Self Care Sunday ~ Dark Places

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Each week I write Self Care Sunday posts to discuss holistic approaches to wellness and self care. I like to write about spiritual as well as physical and emotional wellness because the mind, body and spirit are the trinity of holistic wellness. True holistic wellness can only occur when the three aspects of being are in harmony and/or balance.

Some of the topics I present may be heavy and may even trigger feelings or an emotional response by readers. I write about them because often we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t see what we don’t want to see. I am encouraging you to maintain an open mind and an open heart as you read these posts. Be gentle with yourself if painful memories are triggered and consider allowing yourself to sit in that pain for a little while to see it, understand it and to heal it.

For my own wellness, working to heal past traumas and let go of previous versions of myself has been the key to true holistic balance. In the past, I tried to heal my physical body without ever addressing repressed emotions or buried traumas. Stuffing down pain manifested in health issues, poor self care and emotional issues. I have chosen to see it and feel it so I could heal in 2019. Honestly, it feels like 2019 not only brought change in my professional life and in my relationships but it also changed how I look at myself. It changed how I approach life too. Almost like my reset button was pushed and I loaded back up as a healed version of myself😄💙

I realized over the last year that true growth happens when we are able to sit in our dark spaces without trying to numb ourselves or shield ourselves from the pain of our darkness. True healing happens when we allow ourselves to see the truth, the truth of who we are, what we accepted, who we’ve become, mistakes we’ve made and opportunities we missed. As for myself, it’s been painful to see and feel the truth but it has also been liberating. I’ve found freedom from the limitations of my trauma and healing in my heart and soul by finally slowing down long enough to allow the darkness within to surface. Once darkness is brought to the surface, the light transmutes it and heals it.

Can you maintain an open mind as unpleasant experiences from your past surface? Can you sit in the dark space with a heavy heart and feel the pain without trying to  numb   yourself to it? Can you let the darkest part of your soul come up and into the light to be finally healed? Can you forgive yourself for accepting less than you deserved or for not knowing what you didn’t know? Can you love yourself enough today to choose to heal?


My work story this week is on the topic of – you don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve been dealing with a legal/ethics issue at work. Since my first milestones were met and are out for public comment, I assumed we were past the drama of the situation but I got a phone call from a Manager (not mine) with a new challenge🤬

A few leaders loaned me advisors when I first started. A manager for one of those teams started the phone call off with with “about this paperwork thing” 🤣 That should have been my first clue 😂…Bottomline is their team members provided me bad, out-dated information – period! I asked for clarification. They couldn’t give it to me because they were not following regulations…I went another path and moved on but it seems my program’s public notices shined a light on that team’s compliance issues. That team has already been chewed out once; I think they were trying to feel me out…So, I shared my legal documentation which has concurrence and directive from our “parent company” and I stated “we could try to get a waiver for the rest of the process to shave off time but any request would have to be coordinated back through legal and our parent company.” I could feel the breath in their long SIGH over the phone after I said it. They weren’t angry with me. I was just stating facts and had the documentation to support what I stated.

So, here’s bottom line. Leaders are in this predicament because they assumed they knew everything about grants and thought their “experts” knew it all too. They didn’t have a clue the team wasn’t staying up to date on regulations and compliance requirements. Now, you can argue they have been “under the radar” or getting away with it for this long…and I am going to tell you…the truth always comes out eventually and it’s best it doesn’t happen in the middle of an audit by the watchdog 🤣🤣 See where I am going with this??? When we assume we know everything, we not only close ourselves off to learning and new knowledge, we also make ourselves vulnerable. Our knowledge and experience will eventually become out-dated if we do not challenge ourselves to keep an open mind, learn, ask questions and stay humble. We don’t know what we don’t know but assuming we know everything is a vulnerable position to be in especially for a leader.

Wrapping this week’s post up…. The below meme accurately depicts me preparing to be normal at work and in social situations 😂I’m going to a girls Christmas Gift Exchange on Sunday afternoon. I’ll have to be super “normal” with that crowd; they are very straight-laced✌️I only see them a couple times a year so I am looking forward to it🎅🏻I just hope the Trump cult members in the group respect the “no politics” agreement! I am a moderate Democrat. I’ve always been moderate. I usually vote blue but, on occasion, I’ve voted red. Since Trump became President and both parties are being led by extremist, “moderate” is now a four letter word.  With everything that has come to light in the last three years, I don’t foresee me voting for a Republican for the rest of my life✊

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Tell Me Your Story

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The Amazon Ultimate Wish List Book arrived in the mail yesterday. It reminded me of when my Mom would hand me the Sears Wish Book and ask me to circle some ideas for my list for Santa. It was always an exciting day.
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Thinking back to when I was young, I remember I wanted to be a Lawyer. Actually, I wanted to be a lawyer for a long time. I even studied Latin in high school to prepare for Law School. My dream and plan to got to Law School got overtaken by events. High school wasn’t a happy time for me. That mostly has to do with broken trust and painful experiences that left me bruised both figuratively and literally. By my Sophomore year of college, I was living in chronic depression and attempted suicide. Shortly after that I got Mono. Mono kicked my ass. I was sick for over six weeks and I missed a lot of school. I dropped out of college just before my last year because I ran out of money. I could’t afford to pay my tuition any longer. I took a full time job as an Assistant Manager for a local bank that I had been working at while in school. Fortunately, I was always a hard worker with a strong work ethic so I was always able to support myself.

It’s funny when you look back on your life. It’s so easy to see how things shaped your experience and changed your life. I can see now that dropping out of school completely changed the path for the rest of my life and lead to me being where I am today. I can also see now that something broke in me during that time. I was heart broken. My dreams were destroyed, and at the time, I thought I would never be happy. I was depressed, had low self esteem and a dysfunctional family environment. It was easy to let go and lose track of who I was. I worked full time all day and partied all night long. I careen through one reckless drunken night and casual relationship after another while I hid the depression from everyone. The truth was I wanted to die. When I was drunk enough, I would say it. The only reason I didn’t try to kill myself again was because, by the time I was in my mid 20s, my sister was terminally ill. She needed me. After she died when I was 32, my Mother needed me. Then my brother-in-law died when I was 34 and my sister and her kids needed me. Taking care of others gave me a reason to live. I made my life about working, drinking and taking care of others. I had absolutely no sense of self for many years.

