Season 1
49 Minutes

Ep. 7 | Lynne Maureen Hurdle | How Do We Take Our Life’s Work and Meet the Call of the Moment?


Lynne Maureen Hurdle , 63, is a veteran conflict resolution strategist, TEDx speaker, communication coach and bestselling author. Over the past 30 years, Lynne has partnered with conflict resolution luminaries in every part of the world. In response to the George Floyd murder and the Black Lives Matter protests, Lynne created her “On the Matter of Race: White People Committed to Beginning the Journey Together” experiences. What began as a small-group Cohort has spawned waiting lists and group journeys on multiple continents.

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Season 1 | Episode 7 | 49 minutes

Lynne Maureen Hurdle, 63, is a veteran conflict resolution strategist, TEDx speaker, communication coach and bestselling author. Over the past 30 years, Lynne has partnered with conflict resolution luminaries in every part of the world. In response to the George Floyd murder and the Black Lives Matter protests, Lynne created her “On the Matter of Race: White People Committed to Beginning the Journey Together” experiences. What began as a small-group Cohort has spawned waiting lists and group journeys on multiple continents.

How do we shift from flying below the radar into boldly claiming center stage? What are the childhood dreams that persist? How does a FOR NOW mindset sustain our enduring passions?

lynnemaureenhurdle.com

THE IMPERFECT SHOW NOTES

To help make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who like to read rather than listen to podcasts, here are our show notes.

These show notes come via the Otter.ai service. The transcription is imperfect. But hopefully, it’s close enough – even with the errors – to give those who aren’t able or inclined to learn from audio interviews a way to participate.

SPEAKERS

Lynne Maureen Hurdle, Achim Nowak

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  00:00

I want it to be Emma peels from the Avengers. So I know number one she was smart as a whip. witty, very witty. Yes. Yes could kick butt. I loved that and she but she used that skill only after she tried to talk to people and use for brains.

Achim Nowak  00:25

Hey, this is Achim NOwak, executive coach and host of the mind fourth act podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your for that? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected for thanks, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you’re listening on. Let’s get started. I am delighted to welcome Lynn Maureen hurdle to the My fourth act podcast. Lynne is a communication expert, a conflict resolution strategist and a diversity Equity and Inclusion facilitator. And she has conducted this work all over the world. Lynne wrote the best selling book closing conflict for leaders. And she delivered a powerful TEDx talk that I just love called the weight of hate. Lynne has a waiting list for her transformative on the matter of race group experiences. The subtitle of this workshop, white people committed to beginning the journey together. She’s also the mother of two beautiful sons, Jabari and nyeem. Welcome, Lin.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  01:53

Thank you. I mean,

Achim Nowak  01:55

two things out front one, Linda and I crossed paths back in the days about 30 years ago, when we both work at a company called the victim services agency. We did some really cool work. And Lynn was my boss. And obviously, I liked my boss, because we’re speaking with each other 30 years later.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  02:16

That’s right.

Achim Nowak  02:18

Secondarily, the reason I invited you on this podcast, in my mind, you have been a luminary in the conflict resolution world. for 30 years, you have worked with all the big names who do this work. And you’ve always flown a little bit below the radar. And a few years ago, you decided screw this. I’m not gonna fly below the radar anymore. And that story is really interesting for me and hopefully for my fourth act audience and I promise we’re going to get into that. Okay, Lynne?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  02:57

Yes, we will.

Achim Nowak  02:59

We will. He says assertively we

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  03:02

write. It’s a great story, though.

Achim Nowak  03:05

I know it is. Before we start what always interests me. You and I both in our 60s now. We met when we were in our 30s. And we were certain people at that time in our life. I didn’t know Lin as a young girl or a teenager. So when you were a young girl, a teenager? Who did you want to be when you grew up?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  03:29

That’s so easy. For me. I want it to be Emma peels from the Avengers. I loved her and I loved everything about her. I probably couldn’t pinpoint it at the time, all the things that I loved, but I’ve kept her in my heart and my vision all my life. And so I know number one, she was smart as a whip. witty, very windy. Yes. Yes, she could kick What? I loved that and she but she used that skill only after she tried to talk to people and use her brains now and so if if that didn’t work, she was perfectly capable of handling herself if you came at her, and on top of that she was so fashionable. I mean, she just she just did it all for me.

