Episode 15: Diversity, Inclusion, and Imperfect Allyship with Erica Courdae (Rebroadcast)

Erica Courdae discusses being “imperfect allies” to the marginalized, how we can take steps in the direction of equality in our own businesses, and more!
Coach with Clarity Podcast - Diversity, Inclusion, and Imperfect Allyship with Erica Courdae

15: Diversity, Inclusion, and Imperfect Allyship with Erica Courdae (Rebroadcast)

Here in the United States, and really all over the world, we are still very much embroiled in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. We are seeing countless people rise up to demand action and to demand justice.

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Show Notes

Here in the United States, and really all over the world, we are still very much embroiled in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd.

We are seeing countless people rise up to demand action and to demand justice. We are having more conversations about racial inequality, what it means to be anti-racist and what it means to be an ally.

That’s why I want to share with you a conversation I had a little over a year ago that was recorded for my first podcast; Work Your Inner Wisdom.

I had the honor of interviewing my friend and colleague Erica Courdae. Erica is an expert in diversity, equity and inclusion. She is a coach. She is a business owner. And she is an extraordinarily wise human being. She is exactly who we all need to be listening to, learning from and whose voice needs to be amplified right now.

Erica encourages entrepreneurs to embrace diversity and use conversation as a catalyst for change.

Through her website and her podcast, Pause on the Play, Erica raises important questions about equality and inclusivity in the workplace and in our own lives.

In our interview, Erica and I talk about showing up for one another, being “imperfect allies” to the marginalized, and how we can take steps in the direction of equality in our own businesses.

Topics covered

  • Erica’s take on showing up and leading on social media through authenticity
  • Why we can’t force our intuition to guide us
  • The connection between accessing your intuition and discovering your deeper truth
  • What it means to be an “imperfect ally”
  • Common challenges spiritual entrepreneurs face when implementing allyship and inclusion
  • Erica’s advice for what spiritual entrepreneurs can do to be more inclusive

Resources mentioned

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Well, hello, my friend. Welcome to the Coach with Clarity podcast. I'm your host Lee Chaix McDonough, and this week's episode is going to be a little different than the ones we've done in the past. 

I am recording this introduction on Friday, June 5, 2020, and here in the United States, and really all over the world, we are still very much embroiled in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. And we are seeing countless people rise up to demand action and to demand justice. We are having more conversations about racial inequality, what it means to be anti-racist, and what it means to be an ally. 

And so that's why today I want to share with you a conversation I had a little over a year ago, it was recorded for my first podcast, Work Your Inner Wisdom, and I had the honor of interviewing my friend and colleague, Erica Courdae. Erica is an expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a coach, she is a business owner, and she is an extraordinarily wise human being. She is exactly who we all need to be listening to, learning from, and whose voice needs to be amplified right now. 

So I reached out to Erica and asked her permission to share our first interview on the Coach with Clarity podcast, and she graciously agreed. So Erica, thank you very much. And so today you are going to hear a rebroadcast of an episode of the Work Your Inner Wisdom podcast, and it's my interview with Erica Courdae. I want you to go learn more about Erika, you can do so at her website, EricaCourdae.com. You absolutely need to be listening to the podcast she co-hosts with India Jackson, the name of that podcast is Pause on the Play, and there will be links to both of those resources in the show notes. So now it's my privilege to share with you my conversation with Erica Courdae.

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LEE: Hi, Erica. And thank you so much for joining me on the Work Your Inner Wisdom podcast today.

ERICA: Thank you so much for having me, Lee, I'm extremely excited to be here.

LEE: Oh, likewise, I have been looking forward to our conversation for a long time, and so let's just get right into it. I'd love to start with knowing more about you as an entrepreneur and about your business.

