On Purpose Woman
Nov / Dec 2020
A Force for Good
On Purpose Woman
Kim Wells Eley
Laura Di Franco
Lilia Shoshanna Rae
Cover Art By:
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Ginny Robertson, Founder On Purpose Woman Community
Founder/Editor On Purpose Woman Magazine
Kathryn Yarborough, Global Facilitator On Purpose Woman Community
Creative Director On Purpose Woman Magazine
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For 20 years, the On Purpose Woman Community has welcomed and encouraged all women to join us in “connecting women around the world to their gifts, their purpose, and each other.”
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10 Manage Your Energy and Time
18 Giving Yourself Permission
26 Some Days R Shitty Yemaja Jubilee
32 To Know Yourself Is to Love Yourself Live from that Place of Lovingness Lilia Shoshanna Rae
42 On Purpose Woman Member Spotlight
44 If You Don’t Know Where You're Going, You Won’t Get There
Kim Wells Eley
52 Freeing Females From Frenemies. What Is Female Rivalry?
Amber Tichenon, PhD
60 Business Directory
Laura Di Franco
68 Real Women. Real Purpose. Talk Show Upcoming Topics
70 How to Build a Container for Emotional Expression Karen Tasto
78 The Challenges and Gifts of 2020
86 Cover Artist,
70 How to PIVOT Productively during COVID 19
100 Black Women-Owned Business Directory
108 How to Manage Your 401(k) When You Switch Jobs
113 Events Calendar
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Inside On Purpose Woman...
I deleted 10,000 emails in August and 10,000 in September to get me to this number. As I enter the fall and winter season, I’m going to spend more time reviewing old emails and making room for the new.
As a writer, non-profit founder, and historian, I hold on to things that can provide documentation for projects. That means that journals, notebooks, documents, books, and emails hold a wealth of historical information. When I wrote my teaching memoir a few years ago, I was so grateful that I had saved journals and emails to sift through. The emails helped me remember things I had forgotten and filled in the gaps while also providing a rich context with the exact words I had used.
When talking about managing energy and time, clutter is one of the things to consider. For me, it’s time to let go of these old emails. They served me well and I am complete. It’s time to delete more. I feel them weighing me down. It’s time to free up some energy.
Tip #6 of 8
Manage Your Time and Energy
Consider decluttering in a way that makes sense for you and creates space to breathe. If you don’t need old emails, get rid of them!
Continuing with the decluttering theme, take a look at your calendar. Do you have room for rest, play, daydreaming, and wandering? How are you caring for yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually? Do you have blank space? What happens if a project takes twice as long as you planned? Do you have room for change or spontaneity? Have you said yes to things you don’t want to do?
In the last issue, I talked about Personal Power and I asked you to reflect on, “What do you stand for?” In the message, I was encouraging you to stand up and speak up. This doesn’t mean you should be in warrior-active mode all the time. Managing your energy is about coming back into alignment with yourself: Knowing when to listen, when to speak, when to shout, and when to step away.
When Covid-19 hit and we had stay-at-home orders, I didn’t have to learn how to bring my business on-line. I have had an online business for twelve years. The challenge was managing my energy and setting a new boundary. I figured out when to say no and when to say yes to requests to join on-line groups, classes, and personal conversations with friends and family who were now at home with free time. I began to Zoom every Saturday with my family - parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and my adult children and granddaughter. After five months, I set a new boundary and started to limit my participation to once a month. I noticed it was draining my energy to be on a weekly call. For someone else, a weekly call with family might fill them up. Know thyself.
In business, you are aware of profit and loss. Money in. Money out. You manage your resources. Managing your energy and time is the same thing. Don’t let anyone steal your time. Let go of what you think you should be doing and come into alignment by balancing the “in and outflow.” What and who fills you? What and who drains you? Where do you want to spend your time and energy? What are you passionate about? What do you stand for? What do you value? We must use our voices and also become aware of what we can hold and when we need to recharge.
Back to my 50,901 emails. The tens of thousands of emails in my inbox served me until they didn’t. The energy has shifted and it’s time to release them and consolidate my energy.
To Manage Your Time and Energy:
1.Balance energy in and energy out. Assess your energy expenditure. Where are the biggest energy drains? What fills you up?
2.Declutter. People. Obligations. Physical, emotional, and mental stuff. Eliminate “should.”
3.Review Your Calendar. Leave open space for daydreaming and room for completing projects that take longer.
4.Put yourself on the “to-do-be” list. What do you need? Are you an extrovert, an introvert, or a combination? Coming back into alignment with your needs is ongoing. Make room for you.
In the Jan/Feb issue of On Purpose Woman Magazine, I shared:
Tip #1: Be willing to go on the ride.”There was a spark and a desire to say yes to “something.” A business idea, a relationship, a class, or an event.
In the March/April issue, Tip #2: Notice what turns you on, there is something in the desire that lights you up and ignites your passion. You can feel it in your body and heart. That is the key.
In the May/June issue, Tip #3: Pause and Reflect: You have to be empty so new ideas can land. Give yourself space to daydream, to be dormant, and take root.
In the July/August issue, Tip #4, Make friends with change, discomfort, and ‘not knowing.’ Create some micro-disruptions to shake things up. Take action. Let go of the attachment to an image of your life.
In the September/October issue, Tip #5,Cultivate Personal Power: Get Support. Train your mind. Develop humility. Strengthen your nervous system. Stand up for what you believe
Tip #6: Manage Your Energy and Time.
1.Balance energy in and energy out
3.Review your calendar
4.Put yourself on the “to-do-be” list
Be willing to go on the ride. Notice what turns you on. Pause and Reflect. Make friends with change, discomfort, and ‘not knowing.’ Cultivate your personal power. Manage your energy and time.
Energy and Time
A Tip for Building an Innovative Business and Life (Tip #6 of 8 )
by Andrea Hylen
I have a confession.
I have 50,901 emails in my inbox.
Consider decluttering in a way that makes sense for you and creates space to breathe.
Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Writing Incubator, on-line writing community. www.andreahylen.com
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Once You Know Your Purpose,
Ginny Robertson interviewed by Kathryn Yarborough
Have you ever wanted something for yourself so badly you could almost taste it? It is a feeling of yearning that tugs at you to act on what you want. Tell me, did you follow that desire? Did you get what you wanted? I certainly hope so! But if you did not, know you are not alone. Many women have been conditioned from an early age to put ourselves and our wants last on the list, if we make the list at all.
