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Tag: healing

Opting Out Is Also A Courageous Option!

Sometimes, after I facilitate workshops for corporate women, my heart breaks.

Why?

Some women are really struggling in corporate environments. And honestly,  I OVERstand because it is not always easy for me, either.

But here’s the truth….. sometimes you CAN’T listen to the advice of your friends, especially if they don’t have experience in corporate settings, don’t have to deal with workplace politics, or don’t know how to extend empathy.

Why?

Some people just don’t understand that corporate trauma is real.  Trying to exist and thrive in some corporate environments is extremely debilitating, spiritually exhausting, confidence-eroding, and disease-producing!

So, here’s a reminder for some of my corporate folks, especially women of color: Opting out of any unsafe situation is courageous!

You don’t need to continue anything or align with anything that jeopardizes your emotional, spiritual, or mental health.

You don’t have to carry the torch for all women!

You don’t have to endure disrespect to prove you “can do it” because your competence is undeniable.

You don’t have to be a punching bag to hold the doors open for other women or to help women get seats at the table.

You don’t have to sabotage or undermine other historically marginalized people to gain brownie points from people who really don’t like or respect you, either.

You don’t have to do any of that!

And not doing any of that does not mean you are not committed to your success and the success of other women.

It’s also does NOT mean that you are weak, selfish, or “hurting your race.”

You can be committed to gender parity, diversity, inclusion, and equity, AND care about yourself FIRST!

Honestly, YOU MUST honor yourself first!

And while you are “getting your entire self” together, find a loving community that can hear and support you without heaping more guilt, expectations, and cultural shame on your plate.

Remember,  YOU are not responsible for correcting systems and structures strategically designed to exclude and undermine you.

Your primary goal is to stay well and whole in an extremely sick system while you help to create something healthier and better for all humans.

Signed,

A Corporate Sister Who Knows & Cares

Reclaim Your WILL And Find Peace!

Hey there,

How are you doing?

I wanted to check in because a lot is happening around the world. And honestly, the world feels a bit heavy right now. For some, it may even feel heartbreaking and emotionally exhausting as people struggle to be heard, seen, and protected.

I know many of you may be dealing with conflicting emotions and trying to make sense of contradictory narratives we hear in the media. But as you try to make sense of it all, I want YOU to remember the incredible strength YOU have inside you – the power of your WILL.

Lately, I have been speaking a lot about our WILL because our WILL helps us feel strong and grounded during difficult times. It keeps us hoping, working, advocating, and living without giving up or giving in to vitriol, negativity, and hopelessness. Most of all, our WILL ensures that we stay purposeful and focused as we navigate an evolving and sometimes turbulent world.

As you harness the power of your WILL, here are a few thoughts to consider.

YOU HAVE…..

W – Wisdom. Even though a lot is happening in the world, you have wisdom within and around you to move through complexity and uncertainty. You have inherited and acquired knowledge that you gained from your ancestors, upbringing, communities, spiritual beliefs, and life experiences that provide incredible insight and direction. So, access and apply what you know to make choices that honor your deepest values, desires, and dreams. Especially during political and social unrest, trust your instincts and intuition to navigate the path ahead, trusting that the answers you seek lie within your soul.

I – Imagination. Now more than ever, you must unleash your imagination to think outside the box and dream beyond your current reality. You must look inwardly and pay attention to the messages in your dreams, bypassing evidence, predictions, and naysayers to see opportunities for yourself and others. You must quiet the outside chatter to sense your inner hope and see a future filled with peace, justice, and dignity. Your ability to imagine is directly tied to your ability to create, innovate, problem-solve, and manifest what you need and want. Remember, tomorrow’s answers may not be limited to what you know and see today.

L – Levity. Since the world feels heavy, please make time and create space for joy, passion, play, and rest. Weekly, dedicate a few hours to drawing, laughing, dancing, and singing. Commune with nature, paint a picture, get a massage, or play a sport. Do something fun and light to rejuvenate your spirit, reconnect with your body, and renew your resolve. Levity will relax your mind, which will help you access your wisdom and activate your imagination as you pursue your path.

L – Liberation. Think and choose for yourself. This sounds easy, but opening your mind to new ideas is extremely difficult. But to operate fully in your WILL depends on your ability to listen, learn, and pressure-test what you hear about other countries, communities, and cultures. Because once you free your mind from other people’s beliefs and conclusions, you will create spaciousness for personal revelations, receive divine downloads, and unlock new possibilities for yourself and others. Remember… OPENNESS creates Opportunities.