ERICA:  Sure, I'm a little bit of what I would call an accidental entrepreneur as in, I didn't plan on it, and it started actually now, over 10 years ago when I started my beauty business, which is Silver Immersion, and I've now been doing hair for over 20 years. And I initially just kind of was like, “Okay, I'm not happy where I am”, and I never really wanted a salon, but I started it and it became an actual brand. And what I realized was the years past that I can, you know, still have Silver Immersion, and I noticed that when I began to take my coaching courses, and I decided that I wanted to work within the coaching and consulting space, when I began to kind of figure out what it was going to look like, for me, I'm trying to figure out, you know, what are my ethics, what are my cornerstones of my message, and what I stand for. And as these things began to kind of shape, it started to become really apparent that the ethics for Erica Courdae were almost, you know, the same as what they were for Silver Immersion, and it really dawned on me that this is how I move through life. You know this is how I raise my kids, this is how I interact with people, this is how I have conversations and interactions, and when I'm using conversation, as you know, my catalyst for change, my particular method, of really trying to open people's minds to something different and realizing, this is me. There was that moment of really feeling aligned that like this isn't, “Oh, I run a business. And this is me.”. No, it's while I'm not my business, and I think that sometimes that's good to have that differentiation so that you don't involve you're worth too far into it, but it was very validating to realize that, who I am as a person absolutely created, how I move in the business space.

LEE: Yes, and it sounds like it's really a symbiotic relationship, because then as you moved in the business space, it continued to inform who you are as a person, and so it really kind of goes back and forth.

ERICA: Absolutely, and I think that it makes it a lot simpler to almost go in and out, and to not feel as though you have to be this completely different person in either space because it does feel like it's just simply another facet of who you are. And it's a lot easier to just feel free to be who you are and not you know, “What mask do I need to wear?”, and sadly, I think a lot of people fall into that, unfortunately.

LEE: Yeah, I think you're right and I know I often feel that when I'm engaging on social media and I see people's Instagram profiles are what they're posting on Facebook and it looks so perfectly polished. And you're left wondering, is this really who this person is? Am I seeing their true self? Or am I simply seeing what they want me to see? And so I love that for you, consistency is such a critical part of the work that you do and how you present yourself to the world and that you've linked that with your personal ethical framework as well.

ERICA: Well, and you mentioned something really important. A lot of people are content, or somehow feel this necessity, to only show the curated parts, to only show the “Instagrammable” pieces. And I have had times where I will literally hop stories sitting in my daughter's room with the rainbow, and avocado, and whatever else stickers on her yellow walls, while I'm folding laundry, in mom mode, because something has come up. I've actually had that scenario happen, and you know for me personally, I use stories as this really great place to show up. However, I am in that moment when I feel like hey, there's something that I need to get out and I don't over curate it specifically because I want people to see what it looks like in action, not just, “Oh, here's this picture that somebody shot and edited, and here's the perfectly placed, you know, caption to go with it.”. It's like, no, this is conversation, and conversation is supposed to be organic, and allowing that to show up is a part of letting those unseen parts of yourself see the sun.


LEE: And I love how you do that because there is an integrity to how you show up. We really are seeing you when you're going live on Insta Stories – it's you – and it's because I think in addition to the perfectly polished look, sometimes we also see what I think of as cultivated vulnerability. You know, where it's the idea of I'm going to be, I'm going to go on and speak my truth, but it's not really coming from that place of truth. It's, “This is what I think my audience wants to see, and so I'm going to give it to them.”, and then we fall to the opposite end of the spectrum. And so it is a balance between showing up as yourself and allowing your audience in to see who you are and doing so in a way that honors them and honors you at the same time.

ERICA: I love that term – cultivated vulnerability – and it's 150% accurate and what I don't think a lot of people really consider and for me, I'm unfortunate in that I have groups I'm in and amazing coaches that I work with, that really do foster that sense of leading in all areas of your life. And, you know, as a parent, that's one of the ways that you lead, you know, as a community member, if for someone is active in church, even just within your family, I mean leadership shows up all over the place. And then when you choose to be an entrepreneur, how you show up is a huge part of how you lead. So if you're only willing to show up, if you have your makeup on and your hair is done, and you can be edited in what you say, well, there's a lot to be desired with that, and there's a huge amount of authenticity that's missing.

LEE: And I think, you know, I'm going back to something you said earlier about conversation as being the catalyst for change. And if we are not having these open, honest conversations, if we're coming into them, feeling like we have to look a certain way or be a certain way, then we're not coming from a place of truth and that's going to compromise both the conversation and that ability to create change.  