Achim Nowak  04:26

She sounds like a totally fantastic role model.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  04:31

She was she was doing what she was doing as a woman at that time.

Achim Nowak  04:36

Yeah. But what I’m wondering as you’re saying this was this lens little secret or did mom and dad and your friends all know that this was somebody who you admired.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  04:48

I know my mom and dad did because I loved the Avengers. We watched it all the time. And then I always talked about her. I don’t know if anybody else outside of that did but they did have in that lane knew that was my girl.

Achim Nowak  05:02

Very nice. Now, if I remember correctly now, I want to tell it fast forward to about 30 years of your life, and just put the light on a few moments that might stand out for you. But if I remember correctly, you, you studied theater, but you also studied conflict resolution.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  05:25

Yes.

Achim Nowak  05:28

For about 30 years, you ended up working in many different contexts, places, roughly in the conflict resolution, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space. Having crossed paths, I know how powerful that work can be. how challenging it can be. I know that sometimes we would work under also rough circumstances, which really tested our commitment to doing the work. It I know a lot happened in that time in your life. But if you had to think of some moments that stand out, yeah, this is why I was doing this work, or, Damn, this was pretty hard. What are some moments that stand out? lit?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  06:16

Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, because we’ve worked with, with teenagers, a lot of young people. And I know one moment, in particular for me was when you talk about my commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion up, we were in a middle school, and a young man really did not speak English. And we didn’t find it out, really, until the really the end of the first day. And when he showed up the next day, number one, it was a Saturday, you know, talk about hard we did early Saturday, one of my guys. And so he showed up and have ads from one of the teachers came and said, I don’t know how much he’s getting, he really doesn’t speak English. And I said, Well, you know, I’m so sorry, we don’t have today, anyone who translates. And so I don’t know that he’s going to be able to finish. And he started to cry. And one of the teachers said, talk to him, put him aside. And he spoke to him in Spanish. And the teacher said, he said, his parents fight all the time, there’s so much conflict in his home, he thought if he could just be trained as a mediator, he could help at home. And I said, Oh, no, he’s not going anywhere, we are going to do whatever we can. And I asked the teacher if he would be willing to sit beside him for the rest of the training, and just translate and make sure that he got everything that he needed. And for me, that was such a path, like this is why we do this, right? Because we don’t know all of the reasons that people come to the table in any conflict. But certainly when we talk about diversity, equity and inclusion, we have to make room for people right to who may not speak the language, or just do things differently, we have to make sure that we are prepared to include everyone. So that one stands out for me, I think hard one for me is when we would go and people you know young people unfortunately and lose their lives and still today lose their lives over conflict and to go into schools and places and dealing with the community dealing with parents dealing with administrators, when there’s that loss. For me, I’ve been in a lot of situations like that. And that has been both rewarding to be able to come in and try to help get conversation going. But also devastating to realize that something as small as the way that someone spoke to someone or looked at someone actually ended people’s lives. And and for me that the work that I do in conflict resolution is all about that and leading up to all of the things that I do now. It really sits on that foundation that conflict is intense conflict is real and and if we are not paying attention to it and learning and getting the skills, then people’s lives literally so everybody may not lose their life, but they lose a lot of themselves because conflict is not resolved.

Achim Nowak  09:36

I was listening to you and still thinking about the young man who didn’t speak English. And what struck me about that example is even if he didn’t understand the words, he understood that something different was being taught here. Like he got a glimpse of a different way of doing life and doing relationships. Since you are, I put the label communication expert on you. When you talk about conflict, and the second story was much more about grief and loss, right? How much of the experience of conflict is spoken? And how much of it is the unspoken stuff? Behind the words?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  10:23

Yeah, I don’t quote me on being completely accurate with this. But I’m going to say that the larger percentage of it is in the unspoken, I think, number one people will people are just not comfortable with conflict. Number two, you know, we communicate with our bodies by body language is a huge part of communication. And then people don’t trust each other with the real stuff, right, it really takes some sitting down and, and communicating over time for people to come clean and be vulnerable with what’s really at the bottom of the conflict that they’re experiencing. So I would say it’s much more about what’s not being said, it’s, it’s why we teach the skills of listening BB for the words to really paying attention to the whole person, including the body language, including the words that can cue you that something else is going on here, or deeper feelings are really what are at the root of this. And we need to get those things out on the table.