Women are expected to take care of everyone else first. For example, I am currently breaking the habit of being a secretary for my husband. Somehow, women have been convinced that it is our role to be a personal assistant or secretary to the people in our life. We are overwhelmingly the ones who schedule doctor appointments, shop for whatever is needed, and organize any events or other things that need doing. Being secretary for another adult who is healthy and capable of doing such things on their own is one way you leave yourself off the list.
Our culture has been promoting and fostering this condition as a requirement of women for ages. And yet self-sacrifice is not coded into our DNA. How then do we begin to take care of ourselves? The first step is giving yourself permission. That means you say yes to your wants and to putting yourself first. If that seems radical or you feel some resistance to prioritizing yourself, here is a simple way to go about it. Begin with the one thing that brought you a yearning feeling. When that sensation surfaces within you for something you want, say yes. Make it an unequivocal, non-apologetic, yes. Put you at the very top of the list.
It is not selfish to do so. You are not depriving anyone else by taking care of yourself and what you want first. When you do care for yourself in this way a curious thing happens. You expand. You begin to relax, to open, and you grow in your capacity to receive. Instead of pouring all your energy out for others, you have first filled your well which makes your energy fresh, clear, and sparkling. It also creates a reserve that you can draw upon for yourself and anyone else you choose to help.
We are entering the holiday season and for many women that translates to the lists being much longer than normal. Additional stresses and expectations can easily lead to overwhelm. However, as you respond to your wants, dreams, and desires you start to see how much better you feel. Likewise, you notice where your energy is being drained. As a result, you begin to establish healthy boundaries that support you.
I want to challenge you to give yourself permission to say yes to what you want. Start today. Make a list of your wants, your dreams, and your desires. Commit to saying yes to them at least once this week. Pay attention and see what happens when you do. Then, try it again next week for two days and keep increasing the number of times you give yourself permission each week until it becomes ingrained in you.
It is important to understand that there is a reason for your yearnings. They are trying to open you to a fuller experience of life that you wholeheartedly enjoy. Let them enrich you. You are so deserving of having what you want. And to think it all started with a little yes.
by Shelly O’Connell
Shelly O’Connell, Life Coach,
engages women in the use of their own wisdom to accomplish their goals and dreams. Connect here: https://www.facebook.com/coachingbyshelly and https://shellyoconnell.com
Life is funny sometimes with its many twists and turns.
Life deals some days as sweet as the taste of honey on the tip of your tongue.
Then Life decides as if through no desire of your own, NO!
Today will be a shit day for you!
Moreover, it will toss and dump stinking loads of shit on you to see exactly what you are made of.
However, you keep on going and striving for the highest good.
You allow yourself to smile, and laugh right in the face of this shitty adversity.
How dare Life be so cruel and treat you this way.
Therefore, you bow your head to your heart space and you utter a soulful prayer to the Source of the Universe, who always has your back.
It replies in the Quietude of your soul sanctuary.
“Hey Girlfriend, this is earth school, where you keep on learning and loving, even on shitty days.”
“Shitty days give you the fortitude to enjoy life for what it is truly meant to be; to love, to serve, to be the best spiritual being you can be in all circumstances”.
Now you have your eyes wide open and the internal essence of your soul leads the way.
Now, it has been made very clear, these Shitty days were just the Creator’s way to give you the fertilizer that you need to be transformed, transmuted and to transcended to a higher plane of living in this wonderfully and marvelously created world.
is a poet, author , Creative Consultant, and song writer. As an inspirational speaker/workshop facilitator, she spreads her message of love and inclusivity.
By Yemaja Jubilee
A line from a song popped into my head – "To know, know, know you is to love, love, love you." How true that is for each of us. As we get to know ourselves, our true selves, we find that under all the baggage, conditioning, and whatever else we have been telling ourselves, we are love and light. What’s not to love about that?
And this understanding is so important in these times because as we know our true selves, we can see the truth in those around us. We can see past skin color. We can see past badges of prestige and privilege. We can see each as the love and light they are - even when they do not see it for themselves.
Why is this so important?
A few years ago, I was given a message to share at a conference of lightworkers. There were several hundred in the room, anticipating a powerful close to an amazing three days of inspiring talks by world-renowned speakers.
The closing came immediately after my message.
At the time I was still working as a lawyer. I had not taken the leap of faith into my life as Angel Connector. It felt scary to stand in front of hundreds and share a message I received from Spirit.
A part of me wondered what my colleagues back home would think if they heard me give this message. A part of me also wondered who I thought I was standing before all of these amazing, accomplished intuitives and spiritual healers.
The message I was given to share was this:
Be who you came to be in these bodies.
Do what you came to do in these bodies.
Those in Spirit cannot do what you can do in your bodies.
The time is now.
The first line, “Be who came to be in these bodies” requires us to know who we are. When we know ourselves as love and light, then we can act from that place – and do what we came to do.
No one else can do what we can do. We may all be love and light, but there is a uniqueness to each of us, so we have unique gifts to share from that place of lovingness.
And the final line “The time is now” indicates the urgency of doing what is ours to do.
This message was not just for the participants in that conference. It is for all of us. It provides a type of prescription for how to be in these times of change, uncertainty, and challenge. Here are the four prescribed steps.
Be Who You Came to Be
Do you know who you are at your essence? Do you allow yourself to really know who you are? How do you answer the question, “who am I?”
This is so important. Don’t skip over this. Take a moment right now to drop inside and ask yourself the question, “who am I?”
Can you let go of the descriptions placed by others, your roles, your achievements, your failures?
Can you drop inside and feel into the answer? Can you allow yourself to know, really know who you are so you can “be” that?
If this feels hard, don’t be discouraged. You are not alone. Few take the time to do this, to know this for themselves, to get to that place of knowing and loving themselves.
What if you just proclaimed to yourself, “I am love and light.” How does that land? Does it bounce off as not true? Or does it at least stir up some longing to know that for yourself?
Whatever your answer, just be with it and allow it to inform you in-depth. There are no wrong answers to this question. It is a process of self-discovery. As you allow yourself to open up to the possibility that you are love and light, notice how you feel. Do you sense a shift? It will move you in the direction of the next step.
Do What You Came to Do
You probably would not be reading this magazine if you did not have a sense of what it means to be living “on purpose.” It is the On Purpose Woman Magazine, after all.
So, even if you don’t have a conclusive answer to the question “who am I,” you probably have a sense of your purpose in life, what you came into this life to do. Many of you are already doing what you came to do – or at least exploring how to do it.
Bringing as much of your understanding of self from the first step into this next step will enhance your endeavors into a life on purpose. Acting from a sense of knowing who you really are, will guide you to the best next steps on your path.
