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Retiring My Helicopter

Welcome to 2020, we’ve already hit the halfway mark for January.

I’m excited about the next decade. When the year 2009 whimpered to a close for me, I was bored to tears. My daughter was my entire world, and she would soon be starting college. I recall muttering to myself, within earshot of my kid, “I could have a life beside parenting her,” and she choked on her tea as she laughed in my face. Truthfully, I needed the convincing. My life was a giant snoozefest. My top concerns were lining up all of her necessities, college tours that she didn’t want to do, scoring Coachella tickets for her, and making sure her prom experience was spectacular. I was a busy body, the ultimate helicopter mom on steroids, doing all of the things.

If she needed art supplies, I never bothered to make a decision. I bought them all: the good, better, and best. She could run an art school and wouldn’t need to buy a thing. Her portfolio was built with my assistance, even if my contribution was invisible on the page.

After she got her driver’s license, I still shuttled her the vast expanse of Los Angeles county, schlepping her to art classes, meetings, and her MOCA internship.

If she had a problem, I tried to fix it.

That nasty personal stuff was the only thing off-limits. I, somehow, managed to remember boundaries when it came to relationships with peers.

Once she left for college, I knew I had to build a life for myself, not just for her but for me. I forced myself to stop building bridges over all of her obstacles.

I teased the question of what my life could be if I centered myself around what I wanted to be, do, and have. It wasn’t an easy process. At first, I transferred my rescued talents to other women, and I invited at least seven different women to stay with me from time to time.

When I looked at my life, it was dismal, and I didn’t know where to begin. Every time someone asked me what I wanted, I would think of someone else. I want to help my cousin increase the annual revenue of her company, or attract more prestigious board members for the art center. Still, I had no idea what I wanted. Guess what, with focused attention both of the companies achieved those goals, and my life was still empty.

In the last decade, I’ve faced my desire. I dared myself to want more.

The hardest, most challenging experiences reaped great rewards. I have met new people, traveled a lot more, and widen my circle. I have met and made friends with people around the world.

I did this by working with a mentor.Studying success and applying what I learned. I love helping people, and now I do that in an organized, effective way.

As a leadership coach and mentor, I get to share all of the fantastic things that I’ve learned.

If you ever want to know more about what I’m up to, I share lots of stuff on Instagram here:

What would you learn and contribute if you centered your life around your desires?

Please share one thing you like to transform in the next year. I read every comment and I love it when you share.

All love and ever grateful,


Facing a New Decade

My father and me the day he received his bachelor's degree. I was in fourth grade
My father and me, 1970.

These last ten years have been a time of enormous creativity, exploration, adventure, and expansion for me. When I think about all of the shifts that happened in my life, I’m grateful.
Yet, at the close of this decade, my father is on my mind. I am a Daddy’s girl through and through. I am so thankful that I get to be his daughter. He is a good man. I am that my relationship with my dad is loving and free from conflict. Most of the time that I was living at home, my dad was in school. He worked a full-time job, volunteered at church many hours, and pursued higher education. It used to irk me that he would always be on the Dean’s List in college as I struggled to learn the basics. Born a sharecropper, my father’s work, and determination has afforded me a life my ancestors could not have imagined.

He is a quiet spirit and has never been big on a lot of conversation, but the last decade has been the most difficult as stroke silenced him in a way that frustrates him daily. There’s a podcast that I love to listen to because the host’s laughter reminds me of my dad. It’s been a long time since I heard my dad laugh.

I always thought he could do anything, and for me, he tried. At my urging, my dad even stopped street fights. My dad made sure that I was treated kindly and with respect by teachers and administrators. He was my sister’s AAA, but he made sure that I could fix a flat. He taught me how to ride a bike and drive a stick.

When we would visit my grandmother in Cincinnati, he would always leave her home better than he found it. Whether it was roofing, plumbing, or electrical work, he found a way to be helpful.

You’ve heard, “join the military and get your education.” My dad was the guy that helped people find the path to their dream life and career. He left home at age seventeen, without a high school diploma. Now, he has two master’s degrees, as do his three daughters, and all three of his granddaughters are college graduates too.

There are three lessons that I carry daily from my father:

*Be kind to people, and don’t be afraid of your fellow man.
*If there’s something you want to do, do it.
*Forgive folks, holding a grudge not only hurts you; it poisons the relationships around you.

My father lived a life of service, and he taught his children to do the same. The ripple effect of his life will last forever because of the life he lived.
Recently, my dad has said he’s tired and ready to move on to the other side of the realm. I’m not sure that I will see the end of the next decade, I’m prayerful that I will. As this decade comes to an end, I’m so happy and grateful to be Lori Ann Harris, the firstborn daughter of Rev. Clifford Harris.

As we begin this new decade, who can you appreciate? I would love for you to share with me. I always want you to tell me more,