Using my voice to evoke awareness, healing, & bold action
It's been a while since I've written to you - more than 3 years actually! You should know that you've been on my mind. I haven't written not for lack of things to say, but because I have struggled to find my voice. Let me explain.
I am deeply interested in many things; from equitable decarbonization and urban sustainability, to human psychology and organizational development, to consciousness studies and spiritual ecology, to living systems thinking and decolonization studies, and a few other things that I hope to share with you one day.
I have also worked lot's of jobs in many different sectors; I was an outreach manager in higher education, an administrative assistant in a retirement home, a territory sales manager in information technology, an urban planner and sustainability analyst with the government, a child educator, librarian, and naturalist with an outdoor advocacy organization, a climate organizer with a national coalition, a civic engagement manager for revitalization projects, a writer for a start-up and yes, I once worked at Hot-Dog-On a Stick and also at Dairy Queen. You might call me a serial job hopper, but I like to call it passion fishing.
"You might call me a serial job hopper, but I like to call it passion fishing."
To date, the longest job I ever held was Owner and President of Be Bold Services. And while I can tell you with absolute sincerity that I never once regretted leaving my "dream job" as a Climate & Sustainability Analyst with just $3,000 in savings to start my first business, I can tell you that I am still passion fishing, still figuring things out.
Working for myself in service of creating a more conscious, sustainable, and equitable world has been a game changer. I am happier, healthier, freer, and more in touch with myself than I have been at any other time in my life. But my myriad of interests has meant that I want to work on lots of different types of projects and with many different types of people. It's made it difficult to hone in on my services, identify my ideal client and focus my energies. And all of this while humanity faces multiple, existential crisis. Perhaps now you understand the difficulty I faced in finding my voice.
My business officially turns four years old next week, so I've been doing a lot of reflecting (and scheming) about the quality of my life, the impact of my professional work and what it means to show up for myself and meet the moment. For the last year I have been quietly asking myself, what would it look like to show up boldly and intentionally while a climate crisis, global pandemic, threats to democracy, ecosystem collapse, rampant oppression and inequality, and devastating wars rage on?
While the question still remains to be completely answered, one thing is clear; I need to bring more of myself to this work. After many meditation sessions and a great coaching session with a colleague, I realized that somewhere between the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and some very disappointing client work, that I had been actively suppressing some of the most tender, exciting, and authentic parts of myself because I was afraid I would lose clients and that people wouldn't care what I had to say.
I now realize that if I don't speak my truth, I might drown in the waterfall of hopes, dreams, frustrations, and ideas that keep me up at night. If I don't speak up, I will never know how many of you share my sentiments. I may never have opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue and intentional work with you. I know that if I don't speak up, I would continue to feel isolated, pigeon-holed, and overlooked as a consultant and coach. Most importantly, I would never know the power of my words to evoke awareness, heal, and inspire bold action.
If I don't speak up I will never know the power of my words to evoke awareness, heal, and inspire bold action.
So consider this an invitation to join me in my attempt to meet the moment with great intention and bold action. Going forward, you can expect regular posts (once or twice a month sounds doable) covering whatever is on my heart to share and an after blog section that shares what I am up to, a helpful tip for your intentional work, some resources I'm enjoying and most importantly, opportunities to creatively engage my work and the larger ecosystem of change agents.
I am trying to put a little bit of something in these posts for everyone; that includes the folks working for Big Greens, the activists, the intentional entrepreneurs, the Executive Directors, the network weavers, the sustainability professionals, and the dreamers. So check out the bottom of this post to see what's happening, learn a new tip, dive into resources I am enjoying, and how you can help shape the future of this newsletter!
Tip for Bold Impact
Here is a tip for anyone looking to develop an equity strategy or statement One best practice for developing an equity statement or strategy is to develop a problem and opportunity statement. This crucial first step creates problem awareness by helping you understand the underlying structures and behaviors driving injustice and inequality in the systems and situations you seek to change. It can also prevent feelings of overwhelm by helping you focus on what you can meaningfully influence or change.
