Women in the Arena

The Power of Challenging Limiting Beliefs with Stacey Luces

July 19, 2023 Audra Agen Season 6 Episode 1
Women in the Arena
The Power of Challenging Limiting Beliefs with Stacey Luces
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt like you're wearing the "Superwoman Cape," trying to manage your career, while caring for your kids and aging parents, without any time left for yourself? Join me, as I chat with Stacey Luces, the remarkable founder of Evolution Executive Coaching and author of 'We Rise in Power Amplifying Women of Color and Their Voices for Change'. This episode takes us through her journey of burnout, stress, and how she made the necessary changes to take control of her life.

Then, we explore the phase of life beyond motherhood, the struggle to reestablish our identity, and the importance of self-reflection and vulnerability in this process. We discuss the hard truth of feeling grateful but wanting more and the need to challenge our limiting beliefs to create the life we desire. As women, connecting with others who are striving for more can be one of our most powerful tools.

Towards the end, we delve into the significance of facing our emotions head-on and the impact it can have on making our dreams a reality. Stacey shares a powerful exercise of self-reflection that helped her overcome a life-threatening illness. We wrap up with an invitation for you to connect with Stacey for further wisdom and support. Tune in for a conversation filled with insights and strategies to help you navigate your life and career.


https://evolutionexecutivecoaching.com/

Go check out all of our episodes on our website: https://womeninthearena.net/


If you are ready to tell your story or want to refer someone, please email me at audra@womeninthearena.net

***Last thing- I'd love to interview the following women:

  • Joan Jett
  • Dolly Parton
  • Viola Davis
  • Ina Garten

Maybe you can help me get there****


Thank you all for supporting this show and all of the Women in the Arena!!

Audra :

Welcome and everyone, and thank you so much for joining me again this week and also welcome to season six. We have made it to six seasons, so I wanted to take a moment and express my gratitude to all of you for your continuing support and helping build this audience worldwide, and you've done it all word of mouth and one person at a time. So thank you very much for your continued support and cheering me on. I really am grateful for that. Now let's get to our interview. My guest this week is Stacey Luces, and she is a powerhouse. She is the founder of Evolution Executive Coaching and she has quite the pedigree. Let me just mention a couple of things to you. She has experience working with teams, with Fortune 100 companies, with federal agencies. She coaches the C-suite and she also is an author. Her book is we Rise in Power Amplifying Women of Color and Her Voices for Change. Her chapter in that book is called Brown Girl in the Arena. Isn't that perfect. It's amazing that she and I connected, because she and I are in the same wavelength. We are going to talk today about what does that mean? What does that mean to be the Brown Girl in the Arena or be a woman in the arena. It's all. It is my honor and my pleasure to introduce to you Stacey Luces. Stacey, thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show.

Stacey :

Thank you so much. Happy belated birthday and happy you know. Congratulations anniversary on your 6th season and that is truly an accomplishment and I'm excited and honored to be here also.

Audra :

Thank you very, very much. I appreciate that. It's been a labor of love. It's also been such an amazing I refer to it as the magic carpet ride because I had absolutely no idea what would happen or who I would meet and what the audience would react, and so it's been quite the remarkable journey and the fact that you and I got connected, I think through LinkedIn, and you had reached out to me and said hey, I think that we might be kindred spirits, let's talk, let's figure out if my hunch is right and your hunch is correct. We absolutely have very similar backgrounds, but I don't want to steal the thunder. I would love for you to speak to the audience and tell them a little bit more about you, what your origins are and what has inspired you to the point you are now.

