Staying Grounded in Turbulent Times Jenn T. Grace, Fiona Dawson, and Jennifer Brown 

[00:00:00] Jenn: [00:00:00] Hello, Jennifer, how are you? 

[00:00:03] Jennifer B: [00:00:03] Hello, Jen. Grace. How are you? 

[00:00:06] Jenn: [00:00:06] I’m doing well. I’m happy that we’re back for this third, third video of what we’re doing here, which is just helping people maybe feel seen or heard or any number of things that are happening right now. How are you, how are you feeling 

[00:00:20] Jennifer B: [00:00:20] right now?

[00:00:21] All right. I think I’m less, um, Maybe the anxiety has just kind of settled into a reality. It’s still there, but I don’t, I don’t think I feel the way I felt two weeks ago. I think I didn’t have a lot of answers two weeks ago. I think as a business owner, we’ve gotten so much guidance now from the federal government and other.

[00:00:41] Like loan programs and all that kind of stuff. So I don’t think we had that kind of clarity two weeks ago. And that was that kind of feeling of the bottom. Totally dropping out for those of us who have sort of a speaking and training, predicated business. Um, I know all of you can relate if you run that kind of business and authors who are relying on [00:01:00] sales and keynotes and everything.

[00:01:01] So, yeah, so I feel a bit more like we’ve, we’ve got some place to at least land temporarily and, um, regroup. Uh, and really also I’ve been in kind of a really creative space actually. Like as long as that sort of food shelter, water piece and the bottom of the Maslow hierarchy was, has kind of been semi answered.

[00:01:23] I feel like I can kind of, again, kind of crawl up a little bit to what does community look like? What does belonging look like? What might I. I pivot into what’s needed, you know, some listening a lot, I’m doing a lot of calls and like trying to just not have any pressure to have solutions, but just be responsive and tune into what’s next.

[00:01:44] And I think that’s my job right now. And that’s how I’m doing, like the self care of, of taking the pressure off to have the answers because we just can’t. Yeah, 

[00:01:54] Jenn: [00:01:54] I can echo much of what you said. I feel like I had a, I had a rough day on Monday. I’m not going to lie. I feel like, [00:02:00] I feel like I was optimistic and Oh, yay.

[00:02:02] Like things are, I’m fine. Things are great. And then Monday kind of hit me and I’m like, okay, things aren’t fun. I need to recap. 

[00:02:09] Jennifer B: [00:02:09] But, you know, 

[00:02:10] Jenn: [00:02:10] yeah. It’s not fun times for anyone and I’m just being honest and real, but I think what’s great is that we’re today’s conversation. I’m super excited that we have our mutual friend, Fiona Dawson with us.

[00:02:20] Fiona: [00:02:20] Yay. Um, 

[00:02:22] Jenn: [00:02:22] so just kind of talk about the staying grounded, cause I think that that’s the. To me. That’s like the pivotal piece of all of this right now is how do we stay grounded in something that doesn’t even feel like a reality? It’s like our new reality, right? So what are we doing? And I’m hoping that our conversation can help shed some light for some other folks who might need some tips and tricks on that.

[00:02:42] So, Fiona welcome. 

[00:02:44] Fiona: [00:02:44] Thank you. Thank you both for having me. It’s great to hang out with you. 

[00:02:49] Jenn: [00:02:49] Keep you honest,

[00:02:53] tell us what’s been going 

[00:02:53] Jennifer B: [00:02:53] on for you, the nature of your business. And have I ever met, you want to share [00:03:00] about what’s happened and where you find 

[00:03:01] Fiona: [00:03:01] yourself now? Yeah. Well, I’m an open book, so I kind of overshare. Uh, but, um, I, and also, I want to first debunk the myth of my accent because I know people hear my voice and they think, Oh, she’s a British person.

[00:03:14] And I actually left the UK in 98 and I’ve lived in this. States for 20 years now. So I lived in Houston for 11 and a half, and then I ended up in New York in 2011. And for the last decade, my career has been in public speaking and team building events that happen in person. And then also being a filmmaker where you go off to locations and then screen your films at film festivals.

[00:03:41] And so everything that I’ve been doing. The actually paid the rent was all in person and, um, everything just stopped. So as an independent consultant, um, I’ve been one of those 10 99 people that basically felt like I was, you know, made unemployed immediately. Um, [00:04:00] luckily it seems that we might be getting some support as well.

[00:04:03] And so, uh, two weeks ago I’d actually come back to Texas, a place that I consider home to go to South by Southwest. And of course that had been counseled and had some great people to meet and some opportunities in Allston for developing the TV show that I’m working on. So I thought I’d come anyway. And then, um, I was having breakfast with my friend in Lake Jackson, Texas, which is like an hour South of Houston.