ERICA: Absolutely, because how is it that you can, you know, eat a hot dog and walk on the tightrope all at the same time? You kind of can't. 

LEE: Exactly. 

ERICA: So if you're showing up and you're more worried about the image, it's virtually impossible to have that authenticity and that alignment show up because you're so afraid of what's going to come out if you just talk without being filtered. What's going to happen when there isn't someone to edit your words, when there isn't that space to go back, and let's “cut this out or backspace, delete” when that goes away? Are you still able to communicate and connect without the ability to act as though the moment never existed? 

LEE: You know, and I think for me, too, when I catch myself trying to edit my way into perfection, that's when I am denying my intuition because my intuition knows what needs to be said and how it needs to come forth, and sometimes that's raw, sometimes that's not pretty and so when I'm trying to do the “spit and polish” on it, then I'm not really honoring my true self. 

ERICA: Pretty and necessity do not always go hand in hand and you're absolutely right with that. And it's just very easy to deny yourself, that connection to your intuition, and I think as women, we very often are…we will “drink the Kool-Aid”, proverbially to think that, that's what we should do, or that's what we're supposed to do, and that it's acceptable to do it. And you don't even realize that you're disconnected from it, let alone what it looks like to be connected to it, to allow yourself to feel into what's going on and to let, again that intuition, really pop up and dictate what is right before you let your mind jump into it.


LEE: Yes, yes, and I would love to know more, Erica, about how your intuition shows up for you and how it informs your work and the decisions that you make in your business and in your life.

ERICA: For me, one of the biggest things that has come up is me, really… and I don't want to necessarily say working to stay in touch with my intuition…I think it's just really seeing where those disconnects can happen, and trying to minimize those where possible, because I don't think it's something that you have to force yourself to connect with. I think if you allow the space, it can happen, but you have to let that happen. If you're trying to be in control, well, that doesn't work out well, and I think most of us that allow ourselves to acknowledge what control looks like, and how it really doesn't serve us the way that we would like to think it does. It's really easy to see where if you simply allow yourself to be it will happen.

LEE: Yes, it's like our responsibility becomes to create the container in which to access our intuition, so we have to create time and space for it, but we cannot dictate exactly how that looks like or exactly how that's going to show up.

ERICA: No, and the space is a huge part of it, and the more the more that I do, the more I interact with people, the more that it becomes apparent that that space does need to be there for me. And in a lot of cases, what happens is some of the most powerful ways that I move through what I do is allowing that space to happen being in conversation and things come up. And it's just things that happen organically and allowing myself to simply be, and it makes a big difference. And the more that I have discussions with people and I hear what it is that maybe they're working through, or feeling challenged by ,or maybe even if shame comes up, but yet they understand that that's telling them that, “Okay, this is something that needs to be examined.”, and you need to pull your curiosity out with it. When I just kind of let myself be and I trust myself to simply speak, I think I am at my greatest good and I am allowed to have the greatest levels of impact. When I edit myself, when I hold back, when I say, “Well, no, I'm not gonna, you know, do that”, or “I'm not going to get ranty”. When I get ranty it inspires other people to see where maybe they need to be ranty, and the reason that that can be powerful is that it's very easy to become quiet and complacent, and that quiet, complacent moment that you kind of had, when you look at it, you're like, “Oh, is that what I'm co-signing and I didn't even know it?”. And you know, you're now kind of examining things. So sometimes you do need to, you know, get a little flared up and say no, no, no, this is not okay for me. This is not okay for anybody, and to set those boundaries for yourself, those you interact with that are around you, and decide how you choose to invest your energy in those around you, and being able to just kind of let that happen and not be so like, “Oh, I don't want to offend anybody. I don't want anyone to think that I'm too aggressive or to this or to that.”, and that's already, sadly, a fight as a woman of color where you know, very often we are tagged as being aggressive or being over the top or just being too, you know, fill in the blank any emotion there. So, allowing myself to not edit myself based on somebody else's standard that they decided that I needed to be and they don't even know me. That's a big thing.

