On Purpose Woman
A Force for Good
Sep / Oct 2020
On Purpose Woman
Elaine Robinson Beattie
Kim Wells Eley
Lisa Diane McCall
Cover Art By:
Faithe M. Norrell
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Ginny Robertson, Founder On Purpose Woman Community
Founder/Editor On Purpose Woman Magazine
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Creative Director On Purpose Woman Magazine
On Purpose Woman Magazine & The On Purpose Woman Community Stand With Our Friends and Colleagues
Black Lives Matter
For 20 years, the On Purpose Woman Community has welcomed and encouraged all women to join us in “connecting women around the world to their gifts, their purpose, and each other.”
On Purpose Woman Magazine has always been committed to diversity within our pages.
We embrace diversity.
We will work harder to practice inclusion.
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12 Black Clouds? Blue Skies? Mentally weathering our Covid S**t Storm
20 Personal Power: What Do You Stand For?
26 Black Women-Owned Business Directory
34 Honoring Grief and Gratitude During The Pandemic
42 When Wisdom Leads
46 Real Women. Real Purpose. Talk Show.
48 Education During COVID: A Teacher’s Perspective Vanessa K. Wood, Ed.D
56 Write It Shitty! The First Draft Belongs to the Universe
Kim Wells Eley
64 Cover Artist,
Faithe Morris Norrell
66 Business Directory
72 Cultural Superpowers in Organizations Part 1: Collective Talents
Elaine Robinson Beattie
78 To Attract Clients on Facebook: SHOW UP! Kathryn Yarborough
86 NOT ANYMORE!
90 The View from Your Window: Leadership in Perspective
Carol Burbank, Ph.D.
92 Events Calendar
94 Who's Your Self-Care Expert? Karen Tasto
100 Guiding Our Daughters to Grow Into Amazing Women
104 Cooking as an Approach to Life: What Can Vegetables Teach You?
110 COVID, Women & Retirement
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Inside On Purpose Woman...
Mentally Weathering our COVID S**t Storm
by Barbara Olwig
This coronavirus is the dreaded gift that keeps on giving. As of this writing, U.S. Deaths from COVID-19 are nearing 180,000 – more than the combined fatalities from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. No one can give a guarantee of a return to normalcy – whatever form that takes. I long to give someone, anyone, a hug. Instead, I live with a four-legged master of emotional and social distancing.
On top of lives lost and an economy in free fall, we're told to expect an uptick in episodes of depression, post-
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental and behavioral disorders.
An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looks at the impact of past large-scale disasters on mental health and posits that we're going to see "substantial increases in anxiety and depression, substance abuse, loneliness, and domestic violence."
Tracking with those dire warnings, The New England Journal of Medicine published a perspective warning of an increase in suicidal ideation among those with preexisting psychological conditions.
Personally, I find myself ping-ponging from feeling okay under the circumstances to fighting off full-blown feelings of dread when I contemplate what the future might hold. You see, I'm one of those people with "preexisting psychological conditions."
I went partially public with my story in June 2018, a month during which both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain would take their own lives within three days of each other, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would publish a study on the shocking rise in the rate of suicide in this country.
Unsettled by all of that news, I felt compelled to write about my experience with the stigma of mental illness. The following morning, I had a meeting scheduled in my office with an internal client, a VP of HR, who arrived late and was visibly upset. Susan shared the news of a former co-worker who had taken his life the night before.
I blurted out some details about my battle with depression, and Susan asked if I would be willing to submit my story on the company's employee intranet site. Despite past fears that sharing my past could lead to "career suicide," I realized that if survivors like me opened up, maybe a literal suicide could be prevented. I couldn't remain silent.
The response that I received from having my article published for 23,000 employees to read was overwhelming. In-person and via email, people shared their gratitude and thanks. Ann, a woman I had never met, wrote that she was on the verge of yet again canceling an initial appointment with yet another therapist when she read my post. Ann went on to promise me that she would get the help that she knew had been needed for a long time.
Now I find myself unsettled again. Not because I'm afraid that I will once again come to see suicide as an option. But because I'm afraid that others will. And I'm here to tell anyone in pain that there's hope and help.
I've pasted my 2018 story below, hoping that maybe another Ann might read it. That's a silver lining I would be overjoyed to live with.
Overcoming Depression: My Experience With Gray Clouds and Blue Skies
This space has frequently been used as a forum for discussion of serious issues — issues that often result in the contributor revealing personal information that serves to shed light on topics that have heretofore resided in the shadows.
The release of a recent study on the shocking rise in the rate of suicide, as well as the recent suicide deaths of two celebrities who seemingly "had it all," were the impetus I needed to speak about my experience with the stigma of mental illness — specifically depression.
Outward appearances aside, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were both struggling with the overwhelming physical and spiritual pain triggered by depression. I know this because, for years, I struggled with the same internal anguish while projecting a façade of normalcy to the outside world. (Well, as "normal" as a left-handed, right-brained creative type can be!)
The façade was generations-old, one that my entire nuclear and extended family hid behind. I was 12 when my father suffered a serious breakdown, triggered by untreated depression, which resulted in an extended hospitalization. My mother explained his months-long absence as "back trouble."
The message was unmistakable: Mental illness was shameful. It was not to be acknowledged, much less discussed. And so I felt completely alone as I traversed the ensuing years as a student, a professional, a wife, a mother — all while living underneath a threatening gray cloud that at times intensified into an overwhelmingly black, suffocating shroud that blindsided me with its ability to render life hopeless.
It was during one of those episodes that I came to the realization that suicide could be an option — a way out of the pain. That's when I knew in my gut that I needed to find help. But, because of my sense of isolation and shame, I couldn't ask anyone I knew for a referral.
So, I turned to a time-tested technique employed by some to determine which horse to bet on at the racetrack: I looked up a list of psychologists in my city and randomly chose a name that I liked. While not necessarily something I'd recommend today if asked, my system proved to be a winner. I began working with a licensed psychotherapist, peeling back the layers of pain and trauma from my past. Therapy was hard work, but nowhere near as grueling as what I'd been living with for so long.
When my therapist eventually suggested that I might benefit from an antidepressant, I felt very comfortable trusting her professional guidance and asked her for a referral to a psychiatrist. While antidepressants can take some time to begin to have an effect on mood, it wasn't long before I could feel the darkness lifting.
In fact, I will never forget the day that I experienced the emotion of pure unadulterated joy for the first time in my life. I was playing with my toddler in the backyard. Looking up, the sky overhead was an amazing shade of blue that I couldn't ever recall seeing before. Indeed, my lifelong depression had prevented me from experiencing anything in living color. And, in that moment, I knew I was going to be okay.
Today, I'm living proof that treatment works, that attaining inner peace is possible, that life is good. I've come to accept that I will be on antidepressants for the rest of my life. Along with medication, I've also discovered that regular exercise, yoga, and meditation help me remain centered and balanced when life becomes — as it so often does — challenging and demanding.
While I no longer have weekly therapy sessions on my calendar, I still pop into my therapist's office when I feel the need for what I laughingly call a 30,000-mile mental tune-up. Because sometimes it just helps to talk.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of the signs of depression, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7/365 at 800.273.8255.
Meet Chloe, my Covid companion for the duration of The Hunker Games©.
As Firebrand Creative’s Principal Firestarter, Barbara Olwig delivers solutions beyond the status quo, drawing on her agency and corporate experience in brand strategy and creative development.
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Once You Know Your Purpose,
Ginny Robertson interviewed by Kathryn Yarborough
If we are going to save the world, we have to be able to handle conflict by listening and holding space and standing up for what we believe. We have to develop our own opinions and know what we stand for while at the same time be willing to learn and grow and change and innovate.
When Hillary Clinton was running for President in 2016, I heard many women say, “I don’t like politics." Not talking about politics was another way of saying, “I don’t want to talk about things that are uncomfortable for me or someone else. I don’t want to engage in anger or discourse. I don’t want to be vulnerable. I want people to like me.”
I have had the same feelings about politics for most of my life. But, this time, in 2016, I wasn’t going to be able to avoid the conversation anymore. First, I had been awakened to systemic racism in 2015 when Freddie Gray was killed in Baltimore and then, a female, black client who lived in an upper middle class neighborhood was chased down in a parking lot by two white men yelling n****r, go home. Both of those events hit too close to home and I started to take action in a new way. I started to pay attention and speak up.