[00:04:29] And I was meant to be driving to Austin for these meetings. And that’s the day, I think it was labeled a pandemic. That’s the day the met got closed in New York. And I just had this sinking feeling in my gut, like. Oh my God, this is going to go downhill fast. And I knew I just, I, I responded from my gut in a way that I have never done before.

[00:04:51] And like, looking back from the shock of it, I was like, wow. I actually listened to my intuition for one of the first times [00:05:00] I changed the flight and I knew I had to get out of Brooklyn because my income was about to go boop. And I have enough to get by for a few months, but certainly. Not a lot. And rents in Brooklyn are pretty high cost of living is high.

[00:05:15] Plus I knew as a creative person and as a person that wanted to continue my projects through this, I knew that I just couldn’t do that in Brooklyn, in that environment. So changed my flight through my centrals, into the car. And I drove 1600 miles in four days from Brooklyn back down to Lake Jackson, Texas.

[00:05:36] Since then, um, I’ve had a wave of up and down emotions of extreme gratitude of my privilege. That is sickening. That I actually have the physical ability to do that, to drive 1600, that I have a call to do that. You know, that I have money in my bank account to fill the car with gas. [00:06:00] Like, you know, I have all these, all these things.

[00:06:03] So there’s like, Survivor’s guilt almost of doing that. Um, but then my friend who I’m staying with now, she owns a pharmacy. She’s a front line worker. She can’t ship down, she’s divorced with two kids. So I’m giving back to her by helping her with her kids who are now at home instead of school. And, um, Running errands and doing things to her so she can manage her business.

[00:06:27] So that’s great. She now jokingly says that she has a wife as well as a boyfriend and an assistant. So now I’m a housewife which is

[00:06:43] Jenn: [00:06:43] evolving in 

[00:06:43] Fiona: [00:06:43] internal thing. And I meant to be writing a down book and I’m like, I wish I am watching his opera. Um, but just going through all the stages, like, you know, we all are, it’s like, okay, I’ve got it. I got my shit together. I can do [00:07:00] this. I’m going to pivot. I’m going to do it online. Like I’m powerful.

[00:07:04] There’s a whole new world. And then it’s like, Wow.

[00:07:13] Here I am. I’m back home in Texas.

[00:07:21] Love it. Yeah, I’m trying, trying not to drink all the wine. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. 

[00:07:28] Jennifer B: [00:07:28] Try to instill not productive zone. You’re you were saying that like now is the time actually, when things are so simplified to get that book done and those special projects and the things that are might have felt so.

[00:07:41] Yeah. I don’t even know if it’s like an elegant or hard to focus on, or I don’t know. We were just so distracted and so busy with sort of nonsense things that we now understand. Might’ve been very nonessential, right? Cause we’re learning to live without a lot of things. And those things may not return.

[00:07:56] Fiona: [00:07:56] Right. I was talking to a friend the other [00:08:00] day. In fact, this was a friend from college who I’ve known for 25 years and lives in Durham, North Carolina. And, um, we were talking about how, yeah. Now is the time to be able to do all these things. Um, but then also I think it’s important not to feel the pressure of like, Oh, so now you have all this free time, so you should make your dreams come true and you should write your book and you should clean your closet and you should Marie Kondo everything.

[00:08:24] Like it could also actually be the time to do absolutely nothing and feel okay with that and like, and look inside because otherwise I think we start putting the pressure, like the FOMO has changed. Right. Instead of the FOMO of being out in the world, going to all the cool stuff, not now foam, I was like, well, you know, have you got your house organized?

[00:08:42] No. You writing your book, like just breathing every day and keeping a smile on your face is enough. Right. Is this enough? Right. And, and, and there’s incredible fear. I think it depends on what level of [00:09:00] privilege privilege you come from. And I think, you know, you’re talking about gen the basic needs, like, you know, do you have money to be able to feed yourself on the people that you work that work for you and, you know, are you gonna lose your house?

[00:09:12] Are you going to like water? All these basic needs that you’re going to, to lose. And, um, In times of struggle, I’ve taken a lot of risk in my career and my life and emotionally, financially, spiritually, everything. And I’ve always said to myself, like, what is the absolute worst that can happen? Or the absolute worst is that I can be homeless on the streets.

[00:09:33] Which is very unlikely. Hence the situation I’m in right now, where I had to put my worst case scenario into action and come move in with a friend in Texas, you know, there’s the shame and embarrassment of that. Um, but if I was homeless on the streets, then I guess I would just like write about it or make a video about it.

[00:09:50] If I had access to a phone or like, you can keep going down levels of, of what that looks like. And I think that. The me 10 years ago when I quit my job to make my dreams [00:10:00] come true. One of the books, and one of the things that inspired me to do that was reading our cart, total lays power of now. And yeah, if we do anything, like go back to that, like reading power of now and realizing.

