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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Who Am I? A Story About Identity Wine and Elephants

On March 20, 2017 I worked my last day as a full time Client Partner for FranklinCovey.  An end to a richly rewarding 17 year career with a company and people that I love like family.  I continue to work as a contract consultant a few days a month. However, I requested my full time ties be cut to launch into new projects and new adventures.  I knew this would mean leaving some of the security I had enjoyed ....I wasn't prepared for some other jarring realities.

You raise kids to adults in about 17 years, some marriages don't last that long.  Dogs don't always live that long. Seventeen years is a long time by most people's standards. I had done great work with my clients and colleagues, built lasting relationships, received heavy glass awards and been paid abundantly in money and affirmation of my talents.

At 6pm on Friday March 30th I cleared my last email, filled out my last form and closed my laptop.  Then I sat and I stared.  Alone in my home office, unsure of what to feel.  I had given a 6 month notice, this was not a sudden departure.  I had received many messages of gratitude and praise for my work from colleagues and clients.  Most knew I would be sticking around to deliver training days and keynote speeches a few days a month. It wasn't like I was moving to Bangladesh.

Yet the more I sat, the more frustrated I became.  There was no parade in my honor, there was no cake in the break room, there was just me sitting alone with my decision to become an entrepreneur.

A decision I had prayed over for a solid year until the Voice of God in a somewhat frustrated tone said to me, "Rebecca, I've told you yes enough times now.... not doing it is your biggest disobedience."  Then I pictured the good Lord rolling his eyes at me.  I think He does that a lot actually.

I had chosen this.  So what was I frustrated about?

I roamed around the house aimlessly looking for my composure and my purpose.  Finally, I did what Friday nights are for and I sat down at my kitchen counter and I poured a glass of wine and just let myself stew and think and feel.

What had I expected this last day to be?  Did I really think there would be more fanfare?  For what?  I had received my accolades and my rewards along the way both intrinsically and financially.  I was owed nothing else.  I had left a job. Okay call it a career if that's more meaningful but the company would go on successfully without me.

And there it was. 

The huge elephant sitting on the bar stool beside me in my kitchen.  I had placed far too much of my personal identity with a job.  With a company.  With an external force that I had very little control over.

Now.  Here I was.

Me and my elephant, sitting at the kitchen counter.  In that moment I released all of the pity party. My elephant and I would not dine on my retirement cake.  I looked at that elephant and said, "Look, if I'm here on my own without a safety net, I can't afford to take you with me.  Your gonna need to drink your wine and go."

And then I smiled to myself and sipped my wine and let myself relish in the courageous decision I had made.

We do that don't we?

We attach ourselves to things and places and jobs and people for our own sense of identity.  We attach it to being the mom of a talented kid, or the child of a famous father, or the employee of a great company.  Or the owner of a beautiful home or a cool car.

And while those things should be celebrated for the relationship or the reward that they are, they are not who we are.

When we walk tall in our own purpose and talents and truth we are more in control of the choices we make and the futures we hold.  We don't have to quit our jobs or sell our cars to find this freedom.  We have the power to own our own place in the world.  We can simply look in the mirror and say, "I am enough.  I am in control of my choices and my responses." And then we ask the elephant to leave and we sip our wine in peace.





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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Gifts

It's the holiday season.

 Just reading those words evokes varying emotions.

 I left a holiday shopping trip tonight stressed and overwhelmed.

 Today's holidays leave me feeling inadequate and frustrated.  So many people's expectations conflicting and overlapping.

 I spend 30 days trying to detangle it all to find a space I can live in. I get bits and pieces of what I want my holidays to be. They come in feelings and ideas and emotions, rarely in things you wrap or consume.

 Yet I make the lists and tell people what I "want". I make up things that I think they can easily pick up at the store. Pleasing, detangling. Untying one knot and tangling another.

In a few tiny moments in between, I find a place that feels like me. An unexpected belly laugh between brother and sister. Snoring puppies at my feet in the glow of twinkling lights. An unseasonably sunny day to roll the windows down like a secret only you can keep. A cold and rainy day to bury deep into ideas and feelings. Looking at my daughters photos and seeing the world through her eyes. Listening to the music that lives inside my son that he works diligently to bring to the world.

 These are my gifts. These are the gifts I can't put on the list. These are the gifts that don't meet other people's expectations. Personal. Life giving. The gifts that feed my soul. Money is scarce and dreams are infinite. I crave gifts that feed my dreams. Gifts of time. Gifts of peace. Gifts of acceptance and patience and appreciation of my passions.

Tonight the kids and I went to the movies.  We go to the movies to leave our own stories and get lost.  It's in that place that my heart is on fire.  For all the inadequacy I feel in todays holiday, at the movies I feel infinite.  The dreams,  the stories and the possibilities go on and on.

I wish you an artists holiday.  I wish you the place where the story is the gift and the dreams feel infinite.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Teens and Vaping: a follow up video response

On November 13, 2017,  I posted a personal story about teen vaping.  The response has been viral with views, comments and messages. This is an important conversation that I want to continue. 

 I have been studying and preparing a book and training modules for those parenting kids with ADD/ADHD for several years.   I care deeply about the relationships we form with our teens.  

Our responses to the vaping epidemic need to be caring and intentional.  This isn't about shaming bad behavior.

 As I teach in my parenting sessions, we need to first Understand the situation, then take Responsibility, so we can move forward with Advocacy.  

There is a lot to be learned about vaping and vape products to build that understanding.  Let's respond by meeting our kids where they are and loving them forward.  

I share more of what I'm learning in this video response.  

You can read the original post here: 





Would love your comments, questions and experiences to continue this important conversation. 



For more information about ADD/ADHD, keynote speaking, and coaching go to www.fleetwoodhession.com.