Second, I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton and after a lifetime of working with girls and women in empowering our voices, I could no longer be silent and allow a woman to stand on the stage alone. I had to educate myself about the issues, stand up for my beliefs, listen to others and speak up. We have to stand up for each other, especially when one of us is taking the lead.
I started the non-profit organization, Heal My Voice, in 2010, to help women step into greater leadership in their homes, communities, businesses and the world. I wanted women to have a voice at the table. After six years of leading women in conversations and writing stories about trauma, loss and grief, supporting women in connecting with their inner authority and encouraging them to step into greater leadership, I was going to have to use my voice.
Growing up, my Aunt Ellen was the only woman I saw engage in political discussions. She had a career at Liberty Mutual and became an Assistant Vice President. She was mentored by men at her company and she was used to listening and having discussions with opposing views. But, in the sphere of men around our dinner table, the discussions involving different views of the world were mean and vitriolic. Ellen was calm and direct while her husband and my father were insulting her ideas and turning red in the face as they argued with her opposing views. I chose to stay in the kitchen where I could do the dishes and listen from a safe distance. I didn’t get any practice on how to discuss ideas, policies and platforms.
I knew voting was important. That was instilled in me from a young age. To always vote. In my early voting years, I had learned to choose a candidate based on my emotions and a few sound bites. Political ads. Listening to a few conversations from a safe distance and casting my vote for someone I “liked.”
To move forward now, we must spend time cultivating our personal power. Women’s voices are necessary to heal and create the world. For example, we may have differing views about immigration policy, but we can all agree that children should not be separated from their parents at the border, right?
Here are a few keys about how to cultivate personal power,
1. Get Support. Join a few circles. Gather with like-minded people. Practice using your voice. Feel your feelings. Let yourself be messy. Say something. Change your mind. Make mistakes.
2. Strengthen your nervous system. Commit to a daily body practice like Qi Gong or Kundalini Yoga or Breathwork. Belly dancing, pole dancing, 5 rhythms are all types of dance that strengthen your core so you can hold more sensation in your body.
3. Mind Training. Affirmations, Mantras and Kriyas. Yoga poses like Warrior Pose. Meditation. Chanting. This will help you stay focused and listen to opposing views and share your views, too.
4. Develop Humility. Push your boundaries. Practice doing things that are uncomfortable. Humiliation leads to humility. It is a practice that grows more compassion.
5. Stand Up for What You Believe.
In the Jan/Feb issue of On Purpose Woman Magazine, I shared Tip #1: Be willing to go on the ride.”There was a spark and a desire to say yes to “something.”A business idea, a relationship, a class, or an event.
In the March/April issue, Tip #2: Notice what turns you on, there is something in the desire that lights you up and ignites your passion. You can feel it in your body and heart. That is the key.
In May/June issue,Tip #3: Pause and Reflect: You have to be empty so new ideas can land. Give yourself space to daydream, to be dormant and take root.
In July/August issue Tip #4, Make friends with change, discomfort and ‘not knowing.’ Create some micro-disruptions to shake things up. Take action. Let go of the attachment to an image of your life.
In Tip #5, Cultivate Personal Power
1. Get Support
2. Strengthen your nervous system
3. Train Your Mind
4. Develop humility
5. Stand up for what you believe
Be willing to go on the ride. Notice what turns you on. Pause and Reflect. Make friends with change, discomfort and ‘not knowing.’ Cultivate your personal power.
“The world will be saved by the western woman.”
What Do You Stand For?
By Andrea Hylen
A Tip for Building an Innovative Business and Life (Tip #5 of 8 )
We have to stand up for each other, especially when one of us is taking the lead.
I wanted women to have a voice at the table.
Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Writing Incubator, on-line writing community. www.andreahylen.com
Abike Anoka.Tyme2Organize, LLC.Laurel, MD.Get Started, Purge and Simplify to create a space you love!cwww.Tyme2Organize.com
Elaine Robinson Beattie.Lead Well Consulting.Atlanta, GA.I work with C-Suite Executives who invest in personal growth for themselves and their team.
Barbara J. Beckley.Diamond Factor LLC. Kenosha, WI. Social Media Content Coaching, Master Class and Webinars to help increase your visibility. www.thediamondfactorllc.com/
Marilyn Blackston, MD. Baltimore, MD. Wellness Coaching: Nutrition, Weight Control, Stress Management. DNA Customized Services www.drblackston.com
Star Bobatoon, Esq.Star Consulting LLC.Fairfax, VA.Helping speakers and entrepreneurs deliver stellar performances on any stage. www.StarBobatoon.com
Joy Bramble. The Baltimore Times/Times of Baltimore, Inc. Baltimore, MD. Publisher of weekly newspapers that deliver informative, inspirational and empowering stories to the African American community. www.baltimoretimes-online.com
Vondette Brinson P.A.Maitland, FL and Online. Emotional and Psychological transformation enabling physical change for lifetime results www.VondetteBrinson.com
Karen Clay. Clay Consulting LLC. Technology Support, Website Creation, Videography, Graphic Design, Strategic Planning. Odenton, MD. www.clayconsulting.com
Nancy Ford. Vocal Expressions. Sanford, FL. Transformational speaking, singing engagements. www.vocalexpressionist.com
Claudette Gadsden.Coach Claudette & Associates. Caret, VA.We guide women to more clear concise conversations. Let's Talk! www.CoachClaudette.com Temple in the Woods. Bed & Breakfast off the beaten path. A Place to Nourish Your Soul. www.TempleintheWoods.com
Deletta Gillespie. NuRelik Entertainment. Baltimore, MD.Performances. Create Themed Shows. Vocal/Acting Coaching. Public Speaking. www.delettagillespie.com
Gloria Garrett.Gloria's Art. Baltimore, MD. I create originals and prints ofpictures painted with makeup. www.gloriasart.com
Sylvia Henderson.MindTeam Solutions, Inc.Olney, MD.Organizational & leadership development consulting, soft-skills training, teamwork. Book - "InternalMasterminds.com.” www.MindTeamSolutions.com
Cassandra Herbert. Zest and Harmony. Burtonsville, MD. Registered Nurse, Holistic nurse psychotherapist, Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Nutritional Endocrinology Coach and Educator, Speaker and Author. www.zestandharmonycounseling.com
Patrice Hooper.Cook with Patrice.Belcamp, MD.Meal solutions to make healthy food in under 20 minutes. www.Cookwithpatrice.com
Marsha Reeves Jews, CEO. Marsha Jews & Company, LLC. Baltimore, MD. Publishes weekly electronic newsletter, live streaming events, conference planning & production. www.marshajewsandcompany.com
Adele Johnson. Executive Director, Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia. Richmond, VA. Celebrating the rich culture and moving histories of African American people in Virginia .www.blackhistorymuseum.org
Kendra Randall Jolivet, Esq. Her Communications, LLC.Baltimore, MD. Business consulting, inspirational speaking and production. www.hercommunications.com
Yemanja Jubilee.Poet, Author, Creative Consultant, Songwriter, Inspirational Speaker/Workshop Facilitator. Richmond VA. https://www.facebook.com/yemaja.jubilee
Constance L. Mann-Leonard. GIRGI Unlimited (Gods' Ideas R Good Ideas). Baltimore, MD. Transcription Service. Unique Handmade Crochet Items. Handmade Personalized Cards. www.GIRGIUnlimited.com
Vaile Leonard.The Light of Truth Center, Inc.An Innovative Behavioral Health System for women recovering from substance use. www.lightoftruthcenter.org
Dr. Lydie Louis, Ph.D. Esq.Chairman of In Pursuit Media & Co. & Founder of Legal Up! Power Up! Entrepreneur Legal Academy. New York, NY & Hollywood Beach, FL. She is empowered to create one million self-made millionaires around the globe. www.DrLydie.com
Tammie Mobley.Flawless Imperfections.Chester, VA.Empowering Women and Developing Leadership in Teen Girls. www.flawless-imperfections.com
Stacey Murphy.The Vixen Academy.Orlando, FL.Coach/teach the feminine arts for self-mastery & attracting romantic love. www.thevixenacademy.com
Doria Musaga BSN.Independent Distributor for the BEMER. Columbia, MD. BEMER improves microcirculation, increases energy and healing, helps pain relief. www.AlliesInHealth.org
Faithe Norrell.Faithe's Art. Richmond VA. Fine and hand painted wearable artist. One-of-a-kind designs. I exhibit at Crossroads Art Center in Richmond. www.artbyfaithe.com
Michelle Nusum-Smith.The Word Woman LLC.Frederick, MD.Consulting, coaching, and training to nonprofits, governmental agencies and individuals. www.thewordwomanllc.com
Rev. Tonya Parker, MEd, EdS.Mind Body & Soul Food.Odenton, MD.Offering sacred healing, inspired writing, and gifted teaching. www.mbsfood.com
Karen Proudford, PhD.William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund Inc. Baltimore, MD. Supports sickle cell awareness, education, leading-edge treatment and research www.wepsicklecell.org
Tracie Pullen. Ibuumerang/Vibe Rides.Baltimore, MD. Technology company. Savings on travel, ride share & marketplace. www.tray.ibuumerang.com
Joyce Rhine.NappyBeautyLove.Columbia, MD.Specializes in helping people to love themselves completely so they can love others deeply .www.nappybeautylove.com
Valerie Rich.Painted Imagery.Baltimore, MD.Artist. Author. Visionary Journal classes online. Sip ‘n Paint parties. www.instagram.com/painted_imagery_/
Tameaka Shelton, LLC. DBA Employ and Relate. Glen Burnie, MD. Services related to managing employees, workplace compliance, and employment law. www.employandrelate.com
Danita Terry.Partner, Success in the Evening with Coach Ricky Terry. DC-MD-VA. One-on-One coaching, workshops, motivational speaking and podcast broadcasts. www.1DueNorth.com
Valerie Travis. ACN. Norristown PA. Providing telecommunication, energy, merchant services via a network of independent sellers. www.valleyt.acnibo.com
Dena Ward-Wane. Supreme Vacations. Baltimore, MD. Full-Service Travel Agency www.supreme-vacations.net
Francena Bean-Waters.PresidentGBS-NCNW. Baltimore, MD. Empowers and advocates for women of African descent. www.gbs-ncnw.org.
