Kay’s Journal: The Rest of the Story

Here’s what I’m writing about in my journal this week!

Two weeks ago (see: Learning from the Best) I recounted my experiences  in the three-day Mastermind event for my coaching cohort group, which was beyond wonderful. The trip continued when I departed Montreal for Atlanta for a second conference, led by a pair of New York Times best-selling authors and premium speakers, each earning multiple millions per year. I’ve been on the mailing list of one of the speakers for a while, and I was curious about her success story, how she catapulted herself from There to Here.

I learned a lot, some of it applicable to my business. And I met a few great people that I’ll stay in touch with. Mostly, though, I spent 2.5 days attempting to navigate the emotional whiplash from going from a nurturing, generous and caring small group environment to a loud, bold and brazen ballroom.

$uffice to $ay our value$ didn’t me$h and I $truggled with the con$tant me$$age that CA$H is all that matter$.

I also have a 180-degree different facilitation style.

From Minute One, there was a congruence gap that never got resolved. I think these two people are wildly talented and I respect what they’ve accomplished. Particularly the female of the pair, because I know darned well the obstacles facing self-made women. I’ve been pushing that rock uphill for 32 years now.

And I did have legitimate take-aways, pieces that fell into place, an aha or two. By the morning break on the last day, though, I’d reached my tipping point. I ducked out and Ubered to the airport, where I faced the prospect of a 12-hour slouch to my scheduled flight, or the possibility of one of three standbys. It hadn’t occurred to me that it was the Saturday before Thanksgiving and all flights would be already overbooked.

The elderly woman in front of me at the Delta counter dropped her cane as she fumbled through her purse, and it clattered loudly to the tile floor. I retrieved it, balanced it carefully against the counter, and stepped back. In return, the counter agent waived my standby fee for “being nice.”

It seemed ludicrous–who wouldn’t retrieve an elder’s dropped cane, reflexively?–but I nonetheless accepted with grace. The rewards continued: I made the second flight.

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Probably it’s about a collision of values, and how I truly believe that business works better when infused with generosity and love, while others truly believe that “love is for my family and my business is for money.” It’s probably also about a giant fun-house mirror reflecting back to me the distorted absurdity of my own money projections and the way I conflate financial sacrifice and spiritual commitment. Are “making great money” and “doing great work in the world” inherently exclusive? It’s clearly time to tell myself a different story. What’s the new story? What am I still hanging onto from the old story? How has it served me–even more deeply than I currently consciously know? Am I ready to let it go?

I’m still processing, still writing about it, still wondering why the gods handed me this one in late November 2017. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.


What’s worked for you as you’ve changed long-held (but no longer useful) beliefs?




9 Responses to Kay’s Journal: The Rest of the Story

  1. Sheila Kershaw November 28, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    I understand where you’re coming from, Kay. I’ve had the same thoughts about our culture’s push for $ucce$$ and have bought into it at times in my life. It’s very easy to do when that’s all you hear about. I struggled for years with my inner call to be a writer and at the same time make enough money to live on. I bounced back and forth between going solo and getting a job. I believed that if I did what I loved, the money would follow. Sometimes it did. Sometimes it didn’t. I never found a good balance between serving the world with my talent and making a decent living. All I can say is now that I am semi-retired, I have some income and can pursue writing and teaching without financial concerns. I’m thankful for that — very thankful.

    • Kay Adams November 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

      Thanks, Sheila — glad you’re finally able to pursue your writing and teaching! Appreciate the empathy. My writing practice this week has been filled with questions but also with intuitive/inner-wisdom answers that are making everything make more sense. Thank God for writing practice!

  2. Carol Roberts November 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    I’m still learning but this morning I woke up and wrote a talk on 12 Reasons We Need Poetry. Don’t know why but just a few minutes ago I got my first gig, No money in it but lots of networking that could lead to paid gigs in 6 months or so. Not to mention new friends, new students, etc. Do we ever know where something is going???

    • Kay Adams November 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

      Carol, you just keep amazing us with your serendipitous new beginnings! You’re unstoppable.

      • Carol Roberts December 13, 2017 at 11:56 am #

        Ha! I figure at 75 what is there to lose? The lady who invited me to speak actually recommended a different title: How Poetry Helps us Write our Life Story. I like it. Haven’t marketed myself more yet, but I think it’s coming.
        If I don’t communicate this any other way, Merry Christmas, Kay! My hope is that all who read this know that despite the discouragement and despair in the world, there is still hope.

  3. Katherine Cox Stevenson November 30, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    I particularly enjoyed your reflections Kay. We do live in such an interesting world. You awarded for helping someone by picking up her cane. Money issues are something I struggle with all the time. I am a person who gives everything away and doing good to me doesn’t need financial reward. And then there are the realities that I need money to live. The bank certainly doesn’t share my attitude with respect to mortgage payments. 🙂 In various courses I have taken, I hear people value things more if they have to pay. And the higher the cost the more things are valued. My struggles include what fee to charge that honors me and my experience and at the same time allows access for the most people. I know I have more questions than answers. Thanks for giving me the chance to yet again explore all of this.

    • Kay Adams December 1, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

      Katherine, I think you’ve nailed the dilemma that many of us doing this work experience, in one succinct sentence: “My struggles include what fee to charge that honors me and my experience and at the same time allows access for the most people.” Yes! This captures my struggle as well. I think I’m on the verge of a mindset shift and I have trust that it’s all going to be well!

  4. Susan December 1, 2017 at 6:17 am #

    I am reminded of a handful of parables—summed up, “be careful what you wish for,” implying that what you wish for comes at the expense of something you desire more.

    The “deal breaker” genie wish—such as, getting wings only to find you can’t land.

    The parable of the merchant and the pearl— “upon finding a pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Pearl is a metaphor for the Kingdom of Heaven)

    The miller in “The Handless Maiden,” makes a pact with the devil to gain riches, but the devil takes an unexpected payment. (See R. A. Johnson, The Fisher King and The Handless Maiden)

    The point is, with those kinds of admonitions molded into our ideation of wealth and wishes, it’s no wonder we are intimidated. Rightly so, but “there’s the rub.” Can we recraft the story? Will we wind up regretting our choices?

    • Kay Adams December 1, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

      Oooh, Susan! Such interesting thoughts. I’ll revisit some myths and stories this weekend. Thanks!

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