Dr Helen Holton – Forgiveness frees you to live stronger

Dr Helen Holton
Dr Helen Holton tells us why "Dreams deferred don't mean dreams denied", how "We're not born resilient; but we build it throughout our lives" and how "Forgiveness frees you to live stronger" hosted by Diana White.

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About Dr Helen Holton

 

Dr. Helen Holton’s a recovering elected official after 21 years’ public service as a member of the Baltimore City Council.  The local lawmaker re-invented herself and today is a professional, multi-certified and credentialed Leadership Coach.  A modern-day renaissance woman shaped by the intersections of race, gender, political power, and privilege.  What keeps her going?  She’ll tell you in one word, resilience.   The power source that keeps her solid, savvy, and soaring.  She lives an authentic life, without apology; speaks truth to power and brings light into the darkness.  A bold bridge-builder balanced and sustained by resilience – the sweet spot to her success! It’s at the heart at what keeps her going.  Resilience makes her “Why” possible.

She leveraged education, experience, and earned expertise, to launch Dr. Helen Holton and Associates, committed to help leaders lead with inclusion, diversity, equity, and cultural intelligence to achieve more success with less stress and greater joy in life. 

From councilwoman to coach, speaker, author, and show host of Dr. Helen speaks… Strengths, Resilience & Leadership, she shows up to empower leaders to be better leaders through the best of who they are.  Passionate about human engagement, talent development, and leadership empowerment is what you get when she works with you.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: A hard head makes a soft behind 05:09
Lesson 2: Nothing fast last 08:14
Lesson 3: Dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams denied 09:07
Lesson 4: We’re not born resilient; we build it throughout our lives 11:57
Lesson 5: Forgiveness frees you to live stronger, it doesn’t mean restoration of what was 15:22
Lesson 6: Life and death are in the power of the tongue; speak life 19:53
Lesson 7: Every day is a gift, appreciate the present, life is a choice we choose moment by moment, don’t miss it 24:53
Lesson 8: Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy 27:06
Lesson 9: Love is the greatest force on this planet there is, nothing beats it 29:37
Lesson 10: Wisdom truly only comes with age 34:32

Dr Helen Holton – Forgiveness frees you to live stronger.

[00:00:08] Diana White: Hello, and welcome to 10 lessons learned where we talk to leaders and luminaries from all over the world to dispense wisdom for career, business, and life in order to make the world wiser lesson by lesson. My name is Diana White and I’m your host for this episode? Today’s guest is Dr. Helen Holton. Dr Holton is a recovering elected official after 21 years of public service as a member of the Baltimore city council, the local lawmaker reinvented herself. And today is a professional, multi certified and credentialed leadership coach. Helen is a modern-day Renaissance woman shaped by the intersections of race, gender, political power, and privilege.

[00:00:56] Her resilience is the power source that keeps her solid savvy and soaring. She lives an authentic life without apology speaks truth to power and brings light into the darkness. She leveraged education experience and earned expertise to launch Dr Helen Holton and associates committed to helping leaders lead with inclusion, diversity, and equity and cultural intelligence to achieve more success with less stress and greater joy in life.

[00:01:27] From Councilwoman to coach speaker, author, and show host of Dr Helen speaks, strength, resilience, and leadership. She shows up to empower leaders to be better and inspire others. Welcome Dr Holton.

[00:01:45] Dr Helen Holton: Thank you so much, Diana. It is truly a delight and an honor to be here with you today.

[00:01:51] Diana White: Oh, it’s an honor to have you on the show and what, what is this? This is, oh, I want to say this is a year in the making. Is it not? It feels like it, it feels like it for sure. Well, I, I want to get started and I want to ask you first question out of the gate.

[00:02:06] What would you tell your 30-year-old self?

[00:02:09] Dr Helen Holton: I would tell my 30-year-old self.

[00:02:12] Today to kick the sugar honey iced tea out of my inner critic. As a woman in a male dominated world, largely, definitely in American society and member of the non-dominant culture. I didn’t have the confidence or courage that I have today to go after what I wanted. I sat waiting for others to give me something.

[00:02:36] And I believe had I had that and captured that then who knows where my life would be. However, the adage is wherever we are is where we’re supposed to be. And so, I’m grateful to be where I am today. The beauty about that is that had I known that in my 30. I would’ve done a lot differently with failures and setbacks and disappointments.

[00:03:00] And instead of thinking that they were my fault or that I did something to cause them, I would’ve been braver and bolder to stand up and be who I am, who I was created to be.

[00:03:15] Diana White: That’s powerful. So powerful. And I, I would imagine, right. That that’s a lesson that if you are one of the very, very few, you kind of learn that early, but usually it takes time and wisdom for you to get there for you to get to that place of confidence, right?

[00:03:37] Dr Helen Holton: Yes, it does. But I also think, and it goes back to when I was a little. at home. I had big dreams things I wanted to do, how I was going to conquer the world and do all these things. As long as I was at home in the safety and space of that environment, I love working and empowering young women today because they need to know and feel and sense that.

[00:04:05] And I’m going to say specifically, women of color. Though we are slowly or not. So slowly becoming the dominant culture. We still allow ourselves to be subjected to the ways of others, men, others of the dominant culture to believe that we’re not good enough. We don’t have enough. We’re not entitled to all of that.

[00:04:32] Hmm. And it matters. And so, I grew up in the sixties. There were not a lot of black female role models different from today. There was no internet. You couldn’t go to YouTube or TikTok or whatever, and find your tribe, find your community. However, today you can, there’s still room for women like you and me to encourage and be models for little girls of color.

[00:05:01] That still don’t see their representation enough in mainstream environments.

[00:05:07] Diana White: Agreed agreed.

[00:05:09] Lesson 1:   A hard head makes a soft behind

[00:05:09] Diana White: Well, let’s start out with your first lesson, which, uh, made me laugh out loud because, uh, I remember this saying from my childhood, very, very poignant and important, and many of our listeners may get nostalgic listening to this. Lesson number one. A hard head makes a soft behind. Now you tell us a little bit about that lesson doctor.

[00:05:35] Dr Helen Holton: Okay. I all my life I’ve been headstrong now here’s the irony. I didn’t start talking until the age of two. My mother actually thought there was something wrong with me. She goes doctor, but my child doesn’t talk.

[00:05:47] If she wants something, she pulls it, my dress or whatever, and points to it and takes me to what it is she wants. And I had to learn her language. I grew up being headstrong and wanting things my way now I will say, oh, it’s because I’m a Leo. That’s what Leos do. however, yes, I can remember. Getting those beatings.

[00:06:11] And my mama would say, you know, this hurts me more than it hurts you. And she would say a hard head makes a soft behind. And I would just, I didn’t understand it then, because I always felt like, well, you are softening up my behind cause you wearing it out. you know, you understand what I’m saying? However, it was a part of, I would say unconscious resilience at that stage in life.

[00:06:37] That I got through the things, and I got through the, the, the spankings and I just remember a hard head makes us soft behind. So, when it came time for that discipline, I knew exactly where it was coming from because whatever was told to me, I chose, I wasn’t going to do it. I was going to do something else and paid the price for it.

[00:06:56] Diana White: And pay the price for it. And, you know, we are, we’re in a society now in a culture now, which I think is a little bit more healthy that we don’t, uh, automatically turn to corporal punishment. we try to talk it out. At least I hope many families do. Now. There can be a better way. I’m always a firm believer.

[00:07:15] If you get somebody to buy to what we’re doing, then they have ownership, and you have a little bit of better. But I feel like, life now is, is the entity that gives you that soft behind. If you have a hard head and you’re not listening, especially if you’re not listening to the blessings that are, are being bestowed upon you by whomever you believe in, you know, whatever deity you believe in. That’s why they call it hard knocks. Right? You definitely have a soft behind from life. Life will teach you how to stop being so stubborn.

[00:07:48] Dr Helen Holton: mm-hmm and single minded and thinking that because it’s the way you see it, that it must be right.

[00:07:55] Which just feeds into the whole notion of inclusion. And diversity and that the more inclusive, whatever the project is, the other voices, not just being listened to, but heard always has the impact of a better outcome.

[00:08:14] Lesson 2:   Nothing fast lasts

[00:08:14] Diana White: I love it. Lesson number two, nothing fast lasts. Mm. That is powerful.

[00:08:23] Dr Helen Holton: My dad was a man of few words and I never forget heartbroken.

[00:08:28] Oh my goodness. Heartbroken in a million pieces. And I was just boohooing and crying. And my dad said, baby, Nothing fast lasts take your time. What you rushing for? And I grew into understanding what that meant so that, mm, no, you got to prove yourself. I, I, I can’t know you say this, you said, mm. Actions speak louder than words.

[00:08:56] I, I got time to wait even today. I have time to wait and to hear and to feel, and to believe that you have my best interest at heart.

[00:09:07] Lesson 3:   Dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams denied

[00:09:07] Diana White: Now segueing into that, you know, lesson number three, because most people will say, well, if I don’t act now, you know, it’ll slip me by lesson number three, dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams denied.