It caught up to me in a very ugly psychological breakdown. I felt the swell of emotions and pressure pushing at me for a while. I kept pulling myself back from the edge. It started because I was laid off from my job a year prior and I returned to school full time to finish my BS degree. I graduated with a grade point average of 3.98 but finding a full time job took me longer than I thought it would. I lost my apartment. My mother kept my car from being repossessed and I was working in a sub shop just to have cash in my pocket. It was devastating. I had always been independent, self-sufficient. I could always take care of myself. Finding myself that destitute especially after finally graduating from college, was devastating to me. I snapped one night while I was sleeping over friends house in 2007.

As I look back on the night of my breakdown, I can see I was in the right place when it happened. My friend’s husband is an Orthopedic Surgeon. I could hear him tell her they couldn’t take me to a hospital because the ER doctors would put me in a Psych Ward for three days. He didn’t want that to be part of my “story”. So they instead agreed to stay up with me all night and took care of me. He got me an emergency appointment with a Psychiatrist the next morning. Fortunately, I was offered a great full time job two months later. The angels must have been on my side that day because the hiring manager for a contracting company found my resume on an unemployment job bank website. I didn’t even know unemployment put my resume on their site. I was offered the job during the interview and started work four days later.

This brings me to today…I am still friends with the couple who saved my life that night back in 2007 but they moved to Florida. Florida is financially more hospitable to doctors than New Jersey. I talk with them and text with her regularly. They recently sent me photos of them in costume for their Halloween party last week just to show they are still “fun”. She still calls me “Norma Rae” because she swears I am going to change the world one day. The funny thing is — now I think she just might be right. The job I’ve been in for the last three months has certainly tested me. It’s given me an opportunity to rise up and show I am a leader. Most recently, it’s given me an opportunity to remember that there is a “Norma Rae” in me. It woke something up in me that will never be suppressed again. I still think I would have been a great lawyer and I do think that I shall change the world one day.  That’s going to be my story. Ready to ride shotgun with me?

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A quick update from last week’s Self Care Sunday post, I am still dealing the fallout from taking a stand at work and ensuring we did the right thing. It certainly will lead to some uncomfortable conversations for a few people but I give zero f**ks. I’ve only been there 90 days so I have no loyalty to any of them. I have legal and my direct supervisor on my side. Most importantly, they can’t fire me or reassign me which makes me the right person to take this stand. Yep, there’s a “Norma Rae” in me. It’s funny, I was told unofficially on Thursday that I may be getting two more workforce development grant programs to “stand-up” (because I proven I know how to do it) which would make me a Portfolio Manager. I almost laughed my ass off when I heard it and made the comment “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!” We will see how things play out.

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As far as my brother being in Congestive Heart Failure goes. Well, his heart went from only functioning at 25% up to 50% so they released him from the hospital. For clarity, my brother and I are not close. Our history is complicated mostly because he was a violent mean drunk when he was younger and he hurt me. Me going up to Philly the last three weekends wasn’t because I am an enlightened human being who has forgiven him. I’ve been going to up to Philly every weekend because I have a 80 year old mother who has buried one child already. I need to be there for her but I will admit being there with him has been helping me heal some of the wounds from my teenage years at the same time. No matter what happens, I will still never be in the same room or a car with him alone. It’s great to be the bigger person but I will never let my guard down around that him… NEVER! But I am glad he is out of the hospital because I was able to stay home this weekend and my mother is less stressed. I’ve done three weeks of laundry and spent $200 food shopping this afternoon because I had absolutely nothing in the house. It’s late Saturday afternoon. I have Mac & Cheese cooking in the crockpot.  I tried to find “Norma Rae” on line to watch again but can’t find the whole film.   It’s been a while since I’ve seen it.

What’s your story today?
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(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday ~ Heart Healing

This past week presented me with two opportunities to stand in my authetic power and demonstrate my inner strength.

This week I’ve been dealing with fallout from a potential ethics issue at work. Early Thursday I received a cryptic email from an “temporary” leader stating he did not see anything wrong.  After I took a deep breathe, I attached all of my written documentation and wrote back. I requested that if they were stating we did not need to comply, I disagreed. I also asked for a memo signed by all Senior Execs in the chain “directing” me to not comply – you know – “just” in case we are audited😉😂 Yeah, I went there! I was done and was not even playing anymore. I sent that message at about 8:30am.  Shortly after I sent it, my direct boss sent a note backing me 100%.  I also reached back out to Legal and they told me they had my back too. Around 8:00pm on Thursday night I checked my email. I found a note from my Senior Exec thanking us for bringing the issue to her awareness. She asked that we follow the appropriate process and update the schedule to reflect the additional milestones and show the 12 month delay; she would start messaging it….  I guess no one wanted to sign that memo I requested 🤣 No, I didn’t think so 😂✊

Like I said before, I give zero f**ks lately and I am not even playing.  Basically, I won! I stood up for what I knew to be right and ethical. I had so much documentation backing me up and legal on my side. I wasn’t backing down. I put myself at risk by doing it since I’ve only been here 3 months but I am happy it’s resolved. Now I can just focus on lining things up the right way with zero drama. In case you all don’t know I am stubborn like that – especially when I know I am 100% right… I will dig my high heel into the ground and I will not back down.

This situation reminded me of when I walked off a job 20 years ago because the owner was verbally abusive to employees. I started keeping a file and documenting everything he did and said to people. Then one day I had enough. He said something to me and replied, “I quit! and, by the way, you will be giving me unemployment and covering my health insurance because I’ve got a file of documentation against you as proof of creating a hostile workplace!”🤣✊Well, I didn’t know that folks outside the room heard me. After I walked out, they all started calling me “Norma Rae” and saying I “rang the bell” 🤣 One of those coworkers has become a life long friend. She still calls me “Norma Rae” and reminded me of that story recently. She was proud me this time around too! I won’t back down!


