“Why compassion is important.” With Dr. William Seeds & Jese Gary

Prior to COVID19, every day was always uncertain. I think the desire for certainty can be almost debilitating. The one thing in life that is certain is uncertainty. The best-made plans can go astray in a flash. My biggest epiphany around uncertain times has been doing my best daily. The Light at the End starts […]

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Prior to COVID19, every day was always uncertain. I think the desire for certainty can be almost debilitating. The one thing in life that is certain is uncertainty. The best-made plans can go astray in a flash. My biggest epiphany around uncertain times has been doing my best daily. The Light at the End starts with the light within. Selfcare and self-assessment for understanding and peace.

As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jese Gary.

Jese Gary is the Founder & CEO of LuxeGiving and a Speaker with a passion to share the importance for property managers to connect with their residents to help create a feeling of home. With over 8 of years experience in the industry, she has been able to support all sizes of management companies with unique ideas to help ease the stress around resident engagement. Jese created LuxeGiving out of a passion to make a difference. The everyday bustle reduces our opportunity to connect with others and create meaningful bonds. Jese recognizes how human connection relates to effectively host resident events and ultimately retention.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

LuxeGiving started in the eat, pray, love time in my life. Honestly, I wanted to just be happy. I found myself on a career track that was challenging morally. I saw managers sacrificing family and personal life. If I had to sacrifice and work hard, I wanted it to be on my terms. Philanthropic work and volunteering was important to me.

I was affiliated with a company that supported Dress for Success organization. It was exciting to know that the company was doing something, yet I wanted to help out too. I had a great idea to do a “Diva Date Night” to help collect clothes, talk fashion and support local boutiques. An associate mentioned hosting an event at apartment complexes to feature the fundraiser for the residents. It was a completely new concept to me. The goal was hosting only 5 events.

Prior to this moment, I was a plus-size model at QVC and worked full time for other modeling clients. My fashion relationships with designers made a ton of sense to host the ladies night events. We were able to host those events and collect over 1000 items. What I didn’t expect was the referrals from other communities! Fast forward nine months, what started as a way to help women re-enter the workforce had turned into a business.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Hands down! Blake Mycoskie “Starting Something That Matters” was the blueprint for starting LuxeGiving. In 2011, I had stumbled across Starting Something That Matters around my aha moment. I was working for an international chemical company as an account manager and assistant. Promotions and opportunities were always possible yet I felt empty. Blake’s passion to make a difference and pay it forward spoke to my heart. It was proof that having a business didn’t have to involve relinquishing some personal principles. Working for a Fortune 50 was great monetarily, yet I felt it all came at a cost. I found myself in the book. The need to make a difference is never-ending. During my college years, I found myself feeling isolated and facing family challenges. I had to pay my way through school due to grants being pulled away. Strangers were placed in my life that showed compassion to help get through that season. I had made a personal pledge to make sure I pay it forward. Reading Something That Matters gave me hope that I could build a business on my own terms.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious about the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

Prior to COVID19, every day was always uncertain. I think the desire for certainty can be almost debilitating. The one thing in life that is certain is uncertainty. The best-made plans can go astray in a flash. My biggest epiphany around uncertain times has been doing my best daily. The Light at the End starts with the light within. Selfcare and self-assessment for understanding and peace.

Prior to COVID19, I had allowed myself to take on the “hustle and don’t sleep” mentality. I found myself a week before the shutdown struggling with being okay with downtime. It felt almost absurd to get anxiety about relaxing. After unraveling the shame, I had promised to allow myself at least 5 minutes to ground daily. The daily grounding allows the space to release stress.

Another focus has surrounded self-assessment. What is really important to Jese? The quarantine and extra time to realign with my personal values. I can’t say that it would’ve happened without the large pause button aka COVID19. Family facetime calls, daily calls, zoom chats, and just things to refill my heart. The entrepreneur road trip can easily overpower our value system without a self-assessment.

Big events require big pivots. I’m hopeful for businesses that looked for ways to pivot. Some companies are actually growing to another level in COVID19. I’m not referring to the obvious Amazons of the world. Some restaurants have shifted in ways to not get affected. It won’t be the case for everyone. Post COVID19 isn’t wanting to go back to normal in business, it should look different. Our customers have more problems that need to be solved. It’s up to the owners to understand their needs and how to actually meet them.

I’m hopeful that our bonds and connections will be stronger. It’s been great seeing families going for walks and people pausing. I’m hopeful that family structures are getting better. I’m hopeful that friends and communities are getting stronger and connected.

Lastly, I’m hopeful that people grow through this season. It can be through reading books and courses. I definitely went overboard on e-course classes in April. I knew our industry would not be the same for at least a year. I took time to learn other ways to impact my industry and be a better contributor.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

Anxiety and mental health are two topics that really need more discussion. I’m very open about my struggles with anxiety. Entrepreneurship requires daily acts of vulnerability to show our true creativity and expression. I don’t always like to embrace that feeling. LOL.

In my opinion, mental health should be discussed more openly now. 2020 has had a lot of traumatic experiences. For some, it may even have PTSD affects. I’ve had to use these steps when

  1. Acknowledge you are not okay
  2. Remove any shame around it
  3. Talk to friends and family
  4. Look for a counselor
  5. Set up an accountability partner

The first step is key. It’s hard to address something that can not be openly acknowledged. The next step is to restore our humanity. The shame can surround “how can you feel this way?”. Or it can be the shame around wanting to appear “strong”. In reality, our strength is in vulnerability and being human. The next step is to connect with family and friends. Share with a circle that will honor your share. You may be surprised who is feeling the same way. I had to do that the first 30 days of social distancing. The fourth step is seeking a professional for help. Therapist have therapist. It’s totally okay to see a counselor or therapist. The final step is accountability. I have friends that hold me accountable to honoring my mental health.

What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?

The best resource would be a support group. Every support group isn’t created equal. It’s finding one that will help encourage you to thrive emotionally. In addition, it is important to self assess on your triggers and how it shows up. I’m the opposite to a hoarder. I trash things to keep clutter out of my space. Clutter triggers my anxiety and my focus goes to the things, not my commitments. I have a braindump method for to-do items. In addition, I have removed notifications from my phone, implemented 24-hour auto-response, and other measures to protect myself from anxiety. It may seem extreme yet I’m highly productive. When I didn’t have protective measures, I had horrible sleep, short-tempered, body pain, headaches, and other in your face anxiety issues. We are all deserving of peace of mind.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

Upon taking a personal development course, the instructor read this quote and it pierced my heart. At that very moment, my mother was diagnosed with her third breast cancer diagnosis. I felt like everything in life was out of control. I had entered the class from a day in tears and sadness. I heard the quote and felt the dark cloud go away. We are placed on this Earth for a purpose. It’s for our legacy. It’s for us to leave a beautiful legacy. I want to leave an amazing mark that lasts forever.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Compassion! I think compassion is missing. They say we are in a time when we have the most access to people yet feel the most alone. The movement would involve some type of getting into someone else’s world. I think judgment is placed from a space that misses compassion. It’s hard to understand a person’s actions without understanding a persons story.

What is the best way for our readers to follow you online?

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