I am laughing as I write these words because they are calling to mind an image I received while on retreat in Bolivia. I wanted clarity on my next steps in life. I was still working as a lawyer but moving in the direction of being a Reiki practitioner and writing my book on angels. I struggled with seeing how I could make that big shift in my life.
Deep in meditation, I saw the image of a sun. I said silently to myself and my spiritual guides, “okay, that’s cool, but how does it apply to my next steps”. The image did not change. The sun remained. I felt frustrated. I wanted something tangible, something I could “do”. As I stopped resisting the message, the meaning became clear.
“Shine your light – just like the sun shines.” That was my next step.
When you ask yourself “what is mine to do?” you might get something more tangible, more task-oriented. Whatever you get, honor it and move to the next step.
Appreciate Your Uniqueness
No one else can do what you can do. Can you take a moment to breathe that in?
This is what makes the answer to the questions in the first two steps so important. “Who am I?” “What is mine to do?”
You are love and light.
Shine your light.
In your unique way.
It blows my mind how simple this is and yet how profound.
Do you know when I get in the worst trouble? When I try to do something the way someone else has done it. Or I compare myself with someone I think is more successful, more disciplined, more experienced,
No one can do what you came into this life to do. No one can be your unique self. Appreciate that uniqueness and live from it. That will help you move into the fourth step.
Be Present and Act in Each Present Moment
The time is now.
When you get in touch with your essence and your purpose, and you appreciate the uniqueness of both, it is time to get off the couch or cushion and live from that place in the eternal now. Again, easier said than done. Simple, as most Truths are, yet not so easy to do.
Again, this part of the message brings a sense of urgency. It also brings a sense of possibility. In the eternal now, in the present moment, all things are possible. I believe that at my core, and yet I allow myself to be taken out of the present moment by worrying about the future or regretting something in my past.
If we bring our beingness, our unique love, and light to the present moment and do what only we can do in that present moment, miracles can occur. It is in that present moment that everything else in our life unfolds. Why limit what that can be through worry or regret?
I want to share what has shown up in my life since I have chosen to know myself as love and light and to shine my light:
I have friends around the world I can call and feel an instant heart connection flowing both ways no matter if it's been a few months or a few years since we last connected – I did not have that before.
I have family, from a father aged 102 to a fifth grandchild at age 2 months, who live from a place of love and light – I feel so blessed.
I have work that asks me to connect to the unconditional love and light of angels – who wouldn’t want that as a calling?
And so much more, unfolding each day as I practice the steps above.
I recognize that in these uncertain, challenging times of immense changes, it might not feel possible to share your unique gifts. You may have a healing practice or business that is best done in person and the restrictions on personal contact may have hampered or eliminated your prospects. You may be facing other challenges that have only been heightened by what is going on in the world.
Whatever you may be facing in the “real” world, I invite you to explore these four steps. Inquire into your life and see if you can discover the meaning that is unique to you and live from that place. Know yourself as love and light. Shine that light, in each moment, and see what miracles arise.
To Know Yourself Is to Love Yourself
Live from that Place of Lovingness
By Lilia Shoshanna Rae
Lilia Shoshanna Rae
is the author of The Art of Listening to Angels. She teaches how to connect to your personal angel team to live a life on purpose. Lilia believes when we live on purpose, we bring Heaven on Earth, her personal mission, and “possible” dream. Check out her Facebook group
Angel Connection Circle.
If You Don’t Know Where You're Going, You Won’t Get There
By Kim Wells Eley
Waiting for creative magic to happen when you write?
Have you ever heard someone say they are waiting for the creative muse to visit?
While researching writing accountability groups, I found a marvelous book called “WAG Your Work” by Kimberly A. Skarupski, Ph.D., MPH. In her book, Dr. Skarupski includes this delightful description of this expectation many writers have:
“The muse myth is the idea that there’s some tiny, sparkly writing fairy princess who lives up in the heavens. When she hears us emphatically state, ‘Now, I shall write!’ she flies her bedazzled pixie wings over and showers us with writing fairy dust, trilling, ‘Yes, yes, write, sweetheart! Write like the wind!’ Then all of a sudden, there’s a mystical, swirling vortex of brain cotton candy and we’re like, ‘Whoa! It’s happening! I have the power!’ The words start spilling out of us like silk and liquid gold, and our brains and fingers are en fuego! We are brilliant, and no more eloquent words have ever been banged upon a keyboard!”
If you’re currently thinking, “I have GOT to get my hot little hands on this muse!” I have some sour news. She doesn’t exist. Dr. Skarupski explains:
“There’s nothing magical about writing, but we tend to think there’s something special about it.”
While magic is not involved in writing, what we do have two powerful tools that can enable us to focus our writing, identify who we want to reach, and create a roadmap for how to get there.
These tools are your outline and your strategic plan.
When you read about creating an outline, are you stricken with heart palpitations and middle school flashbacks? That’s normal because many of us learned how to create an outline when we were around 12 or 13. And some of us have terrible memories of learning to outline.
If you are one of these people, I’d like to reintroduce you to the outline. It could just become your new writing BFF.
Outlines are fantastic because they are the Marie Kondo for your ideas. If you aren’t familiar, Maria Kondo is a Japanese consultant who wrote a book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” about organizing one’s home. In her book, she suggests getting rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” By following her suggestions, even useful household items can be chucked aside or given away if you do not look forward to seeing them every day.
I love this principle, and I believe we can adopt it for our writing. While we as writers want to engage our readers, we cannot do this unless we are engaged in our own writing. In other words, if your writing doesn’t bring joy for you, it will not bring joy to your readers.
Think of your outline, which is essentially a tool for organizing ideas, as a large storage container. And imagine you have another storage container right next to your Outline box for the ideas you get rid of. We’ll call this box the Parking Lot, because we are parking ideas here.
As you sort through the mental clutter in your brain related to your book, imagine you have these two containers in front of you, Outline and Parking Lot. You can even grab a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle, and put “Outline” and “Parking Lot” as the titles for each column.
As you think about your book topic, which ideas resonate with you? Think about each topic, and then see how your gut reacts to each topic. For an idea to resonate or “spark joy,” it should make you feel excited. Your brain should start whirring away, thinking, “Hey, if I write about this topic, then I can write about this, and that, and…” This idea is Outline-worthy, so write it in that column on your piece of paper.
On the flip side, if you think of any ideas and it makes you feel, “Meh,” that idea is not sparking joy, sister. Write down that puppy in your Parking Lot container. Keep them for a while, but if they never spark joy, you know what to do.
