Somebody Call Olivia Pope

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In 2012 ABC released a new political drama series called Scandal credited to the creative genius of Shonda Rhimes. The show is set in Washington, D.C. It centers around Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope and her crisis management firm, Olivia Pope and Associates. Olivia Pope is known for “handling” the crisis for the privileged and elite in politics. Not to mention the show captures her scandalous affair with the handsome character Fitzgerald Grant, III, who happens to be the President of the United States.  Whew! 

Whenever someone in the political arena and beyond encounters trouble, Olivia Pope is on speed dial. She swoops in and offers a strategy to her clients that often involves spinning the narrative in the press, a complex matrix of lies, deceit, and ulterior motives. Did I mention that there’s been a dead body or two? Olivia’s team is diverse, and they are well trained. Outsmarting the opponent is their specialty. When Oliva’s clients call in a panic, she assures them with two words: It’s handled. 

Since March, we’ve been navigating unprecedented times as a country. With little information given initially and conflicting directions along the way, this has been a difficult time for many. I know that some of you have simply wanted to yell at the TV from your sofa while watching the news, “Can somebody call Olivia Pope already?”

The truth is, Olivia Pope is a TV character, and the news anchors can’t hear you. So, what do you do in real life right now? 

I want to offer some hope and a few things that may help you navigate this crisis in the days ahead. 

You are not alone.Yep. A lot of us have been trying to make sense of it all, and we’ve been coming up short.  The uncertainty concerning our health, the economy, the next few months have been constant thoughts for many people. So, while all of this has not been normal– navigating this crisis with many questions is more common than you think. 

You have questions. Answer them. Coaching women is my heart work. It’s also my side gig. In the corporate space, I work as a project manager for a destination management organization in the hospitality sector. COVID-19 has significantly impacted this industry as people aren’t traveling and have been adhering to stay-at-home orders So, yes, I’ve had questions about my job and what all of this will look like post-COVID-19. Well, one day, I decided to start answering the questions. 

Thought: What happens if I lose my job?

Answer: I’ll apply and find another job. 

Thought: What if the person in line at the grocery store has COVID-19? 

Answer: Stacey, what can you really do about that? You have on a mask. You’re doing your part to protect yourself. Make sure you’re social distancing. 

I’m not making light of any of this, but the questions are seeking an answer. Start talking back. I talk a little about this on the Let Me Find Out Podcast with Nikki Washington

Your thoughts are powerful. Use them. Your thoughts can be an agent to help you navigate a crisis or a weight to pull you into despair. One of the ways you can use your thoughts to help you navigate crisis is through meditation. I am a Christian, so for me, I use scriptures to meditate on. If you’re not a Christian, that’s fine too. Write down a positive affirmation and use it during your time of mediation. Speak it to yourself consistently, and over time it will become an anchor for you when your thoughts start to drift toward negativity. This time you’ll have something in your arsenal to bring your mind back to the center. Make sense? Don’t discredit the power of your thoughts. 

Navigating crisis is not as easy as we’d like it to be, but we will get through this! Some days will be lighter than others. Some days it will be easier to find joy in the new, simple things, like waking up a little later or having a meal with your family without interruptions. Other days, you may have to build memory muscle during meditation to keep yourself from giving in to the pressure that comes with the unknown. Please know that you’re not alone. God is with you! 

Now that I think about it, who needs Olivia Pope anyway? I’d put my money on you. Bet on yourself. Grab your thoughts, and put them to work.

It’s handled. 

Your friend and coach,

Stacey Joseph Harris

I was in line.


A few months ago, after a long day of work, I decided to make a stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things. I had a grocery list formed in my mind before arriving, so it was my desire to get in and out before the Dallas traffic noticed another car on the road. Well, it seemed as though everyone near Downtown Dallas had the same idea. After gathering the things that I needed I walked over to get in line. There were three people in front of me. The cashier was not present at the time. I noticed him as he returned to the station. He started to service the customers. When he reached the customer in front of me, he replied “This line is closed.” I replied, “How can your line be closed and I’m in it?”. He said, “I didn’t see you in line. These folks were already in line. I’m sorry.” I mean this guy makes a full-on announcement. In the moment, a few thoughts started to race to the front of the line in my mind.

