Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes. Be #Anti-Racist

The past couple months have been rough…well the past 6 months have been challenging…well, the past…it seems like there is no end to the challenges.

Challenges are there to grow us and when we don’t pay attention, it will repeat itself in one form or the other until we get the lesson. The world – the earth and our fellow humans are begging for growth and change. The thing is also, that change and growth can feel painful. That’s how it’s always been; but I believe in us. God gave us everything we need to grow and change.

I’ve blogged about a lot of things here over the years, and I’m grateful to all who thought my sharing was worthy of a following. Moving forward, this blog will be my place for personal expression. I am a consummately curious person and so who knows what topics will pass here. It’s all good if you feel you need to leave, but I hope you’ll stay so we can converse, share ideas and learn from each other.

Which brings me to this post.

As citizens of the United States (or any country), politics has to be removed from the category of “four-letter words”. Politics is something that affects us ALL and is part of our daily lives whether we are comfortable talking about it or not. I grew up in Trinidad and in many other places around the world, talking about what’s happening in the political arena is acceptable dinner conversation. But in the US, it’s bad manners. Can we grow up already? I mean, why do we not want to talk about something that affects all aspects of our lives? (Hint: We such at Emotional Literacy and are great and avoiding pain.)

While politics is one painful conversation, it seems #BlackLivesMatter is another.

I don’t know how someone saying “please give me the same chance at living and making a life, as everyone else,” has become a politically painful conversation.

Well, I do know, because so many of us have unresolved pain and we are not emotionally literate enough to deal with it or even seek help for it. Brene Brown’s social research shows that it is easier to off-put our hurt on others (make other’s hurt too) than it is to work through our own pain.

Also, the US has never done any racial reckoning – unlike countries like South Africa and Rwanda. If you look at the reconciliation work done in Rwanda, an integral part of that was people being allowed to tell their story to the masses without retribution and with the knowledge that they were heard. Taking personal defense downplays the person telling their experience. Bishop Tutu lays it out nicely in his book “The Book Of Forgiving”.

If you think reconciling work is not for the US, think again. President L. B. Johnson, when signing the Civil Rights Act in 1964 said, “This Civil Rights Act is a challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and our states, in our homes and in our hearts, to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country.” Yet here we are AGAIN in 2020. We haven’t done enough work on the “hearts” part.

Which brings me to the #AllLivesMatter folks who are silent on things that affect all lives such as:

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection broke the law by misusing money meant for medical care and food for those in immigration detention –;

and the fact that we can always find money for fighter jets but the United States Postal Service, the only way military service personal can receive mail, has been floundering for 14+ years and not the option to fix it is to slow down service (which already slowed due to COVID-19 –

And then there’s COVID-19. I don’t have the energy to get into this one because Black lives are also on the line and have been through the history of the United States. If I can be killed without repercussion while running away (not lunging at the police with a knife as seen in this video; btw the accomplice was taken into custody alive and well), then I have a bigger problem than COVID-19.

So as Kendi said, we can no longer be “not racist” we have to be proactively “anti-racist”.

To that end, here is my contribution to help move us forward to being anti-racist. I am learning and doing the work on me, I hope you will too:

Anti-racist resource list

New year, new…?

IGGJ Happy Path Einstein.png

I’ve never been a fan of the New Year’s resolution. Yet, there is something about the energy of a new year that begs for change. So without making a resolution, what does one do?

You make a goal. Merriam-Webster defines a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed.” Note the word “effort” in that definition. That means it takes work, action. There is also the aspects of intention and integrity or alignment, but that’s for another blog post. This one is to give you some action steps to get to and stick with your goal.

Even Evernote jumped on the goal setting band-wagon this year with the #EverBetterChallenge. If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that I love tools such as Evernote. So after checking out their challenge, I took from it some ideas to work into my schedule. After all, it’s hard to keep step with anything new for long if it so far outside of our norm of operations. Micro-changes is the term I use with my coaching clients. It’s using things you already use or do as the trigger for a small, new action. That way we have a better chance of sticking with the change.

What I incorporated from the #EverBetterChallenge was the daily check box. Well, I already used a daily checkbox in Evernote as my calendar/to-do list, so it was simple to just add these new intended actions to my daily list.

So what am I working on? Being more consistent with my cardio and meditation and tackling a few tasks that I’ve been putting off. I’m walking my proverbial 10,000 miles, one step/action/day at a time. My checkboxes are shown below. The highlighted ones are what I’ve added to my daily lists.

If you’re ready for some change, here are some steps to help you determine which micro changes to take action on.

