Tag Archives: job loss

Growing through Transition

Join me in talking with Stacey Freeman, an entrepreneur and life-change veteran, on the latest episode of my podcast, Destination Unknown.

Discover how Stacey’s divorce catapulted her from being a stay-at-home mom with two kids to an entrepreneur with a new outlook on life. We talk about facing naysayers, growing beyond self-doubt, and navigating the emotions that accompany transition.

Learn how periods of anxiety and mourning can become cornerstones for renewed thinking and reinvention. Don’t miss this 12-minute episode. Listen NOW.

Take a moment to subscribe to Destination Unknown wherever you get your podcasts! Here are some handy links: Stitcher, Libsyn, Apple Podcasts!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2021 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com. All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.

Reclaiming Our Stories

What lens do you use for the stories you tell about yourself? Is it a hopeful one? Ambitious? Deficit-laden?  My thinking on our stories got a reboot this past weekend thanks to a call from a dear friend, Marielle.  I am not talking about the stories we use when we introduce ourselves for the first time nor the ones we rely on when a loved one calls for a full update on a recent drama. I am talking about the stories we tell ourselves. The quiet ones that we may never say out loud.  Have you ever stopped to listen to the through line of that story? Let alone questioned its validity?

Linda working on her story, Book II

Continue reading

Now What?

Are you waiting for a ‘fix’ that will settle our uncertain time?  We stand at the dawn of a new year, a new administration, and the widespread dissemination of vaccines that have the power to curtail a deadly global virus. But we are hardly on solid ground. People are dying every day in numbers that exceed the death toll of our most devastating wars, more than 85 million Americans report difficulty in meeting basic economic needs, an angry vocal minority believe that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and tens of millions of Americans feel left out – excluded from reliable healthcare, equal opportunity, and the comfort knowing they can drive risk-free to get a gallon of milk.  What could possibly be a fix in all of this? The answer may surprise you…. Continue reading

Beginning with you

I have a gift for you today. It honors 2020 and invites you to something important in 2021. It finally dawned on me this morning; as I toggled between preparing altered holiday traditions and readying myself for the year ahead. Before telling you what it is, I have to admit I am feeling a bit like the father in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. You may know the character. He is prone to saying that every word has a Greek root. In my case it is transition. I see transition everywhere although I stop short of squirting Windex on all surfaces. Transition’s lens into this moment offers something important. You won’t want to miss it for one simple reason. It leads me to you.

Let me start by acknowledging the sorrowful statistics that characterize 2020; they equate the number of U.S. lives lost in the pandemic to those lost on the battle fields in World War II (Test of our Lifetimes, Kristof, NYT, 12/11/20). For many, these losses are close to home. For others, they take a different form; like a reduced or eliminated paycheck, the absence of close social connections, the continued scourge of hateful discrimination, and more.

Amidst all this heartache, 2020 gave us a rare chance. We glimpsed ourselves in silence, without the shields that can block us from the sun. These moments occurred as we suspended activities that once filled our days. Some were activities that fueled our spirits. Other were activities hoisted upon us by the expectations of others.

What did you see in those moments? How did you fill your time? What did you dream about?

Transition is a process that invites each of us to make authentic connections to ourselves.

In 2021, transition invites you to reach for who you are.  Be informed by the silence and take steps in your own direction. If you do, I can guarantee that you will open yourself up to a richness beyond measure. It sounds so self- aggrandizing. It is the exact opposite. Transition occurs when ‘who we are’ and ‘how we make meaning in the world’ shifts. Society loves us to believe that those shifts have to do with a new job or a stunning achievement. It can involve all of that. But what it always involves is a shift away from expectations of ourselves set by others, and towards expectations of ourselves set by us. Those willing to lead with ‘who they are’ unlock their voices, a force in all of us whose power and energy is capable of changing the world.

