It takes great courage to be of service during difficult times.
The current health, financial and humanitarian crisis we’re experiencing on a global level requires that we tap into that courage to face our own fears, struggles and pain in order to transform those emotions into fuel that empower us to take service-driven action.
I hope you enjoy today’s special two-part interview and that it helps to shine the light on the great courage it takes to face your fears and be of service during difficult times.
Welcome back PARKer! I'm Marly Q and this is Episode #19 with Kemy Joseph, again! If you made time to be kind last week, you already know Kemy, and if you missed it, make sure to listen to Episode #18 because it's truly an enlightening conversation about how you can use your fears to your advantage.
I invited him back to give us all an update, two months later, on how he's had to face his own fears again, in light of the racial injustice, and tap into his own courage even deeper in order to rise and be of service during these difficult times.
Some of the highlights of this conversation include talking about
· How we can experience heartbreak and inspiration at the same time
· How we can transform pain into power
· How we can pivot to serve and help heal
· How we can all leverage our struggle & tap into our courage to be of service to others.
I think you'll be happy you made Time to be Kind for another inspiring conversation with Kemy. Let's listen!
Welcome, welcome back to the show, my beautiful friend and PARKer, Kemy Joseph, thank you for making the time to be kind again.
[01:26] Kemy: Absolutely. Yeah, I'll make a lot of time because especially if I get the hang with you.
[01:31] Marly Q: Yeah! And I am so excited to have you back. I mean, it's been about two months since you joined us in our first interview together and we were both launching, I was launching my podcast, you were launching your F.E.A.R.S Advantage, you remember we both had the jitters?
[01:49] Kemy: Yeah. We were so young back then.
[01:52] Marly Q: It's crazy to think how much has happened, not just personally, in our own journeys, in our own growth and what we've been able to do as a means to be of service during these difficult times, but truly what's been going on in the world and how we've been able to show up. Could you please, just give us an update as to what's transpired over the last two months for you and how you've been able to rise to be of service?
[02:25] Kemy: Hey, Marly, it's so awesome to be back here again. Just reflecting, the last two months have been nuts and, you know, we're talking, you and I have been in touch but our whole paradigm, our whole life shifted, as we were coming out of quarantine and we saw the situation with George Floyd and, you know, it just breaks my heart to see that and I think what I experience is a lot of, especially black people, experience is trauma. But it's not just, you know, black Americans that experience trauma, we saw people of all different skin colors, experience this trauma. And for me, it snaps me back and there's all these emotions of anger, frustration, you know, depression, like the whole stages of grief, you know, going through that and seeing it and, you know, I believe in these emotions, I can use them to fuel something, I can do something positive. In the past, I used to do very negative and destructive things, which we saw happen and where people erupted in riots because that anger was just being fueled in a negative way, was being channeled in a negative way. And, you know, for me, it was, "What can I do with that?". And we were talking about the F.E.A.R.S Advantage, I believe in that in every situation, in the best and worst of times ...
How can I use my "FEARS" to Fuel Extraordinary Actions, Relationships and Systems?
So, right away, I was like, "Okay, I got to do something.".
And the wild thing is, before COVID began, I was talking about transcending prejudice, right? That was my jam, and it still is my jam, and then, when COVID came around, we started using the F.E.A.R.S Advantage to help people pivot their business because of the difficulty there. And so, it was-- I was ready to go back to this transcend prejudice conversation, I just didn't think it's going be like, "Hey, it's happening right now.", and it's happening after death and loss so, you have to, you know, be super careful. And I have been having way more speaking opportunities than I imagined during this time, especially in a short period of time, you know, since I saw you, I've been on more podcasts, live streams and webinars and received, you know, thousands of views, in a short period of time that blew my mind. So, it's been an inspiring time and heart breaking timing where it's hard to kind of enjoy the rise because it's coming in loss and, you know, the doing my best to still use that-- those emotions to do something productive. So, I think about what you're saying about serving during difficult times is like, being of service is one of the greatest and hardest things to do, especially when it's coming out of tragedy.
