During the last several weeks of devastating world events, it has been difficult for me to stay focused and carry on with daily life. Like many people touched by the events in Israel and Gaza, I have been overwhelmed by feelings of fear, grief and hopelessness. The future seems bleak and the way forward uncertain.

As a coach, I am used to supporting others who are living through difficult periods in their lives. But when it’s personal, it’s hard to apply the lessons learned over many years of being with people who are navigating through hard times. A riff on the phrase “coach heal thyself” comes to mind.

Reflecting on how I work with clients who are stuck, feeling overwhelmed, fearful, and anxious about their future, I often start by stopping. We sit or stand together and breathe. Taking a few moments to simply be present together without words. Noticing and accepting whatever comes up without judgment. It’s a practice of being and not doing.

Being present is an important ingredient for cultivating hope.

Last week, I tried to focus on being better connected to the people around me. I was grateful to come across a post from executive coach Scott Osman* on being present.

Osman’s post was a reminder of the role leaders and coaches play during difficult times. Offering a safe space for being present with people in their work places and communities is a start. Practising deep listening and showing care and compassion, without expectation or judgement. Focusing on the direction and not the destination. This doesn’t mean giving up on working towards a better future, it simply shifts our focus to allow space to breathe and find a human connection.

As Osman describes, this is the “fifth dimension” of life and leadership: “This way of living focuses on the present and on our relationships with ourselves, others, and the world around us. We live in the present, learn from the past, and we aim for the future. It is a more holistic approach that takes into account the interconnectedness of all things.”

Life becomes more meaningful by shifting our attention to supporting others just because we care, and not because we have something to gain.

* You can read the full post and subscribe here: [Best of] Week 23.44 The Present, November 1, 2023.


On November 22nd from 12:00 – 1:00 ET I am co-hosting a virtual workshop for HR Leaders on re-imagining retirement.

Navigating the Next Chapter: Re-imagining Retirement, sponsored by Vision Coaching, co-facilitated with executive coach Chantelle Courtney, we will explore the changing demographics, mindsets and opportunities around retirement.

Join us to learn the benefits of introducing a pre-retirement coaching program at your organization, and the value of providing a safe space for seasoned professionals to envision their retirement and plan for a meaningful next chapter.

Sign up to reserve a spot. Space is limited.

Krakauer Coaching also offers customized individual retirement and pre-retirement coaching packages. Contact us to set up a complimentary consultation and learn more.

Our coaches have direct experience working with professionals, business owners, managers and executives who are contemplating the next chapter. Working with a coach will help you to prepare for a rewarding and meaningful post-retirement life on your own terms!

Learn more about our team at www.krakauer.ca/about

May we all find a way towards peace.