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Grief and Loss

–In fond memory of Dr. Jeffrey Stewart Allen

It is with great sadness I share with this wonderful community, under the guidance and leadership of Dennis, the unexpected passing of Dr. Jeffrey Stewart Allen. He and I shared a journey of fireside chats on Wednesday afternoons for several years. For those of you who did not get to know him, he was an extraordinary man who loved to explore multiple areas with a deep dive.

When we lose someone special, we encounter a void within ourselves and as I have learned, no one can replace that void. It is with this awareness, we gain a better understanding of what we have lost.

With this knowledge, we then can fully honor the person who blessed our journey for the time we had together.  I do not have the words to express fully what I want to share with our community. Here is a piece by Maya Angelou, and it is my wish all of you will find value in this piece when that special someone leaves a void in your heart. Dr. Jeff always ended our chats with “Be blessed.” May all of you Be Blessed.

When Great Trees Fall

by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall, 
rocks on distant hills shudder, 
lions hunker down 
in tall grasses, 
and even elephants 
lumber after safety. 

When great trees fall 
in forests, 
small things recoil into silence, 
their senses 
eroded beyond fear. 

When great souls die, 
the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. 
We breathe, briefly. 
Our eyes, briefly, 
see with 
a hurtful clarity. 
Our memory, suddenly sharpened, 
examines, 
gnaws on kind words 
unsaid, 
promised walks 
never taken. 

Great souls die and 
our reality, bound to 
them, takes leave of us. 
Our souls, 
dependent upon their 
nurture, 
now shrink, wizened. 
Our minds, formed 
and informed by their 
radiance, 
fall away. 
We are not so much maddened 
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance 
of dark, cold 
caves. 

And when great souls die, 
after a period peace blooms, 
slowly and always 
irregularly. Spaces fill 
with a kind of 
soothing electric vibration. 
Our senses, restored, never 
to be the same, whisper to us. 
They existed. They existed. 
We can be. Be and be 
better. For they existed.

Source:  More Maya Angelou

____________________
Editor’s Note: I speak for so many when I say that Jeff was a good man, a wise man, a generous man, and a man whose presence will be missed across our many communities. I had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff over many years as was captivated by his pure wisdom of experience so freely shared with us all. Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to his dear wife Cynthia and family. Dennis & Team 360°

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Melinda Fouts, Ph.D.
Melinda Fouts, Ph.D.http://www.successstartswithyou.net/
Melinda Fouts, Ph. D., International Executive Coach, Psychotherapist is a select Columnist & Featured Contributor for BIZCATALYST 360° and a Member of the Forbes Coaches Council (comprised of Top coaches offering insights on leadership development & careers), and founder of Success Starts with You. She was recently chosen to receive the Empowered Woman of the Year Award for 2021 given by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). She also received the honor as the top international coach of the year in 2020 by the IAOTP. She provides visionary leadership in her field and her many credentials prove she has the ability to empower women worldwide. Her exemplary role as a female professional in a male-dominated industry displays her influence, capability, and proficiency. Inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) is an honor in itself, only a few women are chosen for this distinction based on their years of experience, professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, and contributions to their communities. With innovation and compassion, these women empower others to reach their goals, while creating change for future generations. With over 2 decades of professional experience as a business coach and psychotherapist, Dr. Fouts has proven herself as an accomplished professional and expert in the field. As a dynamic, results-driven leader, Dr. Fouts has demonstrated success not only as an Executive Business Coach, but in every role she has held. Prior to executive coaching and leadership development, Melinda has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for over 20 years. She leverages her strengths and insights from her psychology background to help leaders and managers in transition through increased self-awareness. Owner and founder of Success Starts with You, is based upon the premise that you are already successful. Increasing self-awareness to increase emotional intelligence and unlocking blind spots are paramount to continued success. Dr. Fouts leverages her strengths and insights from her psychology background to help leaders and managers in transition through increased self-awareness and discovering their blind spots. It can be lonely at the top and as a thought partner, she makes sure you are not alone. Dr. Fouts’ unique approach from other business coaches is that she helps get rid of thinking and behavioral patterns that tend to keep executives stuck. Her key areas of expertise include but are not limited to: small business consulting, enhancing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, unlocking fullest potential, brainstorming, identifying limitations, challenges, obstacles and optimizing performance. In addition, her successful career as a Psychotherapist and International Executive Business Coach, Dr. Fouts is a sought-after speaker whose key-note address to Women’s Leadership Conferences is Channeling Feminine Power in the Face of Adversity. Her newly released book, Cognitive Enlightenment, was to be presented at the London Book Fair, March 2020, the NY Book Fair, May 2020, and the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2020 until COVID hit. Melinda received her Ph.D. in Jungian Psychology from Saybrook University and her Masters in Psychology from Pacifica University. Melinda has worked as a consultant with executives and businesses for over 20 years. As a result of her experience and studies, she has developed a unique craft to fine-tune leadership development for peak performance. She lives in Colorado with her big, beautiful dog, Stryder. For more information on Dr. Fouts please visit: www.successstartswithyou.net

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3 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Melinda, I m greatly saddened at this news… I just saw this and just hours ago was speaking about grief and loss. Dr. Jeffrey Stewart Allen was a great soul and gentleman. I truly admired and respected him. There was dignity in all he did. With that, I am grieving now too. And that is allowed.
    Thank you for this eloquent announcement that must have been so hard for you to deal with he remains in our hearts. He has made a permanent impression that will never be forgotten RIP Dr. J 🙏

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