Life is complex, and there are no easy answers, especially now. However, your WILL can ground and guide you through this unpredictable, challenging time. And when surrounded by supportive friends and fortified by faith, you will make it through this difficult chapter in your life.

I shared more about the power of our WILL in our community podcast. To listen, click here. (Choose a podcast server and subscribe to be notified when I release new episodes.)

As you navigate this uncertain time, you are also invited to join me for a free gathering next week called “Unboxed and Unbothered.” In 60 minutes, we will talk about the power of being unboxed and unbothered during times of transition and growth. It’s free, so sign up now because I am keeping the gathering intimate, so people can feel safe sharing.

My friend, I genuinely believe in the power of our individual and collective WILL – wisdom, imagination, levity, and liberation. And by activating our WILL, we can co-create a safe, secure world for all of us and a unique path just for you!

If this message resonates with your soul, will you do me a favor and share it with a colleague or a loved one? I want to ensure that people know about our community so that they can have support, too.

Remember to register for Unboxed and Unbothered.

Blessings to you!

SharRon

Embracing MORE in 2024!

What a year!

2023 was a year of paradoxes.  Up and Downs! Contradictions and Consistencies! Set-backs and Set-ups!  Joy and Pain! Mountaintop Moments and Valley Lows! Inclusion and Exclusion! Happiness and Horror!

But despite the individual and collective polarities we have experienced and witnessed in 2023, I am still convinced that goodness will prevail. I believe we ALL still have the power to change the world for our common good. I still know that we ALL are bright lights, and we can illuminate the darkness that robs us of our shared humanity.  Even though I am shocked, angry, and grieved about some of the trauma happening in the world, I am also STILL resolved, empowered, and committed to work for change.

Why?

First, I am grateful for my life!

Also….I still believe in US – you and me!

So, as we embark on a new year, I hope and pray that:

You can keep making the right choices for yourself even when the choices feel risky.

You keep speaking up for yourself and others even when finding the right words is difficult.

You keep standing up for yourself and others even if you stand on shaky legs.

You keep seeing the best in yourself and others, even if you must strain to see beyond your biases, constant propaganda, and great complexities.

You keep raising your hand to advocate for yourself and others, even when others act like they don’t see you or hear you.

You keep walking your own path even if the path is unclear, uncharted, and unconventional.

You keep listening to your heart and the wisdom of your ancestors even if you must ignore the crowd and leave long-term relationships.

You keep holding onto your faith even if you must cling tighter than you’ve ever clung to an unwavering hope in a Higher Power.

You keep protecting your integrity even when you are tempted to compromise who you are and what you believe for perks, power, and privileges.

You keep saying “no” even when saying “yes” is more comfortable, convenient, and profitable.

You keep establishing boundaries to protect and promote your health, healing, and wholeness, even when others call you divisive, selfish, or standoffish.

You keep making rest and restoration priorities, even though society keeps telling you that rest is earned and reserved for others who don’t look like you.

You keep learning history so you can appreciate the lived experiences of others, courageously confront your assumptions, and value differences in ways that honor and restore the humanity and dignity of others.

You prioritize your total health so that your mind, body, spirit, and soul get the nourishment you need to be the happiest, healthiest, and highest version of yourself.

You stay rooted in your truth while remaining open to new ideas so that you can evolve and transform without guilt, pressure, or fear.

You keep loving yourself even when your mistakes and memories fill you with shame, feelings of inferiority, and crippling doubt.

You keep choosing and working for justice even when the world keeps misleading you to believe in the policies of “JUST-US.”

You keep creating ways to generate income and financial freedom for yourself and your family so you don’t have to subject yourself to the soul-draining effects of assimilation, code-switching, microaggressions, and other types of corporate trauma.

You keep dreaming even when your current reality convinces you that your dreams are pointless, too big, or beyond your ability.

You keep hearing, prioritizing, and honoring your intuition, insight, instincts, and inner voice so you know what to do and when to do it.

You keep taking value-inspired action, so you don’t have to live with the pain of regret.

You keep reclaiming, reconnecting, and remembering parts of yourself that you left behind to fit into unwelcoming and unsupported places.

I hope you can keep DOING YOU – courageously, unapologetically, and effortlessly because you believe in YOUR FREEDOM, identity, humanity, and joy.

I am praying….

I am praying, dreaming, and hoping for all of us. I am praying because we – YOU AND ME – are essential to the world. The world needs us, and we need the world. We need each other to be more human and humane.

What I know for sure is that there is so much more in store for you.

There is so much more in store for me.

There is so much more in store for the world.

And if we dare to soar higher than everything we have been taught, told, seen, or experienced, we can create a safer, saner, more equitable world. And when we do that, we can create spaces to thrive and experience a little heaven on Earth.

