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We are stardust General

Connected, we shall overcome

We are star dust, we are golden and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. – Joni Mitchell

There is such divisiveness in the political and economic world right now, it’s painful to be part of a society with this level of oppression, especially at a time when we need to work together to overcome the massive environmental crisis we face. We have 12 years before we cannot undue the effect of climate change and there are 1 million species at risk of extinction. We are capable of solving these problems. With the right political will and financial backing we can prioritize and make many great things happen. I believe this so strongly.


To achieve this, we need to be united. To be united, we need a deep understanding that we are all connected and that our collective well-being, and our very survival depends on our collective will to work together, in the spirit of solving problems and finding solutions.

How is it we have forgotten? Forgotten that we are all created from the same stardust, we have the same make up, we are one, and that together, we have the ability to find solutions.

To do so, we need to release the belief of power, of identity, of ego. We need to be conscious that we are all one.  When we can work from this place, with humility, vulnerability and connection, we absolutely have the ability to solve the problems that need creative, collective solutions.

Are you a leader who longs to find this level of consciousness in your work? Are you ready to shift the power dynamics at play in the areas you lead to create a place where the collective can actively create change. Reach out, let’s have a chat, I have great tools to support this! The world needs you to shift and if you are ready, we can help.

jennifer@fireflyinsights.ca

Women leadership General

Bossy Girl, Collaborative Woman

I have a four-year old daughter. She is lovely, and bossy.

I recently read that by the age of 5 girls are taught that it’s not girl like to be bossy.

I have to admit, as the mother of a bossy 4-year old I find myself thinking…., “don’t be so bossy”.

And I stop myself. I don’t remember saying this to my boys. Is this gender bias ingrained in me also?

On the word bossy…

“This is a word that is symbolic of systemic discouragement of girls to lead. We are not just talking about getting rid of a word, even though we want to get rid of a word,” she said. “We’re talking about getting rid of the negative messages that hold our daughters back.”

Sheryl Sandberg

The irony, is that I have succeeded in my life in the role of a “boss”. At the age of 26 I was running a non-profit organization and was the boss. At the age of 30 I was on the Board of Directors of a company, at the age of 35 I was the CEO of a company. I have succeeded at being the boss.

And yet, at this moment in my life I find myself rejecting the desire to be a boss. When I reflect on this deeply, it’s because our Canadian construct of what it is to be a “boss”, does not fit with where I am. The model of power dynamics in companies is something that I don’t relate to and that I don’t agree with. I believe in collective ownership, in self-management, in the value that everyone brings to the table, as equally important.

And the classic model of leadership does not enable this.

We ask ourselves, why are there not more women in politics, more women CEO’s and I know for myself the answer. The classic power game in our society is one that comes from the Ego, one that is bent on power and control over. For most women that I know in leadership roles, their definition of power is often based in service and in collaboration.

We need a more spiritual approach to success and to influence. –Deepak Chopra

The world of business and politics needs a new model, a collaborative, spiritual approach. It is time. I am committed to working with others to design this new collaborative approach.

Fair trade quinoa General

Connected Business

I stood on the side of hill, in the Andes at 3700 metres altitude. There was a gentle rain falling, there was thunder in the distance. There were small homes nearby, homes that do not have running water, electricity or any of the comforts that I am used to in my Ottawa home.

I am standing in a field of recently planted organic quinoa. The soil is dark and fertile; there are plants, as far as the eyes can see. I am standing with two women, both in their 60’s, both members of a co-operative that sells their organic quinoa in the international market, ideally for fair trade and organic prices.

In their local indigenous language they welcome me, I am truly honoured to be sharing this moment with them, to gain the knowledge and appreciation for where the quinoa that I cook for my family in Ottawa comes from.

They share with me how hard they work to grow these plants. They share with me, how they hope they can sell their quinoa for a good price through their co-op. They share with me, how they wish consumers in my country would pay fair trade prices for their products, to enable them a better life. They smile, they laugh, they seem happy and if feels like their life is full of joy and hardship.

I offer one of the women my hand; she refuses saying her hands are too dirty to take my clean hand. Before I insist, I reach down into the cool damp soil and run my hands through the soil, then offer my hand to her again. We are the same, we are connected, our hands and lives may be different but we breath the same air, we share the same sorrows, we are one. This time, she accepts.

What would happen if we lived in a world where we all recognized that we are one, that each one of our actions has an affect on someone else? What if in deeply knowing this we were conscious about our decisions and we took good care of one another, the water, air and land.

