My inner work has been simple, yet profoundly emancipating. First, I stopped betraying myself every time I made a mistake. I abandoned overzealous self-criticism and self-loathing, reconciled myself to my imperfection, and began cultivating an unconditional friendliness with myself. Once I accepted that I’m as wise today as I’ll be tomorrow and that I’m worthy of the light, I abandoned the tomfoolery of my saboteurs and became unafraid to enter a delicate web of expediential growth.

Once I learned that my intuition is less fallible—and more trustworthy—than my intellect, I became comfortable blazing unconventional paths. And I recognized that others always seem to join in my crusades. During these times, I remember that when I am vulnerable enough to share that which is most personal, it turns out to be an expression that resonates deeply with others.

I participate in the daily struggle to be authentic, rejoice at the privilege of being midwife to my own transformation, and constantly measure my motives to ensure congruence between my values and behavior. I evaluate whether my actions are aimed at satisfying my soul’s purpose, or unsavory counterfeits designed to simply make me look good, avoid embarrassment, or gain superficial prestige.

For balance, I find isolated hideaways where no one knows my name or journey; where swimming, reading, and capturing moments in poetic expression are my major activities. I get quiet enough to listen to my mistakes, internalize my lessons, and engage in the curious paradox of finding new ways of “being me.” And I remember that being vulnerable enough to share these personal revelations is a gift that I should not deny the world.

On Finding Success and Staying Competitive
To succeed in the D&I space, you must care hard, lean into discomfort, kick beds where ugly giants sleep, and courageously speak truth to power. You must give yourself permission to crusade toward transforming cultures—one person at a time—even when it seems corny, even when there is resistance, and even when you are afraid and alone.

On the Importance of Role Models and Mentors
The sponsor who has most impacted my career is Pearl Alexander, a soulful and attentive leader who has been an active ally in my growth. She has created an empowering space for me to be who I am, and assisted me in exploring my nuanced talents. With patient care, she has helped me erase my fear of growing, dare to express my truest nature, and soar toward my highest professional calling.

She seeks to understand me by entering empathically into my frame of reference—to “get” who I am, hear words I’ve never spoken, and serve as an open medium for my self-discovery. She unapologetically mines for the full value of my gifts, gives in to the truth of my talents and charm, creates possibilities for my success, and generously curates growth opportunities for me.

Pearl moves me with her humanity and dazzling brilliance. I am amazed by our alchemy as a team, and have surrendered to the genius of her nurturing leadership.