73: Using the Power of Words to Disrupt The Negative Stories in Our Head with Leesa Renee Hall

No one shares your unique history, lineage, and experience, so it makes sense that no one experiences intensity in quite the same way as you do! Nevertheless, we all have common ground on which we stand: we all hurt, we all experience prejudice, we all want to be known. Words have a powerful way of connecting us together while also celebrating what makes us unique. This is why I am so excited to share an interview with Leesa Renee Hall today. Her palpable energy and compassionate heart are two of the many gifts Leesa brings to the table. Most of all, Leesa celebrates the diverse ways we express and embrace our intensity.

Leesa Renee Hall is a writer, a storyteller, and an ancestry advocate. She is intensely passionate about curious inquiry, especially when we start to take some of societies biggest barriers and turn them into vehicles for self-exploration. Leesa is breaking down cultural and racial barriers by writing beautiful and provocative articles, many of which reflect her own raw thoughts and feelings as a black woman. By harnessing the power of her intensity into words, Leesa encourages us to disrupt the stories we have always told ourselves about diversity and identity. Instead, she wants us to be a little curious to discover our true identity and purpose.

Today, she is going to share some of the formative experiences that shaped Leesa into the writer and advocate she is today.  Along the way, Leesa will share incredible wisdom about breaking through our own inner oppression, and how we can find our unique voice. If you are interested in spiritual bypassing, diverse modes of activism, white fragility, and breaking through cultures of silence, Leesa has so much to offer you. Leesa is speaking up about some of the most difficult topics, but she does it in a way that invites discourse, rather than shutting down differing perspectives. We need more Leesas in the world, and that is why I feel lucky to have her on the show today!

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More in this episode:

  • Leesa shares all about her intense passion for curious inquiry, raw writing, and ancestry.
  • A story about being passionate about values.
  • Our needs have to be expressed! Sometimes, we over-give.
  • Leesa explains what it is like to be a 1st generation Canadian of Jamaican descent.
  • The Jamaican culture of silence has encouraged Leesa to use her voice to express darkness as well as light.
  • We are craving something real.
  • Breaking down white fragility and Leesa’s experiences of it.
  • Leesa gives her perspective on the “non-whiteness” of intensity.
  • What it means to be a woman of color in the technology industry.
  • Stories at funerals influenced Leesa to start sharing her own journey.
  • Leesa holds communion with herself and God by writing early in every morning.
  • We need to learn to see the humanity in others.
  • It is a privilege to be heard for what we are actually trying to say.
  • You have to find your own thing to help manage the intensity.

Visit my Embracing Intensity Patreon Page for weekly reflection questions and other self-exploration tools!

Leesa Recommends:


Dr. Robin DiAngelo teaching white fragility (a term she's coined)

The White Fragility Script (5 Part Act)

The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture by Kevin Quashie (he explores quiet as a form of intensity)

The Art of Gentle Protest by Sarah Corbett (TEDTalk)

The Power of a Positive No by William Ury

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

The Becky Code: How to Deal White Woman Violence While Amplifying Your Joy by Catrice M. Jackson

Antagonists, Advocates & Allies: The Wake Up Call Guide for White Women Who Want to Become Allies With Black Women by Catrice M. Jackson
White Spaces, Missing Faces: Why Women of Color Don't Trust White Women by Catrice M. Jackson

11 Lessons I Learned Writing Half a Million Words Over 365 Consecutive Days

Expressive Writing Prompts to Use to Overcome White Fragility, Spiritual Bypassing, or White Privilege

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Using the Power of Words to Disrupt The Negative Stories in Our Head with Leesa Renee Hall - Inspirational Quote
Using the Power of Words to Disrupt The Negative Stories in Our Head with Leesa Renee Hall - Podcast
Using the Power of Words to Disrupt The Negative Stories in Our Head with Leesa Renee Hall - Inspirational Quote