I love this quote I heard from Mr. Rogers that his mom, when he was looking at the news and seeing the difficulties and tragedies happening, his mom says, "But look there, there's always helpers.", like, whenever you see tragedy there are always-- you look for the helpers, and it's just that, that is a reminder to me that I can be one of those helpers.
[05:17] Marly Q: I think it takes a lot of courage to rise, to be of service during difficult times, and I wanted you back on the show to you know, really honor, respect, value, appreciate and celebrate you as a true PARKer, a true superhero because it's so heart breaking what's going on, not just for black people, it is heart breaking for mankind, to see how we're treating each other, and it's difficult for all of us, I think. And some people react differently, right? During difficult situations. Some people will, you know, stick their head in the sand and say, "I just, I'm overwhelmed with emotion. I just don't know what to do.", and then they're stuck, right? You did a wonderful F.E.A.R.S Advantage Facebook Live on that, right? Going from stuck to serve, right?
[06:07] Kemy: Yeah, that was so wild, did a three hour live. I just needed to get it all out and you know, half of it I was crying, the other half I was teaching and it just like, you know, that one got like 5, 6000 views, like what?
[06:22] Marly Q: I'll link it, I'll link it in the show notes here because it was incredibly powerful. For any of our PARKers listening, that do feel stuck, but you have the heart to serve, which all of our PARKers have the heart to serve, how do you move from stuck to serve? How do you serve during difficult times? And I just, you're the only person that I know, in my immediate circle, that just rose to that challenge, amidst you feeling that trauma and you feeling so much, you know pain and grief. How do you use that fear as fuel, right? To-- how? And you did it.
[07:01] Kemy: I think that's just it, you know, just teaching about it so much, and then just having to demonstrate it, and I think in demonstrating it, is people actually seeing that, one, I'm a man of my word. It's like, "Hey, I told you, I'm going to do this, right? I told if I have difficulty, I'm not going to hide it.", I want to be able to share, it doesn't have to be perfect, these are the reminders, especially in a time, where when you're looking at that phrase, you know, stuck. It's like, so many people felt stuck that they didn't want to do it wrong, and I was like, "Yeah, I'm worried about that too, I'm just going to do something, I'm going to do something that is helpful with the intention to help.", and you know, you and I focus a lot on communication. So, you know, behind the scenes, I'm still thinking, "Alright, what do I say? What do I not say? Like, what-- how do I do this in a way that is structurally supportive to people coming together?".
And I think in that darkness, you know, people really saw that light that I was just advocating that we come together and I was willing to talk about, at least my experience with these difficult things, as opposed to shaming and blaming, like those are still my philosophies, regardless of what we're talking about. Because these conversations have already been so divided. So, for me, it's like, "If I'm going to use this anger, I don't want to get angry at a person.", well, I don't want to get angry at all people, there's some people I'm definitely angry at. I don't want to get angry at all people, I want to use that anger to say, "Okay, like, how do I use this aggressiveness just to like, power through the obstacles of going online and being available to people? How do I seek information that I can then share?".
One of the greatest tools for transforming my pain into power has been the ability to teach, like the ability to be an influencer and to like, share lessons.
Because even in the hardest and most difficult lessons, I'm like, "Okay, there's something there that I can share, I can leverage my struggle to serve, right? Like, there's something there that I can take away and even hopefully, save somebody from falling into the same pitfall or get out of the hole that I was just in, and that is my version of service. Like, how do I take what I just learned and give it back to somebody who's going through the same challenge or a similar challenge that I just went through?