[00:09:21] Oh my and I think those two go together. So perfectly Dr Holton, tell me about this.

[00:09:27] Dr Helen Holton: So, I have a show Dr Helen Speaks. When I was a young woman in college, early, you know, 16, 17 years old. I started college the age of 16, and I was going to be the next Oprah Winfrey. Oprah was in Baltimore at the time where I lived.

[00:09:47] And I said, you know, I said, oh yes, that’s what I’m going to do. And my mother put the fear of unemployment in my heart. Oh, that’s wonderful. When I said I can’t, I was like, oh, I’m, I’ve decided I’m going to be a, I’m going to change my major communications, because I’m going to be the next Oprah Winfrey. And she very calmly looked at me.

[00:10:05] She said, that’s fine. That’s wonderful. And you can stand in the unemployment line with all the other communication majors, and I kept my major as accounting. And really thought that that was a dream to never come true. And here I am a show host in, in a venue that then no one ever thought we’d be where we are.

[00:10:28] And the first thought I had about it, when I realized what I was doing and what it meant and the hard work it is, but it was the realization I had abandoned that dream. I thought it was never going to be, I mean, yes, I was an elected official, and I did the news, and I did this, but that was different than what I’m doing now.

[00:10:49] And I’m living my dream. I get to use my thoughts, my desire to empower others on a platform. And it’s my show. And I say dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams are denied. And I use it to encourage people. If you believe that your path, your purpose in life, don’t abandon it. Be patient wait, do the work that you need to do.

[00:11:18] I’m the executive leadership coach. I never even, that was never on my radar screen. And here I am today, I coach leaders. Helping them be the best leaders that they can be. And it’s the transformation of human beings stepping into their greater self and witnessing the transformation of taking their leadership to the next level.

[00:11:43] Oh, it’s just incredible. Just incredible.

[00:11:46] Diana White: I am. Uh, I’m not going to go too deep into that because I’ll get emotional because you’ve just resonated with me deeply. I’ll just say Ditto. Ditto.

[00:11:57] Lesson 4:   We’re not born resilient; we build it throughout our lives

[00:11:57] Diana White: Lesson number four. We’re not born resilience. We build it throughout our lives. I want to read that again because I think there are a lot of people out there that think, because I’m not as strong as the person that I see.

[00:12:13] I’m just never going to have what it takes. And that is not the case. And I love that you wrote this lesson. So, lesson number four, we’re not born resilient. We build it throughout our lives. Absolutely. Dr Holton can tell me about it.

[00:12:28] Dr Helen Holton: So, looking back over my life and I I’ve been from the highest of highest to the lowest of lows and I still I’m still here and I’m better than I was before.

[00:12:40] And I began to think about what was different. The thing about resilience is that resilience is a power source that anyone can master. If there’s such a thing as mastering, it. But you build it. How do you build it? So, an example, oh, a tragedy occurs. You get through it. Oh, I’m so glad that’s over.

[00:13:03] And you just go on living life. Maybe not taking the time to understand how you got through what you thought was impossible to get through. The study of resilience actually began with children. And psychologists and researchers were just curious about how do children go through these traumas. And they come out as if they’re unscathed.

[00:13:26] What I’ve learned in my research is that there’s a different, we all can rebound from, well, most can. From what happens. However, when we stop and spend time understanding and build resilience is the culmination of habits, practices, ways of being that actually strengthen your leadership. If you’re a leader, the key is whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Unconscious resilience, you don’t know how to tap into it.

[00:14:02] And call it up. It will, when you know, you’re in that dark place, that place where you feel like you need a lifeline, remember that show that used to come on. Oh, you had three choice. You could call a friend, grab a lifeline. I think it was some sort of pyramid. I can’t remember what it was.

[00:14:18] Diana White: Oh, I think that was, who wants to be a millionaire.

[00:14:20] Dr Helen Holton: Who wants to be a millionaire?

[00:14:21] Exactly. And resilience is that way. But you build it not when you’re in the crisis when you’re not in crisis. And you practice it daily. For me, it’s one of the things. For example, when I wake up, before my feet hit the floor, I spend quiet time getting focused and being grateful for my life. Even if it’s been the absolute worst of whatever, I’m still here.

[00:14:51] I have a purpose to fulfill. And doing those things makes it easier. When you find yourself in that place, how do I get through? We’re not born resilient. It’s something we build throughout our lives.

[00:15:04] Diana White: I hope all of our listeners take that message away because that means all of your life. It doesn’t matter what age you are.

[00:15:12] That’s right. There is still time for you to figure out who you are and reflect. And take those positive things with you to the next challenge, right?

[00:15:21] Dr Helen Holton: For sure.

[00:15:22] Lesson 5:   Forgiveness frees you to live stronger, it doesn’t mean restoration of what was

[00:15:22] Diana White: Love it. Lesson number five, forgiveness frees you to live stronger. It doesn’t mean restoration of what was whew. Okay. Helen, take it away.

[00:15:36] Dr Helen Holton: you know, have you ever gotten angry with someone, a friend.

[00:15:40] A lover, a spouse and decide that’s it. I’m done. I don’t want anything else to do with this. And you Harbor that hurt you. You use it as a weapon to remind you of why you don’t want anything to do with that person. Truth. Be told that person has moved on. You dismissed them. You’re holding that anger and every time you think about them or see them, it just spurs up in you and you get angry all over again.

[00:16:06] Okay. So yes, I’ve had my heart broken a couple times and this one was one of those that, you know, you have those that stand out above the rest. This was one of those. And after I cried an ocean of tears and a few cases of Kleenexes, it was like, okay, Helen, get it together. Cuz it was like, I don’t want to talk to you.

[00:16:29] I don’t want to hear from you over done Finito. And through prayer and journaling, it dawned on me. I was the one trapped and stuck. He’d moved on and I consciously, and it took some time. But I remember making the phone call to say, I just want you to know that I forgive you for what you did. And it’s not about a door reopening for you to come back in, but I want you to know, I forgive you.

[00:17:00] How do you love someone if it, if you really truly love them and not have capacity to forgive. And I realize that forgiveness is more liberating to the person who forgives than the person who wronged you. If that’s what you believe. And so, it’s about your own liberation, freeing yourself. It doesn’t mean restoration of whatever was, it means that you’re free to live and be open to make new choices wiser your choices, and to learn from what hurt you so bad.

[00:17:43] Think about rape victims and victims of violence and abuse. It’s a little resilience, you know, they come out on the other side and, and, and forgiveness is a part of that healing in order for you to move forward and go on with your life.

[00:18:02] Diana White: I, I agree. Um, it’s tough though, for, for many people who haven’t discovered that yet to agree with.

[00:18:10] Um, it’s, you know, uh, five years ago, the Diana of five years ago, would’ve told you no, no, there’s no forgiveness. There’s no way never going to forgive. Never going to forget. You know, I’m, I’m going to hold this forever because if I hold onto this for forever, that means it won’t happen to me again because I’m smarter and I’m wiser.

[00:18:31] No, I’m just more bitter. I’m just bitter and I’m not allowing anything else to come into my life, which means, yeah, nothing else is ever going to happen again. I’m not allowing it to. Good or bad. That’s right. You know.

[00:18:46] Dr Helen Holton: That’s so true that it frees you yeah. To be all of who you are to bring your gifts and graces and, and not be burdened by hanging on to what the other person’s already gotten over.

[00:19:03] Diana White: Very much, very much true.

[00:19:06] Affiliate break

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[00:19:53] Lesson 6:   Life and death are in the power of the tongue; speak life

[00:19:53] Diana White: Let’s welcome back, Dr Helen Hilton, and continue with lesson number six, lesson number six, life and death are in the power of the tongue speak life.

[00:20:06] Dr Helen Holton: Mm, absolutely. If you stop and take a moment to think about the words that spill out of your mouth, are they affirming or are they debilitating? Are they optimistic or are they pessimistic?

[00:20:22] Life and death are in the power of the words you use, even when they’re directed at another person as leaders, it impacts your leadership. It impacts what people think of you and say about, you oh, I don’t want to work for. Oh, she’s so nasty. She doesn’t even say good morning, whatever it may be, speak life, speak life and be mindful of what you say. It could be the difference between the greatest breakthrough of your life or the greatest failure of your life. Because you live from a place of lack of less than, of not good enough. And oftentimes it’s reflective about how you feel about yourself that comes out of you.

[00:21:11] Now. Sometimes it takes someone who listens to you regularly to say, you know, but there’s so much more to be thankful for. You’re still here. You’re still here. I wake up every morning with joy. What’s the saying weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. And if you wake up with a sense of joy and gratitude, your day has the potential to be even better as you go through it, than waking up, oh, I got to get up and go that place.

[00:21:41] You know what? If that place makes you feel that way, go get a new place, speak life.

[00:21:46] Diana White: One of the things that I took away from that lesson, when I read it, everything that you just spoke about, but how often I encounter and I, I’m not even going to use other people. I’ll use myself as an example because this is an authentic show, right?