When is it appropriate to tell the customer waiting while holding groceries in their hand – “My line is closed”? While the purpose of this blog is not customer service, clearly there were missing elements to exceptional customer service, right?

Should I take a moment to coach this guy by asking a series of clarifying questions then ask for the number to the corporate office? 

So, the gentleman standing in front of me remained silent through the exchange. What’s that about? I guess he didn’t notice a person standing behind him. I notice everything.

Then, this thought claimed it’s spot at the front of the line in my mind. Just because you didn’t see me, doesn’t mean I wasn’t there.  

The statement met me again around 2am the next day. Needless to say, this blog is about three months in the making. Yes, this occurred in a grocery store and quite frankly, everything in my life is not content for a blog, but underneath the surface of that statement was a treasure I needed to uncover.

The race to be first, to be noticed, to be acknowledged, to be promoted, to be seen, to be heard, to be respected, to be named is not a bad thing. In our culture and if we scale down to our families, we’ll notice a common thread. We’ve been taught to work to be first, not second. Do your best, while you wait your turn. Hard work and effort will always be noticed. When I was growing up, there was a winner and a loser at the end of the game. Everyone did not get a trophy. I’m just sayin’.

Personal growth and development suggests that we are all in line—progressing forward with our plans, goals and dreams.

The desire for someone to acknowledge your work and your effort is not a bad thing. The need to be heard and respected doesn’t mean you’re arrogant or prideful.  I believe in some ways it’s normal and can be healthy when it passes through the right filter.

Here’s what I mean. If the need to be noticed or acknowledged is greater than the need to simply give and do your best when no one is looking, therein lies a greater challenge.  If the need to be named and respected means you downplay or discredit the work of a coworker to boost your contribution, therein lies a greater challenge. Forcing our way to the front never secures the spot, it only shines a light on the insecurity we are wrestling with inside.

I’ve worked in several industries over the course of 20 years. From Education to Oil and Gas to Ministry and Hospitality. I’ve watched people force their way to the front of the line and for me I’ve simply tried to let my work speak louder. Yes, I’ve even had other people take credit for ideas that I’ve brought to the table in the most masterful way. I’ve looked on while others I’ve helped, move hurriedly past me without thinking to look back and say thanks. Some of it is life happening, and the other part is fuel for the rest of the journey. The measure of a person rest deeply in what they say to and believe about themselves. You can’t give that much power to another human. They are trying to find their way too.

Here’s what I tell myself often and it’s also what I believe to be true:

  • I have what it takes; whether the people around me acknowledge it or me.
  • God, place me around the people who see me and are excited to see me soar, even if it means I have to fly in a space that doesn’t include them.
  • Your integrity matters most. Don’t cut corners. Don’t make excuses. Give your best every time.
  • Helping others shine, always helps your heart remain true to your core values.

Trust me when I tell you, I’m always talking to myself and the dialogue includes much more than this blog can handle, but you get the point.

So, what happened after my thoughts were racing in the grocery store that day? Well, I moved to another line and a few minutes later the same cashier came back to his station and welcomed customers. I stayed in the line I was in, paid for my groceries and left. Yes, there were people that entered the store after me and had paid for their groceries and were leaving while I was still in line. I thought to myself “I wonder if the announcement and the few minutes he spent doing whatever he was doing was worth it?”. Who knows?  But, the thought I had while standing there was worth it for me. Just because you didn’t see me in line, doesn’t mean I wasn’t there! The moves that I make from the back of the line, secure my place at the front anyway.

Have you had challenges waiting your turn?

How have you navigated your need to be seen or acknowledged for the work you do?

Your friend and coach,

About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris

I’m a Worship Girl too….

I’ve been hosting worship gatherings for over ten years now. My faith is a huge part of my life. I’ve learned through the years that it’s not enough to say I’m a Christian. I must simply live as a Christian.

