Archive for the General Category

Forgiveness is on my mind. [Maybe it’s The Resilience Advantage]

Forgiveness and Heartmath Training offers The Resilience Advantage

It was my morning reading upon arising.

“All of us give and receive love. All of us fail to give and receive love. Forgiveness makes love possible because it is an intentional change of attitude about those failures. Forgiveness leaves the future open, creates the opportunity to grow in love, and heals what years of running away, defending, and blaming cannot heal.”  From A Forgiving Heart: Prayers for Blessing and Reconciliation, edited by Lyn Klug 

I remember the day I was sitting in the Atrium at the National Education Association.  I worked there for seventeen years and most days were beautiful days. But, as is common in all workplaces, I had been wounded. I had also delivered wounds to others.  That day, the sunlight splashed across my face. Perhaps I heard the voice of God as my spirit quivered. It was an out of body experience. I don’t know what look I had on my face. I do know everything seemed like background music in a movie: the soft chatter from nearby tables, gentle laughter floating in the atmosphere. 

My table mates looked curiously at me and asked: 

“What’s going on with you???”

I smiled and said: “In this moment right here, I realize I have forgiven everyone…anyone who has ever hurt me.” 

I got up as if floating. A weight rolled off my heart, off my back. 

The Resilience Advantage JourneyThe Resilience Advantage

I went to the fourth floor as if summoned. I saw two colleagues in my old office which was now a small library and conference room. I sat down with a warm greeting. I piqued their curiosity because together they had been perpetrators who had wounded me in the past. We had been friends.  Now we were respectful colleagues.  I told them of my revelation. I emphasized the EVERYbody—I had forgiven everybody and myself. I saw their eyes glisten with tears trying not to fall. I stood up and continued on my way—light as a feather. No other words were needed.

Forgiveness is divine. 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Who do you need to forgive? Time is of the essence. Let these days be the days of reconciliation and healing. Now is the time for unfinished business to be done.”


Does forgiveness feel a long way away? HeartMath Training may be the answer. Heartmath Training offers The Resilience Advantage.

The Resilience Advantage provides a powerful skill set and engaging technology to prepare you to thrive in a world of flux, challenge and opportunity. 

Tamara Smiley Hamilton,

Peace Coach | Audacious Coaching LLC | Certified HeartMath Trainer – The Resilience Advantage | Accredited Speaker | Conflict Resolution Specialist | Diversity & Inclusion | Leadership Facilitator

The Best Way to Deescalate Conflict: Take Courage to Act from the Heart

Best way to deescalate conflict
As the winds had calmed down outside, I walked into a windstorm in my local cleaners and encountered an opportunity to test my courage to intervene in a conflict.

 The sun was shining brightly in Herndon, VA. I stopped into my favorite cleaners to drop off a green cloth for pressing. I was preparing to make a series of short videos on race, conflict, and inclusion, subjects that have been getting lots of traction since Election 2016.

An Indian man had entered seconds before me and was being helped by the Korean owner.

“The pants are too short.” He told her.

“I measured thirty inches!” She replied in broken English and with rising agitation.

“I wore these pants here.” He pointed to a second pair stretched on the counter. “You were to fix the blue pants just like these, but they are too short.” By now, he was controlling his frustration.

“I measure thirty!” Her voice scratched the tense air.

She added: “Why are you complaining to me?” She threw down her pen and walked towards me.

Exasperated, she looked at me, ignored him, and said: “I will help this customer.”

The Indian man, with fury in his dark eyes, threw down his keys in anger.

Am I not a customer?!” He asked incredulously.

All of a sudden, he became a Black man to me. He was my brother, one of my sons, a nephew, my husband. Too many times, even I had been on the receiving end of this type of rude and dismissive customer service from a person different than me. I assured the shop owner I was not in a hurry and could wait. I smiled at both of them hoping to thaw their locked grip of conflict. As I watched them verbally jab each other, my mind traveled in time.

Involuntarily, my mind popped up a picture of the incident that split Black and Korean communities in my home city of Los Angeles in 1991 when a Korean convenience store owner gunned down an unarmed Black girl, Latasha Harlins. Harlins was a customer in the Empire Liquor store, a student at Westchester High School in Inglewood, when Soon Ja Du shot her in the back of the head because she thought Harlins was trying to steal a bottle of orange juice. Du saw Harlins slip the juice in her backpack but did not see the money in her hand. A scuffle ensued and Du fired from the back and killed Harlins instantly. Du was fined $500 and given five years of probation. There was no one to intervene.

The open wounds between Black and Korean communities still drip.

 

The Best Way to Deescalate Conflict

 

I looked in my knitting bag and pulled out a tape measure. Stretching it, I said: “He is saying the measurement is incorrect.”

She then pulled out her own tape measure to confirm she measured thirty inches. Whether she did or not, one leg was at least five inches shorter. A Korean man came from the back with the air of a manager.

“What is the problem?” They begin speaking rapidly in Korean. He must have said something she did not like because she waved him off and approached me, again.

