What Remains…

Whenever I recall the difficult days of my divorce, I can’t help but remember the kindness of family and friends.

I remember how my senior Non Commissioned Officers, Len Colello and Gary Haskins would take turns asking me if I had been to the gym, which always made me laugh … and go to the gym!

I remember how a friend took me to fetch my daughter after I walked out of my building to discover my husband had taken my car, leaving us stranded.

I remember how my grandmother gave me access to a low interest loan that allowed me to get a new car.

I’m grateful I no longer feel the pain of those memories…just the kindness which fills my heart with joy and even more gratitude.

Inhale Kindness, Exhale Pain…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Painful Memories…
Inhale Gratitude, Exhale Regret…
Just Breathe


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Asking for Help

The month after my divorce, I moved to my Air Force assignment in England with my not-quite-three-year-old daughter. Within the span of a month, I became a single parent and took a new job in another country on a different continent. Stressful doesn’t really begin to describe the experience.

But, it was there I realized I couldn’t do everything by myself. So I took some baby steps and accepted the assistance that was offered and then, on occasion, bravely asked for the help I needed.

And I learned it didn’t make me less of a mom or a lesser leader. Accepting and asking for help just made me a more humble, humane human.

Inhale Help, Exhale Pride…
Inhale Humility, Exhale Pretense…
Inhale Humanity, Exhale Ego…
Just Breathe


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It’s been interesting to watch entrenched Trump supporters dig in even deeper after every misstep, misstatement, or mistake.

But before you dismiss them as idiots, let me ask you, especially my Chicago folks, do you buy R. Kelly’s music?

Have you chosen to ignore his problematic personal behavior or just been unable to see his behavior as problematic?

Or maybe, the things he does that you support, in your mind, offset the really nasty things you don’t support.

Or maybe the folks he’s doing the nasty things to, don’t matter to you.

“Folks stay on the “I KNOW R. KELLY IS TRASH BUT HE IS SO GOOD” wagon and THAT is wack … It’s like Trump supporters being all “WE KNOW HE CAN’T READ BUT HE IS OUR PRESIDENT. RESPECT HIM.”” ~ Awesomely Luvvie Ajayi

Inhale Clarity, Exhale Excuses…
Inhale Accountability, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Justice, Exhale Injustice…
Just Breathe


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Broken Trust

It sometimes seems that those who have been the most marginalized in this country seem afraid to trust positive change, afraid to loose the little bit they have, afraid to believe in plans that could improve their housing, their communities, even their way of life.

But is it fair to expect those who have been intentionally prevented access to the wealth of one of the richest countries in the world, to suddenly trust people offering help without asking what is needed, people making promises when previous promises have been perverted, or people making plans for a community without including the community in the planning process?

“The Obama Foundation’s plans to build the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park have sparked a complicated, and at times emotional, conversation about race, class, segregation, privilege and power on the South Side.

The conversation has raised delicate and fragile issues: who gets a voice in the discussion, who gets heard, who gets action, and how the history of racial and class segregation shapes expectations.” ~ Lolly Bowean, Contact Reporter, Chicago Tribune

Inhale Agreement, Exhale Alienation…
Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Isolation…
Inhale Negotiation, Exhale Segregation…
Just Breathe…


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Evil in Our Midst

I do think it’s difficult for decent people to truly grasp immoral, evil behavior, even when it’s happening right in front of them. But it’s obvious that some Americans have been conditioned to believe evil looks a certain way, acts a particular way and is a characteristic reserved primarily for the “other.”

They seem unable to recognize evil behavior when it’s coming from someone looks like them, acts like them … is one of them.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

Inhale Decency, Exhale Delusion…
Inhale Discomfort, Exhale Denial…
Inhale Disruption, Exhale Deflection…
Just Breathe


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People in leadership positions, whether earned or wanted … or not, are always communicating. Their words, their actions and reactions, their body language, their clothing…everything presented in public is seen and interpreted. So it’s imperative to be intentional about what is communicated.

Otherwise, positive or negative, people will hear (or see) what was communicated as what was meant.

“Be impeccable with your word.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Inhale Intentionality, Exhale Duplicity…
Inhale Accuracy, Exhale Dishonesty…
Inhale Responsibility, Exhale Deception…
Just Breathe


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In Charge

On the plane ride back from FL, where I witnessed a wife/mother/leader take command, I was able to watch (while flying…love technology!) another wife/mother/leader and G.O.A.T., Serena Williams, win her semi-final match at Wimbledon.

Despite all the regressive political language, racist actions by neighbors all over the U.S., and attempts by states to roll back hard fought gains, these women and others, on stages national and local, are showing what mature, calm, compassionate, grown-up leadership looks like.

And I am here for it.

Inhale Calm, Exhale Impetuous…
Inhale Mature, Exhale Childish…
Inhale Compassionate, Exhale Uncaring…
Just Breathe


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In Command

This week, I was able to witness a stellar Air Force officer take command for the first time. This officer has done everything required to earn command, to include deployments and high profile assignments at the Air Force major command level.

The new commander replaced another superb officer who led the unit to Air Force wide recognition, earning personal recognition and awards along the way.

The fact that both the incoming and outgoing commanders are women with families should not be and may not be newsworthy to you. But I needed to make note of these women who have refused to sacrifice aspects of their personal life (marriage, kids, etc.) to achieve professional success. Bravo!

Inhale Calling, Exhale Ignoring…
Inhale Capability, Exhale Gender Bias…
Inhale The Life You Want, Exhale Societal Expectations…
Just Breathe


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