Are You Showing Up As Your Full Self?

Photo Credit to https://unsplash.com/@clemono

I was in a conversation the other day where we were discussing a potential Request for Proposal (RFP) for a program that will be changing hands. I asked if we had considered one of our local nonprofits as a potential partner. We had not. One of the people mentioned that another group member who had left early was on the board of this organization. I asked why this person didn’t bring this up and was told that he keeps his work and personal life separate.

The next words out of my mouth were “I am working so hard to get people to stop doing that”.

We have all heard the term that we wear different hats. My hats include my role at the Central Florida Foundation, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Orange County, member of the Mayor’s multi-cultural committee, wife, mother, animal lover, world traveler just to name a few. We all play different roles in our lives, but how often do we think about integrating them? What benefits one group you are in, may benefit another. I get confidentiality and conflict of interest. Those things are important, but not sharing information can be a conflict as well.

The other area we often get stuck in is group think. How many times have you walked out of a meeting only to join up with a group in the parking lot (pre-COVID) and a bunch of people are complaining about the outcome? I worked for an agency that didn’t buy a building that was a great price because one board member thought we shouldn’t take out a mortgage. I received calls after the meeting from board members who asked why we made the decision not to buy the building. My simple answer was “You voted against it”. Would the outcome have been different if they had challenged the idea of not taking out the mortgage? I don’t know, but at least we could have had a real discussion.

Some of biggest challenges to bringing your full self are distractions and stress. Distractions are easy to define. They can be texts coming in, emails you feel like you need to answer right now, or even boredom (I get fidgity when meetings go too long). Stress may be more subtle. I have had to learn to re-set myself to go from one meeting to another or moving to another task. I think it is important to give your full self to others in the meeting you are in. This one I have to work on all the time, but it is that important. I have learned to practice mindfulness, listen to calming music, and also to take a deep breath before I walk into (or call into) a meeting.

So before your next meeting, ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I bringing all of my hats?

2. Am I willing to go against the flow? This doesn’t mean creating conflict, it can be as simple as asking probing questions?

3. Have I eliminated distractions and stress?

When you can answer yes, you can show up as your full self.

Reposted from Linkedin

Things I Miss

This is the time of year that I usually travel. We have had an annual family reunion for years and it has become a much anticipated tradition spending time with loved ones, having adventures, and making memories.

COVID has taken that away this year and it makes me sad. What makes me even sadder is the unnecessary loss this virus has and continues to cause.

Being quarantined since March makes me appreciate how much I miss.

I miss hanging with friends in person.

I miss my routines, including talking to my buds on the way to work.

I miss hugs from family, friends, and colleagues.

I miss shopping trips on the weekend.

I miss not worrying about getting sick, or my kids getting sick, my parents getting sick, or just anyone I know getting sick.

I miss traveling and adventures.

While I miss all of these things, I am thankful for health, employment, family, friends, and technology!

Hey, look, butterfly!

One of the analogies I give when talking about distractions is the kid running down the soccer field towards the goal and he sees a butterfly and stops to chase after it, losing interest for that moment, in the game.

Photo by Karina Vorozheeva on Unsplash

I have not written in this space since 2018.

I believe the reason is twofold. One, is that I can’t dish about my political opinions as freely due to my position within the League of Women Voters, and two, I have too many things in my head. There is so much to talk about and weigh in on. Things in my life have changed over the past few years and I go between being chill to being frustrated as hell.

Part of it is that I don’t understand why things have to be so political all the time. For example, there is a demonstrated drop in corona virus cases when we all wear masks and social distance, but it has become a statement over freedoms. I can tell you that this act should fall in line with things like seatbelts, drinking laws, and speed limits. These are all designed to protect not only the individual, but others as well.

How can you follow the command to love your neighbor and yet want to hurt them? Whether it is the lack of respect by not wearing a mask, or resenting or hating someone for the color of their skin or the way they choose to believe in God, none of that represents love.

I wonder what would happen if we all started to care a little more. To care less about making a political statement and more about how others feel. To understand that people of different races and religions do not need to be persecuted. They need to be heard and loved and respected. If we are all God’s children, why is it so hard?