Karin M. Yearwood. The Sacred Mindset Recovery Lab.Baltimore, MD.Helping divine leaders master their human reality & take quantum leaps. www.karinmyearwood.com
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Grief and Gratitude
During The Pandemic
by Elizabeth McCain
What a summer of sorrow it has been. Covid-19 quickly spread like wildfire infecting and taking the lives of thousands in the U.S. and throughout the world. Isn’t it odd to reflect on how quickly our lives changed in March? The grief of so many canceled activities and professional events finally hit me this summer. I had a delayed reaction.
All of my book signings for my newly published memoir, A Lesbian Belle Tells OUTrageous Southern Stories of Family, Loss and Love were canceled or postponed, as well as my performances of my one-woman show. Like many people, I was shocked and disappointed. I scrambled to find ways to do zoom interviews and readings and a virtual performance of my show. At first, I thought that maybe things could be rescheduled by the fall. As the numbers increased throughout the summer, it became apparent that our lives are changed for an indefinite amount of time.
Then the horrendous police brutality and violent murder of George Floyd and others, followed by an outpouring of shock, rage, and deep grief about this hatred, racism, white supremacy marches and protests popped up across our country.
We have all been experiencing a collective and personal kind of grief that is unprecedented in our lifetime. I think it is worth being curious about our relationship with grief. We are being given the opportunity to be with loss and disappointment, as well as gratitude in our personal growth process.
To begin to heal our grief, it helps to name and share our losses. I so miss community gatherings such as water aerobics and singing in weekly rehearsals with my LGBTQ+ chorus in Baltimore, the New Wave Singers.
I’ve missed gathering with close friends in person.
I think of people losing loved ones without being able to be with them in person when they die. I think of thousands of people dying alone. And I think of the first responders, religious and spiritual leaders, and funeral homes. My heart cracks open with sorrow and compassion.
Present loss reminds us of past loss. I am remembering the many loved ones I’ve lost in the last two decades – my parents, all of my aunts and uncles, and many friends. I revisit my grief. There are days of tears, as well as gratitude. Our culture teaches us to hide grief, get over it, and move on.
There is no fixing grief. We simply have to feel it, express it, and honor it. Allowing ourselves to be present with our sorrow, and with others’ sorrow is being kind to ourselves and our loved ones.
I’ve been rereading a book full of wisdom, It’s OK That You’re Not OK; Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine. She writes, “Grief is not a problem to be solved; it’s an experience to be carried. The work here is to find and receive support and comfort that helps you live with your reality. Companionship, not correction, is the way forward.”
So what does companionship through our grief mean during this pandemic when many of us are socially distanced and/or isolated? I think we have to get creative and commit to showing up for ourselves and others. Although we are using more technology than ever with zoom meetings, visits, and with social media, I find the old-
fashioned way of talking on the phone to be more intimate than texting or email. We can experience a human voice in real-time and appreciate that energetic vibration and purity of sound. I talk to several close friends several times a week, which is more connection than we had before this pandemic. My gratitude for my friends opens my heart to experience and savor more simple pleasures throughout the day. My spouse, Marie, and I often share five things we are grateful for at the end of the day.
I’m aware that my heart has expanded during this pandemic to hold both grief and gratitude. I know that there’s a difference between visiting my grief and disappointment and living in it constantly.
Experiencing gratitude as a spiritual practice shifts our mindset to a more positive perspective, improves our psychological health, and helps us be more resilient. To lean into grief and gratitude means to give ourselves permission to feel and honor our sorrow and our joy.
Here are practical ways to do this in a mindful and balanced way:
1. Identify who or what you miss. Place your hands on your heart and say, “I really miss ____________.” Pause and take a breath. Have compassion for yourself.
2. To invite more gratitude into your life. Say the following affirmation, “I am grieving ______, and the positive things I appreciate and remember about this person or event are ___________.”
3. Savor positive experiences you enjoy. This means noticing, appreciating, and intensifying them before you move on to something difficult. Pause to breathe deeply and feel the gratitude in your heart for thirty seconds.
4. Connect with your soul, or your higher self, your spiritual essence to change your story about how you are experiencing this pandemic. Shift your mindset from a perspective of despair to hope for new opportunities to grow, heal, and have meaningful connections with people you love. Think about how you want to look back on this time and what you want to remember.
Know that we are all in this together. We are all grieving something. We can emerge from this pandemic stronger, wiser, and more grateful. For renewal is as certain as the loss from which it grows.
Elizabeth McCain is a counselor, Interfaith minister, playwright, solo performer, and is the author of a memoir, A Lesbian Belle Tells OUTrageous Southern Stories of Family, Loss, and Love. www.elizabethmccain.com
that you may be disconnected from wisdom include:
Saying sorry often throughout your day.
Taking care of others but not yourself.
Feeling adrift or never allowing time to do what you want.
Being drained, discouraged, frustrated, and the like.
When Wisdom Leads
by Shelly O’Connell
Wisdom is a built-in internal guidance system. It includes your life experiences, knowledge, intuition, discernment, and insights. I like to think of it as my inner GPS. It has the power to transform you in profound ways when you consciously choose to utilize it.
When wisdom leads, life flows beautifully. There is purpose and meaning to your days. This occurs naturally with wisdom leading. It happens because you are clear and connected to what is right for you. It allows you to see events, people, and circumstances in the light of truth. You become less likely to opt for unhealthy things that limit you.
Essentially, you are the one programming your inner GPS. Sometimes this may seem untrue, especially if you have arrived at a place you do not want to be. When you find yourself there, it is usually because you are not letting wisdom lead you.
Instead, you are doing things like allowing external influences to determine your choices, being indecisive due to other people’s expectations or opinions for your life, or accepting the conditioning that limits and/or outright discourages women.
Luckily, wisdom is inherent to women. It is one of the tools readily at your command. Learning to uncover it and apply it in your daily life takes intention and practice. Cultivating wisdom begins with tapping into the knowing within you. This can be as simple as becoming quiet and waiting for the calm, still voice in you to speak. It may arrive as images or words or feelings. It may be quiet at first. Don’t worry. Wisdom wants to be heard. Be patient and know that it will find a way to connect with you more fully.