[00:22:03] How often, I, I know that phrase to be true. I know that you, you get more done. You get more, collaboration. When you come from a positive place. When you speak life to people, when you speak positively to people, you just, it’s a better situation for all, all around. But I have found myself speaking positively speaking life, but my internal dialogue is much different, very different.

[00:22:37] And so I would go as far as to say, when we talk about speaking life there’s power in the tongue that it has to also be that internal voice. That you have to change and make it positive. Because all you do is put a mask on when you speak positively and you speak to life outside, but not within.

[00:23:00] Dr Helen Holton: And I will say to you, Diana, that can be very, however, if you have an awareness to speak life, sometimes you speak it even before you believe it. Mm. There go mantra. Journaling, have you ever taken a journal and took a good positive and just wrote it? You remember the teacher used to make you write? I will not hit Johnny again in classroom.

[00:23:25] I will not hit Johnny again in the classroom, it’s simple to that. It’s, it’s like the neuroscience of how our minds, our brains work, that you have to do that internal programming. You don’t always have to believe it, but if you keep saying. You’re going to create new pathways in your brain that will begin to believe it.

[00:23:48] And it’s a great way to kick the sugar honey iced tea outta your inner critic, because we all have one.

[00:23:57] Diana White: So true.

[00:23:59] Dr Helen Holton: That knocks us down when we’re already down. And we have a tendency to want to wallow in it.

[00:24:05] Diana White: And the sad part is most of the things that we say to ourselves internally, that internal dialogue, we would be horrified to say that to a friend, a loved one, a, a child, a mentee. We’d never say those things, but it’s okay for us to say it to ourselves.

[00:24:23] Dr Helen Holton: Absolutely. I’m a coach. I listen to people all the time and I’ll.

[00:24:28] Just go with I’ll tell name your inner critic, because you need to give it a name so that you know, who’s interrupting yes. And seeking to derail you from your success, remove them from your conscious and you may have to several times until resilience, a series of habits, practices, and ways of being for your good

[00:24:52] woo.

[00:24:53] Lesson 7:   Every day is a gift, appreciate the present, life is a choice we choose moment by moment, don’t miss it

[00:24:53] Diana White: Number seven. And this is not the first time that this has been, talked about on the show. And I, I really feel like, you know, we should put a top 10 lessons list up here. Number seven every day is a gift. Appreciate the present life is a choice. We choose moment by moment. Don’t miss it.

[00:25:14] Dr Helen Holton: Mm-hmm I learned that many years ago in.

[00:25:19] So I was a child of the harmonic convergence back in the early eighties and, or maybe mid-eighties, whatever it was. And it was, it was like a resurgence of the sixties, the peace and love, and all of that. Breath is life. And when you think about that, it is a choice. Kinda like resilience. If you know, we all have the potential to have it.

[00:25:46] However, everything you do is a choice, whether it’s conscious or unconscious choosing for me, it goes back to when I wake up in the morning and gratitude, if you’re having a bad day and it’s really bad, stop, take a few really deep breaths deep inhales. And let it go do that a couple times and then ask yourself I’m living check.

[00:26:14] That’s a good thing. I’m breathing. Oh, check, check. I’m still in my right mind. Relatively check, check, check, and begin to speak life to yourself. And to understand I learned this in something I was doing that the only moment you have is the one right now, that’s gone. We’re in a new moment right now. Oh, that’s gone.

[00:26:45] We’re in a new moment right now. What will you do with that? It’s a gift because it’s not promised to any of.

[00:26:52] Diana White: Tomorrow is not promised. We know that the day, the end of today is not S not promised that’s right.

[00:26:58] Dr Helen Holton: You could walk out the front door and, and a tree fall down, and you’re done.

[00:27:04] Diana White: That’s it? It’s so true.

[00:27:06] Lesson 8:   Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy

[00:27:06] Diana White: Number eight. Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy. And I know you believe this because you are a servant you give back. And so, tell us about that.

[00:27:20] Dr Helen Holton: That was a saying that my grandfather used to say, and I never understood as a child, like yeah. Okay. Whatever. And I am a servant on many fronts.

[00:27:31] My life. Is about being a servant to take the gifts that God has given me and use them to empower others, to embody love, to embrace what this thing called life is all about. Because at the end of the day, we need each other to survive. And understanding that every good and perfect gift that you’ve been given comes from the source of life. I can say it any way you want to, I can have conversations with the atheist and the agnostic, you know, the atheist, I’m sorry that whatever hurt you made you turn your back on God, but the agnostic. Well, okay. I’m not saying there is, or there isn’t a God, you J I just need proof and I’ve not seen any proof.

[00:28:21] And I, I, I, it, it makes me tickle, because I’m like, okay, Why don’t you make the sunshine right now in the middle of the day

[00:28:33] you know, how do you explain that? I think overall life is quite simple. We complicate it. If we focus on the present moment, most anxiety comes because people are projecting into a future that they may never see.

[00:28:48] Be present in this moment right now and do the absolute best you can do with whatever it is that you do. And it’s going to set the stage for the next moment and the next moment and the next week and the next year. Now it doesn’t mean you’ll have some setbacks along the way, but if you look over the span of things, it ain’t so bad.

[00:29:11] When you stay focused in the present, and this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan for your future. I’m not suggesting any of that, but that’s an active moment that you take in the present that pays dividends down the road.

[00:29:26] Diana White: Oh, this is powerful. All right. And we’re not even done. listeners and, and viewers. We’re not even done these, these last, two lessons really resonated with me.

[00:29:37] Lesson 9:   Love is the greatest force on this planet there is, nothing beats it

[00:29:37] Diana White: So, I’ll go with lesson number nine. Love is the greatest force on this planet. There is nothing beats it.

[00:29:47] Dr Helen Holton: Not a blessed thing. We were created.

[00:29:52] By love. Okay. Yes. So, it started with Eros, male and woman. Oh yeah. Hot and heavy, whatever and then there was life, but the that’s the extension of creation. And I’m just going to say it this way out of nothing came something and it came out of love. I’m going to say this for so forgive me. I just have to go this place.

[00:30:22] One of the greatest gifts that God gave God’s creation was free. Will the ability to choose what you want. Not a God that says, if you don’t love me, I’m going to destroy you. We’re destroying ourselves, God’s sitting back and saying it doesn’t stop me from loving you. That’s your choice. As I say, choose life love keeps us, holds us, empowers us, equips us to endure what seems to be the unbearable. Think about people through time. Think about all the atrocities and, and people who say, well, if there was a God, why didn’t they save us? Well? What did you do to save yourself? Why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t know. Maybe it happened because God said, I love you so much.

[00:31:27] I want you to come home with me. I don’t know the truth of the matter is there is no force, greater evil cannot overcome love.

[00:31:40] Diana White: Now, now I’m going to ask you a philosophical question here. Sure. Because this is something that I’ve always grappled with. That that saying, why do bad things happen to good people? Mm-hmm, these people that don’t deserve these things. And, why atrocities happen to innocence children and the people that do these horrific things right.

[00:32:05] Often wonder, love, conquers, all.

[00:32:08] Is there a direct correlation with the fact that perhaps these, these people who call them what you will, monsters, whatever you want to call them. Is it the fact that they lack love for themselves that there’s love missing in their lives to make them whole, that allows them to turn a blind eye when they create destruction?

[00:32:36] Dr Helen Holton: I believe that that’s a big part of it hurt people, hurt, hurt people. If you’re hurting, if you don’t feel love because of whatever happened to you and you just want to lash out and hurt others, that they might feel like you, you can’t guarantee that they’re going to feel like you think about the Emanuel nine people in a church having Bible study and in walks person number ten.

[00:33:05] And sits down and entertains what’s going on in the Bible study and then pulls out a gun and decides he’s going to kill them all. Clementa Pinkney was a classmate of mine and seminary. Mm.

[00:33:18] I mean, the response of the families to forgive forgiveness is more powerful than hate. Love. Love. It doesn’t mean you don’t grieve. It doesn’t mean you don’t hurt, but an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.

[00:33:45] Diana White: Yes. And it also doesn’t mean that you can’t have a moment of anger that’s right. It doesn’t mean you can’t have an, a moment of frustration.

[00:33:55] I often get so frustrated with people that insinuate that because somebody has been victimized or they’ve lost a family member or lost life in, in their inner circle. And they choose to forgive. That makes them weak.

[00:34:11] Dr Helen Holton: Mm-hmm it makes them stronger. Oh my gosh. It makes them so strong and powerful to live this life to go through and endure.

[00:34:25] Yes. And to love again

[00:34:29] Diana White: and to love again. Mm-hmm absolutely. Mm-hmm

[00:34:32] Lesson 10: Wisdom truly only comes with age

[00:34:32] Diana White: lesson number 10. Wisdom truly only comes with age.

[00:34:40] Dr Helen Holton: I can say that as I’ve now grown into my gray hair, I was a premature gray in my early thirties, and I. Oh, gosh, and I would color it. And what have you, until I realized it was genetic and I said, okay, there’s nothing I can do about that 40 years ago.

