In collaboration with several other Latinas across generations 23 -64 years of age we began a coaching circle called “Cafecito con Santa.”
This circle came out of conversation that reminded me that it was usually around the kitchen table that “Comadres”, “Madres” (mothers), “Hermanas” (sisters), “Tias” (aunts), “Primas” (cousins) would dialogue and support each other. So since I coach and make a great café con leche (latte) we gathered to honor our culture that promotes a paradigm of collectivism, a relational orientation and interdependence that acknowledges wisdom of ancestors and across the generations.
What inspired me to engage in this intimate way came from living and experiencing living multiple realities as a Latina in America (a chapter in --The Diversity Calling: Building Community One Story at a Time)
Far too often I was a one and only, Latina and sometime woman in the room, especially at work. In coaching and speaking with many other “fire breathing women/mujeres que repiran fuego” a common thread resonated yet again in this vein. My philosophy of life, that in lighting someone’s else’s path we invariable light our own way, leads me to continue with the wholehearted intention of continuing dialogue, self-exploration and continuous learning in community and in service.
So to this end, we began our first session discussing our intention, introductions of who we are and then moved on to what we do with who we are. It was heart warming to share in candid and meaningfull ways our responses to two important questions:
Do you feel disenfranchised? What contributes to it?
How or whom do you attribute your resiliency? What keeps you moving forward?
The quality of our questions and their simplicity can help us do the archaeological dig we need to better define ourselves for ourselves in the midst of feeling disenfranchised, ambivalent and lonely.
Clearly defining oneself is a revolutionary act. It means we must examine ourselves in context: culturally and with relation to "other". We learn and see ourselves in societal context and separately. Angelina Jolie puts it quite well: "Figure out who you are separate from your family, and the man or woman you’re in a relationship with. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self because with that, you can do anything else."
We invite you into the conversation. Please share your responses to these questions.