Achim Nowak  11:32

You mentioned active listening. But if we go beyond that, how else do you open the door to the unspoken, as a facilitator, we’ll get to your current work and how it relates to that as well. But But how? Or if you were to give a tip to any of our listeners who who are in a conversation. And you feel like there’s stuff that’s just not being said, but you want to get to it? How do we do that?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  12:02

Yeah, so, you know, one of the things that’s really important for me, you said that I was in theater first and, and then got into I actually got into conflict resolution after. And it’s one of the things I think that has saved me in the work. And you know, to, I use a lot of theater in my work, because I feel like if people can really tried to experience what it is we’re talking about, as opposed to just learning a skill that they take it on, they feel it and then that begins to bring up emotions, right? So when you say things like, Oh, well, you just have to learn how to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Yeah, that sounds great. But how?

Achim Nowak  12:43

How do you really how do you do that?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  12:46

Right? How do you really do that? So you really do try to take on? What is it like to be that this person in the experience? So if I’m mediating helping to facilitate to this conversation, then I’m going to ask that, if you were to put yourself in their shoes in this situation. So what would that sound like? What would what would you do in this situation? If you were in their shoes, right, but let’s really think about what in their shoes means. So let’s go through all of the things that could mean and to really kind of rewind the situation, but with them really coming at it from the other person’s perspective, by walking them through it. The other thing that I do is, you know, we use Yes, active listening, but we use it, I use it certainly with the intention of being able to put on the table, something that I’ve heard the other person say that I know that the person in conflict with them did not hear, so that I can help them to hear like, sometimes they’ve just agreed with you, but they’ve done it in a different way than then is familiar to you so that I can ask you to say, what is it that you heard them say? And what is it that you think that they meant by that and ask them to then really share? Well, what is that mean for you? Why is this important for you to speak from a my values place is really important, because I think that people don’t speak in that way. And values really are at the root of so much of the conflicts that we have. So to do the deeper work of digging deep, deep, so not just Well, can you repeat that what they said, but let’s really get to the place of what that really means for them. And why we think that they’ve said that and they can also talk about what they value around this piece that they’re talking about, and why it’s important for this to get resolved for them so that we’re really digging into the deeper places, not just the feelings but where this comes from for you.

Achim Nowak  14:52

I so appreciate that the limb set, the depth to which we can go in this work if it’s done. Well, so it’s not just a bandaid. So thank you for that example. Since you’ve been doing this for a long time, and I know you’ve been doing it, if when when people go to limb, Maureen hurdle.com, you know, you read the bio when it says, I’ve done this in the Bronx, I’ve done this in Hong Kong, and then the South Africa, you’ve done this everywhere. But if we want to get real for a moment, this is hard work. usually done under the auspices of non for profit organizations. So you’re not well paid. You go, didn’t used to be. So you’re doing really cool work. Work. Not always monetarily valued, sometimes in glamorous environments, but often not. That’s right. And on top of it, you know, you have a husband at home. Warren, you have Jabari and EEM, you have two sons? How, What kept you going? Like how What kept you motivated to show up for not easy work, not always well compensated?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  16:10

Mm hmm. You know, I do have to say this for myself, as an African American woman, most of the experiences were taking place with people who look like me or people of color. And I know that the services that that we were delivering were things that they didn’t normally get, didn’t have as much access to. And I think that that, for me, was keeping me going. It kept me going. Because it was the kind of work that allowed me to bring my sons actually into the work, they got trained early in conflict resolution skills. And they were hitting the road with me and doing workshops from the Jabari from the time that he was six years old. And then nyeem came along for the ride, and he would grab the mic from age three on it really allowed, and he hasn’t stopped. But it really allowed me to bring them into the work and having skills that they had a really good foundation for. And then I do have to say that I’ve worked with some amazing people, you’ve been one of them that that really saw the value, right? None of us were making great money. And but we knew what we had, we knew that we had a team of people who believed in the work, and that we were delivering services to communities that really needed and also saw the value like that young man saw the value. He was not an exception, that these young people saw what we were bringing, and they ate it up. And they used it and they used it to really make successful conversations and resolutions.

