We had the good fortune of connecting with Eboni Adams Monk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eboni, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Life is always changing. In the way that the wind never blows quite the same, each day is unique. On the road to becoming a successful leader, author, and transformational teacher, I’ve learned the winds of change call for us to pay attention, adapt, and evolve. When these times call, I’ve leaned into the quote “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly”. This quote is my favorite. During challenging and great times, the quote reminds me that just as life is always evolving, so must I. When I married, gave birth to my sons, divorced, moved away from my extended family, got promotions at work, and wrote my book, the call to make a shift was clear. Some of the shifts were easier than others. All of them required work, a change in my mindset, and some faith for me to successfully move into each new phase of my life. The reality is that the caterpillar doesn’t just become a butterfly, however. It works hard to become a butterfly protected by its cocoon. It literally recreates all parts of itself and emerges as a butterfly. It is quite a fascinating process. The lesson for me is to create space for the new, surround myself with support, and keep working. After emerging from several challenging experiences, I realized that not only did I survive, but I also actually emerged transformed and renewed. That is the power of the quote and the symbology of the butterfly. I give thanks for it every time I see the butterfly playing in the wind.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am the author of the book, Leading Wise: Inspirational Reflections for Corporate Leaders. I didn’t set out to become an author. Over the years, I realized that I had meaningful insights to share with a busy, stressed, and burned-out professionals who were longing for something deeper in their work. The reflections are actually born out of my own experience as a corporate leader. I believe in the power of living a meaningful life. For me, it shows up in my affinity to indigenous cultures. I remember dancing to the drums in Bahia and communing with the land in the Georgia mountains. In each experience, I became more self-aware and more connected to the principles of the Earth, like love, community, and joy. They became such a part of me that I didn’t leave them at the door when I went to work. Instead, I lived those principles. I shared them in my countenance. I held space for them with my teams. When challenges arose, I had a holistic view. When work was frustrating, I acknowledged that it was part of my journey and asked for clarity. Soon, I realized that transformation wasn’t only happening during the dances to djembes or in the mountains. Transformation was also happening at work. I learned to bloom where I was planted. After some time, I realized that there were other leaders who were struggling to work a 9 to 5 and also honor their authentic selves. I wrote my book to offer a perspective that work can be an important path to our highest selves.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I lived in Atlanta 20 years ago and have visited frequently since I left. With visitors, I always take them to the historic civil rights sites like Ebenezer Baptist Church and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. My favorite place is Sweetwater Park, just outside of the city. I go there to walk or to sit. I always feel more connected, clear, and inspired when I’m there. My favorite breakfast spot is The Flying Biscuit cafe. And wherever DJ Kemit is spinning house music is my favorite place to end the night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out the powerful women in my life whose lives as teachers and leaders transform everyone they touched. There are four women in particular, two living and two in the ancestral realm who deserve credit for loving, challenging, and guiding me to be the best version of myself. They are my mother, Judy Adams, Audri Scott-Williams and still in my heart Iyalorisha Valdete Ferriera Brito and Kali Maie.