Hamilton’s July 3 debut as a film gave me chills and brought me back to my wondrous first viewing in a theatre. One of the most powerful moments is Christopher Jackson playing George Washington singing One Last Time of his decision to resign from the presidency:
We’re gonna teach ’em how to
One last time
— One Last Time, Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
I’ve also reached the end of one of my coaching programs with the Co-Active Institute(CTI), which comprised of a weekly ritual with our group of ten that’s helped stabilize me through this wildly unpredictable 2020. So I’m thinking a lot about endings, new beginnings, and the spaces in between.
I tend to be a restless person and a speed freak, moving seamlessly from the end of one thing to the beginning of the next. I seek the next new adventure and shiny object.
We all have different endings in our life. They can be as large as finishing a course or school program, leaving a job, ending a relationship, leaving a country, or experiencing a death. Endings can be as small as reading a book, writing a blog post, or wrapping up a lovely meal with friends. And you can imagine the range of intermediate endings in between.
Endings can be your choice or involuntary. Both have different types of pain associated with it, though this post is primarily focused on voluntary endings. Endings are important as a milestone, a point-in-time reflection, and a brief pause to consider what matters. Some key questions to close the chapter on a period of life.
- What do you want to celebrate about your ending?
- What do you want to honor and carry with you into the future?
- What do you want to grieve and leave behind?
- How do you carry the ending for a group? How do you “teach em how to say goodbye”?
As I complete this part of my ongoing professional education, there’s many things I want to celebrate — the intimacy and connection between ten once-strangers who’ve spent 25 weeks together on zoom, the stabilizing ritual of a weekly meeting through the chaos of pandemic, and the power of a group as it gels over time. I…