From Politics and Film and Other Compelling Stories

Listen Now!

This Is What Happens on Clubhouse…

So what happens when you listen to someone share their story on clubhouse and it’s so powerful and real you can’t wait to hear more? You invite them to do an episode on your podcast and hope they say yes. In this episode I was able to interview Sola Adenakan, co-founder of St8cked media and BrazenTv, which focuses on social issues and putting women and POC behind the lens. Along with her newest project Transmit Media Podcast Network, the first Afro Latina owned social impact podcast network.

It’s a lot going on but she was gracious enough to speak with me and I’m so thankful for it, because her story is also just as compelling as the stories she films.

My name is Jessy Santana and I’m an organizational culture strategist, entrepreneur, mother. This is The Way We Work podcast, where we discuss all things at the intersection of knowledge-seeking curiosity, entrepreneurship and social impact.

Take a listen to the full Interview Here

This is what happens when you let go of fear or the narrative you can’t and just do. Clarity through action and we’ll all be manifesting powerful stories too.

I can’t wait to keep learning about Sola’s work and you should definitely check her out too. At her new project Transmit Media Podcast Network and all of her other incredible work.

This Week’s Rose Bud and Thorn

I am so excited that The Culture-Driven Leader academy is now live! And the first cohort will begin on Feb 15! If you’re interested make sure to check out the site here or on my IG @theway_wework you’ll find more information there.


All of this creating content, entrepreneurship takes a toll on your family and sometimes you don’t even realize how much. Maybe that’s why so many entrepreneurs are divorced. Someone once told me, there is no work life balance as an entrepreneur, you have to choose between work, family, friends, health or sleep. What’s your choice?


After that conversation with Sola, I’m just really looking forward to the rest of 2021, it won’t come easy and it won’t come fast but change inevitable and I just want to work with those that are ready. So if you’re with me, you know what to do.

If you liked the show make sure to like and subscribe and leave a review and don’t forget tell your friends to listen.

Follow us on Instagram @theway_wework or check out the website at

If you have any questions on culture, identity, the spectrum of where we fit in send an email to

Are We Ready for Change?

crop woman with heart on palms
Photo by Puwadon Sang-ngern on

Podcast Episode

Today we’re talking healing from trauma, we’re talking affirmations and prayer and manifestation for a better 2021 going forward.

If you’re interested in listening to the podcast version, click below!

Episode 2.2 

Are we ready for change? 

Today we’re talking healing from trauma, were talking affirmations and prayer and manifestation for a better 2021 going forward.

My name is Jessy Santana and I’m an organizational culture strategist, entrepreneur, mother. This is The Way We Work podcast, where we discuss all things at the intersection of knowledge-seeking curiosity, entrepreneurship and social impact. 

After what happened last week at the Capitol Hill, if you call it insurrection, domestic terrorism, lunacy, misguided patriotism or outright xenophibic racism- it was a lot. 

For me, watching it was so triggering. Literally, watching an open attack on what would normally have been a very boring process. Watching it and staying glued to the screen brought me back to high school, where we spent the entire day watching the Twin Towers fall and the devastation  that followed. The visceral imagery of that mob full of anger and hate just broke my heart in a way I wasn’t ready for. Obviously not on the same scale but the trauma felt the same. 

It also didn’t help that I had to also explain what has happening to my Chinese husband and Mother in law. And of course, the constitutional reasons as to why they were allowed to be there in the first place and the institutional racism and mismanagement that could have prevented it from happening. It was the most exhaustive American Government class I didn’t know I was going to give. 

Fast forward and we’ve got impeachment again, as a form of accountability but does it really matter to someone that doesn’t seem to care or feel remorse for the situation. And without someone wanting to change can they really do so? 

So a wonderful way to start the new year and I had such high hopes for the peaceful transition as its been called. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll be written in the history books and hope that they were on the right side. Moving on because I don’t have the energy to peel away the layers and layers of bullshit. 

