Make Today the Day

                                  Haiku and photo by Masharika Prejean Maddison

                                 Haiku and photo by Masharika Prejean Maddison

This is for you. The person on the fence. Wavering between the comfortability of staying still and the anticipation of possibilities that await once you make the leap. What are you tolerating?

This is for you. The person in the corner. Your silence pierces the room. What other choices can you make?

This is for you. The person on the stage. You’ve worn your mask so long, and it’s understandable as to why. What do you want to experience?

Most of all, this is for you. Right here, right now. In this moment, what do you need to do more of?

Masharika Prejean Maddison is a trained executive coach to mission-driven leaders and is the founder of LightWell Coaching + Consulting. She also provides diversity, equity, and inclusion training to organizations, and is an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. Masharika longs for the day when she will meet Warriors Basketball Head Coach, Steve Kerr, in person and enjoys long distance running, traveling to places where land meets water and no one is a stranger for long, meditating, and exploring the vastness of the world through the eyes of her two young sons.

My Messd-Up, Far From Perfect Day

According to the modern laws of time, there are 86,400 seconds in any given day on Earth. As someone who adores her sleep, I‘m likely spend about 30,600 of those precious moments in a slumber state, which leaves me with 55,800 fleeting hiccups of time to, as former 49-ers head football coach, Jim Harbaugh, used to say to his Bay Area players and his own children, alike, “attack the day with an intensity unknown to mankind.”

I arose this particular morning with a sense of clarity that usually only comes after a minimum of four days of vacation (which I hadn’t had), an amazing massage (wasn’t in the cards), or a sit-down with an oracle (not even close). Those first 3,600 seconds, the equivalent of an hour, were flawless. I packed up my eldest son for a 3-day summertime adventure with his grandparents, tidied my home, and dressed for my Weekly Wednesday 10-mile run. I. Was. On. Fire.

By the 7,200 second mark — ahora numero dos of the day for me — I’d said adios to both of my children and was firmly out the door en route to a glorious run before my first meeting of the day. Things were really going well. So well, that after my run, I gave myself extra time to stretch and unwind while listening to an additional song on my beloved “for my ears only” playlist. With the top of the hour nearing and the 10,800 second of the day edging closer, I prepared for my first appointment. The caller was ultimately delayed, so I reached out to her to re-confirm. Approximately thirty-minutes after the expected start time of our conversation, she called and offered an apology for her oversight and asked if we could pick up the conversation then and there. Knowing that I had another important call coming in at the 18,000 second mark, I did my best to be gracious about the scheduling snafu while also acknowledging my need to reschedule our discussion to another time. She received my generosity of spirit — relieved to know that we were on the up-and-up — and was open to nailing down a time to talk in two days. My boundaries were kept (something I’m actively working on) and solutions were found — victory!

The day continued to unfold with a similar level of ease. Good things met me around each corner. Ding! My phone alerted me of a new LinkedIn request that had been accepted from an internationally renowned figure in the field of well-being. I’d sent the invitation to connect to this person so long ago that the whole occurrence had naturally slipped my mind. I was on Cloud 9! This person had said ‘yes’ to being linked we me. In the moment, I imagined my new contact taking a second of their time to skim my profile from their smartphone, mull over their findings, and use their awkward thumb to accept my invitation via the tiny check marked button. It felt good to be seen, albeit in a superficial way.

In my excitement, I wrote a brief message to this hot shot guru of well-being to “see if we could grab tea in the coming weeks.” The message’s tone was like me at my best: warm, straight shooting, and action-oriented. Knowing that you only get one chance to make a first impression, I re-read the note a few times for grammar and flow and sent it off. In reality, the moment was quite mundane, but I might as well have called in doves and horns to accompany my communique. With each passing moment, in my mind, the recipient’s status elevated higher and higher up a mythical ladder of knowingness of all things in the world of well-being.