Stacey :

So I originally grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, so hence my title Brown Girl in the arena and definitely coming here. In my teens, you know, I bought into the Superwoman Cape phenomenon, which is the everything to everyone at any given time, and that really followed me throughout my teen years, you know, working and putting myself through college into my 20s, got married, had kids into my 30s, started ramping up the corporate ladder. I have worked with companies like IBM, Morgan Stanley, department of Homeland Security, at the Pentagon, so very male, dominated, very high performing, very stressful environments that lulled me into thinking that this was just the way that things were. I am also one of millions of women in the US who are considered part of the sandwich generation. This means as older adults. You know I'm in my 40s and so this sandwich generation covers women in their 40s, 50s, 60s. We're still pursuing long term goals, right, we still got to support our families, but we're getting to the point we are thinking about our own retirement. Meanwhile, we waited quite a long time to have kids, so we've got little kids who are maybe in elementary middle, even high school, so we're stressed out about their college and their futures. But on the other end of that sandwich. Our parents are still alive, but they are now in their 70s or 80s and struggling with health issues that we, as generations, may have been largely unprepared for, not only financially but emotionally and so forth. And so I will speak for myself, but also for many of the women I'm sure you speak to and many of the women that I collaborate and work with, is we're burnt out, unhealthy, stressed out, overworked, definitely over scheduled, so we're running on empty and, like I mentioned, putting everyone and everything else above our needs, and so, for me, that led to a series of very significant health incidents that meant I had to make some big changes, and so I did, and I'm sure we'll talk a little bit more about that.

Audra :

We absolutely will, and I want to pause for a moment because you said a lot of really key things. It's telling us a little bit about your background and who you are. One of the things that I want to focus on at the moment is this crazy idea that we can do it all. We can do it all, we can be it all, we can have it all at the same time. This is what I struggle with, and I wonder if you struggle with the same thing. As a young girl and a teen, I was reinforced with the idea that you can do it all, you can have it all. Whatever it is that you want, you can go get. I was in high school during the era of bring your daughter to work day, that kind of thing, what I felt, and I saw this in print not too long ago and I thought, oh my gosh, that's it. I was raised in an era where I was raised with traditional gender roles and also you go girl. So there was no make a choice. It was have everything Take care of your family, your kids, do the grocery shopping, take care of the bills, make sure your husband gets to the doctor and go have a career. What is up with that?

Stacey :

100% A plus plus. We grew up so I was born in the late 70s, right, so we grew up drinking Madonna and Whitney Houston and girl just wanna have fun, and I'm every woman and wearing heels and really cool black suits to work and coming home and making dinner and doing laundry and all of the good things. I feel like we were sold a bag of semi-rotten fruit and we're slowly rethinking this, especially coming out of the pandemic. We've had a taste of what true balance could look like. I know the pandemic was super traumatic and there's a lot of grief still around that period. I call it the lost years and I think, coming out of it, even though we are in 2023, we're still in kind of this limbo state where it's like how do I? I can't go back to what I once was. I don't quite know what I yet I wanna be, but I know for sure something has to shift. It can't just be me going back to 2019, post pandemic, and so I think that's been the impetus for a lot of women not only leaving the workforce. I myself walked away from a 15 year federal career in December. I was a GS15, high GS15 supervisory position, so it wasn't like I was still working my way out, I was literally at the top of my game and it felt really empty and I felt really tired and I think that we cannot have it all. I think what's important is that we prioritize what we really want in our lives Things we love, the people we love, the things we wanna do, what our legacy is gonna be and how we amplify. That is how we have our version of all.

Audra :

What do you think? That when you get to a certain level and we've had it, and I'm only gonna speak for myself, I'm only gonna speak for myself, because I can't speak for everybody. But you get to a certain level and you think oh, when I get there, that'll be it. Everything will magically fall into place, I will magically feel better, I will feel like I've arrived and I will feel fulfilled. Why didn't that happen?

Stacey :

