The Global Fringe

Once upon a time there was a girl who had a thousand dreams and a deep desire to see whole the world. She went on adventures and fell in love with the people she met, the countries she visited, the food she ate, and the lessons she learned. "Let's always be adventurers", she said. Thankfully, her favorite person (aka her husband), was also an adventurer and together they dreamed about the adventures they'd take their kids on and how they could together contribute their whole selves to make the world a more beautiful place. 

On her many adventures, she met so many unbelievable people who found themselves outside the majority. They were on the fringe - misfits, outlier, rabble rousers, dreamers, creatives, and leaders in their own rites. They were people who helped her see the world bigger than she could imagine. They taught her about their cultures, food, perspectives, world views, traditions, and ways of doing life and work. They were outside the mainstream, but found their way to make invaluable contributions to this globe. These people blew her mind, enlarged her heart, and made her believe we were meant for more. She was never the same after meeting these people.

Welcome to The Global Fringe.

I never imagined myself hosting a podcast, but today one was launched!! It is so, so, so good because the guests on this podcast are beyond smart, hungry, humble, and provocative. They are leaders and learners. They're bridge builders and instigators. They are wildly creative because they've had to figure out how to change the world as a minority. Some of the names you'll know if you're in their sector, but some of them you will learn and instantly want to follow more. It is so fun to have conversations with friends, mentors, and wise people who are leading us to be more in our bodies, minds, and spirits.

At the heart of it, here's what The Global Fringe is all about:

If you want to experience more of our complex, diverse world, lean in to these stories.
If you've ever found yourself on the fringe of culture, this is for you.
Our hope is that in the next few minutes you feel seen, emboldened, and compelled to more. Welcome in...

The first two episodes are launched and it'd mean so much to me if you'd subscribe, listen, review, and share!! We're just getting started...

Massive props and thanks to the one and only, my producer, Michael Yoder for breathing life and vision into this podcast. If you're interested in launching your own podcast or starting a website, you've got to reach out to him at Truth Work Media.

Moving from Scarcity to Abundance

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Last month I wrote about how Scarcity is a Shame Conversation and it generated a lot of feedback and "me too" confessions. It seems like a lot of us struggle with that conversation but don't know how to change it. The time is now to start a new conversation in our minds and out loud to change the conversation to one of abundance. While I am still on a journey to being a person of abundance, I want to extend ideas of how I've moved toward abundance in my life. These practices (and I'm sure others) have propelled me toward an abundance mentality. What are your practices?

BEAUTY.

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I remember a season several years ago that caused some deep, deep pain in my life. The ache the loss caused was visceral and palpable. My spiritual director advised me that my prescription was radical self-care and that I needed to surround myself with beauty so I could see the potential of what was beyond me. Scarcity is about lack, not enough. Beauty calls out that there is so much life all around us. Nature is where I see it most clearly. 

Today I was battling that old scarcity mentality, so I took a walk. Before I would've let the "not enough" take me out for the day. No more! I walked around our neighborhood for over an hour, capturing images of beauty that reminded me of this great big world and all that's available for me, with me, and toward me. Beauty redirects my perspective to what's more for me, around me, within me, and beyond me.

GRATITUDE.

Beauty leads me to gratitude, too! Beauty compels gratitude. When I want to drown my worries in "not enough", worst-case-scenario thinking, I've disciplined my soul to express gratitude. Saying "thank you" for gifts and acts of service has been a value for ages, but the discipline of gratitude is re-wiring my brain for abundance. Everyday I rehearse what I'm grateful for...

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  • I'm grateful for my man who loves me and is committed to partnership in every area of life.
  • I'm thankful for the growth and wellness of 3 miracle babies.
  • I'm thankful for work that I love.
  • I'm grateful for a home in a neighborhood that's absolutely stunning.
  • I'm grateful we live in our dream location.
  • I'm grateful for natural solutions for my body, mind, and spirit.
  • I'm thankful for the view outside my living room and kitchen.
  • I'm grateful for friends who reach out and ask how I'm doing. 
  • I'm thankful for my home team and that they know the best and worst of who I am.
  • I'm grateful for coffee in the morning and wine at night.

