Craving Calm – Even a Lighthouse Can’t Control the Storm

Apr 8, 2020

Recently, I’ve been asked the same thing quite often: “Joy – how are YOUR clients doing? How are YOU doing?”

In a situation as uncertain as what we’re currently facing globally, it’s natural to want to look around and see if others are feeling the same way that we are feeling.

Are other people nervous?
Am I over-reacting?
Is it normal to feel like this?
Has anyone else found a way through this?

The truth is that my clients are feeling a lot of things. Many are grappling with anxiety about the current situation, worried about their families and their employees, and uncertain about what lies ahead for their organization. Some have been in tears on the phone with me. One shared that she had been having full-blown panic attacks unlike anything she has previously experienced.

I’m aware, even as they are sharing these thoughts with me, that I am privy to these thoughts that they’d unlikely ever share with outsiders. To others, they convey strength, optimism, and a willingness to tackle whatever comes at them.

Why? Because these leaders are lighthouses. They know that their job is to shine a bright light out into the storm, calmly and steadfastly showing their members how to navigate around the rocks.

This is such a beautiful thing. The world needs lighthouses now.

But here’s the thing that many people forget when they are out there trying to be a lighthouse.

A lighthouse knows that it can’t stop the storm from happening;

… it can’t control the crashing waves;
… it can’t alter the position of the rocks;
… it can’t control whether the sailors pay attention;
… it can’t be running willy-nilly up and down the shoreline.

The lighthouse can only hold its position firm on the shoreline, shine the brightest light possible, and maybe sound an occasional foghorn.

The most important thing YOU can do right now is to make sure that you’re taking exceptionally good care of your light.

Know when you’re up against your limit.

Don’t be afraid to step away.

Don’t worry about letting something go temporarily.



Do the things that are most important, give yourself a whole lot of grace, and don’t let that bulb of yours grow dim or burn out.

I’d love to hear how you’re doing in this time when we’re all craving calm.

Hit reply and share your thoughts. I personally read every response.

If you’d like to catch the live Crowdcast that I did recently on this topic, you can go here or find the link to the replays on your favorite podcast player here.

Joy Duling is Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.  Since 2005, Joy and her team have helped associations, trade groups and membership-based nonprofits run their programs more easily and deliver exceptional member care.

You can find FREE tools, tips and training to help you run and grow your membership organization in The Joy of Membership Help Hub.