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Fog: The Shedding of Light

Fog or heavy mist can turn any vista into a haunting, mystical, and slightly unnerving occasion.

Nothing can beat standing on the Golden Gate Bridge in the wee hours of the morning with the marine layer underneath you, the sky above casting a soft lavender, peach glow in the sunrise with this majestic bridge seemingly floating in midair.

There is many an image out on the internet caught by a devoted photographer that brings life to this scene. I was most fortunate to experience it in person.

No matter how well we think we know our environment, we do not. Unable to see clearly, we become noticeably more cautious as our memory no longer serves us. We are not sure precisely where anything is anymore, and we run the risk of accident, misstep or heaven forbid unable to find our way home.

Our ability to gauge distance, judge the shapes and forms moving within the fog becomes hampered by these new conditions. Accessing our new surroundings in meaningful ways means narrowing our eyes to see shadows and forms that might guide us in hopes we can outwit these nebulous conditions.

Stepping, driving, or moving carefully forward; more vigilant and prudent as we try against the odds to make decisions on what to do. It is here we find ourselves wrestling the power of the fog into submission. Unnerving yes! Unsure how long it will last – for sure! Seeing it as an opportunity? Not so much….

How many times have businesses, organizations and groups found themselves in a fog? How many times have we wondered how we got there; what do we have to do; how much harder must we work, focus, muster resources to slip out of the grip of the invisibility cloak surrounding our world?

We may, at times quietly resort to a bit of panic and confusion as the tools we use to live our lives do not fit this murky, unseen cloud that blots out our view and removes are steady guideposts and markers. Yet, it would seem the very cloud of confusion provides an opportunity to stop, slow down, turn inwards for guidance and become more circumspect.

Organizations spend money on retreats and experiences that remove themselves from the known and familiar to drive opportunity for new, innovative, and creative ideas, plans and strategies. The goal of these extractions is to change the scenery to allow something else to grow; to get away from same old same old.

When we are in the LIGHT we don’t panic, we function well even if a bit predictably, but when the light changes or the views dim, we feel angst, uncertainty, and fear. It is here in the intersection of confusion, fog, and missing markers that we can step back and allow the vision to come into view and take shape a different way.

The opportunity to look at the fog and the unseen and see possibility and options is one not to be missed. Meditation is one of the ways many choose to ‘blot’ out light and spend time in the blackness both for calm but also for wisdom. Meditation for business takes on a different shape.

Instead of finding our seat, a business assembles the team; instead of closing our eyes, we reach for the writing instruments; instead of silence we share stories, ideas, with no objective in mind save the gratitude of simply being together and allowing the fog to be the interlude in the life of the organization.

There is a tremendous value for organizations to take stock in times when fog, uncertainty and challenges arise, as inspiration can often flourish against this backdrop.

Taking the time to document, white board or vision board what has been achieved to date is a great taking stock moment; remembering the how, the what, the where and when allows a map to materialize that can become a next step guide.

Martin Luther King’s quote ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step’ is a perfect analogy to finding yourself or your organization in a fog; not being able to see the whole staircase yet taking the time to step back and choosing one sure footed step forward.

The Shedding of Light brings about Fog, yet it is in the fog that the light hides until the sun warms up the moisture allowing it to clear resulting in such beautiful bright, sunny day.

Fog is a gift of circumspection and foresightedness, so, if you, your business, or your organization finds yourself in a fog, take advantage of it. Slow down, ponder, reflect, and document.

One sure foot slowly put forth from these deep reflections will bring innovation, growth and if nothing else a notch on your belt called ‘resilience’.

Grab a jacket, the fog can be chilly but oh so exciting.


Dina O'Reilly is 4xi's Strategic Partnership & Growth lead; she is also our Project Management Office lead and Ghostwriter in Residence, providing BLOGS+ services to clients. To learn more, contact Dina at


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