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Musings, resources, tips, & Be Bold updates


Searching for Connection

Dear Reader,

3 seasons have passed since I last wrote to you and the Earth has completed almost 544 million of her 584 million mile journey around the Sun. Over that time, I must have started writing this letter at least 4 times. Despite my inability to sit down and commit myself to completing this blog post, I have continued to think of you all often and fondly. Over the past year I have been trying to slow down, take on less, dream more, and be way more intentional about how I spend my time and where I focus my attention. This has led to some pretty fantastic shifts in my life personally, professionally and physically. I'm excited to share them with you.

So what's up with this Dear Reader edition? I want to share some insights from a year spent intentionally stepping away from being "always on professionally", to fostering connection to my creative and curious side, my community, and the Living World. I've always lived a very structured life, with the lines between work and living defined by an unspoken rule that living best occurred after work responsibilities were completed. But that way of being made for a compartmentalized existence that prioritized the rush from completing tasks over the desire to experience the fullness of my aliveness and the awesomeness of the human experience.

Like spider, I am intentionally weaving containers that sustain me.

So I shifted. While remaining ever-aware of the buckling social, political, ecological and economic systems around me, I committed myself to regular guitar lessons, a year studying Spanish daily, time germinating herbs and vegetables for a wonderful garden, more walks when I could have been working, hours gawking over fashion spreads, and endless late nights researching nutrition, herbalism, and our innate power to heal. Like spider, I am intentionally weaving a container [web] that can sustain me.

So today, as I head out on a long awaited and much needed quarterly break, I am reflecting on my personal trajectory and some of the major existential shifts I've experienced in my 36 years of living. I often recall my elementary school days as a time of wonder and awesomeness. I remember feeling so invigorated by learning; every book and fact and class was like a glimpse behind the curtain of the universe. As much as I still cringe at how socially awkward I was in my younger days, I have never forgotten how wonderful it felt to be able to move so fluidly and freely through the world as a child. With out the anxiety producing gaze of society, the realities of capitalism, and the expectations of adulthood, I flourished. Now when I look around, I am terrified of the future ahead of us and feel encroachments on my freedom all around. Even still, I am choosing to carve out spaces where I can flourish again.

Connecting with the Living World

As an adult, I am reclaiming my right to joy, flourish, and wonder; namely by nourishing my connection with nature. It's been devastating to see how much of society treats the Living World- how just like humans are shackled by capitalism, the Living World is continually exploited and oppressed. It also just stinks that sustainability and social impact practitioners have to spend the majority of our time trying to save it (or convince others that the Living World needs saving or is worth saving). So I have been carving out time to learn about and love and live in deep reciprocity and solidarity with the Living World.

Informally, this has meant long walks trying to notice all the different species of plants and animals and insects around me (especially the ones I wouldn't notice or find visually appealing) and learning about a new herb everyday. I want to know the names and needs of plants and trees and animals and insects so I can be in community with and care for them like my closest human companions. Rightly so, I have also tripled down on toxic LinkedIn posts that advocate for the commodification of the Living World or attempts to calculate ecosystem benefits so that we have a good reason to preserve the Living World. Smh. That's a whole other blog post for another day. For now, I am unapologetically standing in righteousness as an Earth protector- something I assume will grow into radical activism in the years ahead. As part of my intentional approach to living in solidarity with the Living World, I am pursuing a Master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Herbalism from the Maryland University of Integrative Health (more on that later). I am also growing some 30 odd different plants from seed (kale, spinach, lettuce, cilantro, peppermint, corn, swiss chard, tomatoes, and squash) that will hopefully turn into a thriving garden. I aspire to procure 100% of my vegetables from home in the coming months and less so through the winter. Part of this is a deep desire to create things that are not power point presentation and spreadsheets, but the real reason is because food is one of the most primal and transformative connections we regularly maintain with the Earth. Eating, cooking, and the honorable harvest are powerful medicines for a variety of spiritual, physical and emotional afflictions. And given the recent heatwaves, floods, and crop failures, I also want to make sure that I can maintain this connection when we surpass a 3 degree rise in average global temperatures.

I've learned that plants actually make wonderful companions. They are also great teachers; preparing us to be steadfast caretakers, trainings us to notice, and ensuring we tend to what sustains us.
Tomato, squash, kale, corn, lettuce, & spinach plants

Even with all the doom around, I choose to lean into love. And let me tell you reader, my love for plants goes deep! When I am gardening, I am not just moving plants from germination containers and pot to pot, I am courting them; speaking sweetly to them in the morning when I open the shades and singing to them when I move them to another pot or let them harden in the hot summer sun. I try to listen for when they are hungry, cold, lonely or ready for more room to grow. Sometimes we listen to music together. Sometimes I whisper my hopes and dreams for a biophilic future.

