Laverne Wyatt at Diversify

Reflections: “Overcoming Mental Blocks to Manifest Opportunities” with Laverne Wyatt

On October 17, 2019, a diverse group of women gathered to hear the inspiring and colorful speaker, Laverne Wyatt from BLOOM Abroad, facilitate Diversify’s Workshop, “Overcoming Mental Blocks to Powerfully Manifest Opportunities.” In her work to support people in overcoming their mental blocks, she uses a symbol of a flower; “We Can All BLOOM.”

Nonetheless, blooming is a process. For example, when relocating to another country, we are faced with many challenges – internal and external alike. Laverne contends that those inside of us – herein, our mental blocks, are the ones which are holding us back the most. And in reality, the internal blocks are the ones we have the power to change.

According to Laverne, our mental blocks can fit into three major areas: Health (i.e. mental and physical health, the food we eat, exercise and mindset), Wealth (i.e. employment, job hunt, income and finances) and Relationships (i.e. our relationship with ourselves, others, emotions, family, and friends). To further explain her thesis, Laverne shared her own story of moving to Norway and the ways in which she unconsciously held herself back in the three aforementioned areas. With an equal blend of humor, honesty and vulnerability, she brought the participants along for the ride. 

We learned that we can all BLOOM and become the best version of ourselves – for ourselves as well as for those around us – only when we do the internal work and first concentrate on our individual self. We cannot make those around us happy, if we are inherently unhappy. 

And that is the core of Laverne’s method. By putting ourselves in the middle (of the flower), we are taking back our power and assuming the responsibility of creating our own lives and realities. We are also acknowledging that our lives are in our hands and that we are answerable for the path we take. As with every kind of growth and change, BLOOMING is a process, it takes time, and it needs to be broken down in little steps. 

Affirming to ourselves that we are already at that place where we want to be, when we are not, can be counterproductive, overwhelming and frustrating. Concentrating on the little steps which are possible and doable at a certain moment gives us the sense of progress and motivates us to continue, even when the going gets tough.

Laverne has a charming personality that is infectious, which she utilized to create an inclusive and safe space. She quickly got everyone sharing, contributing, and also interacting as a group. What was quite peculiar about this workshop was that in addition to the feeling of community established and the valuable insights received from Laverne, there were lots and lots of laughter – a necessity and remedy for the soul. By the end of the session, the participants were all hugging each other and exchanging contact information.

We are very grateful to Laverne for the time, thoughtfulness and expertise she brought to this workshop. We will certainly be facilitating more workshops with her in the future. Stay tuned :-)! 

Laverne with some of the participants. Delicious bites catered by Casa Basa.

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Chisom Udeze

Founder of Diversify, Diversify Consult, HerSpace & The Annual

Chisom is an Economist, a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Strategist, and a 3 times founder of impact driven companies. She has over 14 years of experience working with organizations like the European Commission, The United Nations, ExxonMobil and The Economist Group. Chisom is analytical and a data enthusiast. She is passionate about interrogating the cross-sectoral relationship between society’s inhabitants, resources, production, technology, distribution and output. She efficiently and effectively unlocks complex systems, interprets data, forecasts socio-economic trends and conducts research.

Having lived and worked in 7 countries across 3 continents, she is highly adaptable to different circumstances and people, and thrives in uncertain environments.

As the founder of Diversify and Diversify Consult, Chisom and her team work with companies, institutions, governments and civil society to develop sustainable DEIB strategies and embed measurable diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and society. In addition, in 2022, Diversify launched the Diversify Nordics Summit, the largest conference in the Nordics that gathers cross-sectoral stakeholders to amplify DEIB in the Nordics and beyond.

In 2020, she founded HerSpace, a diverse and inclusive co-creation community for all genders, with particular focus on women and non-binary people. In 2022, HerSpace launched HerTech, Women in Tech incubator, for women-led companies, with a focus on the inclusion of diverse founders. 

Chisom is a thought-leader in DEIB and a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. She writes often on DEIB and justice related topics, some of her work is published on Forbes.

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