Achim Nowak  17:55

Here’s a word from our sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to check out my fourth act calm. There’s a whole other world of fourth act conversations going on beyond this podcast, my fourth act.com Please take a look. You mentioned that because you are trained an actress as an actress, and it’s one of your passions. You. You did a lot of it in the work that you did. And I know that you and I have done some acting together and workshops. But in the spirit of a fourth act conversation, when I speak with somebody who has multiple passions, which is part of me maybe wants to be an actress and wants to be in a Hollywood movie or wants to be on Broadway, but part of me wants to do this really important community work, especially for me as an African American woman, I want to serve my people. How did you reconcile those? Did you have to reconcile that? What was that like?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  18:58

Yeah, well, you know, it’s funny when I transferred out of theater and into conflict resolution when I was in college, they would give scientists and I would come prepared in character of the person that we were studying and do these monologues. And so one of my professors said, you’re in the wrong major, you really need to be in theater and I, I laughed and I thought, wow, okay, so I can actually bring this here, like it’s appreciated. He sees that I have this value. So I think because I was able to use my skills. And I knew the work was important. I was able to say okay, so for now, because I always had the actually the fourth act dream or maybe the fifth extreme, but for now, I’m going to use these skills in this work, but I still am holding on to this dream that Hollywood is mine one day.

Achim Nowak  19:58

I love I love the phrase for now. It’s actually very powerful because it gives us permission to, to not constantly question where we are. And it allows for a gentler evolution rather than a forced evolution that plays this is what I’m doing for now, how liberating that is. And it keeps doors open to all sorts of other possibilities down the line.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  20:30

Yeah, and I love that too, because so many people that I know, and this is not disrespect, but so many people that I know who went to college for something, didn’t end up doing it and really felt like, well, it’s never gonna happen. And I never felt like that. I always felt like, I’m getting I’m gonna get there. I just, I don’t know the route yet. But I’ve never given up on it at all.

Achim Nowak  20:54

Yeah. That’s a perfect segue to my sense was viewers that if I’m saying this wrong, please correct me that. As you got to your mid to later, 50s, something shifted inside of you where you said, I don’t want to be below the radar so much. I want to be above the radar. Yeah. And I’m willing to step into the more public version of limb.  Am I stating that correctly?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  21:29

Yes, yes.

Achim Nowak  21:31

What happened in your life that took you there?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  21:35

Well, you know, I actually went through a period of not believing in myself for doing this work in a wider way. I felt like I was going to just stay where I was, because everybody I knew was saying where they were, and just really kind of saying, this is this is what you do. This is who we are. And you know, it’s good work. And we’re serving serving the community. But it was really, I have to say, depressing me, because I felt like I was meant for wider work, that there was something bigger on the horizon for me, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it. And you haven’t to come into town, and we had lunch. And we were talking and you said, if I may. And I knew Oh, well, he’s going to give it to me straight. And you said, You, I hear you talking about the same people that I knew when we work together. And and I feel like you have a wider circle than that. And you said, I’ve moved into a circle of more and more people, right that I don’t know, all the same people that we used to work with that my work has taken me to places to meet people in very different spaces. And that really hit me that you were absolutely right. And I’m a believer in being able to be around people who are doing what you do or aspire to do. And I just said, You know what, I don’t know how to do this yet. And I went and I hired a business coach. And from there, I did everything they told me to do. That’s the other thing, right? I wasn’t throwing my money away. You You know what to do? I don’t. And that began to take me to a very different places. Yes. And so I just continued, I hired another coach after that. And she absolutely changed my world. And, and, and that’s really what it is. But I have to say that that conversation is what sparked itf or me.