Switching to this week’s personal challenges. My brother has been in the ICU Heart Failure Unit in a hospital in center city Philly all week. He’s in Congestive Heart Failure. I spent the last two days at the hospital with him, family and his lifelong friends. He informed us he signed a DNR – Do Not Resuscitate. Late Friday afternoon they drained the fluid off of his heart. We made it through it and us now waiting for pathology to come back before deciding what to do next. He’s sitting up but not moving around much. I am actually sitting in the family room writing this blog while the doctors are in with my brother and sister in law. I will drive home later this afternoon. Other family members and his friends are planning to visit & watch football with him tomorrow.

My brother and I have a complicated history. Sitting here with him and helping him is forcing me to confront some demons and past resentments from the person he used to be…He is no longer that person. I see that now. He’s a different man than he was in his younger years. Sitting with him the last couple of days I see him differently. I don’t really understand life and how things work but but I will say — sitting with him and helping him is helping me heal the broken part of my heart from so long ago. Caring for someone who hurt me so deeply is truly opening me to a new deeper meaning of unconditional love. If he doesn’t make it, I know I made things right for both of us. Maybe I needed to work through this on my own and let go of this demon from my past to allow myself to open completely to love. Maybe I had to set him and myself free from the past to find peace within myself. I still don’t know what’s going to happen with his heart but I do know,I am glad I’ve been able to share his journey.

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday ~ My WHY

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I had a super crazy busy stressful intense work week. By Wednesday, I could feel it taking a toll. In the afternoon walked out into the hallway break room to get a bottle of water before a meeting. When I got back to my desk, I realized I lost my phone. Since I have an Apple Watch, I can tell when my phone is within range of my watch. When I got to the break room, I could see it was near by. So I pinged it. There was a guy I didn’t know standing on the other side of room. We were both confused because we could both hear it but not see it. Then he leaned over and put his ear close to the trash can and said, “OMG, it’s in here! You threw out your iPhone!”🤣As I pulled it out of the trash he said, “Man, I don’t think I even want to know what’s going on in your world today. You threw out your iPhone and didn’t even know it! ” 🤣 Yep, I threw out a $600 iPhone and didn’t even realize it; that is how preoccupied I was with this damn job.

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After spending a whole week working very closely with my Director to give presentations to her bosses and external stakeholders, she said to me on Thursday, “Every aspect of this is hard and complicated. We just have to remember the good you are doing for the industry in the long run!”😄 It was in that moment I remembered my professional “WHY”. The reason I took the job in the first place is that ten years down the road I will be able to look back at this time and say I played a role in changing the workforce in my industry. The new programs I am working to establish will develop and change workforce in my industry for the future. I am starting it. I’ve said since day one, I only want to make a meaningful contribution. I want to make a difference. God gave me what I asked for but he never said it would be easy 🤣 He also didn’t tell me I would throw away a $600 iPhone because I was so preoccupied by the damn job but he certainly gave me what I asked for. He gave me a way to make real difference not only in my organization, not just in my “company” but in the whole damn industry. God is good.

While the situation with the phone was funny and my coworkers were cracking up, the truth is…it worried me that I did it. It’s not the first time I’ve been so preoccupied that I did something stupid since starting this job. It was a wake up call for me. I need find a new way to manage the pressure and responsibilities of this job with some self awareness. I realized by late Thursday afternoon I needed a full and complete STOP. My schedule worked out that it gave me a four day weekend. After going through my emails and tasks, guess what, everything can wait four days. I am taking a break and completely disconnecting. Friday is my errand, shopping day. I spent today, Saturday, in Philly with my Mom and family.  My niece brought her pitbull over for a visit.  He’s ‘s 65lbs and sitting on my lap. I was covered in dog hair when I left.  I will most likely sleep in on Sunday and not sure after that. I would like to go hiking if the weather is cooperative and Monday I am hoping to have lunch with friends. If I am going to thrive in the next crazy year and maintain holistic wellness and balance, I am going to need to find chunks of time like this weekend to completely disconnect from work and focus on the other aspects of my life.  My job isn’t going to love and care for my body and my soul; that’s my job.

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One part of me wants to surrender and go back to an easy job.  That is my ego…My ego is being stripped down in this job because every day I have to swim a little harder, learn a little faster, make decisions without a lot of information and then go defend them 🤣 I am way outside of the comfort zone and operating on level higher than I ever imagined I would be operating when I accepted this job.  Thank God my brain is hardwired to be strategic and thank God I strengthened my intuition in recent years because so far, I’ve made good decisions. I also know my limit. I know when a decision is above me.  I am good about building relationships and I am inclusive. I look for the right folks to include or give counsel along the way. Seriously, I talk more in this job than I ever talked in any job. It’s exhausting🤣

One thing is for sure…the ego and emotions have no place in making strategic decisions that will affect my career in the long term. My ego wants to protect me. It wants me to keep doing what I am good at and what is easy with no room for failure but my soul knows I am where I am meant to be – success or failure – it will be my lesson. The key is for me to practice non-attachment to how I think it will play out and just do my best and let it unfold organically.  Whatever happens is for my highest good. Everything is always working out for my highest good even if it works out differently than I expected.

I also reconnected with personal WHY – GROWTH! I wanted potential for long term diversified growth opportunities in my future. I am in the right place for this now. Getting back to my WHY cleared up all the confusion and uncertainity I was having.

What’s your why

Every choice, every decision has a lesson in it. This one is teaching me patience. It’s also teaching me to TRUST to my intuition and use strategic thinking to evaluate choices instead of my ego. I can’t be reactive and emotional with this decision.