[00:10:14] Like now the living in the present as much as possible. And hence that’s the inspiration for the TV show that I’m in pre production post-production and pilot series on it’s called now with Jonah and, and it’s like living in the, now one of the. Um, quotes that inspired me recently, I’ll quickly read to you is true.

[00:10:35] Remembering is a kind of detonation inside of you, a flash flood that wipes out your past and reveals the greatest mystery of all the mystery of the eternal. Now. 

[00:10:47] Jennifer B: [00:10:47] Um, 

[00:10:48] Fiona: [00:10:48] and I felt like, yeah, there is a calling from the universe for those of us that want to hear it or in a space to hear it, or, um, have the, have the, [00:11:00] the capacity to just sit and listen.

[00:11:03] Like there is a calling to be in the now, and it’s going to be interesting to see how people come out of this and react to this and how we change the world together. And hopefully we can live more in the now. And just exist. 

[00:11:19] Jennifer B: [00:11:19] What a great reading recommendation. I just put that in the comments for folks.

[00:11:23] If you haven’t read that book, it’s phenomenal. Yeah, it blew my mind and I you’re reminding me now. I should go back to that because somebody said there are, we could be living right now in the midst of, of a miracle. And it was in unexpected words to hear right now. And yet there is this creative, like ferment happening right now.

[00:11:46] I think for a lot of us because of crisis. And there is, there is restores and reserves within us that we’re discovering that we either hadn’t known about or hadn’t remembered about, right. That go back a long ways. [00:12:00] There’s resilience that we’re pulling on theirs. You all, both have, I think a tremendous mindfulness practice.

[00:12:06] I think in many people who say my God, I’m so glad I started that. And I have that muscle now because I am now relying on it. It’s giving me the ability to calm myself, to stay centered. And I just wanted to hear from both of you, like, what are those practices and gen two, I know that you had a bad day, Monday, like.

[00:12:22] How did you, I know for me, there’s one thing I do do is like, I just discovered weighted blankets and

[00:12:30] Jenn: [00:12:30] blankets, 

[00:12:30] Jennifer B: [00:12:30] and it’s like, wow, it feels 

[00:12:33] Fiona: [00:12:33] great. 

[00:12:33] Jenn: [00:12:33] It’s like a 

[00:12:33] Jennifer B: [00:12:33] giant modeling. And like 

[00:12:37] Jenn: [00:12:37] that actually 

[00:12:38] Jennifer B: [00:12:38] like animals, which we are, we love to be. We love to have the pressure. So anyway, that’s what about you all? Like what have you found to be helpful? And I guess I’d say for our audience, if you don’t have. Uh, practice.

[00:12:53] Is this the time to start? Like how do you start to really up your yourself-er regimen? If you aren’t [00:13:00] historically really good with that? 

[00:13:02] Jenn: [00:13:02] I, you know, I think self care means different things to different people. You know, I feel like there’s the, the term self care and it’s just so big and encompassing.

[00:13:10] And I think that it can be overwhelming to people, but I know for me, like I did, I, my Monday was just not a good, good start to the week. I will just say that. So at one point I just walked away from my desk and I’m like, I just need to breathe. I just need to remind myself that I need to breathe right now.

[00:13:28] And I think just doing something as simple as that, like I do, um, transcendental meditation, which I learned a couple of years ago when I was having a myriad of other problematic things happening in my life. And I swear at that point in my life, it was like 2018. Probably it helped me, honestly, it felt like it helped me survive.

[00:13:48] And I think now. Just kind of like leaning back on that can be really valuable and helpful in a lot of ways. So that’s like, that’s my primary thing. And then also obviously exercising, I feel like I’m a, like I have a cat spirit or [00:14:00] something where like wherever the sun is, I need to be where the sun is and I want to go to the sun.

[00:14:04] So for some reason that felt to me feels very calming in a lot of ways. So those are two very small, simple things, like finding the sun and being in it, even if it means like yesterday I went outside, I’m like, I’m just going to stand on my front steps for a few minutes and just absorb. The sun, I need vitamin D in my body.

[00:14:21] Right? Like I just need this and those things. I can really kind of snap me out of that, that cranky mood relatively quickly. Usually, you know, there’s a very kind of like almost surface level. They’re really kind of not deep, but I think that’s helpful for people. It doesn’t have to be, 

[00:14:37] Jennifer B: [00:14:37] it doesn’t have to be super complicated.

[00:14:40] Fiona: [00:14:40] Exactly. Exactly. I think a lot of people get very intimidated by meditation. Um, cause you, you said, Oh, I can’t turn my brain off. I’m just not good at meditating. And one of the things I taught myself, because I think that’s practically true for everybody. And I think it’s how I resisted to meditate for so long.

