How Share the Flame LLC Began!
I was in my early teens when my grandmother Ruby began to tell me to listen for what people consistently say about me. When I listened, the consistent words or phrases said about me were that I was insightful, that I set things on fire (ignite), and that I am inspiring/inspirational. These words are important to me because while attending Pacific Oaks College, a school with a social justice and equity mission, I began to attach each word/phrase to my acquired passion of social equity, social justice, and social change.
All of my Share the Flame opportunities were birthed out of the unsolicited recommendations from people and organizations for consulting, coaching, and speaking! As I continued on my journey, my hobby began to grow as more people and organizations came my way. I began to consider that maybe this was more than a passionate hobby rather possibly a business. Although I considered, I never really acted upon creating a business.
On one occasion, I was asked by my mentor Jamie McCoy to formalize my passion and give it a name. I will never forget the phone call we had at 1:00 pm in the afternoon on a Saturday. She had called me to ask me to do what was called in the 1990s a diversity training for her staff. I was both humbled and honored to do so. However, she began to challenge me. She asked, “If what you are calling your hobby and passion became a formal business, what would you call it?"
”I could not answer. She challenged me by saying, “I am going to call you back at 7:00 pm tonight and you need to know the answer to my question." I panicked when she hung up because I knew my mentor was serious. She had always challenged me towards my best self and I knew this was one of those times.
I began to pace, travail, and struggle to choose a name for what I was not seeing as a business until I remembered my grandmother Ruby’s words. I thought of the three things people said about me and thought, what would I want people to do with the insight, igniting, and inspiration they would glean from me. I then answered myself, "I would want them to share it!". I thought if it were a name of a business then what would they share? Using those three words was a bit much to place after the word, "share" as a formal business name. I needed a word that would encompass the spirit and meaning of those words.
I, immediately, thought of the words that my other mentor, Dr. Kathy Bobula, said to me in one of our many one- on- one mentoring experiences. Dr. Bobula was an avid reader and appreciated the power of a good quote in shifting how we think about things! She asked me once when I was unsure of next steps, “What quote stands out for you right now?” So, I thought I would try that.
She and I were both developmental specialist and that exploratory research and observations within the field of early childhood development and neuroscience found John Locke’s theoretical assertion of baby’s being born with the mental capacity of Tabala Rasa (blank slate or no mental content) to be developmentally inappropriate. As a specialist in human development I knew that adults were not blank slates either.
Reminiscing about those talks reminded me of one of my favorite quotes! The quote that stood out most for me, in this moment, was the African Proverb, “We are not vases to be filled rather flames to be lit” because I did not see people as empty vessels waiting for my wisdom to fill them up rather as flames ignited through insight to inspire! I thought okay, I know that I want them to share, I want them to share their own flame based on the insight gained from my trainings, coaching, speaking, or consulting! I knew then that the name, Share the Flame was the formal name.
Excitedly, at 7:00 pm when my mentor promptly called, I was able to tell her the name, Share the Flame! She loved it and it has been the name of my work ever since. Although I considered the coaching, training, and consulting I was doing as a hobby that I deeply loved, my passion for serving the needs of people within the context of social equity, social justice and social change grew and grew overtime! I realized that the personalized signature service and the excellence of my delivery allowed me the luxury of not advertising for over 25 years. As the consistent overflow of recommendations came my way, it became evident to me that the time had come for me align my gifts and passion with the formalization of a business and in 2017 Share the Flame was established as an LLC.
I knew that as a business, I wanted Share the Flame LLC to partner with corporate and academic organizations to provide insightful consulting and training to extinguish resistance to change and ignite an inspired shared vision for teaming, leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion! I was aware that Share the Flame LLC would ignite a personalized Sacred Flame vision of self for Women of Color through transformational coaching, enclaved community, and tribal collective care. Finally, I was sure that I wanted Share the Flame LLC to inspire people higher through motivational keynotes, dynamic social justice storytelling, compelling panelist participation, constructive informing and/or empowering commencement speeches!
Today, I desire to continue the heart of that mission and am excited to work with you so that you can Share the Flame!!!
Partnering with insight to ignite and inspire you higher,