What’s You’re Why?  Have you reconnected with it recently?  Sit with yourself long enough to observe if your ego or emotions are driving your decisions. Can you practice non-attachment? Can you consider strategically aligning your choice with what you want in the future rather than reacting to the demands of your ego or attachments of your emotions? Seems to be working for me 😊✨  Ripped-paper-with-written-on-it-Whats-your-why--1024x683

I offer the below Loving Kindness Prayer for the Kurdish people in Syria and all American Armed Forces affected by the actions of POTUS.  He’s golfing while massacres are occurring.  He’s golfing while ISIS is being let free. He’s golfing while US forces are getting hit.  This scares me.  What will the retaliation be?  What demon has he unleashed into the world.  I hope he not only goes down but I hope every Republican supporting him and protecting him goes down with him.  Money and power should never come before human life.

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday ~ Rearview Mirror

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A few years ago, I started opening my awareness to see and accept that often we do not know why we had to have some experiences until years down the road. It’s often those experiences, those jobs, those people, those uncomfortable times of our lives that gave us key knowledge or insights that ultimately helped us grow.

I will say honestly my awareness started opening to the truth in my personal life in 2009. It wasn’t until a few years later that I truly embraced it and finally moving to my quiet apartment on the beach and separating myself from the noise in my personal life that finally gave me the space and room to embrace that I changed.

The same thing happened in my professional life but the key pivotal point in my career when Blue Love left for a new job. We were in the comfort zone and his decision took us both out of it. While the transition was difficult for me, I see now without that happening neither one of us would have grown into who we are today. For me, I used that time as an opportunity to look within myself. I used it to reevaluate my needs. I used the time to look at myself and I woke up spiritually. In doing so, I realized I was unfilled in just about every area of my life.

In addition to working full-time, I went back to school for a year to become a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner from May 2017 to May 2018. The weekly exercises and classes taught me skills to manage my holistic wellness and I learned how to take care of my holistic needs. Let me be clear. This course was for personal enrichment but doing it had a profound affect on my professional career too. It helped me see that I was professionally unfilled and I only enjoyed working where I was because Blue Love was there. Without him there, the environment wasn’t enriching and it eventually became toxic. The people, the talking, the cliques and drama. It was all too much. I couldn’t handle being in the middle of it anymore. That insight inspired me to pursue a temporary assignment which changed my whole career.
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While I was working in my temporary assignment for 15 months, I was removed from the drama, noise, cliques, gossip of the organization I worked for 10 years. In that silence, in that distance, I was able to find my own voice. I was able to embrace my strengths. I was able to let go of any previous versions of myself and be seen differently. When my temporary assignment ended, I did end up going back to my former organization briefly – but on different terms. I was protected by two managers and that gave me the freedom to give those managers my best contribution. They agreed to keep me buried, out of the limelight, and protected from the noise, and I helped them problem solve by using my innate strategic abilities. In the end, I chose to leave the organization permanently. I am still happy and grateful I had the opportunity to go back to that organization temporarily and help two friends. It was a rewarding experience and I made a meaningful contribution.

So, now I am in a new job. It’s the most challenging job I ever had. Stretching me until I almost break but I’ve learned in recent weeks – it is completely within my skillset. It was stressful for the first few weeks for a few reasons but mainly because they were already behind schedule; nothing was done before I got there. I had to start at zero. I walked into a fire. Also, I went from sitting in my cubicle in a peaceful corner of the building on telecoms all day to giving regular meetings briefings to VP and Director level folks. It’s like going from being a lower level project manager with little visibility to being on VP and Director level radar every day in one step…

I actually have two briefings to leadership this coming week. What the actually f**k? 🤣I am working on them this weekend to save myself from Monday chaos. All of these briefings are exhausting. I am thankful the manager who recruited me taught me how to do them. Since I am always slotted for 30 minutes – I prepare 6-10 slides max with no backup slides. My senior exec is a data driven engineer so I give her data on each slide to chew on. She likes it. And the part I am good at – I tell a good story – I prepare the narrative (messaging) that goes with the slide packet in advance; no free-styling in the room 🤣 Lastly, give my GM & Director an opportunity to comment in advance to obtain support before going in – which means think & plan ahead. 🙄Blue Love says these leadership briefings will keep me charged 🤣 Maybe…it does seem like it’s preparing me for something in the future. I guess I will be able to see that clearly in the rearview mirror. But, jeez, couldn’t they let me ramp up and catch my breathe before being thrown into the Shark Tank right from my 9th day? 🤣

Something kicked in the last few weeks. I realized this job is really going to be about risk management, communications and managing stakeholders. If I can be disciplined to assess risks and impacts early and often, work with leadership to figure out mitigations, I will be able to manage the chaos without getting completely overwhelmed by stress. I am utilizing the risk management experience I gained a few years every day. I’ll be riding this roller coaster job for at least for another ten months until I can potential bid out at my current level. Hopefully, everything starts falling into place and I’ll stay until I am eligible to retire in eight years but only time will tell with job. The problem with this job is…since starting it, I am exhausted on the weekends from the level of effort that is required of me all week. I’m not enjoying my life. I am out of balance because I am so darn tired by the time the weekend comes…And, I’ve had a migraine since Thursday night most likely from clenching my jaw. I am not comfortable with how this is affecting my holistic health.

I will confess part of me wishes I was never recruited for this job. I really don’t need nor really enjoy being in the limelight. I am actually quite ok playing a support role to a leader rather than being the star. That’s why I so enjoyed Blue Love. I would still enjoy doing that for him. Being this visible is uncomfortable… I am adapting but it’s taking a lot of energy and interfering with the rest of my life. Other folks see the level of effort that is needed…A GM involved said to me yesterday, “You are the right person for this job because someone will tell you NO ten times yet somewhere in there you hear YES. You figure out a way to get it done and get to YES when most would give up. The job is challenging and complicated; it needs your strategic abilities and tenacity!” I suspect he’s right but is he saying I am pushy? Because I’ve been trying to not be so pushy. Lol 🙂
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This brings me back to Blue Love. He put the ball into motion for both of us back in 2016 when he accepted a new job which took him away from me. Because he did that, we both had an opportunity to grow and stretch. It gave us both freedom to find our own authentic voice. It gave me a whole new career path and it lead him to another new job as a Senior Executive for another company. I could not be more proud of him or grateful to him. There is no doubt in my mind that he and I were always meant to find each other, help other grow, learn from each other and love each other. Our connection is truly unbreakable and for our highest good 💙✨

Often times we can’t see how everything always works out for our highest good until we have an opportunity to look at it in the rearview mirror. With reflection, we can see how things fell into the place perfectly or how things falling apart led to growth and change. Courage is needed to look at ourselves. Fortitude is needed during difficult times and a good bit of guts is needed to take a risk on love, on your future and on yourself.