[00:34:56] What I thought I’d know when I think about it today, I didn’t know anything. I was as dumb as a bump on a log, but you couldn’t tell me that. Oh, I knew I know this. Oh, no. I, you know, think about the mistakes you’ve made in life. I don’t make as many as I used to because I’ve learned to slow down.

[00:35:21] I’ve learned to consider the other. I’ve learned to forgive those who have hurt me.

[00:35:30] Wisdom comes with age. Think about the elders, you know, who can sit back and tell you stories, guess what? They’re still here. Mm-hmm they didn’t buy a happenstance or chance. They learned some things. Think about those age-old pieces of wisdom that are ageless. We don’t believe them when we’re young and dumb.

[00:36:01] Because that’s what we are. We young and dumb. And if you live long enough, you’ll get some wisdom and understand what you didn’t know when you thought you knew everything, and it propels you into

[00:36:13] leaving a legacy by pouring into others. The truth of what life has taught you, even when it’s hurting you. To share that wisdom to save a life, not to do, because I don’t see wisdom as something that causes people to do harm to others. That’s not wisdom. That’s meanness. Yeah. That’s hate that’s hate wisdom, liberates, loves and leaves a lasting legacy.

[00:36:45] Diana White: Yeah, I feel like true wisdom also allows you to be comfortable in being vulnerable enough to see the other person’s side I mean, because that’s really what it is. It’s vulnerability to be able to say, I may not be 100%, right? I may have some things that I can learn from you. That takes vulnerability.

[00:37:06] And a lot of people don’t want to be seen again, because that word is unfortunately synonymous with weakness.

[00:37:14] Dr Helen Holton: Well, it’s synonymous. It’s a perspective. It is. It is a perspective, not necessarily synonymous with weakness. It’s a perspective because you’re not allowing someone to bring you down with them.

[00:37:28] They’re taking the high road and walking away. The abused person that after so many years they just decide that’s it I’m done. I don’t have to accept this as my lot in life. They walk out with nothing, but the clothes on their back and they thrive and prosper. Look at Oprah Winfrey. Mm. I mean, and, and, and I just, hers is an extraordinary story, but there are many, there are many stories.

[00:37:58] Of people who have gone through hell and back, you know, I’m at a place I’m living my best life ever. And what I know beyond anything else, the best is still yet to come. And I’m just like who, you know?

[00:38:16] Diana White: Yeah, though, I, I will say one of, one of my biggest regrets in life is that. I did not get out of my, my headstrong faze.

[00:38:26] And I did not take the time to listen to the, the wise elders around me. Which is one of the reasons why it’s so important for me now to give back in the form of these lessons and the, the, the women that I mentor. That you know whatever it takes. However, many times I have to say it and whatever vernacular, I need to say it in.

[00:38:48] If I need to equate it to a Lizzo song, I’m going to get you to hear what I’m saying, because I know it’s of relevance. I went through it, and I don’t want you to have to go through it. So, I’m going to try to bring it to you in the best way possible that I can,

[00:39:02] Dr Helen Holton: that’s the thing all you can do is bring it what that person does with it is up to them.

[00:39:10] Now they may not take it for what it’s worth when you give it to ’em. It may take years for them to realize. I remember when Diana told me way back when ABC X, Y, Z, and I said, oh, she’s crazy. She don’t know what she’s talking about.

[00:39:24] Diana White: Happens a lot.

[00:39:25] Dr Helen Holton: However, here’s the travesty more often than not, they never come back and say, thank you for pouring into me when I was stupid.

[00:39:35] When I didn’t want to listen. When I thought I knew everything wisdom comes with age, it does. You have some battle scars when you’re still alive and you realize why you’re still alive.

[00:39:49] Diana White: I think that’s the crux who, I don’t know who said it, but it said quite often, if I wake up another day, that means he still has work for me to do.

[00:39:57] Dr Helen Holton: Come on, girl.

[00:39:58] Look, I said, every day I open my Lord, I’m still here. So, I realize my assignment has not been completed.

[00:40:07] Diana White: Well, your lessons may be complete, but I still have a curve ball question. You ready?

[00:40:14] Dr Helen Holton: Bring it.

[00:40:16] Diana White: All right. Out of all of the things that you learn. I mean, your life is rich. You’ve gone to seminary.

[00:40:23] You’ve been in politics. You empower leaders. You, you mentor women like me. I consider you a mentor. What have you had to unlearn?

[00:40:35] Dr Helen Holton: I’ve had to unlearn the false narrative that I believe to be true about love and forgiveness,

[00:40:44] without the ability to forgive others, who’ve hurt you. You truncate your capacity to fully love,

[00:40:52] What capacity do you have to receive what you really want? If you’re like this, when you’re like this, you’re not open for whatever it is you want in your life and unlearning that love and forgiveness go hand in hand. now let’s be clear. There is no panacea called the perfect life. OK. Wait, what?

[00:41:24] No, I had to be of bad news. It’s just not so, and if that’s what you’re waiting for and looking for. Oh, let it go. It’s just not doesn’t happen. However, striving to be the best human being you can be love and forgiveness. Go hand in. because you will do something to hurt another person.

[00:41:50] Mm-hmm it may not be with intention. It may be in a heated moment, an argument that you say something to hurt because you’re feeling hurt. And then you realize later, well, I didn’t have to say that. I, I didn’t really mean that. Are you bold enough to go back and ask for forgiveness? Forgive me. I had no right to say what I said.

[00:42:15] It was a heated moment and I wanted you to feel my pain. Mm-hmm now they don’t have to accept it, but you know, what, what do you feel like when you take the high road and do something like that, that whatever they choose to do with what you’ve done, you’ve atoned for it. You’ve admitted your wrongdoing and you’ve asked for forgiveness.

[00:42:43] Diana White: That’s powerful.

[00:42:44] Dr Helen Holton: That’s, that’s love.

[00:42:45] Diana White: That’s love. And I dare say what I’m hearing the underlining of what I’m hearing it’s love for yourself and your own mental health and wellbeing that should permeate out to others.

[00:43:02] Dr Helen Holton: Not just your mental health, your health, your health. Yes. Your health and wellbeing.

[00:43:09] Diana White: Absolutely. Oh, my goodness. Well, I want to thank my guest, Dr Helen Holton for sharing her lessons with us today. This was an amazing episode. As I knew it would be, which is why I stalked you for a year

[00:43:27] and, before we exit out, uh, Dr Holton, I want to give you an opportunity to tell people where can we find you? What are you doing? Where can we find your, uh, Dr Helen speaks? Talk to me.

[00:43:38] Dr Helen Holton: Oh, my goodness. So, you can, of course find me on LinkedIn. I’m not a big Facebooker. LinkedIn is my platform of choice, but you can find Dr

[00:43:49] Helen speaks strengths, resilience, and leadership, and I’m coming up. I’m launching an app pretty soon. That’s going to be called Dr Helen speaks power. That will have multiple platforms of speaking about different things. I got a lot of content in here. but you can find me. If you’re curious, engage E N G A G E @drhelenholton.com and that’s D R don’t spell out doctor H E L E N H O L T O n.com. engage@drhelenholton.com. You can find Dr Helen speaks currently on the win, win women.tv. Network. So, if you just type in win, win women.tv, it’ll bring up all the show hosts out there. And it’s a global platform. I’ve done the show from Egypt.

[00:44:48] I’ve done the show from Denver. Wherever I happen to be with a strong internet. We can go live and make it happen, but I’m out there. I am on Facebook. I don’t because I, when I was in elective office, my staff, you have to be on Facebook. And I said, well, I don’t know this person. And I don’t know that I’m not going to be, I don’t, I’m not going to friend them.

[00:45:09] And they’re like, oh Councilwoman, you can’t do that. I said, fine, you all do this. Cause I’m not going to bother with that before I knew. And this was like 25 years, 20 years ago. Okay. So Come a long way. Google me, Dr Helen speaks, or Dr Helen Holton. You’ll find me. My website is drhelenholten.com. I’m out there.

[00:45:31] I’m doing a better job to be out there.

[00:45:35] Diana White: I, I will say, yes, you are. I’m signed up for your newsletter text message. I enjoy every bit of wisdom I get. Every time you send something out. You are an auntie. You are an auntie for sure. Alright, we’re going to go ahead and exit out this episode.

[00:45:53] You’ve been listening to 10 lessons learned. This episode is produced by Robert Hossary supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. Please tell us of what you think of today’s lessons. You can even email us at podcast@10lessonslearned.com that’s podcast at 10, the number ten one zero lessons learned.com.

[00:46:19] Go ahead and hit that like button subscribe and don’t forget to turn on notifications. So, you don’t miss an episode. This podcast makes us wiser lesson by lesson. And I thank you for listening to us today, Dr Helen Holton. Amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everyone. Take care. And we’ll see you soon.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum, which office insights, community or discussions, podcasts, parties, anything you want here, but they’re unique and it’s all free online. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 
Dr Helen Holton

Dr Helen Holton – Forgiveness frees you to live stronger

Dr Helen Holton tells us why "Dreams deferred don't mean dreams denied", how "We're not born resilient; but we build it throughout our lives" and how "Forgiveness frees you to live stronger" hosted by Diana White.

