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Dear Friend,

I had a networking conversation over the weekend that led me to realize just how long it had been since I have felt truly patronized to. Read into that what you will.

Despite my relief in ending that call, I did leave with some useful things to think about. One was about how I set the stage for such calls; I have a habit of going in blind and leaning on my ability to make connections. Asking this person what his intention for our conversation was may have given me a heads-up to work from.

He also inspired me to revisit a question first stirred by Sam Bennett’s book Start Right Where You Are: What am I actually asking you for?

That is, when I write these emails and post on LinkedIn and shape the language on my website, am I helping you understand how my most developed skill set (coaching, that is) could illuminate your path toward your unique definition of a Life Well Lived... or am I asking you to like me?

The embarrassing truth is that I think I’m more often asking for the latter.

In recent weeks, as I’ve shared my delight-fueled zines project (I have a new mini-zine out!), I’ve noticed an Innerling voice creeping in, saying I’m going to chase you away by sharing these things… by sharing more of the ways that I might provide utility to you, whether through a pocket-sized zine of conversation-starters or by acting as the full-length mirror to your cognitive and emotional self…

Some thoughts on how all of that ties into humility and generosity in my post, Humility, Generosity, and, Doggone It, Wanting to Be Liked.

a kiss of history

Our first experiment of a themed Chomp & Chat turned into quite a sweeping conversation around Terry Marshall’s thought (by way of adrienne maree brown) that “we’re in an imagination battle.” Our crew brought in ideas like the internal struggle for creative vision; the diversity/polarity of the political imagination and how it relates to the news cycle, social media, and the idea of rugged individualism; and the places where we see a problematic lack of imagination.

One person also pointed out that history informs our imagination and yet we can’t necessarily trust the reporting of history either. History, after all, is storytelling within a framework that can dramatically influence the moral of the story.

For example, the story of Black Americans in cinema is rife with racist tropes – that part is true. And yet, it’s not the whole truth, as has been demonstrated by this unearthed bit of 19th century film – literally a bit; the clip is 20 seconds long – showing two Black actors in a tender moment of connection
two actors kissing in a brief film from 1898

There are more discoveries about the contributions of Black actors to early cinema in How 20 Seconds of Film Changed Movie History.

I invite you to also ask yourself: What piece of your own history might have a twist that would open you to reconsidering the realities of your now and possibilities of your future?

These ideas about humbleness and sharing are ones I’ve been dancing with for a while – this post from 2018 stands as proof. And yet there are some things that I – that all of us – will spend our lifetimes working to wrap our heads around.

That isn’t failure. That’s human.

And I see you, human. And I like what I see.

With love and gratitude for all you are,

p.s. Scroll all the way down for an oldie and really, really goodie.


Ways to engage with The Bigger Badder Crew
(and/or help me keep the lights on!)

Chomp & Chat every Wednesday!

The Bigger Badder Book Club!

Saturday, December 10 | 11am ET/8am PT

Coaching! With Me!

How about a recent testimonial from Karen Chase, author, speaker, brand designer?

"With SB as your guide, folks from any career, or on any career path, will find a joyful, nurturing, and strongly encouraging coach. With tangible, tactical, and often fun exercises between sessions, she helps us work on a clearer way forward to our own happy places."

And you can, of course, share these emails! I make them just for you... and folks like you!

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Good on Kid President for retiring to enjoy his teen life and beyond... and these videos from his wee kiddo years are still worth a revisit.
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