[00:14:58] But what I do is when I meditate [00:15:00] now, And I catch myself thinking. And so I compliment my thoughts and I say, Fiona, you’re so proactive. What a great job you’re doing about thinking about your life and what you should be doing. Why don’t you go take a seat over there? And my vision lies like a psychiatrist chair, like it sheds long.

[00:15:18] And I tell my brain to go sit on the chair, 

[00:15:21] Jenn: [00:15:21] really shut up. 

[00:15:25] Fiona: [00:15:25] Be quiet, Fiona. And then I imagine like my brain is like an electric plug that is going to click into a socket into, into, into heaven, into spirit, into the universe, and then focus on your breathing. So I know somebody commented and as competent meditation saves lives and I.

[00:15:43] Completely completely agree. Um, I want to give a quick shout out to what I think saved the, uh, in this time, like a year ago. Um, my friend Erica introduced me to how Al Rod’s book. He, he, um, [00:16:00] I’m hoping lots of people are picking up his book the miracle morning, and he has like six practices that you do before you start your day.

[00:16:08] There’s an acronym called savers. S is for silence, affirmations, visualization, if exercise after reading an S for scribing or writing journaling. And so you do a practice of all of those before you start your day. And I put this in, I started doing this about may last year and. It, it really, really changed the way I was able to calm myself and focus when I did feel frustrated or things felt out of control or, um, you know, I was uncertain about how, how to proceed or how to organize my thoughts and.

[00:16:46] The meditation, um, I think is like one of those central parts of it. When you start to just listen to your body, listen to your breath and then have your screw, it, be able to connect to a greater one. And I kind of feel like [00:17:00] my latest racist analogy was thinking about a big piece of granite and you know, how you can see the little marble pieces in the granite that.

[00:17:08] Individual pieces, but all those individual pieces are essentially locked together. And that’s how I’m beginning to seek humanity where we’re just one large connected big piece of granite each with individual differences and are each our part to give, but we’re all connected. And I think that, yes, this is an incredible opportunity for humanity to have like an enlightenment, to have a higher spiritual connection.

[00:17:35] To ourselves and to the planet and to, to progressing how the world is going to continue. If there’s enough of us that choose to take and listen to that calling. And I believe there is, I think we’re lucky to be alive right now. 

[00:17:54] Jenn: [00:17:54] Yeah. Yeah. I feel like so much of what you’re saying. I feel like. [00:18:00] We tend to just overcomplicate things in general.

[00:18:03] And I think it’s our opportunity to just be silent and listen and be of service and try to be as grateful and in gratitude as much as we can for the things that we have, which you know, is a lot of, kind of what you were starting off by talking about of just recognizing your privilege and what you are able to do and what you have.

[00:18:22] And I think if enough of us that are coming from that place and that standpoint, collectively I’m hopeful. That we will have a better planet potentially at the, at the, maybe not at the end of this in the short term, but perhaps in the long run. 

[00:18:37] Fiona: [00:18:37] I hope so 

[00:18:39] Jenn: [00:18:39] for real, 

[00:18:41] Jennifer B: [00:18:41] for real,

[00:18:46] Jenn: [00:18:46] what other, I guess like what other things are we constituting as self care? Right. Cause I feel like to me, what I’ve already noticed, and I was saying this before we hit live, is that, you know, Two [00:19:00] o’clock Eastern time today. I had already clocked like 35 hours of working and it’s like Wednesday in the middle of the week.

[00:19:06] So, and you know, I still have two and a half days to go. So it’s one of those things. It’s so easy to be a workaholic in times where. You are isolated from people or genuine. I were kind of talking about this. Like our, our businesses are changing and morphing minute by minute, day by day. So you’re constantly trying to get in front of the fire to put it out potentially, or come up with a plan B or plan C or D or F.

[00:19:30] So. Like, what are some, I’m curious, Jen, if you have any or Fiona, you know, as we’re all cause so many people, you know, our audiences are very much business owners and a lot of ways. So, you know, like what are some other self care type of things that aren’t the usual. Go meditate on it. Cause I feel like it could be hard for people right now to start practice if they didn’t already have one, not to say that you shouldn’t try because I truly feel like in so many ways it saved, it saved my sanity two years ago when I was going through something [00:20:00] really rough.

[00:20:00] And it was the thing that just helped me. Um, 

[00:20:03] Fiona: [00:20:03] Sleep 

[00:20:04] Jenn: [00:20:04] like it gives you more energy. I find meditating. So I’m just curious if there’s other things. And I know we were joking about like, you know, drinking, drinking wine and stuff like that. And obviously, you know, that’s not quite quite it, but like what are other things people can be doing right now to take care of themselves that may be unconventional.

