Filtering by Tag: community

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better… I do believe I have been changed for the better. Because I knew you…I have been changed…For good.”

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better… I do believe I have been changed for the better. Because I knew you…I have been changed…For good.
— Stephen Schwartz, Wicked

This past weekend, I traveled to Boston for my 10-year college reunion. 10 years?!?! Crazy! It was nostalgic to be back on campus, re-visit the studios I spent hours of my time working in, have a drink at the local watering hole, and see all the new facilities the school has to offer. Even though it has been 10 years and the school did look different, it also felt the same. There was an energy and comfort of being back at a place I considered “home” for a pivotal part of my journey.

In the evening, there was a performance (typical Emerson College) and a dance party (even more typical Emerson College). I spent the night dancing and singing with old friends and some new additions. It got me thinking of the song “For Good” from the show Wicked. I remember using many of the lyrics from this song as I signed people’s yearbooks during senior week (I know…crazy musical theater kid). As I listened to the song on my drive back, the lyrics hit me even stronger. There are people who aren’t as big a presence in my life now as they were in college, but they will always be a part of my story and who I am today. There are people in my life now that have a huge presence that weren’t even in my life 10 years ago, but I look forward to how they continue to help me write my story.

People come and go throughout our lives. Sometimes not always in a happy way, but it is important to remember that everyone we meet has a purpose in our lives. If we are open to receiving what they have to offer us, even if our time together is short, it will be meaningful. Relationships can also change over time, and that is OK. Just because your relationship with someone may not be as strong as it was in the past does not mean that it is not important. If we can approach these shifts with understanding, love, and openness we can then continue to find space for the relationship in our life, even if it takes on a different shape.   

The next few days as I continued processing what was an amazing weekend, I realized the expectations I had for myself by my 10-year reunion. Of course I would be married, have at least 1 child, be successful in my chosen career, and maybe finally be able to give back a donation to the school that actually had an impact. Though none of those expectations have been met to the extent I had hoped for, I wasn’t bothered by it. In that moment, I realized how much I have grown in the last 10 years. The younger Stephanie would have gotten depressed and felt like I had failed. I would have compared myself to all the friends I reconnected with who did have some of those things and wondered what was wrong with me. Instead, I stepped back and gave thanks for all the amazing adventures, opportunities, jobs, and people I have been blessed with since that graduation date. I realized that what I have now is actually much more than what I could have ever imagined 10 years ago. Maybe the path hasn’t always been completely straight or even a noticeable path at times, but it has been the perfect path for me.

I am so happy and proud of how much all my college friends and I have accomplished in just 10 years (now it doesn’t seem like that much time at all). We have all grown into wonderful, kind, impactful artists, parents, activists, and voices in the world. I can’t wait to see what another 10 years bring for each of us! Emerson College is more than just an institution. It is a place where I, among many other enthusiastic students, was challenged creatively, academically, and personally. “So much of me is made of what I learned from you.” There is not a day that goes by in my life that I am not utterly thankful for being part of such a beautiful community.

 

Do you need guidance and support navigating the shifts of your path? I would love to help you through your process! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.”

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
— Erich Fromm

For the past few years, I have been fortunate to be part of an academic community that is constantly examining and re-evaluating how as both individuals and a community we can create a welcoming, more inclusive environment. Coming into this community and these conversations, I felt like I was already a pretty open-minded person and that my actions and words provided a welcoming space for others. But, as I continued to go deeper in these conversations, I realized I had a lot to learn!

These conversations weren’t always easy, and to be honest there were times when I felt myself resisting what I was learning. Some of the things challenged the beliefs I grew up with. At times, I felt people were being over sensitive and too “PC.” It was in these moments, when I really stopped, listened to others, and was honest with myself that I realized that I wasn’t always doing all I could to create a more inclusive environment.

I am a white female that grew up in a middle class family. I was always provided a good education; college wasn’t an “if,” but a “where.” I went on a variety of family vacations, played multiple sports, and was exposed to many artistic and cultural endeavors. I grew up in a strong female family so I was always encouraged to speak my mind. I had my own personal struggles and still do, but on a global scale I am privileged and my voice is usually heard. It’s hard for me to even understand that other people don’t have the ability to be seen or heard as they are intended and should be.

