Culture 22 January 2018
I have lived in Burbank, CA for almost 13 years. I'll admit, it wasn't my first choice when I decided to move from Orange County to the L.A. area. I imagined myself in West Hollywood, Los Feliz, anywhere but true Suburbia, but good schools beckoned for my youngest daughter and I found myself on a tree lined street in a traditional California bungalow.
I slowly fell in love with my new town. Great vintage stores, super cool restaurants, and fantastic neighbors. I was involved with my daughter's school events and concerts and certainly felt like I was part of the community but didn't become deeply entrenched, until today.
The 2016 election was extremely important to me. I voted for Hillary Clinton for several reasons, yes – because she was a woman and I believe we were long past due for a female perspective on life in our country. But also, because I felt she was completely qualified and ready to tackle this all-important position as leader of the free world. I was confident and excited.
I sent in a write-in ballot because I would be on vacation in Israel the day of the election. I wasn't worried, I figured I'd be celebrating with friends when Hillary won. Sadly, there was no celebrating, only shock and utter silence. As we somberly and quietly attended our scheduled tours the next day, numerous people would come up to us and ask, “Are you American, have you heard, what do you think…?" It was overwhelming and incredible at the same time.
"If you think I was a Nasty Woman Before, Buckle Up Buttercup"
Once home a week later, and still in shock, I knew I had to do something but didn't know what. I felt paralyzed and completely powerless. When the Women's March was announced there was no question I'd be there, I couldn't wait. Outfitted in my “If you think I was a Nasty Woman Before, Buckle Up Buttercup" tee, I joined a few friends to march with 700k+ other men and women in downtown Los Angeles. It was an experience I'll never forget, we were together, and were on fire. I felt a kinship with women I would have never met, had it not been for the march. I had hope that as a movement we could make a difference.
I trudged along and looked forward to marching again and getting some of that united spirit back.
Over this past year, I must admit, I've lost a lot of that hope. That sadness I felt so far away from my country on November 9, 2016 had returned. I trudged along and looked forward to marching again and getting some of that united spirit back. I had planned to go to downtown L.A. again and then discovered a march was planned for Burbank, my little town that I've grown to love so much, was marching. I was elated!
I arrived early so I could meet the founder of this year's march, Joanna Peresie. When I asked her why she rallied everyone to march this year, she said, very simply, and very powerfully, “I did it for my daughter, Ella."
Joanna was quick to ask that I mention the three women who started last year's march in Burbank, Ashley Gogerty, Rhiannon Clark, and Sylvia Hendershot.
I listened to Joanna speak to the crowd about why she was here and why she took charge this year. Listened as her voice cracked but stood proud and strong. This is a humble woman, a loving mother, and I am honored to have met her today.
I also had the pleasure of meeting our state Senator, Anthony Portantino. He was dressed in a pink shirt and attending with his lovely daughter, Bella. He told me about his wife and both daughters, about his dedication to public service, and his belief in this march; “…it was too important not to be here." When he spoke to the crowd, he opened with “Are you listening downtown Los Angeles, because it's rockin' in Burbank!" The crowd roared! He then told us all that “this was a moment in history, meet the person next to you, say hello, share the sisterhood of this moment…" AND WE DID! It was a powerful experience! As he marched with us, I was filled with civic pride to walk alongside someone I had actually voted for. I thought to myself, 'my super power is voting!'
One of our John Burroughs High School teachers who teaches science, Jill Tobin, spoke and delighted the crowd. Once again, I swelled with pride as she told the kids in the crowd “YOUR VOICE MATTERS, YOU MATTER!" This fantastic past Burbank Teacher of the Year AND LA County Teacher of the Year award-winner is working with our future leaders! Aren't they lucky?!
Even though I knew the answer, I asked about our congressman, Adam Schiff. He was working tirelessly last night trying to stop the shut down of our government. Joanna shared that his office did call her yesterday and our hard-working congressman had wished he could be here. I absolutely believe that. One of the many things I've learned since last year's march is how hard Congressman Schiff works for his district, his people, our people. Community is deep in this man's soul, of that I am sure.