I think the same level of thinking that God is there is not what's gonna sustain us for the other half of our life. I think a lot of us run into this feeling at midlife. Let's pretend we're all gonna look to be 80 or 90, so for many of us that's 40. We may have some early bloomers or late bloomers, but definitely I feel like this struggle with not being enough hits some kind of pinnacle at that age where you're looking around at the quote unquote top of the mountain and you're like, wow, this is it. Meanwhile, I don't even know what I love to do anymore. I can't remember the last time I really had fun. My to-do list keeps growing. I am worried that I'm not the best parent. I have a team, I show up, I do really good work, but what is my legacy If I were to literally leave this earth right now? Are the things that I am dedicated to even worthwhile? And I think those are not only valid questions, given where we are in our life, meaning we maybe have a shorter runway in front of us than we did behind us but logically, you want your life to be purposeful, you want your kids to look up to you. And this is a funny story I tell and I think I told you this where one Christmas a couple of years ago, my kids bought Christmas ornaments for us stocking stoppers and they bought my husband a motorcycle, and they bought me a laptop and I was like, oh my God, maybe all they think I do is work and, quite honestly, work validated a lot of who I was, and I think, as women, we get caught in this trap where we are in many cases, honestly now primary breadwinners in our household, yet expected to come home and pull the weight of all the other things and also quote unquote live up to our true potential like live, our passion and purpose. So it's quite a complex mosh pit of things that we're dealing with, but definitely I do believe that that's when it hits us. We're at the top of the mountain and then we're like I know how I got here, but if this is it, I want more and I just at this point in my life, I don't know what more looks like, because I've really forgotten who I am.

Audra :

And some people might look at that and go, oh, that sounds like a midlife crisis. I disagree. I think it's a midlife awakening, a hundred percent. In my particular case, it was because we're empty nesters now and, ladies, for those of you that still have kids at home and you're like, these children make me crazy the answer is they do. They absolutely do. Being on the other side of it, when they move out, you suddenly discover all this brain capacity that you had missing for years. So, yes, if you feel like they're sucking brain cells out your brain, they are. They are, because I didn't discover that until they were both moved out. But that having the openness and having the clarity of thought and the opportunity to have thought for more than 30 seconds is what really. It gave me leverage to start thinking about okay, what do I want? I never considered it before, ever, because I didn't have time to. And now I'm like, oh, my goodness, what's next? And I'm meeting more and more women that are thinking these same things, such as yourself, but we're not talking about it. We're not talking to each other about it and maybe there's a little bit and, like I said, I can only speak for myself there's a little bit of feeling like I should feel grateful, or I should I sound selfish, or what I need more for myself. I've been very fortunate, I've done this, that and the other thing. I have this family, I have this husband, I have this partner. I should feel like that's enough. And so you're at war with yourself for a while, struggling with that, and some are still struggling with that. What about the ones that are like I can't fight this anymore? What do you say to them? Stacy, because women, especially in our generation or age gap, is happens to be your passion and your focus.

Stacey :

I think that there's a moment of clarity that we sometimes get with ourselves in our quiet hour. Maybe it comes when you have a death of a loved one or some sort of big incident. For me it happened when I had a huge health scare, as I mentioned, and in my case a quick, long story short I had emergency surgery a couple of years ago and in my case I flatlined twice, and so for me, literally having that story of dying and coming back, I realized that if I didn't do something drastic and make some big changes, I may not get the opportunity to not only see my kids grow up but do the things that I had put on the back burner for so long. And I think women that come to us, to me in particular so I'm an executive coach obviously there's a conditioning there that we work really hard to uncover what those thoughts are and what those limitations are and where they really come from. So it's a lot of emotional healing and I don't know that women like us are comfortable with that enough to some extent, because we want a plan and we want sort of a schedule and we want, like, tell me what to do and how to do it, and a lot of this work entails deep and honest reflection and a vulnerability and a candidness with each other that we were taught to put aside and pull our good traps up and move forward. And so talking about the ugly things like pre-menopause or menopause or infertility, or unconscious bias or racism or sexual abuse or sexual trauma or never having a parent tell you you were pretty seen either too much or too frivolous. But I think that if you really want clarity around where you are right now, where you hope to be let's say, we're 80 years old in a rocking chair thinking back on our life, when you understand I'm 45, I know what I would love to do when I'm 80, what's the gap and how do I close it. That's a whole different level of empowerment than reading a good book about empowerment. It's really putting in the work and digging in with other strong women that have been through some things and are on the other side and can not only help you but guide you and link arms with you. I think it allows us to be more authentic about what we want. That guilt about. Hey, I should be happy that I have this great big house with this husband and this car and they're starting people in the world. That really sets us up to live a life where we're on status quo I often joke with clients who are in this predicament I was also in this predicament for many years is, if you are living a life let's say a challenging life, is one an amazing life, where you are at your full potential is 10 and we're currently at level five. I'm like would you want a doctor to operate on you and they're like man, he's a five out of 10. His performance is average. Would you want to date a five or be hire a candidate who was like oh yeah, they've passed 50%, but I'm sure you won't need the other 50%? Like, just take half a car.