[09:15] Marly Q: Absolutely. I honor that so much. And I also went through, "Do I put out my podcast episodes during this time that are all about kindness and hugs during COVID? And smiles and gratitude and all of my light and positivity, while we're going through some super dark times?", I was really struggling with that. I'm like, "Do I keep putting this out right now? Is it the right time? Is it the right thing to say? Is that the right thing to do?", and I just cannot be one of these people that puts my head in the sand and your three hour Facebook Live on going from stuck to serve just really helped solidify for me or remind me of my mission, is to be of service, is to be the spark of kindness, and I have to put out that light, that little smarts in the dark times and at the risk of maybe offending some people, maybe. You did another Facebook Live on how to stop offending the people that you care about, and I've watched them all, there's so much value in them and I'm really trying to live the cause, and be consistent with the message because the name of this podcast is Time to be Kind, and I believe, with every cell fiber in my body, I believe that the time to be kind is always now and more so than ever right now.
So, I will not be silenced out of fear that I may be saying the "wrong thing" at the wrong time, "Nobody wants to hear you know your kindness and positivity stuff right now.", OR, right now, is THE TIME to magnify and turn up the volume on kindness and how we all need to treat each other, treat ourselves and treat one another, with more kindness. That is the only way, in my opinion, that we're really going to get to the root of healing, of uniting mankind. So, thank you so much for what you're doing. Thank you for pivoting.
I mean, I joined your 30-day micro course accelerator program, thinking that I was going to create a course about planning events, right? COVID crumbled my event planning business. I'm like, "I'm going to create an online course and just start teaching people how to plan events.", and I'm still going to do that. But I decided to pivot as well, like, "No, I want to be able to help people stress less.", and I recently launched my course, thanks to you and your wonderful mastermind and the program and your accountability and your support and your coaching.
[11:45] Kemy: They're super proud of you. It's awesome to see you rise up there.
[11:49] Marly Q: I had to pivot as well. I'm like, "How can we be going through these difficult times and how can I be of service? I can try and teach people what I've learned learned over the past decade since our last financial crisis or last, you know, Great Depression in 2008, where I lost absolutely everything, foreclosure, bankruptcy, that. I mean, it was all gone. How can I be stressing less with everything that's going on today with this health pandemic, with this financial pandemic, with this social, you know, humanitarian crisis and pandemic? How can I be going through this time with less stress, with less migraines, with less overwhelm, with less anxiety and still care deeply?". It's not like, I stopped caring, I care more than I've ever cared, how? I'm pregnant, and with a toddler!
[12:40] Kemy: You said, "And I got a baby on the way and a baby in the way.".
[12:45] Marly Q: And I'm not overwhelmed by stress, I am not because I will no longer use that pattern of behavior, I've changed, I've transformed in the last decade, and that's what I was inspired to teach people. So, I pivoted too. You were going to teach a course about Zoom and how to be, you know, engaging--
[13:04] A five-star virtual engagement plan, and that's the wild part, I've been using all the, you know, the things that are in my course, right? The five star virtual engagement plan to then engage people in these conversations and Facebook Live settings and you know, we just did our six hour training and people, yeah, we were a little bit tired after it, but people were like, "Man, this was awesome. This is one of the best training I've been to.", and I was like, "That's great feedback.", because we were also talking about prejudice online, right? There's like, so many layers to, "We can make this happen well.". So, I've just been, you know, pivoted again, we're about to release the course, as part of our F.E.A.R.S Advantage online program, where people can have access to the Transcend Prejudice, as well as the F.E.A.R.S Advantage, because we are one of the only organizations bringing both the business development and diversity work together.
Because a lot of people will separate those two and I think that's where the problem has become, where we only talk about diversity when things are bad, and then we're like, "Okay, can I even talk about kindness when we're talking about diversity?", it's like, why is it one or the other, right? Like, diversity can actually be an enjoyable thing to talk about as we celebrate our uniqueness, celebrate our gifts, we bring in that we use our privilege to actually help people and those are some of the conversations that we're having and people actually enjoy it. It's like, what a concept! People can actually enjoy talking about things like diversity, equity and inclusion, that we can make that conversation more approachable and needs to be because, you know, you and I like, we're here again, talking about communication skills, if we just imagine that most people are at, like a level one or two, like around communication and like, emotional intelligence and self-care and then, we add, like racial issues into it, man, it like blows up the conversation.