Together we chase the sun in between Zoom calls and steal quiet moments to celebrate our growth and anticipate the journey ahead. Through all of this, I've learned that plants actually make wonderful companions. They are also great teachers; preparing us to be steadfast caretakers, training us to notice, and ensuring we tend to what sustains us. So grateful for the many lessons these plants have provided and especially for the opportunity to anchor their wisdom in my coaching work.

Connecting with my Creative Self

Plants and nature are wonderful, but humans are pretty neat too! I have always found joy in cultural artifacts and creative productions but have shied away from this world because of the harm and waste and exploitation it creates. But I am permitting myself to get lost in music and creativity and books and fashion because I recognize them as part of our human legacy. So I am diving into movies and the world of science fiction again. I actually have 3 science fiction books I am outlining in my head in case I wake up and decide to be a writer one day. I also regularly dream about jetting off (in an electric private jet) to Paris fashion week to gawk at sustainable fashion and the newest lewks. I am watching the new Project Runway, becoming obsessed with Gordan Ramsey and cooking culture, seeking out time to teach myself to sew (thank you mom for passing along your old machine) and I'm in the early stages of planning a photo [fashion] shoot as part of a major re-brand.

When I am not daydreaming or consuming cultural artifacts, I am listening to old albums on my record player or rallying to practice guitar. I have been listening to old Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston classics and learning about the struggles they encountered in life; it helps me feel connected across space and time to those who came before me. It's been a big motivator to return to my old singer-song writer turned folklore guitarists days. And as someone who admittedly picks hobbies that I am naturally good at, I can tell you that the guitar is putting me to task!

In these moments, I am reminded that I am a powerful creator who is full of potential and a conduit for beautiful things.

Despite my hopes of becoming a famous singer-songwriter and underground performer, the reality is that when I play my wrists feel weak and my fingers feel like play-dough. More often than not the strings buzz and my partners shuts the door so "I can focus better". But sometimes I catch a wave or a lick and I am fingering (masterfully) and singing and strumming easefully, and grooving and my fingers and wrists and arms and heart are all working in step and it feels wonderful. If I am lucky, I stumble upon a few chord combinations and a strum pattern that lights me up.

There are few greater feelings than when a sweet potential of a song chooses you to be it's maker. In these moments, I am reminded that I am a powerful creator and a conduit for beautiful things. And even if none of these dreams come to fruition, I strongly believe that we all benefit from wandering and dreaming (check out my Blogpost on this concept, What Might Could Be). So I rest easy knowing that my creative pursuits don't have to materialize to have an impact. Instead I take comfort in being reminded that I am a powerful creator who is full of latent potential and capable of living in a world surrounded by beauty.

Connecting with Community

As an introvert, it's easy for me to get lost in my rich inner world and the fantastic world of media, entertainment, and the production of cultural artifacts. I recognize that in many ways, this form of media consumption can give you an illusory connection to humanity and community. Working 100% remote for the past 5 years and the pandemic has further complicated this. Because I am still practicing social distancing, still masking in public areas, and trying to coordinate meetups with less risk-averse loved ones, it has been a struggle to find safe places to celebrate cultural happenings and build meaningful connections in real-time with real people. For the past 3 years, movies and books and shows and podcasts and Zoom calls and the occasional doctors visit, errand, masked adventure into a movie theatre, or family gathering have been my only means of physical human interaction. I have grown tired asking about COVID precautions so I have mostly kept to myself and my rich inner world.

I realized that memory-making is best done in community with others. And like our connection to the Earth, our connections to each other are sacred.
Me in St. Maarten earlier this year

But this past May we took our first family trip in 15 years to Sint Maarten (yes we all isolated before our trip and masked throughout). Once again, I fell in deep love with the Earth and the Ocean. I also experienced a renewed appreciation for the power of interpersonal connection to create heightened emotional experiences and delicious memories. So as wonderful as it was to see sea turtles eating seaweed, traverse historic forts, and eat delicious and fresh local sea food, I realized that memory-making is best done in community with others. What good is it to love and experience and learn if we can't share it? After so much time to myself, it was a big lesson on the value of shared experiences and the simple power of the presence of another being to create transformative experiences. And like our connection to the Earth, our connections to each other are sacred. It's good to remember that. Upon my return, I immediately started planning a trip to Iceland so I can finally see the northern lights, explore Viking archeological sites, stand on two continental plates at once, and possibly see a blue whale (how exciting would it be to see the largest animal on Earth?). I can't in good conscious legitimize another international trip so soon but it made me realize how hungry I am to experience the majesty and wonder of the Living World with others. It also made me realize that despite loving the lifestyle my virtual work affords me, it has left me very disconnected from my community and sense of place.