That’s when things got a bit hairy. So far, each and every second of the day had been flipping fantastic, but doom and gloom lurked at the 32,400 second mark. With no advance notice, a tsunami of self-doubt and judgement washed over me. Why had I used such light language with this executive? Would implicit bias rear its ugly head, make him deem me unworthy of his time, and cause him to rethink his acceptance of my LinkedIn invitation? My, my, my — how quickly had things gone south.

The next thing I knew, I was rehashing the time my friend James told me I wasn’t ‘black black,’ as if to imply that I favored assimilating into dominant culture behavior over embodying some predetermined notion of what it meant to be African-American. It had hurt me deeply the first time he’d said it years ago, and the wound was as fresh as ever in this moment. How did that thought — of all thoughts! — creep into my consciousness? How did I fall so quickly into this abyss of demoralization? Not even thirty-minutes had passed since sending that harmless LinkedIn message to the god of all things well-being.

Despite my continued to journey down the lonely road of Imposter Syndrome Lane, I managed to complete my work projects for the day and navigated the nightly routine of dinner, bath time, and bedtime negotiations without much of a hitch. None of it mattered, though, because five hours after sending my LinkedIn message to the one person with all of the answers to my yet-to-be-formed questions about well-being had not written back. I was me at my absolute worst: self-critical and seemingly stuck.

I had the wherewithal at some point late in the evening to jump outside of my immediate experience to analyze what was really going on. I looked at the total timeline of the day’s seconds — from the very first moment up to the current point many hours later. I decided to ask one simple question: what really happened today? And then, everything unfolded.

In an instant, I saw my smiling children. I reconnected with my glorious run along the Pacific Ocean and across the Golden Gate Bridge. I could smell the lavender scent of my favorite essential oil. I recalled the ease with which I planned a workshop agenda for a client. I giggled at a memory of a FaceTime conversation I’d had with my parents hours earlier. And I celebrated the moment that a person who happens to, like me, have an interest in the field of well-being, accepted my invitation to connect over a popular social media platform.

With one question — really happened today? — my world was once again right-side-up. Slowly, but surely, I chose to put down the emotional luggage I’d been dragging around for the whole of the afternoon and evening, and began to reconnect with the whole of my day. Which made me think — how often do we cut off our blessings and tumble into a spiral of unwarranted gloom due to one second’s worth of negative thinking?What opportunities might we be missing as we fall deeper into an artificial sphere of despair created by our own doing? On what better serving matters (to ourselves and others) might we be able to focus if we are not triggered in a destructive energy space by the seconds of our day that go seemingly wrong?

To be sure, I’m sure I’ll experience a jolt of excitement when I eventually hear back from my new LinkedIn contact, but I’ve received something even greater in the meantime: perspective. With immense gratitude for having reconnected with the whole of my approximately 56,000 seconds of awake time on this day, I know that my recounting of this tale will help at least one person on the planet avoid the trap that I found myself in.

So, to you, let me ask. What really happened today?

 

 

Making a Career in Social Change Sustainable

Like the anticipation of experiencing childbirth for the first time, there are many elements that come with stepping into a leadership role in a social change organization that no one bothers to mention before you begin. Before you cut to the chase and scroll on down to see what I’m talking about, catch the lesson: you can actually of have your favorite $7 gluten-free blueberry muffin and eat it, too (or however that saying goes).

Let’s face it — it’s way more fun to gush about the prospect of holding a cooing newborn baby than mention the likelihood of sore breasts and post-birth constipation. Similarly, for new leaders within social change organizations, the appeal of “birthing” new strategies which catalyze programming, services, and advocacy for target communities is an understandably more invigorating exercise than, say, descending into the underbelly of asking for money, human resources drama, competing priorities, politics, and more. If I’m being honest, constipation can also find itself on this list, too. Stay hydrated, people!

As a former executive director— and, for what it’s worth, a mother of two — I’ve made it my absolute business to get real real about both sides of holding positional power within an organization committed to advancing social justice. It’s my life’s work to create sacred space for social change professionals to experience pathways toward being uniquely, individually, and fully themselves while also consciously contributing to this great social experiment we call civil society. I deeply want professionals in the space of social change — regardless of whether it is a government, non-profit, philanthropic, corporate, or social enterprise entity — to be whole, happy, and healthy people first. I help people experience fulfillment in their social change career.