1. Free write all your goals, big and small.
2. Sort them into what are long term goals (more than six months) and shorter-term goals (less than six months).
3. Choose what goals you are going to work on. I don’t recommend taking on the entire list, especially if you’ve been a resolutions quitter before. #nojudgement
4. Choose and write actionable steps for the shorter goals list. These are the micro-changes you will incorporate. 4a. Get specific. Name the what, where, when and how. 4b. Then have a backup plan. An example from my list is to do 10 minutes on my rebounder every morning before breakfast. Some mornings are not so straight forward, so my back up is to do it as soon as I get back home. The best part is being able to check it off my list for the day.

You may notice I didn’t put “why” in the list above, but it is very much worth taking time to consider. What is your motivation for that goal? It’s okay if it’s something short term like losing 5lbs to fit into a dress for an occasion, but keep digging for something deeper. You’ll then have a bigger reason, something pulling you to go further and stick with it for longer.

Do check out the #EverBetterGroup on Facebook or google the #EverBetterChallenge. And if you prefer to walk this journey solo, I’d like to offer you the perfect non-human companion, the #EnjoyingBeing Goal Journal. It will walk you through determining your goals and help you stay on track daily.

Also, I hope you’ll include a goal for your health. After all, not much else matters when our body doesn’t feel good.

Wishing you much success for 2019!

❤ Roanne


The poem below is what poured forth after seeing those on social media call refugees and the people that give them financial support, “pure evil”. I realized that those “Christians” need my prayers more than the refugees because they have “hardened their hearts.” A heart is softened by love and compassion.

Then I thought, weren’t those that were “out to get” Jesus considered the religious elite of their time? I wonder what “reason” they will give God as to why they behaved with hate other humans?

Next, my observation. Those considered secular are embracing oneness and shared humanity and those “commissioned by Christ” are still stuck in a duality that justifies disregard, fear, and hate for other humans. Are we not all neighbors on earth? #whatwouldJesusdo #lovethyneighbor #GodisLove.

Where are you placing your hope – in a God that influences with His love or in our human ability to rebut what we fear?

And so while it feels to me like I’m “rocking the boat”, I speak out for MY shared humanity, because one day, it could be me in need of support from another human and instead of seeing me as someone in need, they may think I’m “pure evil”. I hope not.


Today, I woke up in a bed, in a warm house.
Today, I got to go to work and earn an income.
Today, I had good-for-me food that tasted good.
Today, I had clean water to drink.
Today, I called my loved ones, heard their voices and saw their faces.
Today, I put on clean clothes that kept me warm.
Today, I accessed the internet and mined from the knowledge it holds.
Today, I listened to an audiobook on my mobile device.
Today, when I turned the key in my vehicle, it started.
Today, I didn’t have to walk 2000 miles in search of a better life.
Today, the kids I know didn’t have to sit on a mat on the curb to attend school.
Today, I didn’t lose my home to a flood.
Today, I was not punched and told it was because I was loved.
Today, my body didn’t hurt.
Today, I can vote.
Today, I can practice whichever religion I choose, or none at all.
Today, I could become a legal spouse.
Today, I get to show compassion to someone whose shoes I don’t want to walk in.
Today, I get to make food, to send via a loved one, on a plane, to an old friend.
Today, I get to smile.
Today, I get to breathe.
I get to
and enjoy,
Tomorrow I may have to go without all these things.
But today…today someone didn’t get to experience any of these,
yet they breathe,
and they hope,
and they keep moving forward,
with as much #EnjoyingBeing as they can,

Conversations Starters From The Florence, SC Shooting

I live in Florence, SC and if you are taking a well-earned hiatus from the news, you may not have heard about the gun-fire exchange that killed a police officer, injured six police and sheriff officers and 5 civilians including the shooter. Find a link to an article at the end of this post.

What conversations can be sparked from this incident?…which I was ready to have that evening, but wanted to wait for more of the story to be released. Now that more information has been shared, here goes….

Sensible gun laws.
It’s Saturday, three days after the Florence shooting and I’m sitting in my home listening, again, to gunshots from either hunting or practice. The “gun control” conversation is a hard one to have in a place like South Carolina. Folks have been drinking the ‘fear’ kool-aid, fed to them by their ‘preferred-party’ politicians for too long. They really believe their guns will be taken away, though I have yet to be given a reason other than the 2nd amendment for needing an arsenal of high-powered weapons. It amazes me to hear high school students talk about it with such knowing.

