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It was a week.

It was a week.

It was the Wednesday when 69 year old Maurice Stallard and 67 year old Vickie Jones were shot and killed at a grocery store in Kentucky. Allegedly, the shooter attempted to enter a predominantly black church but, when he was unable to get inside, he opened fire and killed these two African Americans at the store.

It was the Friday when a man in Florida was arrested and charged with a number of crimes related to a series of homemade bombs sent to several individuals in the mail.

The horrors continued on Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill what a gunman opened fire with the intent to kill Jews because they are Jews. Eleven people were killed and several others injured.

It was a week.

In her 2017 book Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown posits that we are facing a crisis of disconnection. In an interview with Dan Schawbel, Brown shares, “We’ve sorted ourselves into factions based on our politics and ideology. We’ve turned away from one another and toward blame and rage. We’re lonely and untethered. And scared. Any answer to the question “How did we get here?” is certain to be complex. But if I had to identify one core variable that magnifies our compulsion to sort ourselves into factions while at the same time cutting ourselves off from real connection with other people, my answer would be fear. Fear of vulnerability. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of the pain of disconnection. Fear of criticism and failure. Fear of conflict. Fear of not measuring up. When we ignore fear and deny vulnerability, fear grows and metastasizes. We move away from a belief in common humanity and unifying change and move into blame and shame. We will do anything that gives us a sense of more certainty and we will give our power to anyone who can promise easy answers and give us an enemy to blame.”

That’s a lot of fear.

Brown does invite us to tap into the courage necessary to find our way back to ourselves and each other. Brown invites us to be who we are and truly belong. “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But true belong is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity.”

What does it make possible if we find our way back to ourselves?

What does it make possible if we find our way back to each other?

Core to the practice of Catalytic Thinking, is decision-making that brings out our best. As social scientist Hildy Gottlieb writes, “Because the goal of decision-making is action, mindful decision-making is aware of the cause-and-effect results those actions will create. Therefore, decisions that bring out our best will be rooted in a deep understanding of how causality works, and an even deeper understanding of our power to create that causality. Because our power to create the world we want lies in our power to create favorable cause-and-effect conditions towards those results.”

Our power to create the world we want lies in our power to create favorable cause-and-effect conditions towards those results.

It was a week. It aches to try to make sense of that week. It aches to make sense of the atrocities that came before that week, the atrocities that have come since, and those that are yet to come. On the other side of the ache, however, is the possibility. The possibility of finding our way back to ourselves and the possibility of finding our way back to each other. On the other side of the ache is knowing that we have the power to create the favorable conditions that make it possible for us to tap into our courage, engage our creativity, and aim for the future we want.

It was a week, and together we have all that we need to create the thriving future we want.

The Mudita Collective works with and supports you in bringing out the best in everyone and achieving success. You focus on your vision. We’ll help you bring it to fruition. To learn more about and engage The Mudita Collective, please visit You can also follow The Mudita Collective on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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