To honor those we have lost in 2020, I share the recipe below as my gift. It is from a very special person, Mrs. V., whom we lost to the pandemic. She was my next door neighbor growing up. Every Christmas night, Mrs. V. would invite the neighborhood for dessert, an event for which she baked for weeks. I remember vividly her delight as my father graciously sampled each and every dessert. Today I thank her for her willingness to share who she was with all of us.

TEXAS Sheet Cake, circa 1970: 

  1. Combine 2 c sugar, 2 c flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside. In a saucepan, bring to a boil 2 sticks butter, 1 cup water, 4 Tbsp Hershey cocoa unsweetened. Beat two eggs, add to the saucepan mixture. Add 1/2 sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking soda.  Add saucepan mixture to the dry ingredients. Pour into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  2. While cooking, bring to a boil 1 stick of butter, 4 Tbsp cocoa, 6 Tbsp of milk, 1 box of confectionery sugar (approx. 3.5 cups), and 1 tsp vanilla.  Pour over warm cake and let sit. Cut into squares before serving.

 

May you welcome 2021 and throughout it be willing to let others see all that is you. One thing I know for sure, a grateful world awaits all that you choose to share.

Warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

Linda R.

p.s. email address is linda@lindarossetti.com (tough last name: 2 s’s and 2 t’s). 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com. All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.

The Wisdom of You

On my way into the supermarket yesterday, I ran into a friend whom I have not seen in eight months.  Masked, we nearly walked right by one another. Once we realized our error, we stood talking six feet apart while others slalomed around us with their carriages. Oddly, we had very little to say. Once we said our good-byes, I went inside feeling funny.  Was it sadness? Disappointment? Or something else?  Strength?  I turned to transition for some needed perspective. Days later, I am still surprised by where this reflection led me….

Safeway, San Francisco, CA

Continue reading

You and This Moment

Have you seen yourself lately? Before you think you opened the wrong blog post, I want to be clear. I am not talking about your physical appearance nor am I am shaming you for the color of your roots or even for the pallor you’ve begun to exhibit after untold hours facilitating Zoom-athons for you and every member of your household. The glimpse I am referring to is something we might not regard in the normal course. It is a version of you that intersects with the pandemic in a unique way, one that reminds me that amidst the devastation of our time there may also be something powerful and profound.

Continue reading

RBGs Invitation

RIP RBG. You left us at an unprecedented moment. We have a global pandemic, an increasingly dour economic outlook, deepening societal unrest, and a stark reminder that democracy is not a spectator sport.

Within all of that, I see you gazing in my direction with your slight frame, your tilted head, and knowing smile. You are imploring me to recognize something under the surface that no obituary or review of your jurisprudence captures. It is an invitation to see something important and to act.

Can you imagine what RBG is imploring us to see?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg courtesy of the LA Times

Continue reading

Smiling from the Heart

Have you seen it? It’s all over the media. I feel as if I have run into it at every turn since August 11, 2020, the day candidate Joe Biden announced his vice presidential running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. It is the smile. The smile I am referring to has nothing to do with physicality or facial features. It is a smile that emanates from deep within and is sought after by nearly all those who explore transition. This type of smile is available only to those who choose to occupy a special space; one where our truest expectations for ourselves are set, met and – dare I say – exceeded.  These smiles emanate from the heart. Have you ever smiled from your heart?

Senator Kamala Harris accepting Democratic Party’s Vice Presidential Nomination 8/19/2020

My research and work in transition over the past decade offers me a unique lens into smiles and our expectations for ourselves.

Transitioning is an incredible transformative process that invites us to lead with our voices. Not the voice overs of others who are quick to tell us what we ‘should’ or ‘could’ do. Our voices are the ones that are fueled by what holds value and meaning to us. These voices are effervescent. True. Unbounded.

These voices are our greatest asset.

Not every voice will take the stage at a national convention. Voice is individual. Your truest voice may be expressed through running a global company or sitting silently next to a friend in mourning. It doesn’t matter what your voice’s expression is. That you express it is non-negotiable.

There is another more fundamental role for our voices that we often overlook. Our voices serve as conduits for our connection to ourselves and to humanity.