I’m not a hunter. I can only guess why high powered rifles are used for hunting big game. However, the problem we seem to be having is they are also being used on humans. I don’t have a “best” solution but I would not be against an all-out ban. You can use other weapons to hunt and yes, you can use other weapons to kill people too. What we need is more conversation without everyone being lost in their fear or anger.

Mental Illness.
The term ‘mental illness’ carries a lot of stigma and in some cases is not a proper descriptor. I believe it limits treatment options because it does not create much space for the option of resolving emotional trauma that can lead to conditions described as a mental illness, such as anxiety. For conditions like anxiety and PTSD, I think there should be an Emotional Illness classification.

People are healing from anxiety and PTSD but not with the traditional western medical model. The alternative models used help resolve the emotional interpretation of the traumatic event that led to the anxiety and PTSD. The memory of the event is not erased, however, the emotional trigger is quieted or resolved.

Change is possible, but usually only happens after it becomes a larger part of the mass consciousness; only when a lot more people know about it.

White privilege.
Another term that seems to spark anger. But help me understand:
1 — The shooter knew they were coming to his home. Does law enforcement give courtesy calls when they have a warrant?
2 — This man and his family have had other run-ins with the law but with him and his wife being lawyers (he was disbarred) they know how to work the system.
3 — How can you have a lengthy standoff with police and yet a man running away from a police officer is shot in the back?

I applaud the work of the law enforcement that responded to the Florence event and I know that not everyone can be lumped into the same bucket. But until I don’t worry about my five nephews, all different shades of a chocolate rainbow, being stopped by police and not making it home alive because a candy bar was mistaken for a weapon, we need to keep talking about this. And I did make some suggestions in a previous blog post.

And here’s a video about the issue of racial bias. I like this because it is emotionally intelligent and asks constructive questions.

The need for #emotionalliteracyforall.
The shooter’s request for a public defender makes we wonder if they had foster kids for the financial help it provides. My intent is not to negate the possibility that they did really want to help the kids in foster care. My intent is to understand how this family ended up in such a mess so that I don’t go down that road. Without knowing the ins and outs of their life, the only reasonable thing I’m coming up with is they were not good at living with open integrity — telling the truth even when it’s hard.

Our society teaches us to keep up appearances; to keep calm and carry on even when you are in emotional pain. Humans cannot live like this forever. Eventually, people lash out or we die from our internal conflict via an illness or suicide.

I love that more people are speaking out about the NORMAL things humans experience — love, loss, pain, death, hurt, and even the ins and outs of success. Like Bon Jovi says, “Life ain’t a merry-go-round; It’s a roller coaster.” No one gets through this life without being scathed by some emotional trauma. We humans have to become more emotionally open to riding life’s roller coaster. We all have to ride it.

“I can be mean as (expletive), sweet as candy, cold as winter, evil as hell or loyal like a soldier,” the post said. “It all depends on you.” This was a quote from the son of the Florence shooter.

I’m going to assume a lot of people believe this statement to be true for them because I’ve heard it over and over and over again from a wide variety of people over the course of my life. Are you saying that other people have that much control over you that you cannot act independently of what others think or say about you, or do to you? This may sound like being tough, bold, or brave, but this shows a need for emotional literacy. This shows how much easier it is to lash out at someone else instead of being with and working through your own emotional pain.

Humans really have a long way to go. Hopefully, more will choose to take positive growth lessons from this and not fall deeper into their ignorant and arrogant us vs them story. Citizens of the USA love to tout “freedom”, yet, I think we often forget the “responsibility” part that must accompany it. Knowing that we all learn by watching the example of others, I will do my best to be a positive example. That is my responsibility.

#weareallhuman #weareallamericans

Article about the Florence shooting.

Shift Your Health: 4-weeks to feel better in your body.

Our current healthcare model is not stopping the growth of chronic diseases.

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Problems cannot be solved with the same type of thinking that created them.

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9/11, Emotions and Health.

Lower Manhattan, post 9/11, with the New World Trade Center under construction. Photo by

I’m feeling a touch of sadness as I realized that 9/11 falls on a Tuesday again, as it did in 2001. But I don’t think that’s the only reason I feel like that. I realized that we as a society, a country, a world and just a bunch a very hurt people and most of us don’t even recognize it. Being a human guarantees you will experience some form of emotional trauma in your life; it’s just part of the journey.

However, when we exist in that hurt, we lash out with fear and anger. Without emotional literacy, it’s a hard choice to help a neighbor when we are in the emotions of fear and anger. We have a lot of work to do. And after going through such an event as 9/11, to become even more divided now, just 18 years later, is evidence that we are far from emotionally literate.

I want to believe that in a world where people cross all the imaginary barriers erected for them, that we can overcome racism, sexism, ageism and all the other -isms aka divisions. That we can be emotionally intelligent during life’s twists and turns and have the ability to help each other through because we are not lost in our own emotional trauma.

Photo from the NYPost.

I do know we can change, thanks to neuroplasticity. And it doesn’t have to take a long time either. But we have to realize that we need to change and that happens the more we see others do it. Awareness is where change starts. Awareness of the emotions and the physical sensations that accompany our emotions. Awareness that you CAN change your emotions. Allow that thought into your mind, you don’t even have to agree with it.

We cannot ignore this emotional crisis us humans are experiencing. We have conquered so much of our previously unknown. I mean, look at what modern medicine can do with the physical body. Yet, it is miles away from even touching the real medical crisis of today, ie. chronic diseases. Why?

I could summize for days as to the reasons why, but, I know what I see with my clients. I see pain resolving, hair no longer falling out and people overcoming health challenges that they have had for years. In case you’re wondering what the secret is, I’ll gladly share. It’s helping them resolve specific emotional trauma; and in this human experience, none of us are exempt. Also, emotions, especially around traumatic experiences, are something a large part of our society avoids talking about and even experiencing. No, we shouldn’t prefer emotions such as fear and sadness, but we all experience it and those experiences are a regular part of being alive, for all human beings. Avoidance is futile…and makes you sick.

So I will continue to do the personal emotional work I must do for me…and you. I will work on resolving my trauma and I will stand brave and open so that I can plant the seed of possibility for anyone looking.

Here’s what I would like you to do. Take a deep breath…or 10. Be friendly toward your emotions. Listen to your body. Seek a helping professional such as a coach or counselor, when the need arises. Do it for you, for your health and for humanity.

Why America? Emotional Literacy And Fixing Racism.

Hey America, I have a question?

For reference, here’s the video that tipped me into this idea.

I consider myself pretty objecting and open minded so I have to say that I don’t know what preceded this video. Maybe the officer tried to pull him over before he turned into his driveway. Maybe the girl (white) in the front seat incited a fear in the office and he felt the need to “protect”? Maybe the officer was just having a bad day? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. My question is:

Why does it escalate so quickly with police when it’s NOT a white person?

There are numerous incidents recorded on video where a white assailant with a weapon was safely disarmed and arrested. In this instance, if this guy was being so combative, why didn’t the officer wait for backup. He could have blocked him in the driveway. He could have asked what happened to his tail light. Maybe he was in fear and lost control of his forebrain thinking.

When we are angry or in fear, we lose our capacity to think clearly. Blood literally leaves the forebrain, our thinking center. Yet, that is the place we need to be most operational in to fix this.  No blood = no rational thinking. We are hindering humanity, we are hindering ourselves with our anger and fear. It is important that we keep our hearts connected to our shared humanity. That requires emotional literacy. We must learn to feel our emotions and not always act out from them. We must realize that every human being has red-blood and wants the same things as everyone else – to be safe and to be loved. And there’s no reason we cannot be generous with these things. Safety and love are not diminished when shared; they grow.

Side note to those that say “If you don’t like how things are here in the USA, move to another country.” That reasoning is senseless, especially with regard to someone whose forefathers were slaves, here. They didn’t ask to be here, but ‘here’ presently belongs to them also. And the fact that they are still viewed as threatening or ‘less-than’ is also senseless. They deserve 100% of the rights and comforts enjoyed by every other citizen of ‘here’.

I know the race situation is dire. Anger can be helpful, but it only helps to initiate action. Anger will not resolve anything. We must become proactive instead of re-active, and one day we will be able to see our fellow humans without seeing race. To that end, I have suggestions for two groups of people, one each. Place yourself accordingly. Then I have a recommendation for us all…and an invitation.

Group 1 – white people and those that are white-passing.
First, explore real history, not just what is given in textbooks. Yes, you can watch that on free TV too, in shows like American Experience. Second, connect with and help install change for those in group 2. In doing so, you help to better the world you also live in.

Group 2 – black, colored, immigrant, anyone not white-passing.
You must know that you deserve good things. Please stop relegating yourself to what history has taught you. You are enough. Move forward with love and forgiveness, not anger.

Simple, but maybe not easy. You’d have to first own your part in this. Second, you would have to care about others. When we are in our feelings, especially fear and anger, other people are not what we think about. Please refer back to my statement above about our brains when we are in fear and anger. Remember, you can feel fear and anger without lashing out.

