After a long corporate career coaching men and women, I chose to focus solely on women in my own business. I love men (especially Mr. Washington), but I do believe the future is female. That women CO-operating in the fullness of our value, vision, and purpose will flip this world on it’s head and shake out much of what ails it.
Today, I’m tightening my focus a little more to speak to my melanin sisters. I spent the past few days drenched in civil rights history while attending the Equal Justice Initiative Peace Summit and opening of the Legacy Museum and The National Museum for Peace and Justice. It is the manifestation of the incomparable Bryan Stevenson’s vision to acknowledge and honor those who were the targets of the horror that is lynching.
In one of the seminars, there was a discussion re the often unacknowledged (even by us) weight that black women carry as recipients of racism and as the primary supporters of loved ones experiencing the impact of racism. I also happened to listen to an episode of the excellent Therapy For Black Girls podcast titled, Shedding Super Woman Status. All women can benefit from taking a listen to it, but I want to specifically address the resistance in the black community to seeking therapy and the double-edged sword of strong black womanhood we balance..at times precariously, by simply saying this:
It’s common for my white female clients to hire me for coaching while also going to therapy. I’ve gone through therapy to deal with issues during my first marriage, including my own case of superwoman-itis. There was a year during that time when I functioned on a bare minimum of sleep, all while still handling my business. Nobody wears a mask as well as a black woman! No one knew what I was going through. I hid my stress so well, the full impact was even hidden from me. At one point, I did think it might be good to talk to someone, went to a therapist and was made to feel that I was complaining about matters of little importance. That I was ungrateful. I share this not to discourage seeking therapy, but to encourage finding the right therapist. Because after that experience, I retreated in shame back to my private hell and several months later ended up in the hospital after a mini-stroke.
Black women carry normal life stressors PLUS the stressors connected to living in a still and in some ways, increasingly blatant racist society as documented in this article and this one. I girlfriend and I talked about being terrified by a police traffic stop now, something that had only been irritating in the past. We keep a reel in our heads of non-ending innocent black people being shot or jailed for no good damn reason.
I’m not serving up hopelessness here. I’m promoting awareness and taking self-care action that truly works for you. Don’t be afraid of therapy. I love Jesus! My faith is my foundation AND I can respect mental health and coaching professionals in addition to pastoral support. I can’t imagine life without my girlfriends AND I know that sometimes I need more than a girls night out or their always tough-loving and sympathetic ear.
Whatever demographic box we check, there will probably come a time when we need help: from family, from friends, and yes, from a professional. We need to get comfortable with asking, seeking, getting. As a coach I work with the ‘worried well’. Life coaching is typically focused on attaining a specific tangible goal (getting work you love, better relationships, implementing a passion project, etc.) and is future-oriented. Therapy goals are connected to deep anxiety and/or trauma and can focus extensively on the past and of course, coaches don’t prescribe medication. There is some overlap and determining which path works best for you (and again, doing both isn’t uncommon) is worth…well, Your Life.
If your issues are beyond the recovery scope of retail therapy, spa visits, travel, girls nights out, etc., Get Off The Resistance Bus and get yourself to a therapist and/or life coach…STAT!
That’s the true strength and courage path.
Traveling with a Fab group of women is one of my favorite things to do and that’s why I’ve do coaching retreats. I’m moving my business in a different direction and I DON’T WANT YOU TO MISS OUT ON MY LAST RETREAT! It’s one of the BEST OPPORTUNITIES you’ll see this year get ‘move you forward’ coaching in a relax and release location. It’s TIME TO COMMIT, Ladies! I reduced the price and it’s truly a great deal and an even better deal if you bring a girlfriend. Stop dithering and…
A girlfriend and I are taking great advantage of our Movie Pass cards and have a standing Saturday movie date (hubby just got a card and I’ll being doing movie dates with him too.). This week we saw A Quiet Place and gave it two thumbs up. Neither of us are horror movie fans, but this one is well done: not too graphic…more mess-with-your-mind fear than gruesomeness.
Spring seems to have finally arrived after a too long lingering winter. YAY!!!! Enjoy!
Check me out at cReneCoach.com.