Once you have received the guidance of that voice, try following it for a day. See what happens. Pause and reconnect with your voice throughout the day. Let it lead you in your actions and responses. Notice how you feel and pay attention to the little nudges it gives you. Act on them. Have faith in you and trust what your wisdom is telling you.
It is important to recognize that you have embarked on a journey of discovering and honing your wisdom. There will be ample time to refine and use it in your life. As you tune into and align with your inner guidance and knowing, life starts to be fundamentally altered. The choices and actions that you take are first united with the wisdom within you. Then they more fully support you in what you want for your life.
This way of being becomes a compass in the course of your life. It will guide you to a fuller expression of self who leads her life with surety, confidence, and appreciation. You gain strength and understanding that is tempered with love and kindness for yourself and others. When wisdom leads, you blossom and flourish.
Shelly O’Connell, Life Coach, engages women in the use of their own wisdom to accomplish their goals and dreams. https://www.facebook.com/coachingbyshelly
Education During COVID:
A Teacher’s Perspective
by Vanessa K. Wood, Ed.D.
Many schools and districts are being pressured into opening for full-time, in-person instruction. This decision may be politically motivated, or it may be to accommodate the families in dire need of childcare to ensure a stable familial income and environment. Sometimes these families are single-parent homes where the adults must report in-person to meet their professional obligations. At this point, the degree to which educators seem to be daycare providers devalues the profession, the years of education, and the amount of continuing education required to maintain an active license or certification. It is not that educators are insensitive to students’ or families’ needs. However, how much can educators keep being tasked with that is outside of their job descriptions?
Why are educators expected to be the surrogate parents, nurses, social workers, and mental health professionals for students, all while learning or trying to learn computer programming on the fly? This is done while casting their own families aside to take care of others with seemingly minimal support from anyone but other educators. Why is this an expected donation from the professionals? Although many educators enter the field altruistically, they are still human, deserving respect, and compassion. They should still be allowed to want to care for their families without being labeled lazy, selfish cowards by the media and by people who would not last a week in the profession.
This piece is layered with incendiary emotions; however, here is why the emotions are so strong. For the past several weeks, I have tried to find care for my five-year-old daughter, which has been incredibly challenging as a single parent practicing strict shelter-in-place. Shelter in place means grocery delivery, and all outings, except for merely driving around, have been canceled. My closest family members are more than 400 miles away, and I am basically geographically isolated. Most of my friends are also educators. My district has worked to put things in place to help educators find childcare during COVID, which is appreciated. However, I am terrified of my daughter being in the district option because social distancing, which was supposed to be enforced in the program, is not enforced.
Furthermore, who is to say my daughter will actually receive her education? Although the program is striving to put a plan in place, social distancing is not even actively enforced. I have asked to keep my daughter in my classroom with me but was told it was too risky. Apparently, it is physically safer for her to run around and be with other children. I love my daughter, but does anyone actually realize how gross small children are? I mean, bodily fluids and boogers are why I knew I could not teach anything lower than third grade. Because I do not have other options, my and my daughter’s safety is on the line. This makes me feel like a failure as a parent. I do not understand why other people are allowed to protect their families, but educators are not.
Outside of the family dynamic, educators are rewriting public education on the fly. Granted, this is something that has needed to occur for a long time. America has been in the technology age for quite a while, so the industrial age educational model of one size fits all is incredibly outdated. However, in many districts, educators are not allowed to choose the tools they know, but are forced to learn and use new programs. Although this would not usually be a problem, educators are having to do this in a matter of weeks rather than the months or years used to earn industry-level certifications. Educators are not opposed to learning, and most are lifelong learners who thoroughly enjoy embarking on a journey of discovery with their students. The demands of the pace of learning are overbearing.
On this journey to rewrite American public education, educators will be held responsible for any and all failures despite not being included in decision-making processes. We are doing our best and fully realize many families need us to keep their families together. However, educators cannot carry this burden on their own. The only way for this quickly rewritten education model to work is for education to become a community way of life. This means everyone must work together to shoulder the load. Even the youngest learners, like my spunky five-year-old daughter, need to be accountable, but for that to work, students need to see and understand responsibility in action. This starts at home.
Parents, who are also overworked and overstressed, will need to step up and help with facilitating completion of schoolwork despite their own academic foundations. This does not mean parents are teaching, but this does mean parents are checking on their learners and challenging them to interact with educators when concepts are misunderstood. Community members must join the fight as well. COVID education will be challenging for everyone, but if we pull together, students will benefit the most. Students will learn content, responsibility, and accountability while possibly building deeper, more meaningful relationships with parents, guardians, and adults within the community.
Everyone must work together if this quickly remodeled version of American education is to have its silver lining where people better understand teamwork and the concept that learning is not limited to classrooms. This is where true learning and growing can occur.
Vanessa K. Wood, Ed.D.
As an educator since 2009, Dr. Wood has taught in urban, suburban, rural, high, middle, and elementary schools as well as in higher education.
Write It Shitty!
The First Draft
to the Universe
by Kim Wells Eley
ARRGGGGGHHHH! With a giant heave-ho, I angrily threw away a huge bag of perfectly good, expensive knitting needles and yarn into the dumpster. I tried to teach myself the craft by using a book, and it was awful. With tears of frustration, I described the incident to my friend at work, adding that “knitting is an evil activity, and no one should do it.” Once she talked me off the emotional ledge, she offered to teach me how to knit.
Thus started a weekly session we called “Stitch and Bitch.” Every Wednesday, we’d meet at lunchtime in one of the conference rooms at work. My patient friend taught me (and later other curious co-workers) the art of knitting. Feeling more confident with my friend’s over-the-shoulder instructions, I started making a hat. And at the end, when I finished it…well, it sucked.
We called it the “ugly dog-walking hat.” Lord help any dog walker who might wear that holey mess! There were gaps you could stick your thumb through. I became emotional and was headed to the nearest trashcan with it when my friend held up her hand and yelled, “STOP!”
Then she proceeded to explain that the first attempt at anything creative is an offering to the Universe.
Puzzled, I sat down and listened. “Everyone has to get the creativity out of their system for their first project,” she explained kindly. “Your first attempt at knitting is going to be awful. Offer it as a gift to the Universe. It shows the Universe that you were serious and meant it when you tried to create this hat. Offer this hat to the Universe, and start again.”
Immediately my shoulders loosened, and I started breathing normally again. And later, as I relayed this story, another friend wisely pointed out, “Well, did you really expect to be perfect at knitting the first time you tried it?” Once she put it that way, I had to laugh at myself for getting upset.
I love knitting now, and I also love writing. But writing is like starting a new project every time you put pen to paper. We are not going to magically unfurl a beautiful string of words, pearls of wisdom effortlessly flowing from our brains through our hands and onto the page. Nope.
Instead, we always write a shitty first draft.
I wish I could claim this clever phrase, but I borrowed it from the amazing author, Anne Lamott. It’s from her book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. In this marvelous book, which I encourage every writer to read, she includes a chapter called “Shitty First Drafts.”
People tend to look at successful writers, writers who are getting their books published and maybe even doing well financially, and think that they sit down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars, feeling great about who they are and how much talent they have and what a great story they have to tell; that they take in a few deep breaths, push back their sleeves, roll their necks a few times to get all the cricks out, and dive in, typing fully formed passages as fast as a court reporter. But this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated.
I have to confess that I spit out my coffee the first time I read this. I was one of those uninitiated who assumed that there were people in this world who were born with a muse. Yes, a muse, one of the mythical Greek goddesses who rule over the arts and whisper bestsellers into Stephen King’s ears. I had always thought, “Gosh, how lucky that some people can just sit down and bang out a masterpiece.”
There’s no luck to it at all, actually. This passage by Anne Lamott reminds me that so many things in life are disguised to look perfect. For example, social media is filled with smiling people in gorgeous clothes who look like their day is just easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy, right? But you know darn well that in reality, everyone has bad hair days, pants that split, and children with behavior so horrific that they could easily be mistaken for Satan’s spawn. But the thing is – no one is going to take or post those types of pictures! These posters didn’t luck out and only take perfect photos. They chose to only post the edited, pretty photos.
Next time you are ready to write, I want you to picture your favorite writer. Instead of a dreamy fantasy of them with wonderful words pouring out like honey, imagine them sitting at a laptop, having the same struggle you do. They sit in front of their piece of paper or blank Word document file and feel a little shudder. “OMG, I so want this to be perfect,” they think. And then they write their shitty first draft.
