About James-Olivia

          • Relational life & leadership coach
          • Facilitator of extraordinary, uncomfortable, life-changing conversations
          • Enthusiastic & loving interrogator of reality
          • Fellow work-in-progress (i.e. avid maker of mistakes)

I facilitate and mediate uncomfortable, necessary, life-changing conversations with people who want more joy and connection and less suffering in their most important relationships—with themselves, their loved ones, their organizations, and the world.

My mission is simple: more joy, more connection, and less suffering.


I come to the work of coaching and facilitation with the lived experience of moving through life in the U.S. as a multi-racial and sometimes white-presenting “other” with multiple, intersecting privileged and marginalized identities. I bring relentless compassion, an unusual perspective and an eclectic variety of tools to the conversation of expanding our lives and our leadership beyond personal growth and into relational development. I deeply and truly believe we are in this together and my liberation is bound to yours; I am learning and unlearning alongside you.


SOME THINGS I BELIEVE

I believe that in Right Relationship, connection nourishes, heals suffering, and increases joy.

I believe neither freedom nor joy can be sustained without combining relentless compassion with the disobedience of inquiry.

I believe impact happens in Relationship. The impact most of us desire happens in Right Relationship.

I believe survivors.

I believe the willingness to change is the willingness to live, and the willingness to witness others without judgment as they change is the willingness to love.

I believe what we create is our magic and our medicine – the stories, the words we speak and write, what we create or destroy with our hands, the wake we leave when we engage with people and the world.

I believe we all have a place in this world. I believe we belong to each other. I believe our collective failure to honor this belonging is breaking our hearts and quite literally killing us (some more swiftly and brutally than others, but none of us survives the heartbreak). I believe the longing of our souls to be connected and to be with one another is a pure and true thing, and we have become confused about how to go about being with ourselves and each other. I believe we can learn to belong to each other again.

I believe we are all capable of committing violence and harm, and we are all capable of giving and experiencing love and healing. I believe we are responsible to ourselves and to each other for learning the difference. I believe we are responsible for teaching each other the difference once we have learned.

I believe in the power of choice. I believe in the power of redemption. I believe in the power of grace. I believe in the power of wisdom and inquiry over judgement to reveal right action. I believe in the power of right action (and not simply good intentions) to heal us individually and collectively.

I believe love has good intentions, and love is right action. I believe in the power of responsibility and accountability.

I believe control is the antithesis of love, that love is the active recognition of each other’s humanity and the deliberate cherishing and nurturing of life. I believe when we truly love others, we are committed to creating a world in which they have the resources they need to thrive, and the safety they need to speak the truth. I believe to say we love all people and then not commit ourselves to creating such a world is to lie.

I believe the hand of the Divine is in everything, even when I cannot see it. I believe what I can see is only a small part of a greater story. I believe wise and courageous teachers can show us the landscape when the path before us is too narrow a focus.

I believe in the power of discomfort and its inseparability from growth. I believe in listening, in learning without ceasing. I believe we are all works in progress, and we are responsible for choosing the best teachers available to us at any given stage of our lives, the ones who show us how to live what we believe, who hold us to our highest standards and then raise them. I believe we can always do better, there is joy in trying, and even greater joy in trying together.

I believe we are never as alone as we sometimes imagine we are.


APOCRYPHA & ARCHIVES

When I was seven years old, I told my mother I wanted and would have an interesting life, not an easy one. While this prediction has often proven to be true, we cannot possibly know whose lives we will impact by being kind to ourselves when we are imperfect, when we make mistakes, when we have been wrong. We do not know the courage we silently lend, the wordless permission we give someone else to experience grace, simply by being compassionate with our flawed selves. These retired blogs are proof of my many imperfections, and—hopefully—evidence of a willingness to be changed.

Billy Takes The South: What happened when Ben and I quit our corporate IT jobs in 2014, rambled around the United States for several months in Ben’s 1966 Ford F100, and decided to hunker down in the Sonoran Desert for a spell.

42 is Love: What happened when I decided to re-engage with the corporate world in my 2015 business consulting swan song, re-discovered how much fun that wasn’t, and emerged in the land of the living.

You can follow my current musings on Facebook and Instagram.