So I've been nurturing family connections, being more intentional about staying connected with beloved contacts, and also exploring ways to get involved in community life. A big intention behind this is finding ways to use my privilege and ease to lift someone else up. So I'm exploring local activist groups and mutual aide networks that I can contribute to. I am also trying to find a local butcher and be more intentional about sourcing products locally. I don't have alot to say at the moment about connecting with community because I am still sorting things out, but I look forward to finding ways to cultivate community and human connection through service and solidarity.

An Invitation to Connection

What started as a desire for connection has became an elaborate coaxing of my inner child to come out and play and wonder again. It has been a mysterious but deeply transformative journey that is still unfolding. And while my childhood remains my inspiration for intentionally building out refuges for connection, I also hope that these efforts will allow me to experience the fullest expression of myself as one point of consciousness interconnected to a truly marvelous and awesome world.

So as ecosystems collapse, the political system continues to divide us, and humans fight to realize our potential that exists beyond the identities and labor we are often deduced to, I invite you to join me in deepening our connection to ourselves, each other and the Living World. Not just because we are all deserving of more joy and love and creativity and community, but because I am convinced that these connections are pivotal to creating the solidarity we need to overcome the existential challenges ahead of us.

In Community,

Alexis Goggans, PCC (she/her/hers)

Founder & President of Be Bold Services

P.S. Check out the next section for updates on Be Bold happenings, opportunities to be in community with other change agents and some exciting resources!

Be Bold Happenings Check out this section for updates on my coaching and consulting work

  1. I have deepened my partnership with WildSeed Society and am supporting some deep organizational work for the next 7 months. WildSeed staff are doing truly (chef's kiss) radical work , and I am grateful to be a partner in their efforts to get free from capitalism. If you trying to get free or interested in alternatives to exploitative economics, please follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter and consider donating.

  2. I am 2 meetings deep facilitating a Liberatory Community of Practice for Network practitioners with Leadership Learning Community. I am deeply appreciating what its like to bring reciprocity and a living systems approach into this partnership. It is a breath of fresh air after making an intention to only work with organizations deeply commitment to practicing liberation and anti-oppression.

  3. I have a new hourly rate and an updated income disclosure statement. I have long committed to not profiting off my customers and instead only charged based on what I need to live a meaningful life. I have set a flat rate of $175 for all coaching and consulting engagements. For the first time in 5 years, my hourly rate will be in line with market rates for credentialed coaches with my experience. The sliding scale still remains available to racialized, disabled, minoritized and oppressed people who are unable to afford the market rate. I am trying this out, with the hopes that it will create more parity among clients and allow me to hire support staff so I can reduce my work hours. Side notes, true to what we know about giving, racialized individuals and organizations led by racialized people continue to pay me more than white identifying and white-led organizations (many of whom have quadruple the budgets of BIPOC-led organizations I work with.)

  4. Be Bold Services was voted best life coaching business in Colorado's 2023 Best of Business. The voting process was exhausting and it kind of ended up being a way for the magazine to sell plaques and more services but I am so appreciative of my community and clients for rallying. Thank you to everyone who voted and to all of your for supporting my work over the last 5 years!

  5. I was accepted into Maryland University of Integrative Health's Master of Nutrition & Integrative Health Program. I am excited to bridge my sustainability, decolonization, and coaching work with new skills in herbalism and nutrition research. Classes start September 4th. I am excited to fulfil a 3 year dream to enter the health field but also anxious about how I will handle the load. It feels silly to go back to school when the world is in crisis, but the call is strong. Please send prayers, energy, etc. my way (and for the next 3 years).

Community Happenings A list of community happenings from other social impact professionals & organizations

  1. Krysta Grangeno just launched her own t-shirt line, Raices, to empower the St. Louis Latino community. Please check out her shirts and consider purchasing, sharing or donating to support her work.