Achim Nowak  23:41

You reminded me of that before we did this podcast. And then I actually remember you sometimes we just blabber. And we say something. I want to share a related story that was life changing for me. And the woman has no idea that she changed my life. I had just gotten my first big corporate job as a trainer 1999 and I was going Gosh, I don’t know if this is for me. Am I just selling my soul? You know, I’m used to community focused business that has a deep, I was suddenly making twice as much money. But I remember sitting at a bar in a Manhattan hotel next to this woman who wasn’t a training that I was observing my colleague her menu was teaching it. And she was the head of learning and development for a big blue chip Wall Street firm. And she said my philosophy in life is that every seven years I need to move and do something completely different. And where that landed for me, it was like, that was the for now for me. It said yeah, now it’s okay that I’m doing this. And it’s it will change again. And that sense that nothing is forever and for now. You know, and she hasn’t No idea that that comments set me free. Because you were just throwing it aside all the little ways in which we impact each other without language, right?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  25:09

That’s right. That’s right. Cuz I don’t think you even knew the impact that had on me. Yeah,

Achim Nowak  25:16

I love that you gave a shout out to your business coaches and I, I just want to say to to our listeners, I like to joke that I don’t do anything alone anymore. And the moment I’ve allowed other people to help me and I have a really nice life, I have a very expansive life. But I had the same business coach for 15 years. Yeah, no 15 years, Kathy in New York. And to this day, I have support for everything. Yes. And that really set me free. Yeah, give us a few specific ways, examples of specific ways in which is stepped out beyond the life that was more comfortable. Like, give us some specific examples. Lynne?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  26:01

Yeah, well, I mean, I didn’t have an online presence at all. Right. So my first coach was just, you have to have a website. And, and, and I love the way she did it. She just simply said, If you don’t, we don’t have everything together now. So you get the name up, and you get under construction. But just so people have something to go to right away, because she already knew Look, I have, you have lots of experience. And I have 30 years at that point, 30 plus years at that point. So it’s just like the experience piece is not the problem. It’s that people don’t know who you are. So get seen right away, get a website. And then she said, You’ve got to be writing. So write a blog, and you need to write it regularly, so that you have content out there. so grateful to her for that money. Thank you for that. Because I have as now where I am, my team is putting me all over social media posts. And they’re like, you have so much content, like I never would have without taking the advice of the coach, you know, my coach, and then when my second coach was just catch yourself, pitch yourself to people. So like, I pitched myself to Psychology Today, having no idea that I was going to get it. And actually, the way I got it was my coach said to me, You need to just talk to people and tell them what you’re doing. And I’m sitting in a restaurant with a parent from one of my kids schools, and I just say, you know, oh, I just really trying to figure out how I get in touch with Psychology Today. She’s like, I write for them you want to write, I’ll you know, I’ll get you to talk to the person. And she had me talk to the editor and there was, you know, just to be able to just say, whatever they tell me to do, I’m going to do and to really just say, put myself out there. So it’s scary. So what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? They’re going to say no, okay, well, you’ve heard no before. So just go ahead and say to people, this is what I’m doing. Don’t know if you know someone, right? Just to even to say that I want to write a book at some point, and being able to talk to somebody who said, Hey, I can help you do that. I mean, all of those things. For me, were just me saying I’m no longer going to be silent. And in the shadows. I’m actually just going to start talking to people and then doing the kinds of things that get me noticed over time, just believing that if it isn’t today, it’ll be tomorrow. And if it isn’t, tomorrow, there’s another tomorrow coming. But to keep consistently putting myself out there either in written form or just speaking to people.

