ve been writing articles for 10 years.

Note: my early pandemic energy boost was probably surge capacity, which is now depleted.

Secondly, the absence of travel for speaking engagements has forced me to focus on improving my marketing, website, and business processes.

Perhaps I am being remade in 2020 into something new. Perhaps I needed to be broken down to let go of the old.

As Leonard Cohen writes “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

However, despite the assurances of the sages, I cannot summon positive feelings about being broken. It makes me feel anxious and hopeless.

I need hope right now. I need an alternative to describing myself as broken.

Shraddha…faith in what comes next


I participated in an online meditation group with Dr. Susan Lamb. She used Sanskrit Yoga Sutras (aphorisms) to help guide our meditations. It was very powerful.

In her course, I learned the Sanskrit word, shraddha. The official definition is “faith, commitment, the joy of practice in the certainty of fulfillment.”

The deeper meaning of shraddha is a radical trust in the perfect unfolding of our lives. Life is a powerful force, and the “Great Mind” (for me, God) knows where we’re heading.

Shraddha is faith and joy that our lives are unfolding just as they should. Shraddha represents our commitment to use every circumstance to the complete unfolding of our lives. The good and the bad things that happen to us equally contribute to this perfect unfolding.

Perhaps “broken” is not the word to inspire us right now.

I prefer to think of us and our world as…unfolding.


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.