Once you’ve completed your list, stop and look at what you’ve written. The outline ideas you’ve captured are a wonderful list of great thoughts. Now you can start arranging these ideas into a logical order. I like writing each idea onto an index card, enabling you to move around the ideas in front of you and playing with different orders. You can have major topics, subtopics, and supporting details on these cards.
Once you arrange your cards in a logical order, boom! You have your outline.
You might think you are ready to write once you have your outline. Not so fast! I encourage you to take an extra step. Yes, your outline allows you to write from topic to topic in an organized way. But your outline doesn’t answer crucial questions about why you are writing. For that, you need to create a strategic plan.
Think of your book writing project as a road trip. Let’s pretend we are driving to Key West! Your outline is like your GPS to get you where you are going, down Route 1 to the Florida Keys. But while your GPS can tell you where you are going, it doesn’t tell you why you are going, or what you plan to do in Key West when you get there. Are you planning a fun girls’ trip to Key West, or going on a family vacation with your kiddos? I think we can agree that planning a girls’ trip (margaritas and late nights) is usually much different than creating a fun family experience (water sports and kid-friendly activities).
To supplement your outline, once you select their book topic, begin creating a strategic plan. Your strategic plan includes identifying your book’s:
Your intention is what you want to do with your book. Do you want your readers to take action after they read it? Do you want to elicit a specific feeling or thought? That’s your intention.
Your message is what you want to say. If you write about women leaders, that’s a great topic. But you want to make your message specific. Are you writing about why women are great leaders or capture stories about women leaders in history? Same topic, different message.
Finally, you want to know who you believe will read your book. If you write a book about vineyards, are you writing for people unfamiliar with drinking wine, or are you writing a book for wine aficionados? Considering who your ideal reader will be helps you make a book that will really appeal to them.
When you become focused on your intention, message, and ideal reader, you capture your why for your book. It distills your purpose for writing and enables you to keep that in mind during your writing process. Immediately you become focused and goal-oriented. You know who will be reading your book, what feeling or thinking state you want them to have, and what your real message is.
Along with their book outline, the strategic plan is what I use to guide my amazing clients to their book destination. Know where you are going before you write, and you’ll be amazed at the places you’ll go!
Kim Wells Eley
is a speaker, author, & publisher. A cat lover and a collector of orchids, she gets all of her news from comedy channels. KWE Publishing (804) 536-1972 email@example.com
Check out Kim's other articles on writing in the last 5 issues of On Purpose Woman Magazine.
What Is Female Rivalry?
(This is the 1st in a 3-Part Series on “Freeing Females From Frenemies.")
By Amber Tichenor, PhD.
Freeing Females From
"People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
Pitting women against each other is a centuries-old tale and is still a constant in today’s world. Reality shows, social media, and pop culture frequently, jokingly, highlight women bickering, being dramatic, or having a “catfight” in a “fun and entertaining” kind of way. But really, is it fun or entertaining?
The term “catfight” discredits the seriousness of the situation and trivializes an important topic. It’s a silent epidemic. Silent in the aspect that women who are recipients of this type of behavior often do not speak about their experience until it is behind them, or near to being over. Silent in the fact that there is often awareness by others about the behavior as it is occurring, but traditionally it’s not overtly dealt with until after the fact, if ever.
This behavior isn’t pretty. It can be raw, ugly, confusing, and to say the least, very painful. To the women who’ve experienced this type of behavior at work, socially, or from a family member, it is all but fun. It’s a no-laughing-matter behavior that comes with serious psychological, social, emotional, and physical consequences.
Let me share a few definitions with you to help put things into perspective. A “friend” is defined as, “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of secular or family relations.
A “frenemy” is the opposite of a friend. “This term combines the characteristics of “friend” and “enemy” and is someone you do not trust because she has given you very good reason to not trust her. “Frenemy” has been used to describe personal and working relationships.
Surprisingly, the father of psychology, Sigmund Freud also loosely used the term, “frenemy." He said of himself that "an intimate friend and a hated enemy have always been indispensable to my emotional life…not infrequently…friend and enemy have coincided in the same person."
(Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud 1964).
Rivalry is a term I am sure you are familiar with. My personal definition of “female rivalry” is, “one woman minimizing another woman so they both feel small – smaller than they really are. Female rivalry hurts individuals, teams, and organizations.”
When the Claws Come Out
In groups of women, you frequently see the moment when the claws come out. The stance becomes a bit straighter, there’s a bit of perceived, light-hearted laughter, and then BAM! The passive-aggressive remark is made to let the other female know. It’s the one-up to not-so-lightly say “I’m doing more than you. I’m better than you... because I’m on this path, and you’re not.” It’s a dig for awareness, for power, and to make herself feel better. Then more laughter too, of course, making it all appear carefree and cheerful to showcase to everyone else that we are friends having a nice, pleasant conversation and everything is just fabulous.
But really, it’s not. And really, we are not friends.
This type of rivalry occurs daily, in so many situations about so many topics. To dive into each one is exhausting because there are too many to count. So instead it’s covered up. We act as if we didn’t hear her. But I did, you did, we all did because she is always there in some form or another. It’s rarely confronted, however, and so the behavior continues.
What Rivalry Looks Like
Female rivalry is unbiased. No age, demographic, or culture is off-limits. Unfortunately too, it occurs everywhere in everything we do.
Rivalry is a component of aggressive behavior. I often use the word “rivalry” as the broader banner for various types of mean girl behaviors that can occur, or that a woman experiences as a result of other extensive circumstances she is dealing with.
Rivalry and competition between women are commonly portrayed as indirect and passive-aggressive behaviors versus a more direct method. There are many external factors that cause women to resort to indirect aggressive habits. Females use indirect aggressive behaviors as a form of control and a way to feel more powerful, especially in situations where they are lacking power. The key internal drivers of female rivalry are fear, jealousy, insecurity, and low self-esteem. The reason this phenomenon impacts women on so many levels is that it’s frequently about who versus what. Competition between women is about identity.
Because rivalry between women exists everywhere in our everyday lives, the ways in which the behavior manifests itself also varies. As a result of the diverseness of this behavior, there are a wide-range of frenemy definitions, behavioral personas, roles, and stereotypes associated with it. These terms can either impact or be a cause of the negative behavior. Some of the terms include - abuser, back-stabber, brown-noser, bully, clique, exclusion, frenemy, gaslighting, the glass ceiling, a guy’s girl, mean girls, mommy wars, and Queen Bee Syndrome.
Female rivalry is also driven by the inability to manage healthy competition.
To the one instigating this type of behavior, once it starts it’s hard to stop. Surrendering to this type of behavior, overtly competing with other women over children, men, work, looks, or sports, is dooming oneself to a lifetime of perpetual insecurity. And where does it end? Behaviors of this manner are used as “false exterior,” or a way to try to feel in control and boost self-esteem.