Achim Nowak  28:52

What I heard is you are talking and this is I Kim’s interpretation. There’s a power in publicly claiming your desires. If we keep them a secret, it’s harder for the universe to help us along. If we want universal health, it’s good to but that gets some courage because that can be the voice that says Who the heck do you think you are? You’re not a PhD psychologist. You’re gonna write for psychology today. And, and, and, and you’ve written some friggin powerful stuff for psychology today. I read your contribution.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  29:31

Yeah, yes, no, that’s exactly right. But you know, what was the more powerful voice is my mom. So come to breast cancer at 60. And so when you say, you know, my late 50s or mid 50s, I’m thinking I’m approaching the age where she left this earth. And she was pretty daggone powerful, but there was so much more that she could have done and in fact, she was more in the shadows, right when she was just an amazing talent. And so that was a big piece that drove me to is. So what do you want to do? Because I never claimed that I too would, you know, go early or that I could get breast cut? You know, of course, I know that I could, but I never claimed that. But I did see that. It I don’t know when I’m going to go. And so I had to decide, do I want to be in the shadows? Or do I want to step out there just for myself, and even for her legacy to just let folks know, you know, this is what I made out, right? And I deserve a place out here and I’m gonna claim it and it’s scary. But I don’t care scarier is not being able to pay my bills, to be perfectly honest. That’s a hell of a lot scarier.

Achim Nowak  30:54

One of the ways you in which you stepped out, let me put it this way, I think of you as a Bronx girl through and through. And at some point A few years ago, you decided, oh, I’m gonna get myself a place in California as well. And yes, suddenly became by Coastal. Yeah, I have a hunch that muster free quite a few people out and just talk about the decision to say number one, I can do it. I deserve to do it. And because that was literally leaving a nest afterwards.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  31:28

That’s right. What was that last? Well, that it was, first of all amazing, but you need to know that the first time I went to Los Angeles, I was 24. And I knew then this is where I should have been. This is my soul place. And I’m going to get there. I tried to find jobs. I couldn’t do it. I had to return to New York, but it never left me. And then my aunt, my aunt Leanne was a professional dancer. And she had she was lived by coastally. And I just thought, this is the coolest daggone thing. I’m going to do this one day, because I didn’t think when I went to California, I thought, Oh, I want to live there. But when I heard she was by Coke, so I thought, No, that’s cooler. I wanted to live in both bases. And so I just never left. It never left me. And then finally I just said, you know, for about four years ago, I said, I have got to get there. I just do. I need to make this by Coastal thing happened. And once again, it was another coach who actually lives out in Southern California. And she said, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. You know, she said, I tuned into the universe. And they said there’s nothing blocking it. And I just said, okay, and just went out there and started looking. And, and that the place and and, and I have to tell you, I started living in Santa Barbara, and was defeated because I found nothing. ended up going to this. I ended up going to this hotel that was 30, about 35 minutes south of Santa Barbara to stay and started passing these places thinking this is gorgeous. And once again, just said, I wonder if there’s anything here happens on a place that had open house. And I knew right away, this was where I’m supposed to be. So even again, just putting yourself out there not even knowing like this is exactly what I’m going to do or how it’s going to show up. And the universe absolutely came through for me on that.

Achim Nowak  33:40

You mentioned you call us Angeles your soul place?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  33:44

Yes.

Achim Nowak  33:46

So can you describe to our listeners what happens to your soul when you are in California? How does this soul experience it?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  33:54

Yes, even my son name said, Mom, you are you when you are there, which is pretty powerful. A 19 year old to say about the mom that he’s always known, right? And what happens is I become incredibly creative. I smile so much more than people think I smile a lot in which I do but I smile so much more and I feel at peace. I feel like no matter what gets thrown at me, I will crush it when I’m in California. And it’s so funny because you know New York is all about it you can make up or you can make it anywhere, which I absolutely prescribed to but New York doesn’t do that to my soul. I’m just grateful to be from the Bronx because I have that Killer Instinct, you know, and never say die. So that carries into California. But when I’m there I can be much looser in terms of not having to be on my guard so much. It’s just let it flow. What what comes to me is wanting to come to me. And if it’s a problem, a solution will come. And if it’s something really great, then I’m, then I’m going to be great at it. It just feels like this is it this is this is the place where I’m going to do my best work and be my best self.