This is the secret. The real magic in writing does not come during the first draft. The first draft is like a lump of misshapen Playdough. You may look at it the way I gazed at the ugly dog walking hat, like, “What? I made all this effort just to create this crappola?”
I want you to look again. Anne Lamott shared that all writers create shitty first drafts.
All good writers write them. This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts.
There is no muse who somehow mixed up your address in their GPS and skipped your house. It’s up to you to keep working and sweating it out. I challenge you to write that initial gift to the Universe to show you mean business when you write and put it out there in a shitty way for the first draft. Once you’re done, and you perform the real magic of editing, you’ll be ready to share your beautiful, Instagram-worthy pretty seventh draft.
The ugly dog-walking hat!
Kim Wells Eley is a speaker, author, & publisher. A cat lover and a collector of orchids, she gets all of her news from comedy channels. KWE Publishing (804) 536-1972 email@example.com
Check out Kim's other articles on writing in the last 4 issues of On Purpose Woman Magazine.
Faithe Morris Norrel
Our Cover Artist
Faithe Morris Norrell is a self-taught artist who paints on various media. She specializes in the juxtaposition of vivid colors and abstract lines and paints exotic themes, flowers, cityscapes, and folk-art style portraits. Her human figures suggest the style of folk, cubist, and abstract artists. She also creates multi-media pieces incorporating collage, paint, photographs, and found objects.
While living in California in the mid to late 1980s, she began painting on clothing. Most of her designs were flowers on sweatsuits. Now, most of her designs are on denim or linen. Her clothing line is called “Pleasin’ Honi.” The designs are hand-painted, often embellished with colored stones, rhinestones, fabric, trimmings, or other whimsical details, and she creates one-of-a-kind pieces for clients.
Faithe says, “There has never been a time that I don’t remember having a vision and carrying it out.” Born and raised in Richmond, VA, in the 1950s, when formal art lessons were not available to a child of color, she has a God-given gift for color and balance and expresses herself through practice and experimentation, which expands her craft.
She shares, “It has been an exciting journey to arrive at this point where my art is solicited, commissioned, collected, and appreciated by others outside of my village.” She recognizes that her gifts of balance and color are the hallmarks of her work.
She is a retired teacher and Media Specialist/Librarian and currently works as the Front Desk Manager for the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of VA. With a love of hospitality, a wealth of knowledge of Black history, and a teaching background, Faithe combines three of her passions to welcome guests to the museum and acclimate them to the exhibitions. Growing up in segregated Richmond in the 50s and 60s, she uses her storytelling skills to make the information in the galleries relatable for each guest.
She is also the mother of two young adults she calls her “miracles.”
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Cultural Superpowers in Organizations
Part 1: Collective Talents
by Elaine Robinson Beattie
Americans have been fascinated with superheroes for decades simply because they appear to bring hope, justice, and comfort. They are historically overcomers. They are the ones who can whisk into a situation that is out of control and win! We all love winners.
So, what is the correlation between superheroes and organizational development?
As we study the best of the best organizationally, it is clear that there is a particular nuance that cutting-edge organizations have. You may be familiar with terms like brand identity, marketing advantage, absolute advantage, or competitive advantage. That is the "secret sauce" a company needs to be successful.
The "cultural superpowers theory" is a simple but multifaceted concept I created to teach organizational development, reliance, and health.
Culture is defined in terms of philosophy, values, beliefs, or principles. Most organizations have created strategic plans and mission statements to drive organizational operations and decisions. These can be replicated; however, organizational culture is unique and cannot be recreated. Simply, culture is defined as how organizations do things. It is also inclusive of an unspoken social order understood by most, if not all, of the employees.
So, if we look at what is being done (secret sauce) and who's doing the work (organizational talents) collectively, we can create a cultural superpower concept.
Women are particularly poised to be great leaders and masters of Cultural Superpowers because, for the most part, we are supporters who recognize and celebrate the talents of others. Furthermore, to be in leadership and to be a woman requires courage. Women tend to be value-centered even though we may not articulate those values. We're coming from a place of importance, and we must be clear about what we value. Being collaborative is how we, as women, naturally understand how to get work accomplished either in the home, in the community, or with and for the organizations that we lead.
To master the collective talents, we must recognize and acknowledge the vital necessity of individual talents and skills. Each part matters, and each person brings a unique part that is necessary for the collective to function from a place of health and wholeness. The diversity of talent is what makes the collective work. The diversity of the part creates a collective strength and gives the organization its "super" edge in the marketplace. As leaders, our primary focus is to see how each talent is placed and utilized to optimize the outcome.
A collective does not need to blend or look and sound the same to move forward as a unit. That is the case for a choir or a singing group. A choir focuses on one song; a melody made up of different voices, notes, tones, and sounds. The outcome, if facilitated, supported, and practiced, is a beautiful song. Your contribution is needed as its uniqueness makes the melody come alive.
When I was in the hotel business, there was a young man working in the kitchen who was not functioning well. We had a heart to heart conversation, and I found that he was gregarious and needed to be more active and mingle with customers face to face. I transferred him from the kitchen to the front door, where he became a bellman. Within a month, he blossomed. He moved from the night shift to the evening shift, and eventually to the day shift and, within six months, he was one of our star bellmen. Not only was he doing well, but the team of bellman overall functioned better. They were happier and excited about the new addition. They were attracted to the new lightning rod energy he brought.. Overall, his talent made the collective talents stronger, and they all earned more income.
A collective must be managed well and with intentionality. Every part matters—every voice matters. Every person brings a unique talent. If you are leading a group of people, I encourage you to look at each of them individually to make sure you are giving them every opportunity to operate in their unique way. Additionally, make sure you support them to be their best and provide them with room to grow.
Elaine Robinson Beattie is an Inspirational Speaker and Leadership Coach working with C-Suite Executives at Fortune 500 Companies and small business owners who believe in investing in personal growth for themselves and their team.
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To Attract Clients on Facebook,
By Kathryn Yarborough
With Covid-19 still around and social distancing the best way to stay healthy, I’ve decided to focus my marketing efforts on Facebook. I’m actually grateful because I love attracting clients on Facebook.
WHY I LOVE ATTRACTING CLIENTS ON FACEBOOK
I don’t have to leave home to meet new potential clients!
There are so many things I can do on Facebook, I’ll never be bored!
I can attract clients from all over the planet!
TO ATTRACT CLIENTS ON FACEBOOK, YOU HAVE TO SHOW UP ON FACEBOOK!
These days, I think the best place for on purpose, heart-based solopreneurs to show up on Facebook is in Facebook groups.
SHOW UP IN FACEBOOK GROUPS
Find around five groups that you go to regularly. If, like me, Facebook is where you’re attracting clients, go to those groups daily. Or close to it.
Don’t rely on seeing the posts in your newsfeed. You might. You might not. Go to the groups!
When you see someone in a group that you like or that you think could be an ideal client, get to know them in the group. Comment on their posts. Start interacting. Then when you’re ready, check out their personal profile. If everything lines up there, friend request them. If they haven’t seen your name before you friend request them, they could think you’re a random stranger being weird.
If you keep showing in a group, people in the group will come to know, like, and trust you.
SHOWING UP DOESN’T MEAN SCROLLING, READING, OR JUST LIKING.
Your Business Page
I think it’s helpful for most on purpose, heart-based solopreneurs to have a decent business page. But you have to post on it. Think of your business page like a storefront. If people go to it, and there’s nothing on it, they’ll think nothing’s happening with your business. I recommend that you post on your business page daily. Period.
Your Personal Page/Profile
Have a link to your website and/or your Facebook business page on your personal page. That way when you show up in groups and people click to your personal profile to find out more about you, they’ll see the link to your business page or website. When they go to your business page, if there’s stuff happening there (aka you’re posting daily), they’ll believe you actually have a business.
Should you Join Facebook Groups as Your Business Page or Personal Profile?
About a year or two ago, Facebook gave group leaders the option to let people join their group as themselves or their business page. Personally, I prefer people showing up in my Facebook groups as themselves (aka personal profile) rather than their business page. So, in my groups, I don’t let people join as their business page. So far, I haven’t experienced any groups where it makes sense to join as a business page. But Facebook is ENORMOUS, maybe there are some groups where it works.
For me, groups are about getting to know each other as people.
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP? HOW DO YOU ATTRACT CLIENTS ON FACEBOOK?
Showing up on Facebook is how folks come to know, like, and trust you. If they’ve seen your name enough, when you post about something related to your business, and they’re a potential, ideal client, they might actually read it and take the next step.
If they’ve seen your name enough (because you’ve been commenting and posting), you’ll be kind of like a celebrity. Yes… you can be a celebrity on Facebook! Not that you have to be a celebrity. But that’s what happens. People start recognizing your name and they don’t know why.
Once people recognize your name, help them associate your name with your business, your purpose, your ideal clients, and/or your impact. Practically everywhere I go on Facebook, I say something about heart-based, on purpose solopreneurs because they’re my ideal clients. No matter what, I recommend regularly and randomly posting about your business, your ideal clients, and your purpose.
INVITE POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO JOIN YOUR FACEBOOK GROUP.
If you want a place where potential clients will come to know, like, and trust you so that when you promote an offer, you’ll have potential clients ready to say YES, create, grow, and tend your own Facebook group.
Facebook business pages used to be the best places to attract and nurture potential clients, but with the current algorithms on Facebook, I have found that it’s much easier to use a Facebook group to help potential clients become happy, paying clients.
To have a great Facebook group:
1. Set it up with intention. Decide who it’s for. Name it. Identify the purpose of the group.
2. Plan what will happen in the group. Brainstorm what you’ll do in the group and what you want the members to do in the group. Start doing it. Periodically review and update your plans.
3. Grow the group. Invite people you know to join the group and then create a strategy to enroll new people into the group.
4. Attract clients from the group. Regularly, let group members know about your services or offers so they can become happy, paying clients.
If you want to attract clients on Facebook, show up on Facebook.
by Kathryn Yarborough
Showing up on Facebook looks like:
1. Commenting on other people’s posts.
2. Commenting on other people’s comments on other people’s posts.
3. Sharing pictures and saying something about them.
4. Authentically writing about what’s happening in your life and your business.
5. Reading comments on posts in groups and commenting on the comments.
6. Doing Facebook LIVEs – sometimes. Maybe.
7. Leading your own Facebook group - sometimes. Maybe.
8. Meeting new people. Friend requesting folks.
9. Posting. On your personal page. In groups. On your business page.
10. Asking questions that get other people engaged.
,,,with the current algorithms on Facebook, I have found that it’s much easier to use a Facebook group to help potential clients become happy, paying clients.
Kathryn Yarborough is the creator of the Manifesting Clients Academy. Her purpose is to inspire and teach on purpose, heart-based solopreneurs to be the fullest expression of themselves so that they easily manifest clients and grow a business they love. Her Facebook business page is Manifesting Clients with Kathryn Yarborough. Her Facebook group is the Moving Sidewalk Movement. If you’re a heart-based, on purpose solopreneur or small business owner, she’d love for you to join her group! Her website is www.ManifestingClientsAcademy.com.
by Yemaja Jubilee
Ain’t no slave who can be brow beaten, shackled with chains, head bowed down in shame and sold to the highest bidder. Not anymore!
Ain’t no wench, who the master can rape, continuously sexually violate, birth his babies which he then denies or never claims. Then we live with generational shame. Not anymore!
Ain’t no nigger, nigra, nigress, or Negro who because my skin is black, you hate, but let me turn my back, you imitate. Not anymore!
Ain’t no colored person who must ride at the back of the bus and enter public places through the back door. Not anymore!
Ain’t no mammy, nanny, or a maid who say, “yes ma’am” and makes your beds, cleans your filth, nurses your babies, raise your children, and mops your floors. Not anymore!
Ain’t no cook who fries the chicken, bakes tarts and pies of all sorts. Then with my Black calloused, rough ashy hands, I knead your bread, putting a part of my soul in every turn of the dough. Then you eat it, devouring a bit of my anger, shame, and hate in every morsel and crumb. Not anymore!
Ain’t no bitch with big tits, a hole in the middle of my thighs and big hind parts, which is a part of my God given natural beauty, but used in many forms of sexual exploitation. Not anymore!
Ain’t no mistress who waits for you, sitting by the phone while you are with your wife and I be at your beckoning call. Not anymore!
Ain’t no slut who screws around with you, your friends or anyone who has a penis, be it for money or glory. I will not sell my soul even if it is to satisfy Tyrone, Butchy or Leroy. Not anymore!
Ain’t no skizzer, hussy nor tramp, no arm candy for some old dog or high -tailed alley cat. Not anymore! I done crossed over that river for the last time.
Yemaja Jubilee is a poet, author, creative consultant, and song writer. As an inspirational speaker and workshop facilitator, shespreads her message of love and inclusivity. https://www.facebook.com/yemaja.jubilee
Spiritual Being Human
Spiritual Being Human Being
Spiritual Being Human Being Woman
Spiritual Being Human Being Woman of Colors
Soul Sister, Sister Girl, Girlfriend, Genuine, Authentic, Compassionate,
Caring, Warm, Loving, Generous, Kind, Forgiving, Friend
Spiritual, Sensual, Sensitive!
I radiate beauty from the Inner Divine essence of my soul,
from the top of my head to the tip of my pinkie toes,
I’m living my life from inside out!
Beautiful, Bold, Bodacious, Badassed Black Women,
I now declare that’s what BE!
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...the thought behind our gaze... changes the way we see.
For a time, I called social distancing “my monastic life.” I wonder if you have had the same experience of diving into a different way of being, even with all the technological bridges and family/working-at-
home clutter. Despite the stress of the unknown, or actually, because of that stress, one of my greatest teachers has been the view from my window.
That view is more than the leafing woods growing greener every day, or the sun and moon shadows that shimmer with the spring wind. It’s my neighborhood, the territory I call home. I began to see this view differently as days and days passed, my interpretation veering from a vision of entrapment to responsibility to curiosity, and sometimes, gratitude.
Becoming more aware of the personal stories and feelings that filtered my interpretations of the physical view, which only really changed in small ways, made me wonder about my views about my leadership community. Are my perspectives about my colleagues and followers this fluid? And how do I ease into a gratitude lens as a way of being?
Ernest Holmes, Founder of Science of Mind, wrote, “Gratitude is one of the chief graces of human existence and is crowned in heaven with a consciousness of unity.” This translates into transformative leadership -- our feet on the ground, our hearts in gratitude, and our spirits connected. And yes, it’s simple but not easy, like most spiritual practices!
One practical place to start is the view from our windows, understanding that it’s the thought behind our gaze that changes the way we see. I recommend taking three deep breaths to step up to gratitude in any moment, no matter how stressful. Breath is an inspiration, activating the immune system and brain, quickening our energy, and opening us to Spirit. Three breaths reboot and ground us in clarity.
In difficult times, straightforward strategies work better than complicated rituals. Expand your vision with quickening, quieting breaths that help you see the view from your leadership window with grateful eyes. The world beyond will rise to meet you with possibility!
The View from Your Window: Leadership in Perspective
by Carol Burbank, Ph.D.
Carol Burbank is a writing mentor, editor, and writer, founder of the Storyweaving Retreat Center in Fort Washington, MD. For a free 30 minute introductory session, email email@example.com.
Originally published in Science of Mind Magazine.
Attract Clients With Your Facebook Group
Master Class with Kathryn Yarborough
Two date and time options:
Thursday, Sept. 10, 1-2:00pm Pacific / 4-5:00pm Eastern
Saturday, Sept. 12, 8-9:00am Pacific / 11:00am-12 Noon Eastern
Discover how to create a Facebook group that leads to happy, paying clients.
Cost $39. Register early by Sept. 6 and save $6.
Click for information and to register.
Manifesting Clients Hoopla on Zoom!
Three date and time options:
Thursday, Oct. 8, 11am-2:00pm Pacific / 2-5:00pm Eastern
Saturday, Oct. 10, 7-10:00am Pacific / 10:00am-1:00pm Eastern
Friday, Oct. 16, 10:00am-1:00pm Pacific / 1-4:00pm Eastern
A FUN combination of a workshop and networking event with Kathryn Yarborough.
Cost $45. Register early by Oct. 1 and save $10.
Click for information and to register.
Light of Truth Center Virtual Fundraiser
Friday, September 25th
7-9:30pm (eastern) via Zoom.
