The Next Chapter

the next chapter

I like the idea that our lives are made up of chapters, rather than a continuum of events.  It resonates with me, especially now as we inch our way out of the Covid chapter, at least here in the US.  As this chapter begins to close, I’ve been reflecting on my life over the past year.  How have I grown?  What have I learned?  What do I want this next chapter to be?

I suspect it won’t externally look much different, but I am hopeful my experience of life will feel different.  Maybe when NYC fully opens back up, I won’t unthinkingly be swept back up into the more-ness of the city.  Instead, I hope that I can be more connected, more present, less self-conscious, more generous and more appreciative.

“As you move into your next chapter, what is it you would like to both take and leave behind, too?” 


And so, this is more of a journal entry than a newsletter.  It’s an inventory of what’s sustained me, what I’ve been drawn to, and what I’ve left behind.  As you read, I wonder what will resonate similarly for you.  And as you also move into your next chapter, what is it you would like to both take and leave behind, too?

  • The change I am most hopeful will stick: Being more focused on what’s in front of me rather than anticipating what’s next

  • The feeling I most want to leave behind: Anticipation

  • The feeling I most want to take into the next chapter: Absorption

  • The core value that has gone from important to most important: Health

  • The quality I have been most drawn to: Kindness

  • Favorite binge-watching of the pandemic: Ted Lasso and Schitt’s Creek (kindness + humor!)

  • The perfect work of fiction to read during a pandemic: A Gentleman in Moscow. It speaks to how to live a rich life, no matter how small your external world.

  • The business book I return to again and again: Essentialism (What are the “trivial many” and the “vital few”?)

  • Habits that helped before that are now non-negotiable: My morning routine. First I read a page or two of a book, like The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield. It gives me perspective beyond my own small understanding of the world. Then I journal about whatever comes out. Lastly, I meditate.

  • New habits I want to keep: Yoga. Thanks to Modo Yoga NYC, I have a practice, instead of being the dabbler I had been for years.

  • Most humbling habit I’m attempting: Writing regularly

  • Podcast host who most inspires and expands my perspective: Krista Tippett from OnBeing.

  • Most visceral lesson of the pandemic that is going to sound clichéd: Relationships, in all their forms, are hard and humbling. And there is no more direct path to learning who you are.

  • What I never questioned: NYC is my home

  • Next question to ponder: What does grittier look like for me? See Grit by Angela Duckworth or her interview with Dan Harris on the 10% Happier Podcast.

  • Quote that is my hope for all of us… “In the middle of winter, I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

Starla Sireno specializes in Executive Coaching in NYC. She partners with leaders to more effectively navigate the complexities of their roles, increase their influence at all levels, and hone their interpersonal communication skills in order to become more impactful both internally and in client-facing roles. Inquire how you can work with Starla or her team.

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