Interested in learning more? Part II of this series talks about signs to recognize and what happens to you when dealing with a frenemy.
is the founder of To Be, Coaching + Consulting® and author of, “Behind Frenemy Lines: Rising Above Female Rivalry To Be Unstoppable Together” released by Morgan James Publishing, 2021. She has a PhD in I/O Psychology and is a thought leader in the topic of female rivalry.
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We're living in highly emotional times. Just reading the headlines is enough to trigger a tsunami of rage, fear, or despair. Not to mention the personal challenges so many of us are facing on a global scale. No one seems to be unscathed.
How do you handle it all?
Do you numb yourself, lash out or stuff it down?
Culture clearly demonstrates numbing our emotions when times get tough whether through alcohol, drugs, or shopping. We’ve all had moments of letting our anger out unintentionally on our partner or kids, later to regret it. Life can feel so overwhelming in our busyness and exhaustion that it’s just easier to stuff it again and again. Even some spiritual circles can send the message that it’s not “spiritual” to show anger.
Emotion means energy in motion. Emotions are meant to move through us and not get stuck within us. We’re meant to not only feel but to feel all 88 keys of our emotional range. To feel and express, both the dark and the light, is to be fully alive. Yet, many of us are walking around only expressing in the key of “C”. We’re barely hanging on.
When we shut ourselves off from our emotions, especially our dark ones, there are often painful consequences that affect our health, our relationships, and our world. Eventually, it’s going to come out in unexpected, less than desirable ways. Moreover, every time we suppress an emotion, we’re abandoning ourselves. It’s like turning our backs on our dearest friend in her time of need.
What if instead, you could engage with your wide range of emotions, all 88 keys of them, embodying them until they become expressions of your divine nature and your most honorable teachers?
And I’m not just talking about the story of your emotion, but the feeling of them in your body. It’s one thing to talk about an emotion. It’s a whole other instrument to play when you embody them, for emotions begin in the body. Doesn’t it make sense then that the body is the portal for expressing them?
You may feel resistance out of fear that once you open that bottle of emotion, you won’t be able to stop or you’ll get so overwhelmed, they’ll swallow you up.
That is why this process of building a safe container is so important. I first learned this tool of embodying emotions with Mama Gena, owner of The School of Womanly Arts. She calls it “swamping.” I have altered it slightly to make it fit me. Try this process for yourself and then make your own modifications.
As Mama Gena says,“Choosing to feel, instead of going numb, is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. What we feel, we can heal. Feeling is a way of finding yourself, not losing yourself.”
I use the acronym HEALS, as in feeling heals, to provide the framework of what’s important to hold in the container of emotional embodiment expression. You can do this alone, but even better with friends or relatives. A dark space is ideal. Comfy, grungy clothes help.
H – HONOR each and every emotion, telling yourself, “I feel what I feel. I give myself the time and space to express my emotions. My emotions are sacred.”
E - EMBODY your emotions. The process includes music, breath, movement, and sound.
First, create a playlist that holds four types of vibe – rage/anger, grief/sadness, soothing heart, and sensual. See my example provided at the end of this article.
Now name what you’re feeling or swamping in writing or out loud. For example, “I swamp rage at the injustices inflicted upon others.” Put out as many as you want.
Take several deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling out the mouth, remembering to breathe deeply throughout. The breath keeps you out of your head and in your body.
Next, play your music which is also your timer, and move your body while making any sounds that want to come out. Anything goes. Let your body move you. Allow the music to guide you. Throw punches, flail arms, kick legs, stomp feet, throw a temper tantrum like a toddler. Push against the wall or furniture. Crawl, roll, shake, bounce, sway, cradle yourself, slither, bear walk. Let sounds come from low in the belly or high in the throat. Explore all ranges. Scream, holler, roar, whine, moan, curse, chant, cry, wail. I like to hit a foam bat against a cushion. A dishtowel works too. Continue breathing, moving, and sounding throughout.
A – ACCEPT all your emotions as real, valid, and right. There are no wrong or bad emotions.
L – LEAN IN to your emotions with a sense of curiosity, welcoming anything that comes up, from numbness to primal rage. Allow and trust the process and your own body.
S – SENSE the aliveness of your body. You’re moving here to the sensual piece of music, the last on your playlist. This will ground you. Feel the delightful touch of your skin, the sway of your hips. This is the fuel for moving forward, for merging your humanity with your divinity. Celebrate beautiful YOU!
Once your process is complete, take some time if you can to be with yourself. Perhaps journal, nap, or enjoy a cup of tea. Return to this container as often you need, whether you feel charged or not.
Giving whole-body expression to your emotions is sacred and necessary if our world is to return back to its balanced place in the Universe.
Let’s emote our way to a better world!
How to Build a Container for Emotional Expression
By Karen Tasto
Feeling HEALS – The Container
... emotions begin in the body. Doesn’t it make sense then that the body is the portal for expressing them?
Your Emotional Embodiment Expression Playlist Sample:
has been holding sacred space for women to feel and express the truths of their bodies and hearts for over 15 years. As owner of Open Heart Healing, she’s been guiding women to stretch, grow, and expand into the fullest expressions of themselves. She’s a certified life coach, women’s circle facilitator, reiki master, and soon to be JourneyDance facilitator. Join her free Weekly Emoting Circles every Tuesday at 5 pm ET. E-mail for Zoom link or with questions: email@example.com
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The Challenges and Gifts of 2020
By Elizabeth McCain
When I reflect on the hopeful New Year’s ritual I did in January, it seems like years ago. The world and our lives have been radically changed by this global pandemic, political disasters, violent racism, civil unrest, high unemployment rates, and a decimated economy.
All of this creates a surreal energy field of fear, grief, and stress. For me, it has been a strange combination of working hard while being overwhelmed with too much technology and also feeling like being on an unstructured spiritual retreat. Time has gone by both slowly and very fast.
I realize that this year has given me an invitation to be more aware of my consciousness and my attitude. I’ve recently been able to slow down enough to rest, reflect, and remember the challenges and gifts of this unusually complicated time.
As I mentioned in a previous article, my challenges of 2020 have included the publication and launch of my memoir, A Lesbian Belle Tells OUTrageous Southern Stories of Family, Loss, and Love; the cancellations of my one-woman show and book tour in the South; the loss of singing and a sense of community with my LGBTQ chorus in Baltimore; and the cancellations of planned vacations and spiritual retreats. As I write this, I’m realizing that our holiday gatherings will probably not happen. I’ve felt overwhelmed with sorrow and hopelessness about our political situation. I sometimes fall back into old stories of doubt and despair.