About Dr Helen Holton

 

Dr. Helen Holton’s a recovering elected official after 21 years’ public service as a member of the Baltimore City Council.  The local lawmaker re-invented herself and today is a professional, multi-certified and credentialed Leadership Coach.  A modern-day renaissance woman shaped by the intersections of race, gender, political power, and privilege.  What keeps her going?  She’ll tell you in one word, resilience.   The power source that keeps her solid, savvy, and soaring.  She lives an authentic life, without apology; speaks truth to power and brings light into the darkness.  A bold bridge-builder balanced and sustained by resilience – the sweet spot to her success! It’s at the heart at what keeps her going.  Resilience makes her “Why” possible.

She leveraged education, experience, and earned expertise, to launch Dr. Helen Holton and Associates, committed to help leaders lead with inclusion, diversity, equity, and cultural intelligence to achieve more success with less stress and greater joy in life. 

From councilwoman to coach, speaker, author, and show host of Dr. Helen speaks… Strengths, Resilience & Leadership, she shows up to empower leaders to be better leaders through the best of who they are.  Passionate about human engagement, talent development, and leadership empowerment is what you get when she works with you.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: A hard head makes a soft behind 05:09
Lesson 2: Nothing fast last 08:14
Lesson 3: Dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams denied 09:07
Lesson 4: We’re not born resilient; we build it throughout our lives 11:57
Lesson 5: Forgiveness frees you to live stronger, it doesn’t mean restoration of what was 15:22
Lesson 6: Life and death are in the power of the tongue; speak life 19:53
Lesson 7: Every day is a gift, appreciate the present, life is a choice we choose moment by moment, don’t miss it 24:53
Lesson 8: Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy 27:06
Lesson 9: Love is the greatest force on this planet there is, nothing beats it 29:37
Lesson 10: Wisdom truly only comes with age 34:32

Dr Helen Holton – Forgiveness frees you to live stronger.

[00:00:08] Diana White: Hello, and welcome to 10 lessons learned where we talk to leaders and luminaries from all over the world to dispense wisdom for career, business, and life in order to make the world wiser lesson by lesson. My name is Diana White and I’m your host for this episode? Today’s guest is Dr. Helen Holton. Dr Holton is a recovering elected official after 21 years of public service as a member of the Baltimore city council, the local lawmaker reinvented herself. And today is a professional, multi certified and credentialed leadership coach. Helen is a modern-day Renaissance woman shaped by the intersections of race, gender, political power, and privilege.

[00:00:56] Her resilience is the power source that keeps her solid savvy and soaring. She lives an authentic life without apology speaks truth to power and brings light into the darkness. She leveraged education experience and earned expertise to launch Dr Helen Holton and associates committed to helping leaders lead with inclusion, diversity, and equity and cultural intelligence to achieve more success with less stress and greater joy in life.

[00:01:27] From Councilwoman to coach speaker, author, and show host of Dr Helen speaks, strength, resilience, and leadership. She shows up to empower leaders to be better and inspire others. Welcome Dr Holton.

[00:01:45] Dr Helen Holton: Thank you so much, Diana. It is truly a delight and an honor to be here with you today.

[00:01:51] Diana White: Oh, it’s an honor to have you on the show and what, what is this? This is, oh, I want to say this is a year in the making. Is it not? It feels like it, it feels like it for sure. Well, I, I want to get started and I want to ask you first question out of the gate.

[00:02:06] What would you tell your 30-year-old self?

[00:02:09] Dr Helen Holton: I would tell my 30-year-old self.

[00:02:12] Today to kick the sugar honey iced tea out of my inner critic. As a woman in a male dominated world, largely, definitely in American society and member of the non-dominant culture. I didn’t have the confidence or courage that I have today to go after what I wanted. I sat waiting for others to give me something.

[00:02:36] And I believe had I had that and captured that then who knows where my life would be. However, the adage is wherever we are is where we’re supposed to be. And so, I’m grateful to be where I am today. The beauty about that is that had I known that in my 30. I would’ve done a lot differently with failures and setbacks and disappointments.

[00:03:00] And instead of thinking that they were my fault or that I did something to cause them, I would’ve been braver and bolder to stand up and be who I am, who I was created to be.

[00:03:15] Diana White: That’s powerful. So powerful. And I, I would imagine, right. That that’s a lesson that if you are one of the very, very few, you kind of learn that early, but usually it takes time and wisdom for you to get there for you to get to that place of confidence, right?

[00:03:37] Dr Helen Holton: Yes, it does. But I also think, and it goes back to when I was a little. at home. I had big dreams things I wanted to do, how I was going to conquer the world and do all these things. As long as I was at home in the safety and space of that environment, I love working and empowering young women today because they need to know and feel and sense that.

[00:04:05] And I’m going to say specifically, women of color. Though we are slowly or not. So slowly becoming the dominant culture. We still allow ourselves to be subjected to the ways of others, men, others of the dominant culture to believe that we’re not good enough. We don’t have enough. We’re not entitled to all of that.

[00:04:32] Hmm. And it matters. And so, I grew up in the sixties. There were not a lot of black female role models different from today. There was no internet. You couldn’t go to YouTube or TikTok or whatever, and find your tribe, find your community. However, today you can, there’s still room for women like you and me to encourage and be models for little girls of color.

[00:05:01] That still don’t see their representation enough in mainstream environments.

[00:05:07] Diana White: Agreed agreed.

[00:05:09] Lesson 1:   A hard head makes a soft behind

[00:05:09] Diana White: Well, let’s start out with your first lesson, which, uh, made me laugh out loud because, uh, I remember this saying from my childhood, very, very poignant and important, and many of our listeners may get nostalgic listening to this. Lesson number one. A hard head makes a soft behind. Now you tell us a little bit about that lesson doctor.

[00:05:35] Dr Helen Holton: Okay. I all my life I’ve been headstrong now here’s the irony. I didn’t start talking until the age of two. My mother actually thought there was something wrong with me. She goes doctor, but my child doesn’t talk.

[00:05:47] If she wants something, she pulls it, my dress or whatever, and points to it and takes me to what it is she wants. And I had to learn her language. I grew up being headstrong and wanting things my way now I will say, oh, it’s because I’m a Leo. That’s what Leos do. however, yes, I can remember. Getting those beatings.

[00:06:11] And my mama would say, you know, this hurts me more than it hurts you. And she would say a hard head makes a soft behind. And I would just, I didn’t understand it then, because I always felt like, well, you are softening up my behind cause you wearing it out. you know, you understand what I’m saying? However, it was a part of, I would say unconscious resilience at that stage in life.

[00:06:37] That I got through the things, and I got through the, the, the spankings and I just remember a hard head makes us soft behind. So, when it came time for that discipline, I knew exactly where it was coming from because whatever was told to me, I chose, I wasn’t going to do it. I was going to do something else and paid the price for it.

[00:06:56] Diana White: And pay the price for it. And, you know, we are, we’re in a society now in a culture now, which I think is a little bit more healthy that we don’t, uh, automatically turn to corporal punishment. we try to talk it out. At least I hope many families do. Now. There can be a better way. I’m always a firm believer.

[00:07:15] If you get somebody to buy to what we’re doing, then they have ownership, and you have a little bit of better. But I feel like, life now is, is the entity that gives you that soft behind. If you have a hard head and you’re not listening, especially if you’re not listening to the blessings that are, are being bestowed upon you by whomever you believe in, you know, whatever deity you believe in. That’s why they call it hard knocks. Right? You definitely have a soft behind from life. Life will teach you how to stop being so stubborn.

[00:07:48] Dr Helen Holton: mm-hmm and single minded and thinking that because it’s the way you see it, that it must be right.

[00:07:55] Which just feeds into the whole notion of inclusion. And diversity and that the more inclusive, whatever the project is, the other voices, not just being listened to, but heard always has the impact of a better outcome.

[00:08:14] Lesson 2:   Nothing fast lasts

[00:08:14] Diana White: I love it. Lesson number two, nothing fast lasts. Mm. That is powerful.

[00:08:23] Dr Helen Holton: My dad was a man of few words and I never forget heartbroken.

[00:08:28] Oh my goodness. Heartbroken in a million pieces. And I was just boohooing and crying. And my dad said, baby, Nothing fast lasts take your time. What you rushing for? And I grew into understanding what that meant so that, mm, no, you got to prove yourself. I, I, I can’t know you say this, you said, mm. Actions speak louder than words.

[00:08:56] I, I got time to wait even today. I have time to wait and to hear and to feel, and to believe that you have my best interest at heart.

[00:09:07] Lesson 3:   Dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams denied

[00:09:07] Diana White: Now segueing into that, you know, lesson number three, because most people will say, well, if I don’t act now, you know, it’ll slip me by lesson number three, dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams denied.

