Exploring the resilience of the human spirit, Style My Soul sought insights from Founders and CEOs on the profound question of life’s continuity after emotional milestones. From the advocacy for mental health to the human experience of renewal after loss, we present four poignant perspectives on whether there is life after love and/or loss.
Mental Health Advocacy Proves Life Prevails
Absolutely, I believe in life after love and loss, and my work with Stay Here, a mental health organization I founded, has solidified this belief. In addressing depression and suicidal thoughts — two profound markers of suffering — our organization has encountered countless stories of individuals finding meaning, purpose, and joy after periods of deep pain and loss. For example, we’ve seen individuals who’ve lost loved ones to suicide harness their grief to become passionate advocates for mental health. Through our “ACT Suicide Prevention Training,” they’ve not only found a pathway to personal healing but have also become a beacon of hope for others. They’ve learned that, while the scars of love and loss remain, they do not define the totality of their existence. In addition to this, the Stay Here movement is rooted in the conviction that every single life carries inherent value and potential, regardless of the pain of the past. This conviction is reaffirmed by the feedback from the people we help, who rediscover life’s worth through healing conversations, therapy, and community support. In embracing their stories of resilience, we’ve witnessed how individuals can rebuild lives filled with meaningful connections and aspirations, proving that life, indeed, continues beyond adversity. - Jacob Coyne, Founder, Stay Here
Beauty Entrepreneur Embraces Growth Beyond Heartache
Life is full of highs and lows. Love and loss are two of the most difficult and heart-wrenching experiences of our lives. However, they are also the best times to grow, be resilient, and start fresh. Whether it’s breaking up a relationship, saying goodbye to a beloved friend or family member, or experiencing any heartache in any way, shape, or form, I’m confident we can heal ourselves and move forward. At Perfect Locks, we believe in the power of transformation and self-empowerment. Our hair extension and salon services are tailored to help you look and feel your best, no matter what you’re going through in your personal life. We’ve seen firsthand how a change of hairstyle or a new look can boost someone’s self-esteem and help them through life’s challenges. Ultimately, I think love and loss are a part of being human. While there are times when it hurts, it also opens up new possibilities, personal development, and the possibility of a better future. - Priyanka Swamy, CEO, Perfect Locks
Personal Growth Follows Love and Loss
In my personal experience, I strongly hold the belief in life beyond both love and loss. These encounters, though often arduous, have presented me with opportunities for personal growth, resilience, and the potential to establish new connections. Love and loss have played a pivotal role in shaping my outlooks, principles, and priorities, guiding me toward a deeper comprehension of myself and others. While the anguish of loss may feel overwhelming, it has gradually opened doors to recovery, progression, and the prospect of rediscovering love and joy. Ultimately, love and loss constitute fundamental aspects of my journey, each offering invaluable insights and avenues for rejuvenation. - Farah Kim, Head of Marketing, Winpure
Human Experience Encompasses Renewal After Loss
I believe in life after love and loss. It’s a fundamental part of the human experience. Love and loss are intertwined with our growth and evolution as individuals. When we love, we open ourselves up to vulnerability, to connection, and to experiences that enrich our lives in ways we couldn’t imagine. And inevitably, with love often comes loss — whether it’s the end of a relationship, the passing of a loved one, or even the loss of a dream or opportunity. But through it all, we learn, we grow, and we find new ways to love and be loved. It’s not always easy, and it certainly isn’t pain-free, but it’s through these experiences that we become more resilient, more compassionate, and more alive. So yes, I firmly believe that there is life after love and loss because life is a journey of constant renewal and rediscovery. - Jon Morgan, CEO, Venture Smarter
From forest bathing to a simple stroll in the park, people from all walks of life are waking up to the extraordinary mental and physical health benefits that nature provides. Expect this trend to take off in the summer of 2024.
People connect with nature in various ways. Some fill their homes with plants, others walk their dog daily or visit a local park. And still others may seek out the vastness of wild places in the mountains, desert, or beach.
The pandemic brought about a passion for cultivating and caring for indoor plants, with sales skyrocketing. This rapid growth is expected to continue, with social media influencers promoting the care of plants and more people finding joy in doing so.
State and national park visitation levels are booming as they become more known and accessible. In addition to visitation levels increasing year over year, much of the rise is seasonal, so expect to see big crowds at some of the parks during the summer months.
How to Connect with Nature
Nature is for everyone. Some may feel unsure about how to experience nature, perhaps due to a lack of experience or not feeling like they are the outdoorsy type. While this is understandable, it is important to understand that simply by going outside and appreciating nature can make one outdoorsy. There are no rules!
Incorporate your interests into the outdoors. If you have a dog, make an effort to go on a walk. If you’re a reader, sit outside on the porch while you read. Yoga, photography, running, eating, and so much more can be done outside. Simply taking a moment to appreciate the sounds, smells, and sights can be enough. The good news is that just a few minutes provides a wellness boost.
Nature’s Incredible Benefits
A growing body of research shows that nature provides mental and physical wellness benefits and more. Some of the most notable wellness benefits include better sleep, better concentration, quicker healing, and reduced cancer risk.
So many seek decreased stress levels and increased feelings of happiness. While not a complete solution, connecting with nature can help with both, in addition to many other benefits. In an age where mental and physical wellness are being taken more seriously than they have in the past, spending time outside is a powerful tool in increasing overall wellness. Best of all, it’s natural, and often free.
Avoiding Crowds at Popular Locations
How can you find solitude at the National Parks and other popular outdoor adventure locations?
Go in the Off-Season. This is the most helpful tip! The off-season varies depending on the location. For example, winter sees the fewest visitors at Zion National Park, and winter can be a lovely time to visit! As long as you’re dressed properly and prepared for the weather, you can still experience the epic views and amazing hikes. You’ll often be the only one on the trail.
Go early or late. Crowd levels tend to be highest beginning in the late morning through early afternoon. At that point, many visitors leave to get dinner. Bringing a picnic dinner and watching the sunset can be a memorable way to enjoy peaceful solitude.
Be flexible. Keep your itinerary flexible. The parking lot for the hike you wanted to do might be full and you’ll have to move on. You might find one that you like even better.
Holidays can be packed. Avoid visiting on holidays if possible. Weekends also tend to be more crowded than weekdays.
Book in advance.
Popular parks like Arches National Park require a reservation at peak times of the year that must be booked up to 3 months in advance. Similarly, desirable camping spots often fill up within minutes of their release date. For popular spots along the California coast, this might be 6 months in advance of your camping date.
Get off the Beaten Path.
Drive or hike farther than most people are willing to go and you will be rewarded. Crowds cluster near parking lots and even at the busiest places it doesn’t take more than 10–15 minutes of walking to find some peace and quiet.
Find your own hidden gem.
Some of the most beautiful and wild places aren’t national or state parks, but nearby secluded streams, meadows, forests, or other green spaces. It can be helpful to ask locals about their favorite spots.
Take part in this incredible wellness trend and find your own connection with nature!
Meet Our Contributor — Kathryn Glenn
From countless road trips to visiting 30+ countries with kids in tow, Kathryn’s an expert in family travel. She’s also an advocate for getting outside and enjoying the physical and mental benefits of nature. Learn more about Kathryn’s adventures here.
Processing professional feedback is an art that can profoundly impact your career and personal development. Style My Soul collected insights from ten seasoned professionals on how they process feedback and the difference it has made in their lives. From implementing client feedback for service improvement to refining skills through proactive feedback application, discover the transformative power of feedback through their experiences.