On the another related topic, I got a call this week about a family member being emotionally unstable again. In the past, I would jump into action and try to help them through it emotionally. I would help them work through their problems to find a solution. This time, I am choosing to not engage. It’s not because I don’t love them or care about them. It’s because they have to learn to adapt and save themselves. They have to learn how to navigate through problems and stand on their own. I won’t be here forever. They have to wrestle their demons on their own and gain strength by doing it. Honestly, I’ve been through a lot in my life. I am a survivor. Loss has broken my heart. People have disappointment and hurt me emotionally and physically. And somehow, today, at 52 year old, I still believe in people and still believe in love. I saved my own soul. My salvation was in the strength that I gained by struggling and overcoming adversity. I learned coping skills to get through tough times. I will not take that type of growth opportunity away from anyone else by making things easy for them anymore. They have to learn to fight for their own soul and I will have to learn to live their choice – if they don’t.

On a musical note, if you don’t already have Lenny Kravitz “Essentials” or “Greatest Hits” in your collection, you can download it with this link in Apple Music. I’ve loved Lenny for a long time 💙He’s cool 😂And I love his soulful rock.

Let love rule 💙


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Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Self Care Sunday ~ Wait, What?

img_2217It’s Saturday morning and I am tired – actually, I am mentally and physically exhausted from this week. It wasn’t a bad week. It was just hectic and I’ve been using maximum brain power in this new job. It’s exhausting 🤣 I am learning to bend with the wind instead of letting myself feel the pressure.  I am focusing this weekend on rest and my physical self care. I am listening to my body’s need to slow down. I am honoring my brain’s need for a little break from thinking so much 😄

I spent the first half of my work week leading a work group tasked with coming up with two different schedule scenarios for execs. My work group developed an aggressive schedule (high risk and shorter) and we developed a realistic schedule (average risk and longer). We also crafted a narrative around both approaches. Since I used to be a Risk Manager, I messaged both schedules to my senior exec in terms of managing risk. I offered her decision points along the way in each schedule so she and her leadership team can make decisions on how much risk they want to assume organizationally over the next 15 months. Guess what? She liked the approach but something unexpected happened…Since my program is high profile internally and has many high profile external stakeholders, she thought the best way to manage the risk in the schedule was for me to meet with her and her leadership team bi-weekly for 30 minutes over the next 15 months! Wait, what? LOL 🤣Crap! 🤣 It’s also preferred I meet with them in person at least one time each month; the other time can be a telecom which if fine but, in general, I was like — 🤣
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On another note, I did get a bit of a reprieve because I also found out my funding, while it is now cut in half, is coming in categorized as “development” which offers more flexibility and time. We also can’t kick anything off until after November 21st too. So, yes! I have some breathing room which is another reason I am taking the weekend to rest my brain a bit and not think about anything hard. LOL 🙂 Another surprise – they offered to pay for me to get a Grants Management Certificate with the intention of me possibly becoming a Grants Officer as one mitigation for some down stream schedule risk. The good thing about this is that I can take the classes during work hours, but again. Wait, what? LOL 🙂 This is why my brain hurts and needs rest this weekend. Jeez, this job has been one crazy trip! It’s not a four alarm fire anymore. It’s more like a roller coaster ride now… Do you remember how much I hate roller coasters? Lol 🙂 CRAP! Well, at least, it’s not boring…

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Two weeks ago, I was so stressed out by this job, I was ready to walk away. It really was too much. It seems like my former boss was right, I needed to give it more time. I needed to wait it out and see if things calm down. It has settled down a bit and I have adjusted to this new level of responsibility. I am thankful today for my former bosses who mentored me instead of offering a job. I do truly believe I am where I am meant to be. I just got scared for a while because it was a fire when I first got here. I was coming home everyday crying. Now, I see my leadership is trying to put structure in place around me so I am supported. I am thankful for that.

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Switching gears, I’ve been watching the Impeachment Inquiry unfold. Holy smokes! After two years waiting for Mueller, it is amazing one whistleblower was capable for shaking this much loose. It’s been interesting to watch. Well, we will see who drops next. Rudy Colludy is a gem. He’s so outrageous that he’s giving everyone up the more he talks. Keep showing those text messages on national TV, Rudy! Wait, is the Rudy the Whistleblower outing Trump? Lol 🙂

Yep, so that’s it for this weekend. I am sleeping, resting, watching Impeachment stuff on TV, enjoying the short respite and that’s about it.

ICYMI: I posted a poem on Friday, The Unarmed Truth. It’s about love, living in truth, soul mates.

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Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Self Care Sunday ~ Listen to Bob

The craziness of the my first seven weeks in a new job are starting to settle down. I gave a presentation to a senior executive earlier in the week. She was out of the office but still wanted to talk to me so I had to do it over the phone instead of in person. It went very well and it seems to have gotten the fire I walked into under control. I was getting IMs from manager saying that “I was KILLING IT” as I was speaking. I am sure they were all glad I was “KILLING IT” because it’s been their butts our leader has been lighting up for the seven weeks – not mine🔥 I am too new 🤣  It feels like I passed a stress test this week and things will temporarily level out for a bit… Folks told me it was a good sign she didn’t ask me to brief her weekly. Apparently, if she asks you to brief her weekly for 15 or 30 minutes, you are in hot water 🤣🔥I know how she rolls. She won’t let the pressure off for very long but I will certainly enjoy this temporary release.