Come and support women recovering from addictions to drugs and alcohol. Entertainment from six amazing musicians, keynote speaker, online auction and much more. FREE.
Click here for the details:
More Online Events
On Purpose Woman Community
Connections Over Coffee
Though we usually meet in person in the locations listed, we're meeting ONLINE until Further Notice
Just For Women - FREE - while we meet online.
Meeting on Zoom. Since it’s online, all women are invited, no matter where you live.
10:30am – Noon Eastern / 7:30 – 9:00am Pacific
1stTuesday – Baltimore, MD
1stFriday – Richmond VA
2ndThursday – Rosedale MD
2ndFriday – Annapolis MD
3rdMonday – Lutherville MD
3rdThursday – Bethesda MD
Last Monday – Fort Washington MD
Last Tuesday – Frederick MD
Last Friday – Columbia MD
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the email list so you won’t miss out!
Connections Thru Conversation Online Gathering
On 1st Mondays and 3rd Wednesdays at 1-2pm Eastern / 10 – 11am Pacific
ALWAYS Online, on Zoom, Just for Women, and FREE
Sept. 16 Discussion Topic: Covid-19: What we’ve learned from living during a pandemic
Oct. 5 and 21 Discussion Topic: Communication and Why it Matters
Register at http://onpurposewomancommunity.com/online/
Contact: Kathryn Yarborough at Kathryn@ManifestingClientsAcademy.com
Events To Attend
By Karen Tasto
You are your only expert! Only you can truly know what you need at this time on this particular day.
In normal times, there's no one size fits all when it comes to our self-care routines.
In these intense times of change and uncertainty, this applies doubly so.
In my years of acquiring knowledge about self-care and trying to achieve optimal health, I attempted to make my self-care routines look like someone else's. I thought if it was working for the so-called experts, so it shall work for me.
I'm pretty good at self-discipline, so sticking to a routine comes easily to me. As great as this sounds, it also has a downside.
The "good girl" in me compelled me to check off all the boxes the "experts" had informed me to do...
Exercise 4-5 times a week. Check
Eat a mostly plant-based diet. Check
Meditate every morning. Check
Practice yoga every day. Check
The list went on...
I was diligently engaging in all these without a single check inward. They ultimately became those dreaded "should activities". This was not the high vibe energy I was originally intending. And where's the pleasure in this? Not to mention, I was basing my self-worth on whether I checked off all my boxes for the day. That feels like double yuck!
Yes, all these practices were great ones to make part of my self-care routine, but what I wasn't doing was tuning into my body and asking what my body or spirit needed at that time.
Who's now my biggest self-care expert? That would be ME – the only true expert of my health and well-being!
That doesn't mean I don't seek out the latest information or practices. I absolutely need to gather reliable data and different perspectives. Occasionally, I'll try on a new practice for several weeks. But it's my wise self who will ultimately discern if it feels super good enough for me to stick with.
You are your only expert! Only you can truly know what you need at this time on this particular day.
Not to mention, these are entirely new times we're living in, which means what has worked for you in the past, may not be serving you at all now. We must continually check in with ourselves, over and over.
Tune inward to your wise self, the self who really knows what you need in each and every moment.
Listen to your wise body, which has all the keys to your well-being.
I've been asking myself these questions -"What would really serve me best right now?" or even juicier, "What would bring me the most joy or pleasure?"
What is my self-care looking like during a pandemic?
I've taken it day-by-day and doing self-care like I've never done it before.
Some days the best thing I can do for myself is absolutely nothing, so it looks like a day of lying on the sofa with my book or Netflix and my favorite tea, with naps between episodes or chapters.
One day I may desire to dive into my most pleasurable activities like journaling, painting, dancing, walking in the woods, and napping. Can you tell I like napping?
Another day I'll know that checking a million things off my to-do list will feel best.
Whatever my self-care looks like, I give myself 100% permission and embrace it. Self-care, mixed with guilt, will never serve oneself.
What I still can't live without and is a foundational self-care practice for me is my grounding and clearing meditation. It's like a good night's sleep for me. So, holding on to this is a must in these times. What is the one practice that sustains you?
Go gently and know that whatever you're choosing for yourself is perfect. There is no right or wrong way to do these shifting times. There is only your way! There is no longer room for judgment. If you're going to choose a day of Netflix and naps, go all in. No guilt needed. This is where the joy resides.
What self-care act would bring you the most joy right now?
Wanting some guidance with your self-care? E-mail me or schedule a free Discovery Call where we can explore your routines and tune into your own expert self.
Karen Tasto, CPC, helps women awaken and claim their feminine powers so they can live in the fullest expressions of themselves. She's a women's life coach, Reiki Master, and sacred circle facilitator.
Our daughters are amazing women in the making. We, as parents, have a responsibility to do the best we can to guide our daughters to greatness.
Here are some lessons I've learned while helping daughters in my circle grow into amazing women.
Love Her – Just as she is. Daughter A is not Daughter B. She may not look the same, wear the same sizes, act the same, speak the same, or have the same interests. She may do or say things that you could not imagine saying or doing at her age. Know that she is growing into that amazing woman and must have her own experiences. She cannot live vicariously through you, and you cannot live vicariously through her.
Start Early, allowing her to make her own decisions when her safety or the safety of others is not at stake. If at two she decides that she wants to wear dresses, accommodate her. Most of us have heard the saying, "choose your battles." When you are getting ready for work and getting her ready for school, do you want to spend energy arguing with a 2-year-old about her outfit? It also helps her express her independence. If you are open to her creative side, she becomes comfortable with herself, and her confidence increases.
Discuss Consequences so that you are not always the bad guy. This teaches her the importance of making informed decisions. If she wants to attend a sleepover, provide the consequences, and let her make the decision. More importantly, let her live with the consequences. For example, let's say she is scheduled to volunteer at the animal shelter at 9am and has a basketball game at noon. The question to ask is, "will you be able to keep your commitments?" By the way, not keeping her commitments is not an option. If she decides to go to the sleepover and is tired the next day, it was her decision. If she decides not to go the sleepover and hears about the fun they had, again, it was her decision. You are not the bad guy, and she learned the importance of considering the consequences of her actions. One of the most important life lessons is, "your word is your bond." If you say that you will do it, just do it! No excuses, no explanations.
Forgive Yourself. This is the best way to teach her to forgive herself. When she makes a decision, and it ends up not feeling like a good one, she will know that her decision was based on the information that she had at the time. Feeling guilty or beating herself up does not change the past. What she and you can do is, Choose Again!
Teach Her the importance of Self-Knowledge, Self-Love, and Self-Respect. When your daughter takes the time to get to know herself, she is better able to know another. Help her to be okay with who she is, what she likes, and what she dislikes. Teach her to wallow in the beauty of all she is, in all her Divine Perfection. When she loves and respects herself, she can teach others how to love and respect her. If she does not know herself and what pleases her, how can she convey this to a mate or a friend? How limiting would her life be if she were simply taught to conform to the norm? What is the norm, and whose norm is it?
If you are still growing into an amazing woman, these tips can be useful for you as well. We are on a continuous journey of growth, and on that journey, we pick up bits of information along the way that will make our journey, if not necessarily smoother, then at least more informed.
Guiding Our Daughters to Grow Into Amazing Women
by Claudette Gadsden
Claudette Gadsden has been coaching, speaking, and facilitating workshops for more than 20 years with various organizations in the private and public sectors. She is a Licensed Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with certifications in Motivational Coaching, Master Life Coaching and Social and Emotional Intelligence Coaching, and Workshop Facilitation. When Claudette is not coaching or training, she is innkeeper at a quaint bed & breakfast in Essex County VA, and in her spare time, she travels, usually with her daughter and two granddaughters.
As a Certified Life Coach, I help clients claim unwanted parts that are cloaked in the shadow – the Jungian concept of the untamed, unexplored territory of our psyche. The dark side of human nature. We all have these unwanted parts (Not Good Enough, Why Bother?, Guilt, I’m Not Artistic, Second Guessing, etc.), and if we don’t increase our awareness of them, they often sabotage us and get the better of our decision-making.
I am also a cook. I approach my cooking the same way that I work with my clients – with curiosity and creativity. How does this translate to fresh produce?