Audra :

You don't need the brakes. The brakes are awesome.

Stacey :

I'm nothing about half asking life. That should be acceptable. Yet we love ourselves into thinking that you know what it's fine in this airless existence, because I should be grateful that it's not worse than it is. That's sort of a really awkward way of thinking, right. If our kids were to come to us with that scenario, we would not even tolerate it.

Audra :

No, we'd say absolutely not. Stacey, I tell on myself a lot on my show because this is how I roll In regards to all of that. I am an expert compartmentalizer. I mean, I am like, yes, if I was a video game, I would be the highscorer. But what I have discovered as I've gotten older? I've been busy stacking these boxes in the box In my soul for so long. There's no more room for any more boxes of compartmentalizing, trouble, trauma, hurt, disappointment, dreams oh my gosh. I compartmentalize dreams because I'm like, oh, I'll do that later, or oh, that sounds frivolous or whatever. This is a dream that I have that I've never spoken out loud. Stacy, it's just yeah, you and everybody else is hearing it. First, I want to learn how to play the drums. Yeah, crazy, I know, insane. There's no purpose of it. What am I going to do? Join a rock band? Maybe, I don't know, but it's like those kinds of things that I and everybody I shouldn't say everybody else, but ladies like me do. They have this crazy dream and they talk themselves out of it. No, I can't do that. That's ridiculous. What am I going to do with that? I can't do anything with it. Don't do anything with it, just do it, yeah. So it's that kind of stuff that gets me up at night and it makes me start thinking about not just for myself but for others, and I would definitely want to talk about your chapter in your book. But what I'd love for you to do is those that are listening are like oh, this kind of sounds like me. Maybe this sounds like me. Is there an exercise? I know that you walk through quite a process with your clients. Is there a starter exercise that you can share with the audience to help them at least start thinking a little bit more inward and maybe help clear out some of those boxes that they've stacked up internally?

Stacey :

Yeah, I mean to come to mind, but I think the one I will go with is I probably dropped a little hint about that. There is one exercise that's particularly powerful for many people. There's two versions to it. For the ones like me that like to dive in the deep end, the exercise is write your eulogy as you are today, like no fluff. This isn't a social media post. You don't have to press anyone with this. There's no FOMO here. Write it as you are now. When I wrote this for myself a couple of years ago, I had the best ugly cry. I was not doing what I had been thinking about doing for many years Writing that I was an okay mom. I was probably an autopilot with that too. I was a decent wife. I think we were in the stick of young kids and it's who's got soccer and who's got ballet and who's got jujitsu and who's got the pick up, drop off and you've got groceries. I got dinner and we were probably functioning more like roommates. I'm happy to say we're celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. We're happier than ever, but at the time you guys, when I wrote that eulogy sucked. I was a shitty friend. I'd show up for happy hours, but really I was just quote unquote busy a lot. I was a great employee. They got all of my best work, but it left me nothing for all the other parts of my life. I had to write it as I would like it to be. I will tell you that it has been about three years since I did that exercise and in three years I've hit about 80% of that list. One of it was a best selling novel, which we'll talk a little bit about. One of it was leave a matrix, as I called a corporate Start, my own successful practice helping women across the world Be reignited in passion with my husband. Who were we as a couple? What's my vision for that relationship? A lot of us have visions for our business and our corporate gig, but we don't talk about hey, what's my mission and vision and what are my objectives for the most important relationships in our life? It doesn't have to be a spouse or a partner, but you know the people you love and care deeply about. So I think that is a very powerful way for you to have some sort of quick realization about what is actually the cost to you off not showing up for you.

Audra :

Yeah, Stacey gave me this assignment a week ago and I wanted to tell on myself again. I wrote it down in one of my infamous notebooks, because I have three different notebooks. I wrote down the question, stacey. I have not wrote yet, because every time I sit down to write, I get overwrote, overwhelmed with emotion, which completely shocked me. I thought, okay, I can write this thing, but then I realized that I can't write it on autopilot and it really is going to take some emotion and reflection. So every time I sit down to write it, I get overwhelmed, I start crying, I'm like nope, so why am I telling you?