On the other hand, I’ve realized that what matters most in my life is love in so many different kinds of relationships – with my spouse, Marie, close friends, as well as with clients I have served as a spiritual counselor and Interfaith minister. I’m keenly aware of how much I love and miss live audiences as a solo performer and storyteller.
Many years ago I studied and attended experiential workshops on shamanic breathwork in a spiritual community in North Carolina with other spiritual seekers. My mother had died the year before and I was having a hard time with complicated grief and feeling uncertain about the next chapter of my life. In these workshops, we were given intense psychological and spiritual questions to journal about based on the 12 steps of recovery and discovery. When I find myself in painful situations, the question I come back to is “What is the difference between your ego and your soul, and how do they each have different agendas for your life?”
It is helpful to remember that when we are overly stressed, our ego can get stuck in the limitations of the mind by being attached to control, survival, scarcity, and outcomes. When the ego takes over in our psyche, we live in the smaller story of our lives. The soul is the spiritual component of the Higher Self and helps our hearts expand. We can access our deepest wisdom which allows us to open into infinite possibility. The soul always sees the larger story of our lives.
This year has given me extraordinary opportunities to intimately know my ego and my soul. I go back and forth between the two daily. Through spiritual practices of meditation, rituals, and journaling, I can shift my focus from being ego-driven to being more soul directed. It takes effort and discipline. My soul allows me to be in a higher state of consciousness in a flow of love, compassion, and gratitude. It has guided me to find the gifts during this unprecedented time.
All kinds of incredible people and opportunities have provided me comfort, support, and synchronicity. I’ve enjoyed more quality time at home with my spouse, Marie, and our spoiled dogs, Lucy and Teddy, than I have in years. Once I accepted that I wouldn’t be traveling, I settled into a slower, simpler way of life. Marie and I have reflected on our almost twenty-year relationship, shared stories, laughed, and entertained ourselves with all kinds of movies on Netflix. We’ve worked through minor household conflicts with respect and humor.
Professional opportunities have appeared in my life with ease. Through one of my cousins, I connected with a Broadway actor and director who has a new theater company in Memphis. We instantly bonded as middle-aged gay Mississippians who left our hometowns many years ago. His theater company produced a virtual version of my one-woman show in September, which reached many more people that a live audience would have brought. A friend offered all kinds of technical support. Then in October, I performed my show in a closed-circuit television studio at a retirement village for seniors, where over five hundred people watched it in their homes. Who knew there were so many LGBTQ senior allies in Gaithersburg, Maryland? Other unexpected gifts include my book being nominated for Best LGBTQ Memoir of 2020 from the Lambda Literary and the Golden Crown Literary Society.
I believe these gifts resulted from a combination of my surrendering to uncertainty, listening to my intuition and my soul’s guidance, setting my intentions, reaching out to people, and a bit of luck.
To make the most of the end of this tumultuous year, I believe we can benefit from slowing down to be able to tell the difference between the ego’s demands and the soul’s wisdom. We can savor the unexpected gifts that have surfaced in the midst of our difficulties. Here are some suggestions.
Finding the Gifts in 2020
Allow yourself to have acceptance and curiosity about all that has disappeared in your life. Feel your feelings.
Ask your soul/Higher Power/God/
Goddess for guidance about opportunities for your growth and transformation that are emerging now. Journal about them as a spiritual practice.
Reframe a pandemic story by shifting your focus from what you’ve lost to what you’ve gained.
Share a story about your challenges and gifts. You can receive support with this by attending my workshop online, “Telling a Compelling Story”, on November 14th, from 1pm – 3pm. (Register on Eventbrite.)
Slow down to reflect and savor who and what is most important in your life, and what you’ve accomplished. Make this a spiritual practice, especially throughout the holidays. Eliminate unnecessary distractions and stress from an overload of technology and work.
Whatever your situation is, know that your heart and soul can hold all of your emotions and stories which 2020 has brought. Affirm the good in your life. Cherish your loved ones. Connect with your friends more often. Be more present in the moment than in the past or future.
My wish for all of us is that after this pandemic lifts, we will be able to remember this extended time of hardships and unexpected opportunities with humility and grace. In the meantime, may we all be fully present with where we are now.
As an adapted version of the serenity prayer of the 12 steps goes, “Spirit, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
...our holiday gatherings will probably not happen.
is a counselor, Interfaith minister, playwright, solo performer, and is the author of a memoir, A Lesbian Belle Tells OUTrageous Southern Stories of Family, Loss, and Love. www.elizabethmccain.com
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is a fine artist and a lifelong Maryland resident. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) and a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology which propelled her to become a Learning Designer at the University of Maryland Global Campus.
Her art stems from fond memories outdoors with family and being inspired by their unique creative passions. Janice enjoys the freedom to use various materials, mediums, and surroundings to influence her creative process. She is drawn to the art elements of color, pattern, line, and texture, the latter of the two elements being the most meaningful to her.
Janice embraces multiple passions and serendipitous moments when they complement one another perfectly. You will find her alongside educators helping to enhance the student experience of their courses, showing her work, or getting her hands dirty making fine art that her clients will cherish. Another passion is caring for her Biak tree monitors Leeloo and Korben.
The study of the wearable art medium and its meticulous nature has intrigued Janice from an early age. She finds comfort in the active synergy between a person embellishing themselves while also displaying a piece of art, as opposed to a stagnant placement in a house or other dwelling. Her business name,Abstract Couture, portrays this idea.
Decades of investigation with techniques and materials have led Janice to discover her 3-step wearable mixed media paper art process, which she named the Aqueous Collection. This is the majority of her body of work, but she continues to experiment with other creative reuse pieces using natural objects, x-ray film, and other components.
Accentuate Your Individuality Effortlessly is her business slogan and says it all. She creates unique commissioned pieces as well as opportunities for people to unite with an already finished piece.
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Welcome to the “New Normal.”
COVID-19 has forever changed the experience of being a worker, a business owner, a friend, a relative, a human. With no resolution of the crisis in the near future we can expect to see a behaviour change at a large scale for some time to come. Everyone, is afraid and we are all in this together
The pivot is truly having a moment. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing have left gaps in the market, and businesses are discovering ways to fill those gaps. While temporary for some, others have shifted their models completely for the long term. Some are still struggling.
When we make it to the other side, your life and maybe your business or work, may look different than when it started. But trust that you will make it to the other side. From previous recessions, we know that crises can spur greatness.