On another work topic, I am thinking about proposing another student competition. This time geared towards engineering and coding – A Coding Competition. We give a hypothetical scenario & they compete to fix it or build it. The winner gets an mentoring, internship, job, etc…😊By doing it we get to see their skills & engage them in the industry & gives them street cred with coders. My problems are…the red tape at my work will make getting this approved complicated – doable but complicated. Also, my current program is running two high profile stand-up initiatives simultaneously that need to come in close to “on schedule” – I doubt I’ll get approval to host this kind of challenge now.  We are in the process of hiring dedicated staff but I don’t have them yet. It is Workforce Development but not technically in my scope or my current area of focus – maybe I’ll hand the idea off to someone🤔

I would like to change gears… I’ve been writing a lot of career stuff in the last few Self Care Sunday posts. Today, I want to focus my energies on relationships. I am a relationship builder. I prefer one to one connections. I am not really comfortable engaging in large groups. I like to connect with people personally with eye contact. I like to understand who they are, what motivates them, how they tick. I like talking one to one people because I like to take the time look into their eyes to see their soul and hear what they can’t or aren’t saying in words.

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Well, I guess a dam broke in my relationships this week too because I found myself expressing my feelings of “missing” instead of holding back. It was so strange. I felt the words and emotions ready to burst out of my chest into the air all last weekend into Monday morning. I couldn’t focus because I was so called to express my feelings. I wanted to give my feelings life, energy and a voice. My Throat and Heart Chakras we’re getting jammed up holding it back. It had to be released so I could align my Chakras⭐️ All I am going to say is…I am so thankful I did it. It was such a wonderful release to express it to him and to feel the genuineness of our connection light up my heart 💙🔥 I felt aligned after doing it 😊

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I drove my 80 year old Mother all over Northeast Philly doing her errands today. She was wearing five shades of bright hot pink with grey sneakers – nothing matched😂I said, “What’s with the get-up? Why not white sneaks with clashing pinks?”😂She said, “I am old. I can wear whatever I want and sneakers don’t have to match the outfit…Let’s go!” 😂 It reminded me of “Warning” by Jenny Joseph. I first read “Warning” when I was in my 20s. My Mother has apparently embraced the philosophy😂 I’d like to think I’m to stylish to do it but who knows what will happen when I am old and wear five shades of hot pink with grey sneakers 😂

Warning by Jenny Joseph

Warning by Jenny Joseph

Have any dams broke in your life recently or did you finally say IDGAF? Did you get over a hurdle? Remember that – Some things are meant to be. Some things are meant to be yours. Some people are meant to be in your life. Love is meant to be yours. And, yes, sometimes we need to trust our intuition and follow the call of the voice within rather than using the logic of the mind. Trust me when I tell you, our minds will f**k us over every chance it gets with over thinking simple shit. Our minds will tie us into knots of expectation and guilt.

Our spirit and our heart, on the other hand, will always try to set us free – we just have to answer the call. Have you answered the call of your spirit or listened to your heart recently? As for me, I’m listening to Bob. I am loving someone – I got my eye on sexy ass Blue Love – GRRR! 🤣💙🦋✌️😘🔥

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Self Care Sunday – Don’t Give Up

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Did you ever get exactly what you wanted and realized that it’s not what you thought it would be? Did you ever make a big decision and take a leap only to find yourself in more uncertainty than you were before you made the decision?
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I think I am beginning to see this discomfort is part of the process of changing to into a new version of myself. Major shifts in our lives require us to change, grow, surrender and perhaps let go of who we think we are and discover who we are meant to be in the future.

I transitioned into a new job six weeks ago. Truly it could be my dream job. It could be the job the Universe has been grooming me to step into for the last 15 years of my life. I can see everything I’ve done over these years being steps needed for this job today. As great and idealist as that sounds, it hasn’t been without drama. Seriously, these folks somehow managed to f**k up my dream job by making it so complicated. It’s been a really rough start; so rough – I considered walking away because I just can’t be this stressed out and anxious every day.

Frustration, fear, uncertainty and woman inside of me that likes to tell people to f**k off rose up in me in the last week. I reached out to my former bosses to explore returning to my old organization. I met with two of my former bosses on Thursday afternoon. Instead of getting a new job offer, they tagged team mentored me. They also offered to continue mentoring me. By the end of the meeting we agreed, I am not done with my dream job yet. I need to keep trying. They told me if I am still stressed out and if my health starts to be affected after two more months, they will offer me a job but for now they will not let me walk away from my dream job. They think I will regret walking away; it’s too soon.
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Concurrently to meeting with my former bosses, I decided I just didn’t give a f**k and sent a note to a leader about the challenges/roadblocks I am hitting standing up the program. I found out Friday morning she interceded on my behalf. Soooo, I here I go again. I am briefing directors on Monday morning on the challenges and asking them for help. I am then having a meeting with the senior leader on Thursday to update her on the plan to move forward. It’s really exhausting but if I can get some roadblocks lifted, I may actually be able to move this forward and have some breathing room. Somehow I managed to professionally throw folks under the bus — but let me tell you this. This program would not move forward if I didn’t do it. Period! Gotta do what you gotta do! It’s my responsibility and I am not going down on this ship.

Let’s also remember, I now have a level of responsibility and accountability I’ve never had before. Being this exposed is new to me. Standing up a program this “BIG” is a huge task and I AM the leader. HOLY CRAP! Yep, I woke up to find myself getting exactly what I asked the Universe for yet was unprepared to get it. I am not really sure how I thought it was going to be but it’s definitely different than I thought it would be. That’s ok. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s not what I am meant to do. I created a false narrative and glorified it my head. How could it ever live up that expectation?