[00:09:21] Oh my and I think those two go together. So perfectly Dr Holton, tell me about this.

[00:09:27] Dr Helen Holton: So, I have a show Dr Helen Speaks. When I was a young woman in college, early, you know, 16, 17 years old. I started college the age of 16, and I was going to be the next Oprah Winfrey. Oprah was in Baltimore at the time where I lived.

[00:09:47] And I said, you know, I said, oh yes, that’s what I’m going to do. And my mother put the fear of unemployment in my heart. Oh, that’s wonderful. When I said I can’t, I was like, oh, I’m, I’ve decided I’m going to be a, I’m going to change my major communications, because I’m going to be the next Oprah Winfrey. And she very calmly looked at me.

[00:10:05] She said, that’s fine. That’s wonderful. And you can stand in the unemployment line with all the other communication majors, and I kept my major as accounting. And really thought that that was a dream to never come true. And here I am a show host in, in a venue that then no one ever thought we’d be where we are.

[00:10:28] And the first thought I had about it, when I realized what I was doing and what it meant and the hard work it is, but it was the realization I had abandoned that dream. I thought it was never going to be, I mean, yes, I was an elected official, and I did the news, and I did this, but that was different than what I’m doing now.

[00:10:49] And I’m living my dream. I get to use my thoughts, my desire to empower others on a platform. And it’s my show. And I say dreams deferred doesn’t mean dreams are denied. And I use it to encourage people. If you believe that your path, your purpose in life, don’t abandon it. Be patient wait, do the work that you need to do.

[00:11:18] I’m the executive leadership coach. I never even, that was never on my radar screen. And here I am today, I coach leaders. Helping them be the best leaders that they can be. And it’s the transformation of human beings stepping into their greater self and witnessing the transformation of taking their leadership to the next level.

[00:11:43] Oh, it’s just incredible. Just incredible.

[00:11:46] Diana White: I am. Uh, I’m not going to go too deep into that because I’ll get emotional because you’ve just resonated with me deeply. I’ll just say Ditto. Ditto.

[00:11:57] Lesson 4:   We’re not born resilient; we build it throughout our lives

[00:11:57] Diana White: Lesson number four. We’re not born resilience. We build it throughout our lives. I want to read that again because I think there are a lot of people out there that think, because I’m not as strong as the person that I see.

[00:12:13] I’m just never going to have what it takes. And that is not the case. And I love that you wrote this lesson. So, lesson number four, we’re not born resilient. We build it throughout our lives. Absolutely. Dr Holton can tell me about it.

[00:12:28] Dr Helen Holton: So, looking back over my life and I I’ve been from the highest of highest to the lowest of lows and I still I’m still here and I’m better than I was before.

[00:12:40] And I began to think about what was different. The thing about resilience is that resilience is a power source that anyone can master. If there’s such a thing as mastering, it. But you build it. How do you build it? So, an example, oh, a tragedy occurs. You get through it. Oh, I’m so glad that’s over.

[00:13:03] And you just go on living life. Maybe not taking the time to understand how you got through what you thought was impossible to get through. The study of resilience actually began with children. And psychologists and researchers were just curious about how do children go through these traumas. And they come out as if they’re unscathed.

[00:13:26] What I’ve learned in my research is that there’s a different, we all can rebound from, well, most can. From what happens. However, when we stop and spend time understanding and build resilience is the culmination of habits, practices, ways of being that actually strengthen your leadership. If you’re a leader, the key is whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Unconscious resilience, you don’t know how to tap into it.

[00:14:02] And call it up. It will, when you know, you’re in that dark place, that place where you feel like you need a lifeline, remember that show that used to come on. Oh, you had three choice. You could call a friend, grab a lifeline. I think it was some sort of pyramid. I can’t remember what it was.

[00:14:18] Diana White: Oh, I think that was, who wants to be a millionaire.

[00:14:20] Dr Helen Holton: Who wants to be a millionaire?

[00:14:21] Exactly. And resilience is that way. But you build it not when you’re in the crisis when you’re not in crisis. And you practice it daily. For me, it’s one of the things. For example, when I wake up, before my feet hit the floor, I spend quiet time getting focused and being grateful for my life. Even if it’s been the absolute worst of whatever, I’m still here.

[00:14:51] I have a purpose to fulfill. And doing those things makes it easier. When you find yourself in that place, how do I get through? We’re not born resilient. It’s something we build throughout our lives.

[00:15:04] Diana White: I hope all of our listeners take that message away because that means all of your life. It doesn’t matter what age you are.

[00:15:12] That’s right. There is still time for you to figure out who you are and reflect. And take those positive things with you to the next challenge, right?

[00:15:21] Dr Helen Holton: For sure.

[00:15:22] Lesson 5:   Forgiveness frees you to live stronger, it doesn’t mean restoration of what was

[00:15:22] Diana White: Love it. Lesson number five, forgiveness frees you to live stronger. It doesn’t mean restoration of what was whew. Okay. Helen, take it away.

[00:15:36] Dr Helen Holton: you know, have you ever gotten angry with someone, a friend.

[00:15:40] A lover, a spouse and decide that’s it. I’m done. I don’t want anything else to do with this. And you Harbor that hurt you. You use it as a weapon to remind you of why you don’t want anything to do with that person. Truth. Be told that person has moved on. You dismissed them. You’re holding that anger and every time you think about them or see them, it just spurs up in you and you get angry all over again.

[00:16:06] Okay. So yes, I’ve had my heart broken a couple times and this one was one of those that, you know, you have those that stand out above the rest. This was one of those. And after I cried an ocean of tears and a few cases of Kleenexes, it was like, okay, Helen, get it together. Cuz it was like, I don’t want to talk to you.

[00:16:29] I don’t want to hear from you over done Finito. And through prayer and journaling, it dawned on me. I was the one trapped and stuck. He’d moved on and I consciously, and it took some time. But I remember making the phone call to say, I just want you to know that I forgive you for what you did. And it’s not about a door reopening for you to come back in, but I want you to know, I forgive you.

[00:17:00] How do you love someone if it, if you really truly love them and not have capacity to forgive. And I realize that forgiveness is more liberating to the person who forgives than the person who wronged you. If that’s what you believe. And so, it’s about your own liberation, freeing yourself. It doesn’t mean restoration of whatever was, it means that you’re free to live and be open to make new choices wiser your choices, and to learn from what hurt you so bad.

[00:17:43] Think about rape victims and victims of violence and abuse. It’s a little resilience, you know, they come out on the other side and, and, and forgiveness is a part of that healing in order for you to move forward and go on with your life.

[00:18:02] Diana White: I, I agree. Um, it’s tough though, for, for many people who haven’t discovered that yet to agree with.

[00:18:10] Um, it’s, you know, uh, five years ago, the Diana of five years ago, would’ve told you no, no, there’s no forgiveness. There’s no way never going to forgive. Never going to forget. You know, I’m, I’m going to hold this forever because if I hold onto this for forever, that means it won’t happen to me again because I’m smarter and I’m wiser.

[00:18:31] No, I’m just more bitter. I’m just bitter and I’m not allowing anything else to come into my life, which means, yeah, nothing else is ever going to happen again. I’m not allowing it to. Good or bad. That’s right. You know.

[00:18:46] Dr Helen Holton: That’s so true that it frees you yeah. To be all of who you are to bring your gifts and graces and, and not be burdened by hanging on to what the other person’s already gotten over.

[00:19:03] Diana White: Very much, very much true.

[00:19:06] Affiliate break

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[00:19:53] Lesson 6:   Life and death are in the power of the tongue; speak life

[00:19:53] Diana White: Let’s welcome back, Dr Helen Hilton, and continue with lesson number six, lesson number six, life and death are in the power of the tongue speak life.

[00:20:06] Dr Helen Holton: Mm, absolutely. If you stop and take a moment to think about the words that spill out of your mouth, are they affirming or are they debilitating? Are they optimistic or are they pessimistic?

[00:20:22] Life and death are in the power of the words you use, even when they’re directed at another person as leaders, it impacts your leadership. It impacts what people think of you and say about, you oh, I don’t want to work for. Oh, she’s so nasty. She doesn’t even say good morning, whatever it may be, speak life, speak life and be mindful of what you say. It could be the difference between the greatest breakthrough of your life or the greatest failure of your life. Because you live from a place of lack of less than, of not good enough. And oftentimes it’s reflective about how you feel about yourself that comes out of you.

[00:21:11] Now. Sometimes it takes someone who listens to you regularly to say, you know, but there’s so much more to be thankful for. You’re still here. You’re still here. I wake up every morning with joy. What’s the saying weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. And if you wake up with a sense of joy and gratitude, your day has the potential to be even better as you go through it, than waking up, oh, I got to get up and go that place.

[00:21:41] You know what? If that place makes you feel that way, go get a new place, speak life.

[00:21:46] Diana White: One of the things that I took away from that lesson, when I read it, everything that you just spoke about, but how often I encounter and I, I’m not even going to use other people. I’ll use myself as an example because this is an authentic show, right?