If we have never met before you may not know this about me but I am insatiably curious which has its benefits but also it’s faults. I am amazing at trivia- full of knowledge that doesn’t do much for the average person. But I am driven to learn for learning sake and the problem is that I can pour so much of myself into my learning that is sometimes doesn’t have a purpose it doesn’t Benefit me in whatever in someway I just learned this new random knowledge or skills. But this year I’ve decided to be intentional because I am more conscious of my time and my energy and I cannot give it away.

Transitions of Healing

To hear the full version check out this blog post here-Transitions of healing 

I came across a beautiful NYT article on “How to Rewire Your Traumatized Brain”,  that spoke about a book entitled The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma,” by Bessel van der Kolk, as a way for the author to understand her visceral reactions, her words, to the process of remembering her trauma. 

“Dr. van der Kolk wrote on the three avenues for recovery: “top down, by talking, (re-) connecting with others, and allowing ourselves to know and understand what is going on with us”; “taking medicines that shut down inappropriate alarm reactions”; and “bottom up, by allowing the body to have experiences that deeply and viscerally contradict the helplessness, rage, or collapse that result from trauma.” Survivors usually need some combination of the three methods, writes Dr. van der Kolk, but the latter — the mind-body connection — is most neglected. His work is predicated on integrating body-focused treatments into trauma recovery work, like yoga, role-play, dance and meditation. Another method he suggests is writing and keeping a journal.”

This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 2020 and into 2021. 

Especially as we start another round of lockdowns and curfews here in Montreal, I have noticed my greater level of resistance and anxiety. 

These Are Things I’m Doing to Heal from Trauma

  1. I meditate and pray. It sounds simple but it’s harder than it sounds. Sitting in silence is harder than it seems. Letting your mind wander and come back to your breath or using guided meditation. One of my new favorite apps is insight timer and there’s thousands of teachers and free courses or short audios that can help with anything from anxiety to sleep. It’s really amazing. 
  2. I also am a big believer in writing. Getting the thoughts out of your brain as if you were emptying a jar to be reused again but at least the thoughts got out. My favorite time to journal is in the quiet of the morning. If I can get some writing done before the rest of the house is awake- it makes me so much productive and at ease. 
  3. Movement- like Dr. Van der Kolk describes you just need something physical to get you out of your mind. Don’t sit in it. Or if you have find a way to get out. This one is harder because hibernation has set in but just find 30 minutes somewhere. They don’t have to be consecutive. Just 10 minutes here and there and you’ll be gold. For me, blasting some good dance music and doing some Zumba moves or dancing with my husband and daughter definitely clear the cobwebs. How could it not? 


Some other things I do are affirmations. These are sayings or phrases you repeat in order to restructure your thinking. That’s how I see it anyway. It’s powerful once you start allowing yourself to begin the journey of healing. It sounds ridiculous but sometimes the affirmations we have already said to ourselves so many times before- this is just how I am, if you’re not for me then you’re against, I’m not good enough.

Those are all harmful affirmations that we tell ourselves over and over until they become truth. And once you allow yourself to begin believing even before you believe, to start working towards this mindset things are just going to start happening.

So if you head over to my IG @theway_wework you’ll see some of the healing affirmations I have been using and I’ll also post it on the website, here!


What are manifestations? Manifestations are the action that we take upon the positive affirmations that we tell her selves. Again Affirmations are sometimes called mantras sometimes or called prayers sometimes they’re the negative misnomers or stereotypes that we start to believe about ourselves. We say things like this is how I am or I can never change or one of the worst ones there’s something wrong with me.

We can all acknowledge that nobody’s perfect but for some reason there has been an a simulated idea of perfection that has caused us to believe in an ideal an ideal of relationship, and ideal of what we should look like, and ideal of who we are meant to be. And the problem with ideals is it they are unachievable by nature that’s what makes them ideal. Nobody sees the blood sweat and tears that happens before they walk on stage.