The reality is I could have a huge impact on the future of our company and industry in this position. I could give folks opportunities to do work they would not receive otherwise. I could change lives. It’s everything I asked for and wanted. Yes, I found my purpose and a passion but it came wrapped in drama and fear. Most importantly, I have to change for this next chapter of my career. As I wrap my head around this, I am starting to settle into this new me. I have no idea what’s going to happen as I move forward with this but I am not giving up on my dream job just yet.

I woke up with a headache right between my eyes which I am thinking is allergies – it’s ragweed season or it could be that my jaw has been clenched for a week. I have my own health issues, an 80 year old mother who lived an hour and half away from me who needs more help and my family who think I should be up there more on the weekends. But everything is fine – really 😂

Have you made a big change in your life recently and found yourself saying “Dear Universe, What the f**k now?” Believe me, I know the feeling. Take an opportunity to tune into your inner wisdom. Perhaps talk to a trust friend or mentor. Don’t be afraid to explore different paths. Let go of expectations because nothing ever lives up to our high expectations and illusions. Work towards adjusting to your new reality and find a new path forward. Most of all, have the courage to let go of what no longer serves you. You were brought to this very moment in your life for a reason so trust that everything is always working out for your highest good.

This seems like a good song for today!

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Self Care Sunday ~ Uncertain Times

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It’s 10:00am on Saturday morning. I am still in my nighty, robe & fuzzy slippers. I am sipping my second cup of coffee in deep thought about life and this crazy job I’ve been in for five weeks now.

During challenging or uncertain times I find it comforting to remember what is meant for me will never miss me and what misses me was not meant for me. It’s comforting to me because it reminds that every experience, good or bad, has a purpose in our lives. It’s up to us to dig within ourselves through introspection to find the meaning or purpose and then use that knowledge to change, grow and adjust.

I’ve been in this new job for five weeks. As far as jobs go, it’s a four alarm fire and I am not even joking when I say that. It has wide political implications and it’s on our industry’s radar. I got my first “inquiry” from the folks who give us money this week 😳 I heard I should expect a lot of them. The external pressure is going to grow as the year goes on. Fortunately for me I’ve only been here five weeks so none of the heat is hitting me right now. My leaders know I am the one trying to put out the fire while navigating political landmines. The reality is the strategic planning and stakeholder engagement work that is needed to stand up this type of program with this type of reach should have been done three to six months ago. They should have secured support and buy-in from their high level counterparts long before I got here. They should have already done a Market Survey or a Public Meeting around the early part of the summer to collect the data I am trying to collect now. Someone dropped this ball on this and they dropped it hard…Now, the problem is valuable time was lost in the schedule so leaders are trying to execute without a solid foundation or stakeholder buy-ins. It’s a hot mess.  I’ve been saying this since the day I got here. They haven’t wanted to hear it and thought I didn’t know what I was doing at first🤣  The good news is legal, contracts and the experts all agree with my assessment and legal in conjunction with contracts has put a stop to things while it’s sorted out which gives me breathing room. I think someone could seriously take a hit on this.  That’s not me being dramatic; it’s me knowing who the external stakeholders are.  It won’t be me who takes the hit.  Staff members at my level rarely bare the burden but trust me the big wigs are strategizing to not catch the blame or own the risk. Some have called it “dog eat dog”; I think it is more like the “Hunger Games” 🤣Seriously, the drama in my last job had nothing on this…🤣🤣

So, how does one work in a situation this volatile? It hasn’t been easy. It’s been one fire drill after another. In a sense, I am a firefighter without water.  Believe me when I tell you, the biggest explosion could still come from external stakeholders unless someone is really good at playing the game. Right now, I am observing how leaders work the politics around this and hoping to learn something from them.

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The good news for me is that I’ve received excellent feedback from everyone I’ve work with and they respect my ability to be professional and level headed in difficult situations. That’s the “Relator – or Relationship Builder” in me. But I don’t trust any of them… Not one! It’s just words and bullshit to get me stay. My protection is that I only started five weeks ago and I’ve intentionally demonstrated in multiple briefings that the schedule was blown three months ago. Remember, according to strengthfinders.com, strategic is my #1 strength 🤣 For now, I am just putting my head down and staying focus on my strategic planning and start up action items. It’s the only way to get through the day and stay out of the drama. I’ve also been in contact with my former bosses to pursue other career options just in case it becomes too uncomfortable. I do find comfort in knowing the experts back me up and I’ve already earned the complete support of the my team in just these five short weeks. That either demonstrates that my assessment from day one was right all along or that I have strong leadership abilities. Perhaps it’s both. I would say the style of leadership I try to emulate is “Servant Leadership”.

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What I’ve learned about myself in these five weeks is interesting. I’ve learned that I can lead a diverse team on a complicated task. I’ve learned that I can effectively control meetings to stay on topic and keep the meeting productive. I’ve learned I am good at delivering unpleasant information to leaders 🤣This is truly a skill…No joke ✌️ I’ve learned I am intellectually capable of this job. I’ve learned I have the skills and ability to operate at this level. Honestly, I still say the role of a “Senior Advisor” to a leader or leadership team is the right type of role for me and I would be totally up for that type of role instead of this hot mess 🤣 Hmm, wonder if my former GM needs a Senior Advisor with my unique skill set? The most enlightening thing I’ve learned about myself in these five weeks is that I am now better at managing my holistic wellness than I used to be💙I’ve learned that I really don’t give a f**k if I stay in this job. Most importantly, I’ve learned this decision will really come down to me listening to my body and honoring my body’s needs. I am not the same person I used to be. My body is not as strong as it used to be. I need to be focused on protecting my long term health rather than meeting a milestone for someone who doesn’t give a f**k if I get sick in the process. They will replace me with someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves for the mission in short order.  Trust me, they won’t visit me in the hospital if I am down for the count as a result of pushing myself beyond my body’s limits. So, that is where I am right now. Stuck in uncertain times for sure!

