Episode 57 Transmuting Old Stories

May 12, 2023

Good morning from New York City. I think this week’s theme is about releasing things that are causing a drag on my energy. This is one that’s been festering for a long time. I may not have spoken about this in the past, but when I left my company Scout Talent around the time that my sister passed away, I spent a lot of time focused on philanthropic endeavors.

During that time, I brought a lot of money into a great nonprofit called Artolution.org and became a very engaged executive board member. I also went on a book tour with Dr. Terrarai Trent, an amazing woman from Zimbabwe. She was Oprah’s favorite guest of all time. Interestingly, I barely knew her at the time. I had somehow heard that her husband was unable to go with her on the book tour and I raised my hand and said let me come with you. We had so much fun together.

Another fun, rewarding thing I did during was to go to South Africa with my brother, Randall. He is a Master Montessori teacher, but his real calling in life is Early Reading Mastery. We went to do reading training for the teachers at a Montessori school. Actually, it is one of 65 Montessori schools there, and it’s the only one in a black township. We had a great time.

Now all of this was during a time when I was trying to figure out what was next. I was very uncomfortable with uncertainty, not knowing what I was supposed to be doing, and not having anything to say to people about why I had left my business. I was putting a lot of energy out into the world towards trying to contribute my ideas and goodwill to people who I thought were doing interesting, positive work in the world.

During that time, I met a woman by the name of Lucy Wallace. She has an organization called Dance to Be Free. I made a donation and was able to attend sessions with the Dance to Be Free team in the south. I believe it was Arkansas. I went with Dance to Be Free to a women’s penitentiary. I heard the inmate’s stories and participated in this dance program that is designed to help people with PTSD to transmute the trauma through dance and reconnecting with their body. It’s a very beautiful thing.

So this was a period when I was still in push mode- trying to make something happen, trying to create a narrative for myself, trying to find my footing. I was still in the explaining phase. And here’s the thing I’ve been carrying around since that time. Even while I was operating from a place of wanting to contribute and share my own skills and gifts and good energy, I was yet operating from a place of narrow focus, I would say.

It’s a bit hard to explain but I worked on many of these sorts of projects and at the time, in my mind I was quite critical when opportunities and projects were presented to me.  A nicer way to say that is that I was perhaps overly discerning. Where we can take this? Do I want to attach my name to it, invest my time and energy to try to get money for the organization or to dedicate time to the board?

Something that’s been weighing on my heart for a long time is that I was overly critical of Dance To Be Free. I was looking at the organization through the lens of how big can it be? Well, not really how big can it be, but can we package and expand this project across the United States in a more aggressive way. So while my intentions were good –  I saw the beauty of the work that Lucy and her team do –  I was caught up in looking at it through the wrong filters. The wrong lens. To be very honest, I feel some shame about that to this day, especially when I see Lucy still out there pounding the pavement trying to get the program into the prisons She goes through unending hoops to serve the inmates, to show up, to bring joy, and to hold up the believing mirror for them to see them for who they are, listen to their stories. She is an amazing woman.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been carrying an apology letter to her in my head for years. It’s really about me, not about her. Believe me, she’s not thinking about me. She has absolutely no ill will towards me. She saw that I showed up. I gave money. So the letter I wrote is not to ask for her forgiveness. It’s to acknowledge her and to apologize also for a piece of the energy I brought to her work when I was involved. I want to release it. Like I said before, I brought a lot of good energy and enthusiasm. We had a really fun time and did some great work in the prison.

If you happen to have listened to the episode on Monday, I was talking about how those things that are festering in our heart are on the back of our mind can be a drag on our energy and the ram in our operating system, right? There’s like a slow burn that drag on our energy. This is one that I have really carried around for many years, and by telling this story I am transmuting that energy. I’m going to turn it into something positive. I’m going to write a letter to Lucy, (I will read to you the letter that I write to her at some point) and I’m going to make Dance To Be Free the recipient of my birthday fundraising campaign on Facebook, which is May 21st. I am excited about this.

That’s all for now. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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