LEE: Yes, and I love what you just did there because you connected, accessing your intuition with your deeper truth, and then it's not just enough to have the insight to know the deeper truth, then all of a sudden it becomes, “How do I bring this out into the world? How do I make myself and what I stand for, what I believe in, known?”. How can I do that in a way that is not only about me showing up with integrity, but also like empowering others and helping them realize what's okay, what's not okay, and where they want to take a stand. And maybe where they haven't been taking a stand, where that quiet complacency has come in. And so in a sense, not only are you sharing your beliefs, but you're also modeling to others, what it looks like and how to do it. And it all starts with the intuition. Like it all traces back to truth and intuition.

ERICA: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, like I had a mastermind day that I went to last Friday, and my coach yesterday was just really inspired on Facebook to speak her truth and she set very clear boundaries with people to say, “These are things that I'm okay with. These are things I'm not okay with. If this does not line up, let me know so that energy loop can be corrected.”, and she was very much like, “I'm not available for these things anymore because I'm not okay with it, and it doesn't go with my values, it doesn't go with my beliefs, so I'm not going to be quiet about it anymore.”. And it's, I mean, it's this very warm and fuzzy feeling that it gives me when I see these things pop up, because I can't take ownership of other people choosing to do that, but it absolutely does give a certain amount of validation to the fact that what I'm doing is making impact and it is being heard because I'm a firm believer, in you know, that small pebble makes a huge ripple effect. So you never know who heard what, heard what, heard what, and how far that can go and knowing that gives you a reason to keep going, even when sometimes it's very easy to feel like I'm just yelling into the ether and nobody hears me. 

LEE: Yeah, yeah, I think that's so important. The idea that we set those energetic boundaries, we communicate them, and that it's not just for the person setting the boundary, it's for you too. I mean, the fact that getting that warm fuzzy feeling by her saying, “This is not okay, I'm not here for it. I'm not co-signing or endorsing it.”, was a way of lifting you up as well.

ERICA: There's something really powerful when someone is aligned with their values, their beliefs, how they choose to move through life, how they choose to be of support, and of service to others, and they make that very clear. They make it very obvious, and they not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk, and they are using their voice and their platform for the greater good, and there's not a single thing better than that.


LEE: And I think I'm starting to sense kind of an overlap between that and what we discussed earlier, that we don't want this perfectly polished, “I have everything prepped and ready to go”, that we want our words, we want our deeds to come from this place of integrity and authenticity. And what that means is sometimes we're not going to say it perfectly, we are going to make mistakes, and I'd love to talk to you a little bit more about that because I know the work that you do through Erica Courdae is very much about inclusion and diversity, and that you spend a lot of time talking about the notion of imperfect allyship and I would love to dig a little deeper into that. Because again, if we are talking about how to live into our values, how to take a stand, and also give ourselves permission not to be perfect, then what that means is we're going to make mistakes. I am going to make mistakes, I have made mistakes, and so what it looks like to enter into this conversation, knowing that that's going to happen.

ERICA:  I think that even just considering the concept of imperfect allyship is a step in the right direction, because I think for a lot of people, it's not even something that they may have considered, and they don't really know what it is. The reality is, is that it's simply showing up now. And it's very easy to overcomplicate it, and to add a lot of things to it, but if you simply allow yourself to show up, as you are, and to be an ally to groups that are marginalized, groups that don't have the same level of privilege that you enjoy, that you've never even considered because it's just second nature, it's always been there. There's just this kind of this concept of like, well, I can't be an ally “until”, and I don't know what this imaginary “until” thing is, but everything that I've ever known when it comes to personal development, personal evolution and expansion, and just trying to generally be, do, think, and feel better, there is no destination. It's a journey. There is no,you know, when I do this, then this – there is no such thing. So when you put this concept on it of, “Oh, when I do this, then I'll be…”, it doesn't work, and that means in the midst of you saying you won't do this. How many things happen along that journey? How many times could you have inserted your voice for impact and you chose not to, because you thought that you weren't prepared, which takes you right back to where you were with the “Oh, I'm not gonna do anything because I don't see that there's a problem.”. Now, you know there's a problem, and you're still choosing to be quiet. Well, now it's actually worse. You've acknowledged it. And now you're saying, “I can't.”