[00:20:21] I’m curious. What, what pops in either of your minds? 

[00:20:25] Fiona: [00:20:25] Do you want me to go first? 

[00:20:29] Jennifer B: [00:20:29] I’ll say, you know, I know myself and I know. How extroverted I am and, you know, extra look in on your friendly neighborhood extrovert, make sure they’re doing okay. 

[00:20:38] Fiona: [00:20:38] I feel 

[00:20:39] Jennifer B: [00:20:39] a little hungry for company and for touch and you know, all those things that we like.

[00:20:45] So I’ve been doing, um, community calls. Then, you know, this I’ve been literally doing like daily or twice weekly now. Calls where it’s come. One, come all from my newsletter and we’re all coming on and talking about, um, what’s happening with diversity and inclusion work. We all specialize [00:21:00] in and are passionate about.

[00:21:01] And, um, I haven’t had much of an agenda. I mean, to me, self care is not having to be perfect. And the way that I show up all the time and not having the answer, like to me, that’s 

[00:21:10] Jenn: [00:21:10] huge. 

[00:21:11] Jennifer B: [00:21:11] All of our challenges are going to be different. Right. I’m a very careful person because I care so much about. Wanting something to be precisely wrapped up in a bow and deliver exactly what it says it’s going to deliver, you know, and that organicness though, honestly, if I’m being honest, is I actually love not knowing where things are going to go.

[00:21:32] I love being organic and, and seeing how it develops and sort of, you know, like jumping out into the crowd and having the crowd sort of pass you around and, and feel like. The common humanity and how we hold each other up and not and them. So I’ve just done that and it’s been amazing to feel and be re let that energy come back to me and fill me up and remind me about the beauty in my community, the strength, the courage, the [00:22:00] resilience, the, the heart.

[00:22:01] Um, the fact that some of us do want to come out of this with a new vision for how that for us, for the world, how the workplace has been articulated, which has been, so I think harmful for all of us, the be able to shape it. This, if we can get to that place of peace and then get into a creative place and get, you know, start to push.

[00:22:23] I’m from someplace of strength. And I know that’s hard because we’re coping with so many of the Maslow hierarchy right now, food shelter, water, you know, basic needs. But I think if we can. See somehow through the world really needs us to create something different coming out of this and new voices are going to come forward and new vision and new builders.

[00:22:46] I, and that’s, that’s what I’m trying to stay close to because it’s sort of like the opportunity to hit a lot of people that I have worked with, including me too. We’ve been waiting for this for a while. We’ve been waiting for like a one 80 degree flip of the. [00:23:00] The hierarchy of the power structure of the way we’ve done business.

[00:23:04] Like this is like a huge offset and in the upset is so much opportunity to shape what’s next. And so. I do my advice, I guess, is to like, let’s calm ourselves enough so that we can recognize this moment for what it is. And it’s full of potential. And it’s full of potential acceleration for some of the things that we’ve wanted for a really long time.

[00:23:24] And we know the world needs, and we know that we’re the messengers that need to make it happen, you know? So, so if you think about it that way, To me, that kind of gives me a sense of purpose and grounds me in what I’m actually here to do. And then it leads me to celebrate the fact that many barriers are coming down right now, where I could actually, we could get further, faster, and potentially like have actually some more power right now in power in great hands, you know, because I know that the people, at least that I hang out with have a humanity in mind, we have, you know, all that [00:24:00] heart-centered.

[00:24:00] Leadership that we, we are so passionate and committed to. So I know whatever world we all create would be a better one. 

[00:24:07] Jenn: [00:24:07] So 

[00:24:09] Jennifer B: [00:24:09] I think that’s like self care, like that’s, um, It’s a strange thing to say, because it sounds like a lot of work, what I have put together, having daily calls to 70 people on and leading those calls and, and making sure everybody feels heard and, and I’m answering questions or make asking my own questions.

[00:24:26] It’s it’s work, but I feel so restored. Yeah after that. So I might ask people listening to this, like, what is the work that you have always thought, gosh, if I could just do that all day, because that’s where I live. Like that is like my flow and it, it might look super hard for somebody else, but for you and maybe just like breathing, you know, and go towards that, do that thing and then like allow yourself to be creative.

[00:24:51] And I know we have a lot of guilt right now for, for being in places. That we can be creative because our basic needs are being met. [00:25:00] But at the same time, if we stop creating because of that guilt, then how are we then stepping into the opportunity of what’s happening right now? The power of now, as you said, 

[00:25:10] Jenn: [00:25:10] Jen, I want to chime in before I’m Fiona.

