Tag Archives: retirement

Do we pay lip service to failure?

Do you have the courage to fail? Massachusetts Senator Cindy Friedman and I talk about this question on the most recent episode of Destination Unknown, my podcast that explores transition and its expression in our lives. Let’s face it, a lot of the dialogue in our society revolves around failure and what I would term as a false embrace of it. Did you know that transition offers a courageous new lens into failure? Don’t miss this 10-minute discussion during which Senator Friedman talks about some of life’s most terrifying and disheartening moments, like struggling with the question, “How do I define myself if I do not have a job?”

Discover how transition can be a bridge to strength and power in the face of failure or anything that even remotely resembles it! Listen NOW!

Be sure to subscribe to my podcast Destination Unknown at Apple podcasts, Stitcher, or LibSyn.  Do you have an idea for a guest or would you like to join me? Shoot me an email. I would love to hear from you (linda@lindarossetti.com).

Linda Rossetti

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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.

Emotions, Vulnerability and Expanding Possibilities

Take a moment to listen to the most recent episode of Destination Unknown, my podcast that explores transition and its expression in our lives. In this episode, I talk with Esther Crawford, CEO of Squad, which was recently acquired by Twitter, about the emotional toll of life’s pivots and the enduring possibilities that emerge from vulnerability. Learn about ‘Day Zero’, the importance of connections, and the promise hidden in letting go of beliefs, ways of being, and those who no longer nourish you. Don’t miss this conversation of hope and expansion! Listen NOW!

 

I would love to hear from you about my podcast, Destination Unknown. The podcast explores transition and its expression in our lives.

Linda Rossetti email me

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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.

What We Carry

Have you ever considered what you carry? I am not talking about your handbag or the backpack that is ready to respond at a moment’s notice to all manner of unforeseen encounters. I am talking about what you carry invisibly in your heart. Yours can be virtually anything; a happy achievement, the memory of someone you loved, distant family friction, a devastating event, or an act of kindness. As a society, we carry the devastating loss of the more than two-and-one-half million people who have lost their lives due to COVID-19. This list of what we carry can be long. Have you ever stopped to think about how you carry these things, particularly the not so joyous ones?

This question has captivated me since I started reading, My Blindfold’s Eyes, by missionary Dianna Ortiz. The work chronicles how Dianna, an Ursuline nun, silently carried a difficult truth and how her life changed markedly for the better as she found a way to reframe her relationship with that truth.

Dianna died in February 2021 of cancer after a life dedicated to human rights advocacy. Her ministry emerged after a traumatic experience; she was kidnapped and tortured in Guatemala in 1989 while doing humanitarian work. Her kidnapping was horrific; Dianna was gang raped and repeatedly brutalized by her captors who, come to find out, were funded by the U.S. Government.

The book tells two stories in parallel; her search for justice for herself and the hundreds of thousands of others who have been tortured by corrupt regimes; and the shame she held for so long following the event, a ‘carry’ that left her prone to reliving the torture. Dianna’s shame stemmed from the conflict between her Catholic beliefs and the physical torture she endured. Its influence was relentless. It led to horrendous flash backs and debilitating physical and emotional pain.

While I hope that you never walk anywhere close to Dianna’s traumatic experiences, I wonder about the influence of what each of us may be carrying.

Her story helped me rethink some of my own carry. Not too long ago, I worked for a very powerful boss. My role at the time was – in essence – to make him successful. During  a particularly challenging period, I thought about quitting on and off for months. One day as I sat in his office, I up and quit. I had not rehearsed that day as ‘the day’, but something pushed me over the edge.  I remember relating the news to my spouse that evening. He cheered. ‘When is your last day?’ he asked optimistically.

I did not have one. My surprise announcement caught my boss off guard. He asked for time. We agreed to reconvene at a later date to discuss details.

It took three weeks for that meeting to occur. Once there, he pretended as if my earlier resignation never happened. He wanted to control the story of my departure. I was speechless. One thing was very clear; my dedication to his success would exact one more toll. He asked me to forfeit my voice in return for a hefty severance package.

The shame I carry is different from Dianna’s. It does not have to do with the details of his story; it rests on my complicity in silencing my voice.

Like Dianna, I could not see the price of my forfeiture. For a long time I wondered why I didn’t walk out at the sheer mention of his plan and deny his rendering of the truth. His truth, you see, undermined something I fought to establish my entire career, my voice.

While my story is no where near the tragedy of Dianne’s experience, we share an important understanding. What we carry – regardless of its origin – influences our truth, our light.

In the initial years following Dianna’s abduction, she could not get her balance. Her flashbacks were severe, triggered by small things like the smell of cigarettes or a uniformed police officer.  In the space between these occurrences, shame emerged, took shape, and rooted itself in her persona. The beauty in reading Dianna’s story is that shame was not the through line. She learned to release it. Her story was about hope and forgiveness and possibility. This expanded story more than filled the void once created by what her captors took from her.

My wish for you today is that you consider the influence of whatever you carry and, instead of adopting its heaviness or heartache, welcome the possibility that may reside in changing your relationship to it.

RIP Dianna. Thank you for what you carried for us all!

Linda Rossetti email me

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If you have another minute, listen to my latest podcast, Emotions, Vulnerability and Expanding Possibilities. I talk with Esther Crawford, CEO of Squad, a recent purchase by Twitter, about the emotional toll of life’s pivots and the beauty that emerges from them. A great 12 minute investment! Listen NOW.

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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.

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

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Is it time?

Are the ready to make a change in ’21?  Transition may be more in line with what you need. Listen to my latest podcast, Choosing Transition, for a new way to think about the strategies you’ve always relied upon to keep going.

I talk with Sheree Clark, midlife courage coach, who had the temerity to act when a numbed-out feeling kept too much of her hidden – her energy, creativity, and infectious spirit.

Is it your time too? Listen NOW or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. It’s only 12-minutes. Very worth your time!

 

Are you not familiar with my podcast? Destination Unknown explores transition and its expression in our lives. Every episode I talk with people about their transitions; the fear, the struggles, and the incredible surprises. I’ve had the great pleasure of talking with NPR personality Tess Vigeland, Nobel Laureate Ouided Bouchamaoui,  multi-transplant recipient Mark Black, and many many others about their enlivening and hopeful transition.  Subscribe now!

 

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.

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

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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.

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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)

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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!)

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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

 

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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.