LEE: Exactly, and for me, as a cis-gendered, white woman, for me to say, “Oh, I don't know enough,” or I, you know, “I need to wait until X, Y, or Z.”. That's actually another form of my privilege coming in and letting me off the hook. And so if I wait until I feel comfortable, then I do a disservice to everyone, and that actually being an ally is not about being comfortable. And if I wait until I feel prepared, then actually I'm contributing to the injustice that's going on around me.

ERICA: Absolutely, and it's, again, it's not something that you're going to quote-unquote, “do wrong”. The reality is that when you're learning, you are learning, and that means that you're not going to know everything immediately. You're not going to walk into every situation and know the quote-unquote, “ideal way to handle this”. So this idea that you can't do something because you don't know how is silly because there is no such thing, you're going to have to figure it out as you go along. And the best thing that you can do is to approach any of these opportunities or situations and try to be as open as you can. And if you do make a mistake, or you do something that is offensive, or it's wrong, then say, “I apologize. That was absolutely not my intent. What can I do now?”

LEE: I think what you're getting at is like, let's come at it from a place of curiosity, without taking it so personally, because when we make a mistake, and we're corrected, it's not that we are a bad person, it's that we have done something that's not acceptable. And so we need to own it, we need to apologize for it, and then we need to learn from it, and do better next time. And how do we do that? We do that by getting curious. We do that by exploring. And we don't take it so personally, because we do not have to define ourselves by the mistakes we made, certainly in this context, but really any context we are not defined by the mistakes we make.

ERICA: No, but the other side of that, too is that is just another side of that same coin, is that if you walk into a situation, and you are now allowing yourself to be in a place of indignation, because you don't like being wrong, and that being called out, well, now you're playing the victim, and now you're still making it about you. So now you, you've undermined what you were supposedly doing, because you're still making it very self-centered, and that's not the goal.

LEE: No, that's so true, and I think when we stop and think about, “Okay, where does the spotlight need to be right now?”, odds are it does not need to be on me, and so if I'm making it about myself, then I'm detracting from what needs attention, what deserves attention.

ERICA: Exactly, and that's just like, I was reading something the other day, and like, it was a really pertinent example of if – let's just say there's an office full of men, and there's one or two women and in a meeting, you know, the women are never really given that opportunity to speak. If as a man, you say, “Well, hey, guys, we need to let her speak.”. You then don't choose to go into a soliloquy of why it needs to happen, because there's no putting you in the spotlight. You say, “We need to let her speak and you turn the floor over to her.”. So whoever that person is, that you are actually trying to allow them to have that space to speak, and be acknowledged, and seen, and heard. Don't insert yourself because that's your delicate sensibilities popping up.


LEE: So I'm really curious when we think about imperfect allyship and when we think about inclusion, within the context of spiritual entrepreneurship, I'm really curious what issues or what common concerns you see emerging? Like, are there particular issues that spiritual entrepreneurs need to be particularly aware of when it comes to this?

ERICA: Whitewashing is one of the first things that comes up for me. 

LEE: Yeah, let's talk more about that. Can you define that in case we have listeners who aren't familiar with what that is?

ERICA: Sure, and I'll give an example, so it kind of makes sense. So yoga is a great example of whitewashing, in that it's a spiritual practice, that is from India, that the United States of America has kind of taken on as this, “It's just about exercise.”. It is really showcased by, you know, young, thin, blonde, white women, wearing Lululemon, extra flexible, and that's not what it's rooted in. It's rooted in, you know, the eight different limbs, and it is a spiritual practice. And so, the idea of what we're given is very centered in a specific archetype of who does it and who it's marketed to and for, but then they've also wiped out the spiritual or cultural pieces of it. To adopt it, and water it down, and make it palatable, and make it marketable, and we can make money off of it. When you take it back to the roots, it's not what we've been told yoga is, and it's not promoted as something that is for other groups of people. Like there's one woman online that I follow, and I'm happy to give the references for these – her name is Jessamyn and she is black, and I'm using one of her words, she's fat. She, you know, she's queer, like she has all of these labels, and none of these societal indicators are what yoga is marketed toward, but she's great at it. She is in it. This is who she is. But yet everything about her says, “Oh, well yoga is not for you, we're not talking to you.”. So whitewashing is basically just taking something and saying, it's not for you, because I said it wasn't, even if it was yours to start with, I'm going to take it, I'm going to dilute it, I'm going to make it self serving.