[00:22:03] How often, I, I know that phrase to be true. I know that you, you get more done. You get more, collaboration. When you come from a positive place. When you speak life to people, when you speak positively to people, you just, it’s a better situation for all, all around. But I have found myself speaking positively speaking life, but my internal dialogue is much different, very different.

[00:22:37] And so I would go as far as to say, when we talk about speaking life there’s power in the tongue that it has to also be that internal voice. That you have to change and make it positive. Because all you do is put a mask on when you speak positively and you speak to life outside, but not within.

[00:23:00] Dr Helen Holton: And I will say to you, Diana, that can be very, however, if you have an awareness to speak life, sometimes you speak it even before you believe it. Mm. There go mantra. Journaling, have you ever taken a journal and took a good positive and just wrote it? You remember the teacher used to make you write? I will not hit Johnny again in classroom.

[00:23:25] I will not hit Johnny again in the classroom, it’s simple to that. It’s, it’s like the neuroscience of how our minds, our brains work, that you have to do that internal programming. You don’t always have to believe it, but if you keep saying. You’re going to create new pathways in your brain that will begin to believe it.

[00:23:48] And it’s a great way to kick the sugar honey iced tea outta your inner critic, because we all have one.

[00:23:57] Diana White: So true.

[00:23:59] Dr Helen Holton: That knocks us down when we’re already down. And we have a tendency to want to wallow in it.

[00:24:05] Diana White: And the sad part is most of the things that we say to ourselves internally, that internal dialogue, we would be horrified to say that to a friend, a loved one, a, a child, a mentee. We’d never say those things, but it’s okay for us to say it to ourselves.

[00:24:23] Dr Helen Holton: Absolutely. I’m a coach. I listen to people all the time and I’ll.

[00:24:28] Just go with I’ll tell name your inner critic, because you need to give it a name so that you know, who’s interrupting yes. And seeking to derail you from your success, remove them from your conscious and you may have to several times until resilience, a series of habits, practices, and ways of being for your good

[00:24:52] woo.

[00:24:53] Lesson 7:   Every day is a gift, appreciate the present, life is a choice we choose moment by moment, don’t miss it

[00:24:53] Diana White: Number seven. And this is not the first time that this has been, talked about on the show. And I, I really feel like, you know, we should put a top 10 lessons list up here. Number seven every day is a gift. Appreciate the present life is a choice. We choose moment by moment. Don’t miss it.

[00:25:14] Dr Helen Holton: Mm-hmm I learned that many years ago in.

[00:25:19] So I was a child of the harmonic convergence back in the early eighties and, or maybe mid-eighties, whatever it was. And it was, it was like a resurgence of the sixties, the peace and love, and all of that. Breath is life. And when you think about that, it is a choice. Kinda like resilience. If you know, we all have the potential to have it.

[00:25:46] However, everything you do is a choice, whether it’s conscious or unconscious choosing for me, it goes back to when I wake up in the morning and gratitude, if you’re having a bad day and it’s really bad, stop, take a few really deep breaths deep inhales. And let it go do that a couple times and then ask yourself I’m living check.

[00:26:14] That’s a good thing. I’m breathing. Oh, check, check. I’m still in my right mind. Relatively check, check, check, and begin to speak life to yourself. And to understand I learned this in something I was doing that the only moment you have is the one right now, that’s gone. We’re in a new moment right now. Oh, that’s gone.

[00:26:45] We’re in a new moment right now. What will you do with that? It’s a gift because it’s not promised to any of.

[00:26:52] Diana White: Tomorrow is not promised. We know that the day, the end of today is not S not promised that’s right.

[00:26:58] Dr Helen Holton: You could walk out the front door and, and a tree fall down, and you’re done.

[00:27:04] Diana White: That’s it? It’s so true.

[00:27:06] Lesson 8:   Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy

[00:27:06] Diana White: Number eight. Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy. And I know you believe this because you are a servant you give back. And so, tell us about that.

[00:27:20] Dr Helen Holton: That was a saying that my grandfather used to say, and I never understood as a child, like yeah. Okay. Whatever. And I am a servant on many fronts.

[00:27:31] My life. Is about being a servant to take the gifts that God has given me and use them to empower others, to embody love, to embrace what this thing called life is all about. Because at the end of the day, we need each other to survive. And understanding that every good and perfect gift that you’ve been given comes from the source of life. I can say it any way you want to, I can have conversations with the atheist and the agnostic, you know, the atheist, I’m sorry that whatever hurt you made you turn your back on God, but the agnostic. Well, okay. I’m not saying there is, or there isn’t a God, you J I just need proof and I’ve not seen any proof.

[00:28:21] And I, I, I, it, it makes me tickle, because I’m like, okay, Why don’t you make the sunshine right now in the middle of the day

[00:28:33] you know, how do you explain that? I think overall life is quite simple. We complicate it. If we focus on the present moment, most anxiety comes because people are projecting into a future that they may never see.

[00:28:48] Be present in this moment right now and do the absolute best you can do with whatever it is that you do. And it’s going to set the stage for the next moment and the next moment and the next week and the next year. Now it doesn’t mean you’ll have some setbacks along the way, but if you look over the span of things, it ain’t so bad.

[00:29:11] When you stay focused in the present, and this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan for your future. I’m not suggesting any of that, but that’s an active moment that you take in the present that pays dividends down the road.

[00:29:26] Diana White: Oh, this is powerful. All right. And we’re not even done. listeners and, and viewers. We’re not even done these, these last, two lessons really resonated with me.

[00:29:37] Lesson 9:   Love is the greatest force on this planet there is, nothing beats it

[00:29:37] Diana White: So, I’ll go with lesson number nine. Love is the greatest force on this planet. There is nothing beats it.

[00:29:47] Dr Helen Holton: Not a blessed thing. We were created.

[00:29:52] By love. Okay. Yes. So, it started with Eros, male and woman. Oh yeah. Hot and heavy, whatever and then there was life, but the that’s the extension of creation. And I’m just going to say it this way out of nothing came something and it came out of love. I’m going to say this for so forgive me. I just have to go this place.

[00:30:22] One of the greatest gifts that God gave God’s creation was free. Will the ability to choose what you want. Not a God that says, if you don’t love me, I’m going to destroy you. We’re destroying ourselves, God’s sitting back and saying it doesn’t stop me from loving you. That’s your choice. As I say, choose life love keeps us, holds us, empowers us, equips us to endure what seems to be the unbearable. Think about people through time. Think about all the atrocities and, and people who say, well, if there was a God, why didn’t they save us? Well? What did you do to save yourself? Why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t know. Maybe it happened because God said, I love you so much.

[00:31:27] I want you to come home with me. I don’t know the truth of the matter is there is no force, greater evil cannot overcome love.

[00:31:40] Diana White: Now, now I’m going to ask you a philosophical question here. Sure. Because this is something that I’ve always grappled with. That that saying, why do bad things happen to good people? Mm-hmm, these people that don’t deserve these things. And, why atrocities happen to innocence children and the people that do these horrific things right.

[00:32:05] Often wonder, love, conquers, all.

[00:32:08] Is there a direct correlation with the fact that perhaps these, these people who call them what you will, monsters, whatever you want to call them. Is it the fact that they lack love for themselves that there’s love missing in their lives to make them whole, that allows them to turn a blind eye when they create destruction?

[00:32:36] Dr Helen Holton: I believe that that’s a big part of it hurt people, hurt, hurt people. If you’re hurting, if you don’t feel love because of whatever happened to you and you just want to lash out and hurt others, that they might feel like you, you can’t guarantee that they’re going to feel like you think about the Emanuel nine people in a church having Bible study and in walks person number ten.

[00:33:05] And sits down and entertains what’s going on in the Bible study and then pulls out a gun and decides he’s going to kill them all. Clementa Pinkney was a classmate of mine and seminary. Mm.

[00:33:18] I mean, the response of the families to forgive forgiveness is more powerful than hate. Love. Love. It doesn’t mean you don’t grieve. It doesn’t mean you don’t hurt, but an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.

[00:33:45] Diana White: Yes. And it also doesn’t mean that you can’t have a moment of anger that’s right. It doesn’t mean you can’t have an, a moment of frustration.

[00:33:55] I often get so frustrated with people that insinuate that because somebody has been victimized or they’ve lost a family member or lost life in, in their inner circle. And they choose to forgive. That makes them weak.

[00:34:11] Dr Helen Holton: Mm-hmm it makes them stronger. Oh my gosh. It makes them so strong and powerful to live this life to go through and endure.

[00:34:25] Yes. And to love again

[00:34:29] Diana White: and to love again. Mm-hmm absolutely. Mm-hmm

[00:34:32] Lesson 10: Wisdom truly only comes with age

[00:34:32] Diana White: lesson number 10. Wisdom truly only comes with age.

[00:34:40] Dr Helen Holton: I can say that as I’ve now grown into my gray hair, I was a premature gray in my early thirties, and I. Oh, gosh, and I would color it. And what have you, until I realized it was genetic and I said, okay, there’s nothing I can do about that 40 years ago.