If you haven’t felt the urge to pivot due to the pandemic, there’s no time like the present to shift. With unemployment at a high and businesses, particularly small businesses, struggling to survive, the pivot is becoming the move of choice for those who want to stay relevant.
First, it’s ok to be sad. It is important to grieve the new normal. You need to workthrough the five stages of grief before you make any meaningful changes.
The five stages of grief are:
Once you get to acceptance, you can begin to effectively pivot.
So, what is a pivot?
A pivot is a change in strategy to get where you’re going, not necessarily a change in vision or desired outcome.
Four ways to know you need to pivot in your business are:
1. Your sales are down, way down and you are not meeting your monthly objectives.
2. You feel like you are playing catch up and you cannot seem to get a groove going to gain momentum.
3. Your dialog with customers is limited and new leads are scarce.
4. Your perspective has changed.
How do you begin to Pivot productively in your business?
1. Assess the damage…Where are you at, really?
It’s time to get serious about your reality and embrace the fact that change has been forced upon you. Shift your focus to a productive one of imagining what you can rebuild better, and be encouraged. View this as a time that’s optimum for making your business more relevant and serving your target market in a better way.
2. Stop the financial bleeding where you can
Now is the time to get rid of expensive extras costing your business dollars you do not have. I am not talking about critical business expenses or important marketing costs. I am talking about the fluff, if there is any. When you streamline your costs, you will breathe easier and have more flexibility to change things productively.
3. Focus on your customers
Talk to them, ask what they need? Now, more than ever, you need your ear to the ground. It’s time to pay attention to your audience/
customer and see what problems THEY are having and how you can solve them. Think about increasing email communication with tips and relevant info to help them with their challenges and consider doing a survey of what might be most beneficial to them.
4. Innovate and Market
Come up with a new offering or way to do business that works to meet the needs of your ideal customer in the challenging landscape. Then, set about creating a plan to market effectively with minimum expenditure and maximum impact. It is possible. You just have to get creative and do some research.
Tips for becoming and staying optimistic during Covid
Make up mantras. You are not alone. You will get through this. You are strong.
Focus on successes. What other times in your life have you faced adversity and come out stronger on the other side?
Challenge your negative thoughts. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Start a gratitude journal and begin or end your day thinking about what you have to be grateful for.
Stay in the present moment. You cannot control the future and the past has happened.
Let it go. Focus on what is now and what is going to be. It’s a new normal. It will not be the same as it was.
Connect with positive people. Keep your spirit light. Watch positive movies, read good stories, watch the sunrise, catch up with an old friend.
Pay it forward. The greatest way to remember you have value is by giving back.
It’s important to remember this will not last forever. By shifting your mindset and viewing this as a time of opportunity for yourself and your business, you may start to move forward more productively and navigate this challenging time better than you thought you could.
By taking control of your mindset and what you can affect meaningfully, you are already steps ahead and on the road to pivoting productively.
Here's some more resources:
The Art of the Purposeful Pivot| Chanele McFarlaneLink
The Mental Health Survival Guide to the Pandemic by Chris Palmer, M.D. Advancing Psychiatry, Psychology Today
Google Small Business Resources During Covid
How to PIVOT Productively during COVID 19
By Monyka Berrocosa
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is the founder of Inceptio, a change design and business coaching firm based in Maryland. She works with entrepreneurs of all kinds, to help them grow.
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Sylvia Henderson.MindTeam Solutions, Inc.Olney, MD.Organizational & leadership development consulting, soft-skills training, teamwork. Book - "InternalMasterminds.com.” www.MindTeamSolutions.com
Cassandra Herbert. Zest and Harmony. Burtonsville, MD. Registered Nurse, Holistic nurse psychotherapist, Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Nutritional Endocrinology Coach and Educator, Speaker and Author. www.zestandharmonycounseling.com
Patrice Hooper. Cook with Patrice.Belcamp, MD.Meal solutions to make healthy food in under20 minutes. www.Cookwithpatrice.com
Jackie Hunter. Author: Lost in the Red Hills of Mars. Las Vegas, NV. Entertaining, enthralling, Mars survival adventure story! www.LostInTheRedHillsOfMars.com
The Rippy Effect Corporation, LLC. Richmond, VA. Non-Profit committed to promoting STEM education. www.TheRippyEffect.com
Marsha Reeves Jews. Marsha Jews & Company, LLC. Baltimore, MD. Publishes weekly electronic newsletter, live streaming events, conference planning & production. www.marshajewsandcompany.com
Adele Johnson. Executive Director, Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia. Richmond, VA. Celebrating the rich culture and moving histories of African American people in Virginia .www.blackhistorymuseum.org
Gracye Johnson. A Touch of Gracye. Baltimore, MD. Handcrafted wearable art jewelry, bags, and home decor. www.touchofgracye.com
Karen KJ Johnson. KJ Strategy Design Studio. Dallas, TX. A personal brand diversity consultancy providing customized individual coaching services. www.kjsdstudio.com
Kendra Randall Jolivet, Esq. Her Communications, LLC.Baltimore, MD. Business consulting, inspirational speaking and production. www.hercommunications.com
Danielle A. Jones. Pure Romance by Danielle "Love" Jones. Baltimore, MD. Sharing Sexual Health and Wellness in a fun, safe environment. www.danilovejones.com
Tonya Jones. Encourage A Life Christian Counseling and Life Coaching Center. Blackwood NJ. Individual, couples, family counseling and life, spiritual, and entrepreneurial coaching. www.gwoeministries.com
Vicki L Jones Founder-Executive Director. Bahari Sisters Inc. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD. Empowers Kenyan women through sustainable economic, educational and health care initiatives. www.baharisisters.org
Yemaja Jubilee. Poet, Author, Creative Consultant, Songwriter, Inspirational Speaker/Workshop Facilitator. Richmond VA. www.facebook.com/yemaja.jubilee
Constance L. Mann-Leonard. GIRGI Unlimited (Gods' Ideas R Good Ideas). Baltimore, MD. Transcription Service. Unique Handmade Crochet Items. Handmade Personalized Cards .www.GIRGIUnlimited.com
Vaile Leonard.The Light of Truth Center, Inc. An Innovative Behavioral Health System for women recovering from substance use. www.lightoftruthcenter.org