LEE: Yes, and so we have appropriated something from another culture. We've done it in a way where the experience is now centered around whiteness, and it's packaged up in a way where it can be sold. And so I think yoga is such a perfect example of whitewashing, and the answer isn't “Stop doing yoga, right?”, I mean, the answer now is, let's really raise our awareness around what's gone on around yoga and be very intentional about how we move forward with our practice.

ERICA: Correct, and I think what can happen in some of the places that people may choose to practice their spirituality – yoga could be one, meditation could be another, journaling, mindset work – these are not spaces that you traditionally see marketed toward or marketed by people of color in a mainstream space. It does not mean that people of color do not want, or need, or practice, these things. It doesn't mean that there aren't people that do these things very well and have a space for it, but that's not who it's centered around when it's typically given. And I think that it's sometimes disheartening to not see yourself represented in these spaces because then you assume, do the people in this space not want to see me here? Am I not welcome here? And how do I incorporate these things when I feel like it's being given to me or packaged by someone that doesn't get my needs, or they don't understand maybe how I would practice this, or how I would infuse this into my life or my business. 


LEE: So I'm wondering then what you would like to see spiritual entrepreneurs start doing or do more of, in order to be more inclusive and and bring more people into the process.

ERICA: The thing that's always interesting to me is that most of the people that will say, “Oh, well, I want this to happen, but I don't know how to do it.”. One of the first places that it starts is conversation. How is it that you can say that this is a market that you would love to serve as more, this is a market that you would love to increase the awareness, that you are there to serve them? And not only is that like, “Oh, you're welcome.”, but, you know, there's parts of this that were actually created or all that was created with you in mind. If there's no conversation for you to know what that looks like. So it's no different than someone saying, “Oh, I want to market to stay at home moms.”. Well, you're going to build this entire, you know, ideal client avatar around who she is, and where she shops, and what time she does things, and what social media platforms Is she on, but you're not taking the time to say, “Okay, well, if I am trying to offer yoga to LGBTQ communities that are located in Brooklyn”, well, you need to figure out where they are. You need to figure out how to start conversation to say, I want to do more, I want to do better in this space, and I would like to know how. I just feel like nothing can ever start if nobody's willing to talk. It's really easy to sit back in the bubble and say, “Well, I don't know how to fix it”, but if you're not willing to have a conversation, and acknowledge where you haven't been doing the work, and where you could be doing it, where you could be doing it differently, and what information you need to make sure that you're doing it well – for them, not for you – it just, it won't happen.

LEE: Yeah, I think that last part is so important because if I come into a community of which I am not a member, and with the best intentions, I want to be supportive. But then I start talking about what I think needs to happen in order to make it better, then I am just perpetuating the marginalization. And so having that conversation and listening and being, you know, allowing them to be the expert, I think is a critical part in terms of starting the change process.

ERICA: Well, and you said a huge part, you have to, first of all, you have to show up, but then you have to listen, because if you're there, but you're not, you're not letting them actually answer the questions, and tell you these, these things that you want to know more about, and you want this context and clarity, you then have to take in this information and then take action. So what do you do to get the information and then what do you do once you do have it? What is your goal?

LEE: Exactly, and actually, I think this might be a perfect segue into the next part of the podcast which is the Make It Work Moment. 

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LEE: And it's in the make it work moment where we take everything we've talked about all of these concepts and we drill down to make them actionable, so that everyone who's listening to this conversation today who's thinking, “Yeah, I should do this. I want to go out there and be an imperfect ally.”. That's great, I'm glad you feel that way, but now it's time to do something about it. Now it's time to take action, and Erica I always love it when my guests are able to provide the Make It Work moment for the listeners, so the floor is yours. How would you like to use the Make It Work moment today?

