When The Worst Happens

The Worst…

April 30, 2011. I buried my baby sister on this day, nine years ago. She was 43. Yup, the worst that could happen has already happened to me. I reminded myself of that yesterday, April 30, 2020, after learning I’d be losing a major client and more than half of my income due to the pandemic. The worst has already happened, Kofi. Until That Time… Up until my sister’s passing, I considered my 2010 divorce the worst. It almost shattered my spirit – almost. I remember it was a cold, gray, sleeting 19-degrees when he silently and coldly, dropped me and my belongings at a hotel, left three $100 dollar bills on the table, and walked out without even a backward glance.  I’d moved to his home state just 8 months earlier.  The only people I knew were he and his family. I’d sold everything, even my car at his urging.  He was settled and established and said, “I got you.  Whatever you need.”  He left out the “as-long-as-you-do-what-I-say-when-I-say-go-where-I-allow-you-to-go-and-associate-with-who-I-allow-you-to-associate-with-and-don't-go-home-to-visit-your-dying-sister-cause-I-know-you-fuc$in’-someone-part.   Alone, abandoned by the person who was supposed to love and protect me, I was terrified, humiliated, and ashamed. I’d married a narcissist and that shit is cruel, especially to a highly sensitive empath like myself. I wouldn’t discover until much later what a narcissist was and that I was an empath. I just knew his treatment to be an unbearable pain I had to escape. Yeah, at that moment in time, that was the worst. Then came… The Plantation May 2018.  This month marks two years since I escaped.  It was two years earlier than my planned exit.  But in the early Trump era, I’d come face-to-face with the ugliness of bold racism I’d never been exposed to. I’d spent a 30-year career being “the only one” in various corporate and higher ed administrations. I was blindly naïve. I didn’t see the world as black or white. I’d always been loved and admired wherever I worked because I was a bad-ass sister who brought immense value to an organization. Until this joint right here. WTF?! After a little over a year, I slowly came to understand the uneasy feelings I’d had from day one at the predominately white higher ed campus. My empathetic spirit was feeling all kinds of negative energy. I dreaded going to work and the environment was making me physically ill.    The “N” word was used under the guise of “educating.”  Racial insults written on bathroom stalls.  “White Is Right” signs posted all around campus. February school newspaper headline: “Why We Don’t Teach Black History.”  A senior faculty member telling a “hilarious-cp-time-joke” in my presence during a social event.  And, finally, the one that sent me over the edge, a newly transferred white, male co-worker displaying a KKK statue on his desk, claiming it to be a religious figure and “not what you think it is, Kofi” 😳 It hurt and scared me, but mostly it made me angry.  Really, really angry.  A type of anger I’d never felt and couldn’t be ignored or suppressed. My ancestors’ spirits were literally raging within me!  Not one molecule of my African being could remain there any longer and I most definitely didn’t feel safe.  So, I took a Queen-like leap, not knowing the “how,” but expecting the net to show up.  After all, the worst had already happened. Yeah, another one! (ala DJ Khalid) So, yesterday, learning that I’d be losing over half of my income in a short 30 days, I reminded myself: I survived divorce and homelessness during a damn blizzard.  That prepared me for the devastating loss of my sister. I was hurt and scared and angry because of ugly racism.  That launched my virtual business two years before COVID-19. The Reality Since that time, I have doubled my corporate salary. I work from the comfort of my home in leggings, a crop top, and no makeup.

(Except for Zoom calls :) I set my own schedule. I am the CEO of me. I take early morning walks in my dream community.  I enjoy afternoon power naps, and  My income is only limited by my efforts. But let me keep it real. A LOT of long hours go into being Ms. CEO. I work harder for me than I did on the plantation and my freedom and peace of mind are so worth it! The Questions On my morning walk, I asked myself 3 questions:

  1. What do I want?

  2. What do I need to be doing right now?

  3. What do I need in order to do that right now?

I worked through the process and discovered:

I want to make a bigger difference and empower more Black women, right now.

I want to create new content and programs, right now.

I need a plan to supplement my income, right now.

I need time, prime, creative time, not the wee-hours-when-I’m-tired-leftover-time in order to create.

The Reframe

Losing my major client gives me exactly what I need – time to create and administer my own programs. I am capable of maintaining and surpassing my income goals. Black women need empowerment now more than ever. I’ve spent the past 10 years preparing for this unprecedented time. I am more than ready. I am more than capable. (Repeat as often as needed.)

The Truth

Life contains both good and bad experiences. Not either-or. Know this.

You always rise. Remember, this.

You are source power. Learn this.

So, if you feel that the worst is happening right now. Remind yourself that you have survived 100% of every challenge that’s ever dared come your way and often without knowing “the how.”

The Steps

When we change the way we look at life, life changes.  Write your “reframe,” a different, more empowering way to look at your current situation. Remind yourself of it as often as needed until you begin to feel it in your empowered soul.

Spend some time with the questions I used earlier. Numbers 1 and 2 are interchangeable because you may not know what you want right now.  Understandable in our new, ever-changing reality, right?  But I’m certain you know what you need at this exact moment. Ask: 

  1. What do I want right now?

  2. What do I need to be doing right now?

  3. What do I need in order to do that right now?

And remember, when the worst has already happened, what is there to fear? If you’re stuck or need help processing your next steps, email me at kofi@coachkofi.com. Love, 

Power + Clarity + Direction = Empowered Living

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