As we transition, we shift our voice’s expression and the expectations we set for ourselves. These shifts are different for everyone. Sometimes these shifts scare the life out of us. After all, turning up the volume on our voices can mean moving away from a career that once held great promise for us; or finally addressing the negativity in a relationship that is long past its useful life.

Last week, I interviewed June Angelides for my podcast, Destination Unknown. She reminded me about a step we sometimes miss as our voices shift to become our own.  She said,  “I need to figure out how to let others understand the expanded me.” Those closest to her didn’t recognize some of her shifts. This put something important on her to do list. “I need to help those around me get acquainted with the new me.”

As I watched Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, take the stage with her, I was reminded of June’s words.  Kamala’s smile told me that those around her had made the journey June described.  Not only were they acquainted with her voice, they celebrated it.

Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, and Husband, Doug Emhoff

As this unsettled summer crawls to Labor Day, I hope you take a moment to think about your voice and your ability to smile from the heart.  Can we hear your voice? Are those around you cheering for it?

My wish for your is that you greet your voice with love and curiosity, and that those around you embrace the fullness of who you are.

Stay safe and well.

Linda R. (linda@WomenAndTransition.com)

***************************************************************************

***************************************************************************

Copyright © 2020 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com. All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.

Inspired by #goodtrouble

The late Congressman John Lewis, a towering advocate for equality in our nation, invited us all to get into ‘Good Trouble.’ To Lewis #goodtrouble involved three actions; living in concert with our beliefs, confronting people and systems that are misaligned with those beliefs, and working to make our beliefs a reality. The misalignment he fought permeated our society. It expressed itself in efforts to pass landmark Civil Rights legislation and in the insidious ordinary interactions among Americans that happen everyday. He and hosts of others made real progress. Yet, as the past weeks have illustrated, we have so much more work ahead of us.

How does misalignment express itself for you?

Misalignment is front and center in our experience of transition. Those who explore transition often do so because there is misalignment in their lives. It may express itself in the aftermath of a divorce that leaves you questioning who you are both in and out of that relationship. It may express itself in a job loss that leaves you wondering if getting back into that same field is really a way forward.  It may express itself in a pandemic that upends how you think about safety or about the expectations that have always guided your way.

My work in transition and the words of John Lewis both inspire us to address this misalignment in the same fashion. They both compel us to be seen for who we are and heard for what we believe in. #goodtrouble and transition invite us to  follow a path we’ve discussed many times before in this column, to be seen.

Are you willing to be seen for who you are?  Doing so may require you to step outside of the shield of expectations set by another or to come up with your own definition of success. #goodtrouble seems to be asking me if I am ready to be seen for who I am.

Are you?

An exercise for being seen

To make this real, try this exercise. Think for a moment about a piece of you that isn’t visible to others. It can be anything. It can be something tangible like your skill at flower arranging, or something less so, like your optimism or energy. Once you recognize something that isn’t often seen, ask yourself why this absence might be important? The answer to this question may surprise you. Very often it is this answer that helps us gain a better picture of what is in the way of our willingness to be seen. After completing the above steps, define a small activity related to being seen that you could practice this week. Take that step!

Borrowing From Lewis’s Playbook

As we turn up the volume on who we are, we have a decision to make. Will we act in concert with what we find there? For some this will be joining a demonstration. For others this will be sitting quietly next to a friend in need. The specifics of your action is not what matters here, what really counts is that you do something in line with who you are.

So many that I work with are quick to tell me, ‘of course, I’d love to act in concert with who I am – BUT I cannot because of huge piles of resistance I meet along the way.’ Resistance comes in many forms; an unsupportive spouse, a mortgage payment, a parent in failing health, uncertainty and so much more.

I don’t have the magical answer to neutralize your resistance. I do, however, embrace an image that Congressman Lewis put in my head. He said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”  I interpret this simply: find a way to be you in spite of the resistance you meet.