At the moment, I said: “You have a wonderful business AND when a customer has a problem, you might want to listen and smile.” I smiled at her. I gestured to my ear and pulled it, hoping it would help her understand.

“He does have a problem and he needs your help.”

The “manager” smiled as if to say “thank you.” The Indian man also smiled.

The “manager” then invited him to try on the perfect fitting pants behind the curtain. He retakes his measurements to solve the problem.

The Korean woman looks at my green cloth and asks if $20 is a fair price. Given its size, I agree.

As I leave, I turn and touch my ear. She smiles and touches hers. The Indian man steps from behind the curtain. His eyes thank me. His smile assures me he will be made whole.

It did not take a degree in psychology or human behavior. It took courage to act from the heart.

When have you taken the courage to act from the heart?

 

What is the best way to deescalate conflict for you? Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to deescalate conflict? Did you let your heart take the lead?

Please also follow my posts and connect with me on Linkedin. I would love to hear your stories.

International Trade Commission Diversity and Inclusion Week

Internaitional diversity and inclusion facilitator
The International Trade Commission reached out to me to kick off its first-ever International Diversity and Inclusion Week. Nearly 100 employees filled the room to be inspired by the topic:

“Building Bridges across Differences: A Celebration.”

It is a celebration when an organization, especially one with an international focus, devotes a full week to diversity and inclusion. Being selected to launch the week as the international Diversity and Inclusion facilitator inspired me as much as I hope my discussion inspired the audience.

Employees received the following invitation:

International Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Facilitator; Conflict Resolution Specialist

Tamara Smiley Hamilton

Monday, October 21st at 11 AM, Courtroom A

“Building Bridges Across Differences: A Celebration”

Tamara Hamilton is a poet, author, speaker, and coach dedicated to helping people access their personal power. Through stories, word weaving, provocative questioning and more, Tamara guides people on their life journeys. She loves to bear witness to transformation and growth. Please join us as we all gather to gain a new personal and professional perspective on diversity and inclusivity.

International Diversity and Inclusion is all-consuming.

international diversity and inclusion cooking show with Tamara smiley hamilton

International Diversity and Inclusion also INCLUDES enjoying foods from around the world and understanding the stories that connect us. Coming soon: a cooking show to connect us in more ways than one!

Let’s all do this together! Stay inspired with 7 Blocks for Building Bridges.

aroundtheworld foods #couragetv hashtagpeace hashtagrace hashtagunderstanding hashtagconnect hashtagdiversityandinclusion hashtagcookingshow hashtagdrthaodo#couragetv

Diversity and Inclusion Speaker, Tamara S. Hamilton is Advising Editor of Kosmos Quarterly

Kosmos Quarterly Debut

The inaugural edition of the new Kosmos Quarterly debuts June 15: Unlearning Together

Kosmos Journal Summer cover of bees in the hive, calls to mind community and collective work. Honeycomb is said to symbolize the heart chakra and life’s sweetness. Deeply woven into the ecosystem, bees are essential pollinators and remind us that we too can be agents of cross-fertilization and transformation!

The inaugural edition is a vibrant snapshot of where we stand at a pivotal moment in the human experiment. What do we care about most deeply, and what habits, views, and assumptions are we ready to release? How do we balance our grief for the world with authentic, effective action?

Coach and Professional Speaker on Diversity and Inclusion, Tamara S. Hamilton Is One of Circle of Advising Editors

Tamara Advising EditorKosmos advising editors work as networkers, writers, and ambassadors for Kosmos and the Kosmos Quarterly edition they serve. This intentional group of culture hackers, healers, activists and artists have come together for 100 days to cross-pollinate ideas and share the fruits of their practices with subscribers. Tamara brings her extensive knowledge and heart-felt passion for diversity and inclusion awareness and training.

For 100 days, the Editorial Circle has made Kosmos an important part of their heart-centered activism and personal journey. The Summer Edition of Kosmos Quarterly is the result!

Contributors, include: Drew Dellinger, Helen Titchen Beeth, Alnoor Ladha, Pamela Boyce Simms, Charles Eisenstein, Orland Bishop, Bill Plotkin, and many others.


Subscribe to Kosmos Quarterly

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CEOs: Avoid Elephants on Parade

Avoid Elephants on Parade

I spent the majority of my career in the people business: helping executives to grow, to manage change, or to manage high stakes conflict. A commonly used phrase was “the elephant in the room.” Either someone was brave enough to acknowledge there was an “elephant” in the room or some people tried not to see the “elephant” at all. The “elephant” was the uncomfortable, the issue that, if not addressed skillfully, could blow up around the board table or in the conference room.

My job as a skilled facilitator who was often called upon to not only support executives and managers to see the “elephant” but to also help them smell it, touch it, name it, and reframe it. In essence, it was to ease executives from an avoidance perspective to having the skills and courage to do something about “the elephant.” Many times, the “elephant” highlighted an area of diversity. Diversity of thought, perspective, experience, and/or values. When layered with diversity of race, gender, role, status, sexual orientation and, sometimes, location–since a teleworking culture was evolving–things could get complicated.