Whether I’m coaching a woman, mentoring a young teen, sharing bits and pieces of my story, leading worship on a Sunday morning, or working in the marketplace– you’re bound to see traces of my faith smeared all over my work! It’s who I am. It’s how I live and I make no apologies for it. So glad that no one asks me too!

So, this worship girl is super excited to bring The River of Passion Worship Gathering to Baton Rouge, LA in October. Baton Rouge is home for me and I am always at home when I worship Jesus. This is going to be fun!

On Friday, October 7th,  my husband and I will host The River of Passion Gathering – a night of worship. It’s free and open to the public. Save the date and make plans to join us. On October 8th, we will host a special session for Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors, Musicians, Worship Teams, Dance Teams and any one who wants to learn more about worship. Registration for this session opens on Monday and seating is limited. Get the scoop here.

Hope to worship with you in October.

You friend,

About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris

Look for the Ocean


This thought has been circling in my brain for a while now and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

If you’re the big fish in your pond, it’s time to look for the ocean. Click to tweet.  Our circle of friends, associates and colleagues can become a comfortable place over time. Every now and then we need to evaluate our circle. Are we being challenged to grow? Are the conversations provoking us to change? Are we being inspired by the daring moves the people in our circle are making? Are we being held accountable for the goals that we have set? Is there a healthy exchange when something good happens for anyone in the group? Let’s be clear, this is not about getting rid of everyone in your life. That would be immature. We need people. But, it is about performing an x-ray on your circle of influence. These are the people that get the first look at your personal development, decisions, and next steps. It’s critical.

I know that some of us have been taught to keep our circles small and by default we have made the doorway to the center of ourselves narrow. While, I understand the logic to a certain degree; I also, see the gaps in the theory. Sometimes it’s extremely crucial to open the door wide to allow the people you NEED in your life to enter. It can be intimidating and awkward at first, but it gets better.

The first time you’re in a conversation with a known millionaire and you haven’t earned six figures yet, it’s likely to be very uncomfortable.  Some of the dialogue may be over your head. You may start to doubt why you’re even in the room. By the second or third conversation, you’ve had time to google a few of the terms….it’s still awkward but you’ll start to feel like if they can be a millionaire, then perhaps you can too! That’s the beauty of the ocean. Ocean swimming can be intimidating, even for a skilled swimmer. The ocean is a place for big fish. You’ll never find a marlin twirling around on the shore. You’ll have to go to where they are. This is called deep water fishing and it only happens in the ocean.

Success thrives in open spaces. You must be open to experience something new. Click to tweet. New people. New conversations. New experiences. New connections. New thought patterns. New business models. You will be challenged. Some of the new influencers in your life may question some of your choices and challenge you to think bigger. Quite frankly, these are the types of people that you want in your circle. Jim Rohn said it this way, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you are always giving, giving and giving and the people are always taking, taking, taking……it’s not a friendship….it’s a transaction. You’re an ATM. (Automated Teller Machine) They are automatically telling you what to do. It’s time to survey your circle.

Pull out your journal and answer these questions.

Who are your top 5?

What is their contribution to your life?

What value do you give to their life?

Do they challenge you to be better?

Are they excited when you win?

Do you gain inspiration from the decisions that they make regarding their life?

Now, examine your answers and determine if it’s time to find the ocean?

In my next blog, I’ll talk a little more about the types of people I believe that everyone should have in their circle. My answer may surprise you.

It’s time to take a deep dive. You were made for big waves. The ocean awaits you.

Your friend and coach,

About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris




New Year. New you. Ummm maybe not!

The Christmas holidays have come and gone and most of us are scurrying around trying to brace ourselves for the new year. I don’t know, there’s something about entering a new year that makes everyone attempt to be more focused, more intentional about planning, and more anxious about their lives. I’m afraid that the “New Year. New You” slogans offer a false sense of hope and expected progress.

Can I just be honest with you? The new year slogans don’t sustain or guarantee growth. You do. Your work. Your efforts. {Click to Tweet} You must commit to the process. The beginning of the journey to change starts when you decide that you want more and you’re willing to do the work to get there. Why shouldn’t it start now? Waiting until December 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. to choose is silly when you think about it. There’s no better time than the present, and your life has been waiting on you to choose better. So, choose it right now. Say, yes to your life.