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The reason I took this job in the first place is because I could see ten years down the road in it. Ten years down the road I can say I was part of the team who stood this up and I was part of the team that had an impact on the workforce of our industry for years to come. If I can ride out this rough start up and if my leadership can find a way to protect me from the drama, we may be able to work it out. As of today, I just don’t know how to read the situation. I will say – I welcome the Universe to deliver a new opportunity to me that meets my holistic needs. To complicate the situation even more, my GM, who recruited me for this job and who is a personal friend, accepted a job in another organization. She will be leaving in a few weeks. I’ve known this is coming… It’s a good choice for her. The truth is if she didn’t find an exit ramp, she could catch the blame even though it’s really the Exec who dropped the ball by not making a timely decision…By her making the move now, she will be protected if the shit really hits the fan. It does, however, complicate the situation for me. I’m telling you – it’s been non-stop drama everyday and that’s why I am not sure if I have the energy to ride this out even though the long term goal is something I believe in 🤣

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I am heading to the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges & Universities conference in DC this Sunday to Tuesday afternoon.  I am staying at the hotel I like so I can give myself some space from the conference activities. That’s self care. I plan to visit Newseum when I get there tomorrow and then grab dinner somewhere. The President will be at the conference on Tuesday. I am not sure I will still be there when he arrives or speaks 😉

Self Care this week has complicated. I’ve learned a lot about myself and whatever happens with this crazy work situation is fine by me. I am not the same person I used to be.  I now know my holistic wellness and my long term health are more important than a lofty goal or making a name for myself in my career. When I look at the situation this way, perhaps, this all I was supposed to get from his experience…

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Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

How Many F&*&S Do I Give? NONE

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WARNING: If the word F**K offends you, you might not want to read this post. I’m in a f**k it mood; there’s gonna be a lot of F**ks in this post… Buckle Up!

So to be clear, I am living by the words of Erika Jayne’s song “How many F**ks” where she has these insightful lyrics… “How many f**ks do I give? How many f**ks do I give? None! Zero! Not One!” And let me add, not even a little one do I give as of today or actually as of last night to be exact…
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If you read my blog regularly, you read my last Self Care Sunday post where I discussed the four alarm fire I ended up jumping into with the new job I started on August 5th. Since stepping into the role, I’ve found nothing but f**cked up shit all over the place as I’ve tried to avoid one political landmine after another. Let’s be clear. I worked ten days in a row, through the weekend with putting 12 hours days in this last week. In just this week alone, I spent two whole days locked in a conference room with a team of experts crafting a schedule, plan and a implementation strategy. I did four briefings to executives in three days. They all know what I was saying was true and fact but it wasn’t exactly what everyone wanted to hear.  However, the experts completely backed up my assessment – 💯!

Here’s some truth – I can only deliver the facts with my best and worst case scenario, that doesn’t mean any of them have to like it. Truth is truth… They didn’t believe me because I am new in this role. I may be new in this role, but I am not new to project management! Well, they eventually got behind me because they knew it was fact. However…here’s where the explosion happened…our senior leader lost her mind in the schedule because it was clear that they took too long to make a decision and lost time that can’t be made up. Again, I can only deliver truth based upon historical experience, lesson learned and contracting legal requirements and timelines. I can’t make her like it or make the timeline fit what she already committed to before she understood the process to set up a new grant program. And, this is where I started to lose my f**ks with this situation…
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I was instructed to march towards the most aggressive highest risk schedule and “to make it happen”. In other words, own the risk…Um, girfriend – we got a problem because I am not owning your risk! For me to make it happen, I will be working seven day a week for the next year and many of the milestones on the critical path require actions from others that will be out of my control. Yep, we got a problem and it’s not me. I’ve been in the job four weeks. They needed to be working the early actions on this stand up activity three months ago to complete it by September 30, 2020. I get that her butt is on the line, but so is my mental and physical health. I will not put my holistic wellness on the line for this. Nope – not giving one f**k!

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Funny how God and Universe looks out for me. Just as I finished my third brief to directors in three days, I bumped into my former boss in the hallway. I was tired and you could see it. He asked me how I was making out. I told him the truth. His exact words were, “Linda, you don’t have to do that. I care about your health and this isn’t going to be good for you. You should not own that pressure. Give it some thought and reach out to me if you want explore options to come back. Come home.”😢

I was supposed to be off on Friday but ended up working three hours. After having a really open conversation with one of my current managers, she said she understood this is not what I signed out for and then she added, “Linda, I don’t think I am going to be able to offer you any protection from “her” on this. I’m not sure what’s going on. Think about that over the weekend and we will talk again on Tuesday.”  She was trying to tell me something without officially telling me it.  After spending an hour crying because I was so f**king stressed out and overwhelmed, I reached out to my former boss and told him I was ready to explore options to “come home”. He is going to put something together for me to consider. It was the first moment I felt like I could catch my breath in ten days.

The interesting thing about this is… I think my gut instinct has been telling me to get out of this for weeks. I talked with my Mom and my sister and both reminded me that my IBS flare up didn’t start until week I accepted the new job. They invited me to a meeting the day after I signed the paperwork and that’s when I got my first glance that there could be a problem with the schedule. Guess what, after I sent my former boss that text message on Friday morning, it’s weird, but I am no longer nauseous and the diarrhea stopped. My gut was sounding the red alert and I just thought it was an IBS flare up😜 So, you know what that means, I am out. One way or another, I am out and I DON’T GIVE A FUCK… Not one!  The sad thing is… this could have been my dream job. There is so much I love about this job but not under these circumstances. I can’t do it. I have some gut health issues and I see a specialist at Jeff in Philly every two months because I am high risk for stomach cancer. That’s my reality…That’s my priority…Living a whole year stressed out, would not be good for me.  I know this happened for some reason, I am just not sure what it is yet 🤣

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I will honor my obligation, be professional and work to best of abilities as long as I am in this role. However, it’s time to let go because it is no longer serving my highest good. Maturity happens when you reach a point of knowing a money, a promotion or a fancy title, isn’t worth your being stressed out and physically unhealthy. That’s when you know you woke the f**k up.

let go

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Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved