25th Anniversary Edition

Silver Linings Out of the Blue in 2022: Epiphanies at Work

“Light bulb,” “aha,” “eureka” or “epiphanic” moments… whatever you call those gob-smacking, out-of-the-blue revelations, we are all occasionally struck with least-expected, seemingly random, life-changing realizations that alter the course of our destiny. I like the word “epiphany” best of all to identify those great philosophical, spiritual or personal rare moments of insight.  (Epiphany arises in Middle English and is derived from the Greek word epiphainein—“to reveal.”)

Those “rare” occurrences, however, happen for you/to you more than you think. Most of the time these epiphanies are born out of small, everyday or normal life events. You can be sitting at a traffic light when one occurs… or standing in line at a grocery store… stirring a pot … walking your dog, stroking your cat… watching a movie… listening to a song or piece of music from days of old… catching a profound (childhood) insight from a mere whiff of a full box of new crayons, or from freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, or the mixed fragrances of damp moss, rain, wet tree trunks, wildflowers and cedar needles on a forest floor while hiking in a drizzle… when, bang! A taste. A colour. A sound. A feel. A sense. Any of the five senses can be a conduit for that “big bang” that changes everything, henceforth. Even sitting quietly and contemplatively behind closed doors at a funeral home, waiting to receive family and friends who wish to pay their respects to your mother on the evening before her funeral. That is what happened to me—that event marked one of my life’s biggest (so far, anyway) personal epiphanies.

January 6th, 2022 marks my 25th/Silver Anniversary of being in business as a sole proprietor, full time conference keynote speaker—serendipitously occurring on The Epiphany—the capital “E” one!

I decided to start my keynote speaker business—to quit my coveted corporate HR/Organizational Development job—thanks to that small “e” epiphany that occurred six months prior, at the funeral home. On June 3rd, 1996, the night before my mother’s funeral—at precisely 6:50 pm, while sitting in reflection in our room at the funeral home, mere moments before the doors opened for visitors to pay respects—a voice in my head told me to quit my corporate job and go out on my own as a keynote speaker. It was so clear, and such a gob-smackingly sudden revelation for me, that I blurted it out to my family to seal the deal. Like a vow. No going back once declared. They were gob-smacked too. (Great word, “gob-smacked.” Really paints a picture!) And for some reason I purposefully noted the time of my declaration. It was that important to remember.

Up until that literal life-changing/career-changing moment, I’d loved my corporate HR/OD job and would have probably found 25 more years of value there, being of service to that organization’s 5500 staff, if it hadn’t been for “the voice.” But this was a revelation for me—an immediate and profound “done deal.” I simply had to obey. I was compelled to “do as I was told.” (My mother always said that I was a good girl in that regard, lol.)

All that was left to do was execute the timing. I’d had a calling. An epiphany. When it came time to choose my departure-from-corporate life date, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to leave on the first Friday in December, so that I could enjoy the whole Christmas season without working, and then start my business on the first Monday of the new year?!” So I looked at the calendar to note the date of that first Friday in December, only to discover that it was… my birthday! Well that was that! Another no-brainer/done deal for me! What better omen could there be than to start a new life, a new career journey, on one’s “birth” day? It would be my rebirth-day! So that’s exactly what I did. And I have just realized now, this past week, that 25 years ago I started my business on none other than The Epiphany—January 6, 1997. I’d never put that two-and-two together before—the symbolism of that Epiphanic date for starting a new business, a new career path. Talk about a blinding flash of the obvious!

During an interview with Elise Ballard (for her book, Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight To Inspire, Encourage and Transform), Maya Angelou, the insightful American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist, shared:

“The truth is everybody probably has 250 epiphanies. The way you’re changed at ten prepares you to be changed again at fifteen, but you couldn’t have been changed at fifteen had you not had that change at ten. You see what I mean? Epiphany builds upon epiphany.”

To get the very best and the very most out of 2022, and the rest of your life, decide now/be determined now—at the start of this brand new year—to watch and listen carefully, consciously and intently for the next series of your life’s 250 total epiphanies. Be ready to build epiphany upon epiphany. The universe works through absolutely everything to inspire you/to inspire us to wake up and take notice, and then take action—the stars, books, flowers, movies, music, snow, death, birth. You name it… Even pandemics. But, while looking for your next epiphany upon which to take action and further enrich your personal and/or professional life, remember this:

“When you go looking for the wrong reasons, epiphanies do not arise.
A pure and open heart is a prerequisite.” — The Rev. Paula Willis

In this still brand new year, may you go looking for all the right reasons—and then, as a result, experience many joyous, bona fide (Latin for “in good faith”) epiphanies that enrich your personal and professional life, and, by extension, the lives of oh-so-many others, too.

My very best to you in 2022—in this, my Silver Anniversary year—for fortified health, much happiness and continued professional inspiration,


P. S. Please feel free to call me at 416-588-3334 to book my keynote services if it’s your heart’s desire to accelerate your staff or association members’ reconviction, rededication, recalibration and reframing of the good work they perform, despite these ongoing pandemic times. I’d love to have a chat with you.

Alternatively, I invite you to drop a line of keynote booking enquiry via nina@ninaspencer.com or www.ninaspencer.com. My continuing virtual presentations, and hopefully in-person keynotes later in the year, are dedicated to doing just that… boosting and bolstering spirit and morale, shoring up resilience, reducing stress and workplace conflict, fortifying mental health, elevating mindfulness, renewing professional passion, and aiding insights and awareness that lead to the grace of personal and professional epiphanies.

Click on the following links to review accolades offered by a wide diversity of clients regarding my keynote contributions to their attendees’ motivation, well-being, and professional development:

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