Stacey :

I will gently say that some of that is avoidant. Absolutely it is, and I think that you just have to stuff yourself through that discomfort and really write it on a napkin, on a brown bag from five guys, burgers, whatever you've got in front of you and just chicken, scratch the hell out of it because that's your truth right now and leaving it until the environment or your emotions or something is better. You're just going to put it off. But for me, it changed my life in the sense of when I read that and how absolutely level five that was and there was nothing bad about it. I was making high six figures. I live in our big old house out in South Florida, got two beautiful kids right. There was, on the surface, nothing, absolutely nothing for me to be this feeling, this void about. Yet it was there the same way. It's there for you, the same way it's there, probably for many women and men listening to this podcast, and you've got this one tiny life right, like you owe it to yourself to, like hit the gas man and like figure it out.

Audra :

Yes, we've got this one big, beautiful life. Yeah, we've got one shot at it. So I tell on myself to tell all of you I will do this exercise with you. I am cheering for you as I am cheering for myself. So please, be brave and write this, because I will be brave to write this and maybe we can get Stacy to do a live with us and we'll talk about my eulogy or other people's eulogy. We'll get brave, we'll get big bad Amazing. So I challenge all of you and I encourage all of you to try that exercise. Let's see what happens. What's the worst that could happen? I mean nothing. What's worse than where you are now?

Stacey :

And I will tell you sometimes, to your point about doing it alone sometimes feels overwhelming. You can totally do this with friends or siblings, or I wouldn't recommend coworkers because very deeply personal. But one of the things that I am going to do in a couple of months, as I have done my practice. I typically work one-on-one with folks, but I realize now that I have to give a forum and a venue for community and sisterhood and connection of women going through this together and healing together. And so one of the things we're working on is a retreat that we're going to host October 27, 28, 29 in Austin, texas, and I just signed a contract on that and did the agenda. But I will tell you that this retreat is for women that really want to put in the work for leveling up their life. It's not going to be hey, let's just sit and close their eyes and chant. The venue is beautiful, so it's Lake Austin Spa, so we're surrounded by water and the earth and mother nature and birds and flowers and each other in gratitude and in love and in acceptance and surrender. Surrender is the hardest word for me to like lean into, because to me the concept of surrender is I'm giving up something, I'm losing something, and that always gets my hackles up. I'm like, no, I don't want to surrender anything. I've worked too hard, but a part of it is with feminine power and personal power. When you surrender control and your need to control the outcomes of things that we honestly cannot. I had no control over myself getting sick and like flatlining we have no control over. Tomorrow we could be in a car accident and I'm not saying that to be like dramatic, but literally if you really think about this life, what we think we have control over is maybe very little things like the dishes in the sink, but career-wise, you could be doing a great job in an amazing environment and have your budget cut the next week or write your boss that you love maybe leave, or you have a significant incident in your home life, whether a child or a partner or you yourself get sick and you're out of the workforce. Like there are so many unknowns that we owe it to ourselves to understand hey, how can I ensure that my priorities and my core values are front and center and then go from there? And then so, when things happen and I pivot, I'm still within not only my safe space but my sacred. Does that make sense.

Audra :

It makes perfect sense because, yeah, the word surrender gives me significant anxiety, because my first thought was I want to fight you right now. I want to fight you for this. I'm going to fight you because I'm not going to give up control. I've worked too hard to have this illusion of control, because that's what it is. It was an illusion of control. I've worked too hard and, no, I'm going to fight you to give this up. But you reminded me of something that happened to me that I was completely out of control of and I was like, oh my gosh, I got very, very ill. I came down with colitis a couple of summers ago and, up to the moment when I realized that I was in big, fat trouble, I was on a conference call. No joke, I was on a conference call, doubling over, feeling like I was going to pass out. Still, I completed the call, ladies. I made it through the entire call, hung up and realized I was in trouble. I did not know what was wrong with me, but I knew something was very, very wrong. I am telling you this because it was more important to me to complete the call. What a dumb dumb. I ended up being in the hospital for four days because I was so ill. Think about that. I was so ill, didn't realize that I was that ill. I was focused on a conference call that I don't even remember what it was about.