[00:34:56] What I thought I’d know when I think about it today, I didn’t know anything. I was as dumb as a bump on a log, but you couldn’t tell me that. Oh, I knew I know this. Oh, no. I, you know, think about the mistakes you’ve made in life. I don’t make as many as I used to because I’ve learned to slow down.

[00:35:21] I’ve learned to consider the other. I’ve learned to forgive those who have hurt me.

[00:35:30] Wisdom comes with age. Think about the elders, you know, who can sit back and tell you stories, guess what? They’re still here. Mm-hmm they didn’t buy a happenstance or chance. They learned some things. Think about those age-old pieces of wisdom that are ageless. We don’t believe them when we’re young and dumb.

[00:36:01] Because that’s what we are. We young and dumb. And if you live long enough, you’ll get some wisdom and understand what you didn’t know when you thought you knew everything, and it propels you into

[00:36:13] leaving a legacy by pouring into others. The truth of what life has taught you, even when it’s hurting you. To share that wisdom to save a life, not to do, because I don’t see wisdom as something that causes people to do harm to others. That’s not wisdom. That’s meanness. Yeah. That’s hate that’s hate wisdom, liberates, loves and leaves a lasting legacy.

[00:36:45] Diana White: Yeah, I feel like true wisdom also allows you to be comfortable in being vulnerable enough to see the other person’s side I mean, because that’s really what it is. It’s vulnerability to be able to say, I may not be 100%, right? I may have some things that I can learn from you. That takes vulnerability.

[00:37:06] And a lot of people don’t want to be seen again, because that word is unfortunately synonymous with weakness.

[00:37:14] Dr Helen Holton: Well, it’s synonymous. It’s a perspective. It is. It is a perspective, not necessarily synonymous with weakness. It’s a perspective because you’re not allowing someone to bring you down with them.

[00:37:28] They’re taking the high road and walking away. The abused person that after so many years they just decide that’s it I’m done. I don’t have to accept this as my lot in life. They walk out with nothing, but the clothes on their back and they thrive and prosper. Look at Oprah Winfrey. Mm. I mean, and, and, and I just, hers is an extraordinary story, but there are many, there are many stories.

[00:37:58] Of people who have gone through hell and back, you know, I’m at a place I’m living my best life ever. And what I know beyond anything else, the best is still yet to come. And I’m just like who, you know?

[00:38:16] Diana White: Yeah, though, I, I will say one of, one of my biggest regrets in life is that. I did not get out of my, my headstrong faze.

[00:38:26] And I did not take the time to listen to the, the wise elders around me. Which is one of the reasons why it’s so important for me now to give back in the form of these lessons and the, the, the women that I mentor. That you know whatever it takes. However, many times I have to say it and whatever vernacular, I need to say it in.

[00:38:48] If I need to equate it to a Lizzo song, I’m going to get you to hear what I’m saying, because I know it’s of relevance. I went through it, and I don’t want you to have to go through it. So, I’m going to try to bring it to you in the best way possible that I can,

[00:39:02] Dr Helen Holton: that’s the thing all you can do is bring it what that person does with it is up to them.

[00:39:10] Now they may not take it for what it’s worth when you give it to ’em. It may take years for them to realize. I remember when Diana told me way back when ABC X, Y, Z, and I said, oh, she’s crazy. She don’t know what she’s talking about.

[00:39:24] Diana White: Happens a lot.

[00:39:25] Dr Helen Holton: However, here’s the travesty more often than not, they never come back and say, thank you for pouring into me when I was stupid.

[00:39:35] When I didn’t want to listen. When I thought I knew everything wisdom comes with age, it does. You have some battle scars when you’re still alive and you realize why you’re still alive.

[00:39:49] Diana White: I think that’s the crux who, I don’t know who said it, but it said quite often, if I wake up another day, that means he still has work for me to do.

[00:39:57] Dr Helen Holton: Come on, girl.

[00:39:58] Look, I said, every day I open my Lord, I’m still here. So, I realize my assignment has not been completed.

[00:40:07] Diana White: Well, your lessons may be complete, but I still have a curve ball question. You ready?

[00:40:14] Dr Helen Holton: Bring it.

[00:40:16] Diana White: All right. Out of all of the things that you learn. I mean, your life is rich. You’ve gone to seminary.

[00:40:23] You’ve been in politics. You empower leaders. You, you mentor women like me. I consider you a mentor. What have you had to unlearn?

[00:40:35] Dr Helen Holton: I’ve had to unlearn the false narrative that I believe to be true about love and forgiveness,

[00:40:44] without the ability to forgive others, who’ve hurt you. You truncate your capacity to fully love,

[00:40:52] What capacity do you have to receive what you really want? If you’re like this, when you’re like this, you’re not open for whatever it is you want in your life and unlearning that love and forgiveness go hand in hand. now let’s be clear. There is no panacea called the perfect life. OK. Wait, what?

[00:41:24] No, I had to be of bad news. It’s just not so, and if that’s what you’re waiting for and looking for. Oh, let it go. It’s just not doesn’t happen. However, striving to be the best human being you can be love and forgiveness. Go hand in. because you will do something to hurt another person.

[00:41:50] Mm-hmm it may not be with intention. It may be in a heated moment, an argument that you say something to hurt because you’re feeling hurt. And then you realize later, well, I didn’t have to say that. I, I didn’t really mean that. Are you bold enough to go back and ask for forgiveness? Forgive me. I had no right to say what I said.

[00:42:15] It was a heated moment and I wanted you to feel my pain. Mm-hmm now they don’t have to accept it, but you know, what, what do you feel like when you take the high road and do something like that, that whatever they choose to do with what you’ve done, you’ve atoned for it. You’ve admitted your wrongdoing and you’ve asked for forgiveness.

[00:42:43] Diana White: That’s powerful.

[00:42:44] Dr Helen Holton: That’s, that’s love.

[00:42:45] Diana White: That’s love. And I dare say what I’m hearing the underlining of what I’m hearing it’s love for yourself and your own mental health and wellbeing that should permeate out to others.

[00:43:02] Dr Helen Holton: Not just your mental health, your health, your health. Yes. Your health and wellbeing.

[00:43:09] Diana White: Absolutely. Oh, my goodness. Well, I want to thank my guest, Dr Helen Holton for sharing her lessons with us today. This was an amazing episode. As I knew it would be, which is why I stalked you for a year

[00:43:27] and, before we exit out, uh, Dr Holton, I want to give you an opportunity to tell people where can we find you? What are you doing? Where can we find your, uh, Dr Helen speaks? Talk to me.

[00:43:38] Dr Helen Holton: Oh, my goodness. So, you can, of course find me on LinkedIn. I’m not a big Facebooker. LinkedIn is my platform of choice, but you can find Dr

[00:43:49] Helen speaks strengths, resilience, and leadership, and I’m coming up. I’m launching an app pretty soon. That’s going to be called Dr Helen speaks power. That will have multiple platforms of speaking about different things. I got a lot of content in here. but you can find me. If you’re curious, engage E N G A G E @drhelenholton.com and that’s D R don’t spell out doctor H E L E N H O L T O n.com. engage@drhelenholton.com. You can find Dr Helen speaks currently on the win, win women.tv. Network. So, if you just type in win, win women.tv, it’ll bring up all the show hosts out there. And it’s a global platform. I’ve done the show from Egypt.

[00:44:48] I’ve done the show from Denver. Wherever I happen to be with a strong internet. We can go live and make it happen, but I’m out there. I am on Facebook. I don’t because I, when I was in elective office, my staff, you have to be on Facebook. And I said, well, I don’t know this person. And I don’t know that I’m not going to be, I don’t, I’m not going to friend them.

[00:45:09] And they’re like, oh Councilwoman, you can’t do that. I said, fine, you all do this. Cause I’m not going to bother with that before I knew. And this was like 25 years, 20 years ago. Okay. So Come a long way. Google me, Dr Helen speaks, or Dr Helen Holton. You’ll find me. My website is drhelenholten.com. I’m out there.

[00:45:31] I’m doing a better job to be out there.

[00:45:35] Diana White: I, I will say, yes, you are. I’m signed up for your newsletter text message. I enjoy every bit of wisdom I get. Every time you send something out. You are an auntie. You are an auntie for sure. Alright, we’re going to go ahead and exit out this episode.

[00:45:53] You’ve been listening to 10 lessons learned. This episode is produced by Robert Hossary supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. Please tell us of what you think of today’s lessons. You can even email us at podcast@10lessonslearned.com that’s podcast at 10, the number ten one zero lessons learned.com.

[00:46:19] Go ahead and hit that like button subscribe and don’t forget to turn on notifications. So, you don’t miss an episode. This podcast makes us wiser lesson by lesson. And I thank you for listening to us today, Dr Helen Holton. Amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everyone. Take care. And we’ll see you soon.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum, which office insights, community or discussions, podcasts, parties, anything you want here, but they’re unique and it’s all free online. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 

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