Blessings to you!

I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

SharRon,

The Dare To Soar Mentor and Strategist

P.S. Remember to download your 2023 Year-End Review Booklet.

 

Rediscovering Dreams, Nurturing Growth, and Embracing Authenticity

Yesterday was the first time in 20 years that I spent Christmas with my parents. Celebrating and enjoying the holidays with them was such a blessing.
While there, I saw this wonderful picture of me when I was 7. It made me ask myself:
👉🏾 What did this little girl want?
👉🏾 What did this little girl believe about her potential and purpose?
👉🏾 What did this little girl hope for and believe about her life?
👉🏾 When did this little girl STOP dreaming big?
I don’t know the answers, but this morning I am asking myself those questions because the little girl in the picture has wisdom that the adult ME needs.
The little girl in the picture has divine insight… insight that God protected from the unconscious, ubiquitous effects of cultural and social indoctrination.
Wisdom that God protected to ensure she stayed equipped, enthusiastic, and empowered to fulfill her divine calling. To do something significant, transformative, and legacy-producing in the world.
So, the adult ME is staring at the photo, straining to see beyond the social brainwashing and conditioning to see what the little girl wanted and needed so that I CAN give it to her.
The adult ME is resurrecting and reclaiming those childhood buried dreams – the dreams that society tried to kill – so I can be the changemaker that God ordained me to be.
The adult ME is revising narratives, identifying lies, and debunking myths that tried to make me settle for the status quo and a “toxic” normal that is making the world a scarier, sicker, and sadder place to live.
Questions:
  • What did your little person need?
  • What buried dreams do you need to resurrect?
  • What must you remember and reclaim to walk in your authentic authority?
Our childhoods hold clues about our greatness. And when we look under the pain, trauma, historical narratives, systematic oppression, cultural domination, and gender norms, we will uncover who we were divinely created to be!
As my elders used to say: You are higher than what you heard.
Let’s Dare To Soar Higher!
Blessings.

 

Don’t Let Your Village Cloud Your Vision

There will always be people in your life who will NOT and cannot SEE you!

Even if they work with you, live with you, worship with you, or train with you, they may overlook or minimize your brilliance because they are so tethered to stereotypes, labels, or their own understanding of who you are.

Do you know the type?

You tell them what you were called to do, and faster than a New York minute, they will attempt to discourage you.

They will provide reasons why your vision is too large, too unattainable, too risky, and too beyond who they think you are, to be realized.

When you continue to pursue your purpose without their approval and support, they will up the ante. They will use guilt to dissuade you, rejection to coerce you, and the fear of abandonment to intimidate you.

When you are not deterred by their mean-spirited antics or their empty advice (which is really thinly disguised envy), they start smear campaigns to discredit you or to discount your ideas.

👉🏾 Don’t be alarmed. Don’t retaliate. Don’t despair.

Recognize that your current village may not have the capacity to appreciate your future vision.

Recognize that you have changed and your desires and aspirations no longer align with the places that reared you.

Recognize that your birthing place has become a prison and that you MUST leave in order to bloom and build your new life.

Remember…you have a vision, which may require a new village.

Your newfound creativity may demand new comrades, collaborations, and colleagues.

That was and is my story. I bet it was your story, too.

That’s why in I DARE TO BE ME, we talk honestly about friendships, connections, and mutuality.

We honestly and courageously explore the importance of aligned partnerships that support your purpose.

🔗 Join the “I Dare To Ne Me” Waitlist by clicking here.

I look forward to sharing more about how fruitful friendships provide the safety, sustenance, and support you need to soar.

It’s your time to SOAR Higher, and having the right relationships will help you easily take flight.

Thank you, Pastor Dr. Kenneth Lee Samuel, for helping us understand the critical connection between villages and visions.

Bet On Yourself, Not A System!

Therapist: Why do you keep betting on the system more than you bet on yourself?

Me: What systems? How am I betting on them?

Tears still come to my eyes when I think of this painful conversation. I still feel sad when I remember struggling to prove myself in an unsupportive corporate environment.

For years, I did everything to demonstrate my competency, creativity, and proficiency. And I knew people saw my value because they consistently stole my work, ideas, and strategies. But despite being trusted to train and unofficially lead others, I was repeatedly told I wasn’t “ready” for leadership roles. In other words, I was good enough to “labor” but not lead.

After being overlooked for yet another leadership position, I emotionally crashed. And during one of my therapy sessions, my therapist — a powerful Black woman – asked me a critical question that changed my life: Why do you keep betting on the system more than you bet on yourself?