...and the gratitude list goes on and on. I will speak my gratitude list for as long as I need until my mentality shifts from lack to fullness. I will practice thankfulness until my anxiety and anger are transformed into an overflowing heart.  

CONTENTMENT.

Gratitude moves me into contentment for what I have right now. The secret of being content is knowing you have all you need in this moment to be sustained. The crazy thing about scarcity is that it causes you to acquire more, even when you can't afford it. Debt is often about scarcity in my experience. Hurriedness is about a lack of time instead of doing what you can do with the time and energy given to you. Contentment flips the conversation. It moves me into "I'm ok with what I have right now." It doesn't remove the longing for more and it certainly doesn't cause you to settle, but it doesn't force what can't be afforded in time, money, or energy right now. Contentment believes it will come at the right time and there's work you need to do before you get there. Shame sinisterly says, "You are not enough. You are not worthy. You do not have enough and you should get more." Contentment whispers, "You are enough just as you are." Breathe.

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PEOPLE.

I noticed a pattern in my life of being attracted to others who have a scarcity mentality. Scarcity attracts scarcity. I began paying attention to their language and posture. It usually revealed itself in their language of there not being enough (business, money, opportunities, time, whatever!) for everyone. They needed to hold on to what was "theirs" (and some of what wasn't!) in an almost possessive and compulsive way. They had to collect and preserve what had been given to them out of fear that it may be taken away.

Re-training my mentality has required me listening to, following, and learning from those who are abundantly full in their lives. This doesn't mean rich people only in a financial capacity. Abundant people are rich in their souls. They don't see a law of diminishing returns, but of grace creating more life. I've committed myself to posturing myself to run toward those voices and cut out voices that reinforce the dangerous perspective of "what's mine is mine". Abundance attracts abundance.

GENEROSITY. 

When you are free, you can be generous in your whole life. Money is a tool to bless others and make the world a better place. The best way through financial scarcity is to give away what's only yours to steward anyway! Your time is to be stewarded to invest in another's life. Don't believe you have enough time in your day? Prioritize what you must do and watch it get done. The gifts that have been given to you are to be shared with the world and multiplied beyond what they could be on their own. Generosity opens your hands and allows you to let go. 

VISION BOARD.

This is a new one for me! Living full of abundance means honoring the vision and dreams in my bones and letting them out. For too long I've held back in life and leadership. I've contained what I dream as possible within me and lived too safe. Scarcity has lied to me that it's not possible. Creating my vision board reminds me what's possible and calls it out of me. 

 My Current Vision Board (as of April 2018)

My Current Vision Board (as of April 2018)

FORGIVENESS.

I've realized that some of my scarcity thinking is because of hurt others have caused me. It's caused me to hunker down, defend what's mine, protect what I have, instead of run for what's possible. My lack of forgiveness for offenders has been like drinking poison and expecting them to die. Forgiveness is more for me than it is for them. Forgiveness is about letting go of what was so I'm open to receive what can be. Forgiving another's offenses offers fullness of life because I have also been forgiven beyond what I deserve.

FUTURE FORWARD.

What was true yesterday doesn't have to repeat itself tomorrow - bad relationships, debt, unsatisfying jobs, tyranny of the urgent. Way too often we look back in our lives as the way forward, instead of learning from the past and using it as a catalyst to create the life we want to life today and tomorrow. Being a person of abundance means that we look to the future with all the trust and faith we can muster. It means telling the past that it doesn't have to repeat itself in the future.

A while back I posted a meditation from Fr. Richard Rohr about this subject. You can find it HERE.

May all these words serve you well in your own journey toward abundance. May you find yourself full of all that is and letting go of the restraints and self-limitations of the past.

May you know you are loved by a very good God who desires to give you all the goodness you are able to receive. 

 

My Podcast: The Global Fringe Coming Soon

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I love stories. Particularly, I love stories of people who are different from me, expand my vision, and show me a bigger perspective of the world, and remind me that I'm not alone. This coming week I'm launching a podcast that will do exactly that for you and me!