Our Vice-Mayor, Emily Gabel-Luddy spoke, and Burbank City Attorney, Amy Albano who also marched in DTLA last year, really got the crowd inspired! I was positively filled with hope as I stood and listened. More so than last year because these people work for my town every day. “Local" isn't just a buzz word for them, they live it. And I'm so glad they do. As I walked with men, women, children, families, and friends, we chatted, we remarked on so many clever signs, and for two hours on a very chilly Saturday morning we literally came together. We stood together, we chanted together, and we marched together. THIS is community. This is why we march, this is hope.
4 Min Read
COVID-19's impact on the world economy was virtually impossible to predict and fully prepare for. Governments balancing citizens' immediate health and safety vs. their financial needs resulted in emergency regulations that have hurt businesses worldwide. Today, the cannabis industry is considered essential, but as we entrepreneurs know, operating any business is a challenge. The entrepreneurial spirit burns brightly in tough times as we constantly look for ways to survive and improve our business while overcoming hardships.
But how do we do it? Especially with the growing rate of anxiety and depression?
Resilience and Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence means the ability to adapt to the stresses, tragedies, and discomforts that happen in everyday life.
Lao Tzu once said: "Strong is he who conquers others, but powerful is he who is able to conquer himself." Being an entrepreneur is liberating but at the same time requires great responsibility. Being emotionally intelligent will help you think rationally, make clear decisions, and deal with people better. Being smart in the emotional field is a skill acquired over time. It takes consistent practice and dedication. It's similar to building a fit body through exercising; you will realize that the more you exercise, the more you are able to achieve your aim. The steps to building emotional intelligence include:
1) Understand what it means to be emotionally intelligent
You cannot achieve what you don't know. Before training to be emotionally intelligent, understand what it means and why it is important.
Emotional intelligence means the ability to adapt to the stresses, tragedies, and discomforts that happen in everyday life. Being emotionally intelligent does not mean that you will not suffer or be upset, rather it means that you will be able to recognize and evaluate your feelings and others' feelings and plan on how to deal with them. It is also important to understand that achieving this is a gradual process and that people learn in different ways. Regular practice is necessary.
2) Think before making decisions
A lot of times when we are pushed to the wall or completely stressed out, we tend to act irrationally and end up regretting our actions. The best way to address this is to think before acting. Thinking before making decisions bring clarity about the situation and helps to avoid conflicts and unnecessary regrets.
3) Be empathetic
Everyone is in the same boat, and we never really know what's going on with the others around us. It is important to know how to put yourself in others' shoes, try to understand their behaviors, and always be open to new ideas!
4) Learn to relate to people
Good leaders are characterized by their good relationships with people. Having a genuine interest in people and encouraging their growth creates happy environments, and happy people are naturally more productive.
Seek not only to speak but to listen to people and try to understand what the other person is saying. This might be difficult, but it is a skill that produces a long-term benefit when you learn it.
Be open to receiving feedback and accepting diversity. The best way to grow professionally is by investing in relationships, as no one is or does everything alone all the time.
The entrepreneurial spirit burns brightly in tough times as we constantly look for ways to survive and improve our business while overcoming hardships.
5) You are in control of your reactions
Everyone has feelings, and we feel different things every day. The key is to know how to act on those feelings.
For example, I can feel angry and:
- a) Keep it to myself
- b) shout and attack someone
- c) understand the reason for the anger, express what I'm feeling and why I'm feeling it
In all the reactions listed above, what triggered them is the same - anger. The reactions show that you might not be able to control what life puts in front of you, but you will always be in control of how you react.
6) Act with intention
Be in control of your focus, understand what is happening, and take action consciously. Mindfulness helps you focus on the present without letting the past or future affect you; it helps the mind to become healthier and happier.
7) Identify your strengths
Make a list of your best strengths and qualities and read them aloud. Remember that knowing your qualities helps you to become more focused and confident. This helps to increase your strength and emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is a process. Give yourself time to practice these steps, and gradually you will see improvement in your business and personal life with each day that passes.