[00:25:13] You share too. But what I find interesting and so much of what you said is just so brilliant and so just resonates, but I think. Stepping into that flow, being creative and not being perfect is a huge takeaway. So for you, Janet, like you and I decided on a whim that we were going to start doing, you know, we just were like, Oh, let’s just do a video.

[00:25:38] We want to talk to our people. And then we’re like, Oh, let’s grab somebody else. And now we have like weeks lined up. I will say, and anyone who knows either of us will, can attest to this, that if we had planned this, it never, it wouldn’t have happened. Cause we would have overcomplicated it. We would have involved 10 different people.

[00:25:56] Our teams would have been like, what are you two doing? And yet. [00:26:00] What we’re doing is sending the text message to say, Hey, let’s have this person. And then one of us reaches out and we schedule it and we go, and we don’t have an agenda. We have a general idea once we get live and, or right before we go live to figure out what we might want to discuss.

[00:26:13] But I feel like there’s something so beautiful about the imperfection of all of this. And we’re in a training right now where you can do things and you don’t have to be perfect, which I think is so incredibly beautiful, which is partly why I started my 30 day writing challenge. Normally. Again, my typical, very OCD ish fashion.

[00:26:33] I would have a spreadsheet that has all of my text. I would have different guests. I would have it all mapped out. And I just decided on a whim on a Tuesday that I was going to do it and I have not planned anything. So today’s tip, I don’t know what it’s going to be until I start talking. And I think that there’s something beautiful about that.

[00:26:51] Doing it. Especially for women 

[00:26:54] Jennifer B: [00:26:54] done. I would just want to point this out. I think diverse talent in general, right? Which is where I [00:27:00] focus on is to pick women for one cisgender women, trans women, women who, you know, identify if an LGBTQ community, which all of us do. Um, like the perfectionism is real and, and it’s born out of how we have to show up.

[00:27:15] As sort of 150% all the time, because we sense rightly that we’re going to get less of a shot, right. That we’re going to be criticized more, that we’re going to be held to a certain standard. Right? All those things we know are true. So the work on perfectionism is very deep. For us and really super important when you’re underrepresented and when you are from a marginalized identity or multiple identities, um, that want, and survival mechanism of perfectionism is exhausting.

[00:27:44] And it was exhausting before. But now like this, another silver lining where we can actually decide like, this is not important anymore. Like we, I can just drop that because I’m just going to do what I do. I’m going to be appreciated for hopefully, you know, my output [00:28:00] and my value add. And I hope in this virtual world, we have an opportunity to show up as just ourselves, without a lot of those, you know, those visual cues.

[00:28:09] In, in a traditional physical workplace anyway, our triggers of bias and stereotypes. Right. Which ends up keeping us down. Right. We hear those over and over. We play small, we internalize it. We feel small, you know, and it sets off like a chain reaction. So, yeah. Fiona, I wonder what you think about in terms of profession.

[00:28:26] Yeah. 

[00:28:27] Fiona: [00:28:27] I have no idea what you’re talking about.

[00:28:34] No, no. I wanted to say that you starting the show on, I don’t know what label you have for 

[00:28:43] Jennifer B: [00:28:43] it, but like, 

[00:28:45] Fiona: [00:28:45] you don’t need one inspired me because like, when I saw this didn’t I like, I messaged you Jen rice. Like, what platform are you using? And you’re like, when she told me Dreamyard, I’m like, okay, sign it up.

[00:28:58] And yeah, for me, [00:29:00] yes. I have held myself to ridiculous standards. I think most of my life, but particularly in the last 10 years when I’ve been trying to make my dreams come true because, you know, I quit my job and it’s Oprah Winfrey’s fault. Cause she was launching her own network and had a competition to win your own show.

[00:29:17] I didn’t win. I’m excited, but I’m going to do it anyway. And ever since I’ve been on this journey of having this vision and very clear. Picture of where it is I want to be. And I think a lot of the layers and a lot of the work that I’ve had to do over the last decade is to slowly like, get rid of that perfectionism.

[00:29:36] And so for me, That feeling of having to be perfect does feel like it’s been released through this time. And so, because it’s inspired by the two of you yesterday, but transgender day visibility, I just woke up yesterday morning. I thought, what am I doing? I should be like talking or interviewing to my trans friends online today.

[00:29:58] And that’s, that’s what I did. And I [00:30:00] made that my job and no one financially paid me, but that was my job was to try and give a platform or a voice for as many trans friends as I could. Right. And that, and that’s what I did. And then the other thing, like with hosting your own show, I think I have been so intimidated by the greats and by people that have their showings.

[00:30:18] On shows on large networks and, you know, and trying to not focus on the gap of where you are and where you want to be, and like trying to do the practice of your vision boards and like thoughts become things and like feeling the emotional energy that you’re going to have when you get there. Like, it’s one thing to know that that’s what you’re meant to do.