Stacey :

One of the things I talk a lot about is having integrity with yourself. What you showed was integrity for your job. You had a mission. You had people have expectations of you. That was your responsibility. You showed up for that, in spite of your body literally shutting down. I think a lot of times we break so many promises to ourselves that with little things that the big things seem insurmountable, because it's almost like the sole part of you is like yeah, I knew you were not going to do that. When you've broken so many promises to yourself and all we ever show up with to the table for ourselves is maybe the self-critic we talked about. Your dog's name is Mike. What is it? Michael Wazowski? Right, he is from Monsters Inc, which is one of my favorite shows. I will tell you. I give that voice in my head, the inner critic. I gave her a voice and a physical feature. Is that actually remember the blue gatekeeper in Monsters Inc that she was like Mike Wazowski and she sort of had that nasally gross voice. I don't know her name. She's actually my avatar for my grumpy inner critic. We let those little monsters run free in our head about well, you didn't do that right, or you should have done this differently. Or who are you to be to show up with this big dream? What do you think you're going to accomplish with that? They run the show. That integrity piece is something that we were really hard with, because when you are in complete confidence with who you are and what you want and how you want to show up in the world, to some extent you're unstoppable. That scares the crap out of some of us, because what if we still have that niggling doubt? What if I still fail. What are people going to do Really at this point in our lives? We're old enough to know better.

Audra :

We are old enough to know better, but we are conditioned. We are conditioned by history, we are conditioned by culture, we are conditioned by with each other.

Stacey :

We are women with each other. Some of my most competitive interactions have been with other women where we are literally buying for whatever tiny token we were given at the table.

Audra :

I refuse to look at other women as competition anymore. I refuse it because I don't believe it. I also believe that if I don't have a different perspective, then the view will never change. So I tell as many women as I possibly can, even those that may not like me. I will tell them out loud you are not my competition, you are my greatest asset and I'm going to act accordingly. I'm trying to turn that same thing inward. So much harder, absolutely so much harder, so much easier to do that externally, harder to do it internally. It's the whole conditioning thing.

Stacey :

I give clients with you and your listeners, so this one is really good. Maybe if you do it and you have me back on, you can tell me how that goes, but it is the concept. So if I ask you, what do you envision a guardian to be guardianship?

Audra :

Guardianship. I get a visual because I live with pictures in my head. The first thing I think of is guardian angel.

Stacey :

And what are some of the characteristics of a guardian angel Big?

Audra :

strong, also sensitive, empathetic.

Stacey :

Protective right. Exactly Keeping you safe. I ask women I should say everyone I ask people to assume guardianship over themselves for 30 days.

Audra :

What, what the heck does that mean?

Stacey :

So that means that if and I'll give you a scenario if someone were to make me the guardian of a young adult, or even somebody that went through some trauma or something like that, and they said Stacey, you are now the guardian for Pam. whoever, I would do my utmost to ensure that this person had what they needed and also, if they messed something up, I would have so much forgiveness and grace and honor the lesson that and the experience that they're having. And so when you assume guardianship for yourself, you almost have this third party perspective on how you live your day-to-day life. Ie do Netflix for eight hours instead of really getting eight hours of sleep. Do you not use the bathroom at 3 pm and maybe you wanted to go since 10 am? Do you drink a sip of water in the morning but then have two cups of coffee and you don't actually drink water until maybe dinner at night, which means you're probably dehydrated and whatever. If you were the guardian of someone and they were doing those things and it was your responsibility to make sure they were healthy and strong and safe, you'd be like time out, bro. Let's get you back on track. Here's what we do. Especially when you're a young adult right like you, would take charge and make sure that they were doing what they needed to do to be safe and healthy and feel protected. We don't do that with ourselves. So when you assume this guardianship role over yourself for 30 days, the kind of stuff you run into that you're putting yourself through it's crazy.

Audra :

Well, challenge accepted, I'm going to give this a shot.