Achim Nowak  35:18

In this spirit of flow, some powerful stuff happened last year to our country. And in your response to it, you know, was the murder of George Floyd and a whole host of other people. There was a real Black Lives Matter movement that suddenly had forged, wider alliances and allies joined the movement. And I remember you, this is my take on it, you You said I want to do some group experiences called on the matter of race. You’ve been doing this work for a very long time. So your, your skills were there to beat the moment. And I remember when you announced it. I had this feeling. She’s probably wondering if anybody wants to do this. And their response was so huge. You kept adding more and more groups. You’re starting a new set of groups in May.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  36:19

Yes. 

Achim Nowak  36:20

 Talk for us. What called you to do the work. And what you as an African American facilitator, woman, mother, daughter. Value about getting a chance to do that work with white people.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  36:39

Yeah, thank you for the question. So what actually happened is I was at a retreat with two women who were former clients of mine, but who also became friends. And we were working under the same coach Jennifer gammon. So we were doing on one of our retreats together, and they are two white women of different ages. One is my age one is 20 years younger. And they said, at the same time, we’d love to do work with you. But I wonder if you have any interest, and running a group for white people like us who really know nothing about racism, who are experiencing people of color as friends for the first time in our lives, and really want to do something about racism? And I said, No, I don’t, I don’t want to work with life if y’all are too hard. And I said that because when I’ve done the diversity, equity, what a lot of times it’s mandated. And so you don’t get people in particular, why people who want to be there and actually learn, they really put up defensiveness, right. And so it’s harder work. It isn’t that it doesn’t get rewarding when you get through, but it’s hard at work. And so I said, No, I don’t really want to do it. But the more we talked, the more Spirit said, No, you’re supposed to do this. And so I said, Okay, I’m supposed to do this, then I’m putting my parameters around it, everybody’s got to be interviewed. So I know that they really do want to do this and ready for this. And everybody’s got to say how they want want to use this, because they’re going to start using it, they’re going to start doing some kind of action midway through because it’s a six month journey, and three months. And everybody’s got to take the first step to do something towards using the work that they’re learning. And so I decided to do that. And really the first group, there were eight people, and then they want to do another round. So there were, there were three that continued. But then George Floyd was murdered, and there was this explosion. And I originally was once again saying, No, I’m not gonna deal with this anymore. These two groups were fine. And of course, it’s spirits that no, this is your work. I of course, knew it had to be. And then the other thing, you know, that happened is that I, my husband, Warren died very unexpectedly. And I honestly as a black woman, felt like, you know, his body really gave out and I felt like I’ve watched him deal with racism, his whole life. And he grew up in the south and images and in New York, and just dealing with trying to really get people to pay attention to racism and the importance of it. And I felt like I owed it to him to do something. And then I have to say that both of my sons were devastated around the George Floyd video, I tell them that they wouldn’t watch one watch it but of course, they watched it and saw themselves in it. And so they asked mom is, is there anything that anyone can do? And I was so happy to be able to say well, you know, what, I Here’s what I’m gonna do, right, here’s what I’m doing, I’m doing this group for white people, and I want them to be able to be together with me and to really learn about racism and be able to have the conversations where they explore themselves, and how they’ve been complicit in it, not because I want them to feel badly about it, but because I want them to understand how pervasive it is, and the effects on all of us. And then I want to empower them to know that they can start to do things, simple things people have in conversations with family members that they wanted to confront their whole lives, like, Oh, my God, like I may not know about racism, but I know what you’re saying is nonsense. And I really don’t know what to say back to you. Right. And they’re having these conversations. People who are writing about it, people are are brought me, I’ve been brought into the corporate space of one of the women who was in the from the beginning, because she was head of D AI. And as a white woman, she was getting real pushback about being a white woman, head of di and she was very defensive. And then when she started doing the journey, she said, Oh, my God, I don’t blame them. Of course, they were upset, like, what did I really know? So how could I really do this justice? I mean, all kinds of things are coming out of these groups that they all are surprised, even at what they’re learning and how, yes, it may be difficult, but they’re actually applying the learning.