Imagine the possibilities, trade and development that puts people and the planet first, business that values employees as part of the whole, not solely as workers who will contribute to shareholder benefit. Financial deals that are in the best interest of not just those who stand to make money from them, but come with a sharing of information that connects us back to our interconnections.

People say, I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

 Are you curious on what it may take to make your organization or company more connected? Reach out; I’d be happy to have a conversation.

Jennifer@fireflyinsights.ca

General

On Transformation

As I walked in the forest this morning the brightly coloured falling leaves reminded me that all of nature transforms and that we too, are part of nature.

Transformation is a process that requires personal forgiveness and kindness. It requires time and space for reflection and inquiry. It requires people around you who support the changes, whether they are subtle or not so subtle.

From my own personal journey I know that this process is not easy. The shadows and stories of our own inner doubt surface and can hold us back from this transformation. For me, having a coach who can gently and lovingly hold me accountable to my journey and who can listen to my darkest fears and greatest hopes has been such a treasure. It has provided infinite value, far beyond what I pay in dollars.

I offer you this, non-judgmental, loving support in your journey, wherever you may be, however messy you may think it is. I offer you a process to get you to where you want to go. Are you ready to let your leaves that no longer serve you change colours and fall? Reach out to chat and see if I can be of service on your journey!

Business

Are you paying attention?

Mid-September, kids are all back in school, parent teacher meetings are happening, hockey season has started, work is ramping back up. As the mother of 4 children, between the ages of 3 and 13, September is crazy.

Last night was the perfect example. Hockey for my 7 year old at 5:30, two parent teacher meetings at 5:30 and 6:30. Dinner, baths, oh and I had an online meeting at 7 pm.

It feels frantic, make food, eat food, rush to the rink, the 3 year old is taking the time 3 year olds need to make transitions, breathe, breathe…

We get to the rink and I quickly get my 7 year old dressed, he gets on the ice. Breathe, we made it.

As we are watching him play he is falling, not just a bit, a lot. And not when anyone is near him. Are his skates dull? No we had them sharpened not so long ago, are they tight enough? After about 15 minutes of me watching this, I go over to ask the coach to check and see if his skates are ok. I learn after the game that my dear son was having a hard time staying up on his skates because they were…. Yes on the wrong feet. Yes in the rush, while not paying attention, his skates were on the wrong feet. The fact that he didn’t say anything, well he’s only 7 and is a determined little guy.

After hockey we proceed to the library to choose some books to bring home. My 3 year old has found a playmate and is having a blast playing puppet show. We give her a two-minute warning. She says no. I remind her we have to go home (I remind myself I have an online meeting in 20 minutes). The boys bring me their stacks of books, which I am trying to sign out. The older two go to grab their hockey sticks at the rink (which have gone missing), I am carrying my 7 years old hockey equipment, balancing a stack of books, and carrying warm coats and scarves from being in the arena. We tell my 3 year old its time to leave, she starts to scream and cry and carry on. I am still signing out books. And then the crying stops and she disappears.

I figure she’s playing on the ramp just in the community centre outside the door or looking at the emptied pool because they are doing maintenance. No, she’s not there. Ok, she’s gone back to the rink, no she’s not there. She’s in the library, I can’t find her there either. We check outside, the older kids and I split up and search, I leave the 7 year old on a bench with hockey equipment, sweaters, coats and scarves and a large pile of books and we search. We cannot find her anywhere. Breathe.

After about 5 minutes of searching (which is forever when your 3 year old is missing), my 10 year old finds her hiding at the back of the library. She’s safe. We go home, I get them snacks and in the bath and somehow I manage to jump on my call…

Breathe.

In examining what happened, I realize that I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t present to what was happening in the moment, and that this is what caused the mistakes, the crises, the disappearing child.

As a business owner, I also know that when I am not paying attention, I risk making mistakes, damaging relationships and creating future problems. And yet, as business owners we are often so busy with so many things, cash flow, business growth, customer service, marketing, we often can’t keep all of these balls in the air and pay attention.

As a business owner and a coach, I have seen the direct benefit of clarity, focus and paying attention to the right things. Of noticing when you are not paying attention to areas of your business that need attention. We all have things we love to do, and things we don’t. By not paying attention to the things you don’t like to do, (finances, and marketing anyone?), we sabotage our own success.

As a mother, partner and coach I see what happens to our relationships when we don’t pay attention. Tension, conflict, misunderstanding.

I am passionate about supporting individuals and business owners to get clarity and to learn how to pay deep attention to all areas of their life and business. This simple act has transformative, beautiful results.