I decided that I wanted to educate myself more. I wanted to at least try to understand the struggle and imbalance of power that still very much exists in our world in a variety of ways. Throughout the last few months, I kept coming back to the old saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” The idea behind this saying is that sometimes it is better to not know everything about a given situation. Something about that statement doesn’t seem comforting in today’s society. Is ignorance really bliss or is it actually irresponsible?

I know that people aren’t always provided communities, whether they are academic, spiritual, or social, that encourage them to dig deep about what they believe, how they represent themselves, and then offered education on expanding their beliefs. However, as we continue to get older, isn’t it our responsibility to be curious and seek information, ask questions, listen, and re-evaluate in order to become an active participant in life?

The more we continue to feed into our limiting beliefs or microaggressions (even if they seem to be small and not harmful), the more we perpetuate an exclusive and imbalanced environment. If we truly come from a place of love over fear in our lives then we become more open to understanding, which leads to accepting things that are different from us.

It first starts with a commitment to analyzing our own thoughts/words and behaviors/actions. When we realize that a limiting belief comes up, there are tools to shift our mindset such as thought stopping and positive replacement. As with any shift, it takes time and practice. There will be moments where it’s not easy and we do fall back into our limiting beliefs, but wouldn’t the uneasiness and struggle be worth it if we all committed to practicing “love over fear” mind, body, and spirit? Just think of how much we would grow and evolve not only as individuals, but also as a community, country, and world. Ignorance isn’t bliss; understanding, supporting, and leading with love is bliss.

“Look blissfully upon all you have created and celebrate your accomplishments – both good and bad.”

Look blissfully upon all you have created and celebrate your accomplishments – both good and bad.
— Eleesha

I recently found out that a proposal I submitted to a national convention was accepted! When I opened the email, I was ecstatic. As I continue to build my coaching business, I have been researching and submitting to conferences and workshops all over the country. Even though I so badly want to expand my audience and business, it is also terrifying and a huge step out of my comfort zone to put myself out there in such a public way. Finding out that my proposal was accepted was an awe-some moment. I immediately wanted to share within everyone I knew, but then I stopped. My subconscious began to take over. Should I share with people? Will they think I am being narcissistic?

Celebrating yourself is very hard for some of us. Many of us our taught from a young age to not boast or celebrate our accomplishments in public for it may make others uncomfortable or come across as egotistical. Instead, we have the belief that one should celebrate in silence.

However, we should feel free to celebrate ourselves in both the big and small ways. When we take the time to celebrate ourselves, we are actually showing gratitude for our accomplishment and honoring ourselves. It helps us to vibrate on a higher frequency and continue to attract more positive energy and opportunities.

It is also important to celebrate the small things especially during the more challenging times. In grad school, my colleagues and I had a “small victories” board in the grad office. The pressures of grad school at times were very overwhelming and having a place where we could celebrate ourselves and each other helped to get us through. There were days where “didn’t cry today” or “actually took 15 min for myself today” were staples on that board.

I have recently joined an online community of women where we support each other not only during times of need, but also during times of celebration. At first, it was a little hard for me to share some of my accomplishments. But over time, I have become more comfortable with myself and the women in the group to be able to share both the small and big achievements, whether it is making it halfway through my running program or booking a new gig. It is a wonderful feeling to be celebrated by others and recognized for your hard work. It’s in these moments that we continue to build the inner strength and confidence that helps us to work through the harder times. Equally, it feels great to celebrate and support the other women for their accomplishments. It inspires me to always strive for my greatest potential.    

What small and big accomplishments you would like to celebrate? Who are the people in your life that you could share those “small and large victories” with? At the very least, take the time to celebrate and honor yourself during these times whether that is through having your own “victory board” or a special ritual you create for yourself.

 

Are you looking to shift your mindset and learn to celebrate yourself more? I would love to guide and support you through your process! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

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