Looking back on the years of my own and other’s leadership journey in the social change space, here’s what I need you to know: the road to success is paved with many illusory obstacles that seem insurmountable. The truth is that you were called to leadership for a reason that was personal to you. While there is no “I” in TEAM, there surely is a “ME” that requires regular nurturing and notice. When we remove ourselves from the equation of why we “do the work,” we’re more likely to fall prey to saying any combination of the following:

  • I’ve never felt lonelier.
  • I feel like a slave to the dollar.
  • I can’t recall the last time I exercised and/or slept a full 8–10 hours.
  • I’m stretched too thin.
  • Someone is always upset with a decision I’ve made.
  • Internalized oppression is real.

I’ve witnessed firsthand many of the symptoms of leadership that make really smart, committed, and passionate people want to hightail it for a seemingly less demanding profession. Moreover, I’ve seen many amazing professionals never enter the social change space for fear of experiencing any of the aforementioned discomforts. The reality is that the more we truly prioritize our well-being by being more transparent, healthier, empathic, and measured people, the more aligned our work product will be to the societal shifts we are seeking. Eat, exercise, sleep, laugh, learn, cry, listen, set boundaries, and delegate….and be the liberated social change leader you know yourself to be.

Masharika Prejean Maddison is a social change coach who spent way too many years thinking it was completely acceptable to drive alone in HOV lanes because she allowed her internal gremlins, Shame and Blame, to ride shotgun in her life. Since relegating them, she’s experienced a significantly more enjoyable version of leadership and life. These days, Masharika works alongside social change professionals who are ready to overcome their own obstacles, live whole, happy lives, and meaningfully contribute to positive social change efforts.

Give Up and Give In

Stop trying to lose weight. Forget about clocking more ZZZs each night. Let go of hoping to finish your first novel.

It’s not that I don’t want you to be healthier and more fit, or more rested and alert, or better understood and creative. Moreover, it’s precisely because you have every right to live into these experiences and more — reaching your full potential — that I invite you to refocus your sights in order to achieve success.

Everyday, I have the pleasure of partnering with incredibly talented people striving to make our world more just. These folks are strategic and dedicated. People work with me because they’re compelled to better the world and themselves. The two are inextricably linked. My coaching partners (aka clients) hold a belief that their being happy and whole leads to meaningful outcomes for themselves (I.e., more time, clarity about their career path, vitality) and those for whom they advocate everyday. I totally agree.

It’s for this reason that I tap into my coaching partners' strengths to reach their aims. Want to get fit? Let’s start by agreeing to pack your sneakers in your work bag. Check. Next, can you agree to find one day to walk outside for 30 minutes? Great. How about mapping two days each week to repeat this process? You get the point.

All too often, we send ourselves running from our goals before the ink is dry on writing our big dreams. It’s as if we are immune to utilizing for our own good the strategy and determination we bring to our work. Of course, we know this does not compute.

Here’s another example. There’s a nagging sense that you’d like to be doing something different with your time, but you’re not sure what. Give up on getting a new job, and start by giving in to that voice within.

Give in to listening. Give in to acknowledging what you do and don’t like about your current position, extracurricular activities, volunteer gigs, etc. Give in to the opportunity to ponder what you might like to learn more about. Give in to identifying just one person who cares about one thing you’d like to potentially explore. Then…wait for it…give in to acknowledging that you are worthy of finding fulfillment in your life. Yes, you. Yes, your life. Next, email and call that one person and ask for 20 minutes of their time. You following my drift?

If you’re still reading this, something within you is connecting with the invitation being extended.

To be the author of your life, you’ve got to give up on simply writing a juicy conclusion to any one chapter. Rather, start thinking about, actively writing, and investing in each sentence that comprises the epic journey of your life.

What will it look like when you give up and give in?

This is Fear

I was recently asked by a colleague how I was doing; a question that, in my circle, took on a new form after the 2016 presidential election. Gone are the days of saying ‘fine’ and ‘great.’ It’s just not that simple anymore because it just ain’t true. Things are neither fine nor great.

Feeling both raw and numb, I took a minute to collect my thoughts. “I don’t know if the sense of stillness I’m feeling within is grace or rage.”

I’ve replayed the conversation dozens of times. In each version, I build on our dialogue. I share that feeling raw equates to being exposed in a way that reveals the intergenerational scars of my ancestors of color. Through those metaphorical marks once bled the life force of my enslaved black African and disbanded brown Native American families. I am the product of both their pain and perseverance.

I also hold the blood of white French and German descendants. The polarity of the power of my genetic makeup holds me firmly in its grips. In a world filled with a sea of specifics, a move in this moment is one in favor of generalities. Nuance and complexity fall on deaf ears in times like these, and sides are taken whether we know it, want to, or otherwise.

I move deeper within me. The spaces where grace once abundantly resided are now mostly consumed by something wholly unexpected. This is fear.

There’s a fire burning within. Grace would present as patience in the face of all. My fear presents as a short fuse. This is Cannon’s flight in living color. Personal triggers include white males in positions of overt power. Period. Followed by white men in positions of political power boasting of their political success. And white men publicly explaining the impending demise of the Unites States of America — and how to ensure one does not miss the signs of fascism because the rest of us must all be too dense to arrive at this intellectual understanding unguided — in the wake of this presidential transition. At best, it’s well-intentioned whitesplaining. At worst, it’s a complete lack of awareness and empathy by the messenger.

There’s an icy coolness in my feet. Grace would spur them on the path. My fear paralyzes. No one action for warding off the deluge of life-devaluing actions by the president-to-be appears great enough to overcome the urgency of now. There is a massive car wreck in my midst, and I cannot stop it nor avert my gaze.

There’s a muting of my tongue. Grace would present as the intent listener. My fear presents as a muddled inner mind that has lost its connection to its outer voice. I find myself not wanting to, trying to, nor able to make articulate meaning of the sociopolitical context evolving in my midst. Stuff is hitting the fan, but like a bad dream, I can’t shout for help.

My fear does not frighten me. My fear awakens me. I am reminded that feeling fear is a part, but not the essence, of my being. My fear will not be ignored, suppressed, or shamed. The memory of this presidential cycle’s existence may be permanent, but its meaning is permeable. There are many perspectives on what has happened and its impact on this nation yet to be uncovered. Fear is a necessary stage through which I must cross on the journey of meaning-making.

I’m moving through fear the only way I know how: I am writing. I write to prove to myself that my fire still burns brightly, that my energy can be utilized for justice, and that my voice will not be stifled. I write in the hopes that speaking of fear makes it possible for more people to acknowledge and address their own fears as a result of this presidential election. I write to give a face to a feeling that left unnamed appears much more menacing than for what it deserves credit. I write to find grace in the face of fear.

How to Love a Monster

There’s no better way to end a day than with good bedtime story. As my son puts it, every tale needs an unequivocal “uh-oh” moment. He and I easily get lost in the whims of creative genius that are inherent to improvisational storytelling. While my kid loves the drama of it all, I worry about the explicit and implicit messages conveyed while constructing (and perpetuating) conflict and crisis between good and evil. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the classic protagonist-take-down-of-the-antagonist framework.

Monsters are brooding personalities with complex histories. They wield beady eyes, booming voices, and in some cases, they don’t pay their taxes. These beasts are limited in sight and harbor vast blind spots; often lacking the peripheral vision necessary to notice perspectives apparent to others in plain view. Monsters are known to lack poise and repose. They have one mode: full throttle attack. Monsters devour to ensure they are not devoured. Monsters surely trust no one, and barely maintain a sense of loyalty to themselves. How else would they be able to endure the endless state of loneliness that is their existence but to completely deny themselves of connection to anyone or anything with a pulse?

Monsters feed on hate. The trifecta of loathing, disdain, and detest from others nourish the beast. Conversely, these sentiments are toxic to those who wield them. The hate unleashed on monsters is derived from the places within us that loathe, experience disdain, and detest ourselves. We learn to hate monsters for the multitude of reasons we subconsciously learn to hate ourselves. Like a Catch-22, hate fuels the monster and leaves us depleted.

So how does one go about stopping a monster in its tracks? Love.

To love a monster is to acknowledge the pain that is harbored within the beast. In acknowledging the painful — often soul wrenching — past of the monster, we create space in our hearts and heads to conjure an alternative version of the being that was once oriented to believe in the inalienable right of belongingness. In this view, the monster is no longer an other, but one of us.

To love a monster is to speak a language of accountability. This requires simultaneously remaining firm and resolute in condemning acts which demean the sacredness of all life, while also modeling through direct action toward the monster what it looks like to uphold the sacredness of its very own being. The monster cannot resist what it has never known to be a possible life-affirming experience.

To love a monster is to forgive, but never forget, the beast’s transgressions. In forgiving, we become powerful forces of healing and compassion for the monster and ourselves. In remembering the misdeeds, we wash ourselves in a bath of humility. Never does the magnitude of wrongdoing justify the offense.

As the masses feast on the smorgasbord that is the never-before-seen antics of this political cycle’s campaign trail, the truth is this: our story’s end is yet to come, and remains ours to collectively determine. The pages will persist long past November 8, 2016.

Our willingness to envelop the monster in love is imperative to the well-being of this nation and the people who call it home.

The Ways We Write About Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. Our words do, too. 

Where it began…

In the wake of the loss of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, I found myself scrolling through my social media feeds. For what I was seeking is beyond me, but what I found was the echo chamber of my fellow social justice compatriots.

All it took was one sturdy swipe of my thumb, and there it was: “Stop Killing Black People.” In that moment, I mimed the movement of a victorious junior varsity football coach on the icy end of a team-led Gatorade shower. Minus the elation. Minus anything to celebrate. Back arched and breath extinguished, I stared at the words. Written IN ALL CAPS.

I’ve been here before. Actually, I’m often here — as in the space when someone says something in my presence on the spectrum of being recklessly inappropriate to inexcusably out of line. These particular four words fell somewhere in the middle. And I know because I mentally catalogue experiences like this one. Yes, I do indeed Dewey Decimal the derogatory. This is what happens when you are a person of color in the United States of America. This is what happens when you are a woman on planet Earth. This is what happens when you are anything but the hegemony. The catalogue serves an arbiter of my existence, and sometimes I call ‘foul’.

Which led me to realize…

Time and reflection are two peas whose pod I aim to visit often. With hindsight, I now have a hypothesis for why this post was so jarring.

Writers — both amateur and professional — fill the intellectual real estate space of digital and print landscapes with their words. There are over abillon active monthly users on Facebook300 million people on Twitter, andmore than 1,000 daily newspapers are printed across the United States. The frequency of racially-charged events creates endless opportunities to professionally report and personally respond.

As stated in Psychology Today’s “The Most Dangerous Word”:

Fear-provoking words — like poverty, illness, and death — also stimulate the brain in negative ways. And even if these fearful thoughts are not real, other parts of your brain (like the thalamus and amygdala) react to negativefantasies as though they were actual threats occurring in the outside world. Curiously, we seem to be hardwired to worry — perhaps an artifact of oldmemories carried over from ancestral times when there were countless threats to our survival.

There it was. The ill-worded post catalyzed the joyless Gatorade shower of my momentarily deregulated state. Boy, was I peeved. And sad. And resolved.

So to all the social justice warriors, and those who simply ever tweet, type, or put pen to paper…

In our current sociopolitical context, the chances are high that certain events will evoke cause for words — both spoken and written. That being said, here’s a note to all of us communicators out there: be careful with your words. We are all reading, internalizing, and being impacted by them. Your charged statements need to take an affirmative form as often as possible. Rather than negatively shouting for a stop, express your desire for the involved party to be held accountable for their actions. Or, perhaps, you can speak to a positive vision for what should be the modern measure of how Black people, if the situation calls for it, are regarded.

The need and desire to capture a moment in written form must be conscious of a commitment to be empathic of those on the receiving end. Social justice writers have a role to play in advancing the well-being of readers — in particular those most impacted by the action, event, or circumstance.

There is a dire need for impactful writing that uplifts and upholds. To be sure, this is not a veiled advertisement for a lifetime subscription to rose-tinted glasses. It is an invitation to frame your words in life-giving affirmatives that matter to Black lives.

How to Create More Aha! Moments in Policy Creation and Systems Change Work

I work with individuals and organizations working toward social justice — the equitable distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges — across broad social constructs such as socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and gender identity. LightWell coaching partnerships create sacred space for leaders across sectors of society — non-profit, public, and for-profit — to bring into consciousness and evaluate the impact of the beliefs and behaviors that influence their work. A key component of the coaching partnership is a conscious effort to distinguish between and recognize the value of both analytical leadership and what I call ‘Aha! leadership’. 

Policy creation and systems change work requires a number of analytical skills, though not exclusively. Problem articulation, critical thinking, process orientation, thorough reporting, and decision analysis are without a doubt important competencies to posses when considering frameworks for resource distribution. Both society and science have placed much value on the ability of leaders to display these qualities. In short — articulate, linear, and methodic behaviors seem to rule the day. But what if we’re missing a key piece of the equity generation equation? 

Scientists at Drexel University are cracking the code on an otherwise undervalued way of problem solving: the Aha! moment. As the research shows, these seemingly unexpected strokes of genius are more than fortuitous instances of clarity. Furthermore, there are proactive behaviors which have the potential to unlock more frequent experiences of heightened awareness of new possibilities and unprecedented advancements — Aha! leadership moments — within spheres of policy creation and systems change in the name of social justice. 

If that isn’t enough good news, here’s more: we can use these tips in many contexts beyond policy creation and systems change work!

1) Turn everyday actions into meditative moments. Transform your daily routines like washing dishes, bathing, folding laundry, and walking into moments of inner focus. By concentrating simply on the motion of inhaling and exhaling and clearing the mind of the inner monologue at play, we create space for the ideas which live on the margins of our consciousness to come into view.

2) Visualize success. It is as simple as it sounds, and it works. By bringing into focus the outcomes we seek in as vivid of detail as possible, we can begin to see new pathways to this desired state. The act of visualizing, when performed regularly, serves as an invitation to broaden the parameters in which we articulate social justice outcomes and the expanded mechanisms we utilize to manifest this view.

3) Ask the right question. In addition to having a clear problem statement, it is important to frame your quandary in the form of a succinct question. Aim for articulating this question in 10 to 12 words for the best outcomes. The more succinct you can be, the more targeted your spontaneous solution(s) will be. 

4) Embrace right-brain activities. Our tendency to rely on analytic thinking for problem solving is a result of a ‘left-brain’ dependency. To ensure full access of the space between our ears, and the creative problem solving pathways that are nature’s gift to humankind, don’t shy away from activities which engage the right hemisphere of your brain. Writing, doodling, playing and listening to music, improvisation, and dabbling in the arts are all great ways to amplify the potential for spontaneous solutions, and as a result, Aha! leadership. 

Policy work and systems change that lead to more just and equitable communities will require leaders who maximize the use of their mental faculties — analytical and Aha! thinking, alike. Creating the conditions necessary for Aha! leadership can lead to breakthroughs which ultimately catalyze new opportunities for communities where access to resources previously did not exist. 

Reach out today to learn more about LightWell’s coaching partnerships and schedule a free Introduction to Coaching Call.