Dr. Lydie Louis, Ph.D. Esq.Chairman of In Pursuit Media & Co. & Founder of Legal Up! Power Up! Entrepreneur Legal Academy. New York, NY & Hollywood Beach, FL. She is empowered to create one million self-made millionaires around the globe. www.DrLydie.com
Tracie LMelton. Douglas Realty. Baltimore, MD. Residential Real Estate in all Maryland Counties. www.tlmelton.douglasrealty.info
Tammie Mobley.Flawless Imperfections. Chester, VA.Empowering Women and Developing Leadership in Teen Girls. www.flawless-imperfections.com
Stacey Murphy.The Vixen Academy. Orlando, FL.Coach/teach the feminine arts for self-mastery & attracting romantic love. www.thevixenacademy.com
Doria MusagaBSN. Independent Distributor for the BEMER. Columbia, MD. BEMER improves microcirculation, increases energy and healing, helps pain relief. www.AlliesInHealth.org
Faithe Norrell. Faithe's Art. Richmond VA. Fine and hand painted wearable artist. One-of-a-kind designs. I exhibit at Crossroads Art Center in Richmond. www.artbyfaithe.com
Michelle Nusum-Smith.The Word Woman LLC.Frederick, MD.Consulting, coaching, and training to nonprofits, governmental agencies and individuals. www.thewordwomanllc.com
Rev. Tonya Parker, MEd, EdS.Mind Body & Soul Food.Odenton, MD.Offering sacred healing, inspired writing, and gifted teaching. www.mbsfood.com
Ericka S. Payne. Figure 8 Fizique. Baltimore, MD. Women's Physique Transformation Program targeting Nutrition,Exercise & Lifestyle Stay Fit for Life! www.Figure8Fizique4Life.com
Monique Pearson. Professionista. Philadelphia, PA. Charity organization that gives professional attire to women in need. www.imaprofessionista.com
Carolyn Pinkney. Dream Vacations Travel Franchise In The DMV. Upper Marlboro, MD. Group, Luxury, Accessible Dream Vacations Travel, Cruises, Land Tours & Villa Rentals Worldwide.www.cpinkney.dreamvacations.com
Karen Proudford, PhD. William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund Inc. Baltimore, MD. Supports sickle cell awareness, education, leading-edge treatment and research www.wepsicklecell.org
Tracie Pullen. Ibuumerang/Vibe Rides.Baltimore, MD. Technology company. Savings on travel, ride share & marketplace. www.tray.ibuumerang.com
Joyce Rhine. Nappy Beauty. Columbia, MD. Specializing in helping people to love themselves completely so they can love others deeply. www.nappybeautylove.com
Valerie Rich.Painted Imagery.Baltimore, MD.Artist. Author. Visionary Journal classes online. Sip ‘n Paint parties. www.instagram.com/painted_imagery_/
Bonita Shelby. DiVine Health Choices. Adelphia, MD. Help you embrace Next Level Self Care for #AgeWellth. www.DiVineHealthChoices.com
Tameaka Shelton, LLC. DBA Employ and Relate. Glen Burnie, MD. Services related to managing employees, workplace compliance, and employment law. www.employandrelate.com
Jill Steele-McGhee. JP Homes, Inc. Randallstown, MD. Affordable high-quality housing that provides opportunities for economic growth. www.jphomesmd.org
Danita Terry. Partner, Success in the Evening with Coach Ricky Terry. DC-MD-VA.One-on-One coaching, workshops, motivational speaking and podcast broadcasts. www.1DueNorth.com
Dannette Tillery. Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. Westminster, MD. Skin Care, Makeup,Fragrance and more. https://tinyurl.com/y2xv8djv
Valerie Travis. ACN. Norristown PA. Providing telecommunication, energy, merchant services via a network of independent sellers. www.valleyt.acnibo.com
Dena Ward-Wane. Supreme Vacations. Baltimore, MD. Full-Service Travel Agency www.supreme-vacations.net
Francena Bean-Waters. President GBS-NCNW. Baltimore, MD. Empowers and advocates for women of African descent. www.gbs-ncnw.org.
Karin M. Yearwood. The Sacred Mindset Recovery Lab.Baltimore, MD.Helping divine leaders master their human reality & take quantum leaps.www.karinmyearwood.com
Aronda Young. Life Lovers Balance LLC . Chesterfield, VA. We offer a Holistic approach to healthy lifestyle.www.lifeloversbalance.com
Support Black Women-Owned Businesses
In the past, boomers and generation Xers often held on to jobs for 10 or more years. Some professionals stayed with the same company for most of their working lives. The Great Recession changed this for many. Now, people have become more comfortable moving from job to job. Millennials are especially adept at this. They change jobs three times more often than other generations.
Changing jobs introduces a new dilemma for people, regardless of why or how often they do so: what to do with the 401(k) account they had with their former employer. Should they consider taking the cash distribution, or could there be a better choice?
Consider All Options
Here are some reasonable options to consider whether it’s to cash out, or retain the tax-deferred benefits attached to your assets:
1. Take the Cash:
When people make financial decisions they may choose to do so based on interest rates and cash in hand. But another important factor to consider is taxes. When you take cash distributions from your 401(k) account, you may pay a lot of money in taxes and fees. This includes a 20% federal withholding tax and then another 10% penalty for people who are under the age of 59 and a half years old.
2. Directly Roll the Money Into an IRA: An individual retirement account is much like a 401(k), but it can remain independent of any employer. You may want to consider this option if you change jobs often or if a new employer does not offer retirement plans.
3. Use the New Employer’s Plan:
Some professionals prefer to keep rolling their 401(k) savings forward. You may want to consider this option if you mostly work corporate jobs with good 401(k) plans. Rolling the money over directly from one employer to the next may also help to eliminate any fees from the IRS. Note that even if you are not yet eligible to contribute to your new employer’s retirement plan, you should be able to roll over your money.
4. Keep the Old Plan:
If you have at least $5,000 in your old retirement account, your employer must allow you to retain your 401(k) account if you want to. You can no longer make contributions to the account, but you can make decisions regarding the investment of your assets. You may want to consider this option if you leave your job to start a business or want to add some diversity to your retirement holdings.
The Importance of Research
The right approach depends on a number of factors. Aside from those mentioned above, you should consider the rules at your company as well as longevity. Is the company in financial trouble? What happens to your retirement plan if it goes under? Some employers may also set lower thresholds to allow former employees to leave their retirement accounts behind. Speak directly with the human resources department to get some answers.
Another good source of reputable information is financial professionals. At LPL Financial, our team helps clients to navigate these and other important decisions that impact their economic future. Start working with one of our professionals today.
This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Prepared by LPL Financial, LLC
How to Manage Your 401(k) When
You Switch Jobs
By Adrienne Newberg
has been a Financial Advisor for 22 years and is currently doing business as Newberg Financial at LPL Financial. She has 3 grown children and volunteers with K-9 Lifesavers.
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