Implement Client Feedback for Service Improvement
As an attorney specializing in estate planning and personal injury with my own practice, I’m acutely aware of the importance of feedback. Professional feedback has been pivotal in shaping both my practice and the way I approach client cases. I’ve learned that feedback, particularly from my clients, is a crucial part of the legal service process — it’s not just about addressing immediate legal needs but also about how the service is delivered and perceived. For instance, early in my career, a client suggested greater transparency about the possible outcomes of their case. Taking this feedback, I started providing more detailed explanations about potential scenarios, which not only prepared clients better but also built stronger trust. This shift led to more referrals and higher client satisfaction. In another case, feedback about our communication processes led to the implementation of a more robust follow-up system to keep clients informed, alleviating anxiety and confusion during legal proceedings. I’ve also incorporated feedback into our estate planning services by understanding that while legal documents are critical, it’s the peace of mind and clarity for the future that clients truly value. This led to the creation of a comprehensive guide for clients explaining each step of their estate planning, including ‘Your Thoughts on Money,’ a tool to help them articulate their financial and inheritance goals to their families. Feedback thus not only improves the tangible aspects of my services but also helps to refine our client-focused approach, ensuring clients’ holistic needs are met. - Anna Burr, Owner-Attorney, Burr-Law
Embrace Constructive Criticism for Growth
The input of professionals is extremely valuable to my legal career. I receive it with a receptive mindset, perceiving it as a chance to develop. The utilization of constructive criticism has played a pivotal role in the enhancement of both my communication and legal strategies. By embracing feedback, I have not only enhanced my professional capabilities but also improved my interactions with clients. A culture of ongoing enhancement is cultivated within our practice as a result.
Unquestionably, feedback has had a profound impact on my life, resulting in enhanced methodologies, superior client outcomes, and personal growth. It is an indispensable instrument for the achievement of any professional, and I urge individuals to adopt it in an optimistic manner, acknowledging the profound influence it can exert on professional aptitudes as well as personal development. - Ahmad Faraj, Owner, Principal & Senior Criminal Lawyer, Faraj Defence Lawyers
Treat Feedback as Actionable Data
In my two decades of experience in Customer Service and leading my own company, OneStop Northwest, I’ve come to view professional feedback not just as commentary, but as actionable data. This approach has been instrumental in both personal growth and in shaping my company’s evolution. For example, one of our clients pointed out inefficiencies in our project management process. Taking this feedback seriously, we integrated Zoho Project Management tools, which significantly improved our workflow and transparency with clients — an upgrade reflected in their increased satisfaction and our improved service delivery. Another instance was when feedback from our team led us to adopt a regular usability testing regimen for our web development services. By implementing real-user testing sessions, we’ve been able to refine user experiences in meaningful ways, which translates to happier clients and end-users. These experiences underscore how I process feedback: I contextualize it, assess its validity, and efficiently integrate the valuable insights into our operations. It’s a mindset that is central to my role and has contributed to our company’s agile and client-centric ethos, a testament to feedback’s transformative potential when taken constructively. - Dylan Cleppe, Co-Founder & CEO, OneStop Northwest LLC
Enhance Leadership and Decision-Making
In my capacity as the CEO and founder, I place great importance on professional feedback due to the invaluable insights it offers regarding areas that require refinement and prospects for expansion. I adopt a receptive attitude toward feedback, engaging in active listening to discern the viewpoints of others and contemplating the potential application of their discernment to augment my leadership prowess and decision-making abilities. Undoubtedly, the provision of expert feedback has had a profound impact on both my personal development and the prosperity of my organization. By doing so, I have been able to recognize areas of oversight, enhance my approaches, and develop as a leader. By viewing criticism as an opportunity for growth rather than a source of criticism, I have successfully cultivated an environment of ongoing enhancement within my institution and propelled constructive transformation. In general, the assimilation of expert feedback has played a pivotal role in my professional and personal maturation, ultimately bolstering the prosperity and expansion of my organization.
- Kyle Bernard, Founder and CEO, Radiance Pools LLC
Foster Personal and Organizational Growth
When I receive feedback, I make a conscious effort to approach it with humility and an eagerness to learn and grow. I take the time to carefully consider the specific examples and advice offered, recognizing the valuable insights they provide into my performance and areas where I can improve. This way, I can discern actionable steps to enhance my abilities and better contribute to the team. I understand that processing professional feedback is a vital aspect of my growth and development. A culture that encourages open communication and feedback enables me to understand my strengths and areas for improvement. Through constructive feedback, I gain valuable insights into my performance, allowing me to set goals and targets for personal and professional growth. This feedback culture fosters a sense of involvement and engagement, aligning me with the organization’s values and goals. Moreover, consistent feedback ensures that I stay connected with the organization’s goals and values. It reinforces my sense of belonging and encourages me to actively participate in achieving the company’s objectives. Whether it’s positive reinforcement or constructive criticism, feedback helps me understand my role in the larger context of the organization. This exchange of feedback fosters engagement and collaboration, driving both personal and organizational growth. All in all, professional feedback has made a significant difference in my life by providing me with guidance, direction, and a sense of belonging within the organization. It empowers me to continuously improve and contribute to the company’s success, fostering a culture of openness, engagement, and growth.