  2. Our friends at the Radical Support Collective are holding a free workshop called Riding the Waves of Climate Leadership on June 27th. The workshop will provide participants the space to grieve the current moment and explore your hopes and visions for the future. It is a precursor to the feminist leadership cohort that is also led by Jessica Serrante.

  3. Cater Media just announced a 5 month Decolonizing Leadership Program that kicks off in September of this year. In their own words "Decolonial Leadership is an intimate 5-month sage council and mentorship for cultural midwives, medicine keepers, pleasure activists, alchemical healer-artists and visionary creators devoted to birthing revolutionary work and worlds." Look dope, please share!

  4. The IFCE (my second business) has opened enrollment for our Fall 2023 Life, Leadership, & Executive Coaching Cohort. The 6 month program is ICF-accredited and fulfils the coach education and mentor coaching requirements for those who want to become Associate Certified or Professional Certified credentialed coaches. We provide a teaching environment that advances human-centered learning, culturally competent coaching, and economic empowerment. We have two spots left for our August 23rd class that runs 3 to 6 pm MT. Here is a flyer with information - please share widely and consider joining us at an Information Session.

  5. Housing opportunity for a community group or individual who is in need of refuge. My Colorado Springs townhome is currently unoccupied and I am trying to find a way to put this asset to good use. My mortgage for the 2 bedroom 2.5 bath house is roughly $1,400 and I am hoping to subsidize half of this (or work out another agreement) for the occupant. Let me know if you know of someone or an organization who might be able to put this home to good use. The unit is currently semi-furnished, includes central A/C and there is a back porch. It would be ideal for a single parent, individual in need of respite, or a community group that needs organizing space. Unfortunately pets or animals are not permitted. Let me know if you have a lead!

Resources & Readings

Some readings, videos, and thought pieces from my own consumption

  1. A new Environmental Justice Database for the United States Just Dropped! From their website, "The Environmental Justice State by State is a law library and database of environmental justice laws, policies, mapping tools, and state-recognized definitions associated with environmental justice across the fifty states and territories. The database is intended to be an accessible tool for community advocates, attorneys, academics, and policymakers at all levels to use in the adoption and advancement of environmental justice law and policy."

  2. I am reading about de-growth and came across an article from Grist titled, "We can't Just Grow Ourselves Out of this Climate Mess" that clearly articulates the problem with our current economic system. It also provides some alternatives that will secure humanity's future. Well worth a read and share.

  3. I am reading an awesome book called "NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity" by Steve Silberman. It's pretty astonishing to hear about the very unscientific history behind diagnosing mental health issues and developing diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders. While some of the chapters dig through the unpleasant history of the psychology field (including the impacts of fascism on eugenics theories, a deplorable history of caring for autistic children, and the rise of harmful ABA therapies that punish Autists for stimming) it provides a fascinating and in depth look at the emergence of new care models, the history of innovation in the Autism community, and new ways to think about neurodiversity.

  4. I am listening to Chasing Consciousness's recent episode called "Quantum Biology Explained". Many of you know that I am fascinated by quantum physics and the impact of the viewer (that's us) on collapsing the wave function. Biology is amazing and it's so wonderful to know that so much of what we define as "human' is really a conglomerate of billions of bacteria and fungi living mostly symbiotically with us. If you are interested in the impact of the microbiome on disease expressions and suppression, and the interconnectedness of the Living World, definitely check this episode out.

  5. I came across a wonderful funding resource for Black, Women and GLBTQ entrepreneurs. There are plenty of grants and funding for businesses so please follow Social Impact Entrepreneur, Facilitator and Consultant Kat Gabrielle for weekly funding opportunities.

  6. I am shouting on the rooftops about a recent Manifesto called "Against Capitalist Despair: Building a Working-Class Party for Socialism" I came across on LinkedIn. This manifesto makes a strong case for a 3rd political party focused on class socialism and the rights of all exploited and oppressed people. As a registered Independent who has intentionally avoided the pitfalls of the two party system, I'm excited about this renewed interest in building power for working class Americans. Too long the vast majority of Americans have toiled for healthcare rights, affordable housing, the ability to make a living wage and respect in the democratic process. While I do not plan on joining a formal political party, I am excited about the prospects of spending the next 2 elections cycles helping poor, lowing incomes and working class Americans build people power.

Thanks for reading! I'm not sure when I will post again, but I hope to share more insights before the Winter Season ends. In the mean time, take care of yourselves and each other.


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