Overcoming Obstacles with Mindfulness

Engineer Jacqueline Gallo on how she has seized obstacles to bring about personal and professional success.

Jacqueline Gallo, 35, is an engineer who oversees quality and operational excellence for the Connecticut-based Whitcraft Group, which fabricates com- ponents for aircraft engine manufac- turers. Twelve years ago, in the wake of heartbreak, she read Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior, which took her on a journey that led to her a “Mindful Leader” workshop with Michael Carroll. She has been practicing mindfulness since then. Whitcraft observes the practice of kaizen, a Jap- anese management concept of “continuous improvement.” For Gallo, the two practices—mindfulness and kaizen—are interconnected.

What brought you to meditation?

Crisis. For a long time, I had been very ambitiously pursuing happiness and working tirelessly at it—but it was an external journey of pursuit, one of accumulation, and, in retrospect, avoidance of grief about the destruction of my family and the loss of my sisters to crime and drugs and my par- ents to alcohol. When my partner and I decided to end our relationship, I felt devastated and empty. I hit all the grief I had been avoiding like a brick wall. I started skydiving: I thought if I could let go of my fear of jumping out of a plane then I could certainly…

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