For years, I had been in therapy with white counselors (they accepted my health insurance) but had never been asked about the impact of systems on my well-being. Never! There were no conversations about bias, being excluded, being overlooked, being talked over, being dismissed, or being disrespected. Even though I shared many details of my work environment, I was never asked questions about systems, racism, sexism, or any other isms.

Thankfully, I finally found a Black therapist who deeply connected with me. Tenderly, she asked me questions that made me feel genuinely heard and understood. Because of her own experiences, she never questioned my experiences or realities. She didn’t ask for painful examples or embarrassing details that made me feel more ashamed. She didn’t pepper me with questions to devalue or discount the effects of ongoing corporate abuse. She KNEW!

During my sessions with her,  she gently explained how I unknowingly colluded with harmful historical systems and narratives that robbed me of my agency, health, and self-respect. And through her wisdom, love, and spiritually infused strategies, I started a powerful healing journey. I began to learn and unlearn messages that made me doubt my value, ability, and brilliance. Most importantly, I began to remember and believe in the power of MY story, identity, and ancestral wisdom.

The healing process was painful and layered, yet soul-nourishing. Gradually, I started regaining my confidence, joy, and self-respect. I regained my agency and began working differently and more courageously with colleagues and saboteurs.  I also began reimagining my future as a Black professional and realized I had enormous potential that didn’t need to be validated by corporations.

My life-changing experience with a therapist who understood oppression and the sting of microaggressions – which are NOT micro at all – was one reason I started creating safe places for other Black women and women of color. I wanted to provide loving sanctuaries where women could grieve without judgment and grow without fear. I wanted to create spaces where women felt honored, celebrated, and affirmed—places where women didn’t need to compete or spiritually exhaust themselves to be seen or witnessed.

The truth is, when I entered corporate America, I unknowingly bet on a system because I didn’t know any better. For the first 10 years of my career, I played by the written rules of success, not the unspoken paths.  Why? I was the first person in my family to work in corporate settings and didn’t know what it meant to bet on myself in corporate environments. Honestly, I just didn’t know how to navigate or advocate for myself; I wasn’t taught the political games.  In the early 1990s and even today, there were few mentors, sponsors, or allies willing to extend a hand to support people who looked like me.

If you feel you are betting on a system instead of seeing your brilliance, I would love to help. For over 25 years, I have worked with some amazing women and have helped them rethink, retool, and reimagine their careers in ways that honored their souls.

I am still in corporate America and doing work I enjoy. But because I see myself differently and fully – I see myself BEYOND the limitations of systems –  I have also been able to build a successful business, write books, coach executives, serve as a minister in a progressive congregation, and help some big-hearted people DARE TO SOAR HIGHER in every aspect of their lives.

Bet ON YOURSELF!

You have everything you need encoded and loaded in your DNA to create a soul-nourishing career inside and outside organizations.

BET ON YOURSELF!

You got this!

Blessings!

SharRon

What’s Blocking You? – Part 2

actionHave you ever felt as if you were stuck in a rut? I have. There have been times in my life when I have felt stuck, cemented and confined by people, policies, places and positions.  A few times I felt so emotionally trapped by routines, responsibilities and relationships that I stopped growing, learning, loving and living.  I was emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually sinking, and I was sinking fast.

Thankfully some wonderful coaches and counselors helped me change the trajectory of my life and now almost 25 years later, I have learned a few things.   I have learned that self-reflection is the first step to personal transformation. Yes, I learned that I had to learn more about me. I learned that I had to learn who I was devoid of expectations, fears, traditions, norms and facades. I had to discover who I was outside of what everybody else wanted me to be.   Trust me, that was difficult; it required peeling back layers of my personality that I never knew existed.

For me, self-reflection was a painstaking process because I had to take off the masks and remove my disguises; I could no longer hide. I also had to stop acting, and the funny thing was —  I didn’t know that I was even acting. I thought my beliefs and behavior were self-directed; I soon realized that they were not. I realized that my beliefs and behavior were influenced by whole lot of people who didn’t know me, care about, support me or even like me. Yikes! What a wake-up call!

During my self-discovery journey, I was forced to analyze my history to identify patterns, themes and the orgins of my bad behavior. I had to understand why I  sabotaged my success, happiness, relationships and health. I was forced to evaluate my perspectives and define my truth, and honestly 25 years ago, I didn’t know I even had a truth. Imagine that.