Nobody sees the depression or the days of not getting out of bed because it’s just too hard. Nobody seems to want to talk about the times where we over consumedOn things that we know are bad for us but we chose them anyway.

Once you start positive affirmations and you start telling yourself good will happen, I am enough, I can heal again and again until you believe it. You will start doing things in your best interest by default because that default will be reprogrammed. 

You are rewriting the foundational work on which to build a more resilient and powerful you. I believe it because it’s working for me. 

We are all works in progress but if we work on ourselves to heal in our own bodies. The outside world can bring about its worst but human potential will be limitless. We just have to understand it won’t be easy, it will hurt and it may seem easier to give up but the transformation on the other side is where the real magic begins. 

Join us for our 5 day email course #empathychallenge2021 now!

Yours in kind,

Jessy Santana

From Politics and Film and Other Compelling Stories
Listen Now! This Is What Happens on Clubhouse… So what happens when …
Is today a better day than yesterday?
Is This The Possibility for Change… January 20th was Inauguration Day 2021, …

New Year, New You- What Happened to the Old You?

books on the table
Everything we need for a break well deserved…books, cookies and relaxation

After some much needed emotional and mental healing I’m back and rejuvenated for this new year of the culture-driven leader!

If you’d rather listen to the podcast- click on the link below!



This time of year is always filled with new plans, new goals and passions we want to make happen this year because this will be the year different from all years before it right? 

I’m a big fan of shaking the cobwebs and learning from what didn’t work before and how we might improve? So what’s the obsession with resolutions? Is it appropriate when we may not know what the year may hold? This year or any year? How different are we on January 1st from December 31st? 

 That amount of pressure to put on ourselves and those around us never sat well with me but what we can do is understand where we are and where we want to be and how to get there. 

In this week’s episode we’re doing a deep dive into behavior change. What does it look like and if we can achieve it? 

My Plans…are you in?

Things I’m working on and how you can be a part of the process but first, some strategies for intention setting instead of resolutions we’ll never hear from again. 

Making decisions can be difficult for many when we have so many options in front of us. The dental care aisle is my worst nightmare with it’s myriad of choices that differ very little from each other. Mint or spearmint? Green or blue? Does it really matter? 

grocery cart with item
Tubes, gels, packaging- does it really matter? Just choose!

But when it comes to hard decisions actual decisions that impact your life from what to study, what industry to go for work, if the job is worth the micro aggressions or the slow mediocre promotional track? 

According to Ruth Chang, a philosopher and a professor of jurisprudence at Oxford University, she has this theory on decision making that I love. 

First, what’s the difference between a big choice and a hard choice?

Big Choice: Life-saving surgery is big but not usually hard if you want to continue living. Right?

Hard Choice: Two decisions that are very similar- two jobs, living in two different cities, etc. Both have pros and cons but neither is definitively better than the other, but choosing one and committing to it is the part that makes it hard.

While choosing one and wistfully regretting not taking the road less traveled makes the decision process unbearable.and for many it makes us live life with a feeling of regret or contemplating if we’ve made the right choice for ourselves. 

This insecurity in decisionmaking is a long believed stereotype of millennials among others but can often derail us completely if not riddle us with anxiety over our big life decisions. 

 Chang’s advice?

Be the Author of your life. Author being an acronym for

A is ascertain what’s important. Who’s opinion matters such as your parents or if there’s a certain goal or career type you’re looking to achieve. Totally get both of those angles. 

U is for understand the pros and cons with respect to what matters. But remember these are options that may be similar in standing so finding those deep pros and cons may be more difficult than we realize.

T is for tally up the pros and cons, another not small feat depending on the hard decision. 

H is for hone in on the fact that it’s a hard choice- the options are on par with each other no option is definitively better than another. Choosing a promotion in Germany vs taking the same position at another company for some may be relatively similar depending on career plans but they are both relatively great options as long as you keep A in mind. 

