In the past year or so, my life has gotten a bit unusual and I just mean like some unexpected things have happened as a part of my career that have moved me in different directions. And it’s probably easier for me to show you what I mean, rather than tell you, because it’s relevant for the message that I’m going to be talking about with you here today. So here’s a little bit of like evidence of what I mean.
So you see, I’m spending time around people that is unusual for me as a Psychotherapist. Like I came into this field as a Psychotherapist. That’s what I love doing. It’s still what I love doing. It’s still the base of my work, but I come out to LA a lot, working on some projects that puts me around people who are not Psychotherapists. And the other day, I went to an event with a Comedian named Jo Coy. And after the event, myself, some other celebrities went out and had breakfast and we were out like all night talking. And one of the things that stood out was, for years I’ve been talking about how important it is that we inspire our clients because an inspired person is capable of accomplishing anything.
And what we ended up talking about during much of this time together was discrimination. Jo Coy is a Filipino Comedian and he talked about how it took him 17 years to get to the point where he was making his own movie that’s coming out later this year, it’s called Easter Sunday. Actually, I think it’s coming out in like a week, but it’s called Easter Sunday.
There was a woman there named Tiffany Haddish and she talks about the beginning of her career and being labeled as like too ghetto. And here I am sitting at this table with them and they’re on the other side of that success. And they talked about how they were so inspired and talked about what the sources of their inspiration were. And I’ll share some of it cause some of it is public.
Like Tiffany was inspired by her grandmother and Jo Coy was inspired by his immigrant mom. And I just kept thinking like the reason why these people have achieved so much wild success is because of how inspired they had become and how they acted upon that inspiration. And when you’re inspired in that way, when you meet a roadblock like discrimination, you push through it and accomplish the thing that you’re striving for. And it was an amazing conversation. I couldn’t help, but think about our work with clients about our work in this field. I hate to say it, but I have experienced much discrimination. I have experienced a ton of racism.
I sit on a board, now I’m Vice President of the SFBTA Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association, sitting on a board and an older white man left the board and blamed me saying that Elliott acts like the angry black man, which is one of the most inappropriate things I’ve ever heard because that stereotype is perpetuated by white people who call a black person who has passion and intensity angry. Anybody who knows me knows like I’m not angry. I’m just really passionate, really intense, but this person was very fragile and blamed me and resigned from the board. I mean, I’m given labels that don’t fit, constantly. I mean, that’s what discrimination is.
But I’m inspired. And as a consequence of that inspired, I keep pushing and that’s my why my career has arrived the way that it has. And I think about clients, I think about like when your client comes into your office, like I saw a client the other day, it was a couple and this particular client has to overcome some significant challenges. And I asked him, what would he notice as he’s overcoming these barriers? And he talked about the love of his wife. That’s what inspires him. And I said, when you remember the things you’re doing will help you achieve and demonstrate and prove to your wife that you love her.
Like, it’s not about just solving the problem, it’s about in solving the problem and letting my wife know I would do anything for her, that was important to him. I want her to know I would do anything for her. And I said, how would she know that also included overcoming this challenge? And he started to weep and he said, that’s all I’ve ever wanted. Right? Because once you tap into what inspires people, they become different. Once you tap into what inspires people, they become capable of doing even more.
The truth is I talk about trauma a lot, both because of my life. I’ve had overcome traumas. And in my work with clients who have been dealing with traumas and we think about the issue with traumas, we have to find it in the body and help them release it. And we have to help them heal from the trauma and all that stuff is fine. But I think the most efficient way to help people overcome traumas is to inspire them. It’s to help them remember what inspires them. In my life, overcoming the childhood trauma is the most significant thing I’ve ever done.
But love is the thing that inspires me. Wanting people to experience more love, joy, and happiness in their life, and being able to do that. I talked to Jo Coy and he was talking about how he loves to make people laugh. Tiffany Haddish says, I was put on this earth to make people laugh. And she realized the power of laughter through her trauma. And she transfers that joy to other people by making them laugh.
Now, I’m not that funny, but I do understand being called to a purpose and a mission and that purpose and mission inspiring you to be your very best self and do work that lifts people’s life up. That to me is the root of the trauma work. And I think we have to deprogram ourselves to think that it’s about solving the client problem. It’s about helping them. It’s really about helping the client be the best version of themselves. And the best version of someone’s self is the inspired version. So make sure your work inspires. Love ya’ll.
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