The Three Ps of Taking A Knee

Professional athletes across the United States of America are using their celebrity platform to call attention to multigenerational racial injustices against African Americans. At sporting events across this nation, muscle-toned quadriceps are giving way to the gravity of “Taking a Knee” in resistance to the national anthem while professional camera operators and amateur camera phoned fans document patella-pitted turf. In the wake of this star-studded display of racial consciousness, we are meeting the Three Ps of “Taking a Knee”. The first two Ps have been well documented, if not held as a two-legged straw man upon which many have repeatedly repackaged to distinguish the problem from the protest. While the nuance between these two Ps is a pre-requisite to comprehending the significance of the moment, it is the third P — policy — that requires acute attention for liberty and justice to be achieved for all. Unfortunately, too few Americans have access to a layman’s understanding of the specific municipal, state, or federal policies which undergird the rise in popularity of the symbolic fallen stance.

Simply put, policies determine the lawful — subjectively speaking — governing of people. The social contract upon which our democracy is based is wrought with tongue-twisting legislative lingo. Much like the amalgamation of letters, numbers, and other characters used to form the code of today’s technology revolution, our forefathers crafted their own language of legal cipher complete with a complex logic of loopholes, exclusions, and special interests.

Recognizing the indications of a given policy’s impact on individual racial and ethnic groups is a much more straightforward process than decoding the associated legislative verbiage. To be sure, the intellectual capacity of people is not being called into question. Moreover, there must be an increase in opportunities for everyday citizens to become as intimately aware of the policies and practices which inform the governing of their communities as they are with the athletes demanding their change.

The technical aspect of writing policy is one part art, one part litigious, and all parts political. Reaching the idyllic homeostasis of racial equity — the achievement of a set of conditions in which policies, markets, and all other areas of society work equally well for those comprising any and all ethnic and racial groups — will require an unparalleled knowledge share movement. The enormous undertaking required to build the literacy, comprehension, and collective understanding of how to navigate policy-making processes amongst citizens should not paralyze professionals working in and around spheres of social justice movements.

Policy makers, system changers, and each and every athlete standing for social justice by kneeling must be equipped to communicate clear, accessible, and multilingual communication for constituents which focus on the specific policies needing revision, elimination, or creation along with actionable steps on how to influence outcomes for change. The problem will persist and the protest will subsequently ensue until specific policy shifts necessary for systemic change are named.

Beginnings

Finding the first words and taking the first steps are always the toughest. 

Making the leap from living in the land of thought to exploring the world of concrete language requires a bit of patience (of which, who has that?) and a willingness to be vulnerable. 

If you're still reading -- meaning you weren't thrown off by the use of the 'V-word' -- this is the place for you. 

Tripping over our words. Shedding light on our insecurities to see them for the surmountable mole hills that they are. Making way for ourselves to be seen. These are big moments that can lead to big growth if we're willing to "go there". 

Welcome to LightWell Coaching + Consulting. This is a space for those willing to explore the connection between personal reflection and professional effectiveness. How we show up for ourselves greatly impacts our ability to show up for others. In the land of policy making and system thinking, being self-aware is now more needed than ever before. 

LightWell is a new venture specializing in the capacity building of individuals and organizations seeking social justice and owning their role in being stewards of social responsibility. What sets LightWell apart from the many excellent coaches and consultants in the field?

  1. LightWell = Social Justice Accelerator. We work exclusively with clients working toward a more just society by creating pathways for more equitable access to resources and opportunities. If you are building it, LightWell wants to support you and your organization. 
  2. Empathy > Everything Else. Squirm if you must. We'll wait. LightWell fundamentally believes in helping our clients to tap into their power of "walking a mile in someone else's shoes" to more deeply understand themselves, their colleagues, and their communities. Neuroscience confirms what many of us already know: the ability to build relational trust with others through words and actions is the most promising way to bring about positive change. 

LightWell is committed to being a transparent partner that offers timely support and measurable success. Accelerate your individual and organizational aims by working with LightWell Coaching + Consulting.

Are you ready to step into a more full, present version of yourself? Take the first step by reaching out to LightWell today.