[00:30:36] And then trying to put it into practice is so hard. But all of a sudden, all these layers have been taken away where all these people that I’ve felt intimidated by all of a sudden, we’re just all really equal. And it’s strange because you know, in the DNI world, we talk about equality all the time. Of course everybody’s equal, but subconsciously we still feel these judgments and we’re, we’re not thinking of ourselves as equal.

[00:30:59] And [00:31:00] it’s like, I can use a Trevor. Noah is doing his show from his living room. So why the hell am I not. You know, and, um, you know, I did filming last year. I’m an in post production for these episodes that are eventually going to shoot out. And of course, I’ve got to change the story now, but I had been holding myself to these high standards of perfection that financially a very hard to achieve and maintain and get there when you’re trying to pitch and sell a TV show.

[00:31:25] It’s like, I’d been so intimidated by other people on YouTube. But I never did it myself. And so now it’s like, everything is stripped away and it doesn’t really matter whether two, three, five, 5 million people watch you or listen to you. It’s just that we all have a valuable message to get out there and.

[00:31:47] Everybody has the equal opportunity. Now we’ve got the same tools to be able to just be ourselves and be authentic and be vulnerable and just be perfectly us, you know, just need the best [00:32:00] I now my day is I would just want to be the best Fiona Dawson I can be. And that’s good enough. 

[00:32:07] Jennifer B: [00:32:07] Yeah, that’s so good.

[00:32:08] I hope that’s resonated. Everybody’s listening. 

[00:32:10] Fiona: [00:32:10] Cause yeah. 

[00:32:12] Jennifer B: [00:32:12] And talk about self care. I mean the gentleness, the gentleness on ourselves. Yeah. We realize, I think in times like this, how hard we are on ourselves and it’s coming into sharp relief, how much we push ourselves, how much we compete, how much we compare, how much, um, we don’t feel that enough.

[00:32:31] And I always love saying don’t make perfect the enemy of the good it’s something I. I think about right. Don’t make perfect entity that good. And I’m always telling my team, my team is so stressed right now because we’re all perfectionists and we want to do things for each other. And we can’t, we just can’t like we were managing four kids at home and, you know, trying to do our jobs like they used to be, but they’re not the same.

[00:32:53] And we don’t know what we’re, it’s just total disorientation. And I think what’s left when we’re disoriented is [00:33:00] trusting in each other. You know that you are enough, that your best is enough. And that I don’t want any of my loved ones to be stressed out on my account right now that I just want everyone to be practicing, to speak for their needs.

[00:33:15] And, and, and trust me that I will shape around that. And then, you know, some of us, it’s hard to speak for our needs. I find that’s my challenge. I don’t even know my needs cause I’m, I don’t know, 

[00:33:26] Jenn: [00:33:26] Jen, if you can relate 

[00:33:26] Jennifer B: [00:33:26] to this, it’s just, I know when you are so tough and resilient and you just get through it and you make it look like got it out and people assume that you have it all figured out.

[00:33:36] It’s actually really hard to kind of break through that and say, You know, Monday was a bad day, Jen, and you were like, I just had to, you know, have a moment. Um, yeah. And, and showing that to the world, this is hard, but this is our work and it’s the work of vulnerability. I mean, really it’s, Bernay Brown’s, you know, Message, but we’re living it and, and in the workplace, we’re going to be able to be ourselves with each [00:34:00] other.

[00:34:00] And we’re going to learn about each other’s lives in a totally different way. I mean, I don’t know about all of you, but the intimacy that I’m having a deeper level of connection and things I’m learning that I never knew things I’m sharing that others didn’t know. I mean, these are, these are, um, these are gonna build like lasting and deeper relationships in which we can then be productive in really new ways.

[00:34:20] I mean, that’s kind of, what’s going to happen. Is that is that as we deepen, I think we get more productive with each other. I think we really start to work on what matters. I think we start to bring our gifts more unapologetically because we don’t have as many filters. Yeah, up in the morning and that’s the whole game.

[00:34:38] I mean, the problem with the world is builders. The problem is the constant maintenance of an image, because then we’re not, we’re actually not seeing the diversity of the world because so many of us are hiding who we really are, you know, and we’re also not trusting each other with our truth. And so this is a huge opportunity for us to do all of those things and kind of never go back to what it was.

[00:35:00] [00:35:00] You know, 

[00:35:03] Jenn: [00:35:03] now in general, something you just said kind of hit me and I will say this publicly, um, like just this whole like vulnerability, right? So this perfectionist, and we’re always trying to put out like this, this image, and I feel like. My image has always been like, I get shit done. Like that is just what I am known for.