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The Global Fringe:
hosted by April L. Diaz

My podcast will be a collection of stories from my friends and those I've learned from in my own journey. They are predominantly stories from women and/or people of color who have so much to teach us about what it's like to live on the fringe of our culture. The guests I'm hosting on the show are people who are making an extraordinary difference in the world and carry a global perspective we need so much in our world today. 

My guests will make you laugh, think, (re)consider your own beliefs and values, and spur you toward your own preferred future. The stories we tell will guide you toward more in your body, mind, and spirit. Our stories will connect with your story because we are all a part of one big grand story together. In it all, you will find life and next steps to living yours even better. 

Stay tuned! Be ready to subscribe on iTunes, share, and review. PLEASE AND THANK YOU. 
The first episodes are coming out soon!!

Wanna sneak peak?!?!
Here's the intro episode...


** If you are interested in starting a podcast, you have to connect with my producer, Michael Yoder at Truth Work Media. He'll make it easier than you think!

Youth Workers' Mastermind Group

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Youth workers are just some of my favorite people on the planet.

They are fun, future focused, innovative, creative, adaptable, and curious. Youth workers are open to change and are so flexible to do something different if it'll promote growth and a better result. I mean, just this week I saw youth workers posting about a pineapple mayhem event, teenage self-harm, blacklight dodgeball, and talking with teenagers about suffering and political issues. UGH. The range of silly to serious is about as vast as you can imagine.

For just over 20 years I've been a youth worker in some way, shape, or form. I'm so proud to be among this tribe. Our tribe runs deep together. We're all about 2 degrees of separation from each other, which makes it so very fun.

Over the last several years, I've also been über committed to raise the water level of potency and effectiveness of youth workers. It's challenging to be a youth worker. We are on the cutting edge of the culture changes that affect teenagers before adults even know what's up. Youth workers need to be able to dance between leading 3 very different groups of people: parents, volunteers, and teenagers. Add in the layer of being a great team member and often youth workers (even the college and seminary trained ones!) struggle to navigate the waters of the job. I get it. I've been there.

I've learned a few things about leading in youth ministry over the years...

What got you here, won't get you there.

To get from here to there, you need new skills, practices, resources, and relationships. Doing what you've always done won't create the environment for transformation. Those changes - both internally and externally - are vital to be identified and led through well. Youth workers who live with great intentionality and discipline experience breakthroughs and growth all throughout their life on a regular basis.

Who you are determines what you do.

You can only fake it for so long. You can only live off of fumes and charisma for a short period of time. You can only sprint for short distances, not the long haul. Yet all too often, youth workers do those things as a way of life and expect it to work long-term. Proverbs is clear, out of the overflow of what's within comes out in our words and behaviors. Our bodies often reveal the state of our souls. Everything we do - on purpose or on accident - is a reflection of who we are. I believe we are created good and are designed to do so much good, yet it requires reflective, thoughtful self-leadership to live into our potential.

Leaders are learners... especially listeners + readers.

A wise mentor told me years ago that "Leadership begins with listening." I would add that it probably ends with listening, as well...and all the way in between. Leaders should be the most rabid learners of anyone!! If we are going to attempt to influence others' lives and souls, we need to constantly be reading, listening, and learning from voices who will take us to those new places. This element of self-leadership is imperative for healthy, forward moving leadership.

Leaders take responsibility for their life + leadership.

We are not victims to our circumstances or present realities. Your reality today doesn't dictate your reality for tomorrow. Your present doesn't have to be your future. You and only you are responsible for your life. Responsibility is really about your response meeting your abilities. How you connect those two elements together either creates an engaged, active life or a passive, reactive one.

Culture + context is everything.

What works in Northern Indiana may not work in Southern California or in Chicagoland...trust me, I've lived in all those places. But learning how to discern your culture and context enables you to lead and adapt youth ministry wherever you go. Growing in your ability to decode culture, adapt to your surroundings, and lead well within your strengths and commitments significantly increases your effectiveness as a youth worker.

Does this resonate with you? Are you ready to dig deep and experience a transformational 6 months of coaching? If so, you need....