In today’s workplace, “elephants” are parading everywhere we turn. We are bumping up against divides that require leadership at the highest level, the CEO, to be aware of the cultural shifts, more cognizant of how people are showing up to work. A recent Harvard Business Review survey (https://hbr.org/2017/10/a-survey-of-how-1000-ceos-spend-their-day-reveals-what-makes-leaders-successful) of 1000 CEOs revealed that a significant part of their day is spent alone or with one other person. This number varies by industry but the point is this: the wise CEO may want to really know the temperature of employee morale to prevent a virus of negativity permeating the organization. Elephants are big. To control them from taking up too much space and sucking all of the air out of the workplace, the CEO may need to become the organizational doctor and check on the well-being of employees.

The best parade for elephants is in the circus.

Happiness

A college friend called me tonight to share her happiness. She had attended a workshop I created called “Balancing Boulders:  Strategies for Managing the Stressors in Your Life.” At the time of the class, not quite eighteen months ago, her business was challenging.  She reminded me tonight as she held two signed real estate offers — one in excess of $1.6 million.

A few months ago she applied advice from the class to manage her boulders, those entities ( people, circumstances, finances, relationships–any thing that blocks energy to move forward, to live her dreams).  Operating from her personal power zone, now  she can just think about the profile  the profile of the clients she wants, they appear. Her reputation at work is getting a makeover. Offers for partnering are frequent. Life is on high.

What is different?

My friend changed her point of view. She decided to remove her boulders and step into her business life with a positive attitude. She expected success. She let her energy flow in the direction of her dreams. She could the ride the waves of the real estate market  with an attitude of fun and adventure.

Her happiness was contagious. I had tears of joy in my eyes and in my voice.  I kept saying her name and shaking my head from side to side. Her happiness was the medicine I needed. I did not need to tell her of my recent good fortune of standing in the middle of a miracle–being affirmed that living on purpose is a gift from God. I needed to feel the best kind of happiness, the kind when you know that with a little support, someone else had tapped into her invisible power and felt the rush–the audacious rush of empowerment.

Happiness is a healing balm. It just feels so good.

 

 

Holding On to Self

We need to be intentional about holding on to Self. It is so easy to have an emotional hijacking where someone, intent on stealing your joy, can walk into your office, your classroom, your work space, your life–and tries to just walk off with all of your energy.  When we work hard to be positive, to see the glass as half full always, we have to protect our hearts–build a hedge around it to keep the bad stuff at bay.

I am surprised sometimes when I talk to someone and hear the victim’s voice: “I can’t believe she said that to me.”  “I can’t control what happens to me.” I don’t know what to do, how to respond.”

I offer this piece of advice.

  • First, take three deep breaths.
  • Count your blessings one by one more than twice.
  • Look inside to find your strength.
  • Lean on a power much greater than yourself.
  • Realize that you are unique and wonderfully made.
  • Smile so big on the inside until your body feels empowered.
  • Park your emotional baggage in the corner.
  • Frame your words carefully and with grace.
  • Speak from your heart and not from your emotions.
  • Seek clarity: “Are you understanding what I am saying?”
  • Pause.
  • Listen.
  • Commend yourself for standing up for yourself.

It’s important to hold on to your Self. It connects you to your Source.

Are You Awake Inside of Your Life?

I can’t act like this is a heavy question I have been pondering for weeks. It just jumped inside my head and demanded to be the blog post today as I resume/or start to really explore my thinking out loud on paper. The better question is more personal: “Am I Awake Inside of My Own Life?” Focusing on the laser-driven question reminds me to check  inside before going out into the world.  It matters that I am awake and fully present inside of my life.

I am committed to have my personal and professional missions be aligned.  This needs my alert and ready attention. I want to enjoy the riches from my life and career.  This means holding a sacred space for my husband, family and friends. Only I can orchestrate that the things I enjoy most on the professional side are congruent with what I enjoy most on the personal side. I don’t want to snooze through that song. At this stage of my life, I am really hearing the music of my soul.

I do feel awake inside of my own life. But I also know I can drift into cruise control: waking up each day without a plan or commitment to finishing something started. It doesn’t matter if it is knitting a scarf or finishing another chapter on my memoir.  What I know for sure is that being fully awake, accounted for my own dreams requires the energy to will it so and the power to believe.  I have energy to unleash to make my dreams come true. I have stories to tell that will help and heal. I have songs to write to rock the melody of my own life. Yeah! I am awake.

I am here now.

Investing in You

When is the last time you took a class, listened to a podcast, watched a You Tube video to learn something new.  Time passes quickly and before you know it, your career in on the down swing with dreams left on the table. Like crumbs, those dreams get swept away–along with your energy, your confidence, and your courage. Langston Hughes told us to hold fast to dreams.  Invest in yourself: hire a coach, seek a mentor, enroll in a class, start as Mastermind Group. Do something to invest in you because you are worth it.