O is for open yourself up to the possibility of making a commitment, this is where Chang lays it down. Commitment in making a choice makes all the difference. 

R is for remake yourself as someone who or realize yourself as someone who has committed to a choice. If you choose the Germany position, you would have to be a person that has committed to agreeing to a promotion in Germany versus being a person that takes the same job at another organization. Neither is bad but they both have very different potential realities. 

As a person that spent 6 years in a foreign country I know this very near and dear to my heart. Had I stayed, I might be in the same circles that I was in before I left like most people I found from back home. But the alternative? Let me to meet my husband, now have a daughter and be with you now living in my 4 country.  

Check out her TED Talk!


What I love about this strategy for decisionmaking is that she’s not telling you what to do- that’s up to you. But what she is saying is that commitment is key. Realize yourself as a person that is this person. 

How does this relate to new year plans and behaviour? 

We all know that intention is only a piece of the puzzle. You hope to make a change this year? Great but how can you actually do so? You have to commit to that change. 

Easier said than done right? 

Of course, everything that requires introspection and commitment always is.

So what if we took that same level of commitment for something we wanted to achieve this year? It can be anything but it should be something you actually want and are willing to commit to.

It doesn’t have to be big. Start small. Use those smart goals we all know about. 

Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound.  

I was able to achieve so much of what I planned on in 2020 because I started prioritizing and learning strategic methods of working on the one thing. 

If you’ve never read The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan it’s great!

Highly suggest it because the truth is not all lists are created equal, learning to prioritize and figuring out what works best for you is the number one way to learn how to change behavior. It doesn’t happen all at once, it may not happen as quickly as you hoped but if you commit and allow yourself to learn from the process, it’ll make all the difference. 

For Organizations and Employees

Another note as employees return from holidays and staycations because let’s face it where did we go? But anyway, remember all those commitments and intentions that companies set out for themselves last year? Increasing and retaining more diverse talent, working to close the gender equity gap, equal pay for equal work, promoting more people of color to c-suite, etc. At the bare minimum releasing their diversity numbers so you know who you’re getting into bed with. 

Now that the new year has started remind them that those intentions still need to be held accountable. DEI is not new but its priority has slipped from many organizations’ front page.

It happens to the best of us, we move on- especially when we are not directly impacted by it. We need to make sure to remind our employers and the organizations we work in that it matters to all of us because inclusion is not only the burden of people of color or marginalized peoples. It really is the responsibility of everyone. 

We all know innovation happens when we bring in new ideas our products speak to our customers in better ways, our bottom line increases because at the end of the day inclusion means being intentional and choosing to remake yourself as the person or your organization as that which has made the commitment to inclusion and not regretting that choice. Because the alternative no longer exists. 

So what will 2021 hold for you?

Be sure to check out our upcoming events:

Envision and Planning Workshop 2021

If you’re interested in joining the waitlist for the #empathychallenge2021 email course click here!

Yours in kind,

Jessy Santana, The Way We Work founder

The Podcast is Live!

Why is this good news?

There is something special that happens when you are having conversations of change, both in organizations and societally, with others besides yourself. Sometimes, you think that you are out here spinning your wheels, not being able to understand the great ‘Resistance to Change’, that is still happening in the world when it comes to building equitable organizational culture.

I know that organizational culture seems like an amorphous and complicated- and it is, but overcoming bad culture is not insurmountable. It’s about learning what makes sense, within your means and how you can create a strategy for change. It’s about moving the needle forward and having intentional conversations for change.

So if you’re interested in having more of these conversations, join me on my weekly The Way We Work podcast!

If you want to know when the next one comes out subscribe today!

Stay in touch by following us on IG or Twitter @theway_wework and if you have any questions on identity, culture and the intersection mail us your query at

Yours in kind,

Jessy Santana, Founder & Principal, The Way We Work