In an unexpected turn of events, I found myself jobless in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am not the same person or professional I was in those early days. It was hard to tell up from down, good from bad. Despite the external circumstances I had to find a path forward. It took months and months and months.
I have uncovered a path. I created the SUSTAINABILITY STUDIO. The studio is a dynamic and playful spot where we help commercial and institutional clients make the circumstances they work in better. For individuals, teams, sectors and critically our shared ecology https://www.kadycowan.com
I have been warmly welcomed into my community and I have a big line-up of individuals, teams and organizations coming into the SUSTAINABILITY STUDIO this year. They are coming to learn how to integrate ecological practice into day-to-day operations, find durable system scale solutions to intractable energy, waste, health and climate challenges and we are going to have a lot of fun doing it.
At first it didn’t seem possible, however the friendship and encouragement of five #women whom I am grateful and lucky to have in my life made a huge difference. Not everyone has a #Mom that can be everything. On demand. But I do. She has given me all the lessons I need to get by. She has made the hard times better with softness and she is out in front of everyone to cheer me on when my sail finally catches some wind.
My colleague Linda Varangu, who I have considered a friend for almost as long has been a guiding light to me for more than 20 years. Always willing to reach beyond the stars because she believes in me. No matter how many times I’ve been knocked down, set back, betrayed, Linda could see the bright side.
When every effort I made was met with rejection, when I had poured everything out and tapped my reserve – another women showed up for me unconditionally. Victoria Mac Kinnon Gagnon. She listens to my, between a rock and a hard place stories, as often as I need to tell them. She helped me see options, gave advice abundantly, never looked back on the losses I would often share with her. She always pointed me onwards when my impulse was to retreat.
During this time of uncertainty I couldn’t find my grounding the way I had in the past. In the voice of Mithra Moezzi I found my stride. She helped me make sense of mixed messages. She helped me find meaning in my own muddled thoughts. She let me hear the sound of my own words and the space to let those words settle into something else. She encouraged me to wait and see what might become of myself if I had the courage. She could see, before I could, that I had a reason and purpose and something good and worthwhile to offer. Her certainty of this fact surprised me at first. And then I started to see it too. Slowly at first, and then there was no other option but to start somewhere.
My life long friend Rachel, always makes space for imperfection, honours my past like no one else, and reminds me gently and steadily, where I come from, what I have done, who I am. She is there through every transition – calmly assuring me I am worth it, I can do it, and I will survive.
Thanks to these five souls, I’ve been on my own for three years now. I’ve been working on many unique and valuable projects with amazing clients and collaborators. I only take work that I believe in, and that actively contributes to building a world that I actually want to live in.
In honour of women who offer limitless support to other women, I will be posting more consistently (maybe on Wednesdays?) about what is inspiring me in the SUSTAINABILITY STUDIO. If you are inspired and want to have a chat about what we are working on, or what you are working on, feel free to be in touch. I’m easy to find online. I'd love to hear if my relaunched website gives you a good idea of how we are producing connection, regeneration, decarbonization and a touch of magic in the SUSTAINABILITY STUDIO https://www.kadycowan.com