November is the month where we are especially thankful for our bounty, in whatever form it takes. I am grateful for this year’s opportunities for growth, challenge, learning, and listening. In the spirit of the season, I offer you fodder for your nourishment.

Perspective Can Take You Anywhere

We are all in some life transition – either by choice or thrust upon us. It can be hard to appreciate what we know when changes are cascading over us. Put your knowledge in perspective by viewing learning and growth as the contents of three different buckets.

  1. I know what I know: I am confident and self-assured in this knowledge.

  2. I know something about what I don’t know: I know something about a topic and my learning process needs to continue.

  3. I don’t know what I don’t know: I am aware knowledge is obtainable if I remain open and curious.

Please note that buckets 2 and 3 are large (and getting larger by the day for me!). When you accept this notion, it is much easier to ask questions.

Your Money Story Affects You and Yours

Your money story, whether consciously or not, affects the majority of the decisions you make. When discussing life values, financial goals, philanthropic direction, and legacy planning with clients, I unpack their money stories. Your money narrative can be subtle, nuanced, and hidden, especially as we are taught to not talk about money. Open a dialogue to uncover your story and, eventually, the dots start connecting. Sharing your story brings you clarity and peace of mind and allows your professionals to do an even better job for you.

Energize is In, Passion is Semi-In: 

I once gave a TedTalk about The Evolution of a “Passionaholic;” a phrase I coined, meaning a person whose passion engages one so completely that other pursuits pale in comparison. At present, passion seems to equate to a borderline obsession. Now, I am a proponent of “energize” – what or who gives you energy. Stage 2 Planning’s Josh Patrick and I revisit the passion topic. Tune in to the podcast to hear how to find what energizes you and how to keep that interest.

“And, Emily, what energizes you?”

Answer – Acting on my core value that people want to matter, be seen, and be heard. In my both personal and professional lives, I do this by listening, empathizing, comforting, guiding, and/or just showing up. For decades, I have volunteered for humanitarian efforts here and abroad (incl. US/Mexico border, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesvos/Athens Greece). This month, I return to our border to work with other volunteers helping asylum seekers. I am humbled by those in need, the volunteers, and those who choose to support my efforts. My volunteerism is food for my soul, providing the nourishment of perspective, gratitude, humility, and God’s grace.

The reading of Warsan Shire’s poem, HOME, by a member of The Aswat Ensemble (in April at The Othering and Belonging Conference in Oakland) is especially profound to me. PLEASE listen (she starts at the 7:45 mark) and/or read to learn why anyone would ever leave home.

“We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.”  – Maya Angelou

May we all continue to find fulfilling growth and connection. Peace, clarity, and joy to you and yours.

With warmth and gratitude – Emily