Stacey :

Document it a little bit and you're like oh my God, I kept no promises to myself. I didn't have any meal on time. I said yeah challenge accepted.

Audra :

Yeah, we'll figure out how this goes. Yeah, before we run out of time because I do definitely watch the clock, because I want to utilize our time wisely Tell us a little bit about your book. Obviously, the title of the chapter has me so intrigued because it is so in line with what the visual that I have. But what is your book, what is the basis of it and what is the message?

Stacey :

So the book called we Rise in Power amplifying women of color and our voices for change and it's a compilation and all of the authors are women of color very diverse in their backgrounds but also their career journeys. We've got people in IT, a lawyer, federal careers, writers you name it psychologists, all of those good things. Yet the common theme for all of you? We live both in the US and Canada. Many of us are from different countries. So, given all of those complex layers, what we found astonishing and we did not collaborate in the writing of the book we're just compiled in the book itself. I didn't read the book until after it was published and I ugly cried my way through most of it, because what struck me and I think what will strike you, was the common human experiences that we all experienced, but also what you and I were talking about Right, and so we have these experiences that we don't bring to light, and it was important for us as women of color during this time you know, the EIA is everywhere where we talked about our lived experience in the context of both the challenging things whether it was racist comments or conscious bias, you name it to the positive things, where we had amazing mentors and people that took us under their wings and allowed us to sort of grow into the woman that we are, the powerful woman that we are, but the vulnerability that was threaded throughout the book was also something super important For me. I talk about, well, some of the things I've chatted about here, but really it was this being on my knees in surrender during what, arguably should have been the pinnacle of my career, and having that realization that it just wasn't enough. And then the comeback like what was the renewal, what was the rebirth? Like what did that look like? It looked like leaving a corporate job. It looked like having all of these degrees and certifications and saying, nope, I just want to like, do my own thing, Right. It was leaving other people's expectations of me and my life with them Because really their opinion of me shouldn't be more important than my opinion of myself and reinventing, to some extent, the way I wanted to live my life. It entailed moving to Florida from Washington DC. It entailed leaving 20 minutes from the beach. It entailed revaluating my relationship. It entailed establishing boundaries with not only my family but with myself and how I show up for work. So it really was a reckoning and that's what my chapter is about. And I love the term Brown Girl in the arena, because when we are in the arena, we're in it and the people that are with us in it are our partners, that's our community and the people watching. They can have their own opinions about it, but really it shouldn't impact what you're doing, because they're not blood, sweat and tearing it with you. And that was really important to me, as I'm sure you know the name of your podcast. It's important to me to be not only in my practice but in my life, but in the things I'm going to do in the future with this book, that I run myself with people that are actually in the arena and functioning at level 9 or 10. Because that's where the magic is, and I think we are magical beings. I mean, really, we're just like bluffs on, like land on water, in a spinning ball, in a black hole with other spinning, I mean, if we really think about it, and so we owe it to ourselves to really pursue the divinity within us, but also find other people who are also doing that and really go there.

Audra :

Especially women, because women are incredible magic makers. We just forget that we're magicians. We're just so busy doing that. We forget that we have the ability to make magic and we just need to be reminded and encouraged every once in a while to do it. Myself included, I am guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. But that is the whole point of being here. I'm here being real and transparent with you, as you are with me, so we can help encourage our friends out there that we do not yet know to to embrace themselves and embrace the people around them, men and women, and Go for it. Have a tiny little grain of inspiration, mixed with a little bit of fear, every single day, and move Yourself forward, just one tiny step. What you'll be surprised at is how far you move. That's what surprised me the most is how far you move, because there are days, stacy and I know that you know what I'm talking about there are days you're like I don't want to get out of bed, I don't want to do anything. Yeah, you know, I just I don't have it in me to be magic today. That you're saying to have integrity with yourself and not not always let yourself off the hook, not Not allow your responsibility Get in the way of showing up for yourself.