Most people they don't, we don't have the skill sets to actually have those difficult conversation. So, for me, it's like, "Let's actually teach people.". So, when you're talking about, you know, the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™, you're actually teaching people how to do that.
And we don't really take the same approach to teaching people how to appreciate and celebrate diversity, how to be inclusive, how to acknowledge different cultures, like, we are so, that's what we're doing. And through F.E.A.R.S Advantage, that's exactly what we're doing to bring this conversation around infinite walk together with Transcending Prejudice so that way people can actually create the impact they want, and the income that they want while, still serving others. And that's that, we can get that win, win, win, that is our greatest goal, and that's what fires me up to just think about, "Okay, these are all the difficulties.", and I still have my guiding light of what I know I'm here to do and how I'm here to help.
[15:37] Marly Q: Yes, having that, “why”, ever so present in your heart as the fire, as the light, that compelling future, being able to see, you know, hope and opportunity, within difficult times, within crisis, within darkness. I mean, I think, that's not just something that people are like born with, it's really something that I think you get to teach and instill in people and practice.
[16:08] Kemy: Ooh, a lot practice. And like, when you were talking about this or describing, this is all the seeds of kindness, right? This is like, service is kindness in action, right? When we have to be thinking about how we care for people, if we truly are wanting to serve them. And that's why even, you refer to the one like, stop offending the people you care about, originally, the title was going to be Stop Offending People, and I was like, "Is there a possibility of like, not offending someone?", it's like, "I don't think so.". I think we're going to you know, I think that the phrase I started the video with, "If my existence offends you, then my words are going to offend you.", right? If just the fact that I'm living my life as me and being of my skin color is offensive to you then, then, and there's nothing I'm going to say that's going to help. So, I'm just going to focus on people who actually, who I actually care about, who actually care about me and make sure that I'm not inadvertently hurting them, and that is kindness, where I'm like seeking, "How do I speak to them? How do I support them? How do I be around them in ways that help them feel safe, help them feel appreciated and loved?", and those messages I've been following too. So, I see your posts, I see your pictures and I see the smiles around the world and you know, those things are like, “All right, those things are still possible, those things are still happening in the world.". So, thank you for sharing your voice in that way because it affects me in a positive way to like, "Okay, that's the work I'm working to magnify in the world.".
[17:27] Marly Q: Thank you. Thank you. We are definitely kindred spirits and PARKners on a very similar mission, even if it has different outlets, and I'm just so grateful. I'm so grateful to have had our journeys, you know, kind of coincide, our paths cross so that we can make a great impact together. So, I'm so grateful to have been able to have you back on the show for this special first ever, two-part series here.
[17:56] Kemy: Two-part series? What? I feel honored, thank you all for listening twice. Hey, everybody out there, thank you.
[18:02] Marly Q: And I want you all to listen more so, I will make sure to include your links on the show notes so that people can join the F.E.A.R.S Advantage group, join you on your weekly lives, because they're always, always powerful, and share them, do watch parties with people. Right now, people don't need to be consuming negative media, people don't need to be consuming just venting posts on Facebook. People need to be consuming messages that teach, that inspire, that engage, that unite and that fuel you with purpose to make an impact to PARK, to make a change in this world. So, thank you, again for being that person, that PARKer.
[18:44] Kemy: Get me all fired up, it's like great, I got more life so, I got another live stream today. So, thank you for helping me getting all fired up, I appreciate you so much Marly.
[18:53] Marly Q: You got it. Talk to you soon.
[18:55] Kemy: Talk soon.
[18:57] Outro: I hope you enjoyed today's special two-part interview and that it helped to shine the light on the great courage that it takes to face your fears and be of service during difficult times. Just two weeks ago, we started our own Kind Qrew private Facebook group to continue building our community, sharing daily resources and inspiration to ignite kindness worldwide together. We're so excited to already have well over 100 Kind Qrew members in the group, and we're waiting for you!