Saying yes to your life, will require that you say no to the things that are not giving you what you REALLY want.

It includes:
1) Questions to help you identify what you’ve been saying yes to
2) Tips to narrow your focus so that you can start saying yes to what you really want
3) Tips to help you uncover why you have a hard time saying “NO”…and much more

I want you to experience more than you ever have. I want you to have the life you deserve. I know that you want the same thing. Get a jumpstart on the new year. Your new year can start today.

There are several ways to get started now:

You can schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me and we can come up with a strategy to get you moving in the direction that YOU desire. There are 30 minute,
1-hour and monthly sessions available.

You can enroll in Project Passion Mentoring Institute. Project Passion Mentoring Institute provides a growth experience that challenges, encourages and inspires women to embrace the risk of change with faith and courage. The program attracts brilliant women with a genuine desire to experience more and the tenacity to work for it. The program duration is 3 months.

You can sign up for my FREE 5-day Email Course – How to get UNSTUCK. You’d be surprised how many people feel stuck in their lives, in their relationships, and on their jobs. They are spinning their wheels, seemingly busy, but going NOWHERE fast! Sign up for my FREE 5-day email course. You’ll receive my coaching lessons in your inbox each day for five days.  I’ll help you to take the necessary steps to get UNSTUCK! You can be brave and live with passion. Forward motion is possible.

I know that you want more. Don’t wait until December 31st to start. Today is the day.

Your friend,

About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris

P.S. If you know a brave woman who could use a boost! Share this email with her on Twitter. {Click to Tweet}

Give and give some more.

When I was a little girl, I can recall giving my kindergarten teacher a gift. I made it. It included a handwritten letter inside a box. At five years old, I believed that my teacher was the smartest person on the planet. She knew more than me and my mom. Looking back, I’m not surprised that I became a teacher, because I’ve been fascinated with these super humans for a long time now. Auntie Mommie told me later on that my teacher told her that my gifts always moved her to tears. She couldn’t believe that I was so thoughtful at five.

In all fairness, my aunt who raised me, was the perfect picture of generosity. She was always giving to others in some way. She remember birthdays and they were always accompanied by a card and your favorite thing. Her generosity made you feel special, loved and remembered. That’s powerful.

Over the years, I’ve taken on some of her traits. I remember; and I want the people closest to me to know that they are always on my mind and in my heart. So, I give. 🙂

Giving always gives back to you. While you may gift a cool coffee mug to a coworker, because you noticed that she dropped her favorite mug in the break room the day before, you may not get a coffee mug back as a thank you. But, you may experience the warmth of her smile and sincere appreciation to you because you thought to give her an unexpected gift. You may actually receive MORE from the experience than the recipient. This has happened to me so many times. It makes giving so special.

Giving replaces selfishness. It’s so easy to be consumed with your life, your needs and your desires. When you choose to give to others, suddenly your “stuff” takes a back seat to your desire to bring goodness to another person. It’s selfless not self serving. Each gift builds relationship equity and creates a gateway for love in its purest form to flow to others and back to you.

Giving doesn’t have to include money. Yes, I believe that generally we are all okay pocketing a little more cash or receiving tangible gifts, but the intangibles in many ways become the most valuable. For example, lending your ear and your time to a friend who needs to vent and a safe place to share is a gift. Offering to babysit for a single mom on a Saturday is a gift. Giving encouragement and mentoring to a high school student is a gift. There are so many ways that you can give to others. This list can go on for days.

Generosity awakens your heart to its true purpose. We were made to love and be loved. We were made to give. 

This season and beyond, open up your life to those around you. Give them the best of you….give and give some more.

Your friend,

About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris

Becoming Resilient

Ok, let’s be honest here. Life isn’t always a bed of roses or 65 degrees and sunny. Sometimes there are occasional relationship thorns and decisions covered by overcasts and clouds. Giving in to the pressure is easier than we are willing to admit at times. So, how do you bounce back when you feel like each day keeps knocking the wind out of you? Well, can we first acknowledge that if you recall another day rolling around you didn’t go without wind for long? Yeah, that’s the power of a resilient mind. A mind that bounces back and refuses to stay down for long.