I don’t think this is fix-all; but we must keep moving this issue forward, hopefully to a place where it will no longer be an issue. We all have a role to play, myself included. My goal is to help grow the communal belief, for both groups listed above, that no human is less than another. I want to help others walk in the truth that every human is deserving of belonging simply because they are here. A big part of that is addressing how we deal, with what I feel is the hardest part of it: our emotions. And yes, I am building workshops about emotional literacy.

To that end, I am also hosting a virtual Wilderness Meetup. The term ‘wilderness’ is based on Brene Brown’s latest book, “Braving The Wilderness”. It will be a place for open conversation. Please join in –

And that recommendation: vote, in every election. I’m so stoked that I got to vote in my first open primary election because of where I live now (South Carolina).  Politicians, no matter their party affiliation do not have all the answers, though some truly mean well. But our system is not set up for politicians to have all the answers. It is set up for citizens to participate. We think they are operating on our behalf, but with less than 50% of the eligible population voting in any given election, how can that be? The day Americans really turn out to vote, I’m talking 80-100%, politicians will sit up and take notice. In this political system, we the people are supposed to be the ones with the power. Let us stop depriving ourselves of that power.

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

And just in case you are stopped by the police while not being white:

I love you. And I’ll see you in the wilderness.

Healing Tears

I listen to a lot of personal growth books and recordings. And then sometimes, when I ‘m not even listening, I have a moment. A healing moment; that may not feel so good at first, but they you are grateful for it. That moment.

That moment…

…when I cry; then laugh at the story I’ve carried, that was intended to bring shame to others but was only bringing shame to myself.

…when I realize through our shared humanity that I am just like those people that my story intended to shame. When I realize that they are just as deserving of love and acceptance as I am and I am the one to give that to them.

…when I cry, not because I’m sad, but because I’m healing, letting go of what I didn’t even realize I was holding on to.

…when I realize that it takes tears to let go of that shame story.

…when I cry but feel really good because in naming my shame story, even to myself, I can let it go.

…when I realize that even sharing that I have a shame story can empower someone else to name and then let go of theirs.

We all have a shame story but we don’t have to live with it. You don’t have to share the sordid details. You do have to be open and honest with yourself, invite in those hard emotions and sit, cry or walk with them until they subside. Your Creator has given you to the power to be an overcomer.

Here’s to our communal healing, our #EnjoyingBeing.

Ideology to Practice: #weareallhuman

From my experience with human beings in different states, different organizations, different countries – one thing I know for sure – none of us are any better than the other. We are all human and we all want the same things:
– to be safe;
– to belong/to feel accepted;
– to be loved.

We are all human.

God did not give us the job of judging our neighbor. And typically, that takes the form of putting someone down and making them seem less than human by disassociating them with what is considered decent human qualities.

Taking away someone’s humanity by using dehumanizing terms (like monster), or using words that suggest they don’t belong (like nigger or cracker), does not get you want, whatever it is – status, money, happiness, a job – nothing. This action may cause this person to be seen as less, but those actions makes the perpetrator less. Don’t be less. Do like Jesus. Respond with love.

What do you think of the man who lives on the other side of the world and disowns his teen for not wanting to follow their social or religious practice? Don’t answer, just think about it.

Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, was against legalizing same-sex marriage until his son told him he was gay. Then he changed his tune, why? Because it hit him in his love spot. He wants his kid to be safe and happy. Maybe he even learned that legal marriage (by the laws of the United States) is not the same as biblical marriage (by the laws of the Bible). Either way, he became more compassionate in hindsight.

We all want to be safe and happy. Even that person that you don’t like wants to be safe and happy. When we get into judging our fellow humans, it is based on our limited human understanding and our tangled emotions (that too many of us don’t even feel or deal with in the first place), so how loving will that judgment be? We are not even always loving to ourselves.

And worse yet we express and execute that judgment. You could think my actions are going to take me to hell, but it’s ultimately not a decision any human gets to make, so why do I need to know your thoughts and even agree?

Oh, and we ‘Christians’ are too good at being passive aggressive…what is up with that? SO NOT cool and not loving either.

Especially in light of today’s political climate, we MUST be the change we want to see. We must expect it. We must live as it has already happened. We must give the love we want to get.

Stop responding with judgment. Respond with love.

I drafted this blog post about two weeks ago and then got to put my ideology to the test by having my purse snatched. Did it work? How did I do? Here’s how that story went.

And in case I don’t say it enough, thanks for walking this path with me. I love you.

~ Roanne