Youth Worker's Mastermind Group:

leadership development with a youth ministry twist
+ spiked with spiritual formation

  • Groups launching in September 2018 + January 2019
  • 10 youth workers from coast to coast (per group)
  • 6 months with 2 in-person meetings, 4 webinars, and 6 1on1 coaching calls with April (see more details below)
  • Customized, specific action steps so you can break through barriers and achieve your goals
  • Private online community for additional learning, interaction, support, and idea sharing between webinars
  • Investment: $1000 plus 6 books and a couple assessments

You are worth the investment because you have one life to live to its fullest. Imagine what your life and leadership could look like with this kind of new skills, accountability, care, and resources. Take responsibility for your life, courageous youth worker. What can you gain by saying YES? You are loved.


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THE RHYTHM TOWARD TRANSFORMATION.

  • PRIOR TO MONTH 1: Take an assessment and read assigned book 
  • MONTH 1: 2-day working retreat in Orange County, CA with 1on1 Coaching 
  • MONTH 2: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching 
  • MONTH 3: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching + Guided Half-Day Personal Retreat 
  • MONTH 4: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching 
  • MONTH 5: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching + Guided Half-Day Personal Retreat 
  • MONTH 6: 2-day working retreat in Orange County, CA with 1on1 Coaching 

The specific dates will be chosen by the participants. All webinars are 9am-12pm PST.

Eden: A Women in Leadership Mastermind Group

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We were designed to grow. We were created to let go of the good to get to the better. 

More than ever before, women with gifts of leadership and teaching are needed at the table, in meetings, on stages, and fully showing up in all areas of life. 

You are an Ezer, a strong warrior, created to bring all of you
to every space you set your feet.

As an Ezer, you were created to be a full partner in every facet of life and work. You are created for whole-hearted living and leadership and this mastermind group will guide you toward that desired future.

This mastermind group is designed for 10 ezers in any area of spiritual influence. For 6 months we will journey together through two in-person working retreats, four 3-hour webinars, six 30-minute 1on1 coaching sessions, and two guided half-day personal retreats. Our focus will be on 360° of leadership so we can let go of good and move toward the better in body, mind, and spirit. We will dive deep into becoming the best women we can be so we can better influence our bosses, peers, and people within our responsibilities.

Conferences and network meetings are great, but they rarely produce the kind of customized, personalized, long-lasting transformation that next level leaders require.

What truly will make this a mastermind group is YOU. It’s the brilliance of the 10 women who will sit around the table and lead one another through their stories, ideas, courage, wisdom, and service. Being a woman in leadership is different and it demands unique skills and awareness so we thrive in our roles.

I’ve said it before: There's something about the mixture of a group of likeminded individuals coming together with the accountability of a trained coach. It does wonders for your growth and development as a leader and youth worker. I've learned that journeying with a safe group of peers provides fertile soil for long-lasting change.

Years ago I wrote a lament for women in leadership. Today, the lament has been shifted to a battle cry and impassioned calling for ezers to take their rightful place in our homes, workplaces, cities, and world. 

Ready to commit or want more info?
Let's connect.

THE RHYTHM TOWARD TRANSFORMATION.

  • PRIOR TO MONTH 1: Take an assessment and read assigned book
  • MONTH 1: 2-day working retreat in Orange County, CA with 1on1 Coaching
  • MONTH 2: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching
  • MONTH 3: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching + Guided Half-day Personal Retreat
  • MONTH 4: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching
  • MONTH 5: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching + Guided Half-day Personal Retreat
  • MONTH 6: 2-day working retreat in Orange County, CA with 1on1 Coaching

The specific dates will be chosen by the participants. All webinars are 9am-12pm PST.

A FEW MORE DETAILS.

  • 2 Mastermind Groups Launching: September 2018 + January 2019
  • 10 women in any spiritual leadership capacity (per group) 
  • $1000 for coaching training (travel and resources not included). Payment plans available, if needed. 
  • Online Connection: customized social media group for the purpose of ongoing encouragement, interaction, resource sharing, and ideas.

You are worth the investment. The transformation you'll experience will propel you toward more than you could ask or imagine. What can you gain by saying YES?

I can't wait to walk with you through this group. You are loved.