Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/28/20–
Jules Lavallee: You have tremendous gifts that have helped women with personal growth. Share your backstory.
I was born into tumult. To a 43 year old woman who had endured her fair share of familial and marital scaring. Consequently, she was dead by fifty and I was thrusted into the home of her mother and sister… my grandmother and aunt. So, I struggled with my identity and where I belonged because I had 7 older and 1 younger sibling (s). My aunt released me to my confusion by the time I was fourteen. So, I began to falter terribly… I got pregnant very young and the struggles of my life ensued. However, seemingly an unintended consequence, is that my passion felt organic. My desire to help women was birthed out of my need to help myself. I realized that because I possessed a persona of intelligence and some degree of heightened confidence, that people were not being honest with me in telling me when my “slip was showing.” People around me saw me faltering and opted not to speak up– not in a substantive way that is. However, a life devoted to spiritual growth helped me peel back my personal layers of trauma and need for healing. Therefore a need to be transparent with an unexpected hope and care of opening up to invoke others to be transparent also. Along the way I started realizing that what we hold secret and deny and lie about not only keeps us bound, but it blackmails us.
Jules Lavallee: You had a tragedy in your life. How did it shape your future?
As a result of my mother’s death– as odd as it sounds, I ended up experiencing a “quality upbringing” My grandmother and aunt were what I saw as financially solid, owned a single family home, vacations, cars, fine clothes, etc. There was no evidence of financial woes. So, I was exposed to that side of life… however leaving my aunt’s home would then expose me to a different view. I heard terms and witnessed behaviors that were new to me, e.g., borrowing, and things of that nature. And I don’t paint a perfect picture of my home (life) with my aunt and grandmother because it was there where my “uncle” attempted to molest me — more than once actually, but I fought him off… a 10 year old girl defending herself from a 200 some odd pound man who was at least 6’9. Nevertheless, I contended with cognitive dissonance between the two worlds and I assimilated between them both. Consequently, insisting that my three children went to college and yet I was financially and academically unfit. But because of my exposure to my mom’s side of the family, I knew better so I was determined to do better. Currently, in the All but dissertation (ABD) phase of my PhD. Currently enrolled in a side academic pursuit on Implicit Bias training.
Jules Lavallee: As a Development Coach, how are you helping clients today?
Today, I am helping clients tap into their fears of moving beyond mediocrity and stagnation. I am conducting honest and transparent discussions with them around the things that I identify as being their weakness and strengths and how to improve on what is holding them back not only in their careers, but their gifts. I recently had a scenario where I shared with a client that her biggest impediment is, “That she is lazy”, she cried and responded,”I know.” So, we upacked that and subscribed behaviors to disrupt that pattern.
Jules Lavallee: What is your philosophy?
My philosophy is two-fold:
Courage is paramount to your development and success and you can only be courageous when you confront what you are afraid of.
In my book I write what is my personal mission statement:
“Define your own success. I have defined my success by having exercised the will to gracefully and tastefully get through life’s –navigate through life’s ups and downs, obstacles, challenges, troubles, mistakes, and mishaps without disgrace, without drugs, and alcohol and other self-destructive vices–to live respectfully and respected.” This is my value statement and philosophy and I believe this is what everyone needs to do for themselves specific to their own values and ideas.
Jules Lavallee: Share a few client stories of how you have impacted others.
One client shared, “The day you told me stop acting like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz literally changed my life! After that, I laughed and cried. I pulled myself together and confronted what has been holding me back.”
Another client shared, “Reading your book forced me to look at myself–to take accountability for my role in my own life and to stop holding other people accountable for not making me happy and/or successful.”
One person, who I could not ascribe to as a client because she was my relative, but I provided her client services– shared, “I wish I had this perspective earlier in my life because I do believe my life would be very different–different how, I don’t know, but definitely different for the better.” I responded to her –”Now is a good day to start.”
Jules Lavallee: What do you enjoy most about being a Human Resources Consultant and Development Coach?
What I enjoy most is impacting the quality of life of someone. Oftentimes, I have thrown someone a life-line. I have also hired people that were on the brink of despair because they have been out of work just one day too long. I have been there myself and that’s why people’s lives are personal to me. I worked with a young lady that was functionally illiterate and off the radar — she worked to remedy that. But due to an honest conversation with me she was able to muster up the courage to confront that deficit and do the hard, hard work.
Jules Lavallee: Why did you write the book, Becoming the Person You Told People You Were? Can you share a few passages? Where can we find it?
I wrote the book because I am honestly (still becoming) the person that people think I am. I have had everybody for elementary teachers, strangers, co-workers, and my corporate leadership tell me who and what they see in me and I knew in my honest(time) space… I was living below those ideals. So, I wrote the book to be honest and transparent with not only people that respect me, but with myself.
“During my journey of becoming, I have confronted a few truths. One of the truths that I have confronted and embraced is that my success is unique to my circumstances, therefore it is not defined by or to be compared to someone else’s.”
“Although it is an uncomfortable truth for some, I accept and understand that I was born into brokenness and bleak circumstances. However, as I got older I realized that I was born in broken and bleak circumstances to parents and siblings that possessed great-in fact phenomenal potential, and anything that is good about me is because of what is or was great about them.” But due to faltering circumstances that potential, in most cases, for a couple of generations would not be fully realized to the detriment of what could have been a dynamic family legacy.”
“I believe there is often a need for people to fulfill who they are. The context of becoming that I am speaking of is something that some people are groomed, raised or educated to be while others may be intuitively wired to become.”
My book both ebook and paperback can be found:
- Ingram Book Distributors
Jules Lavallee: Who inspires you?
There are some moving parts to this response. Tina Turner put a fire in my soul… hence having once been a battered wife. Maya Angelou spoke to the better version of myself that I had yet to meet. My 3 children and one grandson for whom I admire, love and respect and there’s no way to do that without being inspired by them–they are awesome humans. Lastly and more and more every day–the memory of my beautiful mother. I realized that what she did for me (saved my life) because of all the people that saw something in me, even as a little seven year old girl, was her. See, my mother sat me on her lap shortly before her death and asked me, “When I die who do you want to live with?” There is a lot to unpack in that statement — I know. Nevertheless, I named her sister, “Aunt Ruth.” There is no doubt in my mind that this was her intended choice anyway. I am assured that she gave me over to her sister and mother with the hope that they would provide me with a foundation to see favorable outcomes that they so desperately wanted to see for her.
Jules Lavallee: Share your upcoming projects.
- Currently finishing up the volume II of Becoming THe Person You Told People You Were.
- Currently (having published): The Sin (s) of My Father & The Generational Costs & Curse of His Un-Repentance
- Working with Publishers to publish, though very different from my other works), a love story I wrote: “A Story of Zebras, Airplanes & Other Things… as Told by a “Queen”
Jules Lavallee: Please share your social media links.