“Being able to go into a different world for a while, Isabelle’s world, helped me detach and then replenish."
“I have two businesses, one which was very much needed this year and the other which was severely limited this year. The business I am most passionate about is Vision Quest Retreats, which helps women clarify and achieve their visions of success for their life's work. But with COVID, the idea of anybody traveling or taking a retreat has been put on hold. A major offering of my other business, Cutts Consulting, which does organizational development, is diversity and cultural competence consulting and training.
On May 25, the day I turned 50, George Floyd was murdered. That was the tipping point, I think, in terms of this country waking up to the reality of racism. It had been very apparent to those of us who have been subject to it all this time, but, for whatever reason, it really just was a tipping point. It was a real awakening for people.
And what that meant for me was that organizations and corporations for whom I work were very much in need of somebody to help them to process their feelings around the murder and the resultant realization of the racial inequity in this country. They also needed somebody to help them devise a strategy to remedy that. And so, I was called on to do that, which I was very happy about because I want my work to have meaning, to have purpose, and to really help people.
At the same time, I was also having to go through my own processing. As an African American woman, I had to deal with the anger and the sadness from the trauma of institutional racism. That processing and healing and going through whatever I needed to go through helped me help other people to do it.
Since June, I had been working more intensely than I ever had. In the beginning of September, I was burnt out, so I went on a mini sabbatical to rest and work on the first draft of Book Three of my Adventures of Isabelle series. Being able to detach and go into a different world for a while, Isabelle’s world, helped me detach and then replenish.
I'm looking forward to things changing and us hopefully making progress toward racial equality and all other forms of equality, but I really do feel right now racism is the biggest problem. I grew up in a time when I thought our country had made great strides. And you know, I was going to grow up and continue to live my life in this time of peace and prosperity. I have had to let go of that expectation.
So as long as the situation is as it is or whatever the situation is, I'm gonna show up for it in whatever way I can and use the skills I have. But that doesn't mean I don't wish I could, you know, spend more time on my other passions. And, you know, not to say you can't publish a fantasy heroine’s quest book during a time of strife, because you can, and in some ways it's very important. At the same time, I also have to really work on providing useful services to people now.” -- Nicole #Maryland
(Nicole also is an artist. Her artwork is featured in her photos for Who We Are Now.)