FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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The impact of the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Armaud Arbery and George Floyd has devasted our communities and our country, and returned many of us to memories of decades of discrimination, hatred, dehumanization and divisiveness.

As a child growing up in the Chicago area in the 60s, I remember feeling fear as I became aware of the hatred and violence building, as well as hope for those activists working to change laws that promoted equal rights.

As a White woman of privilege currently living in South Mississippi, I am frequently confronted with racist remarks and actions, clearly not about or against MY race. And they are becoming more frequent and overt than ever before. You see, many people think that because of the color of my skin, I will agree with them. It took me a long time to stop my jaw dropping “I don’t know what to say” reaction and move to the responses I choose now that signal to them that their comments are not okay. Unfortunately, I’ve had to create quite a mental library of responses to fit a number of different situations and comments. And honesty, I’m scared!! I’m afraid of their anger and hatred and I’m afraid I won’t “say it right” in response.

I was confronted head on by this systemic issue from the time I moved here. And now, it’s escalating and it’s time to effect permanent change. And yet, I am suffering from a limiting belief about whether this is truly possible in this country right now. Because I see all too clearly that this isn’t just a problem that exists in the South. It isn’t just my neighbor who is openly and verbally racist. It’s happening in neighborhoods where my sister, brother, nieces and cousins still live in Illinois, in Minnesota, in Florida, and in Arizona. It’s not just happening in my granddaughter’s school in Mississippi, but in the schools where my daughter teaches in New Orleans and where my niece and cousin work in Central Florida. It’s ingrained in the minds and reactions of so many people as they sit quietly in class or stand by silently while another student is bullied or called a name. And my son can run through his neighborhood without fear of being gunned down on the street, but some of his friends, neighbors and co-workers cannot.

And the response of our nation’s leader is doing more to incite violence than it is to promote peaceful resolutions, swift convictions, and equal representation.

As a White woman, I am certain that I am privileged. I see evidence of it every single day. And, I have power and a voice within that privilege. Yet often, like me, I feel that collectively, many many White people are outraged. And yet, there’s a pattern. I’ve fallen into it in the past as well.

We mourn. We post and write and speak and walk and donate and then…we go back to our privileged, lives and our work.

This movement will take more than a groundswell of actions. We must co-create sustainable change that will not find us going back to sleep while our Black sisters and brothers are being murdered.

In my business, I created what I think are the 4 Elements that can create success in almost any area of life and business. First, a Vision of what you want to accomplish.  Second, a Belief or mindset that it’s possible. Third, a Plan for how to get there and Fourth, Focused, Consistent Action.  

I am calling myself and others to this work –

First, to envision a country where racism is called out,  condemned and prosecuted consistently and our history of oppression isn’t “celebrated,” (as it is still here in the South) but is a thing of the past. And that what we celebrate is our commitment and collective partnerships to end (and continually address and discuss) racial injustice once and for all. That one day, we will celebrate our Days of Freedom, rather than our days of violence and hate.

Second, I’m having a little trouble with the Belief part right now. But many of you are helping me every day as I watch you walking, protesting, watching and reading about Black History. Speaking out in all forms. Flying a new flag in Mississippi. Creating Listening stations and much more. Please help me (and let me help you) get to the part where we BELIEVE we can end what seems like a cavernous pit of hatred and violence.

Third, I’m looking for those leaders and organizations who can come together with a Plan. I’m not seeing that yet.

Solopreneurs like myself are asking each other how we can work together and I know that we will figure that out soon.

Fourth, I will engage in focused consistent and daily actions. I see more hope here than I have before. I see policemen and women taking a knee at protests. I’ve seen companies express their commitment of support, dollars and resources, and denouncing racism and violence. I’ve seen universities pull scholarships after seeing racists videos posted by prospective students. And employers terminate workers after discovering their intolerant and hateful behaviors.

Here’s what is the beginning of my part in this area. For a long long time, I have practiced morning journaling pages daily, and I have an ending “process” for each writing session. I ask myself – what did I do the previous day to engage in Creativity, Self-Care and Learning. Then I list a number of things I am grateful for.

Starting now, I will add another area to reflect – what did I do yesterday to promote justice and equality for people of color? What’s happened in the world to unite people of color that I am grateful for today.

To all my Black friends and neighbors, colleagues and community leaders, victims of crime and their families, and especially to all of the children who are so very scared right now:

I’ve made mistakes in the past and I am so very sorry for them. I have said insensitive and racist things. I have been ignorant of the toll this is taking, and of the million big and tiny ways you are shattered inside every day. Of how resilient you have had to become as a result.

And today, tomorrow and every day,

I see you.

I hear you.

I stand with you.

I will fight for you and with you.

I am your Ally.

Laurie

 

 

 

in reflection about the way I’ve been operating in life and in business so far. I use a combination of journaling, looking back over my plan for the year, and brainstorming what I’m feeling is missing or needs to be eliminated.

I also take time to celebrate where I am at this mid-point. That’s important to me, as I am naturally inclined to seeing what I haven’t done with a critical eye, rather than embracing the successes I have achieved.

So yes, I may get tired of the complaints and insults and #fakenews. And yeah, I’m pretty inconsistent. But the honest truth is I’ll probably be around for awhile. And sometimes you may find me in person and we can chat a bit IRL. Which for me is infinitely better than your comment or laughing emoji. 

What was clear to me was the intentional message that you can create a following (or Fandom) around anything you love. If it feels authentic to you, talk about it. Wear it. Share it. Create a panel around it. 

And isn’t that what Entrepreneurs are trying to do every day?

It’s that time again! Time for me to reflect on the past year, and time for me to choose my One Little Word to guide me throughout the year ahead. You may remember this practice from a post last year.  This year, I’m doing a bit more reflection than usual, and will engage with Ali Edwards in her One Little Word class. It will allow me to intentionally engage with my word and create something meaningful that will last a lifetime and beyond.

These last few days of the year are some of my favorites! I spend a lot of time looking ahead and planning what I want to accomplish in the new year. I also spend some time intentionally reviewing the past year and what I want to celebrate and making a list of what I am grateful for. On the flip side, I also make a list of what I want to let go. Weather permitting, (it’s a pretty bleak and rainy day!) I will engage in a favorite ritual.

Another guest post today from Claire Wentz from Caring from Afar!  Few things compare to the stress of knowing an elderly loved one’s health is in decline, and living far away only adds to the worry. How can you care for an aging parent when you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away? Not everyone has […]

What is it about you that is worth more than you realize? What do others tell you that you often can’t integrate into your own belief and possibility?

A real treat today for me and for you. As you know, caregiver support and caregiving resources are two of my passions. And this article truly speaks to me as the community of care we were able to develop around my mother allowed her to stay in her home independently much longer than she would […]

What happened when I got there was an instant knowing that I was in the right place for the right reasons with the right people. I signed in and then headed out for a quick dinner. Someone walked into the restaurant and I saw her name badge. “Would you like to join me?” I asked. She did and she was amazing. A yoga teacher from California named Frances, like my mother.