I recently came to the realization that I was judging certain parts of my produce to be unwanted and inedible. Consequently, I gave them no attention or chance. I cut them off and discarded them. I’ve spent years doing this to parts such as the leaves and stems of cauliflower and the greens of carrots, celery, and beets. I followed suit with what I had been taught – that these were unwanted parts that did not have as much tenderness or flavor.
And if there’s one thing I have learned in life, it’s that there’s a lot that needs to be unlearned. This can be done by stirring up your curiosity and sprinkling it with a bit of creativity. Being the curious and creative cook that I am, I searched that grand poobah of gurus, the Internet, to find out that I had been negatively judging what does have value after all. My awareness increased about how I could use those stems and leaves along with the cauliflower florets in a sauté: Cauliflower
And the greens? How about some of the best pesto ever! Carrot-top-pesto;
We are all fed messages early in life that formed unfavorable beliefs about ourselves. We then carry those beliefs like unwanted parts that we would rather ignore or discard. But they end up hidden in the shadows and negatively influencing us. You could keep cooking your life with those same, limiting beliefs. Or, you can use curiosity to explore a little deeper to find out how those unwanted parts can be creatively incorporated and dish out a new approach to life. What is hidden in the shadows can serve you.
I am trained in the technique of, Voice Dialogue, which helps you gain awareness of how to incorporate and fully use all parts of yourself. The shadow does not have to be all dark. If you develop a creative relationship with your shadow, you can create new recipes for a life of radical non-interference with yourself. How tasty would that be!?
Cooking as an Approach to Life:
What Can Vegetables Teach You?
By Lisa McCall
Lisa Diane McCall, Certified Life Coach, uses creative approaches along with nature-based soul work, Voice Dialogue, and shamanism.
My novel, The Rhythm of the Soul: A Journey of Loss and Discovery, based on my two Sahara vision quests is on Amazon: Rhythm of the Soul
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COVID, Women & Retirement
by Michelle Kotler
The good news is, there are women reading this article who will live past age 100.
The bad news is, there are women reading this article who will live past age 100.
Many Americans are concerned they will outlive their money. With record numbers of unemployment, looming evictions, foreclosures, and bankruptcies, these certainly are troubling times.
AARP reports nearly a third of American workers say they will postpone retirement due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.* Women, in particular, face significant obstacles saving for retirement compared to their male counterparts.
Historically, women are the unpaid caretakers in a family. Taking time out of the workforce or reducing work hours to care for others results in reduced lifetime earnings.
Women more commonly work part-time more than men at jobs that do not offer retirement plans for part-time employees. If they do have a plan, they may not receive an employer match on their contributions.
Even women who do not take time out of the workforce or reduce their workweek earn less money than men, on average, for the same work.
Because of these income disparities, women save significantly less for retirement than men. Similarly, Social Security checks average thousands of dollars less per year than those of men because women contribute less to Social Security as a percentage of income during their working years.
Women, on average, live longer than men, so will need more money for living expenses, health care, and long term care. But, because of obstacles to saving, they often have much less than they need.
Because women live longer and save less, advisors tell them to be more aggressive with their investing style to save enough for retirement. The problem is that such aggressive advice often goes against a woman’s more careful nature. Because this strategy feels uncomfortable, women instead may choose safe alternatives that yield almost no growth.
Women tend to be more cautious savers by nature than men, and with good reason. NIH research shows that higher testosterone levels correlate with making riskier financial decisions. This makes sense on an intuitive level. Men evolved to hunt dangerous wild animals, while women evolved to pick safe berries and mind the children. Remember the stories of the Great Depression? Men were wiped out and jumped off buildings. Women saved money in cookie jars. We know we need something for a rainy day. I call this the "skyscrapers vs. cookie jars" theory of investing money.
Women also instinctively understand a concept called Sequence of Returns Risk. Simply put, two people starting with the same amount of money at the same time can average the same return over the same period of time. Yet one person can run out of money while the other person does not. Why? Some years the stock market is negative, which can happen (and has happened) two or three years in a row. The market recovers eventually, but there are highs and lows (the roller coaster).
If you retire just before a dip in the market, and you continue to withdraw money during negative market cycles, it is very likely you will run out of money during your retirement (unless you are a multi-millionaire, and, even millionaires can run out of money). If those three consecutive bad years in the market happen at the end of the 20 year period instead of the beginning, that person doesn't run out of money.
This is the Sequence of Returns Risk. The problem (and the reason I am not a stockbroker) is that no one can predict the future. Could anyone have predicted COVID-19? No, of course not. Most women instinctively understand this and want to plan for it, but they may not know how.
Women saving for retirement in traditional tax-deferred retirement accounts have another significant problem: taxes. Current tax rates are on sale compared to historical tax rates. Today's low tax environment expires at the end of 2025. Because of unprecedented deficit spending in the trillions due to COVID-19, taxes will have to rise in the future.
At some point, the entire government budget will be consumed with servicing the interest on the national debt. The government has to keep functioning, and the only way to make that happen is to raise taxes. Therefore, when you look at your IRA statement, you don't know how much money you have, because Uncle Sam is your silent partner. He can reach in there and take out as much of your money as he wants at a time in your life when many of your tax deductions (mortgage interest, dependent children, etc.) have disappeared. To add insult to injury, up to 85% of your Social Security checks may be taxable. As if all these problems aren't enough, depending on where you source your other retirement income and how much you take per year, you may see quite a chunk of your Social Security disappear to the government.
There are effective and simple strategies available that can address all of these issues. Not only can you use certain financial instruments to ensure that you never lose money in the stock market, but you may also be able to enjoy tax-free growth on your money.
With what we call a fixed indexed strategy, not only is your principal investment protected from market losses but each year, your growth is locked in permanently. Once your gains are locked in, they can never be lost. If you imagine the highs and lows of the stock market as a roller coaster, then the fixed indexed strategy can be imagined as a staircase. In the worst-case scenario, one might experience a zero growth year, but if that happens, others who are all in the stock market might be losing 20%, 30%, 40%, or more. They'd trade places with you in a heartbeat.
This fixed indexed strategy can be utilized inside of an annuity, which grows tax-deferred and has a death benefit. The money can also become a guaranteed income stream for life, ensuring women never run out of money, no matter how long they live. Some even double that income stream if you need long term care.
The fixed indexed strategy can also be utilized inside of a permanent, cash value life insurance policy called Indexed Universal Life ("IUL"). Your money inside an IUL policy grows 100% tax-free. Because IUL withdrawals are not reported on your tax returns, they do not make your Social Security check taxable either. You literally get a tax free income stream you cannot outlive and your full Social Security check.
In addition to the tax-free death benefit to take care of your loved ones, there is extra tax-free cash available in the event that you need help with the activities of daily living. This extra money is yours to spend any way you want. For women who want to retire earlier than 59 1/2, IUL is an excellent savings vehicle. The IRS has no age restrictions on an IUL policy on when you can start taking out your money.
Having an IUL policy to draw from helps ensure you never run out of your other retirement savings. Because this money is not subject to market losses, you can withdraw cash from your IUL policy when the stock market is down and leave your investments alone (unless you must withdraw your Required Minimum Distribution, in which case you would do that and nothing more). Wait for the stock market to recover before withdrawing from your investments again. This strategy protects you from the Sequence of Returns Risk, so you do not accidentally run out of money in retirement. Because the compounding of interest on your cash growth inside an IUL never stops, even after you start withdrawing funds, clients can pull many times more cash out of their policies than they paid in.
Having an IUL policy gives you enormous financial strength and protection. No other financial instrument gives you the power of leveraging someone else's money (in this case, the insurance company's), locked-in growth with a guarantee to never lose money, extra cash to help pay for a long term care event, a tax-free death benefit to take care of your loved ones when you no longer can, AND the ability to save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lifetime taxes.
One of my clients just locked in a gain of more than 14% (tax-free!) for the next year in her IUL policy today because she got in at the right time.**
What more could you want? If you're ready to plan for a bullet-proof (or COVID-proof!) retirement, schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
As an attorney and independent retirement advisor, Michelle Kotler helps women confidently and securely navigate the most important journey of their lives: their retirement.Kotler Consulting Corp.
Our next issue
is coming November 1, 2020.
This magazine is for women and by women. I believe it's a force for good and much needed now.
You can help by sharing this magazine with your friends, posting it on social media, and talking about it in your communities.
See you next time!
Kathryn Yarborough, Creative Director
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