What Is Behind Shift-With-Steph
The Shift with Steph brand development was like many brands. Often there is a non-circuitous route. I met Shauna Grace, an internationally renowned Empath and worked with her business mastery group. She listened to my goals and referred me to Josiah Begin, who took my idea to the next level, after hearing my presentation on “A Self- Inventory of Self-Talk”. We worked together and created the Shift with Steph brand under Best Life Events Inc.
Clearly, there are no events happening in the near future, so I had to reinvent. I shared I thought I could share some of my life lessons and that was the beginning of the mindset brand. I also thought this would be an amazing way to build on my parents legacy of their focus on outcomes. I grew up hearing, “You Become What You Think About” from my father, who was one of the first Black electrical engineers hired at Boeing in 1951. It took an even more expansive turn when my husband, Mark was diagnosed with Covid19 and I posted a link imploring people to stay home....that link went viral, which created a lot of buzz. We were in the Wall Street Journal, ABC News with Diane Sawyer and multiple news outlets describing my advocacy. I had been toying with becoming a positive psychology coach for years and everything lead me to making that decision a few months ago. I should be fully certified by the end of this year, which I'm very thrilled about.
We were exposed to CV19 at the Sun Valley, ID, National Brotherhood of Skiers in late February. Mark, my husband was very ill, but not hospitalized. Fortunately, I did not get sick because I was his sole caregiver.... all I can tell you is I had to activate all energetic and intentional support to heal him nutritionally and spiritually and also keep myself well.
I am often asked about stereotypes and the role they play in mindset management. Stereotypes of all kinds are very limiting and perpetuate biases implicit and otherwise. I remember when people used to say the Cosby show wasn't real because how could you have a black doctor and a black lawyer married to each other? That was a widely held misconception by a number of different cultures. That type of thinking is detrimental and limiting, especially if you look at it fro1m the perspective of goal setting. I grew up hearing many times, “If you think you can’t, you won’t!”
I routinely explain to people, as surprising as it might be, I worked on a fishing boat in Alaska, I have skied since I was 6 years old, my daughter was a nationally ranked tennis player, which thankfully, is less of a surprise. I have many, many what some would consider odd, attributes on my resume.
When we were sailing in the British Virgin Islands 3 years ago, mouths dropped when they saw 45 -million dollar catamarans all tied to one another. When we arrived tothe shore for an island party, one curious gentleman started to interview one of our guests. He couldn't believe that, we as black people, had an international boaters association. Our friend said. “Hey, we do all kinds of things, we ski, we scuba dive, we are not limited to just boating”. His comment was “ WOW, you must have been born a white man!” It took everything in my power to not smack him, but our friend eloquently educated him in a very calm, cool and collected way.....it's no surprise that African Americans suffer disproportionately from blood pressure issues with comments like that which have to constantly be dismissed. We are constantly forced to fight Dis-Ease with situations like that, which is why our mindset needs to be particularly elevated to, “Go High”.
The number one thing to learn, regarding stereotyping, is to open your eyes. Subscribe to Black Enterprise, read online journals around the Asian community, understand the Jewish and Muslim faiths....just try to stretch outside your comfort zone and talk to somebody that doesn't look like you and you will be surprised. I was amazed how many people read the Wall Street Journal article about The National Brotherhood of Skiers, which is the African American ski association. The article featured our journey and the high infection rate in Sun Valley, ID. Many admitted they did not know Black people skied..including Black people!!
I would also add to be mindful of cultural appropriation versus appreciation. There may be a tendency for some to want to jump in on the cool parts of Black culture which in my experience, is completely different than being an ally. Different cultures need to be revered and appreciated, not copied.
So what have I done to support my community? I have committed to voter registration here in Florida, I am in an NIH serology study for Covid 19, and Mark donated serum to help patients. I have been interviewed by Shirley Toliver, founder of a Life on Power and also participated in a medical expert panel Zoom for the Corporate Alley Cat. Additionally, I was interviewed regarding my emerging advocacy role in a Zoom with the Coaching Mastery Program.
I have also provided multiple Facebook posts on Covid 19 support. Last year, I started a scholarship in my father's name for the Red Tailed Hawks Flying Club, which supports youth of color in aviation careers. My video production team are young, people of color and I sit on the advisory board of the Prince George's Tennis and Education Foundation supporting youth in tennis and education. Another example of community support; my car detailer and self care providers are largely females women of color. I don't exclude people, I go with the spirit and I try to support people in any way that I can.
Our mindsets are exactly that.... OUR mindsets! You have to start with the fact, you deserve to be treated well! We are in charge of how we're treated based on how we treat ourselves. This might not be popular in some instances, when we look at health disparities but if you have a choice between an Apple and some chips, you have a complete and total choice and often they both cost a dollar.
This current shift in consciousness is largely about Black Lives Matter, but it takes everyone to make the change, so if you, as a non-person of color, have the opportunity to hire some directors and leaders to create opportunities, you can do that. You really can. Don't look at a person who looks like you and comes from your same background, stretch out a little bit.
I'm about to be the mom to a Caucasian male, by marriage to my daughter and I absolutely love him. He is an amazing soul and has worked very hard to understand his role and I applaud him for that because it's not easy. I would never tell him to stand behind her, he has to be by her side because they are going to be married. I would never tell my grandchildren to split themselves in half! I think it's just silly to tell someone they care too much. You can't pretend to be a person of color, but you can seek to stand by them and understand them and pay attention!
I am available to support individuals and communities at any time. You can follow me at “Shift with Steph” on Facebook and Instagram. In September, I'm launching a full-scale program entitled, “Energy Follows Thought” which takes a look at multiple aspects of life mastery including prosperity, gratitude, nutrition for the soul and cheerful giving, just to name a few topics.
July 7, 2020, represents our attention to the world that we, as people of color are major contributors to this global society. We need to create change, real and lasting change. For this to occur, we all have to be intentional and recognize what we bring to the table and never take no for an answer.