To develop a problem and opportunity statement....
Start by defining the problem(s) as you see it as well as relevant terms for clarity. This includes referencing equity-related social challenges you are moved to address and any organizational challenges you may face when responding.
Next, explore your relationship and responsibility to the problem by considering how you are involved or implicated in the situation or system. Consider who is impacted, how, and why. Be sure to consider privilege, power, and influence in any stakeholder analysis. This usually takes some research- and not just data and charts, but stories.
Then spend some time envisioning how the world might change for the better as a result of your work or intervention. Make sure your visioning takes into account your existing strategic plans and programmatic work. You may decide to change your organization's vision or mission to center this work.
Finally, commit to action and take accountability for past and present harm. Be explicit about racism, ableism, sexism or whatever oppressive thought system you are working to address. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable or share past miss steps.
Be Bold Happenings
Check out this section for updates on my coaching and consulting work over the last month
I am working with USGBC as part of their LEED for Cities Equity Accelerator. Over the next year I will be providing equity coaching and training to leaders form 15 municipal cities. We just had our kick off call last week and I am thrilled to get started. You can learn more about our work here.
Over the last 3 months I have been in deep discussion with Aaron Goggans, Dream Tender, for the WildSeed Society about some exciting projects and a possible partnership (yes he is my brother). Check out WildSeed's work and stay tuned for a podcast announcement!
I will be co-facilitating a training on Advancing Equity with Demographics with the Sustainable States Network next week. They just started implementing the Equity Commitments they adopted after completing my inquiry based-planning process. Check out their Equity Commitments and reach out if you have questions about developing an equity strategy, statement, or goals for your work.
Let's be in Community
Here are some opportunities to engage me, inform this newsletter, and connect with the larger ecosystems of change agents doing bold work.
I would love to hear how you are meeting the moment. If you are moved, drop a few sentences in this Google doc. I hope to share in a follow up post. You can stay anonymous or you can boost your awesome work to my Network!
My dear colleague, Gail Francis of the RE-AMP Network is going to be speaking at the Enact Festival. It's a great opportunity to get connected with Networks working across the planet to transform our society for good.
If you are outraged about the leaked Supreme Court judgment that could overturn Roe vs. Wade, here is a list of local abortion clinics you can donate to. I also recommend reviewing the "Abortion is a Public Health Issue: Achieving Access & Equity" report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to learn more about the history of abortion care in our country as well as policy challenges and opportunities.
Here are some interesting and inspiring things I have digested recently
I'm watching the Climate Justice Alliance's Climate Justice Dialogue Series. This first webinar covers the history of the environmental justice movement and their Just Transition Framework.
I'm reading "all about love" and it's a wonderful read for anyone who wants to explore concepts such as loving relationships, love as an antidote to greed, mutuality, and healing from beloved author & activist bell hooks, who passed last December.
I'm listening to this new podcast called Chasing Consciousness. I highly recommend the episode "Examining the Assumptions of Western Science" which explores the limitations of reductionist thinking in making sense of life. And if you want to dive into the world of psychology, the episode on Jung's Collective Consciousness will blow your mind (if you are open).
I'm following Sociocracy for All on LinkedIn. They are hosting trainings on distributed decision-making and how to share power in organizations. They just hosted a training that infuses non-violent communication with Sociocracy that you also might want to check out.
Thank you for following along and much gratitude to those of you who read this whole blurb. I am looking forward to bringing more of myself to my work and creatively engaging with you as we work to meet the moment with great intention and bold action.
If any part of you is inspired, excited, or curious about this blog, please leave a comment or share with someone who needs to read this. And if you want more content, please follow Be Bold on LinkedIn where I share tons of resources, webinars, and consulting and coaching tips. It's a little more business forward there if that's your thing.
Alexis Goggans, PCC (she/her/hers)
Owner & President of Be Bold Services
Want to chat? Schedule a meeting with me