- Michael Hurwitz, CEO and Co-Founder, Careers in Government
Seek Diverse Perspectives for Comprehensive Feedback
I like to gain clarification when it comes to feedback given to me, as this provides a more comprehensive view of my strengths and areas for growth. This is why I consult with others to gather additional perspectives on the feedback given to me by different professionals in my life. Different professionals bring unique experiences, expertise, and viewpoints, so gathering feedback from a diverse group ensures that I receive insights from various angles, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. Regularly seeking feedback from professionals also allows for continuous improvement. By incorporating suggestions and adapting to changing circumstances, I can refine my strategies, projects, or ideas over time. A vast array of perspectives has allowed me to better understand my areas of improvement, and it makes it easier to focus on more specific areas. - Najaf Ali, Director, Urban Leather Jackets
Identify Actionable Advice from Feedback
Sometimes the advice or feedback you are given isn’t always actionable. It’s important to be able to identify what you can take from any feedback given to you, and if it’s even applicable or realistic to incorporate into your professional life. Whether it’s improving a skill, adjusting your communication style, or changing a work habit, having clear action items makes the feedback more manageable. This is how I manage feedback given to me, and it has helped me to actually make effective changes. Even asking someone to clarify, or to extrapolate what they mean from their comments, helps you to decipher the advice and take actionable steps instead of just letting it go in one ear and out the other. - Kieran Harris, Managing Director, Senior Stairlifts
Integrate Feedback for Professional Advancement
Believing professional feedback is a chance for development and progress, I adopt an unbiased perspective when it comes to its reception. I engage in proactive listening when receiving feedback, aiming to comprehend the viewpoints and understandings expressed by others. The process of processing professional feedback entails engaging in introspection, recognizing areas that require improvement, and formulating practical measures to rectify those areas. By integrating feedback into my work methodologies and honing my abilities in accordance with the knowledge acquired, I am consistently motivated to improve my performance and produce superior outcomes. Undoubtedly, professional feedback has had a profound impact on my life, facilitating my professional development, honing of skills, and adjustment to evolving conditions within the ever-evolving domains of marketing and technology. Incorporating constructive criticism into my professional and personal growth has been crucial and has ultimately contributed to my achievement in my current position.
- Jessica Shee, Senior Tech Editor and Marketing Content Manager, iBoysoft
Use Feedback as an Opportunity for Resilience and Growth
When I receive professional feedback, I first take the time to understand the context in which it was given. Then, I analyze the specifics of the feedback and consider how it aligns with my goals and values. If the feedback is constructive and relevant, I make a conscious effort to implement the suggested changes and improve my skills or performance in that area. Importantly, I remind myself that feedback is an opportunity for growth and not a reflection of my worth as a person or professional. This mindset has helped me develop resilience and a growth-oriented attitude toward feedback. Professional feedback has played a significant role in my personal and career development. It has helped me recognize my strengths and weaknesses, refine my skills, and become a more effective leader and entrepreneur. Additionally, it has deepened my self-awareness and facilitated better communication and collaboration with others. - Matthew Ramirez, Founder, Rephrase
Refine Skills Through Proactive Feedback Application
I handle professional feedback by keeping an open mind, carefully analyzing constructive criticism, and pinpointing areas for improvement. I make a conscious effort to redo the work promptly, taking into consideration all the mentioned aspects to avoid overlooking any details. Additionally, I sometimes engage in repetitive practice of the task to reinforce learning and ensure a more effective application of the feedback. This proactive approach has been crucial in my personal and professional development, resulting in enhanced skills and a refined approach to my responsibilities.
- Khrystyna Polotninako, Head of Growth, Elai