I am not alone; many people are and have been in the same boat. Many people today are struggling or have struggled to understand themselves. Some, like I did, have and continue to struggle to find their purpose, accept their calling or even understand the need for transformation. Most successful people I know have been to THE place, the place of truth that helped them jump-start their journeys of personal transformation.  I call THAT place “Blessings at the Bottom” (Chapter 39 in I Have Learned A Few Things)

Yes, most of us have been to that the scary, unfamiliar and agonizing place that demanded that we become more self-aware.  I am sure that we all can agree that THE place is a challenging place but it is also an exciting place. It is a place of great promise, great purpose, great clarity and of great relief. During THAT place, we were forced to look closer, deeper and broader at the choices that we made or honestly consider the choices that we were failing to make. We removed our defenses and we became emotionally transparent to ourselves; we didn’t hide from our histories, failures, mistakes and secrets.  We became self-aware and as result, we were ready to embark on our new journeys, our journeys of personal transformation.

As we learned in the previous post, self-AWARENESS is the first step toward personal transformation. After you conduct a full life inventory and commit to continuous self-discovery, the second step on the road to personal transformation is ACTION. Yes, ACTION! If you want a different life, you must make changes; you must do something and many times, do a lot of “somethings” differently. As we say in the South, “you just can’t talk about it, you got to be about it”.

But even though we know we must do something, it is the “doing” that scares us the most. It is the “doing” that keeps up stuck, stagnant and stale in our lives. It is the “doing” that seems insurmountable, unfathomable and just down right undoable.  It is the “doing” that reveals our fears, unravels our resolve and makes us abandon our dreams. It is the “doing” that frequently stops us or makes us settle for relationships that are unfulfilling, jobs that are underpaying and lives that are unsatisfying. The “doing”, the failure to take action, is what limits our successes and negates our future.

actionchangesthings

So how do we address the “doing” so that it feels doable? I don’t know all of the answers but I have a few thoughts.

  • Get clear about what you want and who you want to be; determine your compelling WHY. Your WHY will create your vision, and your vision will guide and direct you. For example, when I started my healing journey, my WHY was that I no longer wanted to feel yucky inside. I was tired of feeling small, silent, suffocated and sidetracked. My WHY was not elaborate or deep; it was just honest.  More importantly, at the time that was all I could articulate but it was a great start. What’s your WHY?
  • Identify the resources that you already have and identify what you are already know. When I started my personal transformation, I knew that I had some money and I knew that I needed therapy. I knew that my prolonged feelings of malaise and sadness were not normal. I didn’t know too much more than that but knowing those few things was critical to me moving forward in my life.  So what do you already have and what do you already know?
  • Take a step, make a call, start a class, join a group or find support. I would say read a book but I have learned that reading books in isolation is never enough for sustained growth. Books provide concepts but an activity, practice or coaching provides the application. And to make the changes that you want in your life, you need both concepts and application. Just think about. You can read a book about swimming all day long but until you jump in the pool do you know if you can really swim? The same principle applies when learning new life skills. So, what are you doing to use, practice, apply or implement the knowledge that you are learning?
  • Don’t worry about understanding all the details. You may never know all of the details before you start a business, pursue your dreams or embark on a healing journey. Learn as much as you can and get started. No, don’t be reckless or careless; be calculating, prudent and analytical. But after you obtain as much information as you can, MOVE, DO, GO, BE, and TRY! Take action…..bold action. As you take a few steps toward your goals, more information, resources and support will show up. Trust me…I have been there.
  • Only focus on 3 – 5, preferably only 3, things that you want to improve or change at one time. Some coaches may disagree with me on this. However, from working with all types of clients, I have learned that personal transformation is challenging, and trying to do too much at once often becomes overwhelming. And what do overwhelmed people routinely do? They procrastinate or they QUIT! So, honor yourself. Organize your life and focus on a few things so you don’t fall out, fall down and fall asleep. Trust me, it happens.
  • Remember that success is a process, and sometimes a messy process. This weekend one of my mentors said something that resonated in my spirit. He said that “sloppy success is better than perfect mediocrity”. Wow…as we say in the Christian faith –  that was an on-time word. That phrase freed me! I now feel more creative, more committed and more courageous to pursue my own dreams. That little phrase empowered and embolden me to Soar Higher!

I encourage you to take Action! Never forget that motion motivates, activates and elevates. So get started because today is the first day of the rest of your life. And, don’t forget to get some support on your journey. If you need coaching or assistance, please feel free to call the Jamison Group.  We would love to provide you with support and guidance as you embark on your new life.

Always remember to DARE to SOAR HIGHER because You are ALWAYS worth your best!

(Reprinted from my upcoming book, I Have Learned A Few Things About Success)

Blessings,

SharRon