Stacey :

I mean, our purpose on earth is to leave it a little better than and when we found it, how we found it right and having the courage just to do things. That scare you a little bit, because that's really the root of it. It's fear of either the unknown or fear of failure. You have one of those right, but growth is a human need. If we're not growing, we're Stagnant, and nothing good comes from something that is stagnant. And and so part of this, in order to elevate ourselves not only spiritually and physically and emotionally, but also as just global citizens, it entails doing some re-evaluation. Okay, am I where I need to be? And if not, where do I? How do I partner with the right community or the right networks or the right coach or the right podcast? Right, like, how do I get this guidance and have these downloads that fire me to get out of the box, unplug and take the red?

Audra :

I totally understand that matrix reference. Yep, yep, yep, unplug your battery self, take the red pill. Yeah, it's scary out there, but it's also well worth it.

Stacey :

Well, I, someone who is out there and has been for for 2023, right when I made the big leap it's freaking fabulous out here, like whatever. Whatever you think is on the other side of fear is in your head. It's your imagination, right? That's your monster you created, and so the reality is very much different and I Wake up every day like holy crap, I can't believe I did it. Wow, it's amazing. I work with people that I love. I'm almost it's almost surreal how effortless it feels, and I do believe that a part of the magic is our lives are supposed to be Effortless. When we are aligned with our troopers, people think it's some big astronomical 180 degree shift. Listen, I almost died, so for me, my decisions were made from a sense of urgency, having to do with my experience. For some people is, maybe I'm in a job that's not serving me and I need to really just think a little bit differently about what I'm doing so that it meets that inner need to help me feel more fulfilled. We're not out here telling everybody to quit their jobs and like roll out and move to a different state none of those things. But it does entail some courage right, and some resiliency in order to Not have December 2023 be another year where you're like wow, what did I even do?

Audra :

No one wants to do that. No time is flying by Faster and faster every single year.

Stacey :

I know it's only the seventh, but it's done.

Audra :

Yeah, it feels so overwhelming how fast this year has gone by, and Years ago, a friend of mine shared a quote with me that has stuck with me and it's very true. She says the days are long, but the years are short, and it gets faster and faster every single year. So those, if anything, that we had discussed today Resonates with you. I want to encourage you to reach out to Stacy. Just have a conversation with her. I had a conversation with her even before we talked about this podcast and it was wonderful and it was eye-opening and it was really thought-provoking. So I encourage you to do that. Stacey, people are curious, encouraged. How would they reach you?

Stacey :

One I would love to offer to your Community what you just talked about. It's a complimentary 45 minute clarity session. I won't be like hardcore coaching you, but definitely we talk about things that are on your mind and Provide some clarity around some of those things. So definitely I would love to offer that service to everyone. They can find me so, Stacey Luces probably on LinkedIn. It's probably the easiest way. Evolution executive coaching is my handle on Instagram. It is also my website and I would encourage you. If any one of you feels compelled or called to Join our inaugural retreat in October, please reach out to me and I would love to give you more information. The three phases of that the unconditional, which I think you'll love, and the rebirth right and then the future. So definitely Along the lines of everything we've talked about, and I would be honored to share more with you and thank you so much for having me. I feel like we are kindred spirits, definitely, and I and love what you're doing here for so many people.

Audra :

Thank you, I feel the same about you. It was like it's my twin. Oh my gosh, I just didn't know. My twin was from Trinidad and Tobago, but thank you for spending some time with us today. Thank you for the encouragement and, you know, just spending time and holding space For us to have a conversation. That isn't always easy to have. So thank you for the the courage to show up and and talk to me and All of our friends around the world 71 71 countries, by the way, Stacey 71 countries and counting, so that might just be 71 countries that people need to hear your voice, so thank you for lending it.

Stacey :

Yeah, I appreciate all of you, thank you.

Audra :

I will also make sure that all of her contact information is in the show notes with links to make it easy for you. So if you want to reach out to Stacey, I'll give you a shortcut. So look for that in show notes. And once again, I wanted to thank all of you for listening, for your support and For your courage. Thank you so much for showing up. I will see you again next time.

Challenges of Being a Brown Girl
Empowerment and Self-Reflection for Women
Compartmentalizing Dreams and Clearing Internal Boxes
Leveling Up, Finding Purpose and Self-Reflection
Empowerment and Growth in Life/Career
Expressing Gratitude for Support and Connection