[00:35:20] Like,

[00:35:24] it’s like, it’s like ingrained in my being like I just get, and I make it look effortless so

[00:35:34] I can make it look, make it look easy on the outside. But what’s interesting as we’re talking about this, I have decided to up the release state of my memoir, which was supposed to be September, and now I know that it has to get out now, or as soon as it’s done, it’s still in progress. But I say this because that is the ultimate exposure.

[00:35:56] Of like, Hey, everything’s perfect here, but Oh, by the [00:36:00] way, everything beneath the surface is a complete and utter shit show. So it’s kind of like, whatever you just said made me think like, wow, actually now is a good time to put it out there because maybe people will be less judgy. As a result, like knowing the truth, right?

[00:36:16] Like, I don’t know, I’m feeling some comfort in this. 

[00:36:21] Jennifer B: [00:36:21] Oh my gosh. Everybody does memoir. It’s just wild. It’s going to be 10. So good right now. I think there’s an opening. There’s an openness to not being as judgy about a story, as difficult as yours. Um, and all the challenges you’ve overcome and the ways you’ve overcome them.

[00:36:38] And I know some of the story, but the story just keeps. Schooling on and on, but like, you know, I do think, I do think our imperfections can be celebrated and shared and appreciated in a new way right now. And I don’t, I hope we can hold onto this. This is the miracle in this moment, you know, this is, this is the good stuff that we’re at.

[00:36:59] And like, we may [00:37:00] look back at these times and think, Oh, we’ve gone back to normal. And I missed that. You know, I miss that level of connection and vulnerability and honesty that I, we saw for a glimpse of each other. Right. Let’s not make it a glimpse. Yeah, 

[00:37:13] Jenn: [00:37:13] we, I think we have to make a concerted effort to not go back.

[00:37:16] Like obviously we need things to return to some levels, some sense of normalcy and for people not to be obviously sick and dying, but at the same time, how do we, how do we really keep that connection and intentionally keep that connection. I think it’s responsibility of people like us who. Or, you know, dropping the wall of perfection and just hitting live and hoping for the best or, you know, anyone who’s out there speaking to their communities and creating communal places to gather and all of those things.

[00:37:42] But yeah, I just, I don’t want to lose it either. Cause I’m finding it to be very. Very, it just feels like a, a hug or like your Jen was your weighted blankets. Um, 

[00:37:53] Jennifer B: [00:37:53] don’t knock it till you try it.

[00:37:58] Jenn: [00:37:58] I know. We’re definitely [00:38:00] getting to the top of our top of our, our time limit here. Do either of you have any other, I know last parting words or, or things to know. Share with anyone 

[00:38:12] Jennifer B: [00:38:12] getting some really nice comments. I’m really glad everybody’s jumping on and resonating with the conversation. And, and Jen and I, Fiona, thank you for joining us.

[00:38:22] Where are you? You’re going to join a long line of amazing people that we can’t wait to talk to you about 

[00:38:27] Jenn: [00:38:27] all this. 

[00:38:28] Fiona: [00:38:28] I feel very privileged and honored that I got invited. To come hang out. There’s one thing that I want to say, and maybe many other people have been saying the same thing, but I don’t like the labels social distancing, because.

[00:38:42] Everything to me is that we’re actually being way more social and we’re just being more creative in how we are social. Yes, it’s physical distance, but I see so much more love and kindness and empathy and social now than I had before. Like I’ve been working [00:39:00] by myself at home, essentially social distance for a long time.

[00:39:07] And now I feel like I’ve got many more people interacting with me and I feel less alone working by myself. So it’s kind of funny. And it also reminded me that, you know, I left England in 1998. I haven’t lived in the same country as my family since then. And we are an incredibly tight family with very strong relationships.

[00:39:24] My brother’s in New Zealand. My, you know, my father and my sister were in the UK and I’m in the States. And so we’ve been hugging like this for two decades. And, uh, and so I, I love, I love that humanity’s being forced to like rethink our connection. So my hope is that when we are without outside, that will just be a little bit more kinder to each other in person and online as well.

[00:39:51] Beautiful. 

[00:39:52] Jennifer B: [00:39:52] Thank you, Fiona. 

[00:39:53] Fiona: [00:39:53] Thank you. Thanks for having me, 

[00:39:57] Jennifer B: [00:39:57] Jen. Great. See you later. See you next time. 

[00:40:00] [00:39:59] Jenn: [00:39:59] We’ll be back next week. I don’t know what day. I think it might be Thursday. Yes. We back Thursday at 11:00 AM. Eastern time. Yes. With different guests and a different topic. 

[00:40:11] Fiona: [00:40:11] We don’t know. We don’t know yet.

[00:40:17] Jenn: [00:40:17] Be healthy. Be safe.