ERICA: Start talking. The biggest barrier between any type of forward-moving evolution in change between marginalized groups, and the white majority, is conversation. Those that choose to be imperfect allies to use their platform, and their privilege, to make things come from a place of equity so that everyone has the things that they need. You can't figure that out if you're not talking – you don't know what's needed, you don't know what's desired, you don't know how to be of service. You don't know how you may have had your head in the sand and you can't correct what you're not aware isn't correct. And if you don't allow yourself the space to be uncomfortable, and to learn, and to grow, it's never going to get better. So you have to start that conversation, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable, and to take action on what you then get, you know, voting with your dollars, changing maybe who you market to, or how you market. Changing how it is that you show up with what you do from a more inclusive place, and a place that is providing equity so that everybody can reap the benefits of what you bring to the table, because the reality is that we all bring something valuable to the table, and if you're an entrepreneur, well you probably have a business and you have something that you want to support people with. But you can't do that, if you're not willing to say this is what I have, this can be helpful to you, “How can I serve you?”. It's no different than any other ICA, don't trick yourself into thinking there's some magic pill, there's some weird thing that you have to uncover before it can happen. No, open your mouth, open your eyes, open your ears, open your heart – talk.

LEE: Yes, because that's where it starts. It starts with conversation. And those of us, who have historically and traditionally been in a position where we've had the spotlight, and we've had the mic, now is the time for us to pass the mic on, and to engage in these conversations from a place of sincere curiosity where we are asking questions and not expecting someone to be a spokesperson, but really getting curious about their personal experience, their journey, and how we can serve them along the way.

ERICA: Being open to doing the emotional labor for growth.

LEE: Yes. Oh my gosh, Erica, I could talk to you about this for hours and I would love to have you back on a future episode. Because again, we really just scratched the surface with this. But I am so honored to have you on the show. I cannot thank you enough for being here, and can you please tell our listeners where they can learn more about you and where they can find you?

ERICA: Absolutely, and it was my pleasure. And of course, I would always love to come back because I love space for valuable conversation. It's so important. And that's, you know, conversation is absolutely what I do, and that's my, that's my method of choice, and that is my conduit. And I do that in a few different places. I always first like to start with my podcast, which is Pause on The Play. It's fairly new, about a month and a half, and I love it. And again, I love being able to use my voice as a way of connecting and so I love for people to listen to the podcast and then come on over to Instagram @EricaCourdae, same for Facebook and just kind of tell me, you know, what are your takeaways? What are you thinking? What are you feeling? I really appreciate and encourage the dialogue. It's all about being respectful and being supportive, and really just helping everybody to be a part of this collective whole growing. I do one on one coaching, and I also do something called the Conversation Workshop, which there's been a few episodes and like I had one that was around yoga and how it can be more inclusive. So really, just having a few different platforms to speak about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and there's more coming up in the works. So again, coming on over to Instagram and checking me out, you'll be able to stay abreast of that, and listening to the podcast, which (are available on) Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Come on over to the website and shoot me an email as well, EricaCourdae.com.

LEE: And I cannot recommend your podcast highly enough, and again getting back to conversation – not only are you having extraordinary conversations with your guests, but even in your solo episodes you are able to engage in conversation with the listener and I'm just going to put out a plug for your one on Imposter Syndrome. Erica has a revolutionary take on Imposter Syndrome that really blew my mind the first time I heard it, and that's honestly when I knew, I have got to get to know her better, and I want her wisdom. So yes, head on out, subscribe to Pause on The Play and connect with Erica over on Instagram. Erica, thank you again for coming on the show today.

ERICA: Thank you so much Lee. I appreciate it.

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Many, many thanks to Erica Courdae for initially coming on the Work Your Inner Wisdom podcast, and now granting permission for our conversation to be rebroadcast on the Coach with Clarity podcast. I am so grateful to Erica, and I encourage all of you to learn more about Erica and her work – you can do so at her website, EricaCourdae.com and you should also check out her fantastic podcast Pause on The Play which she co-hosts with India Jackson, who is another phenomenal woman of Flaunt Your Fire. You definitely want to check India out as well. You can also find Erica on Instagram @EricaCourdae and you can follow her podcast at @PauseonThePlay

Alright, my friend, I am sending you so much love this week, and I hope you'll join me back here next week for another episode. In the meantime, let's get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity. 

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