Achim Nowak  41:44

Since you mentioned, Warren’s passing, and I’m thinking about the whole last year where, yeah, we’ve been through COVID. We’ve been through Black Lives Matter, which is just yeah. That never ends that goes on. Yes. The the underlying concerns that are brought to the surface have not been resolved. But you also were contending with the loss of your longtime partner, your sons are dealing with that. Yeah. So I would imagine, and I want to test this, that it was a time of both expansion, but also introversion. How, yeah, as you as you look ahead. Where do you go with all that going forward? let’s just let’s just focus on 2021.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  42:40

Yes, yeah. Well, we’re just starting, I mean, we’ve come through but because so much happened, you know, actually, right up to warrant that one passed, I actually was six sit for 46 days, and I was sicker than I’ve ever been in my entire life and couldn’t get a handle on what it was. And I’m going to tell you what it was ultimately, it landed in my stomach. But it was ultimately fear. It was tremendous, overwhelming fear. And it just sent me into a real place of sickness. And once I figured that out, I was determined that that was not going to be my destiny, that I was going to have to deal with fear, and really just continue to move forward and sell for 2021. For me, it’s about expanding my business. Actually, I’ve officially brought nyeem into the business with a protege of mine, and they’re developing a side that will really do work with millennials. And, and Gen X. And I am writing television script, because I as I said, Hollywood, or icom. I am determined that that’s going to be but it’s but it’s a different focus now because I can see how the stories that I want to write and bring to life come under the conflict resolution umbrella that I still want to teach under that umbrella. So the conflicts and the way that they play out I think will be very different than the way that we see a lot of conflicts playing themselves out. So I’ve learned from my work in this field to enhance what I’m writing, so that it brings to life, all kinds of people right from all walks of life who do conflict in very different ways. And so for me, 2021 is really about expanding even more and just being fearless about it like Look, we’ve come through this. And for my sons, they have been remarkable. It has been the most brutal thing in their lives. And they have been determined that they’re going to come through. And that is going to do for them what nothing else in their lives could do, which is to place them in a place where they’re going to go for everything they’ve got anything they want to do is theirs. Because if they can lose their dad, who they were so close to, and still see that there is life ahead for them, they can do anything.

Achim Nowak  45:43

That’s a glorious message. I’m going to ask a question. I feel like you’ve already answered it, but I’m going to ask it anyway. Because I ask it in every conversation I have on this podcast, based on what you know, now, if you had to give a little piece of advice to young limb, linen, linen, Junior, hyoe linen High School, if you could whisper in her ear, what would you say to her?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  46:12

I would say never give up on being m appeals land because yes, I’ve never give up on there. Because that’s what you that’s how you love me and your way you’ll be living. But that’s that is who I want it to be. And that is who I dad going short and gonna be in my own way.

Achim Nowak  46:32

The way you just said it. I thought gosh, am appeal is a beautiful archetype. an archetype that many of us have in us, but not all of us have the courage to be that. That ferocious or that?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  46:46

Yeah, right. That’s right.

Achim Nowak  46:50

Where can people go to find out more about you and how you serve the world?

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  46:56

 Yeah, you can go to my website lynnemaureenhurdle.com. But you can also reach out to me a lot of times I mean, you if you go to the website, you certainly can do a free consult. Do you know 15 – 30 minutes free consult with folks. But also Lynn women e on the end? Yes. lynne@lynnemaureenhurdle.com is my email. I love when people reach out to say, you know, how can I work with you? or How can I get you to come in and do workshops for my organization? Or, you know, my book is on Amazon. You can get that. But certainly those are the ways that they can reach me I’m on Facebook, I’m on Instagram, right at conflict closer on Instagram. And Facebook is Lynne Maureen Hurdle. You can reach me then I’m on LinkedIn at Lynne Maureen Hurdle. There’s all kinds of places you can find me if you know what

Achim Nowak  47:55

I’m hearing, there’s no excuse to not find you Lynne Maureen Hurdle.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  48:00

Right? There is none.

Achim Nowak  48:05

On that note, I so enjoyed chatting with you, communing with you. And to be continued. Thank you.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle  48:15

Yeah, thank you, my friend. I appreciate it.

Achim Nowak  48:19

By by, like what’s your hurt? Please go to my fourth act calm and subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us a review. And let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao

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