Being seen is the beginning of a wonderful path. Few will line up the confetti guns and music to celebrate your journey down this road. However, it will be the most engaging and inspired path that you’ll ever be on. It is your path. You have to choose to take it. You won’t find your way there without such a choice. That choice starts by listening carefully to the misalignment you encounter and having the confidence to bring your own folding chair.

Godspeed Congressman Lewis.

Linda Rossetti (linda@LindaRossetti.com, remember 2 s’s and 2 t’s!)

***********************************************************************

Interested in talking with others about our unsettled time and how to navigate it successfully?  Join me for Dishing on Disruption every Thursday evening at 7:00 – 7:45 pm eastern.  We talk, we laugh, we explore uncertainty and play with skill-building exercises from my extensive library of tools for transitioning. It is invaluable and free!

Details can be found here. Hope to see you!

Photo by Alin Luna on Unsplash

 

************************************************************************

 

Copyright © 2020 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com. All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.

 

Showing Up in Uncertainty

I remember a Harvard Business School professor of mine sharing a story with us one day before class started. “It matters that you show up.” He said. His friend had lost a loved one. My professor went to the house, not really believing that he should be there. In spite of his reservations, he simply showed up. His presence proved to be deeply meaningful to his friend and the family.

This action – showing up – is a great illustration of what is required in this moment of uncertainty and social unrest. You. Can you be you in all your splendor and incompleteness?  Are you showing up?

 

Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

My professor’s story popped into my mind last night as I was hosting Dishing on Disruption, a weekly interactive ‘transition-inspired’ online event. A participant shared that she was hesitant in this moment, not knowing what to say to friends who inhabited different racial and ethnic spheres than the one she occupied.

Are you ever hesitant to be you?

Transition says a lot about this. It is a process that asks us to show up. To engage more and more of who we are in what we choose to do. While that sounds simple on the page, it is challenging to execute.

Here’s why: When we enter adulthood, we rely on external influences to set our definitions and expectations for who we are.  Our families, our communities, our religious affiliations, the schools we attend, our occupation, and so much more coalesce to form these external influences.  Together they erect a wall between you and their expectations and definitions for you.

Transition invites us to disassemble that wall piece-by-piece.  It is a process. A woman whom I interviewed recently for my 2nd book described the process as, “chaotic, lonely, surprising and adventurous.”  She went on to describe how transition expressed itself for her,  “It gave me the ability to see myself. Prior to this all happening, the me I saw was other people’s perception of me. What I got to see in all of this was a very different me. It helped me ask the tough questions; ‘What do I want to do? What do I want to be?’ and really listen to my answer for the first time in my life.”

Once upon a time, showing up meant getting out of the car at work and heading through the front door into the office. The mechanics of our days have changed, but our need to show up remains unchallenged.

Are you ready to show up?

My work on transition has given me a steadfast belief: if we are to emerge better from this moment as individuals and as a nation, we all need to show up.

It isn’t easy to show up in this fashion but it is enormously valuable to do so. When I first realized that I needed to show up in a different way, I was overwhelmed by a hard truth. It had been so long since I asked myself a question about what it might mean for me to show up, the answer was not obvious. It took perseverance and possibility to guide me forward as I looked for an answer. The search has turned into a journey of a lifetime; one that expands who I am to include an author, advocate, and advisor who is staunchly rooted in social justice issues.  The journey continues to unfold and to give me great gifts. The greatest one, perhaps, is my connection to myself which in turn allows me to connect with you.

I wish for you the courage to ask yourself questions about how you show up. I also hope that you carry something special in your heart. You see, I firmly believe that the answer to our unrest and to ensuring a brilliant future for Black Americans is present with us now.

All you have to do is show up.

Linda R.  (linda@WomenAndTransition.com)

************************************************************************

If you have another moment, check out my new website here. It offers a one-stop shop for resources on transition for you, your family members or friends who are in or considering transition. Let me know what you think!

************************************************************************

Copyright © 2020 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com. All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.