the year of you, day 33

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Meditation: At the Center is Love: Liquid Mind –

Question: Name five people who have had a profound impact on your life.

Answer: Again, just limiting it to five is REALLY hard! And I’m going to list non-family members, because they will always have a profound impact on my life. However, I’m going to do this a little different (and cheat) because there were groups of people in different situations that have had profound impacts. With that said, here’s my five (not in any particular order):

  1. Gail Mattix – Back when I was a lost puppy dog as an undergraduate student, she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. She was most influential in me getting a minority graduate assistantship for my Master’s degree, as well as a trusted friend and colleague in our Advisement Resource Center. She stood with me through the good and the bad in those early years, when I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. And I adored her kids, Randy and Katie – they always treated me like I was family!
  2. The “Dave’s” – Dave Barlow (University of Delaware) and Dave Prensky (TCNJ) were former bosses, who were both instrumental in providing me opportunities to hone my craft. Both had the same sentiment – you know this stuff better than we do, so do what needs to be done to make this work. Both also became great friends.
  3. On Course Family (Skip Downing, Robin Middleton, etc.) – They brought me into their “family” and treated me exceptionally well. They were one of the first groups that believed in me and my abilities.
  4. UNCG/HHS Advocates: Celia Hooper and Kathy Williams hired me in 2007 to “do something different than all of the other advisors on campus – which ahs become the Life Design Catalyst Program. They defended me and the work the first couple of year during the recession (when faculty wanted my position). I rewarded their faith in me by showing increases in retention and graduation rate numbers; in addition, the large number of students whose lives were changed going through our courses, workshops, etc.
  5. Megan Cayton – Megan and I met when I first started at UNCG in 2007 – started working together in 2013 (I think), and she helped build this incredible curriculum that had become the Design Your Life courses that have not only impacted students, but advisors, coaches, and educators across the country! I am so, so grateful to have such a trusted friend as a colleague. Just remember University of Wisconsin-Plattville!

I know I went over my allotment of five, but I wanted to use this as a way to document periods of my life when I really needed support and advocates for all the things that run amuck in my head. When I think back on my past, these are the people that were influential in making me who I am today…and this is my tribute to them to say thank you for believing in me. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Who makes it on your list? Let me know…

Other Stuff

As I think back to the stories I shared above, the key piece in all these scenarios is ONE thing: they showed up. They have various credentials, skills, knowledge, attributes, etc. – but they showed up in my life at the right time in the right way. They were people first – titles didn’t mean a thing. They were themselves – authentic, honest, supportive, loving, and lived with great integrity. And reflecting on this made me find an article that really addresses what’s most important. Just show up. Check it out here:

How do you show up in the world? If not, start today. What do you have to lose?


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