Resilient people have a different perspective about things. You know the friend you’ve labeled as Ms. Optimistic. She sees the good in everything. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Life is always showing in her favorite color. Well, perhaps she’s not just optimistic. She’s resilient. Over the years, I’ve experienced very hard times and times when it seemed like I was soaring. I had to learn to be resilient in both seasons. Resilience says that this doesn’t have to be the end. I know there’s a beginning underneath these circumstances. There’s a much bigger transaction taking place. I shouldn’t settle for what’s whirling around on the surface.

Resilient people train their thoughts to seek alternatives. In Project Passion Mentoring Institute, one month is centered on uncovering the counterproductive thoughts that hinder growth. We have control over our thoughts.  Our brains are trainable. We can teach our brain to seek alternatives by evaluating the thoughts that enter our mind and deciding which thoughts get to stay. In the good times, I’ve had to bounce back from the cynical thought that “something bad may come along and spoil this moment.” In the not so good times, I’ve had to bounce back from the sneaky thought that “this season is never going to end”. I had to replace each of those thoughts with truth. For example, if something good is happening in my life, I should choose to be fully engaged and present in the moment. It won’t be the last time I’ll experience that goodness, but I could miss out on it right now by giving attention to something that has NOT happened. When it comes to your thoughts, start by asking yourself two questions: 1) Is this true? 2) Is this thought helping me? Then you need to replace the thought with a true and helpful thought.

Resilient people embrace change. It’s easier to embrace change when you expect it. Life simply doesn’t happen in a straight line. There are often detours, rerouting, U-turns and new paths altogether. You should expect it! You should expect that sometimes the only way that you can experience growth in your life is when things start to change. The change increases your capacity. It stretches you and ultimately positions you to experience more than you ever could have if things would have stayed the same.

Resilient people have options. When one door closes, resilient people believe wholeheartedly that they will be turning the knob of another door soon enough. They don’t expect things to happen one way. Their approach to life involves problem solving, reasoning, earnest expectation, compromise and opportunity. So, yes 2 + 2 = 4
but 8 – 4 = 4 and so does 36/9. There are many ways to get there, they just need to look for the options.

Becoming resilient is the antidote for mediocre living. You can bounce back. Get up from there…I hear you breathing!

About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris



Some kinda’ love….

Most of us are enamored with the idea of love. The windows of our soul give way to the texture and feel of a new love. Our minds and hearts adjust to the ups and downs of love. We make concessions for the time that it takes for love to germinate in our hearts. We simply want to experience it and give it away. I believe that our hearts were uniquely designed by God to share. We are love children and we were made to love. It’s woven into the fiber of our being. It’s smeared across our ideals and thoughts. It is the compass that guides us along the streets of our journey where we find ourselves parked.

I believe that within each of us lies a “God spot”. It’s a place within our spirit that needs to express a deep and genuine love to God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30 It’s the depth of our souls that must bear everything, with all sincerity, to the one that loved us first. Worship is the ultimate expression of love. I’m not regulating it to the first 30 minutes of service or the song that moves you to tears. It travels intentionally beyond music or a church setting. It finds its way into your thoughts throughout the day. It appears during a moment when you realize that you’re grateful for the grace that has carried you through the seasons of your life. It shows up while you parent your children and honor your spouses.

God’s amazing love toward us is beyond comprehension at times. For many of us our understanding is thwarted by the many relationships that left us wanting and searching. It takes a level of trust to abandon all and trust God completely. To believe with all of your heart that He won’t hurt or leave you like the others. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5. He can be trusted with your heart and your secrets. It’s ok to love God with all that you have, and be confident while you’re sharing that He loves you more. Your worship brings Him pleasure and the personal benefits that you’ll receive while offering your love to Him are endless. So, let your hair down. Expose your heart. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Worship God with no restraints. Pour your love on Him daily and experience the purity of His love for you.  Give him your worship and He will give you Himself…..



About Me Stacey

Stacey Joseph Harris