Taking the Time to Write

by Fern on February 17, 2012

When I got out of the hospital, I wanted to write a memoir -not based on my life so much but based on my medical journey. I figured it could help out a lot of people. It’s not one of those brave medical survivor type bull shit writings that I see so much – but deep dark gory pain and suffering that is held in a container of grace, beauty and dignity- something that we all have inside of us and can tap into when these occasions strike- and they do strike fairly frequently.

So be prepared.

I took a wild detour into the internet marketing world- learning SEO, social media, and all. At one time I had 7 blogs. But now I am pared down and ready to write.

I have aligned with the famous local writer- Ellen Sussman  and am taking a class, Novel in a Year. It is more like a journey than a novel and I am on the path.


The Growing Conscious of a Business

by Fern on May 17, 2011

When I started my career in financial planning, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had a little money saved and I had done well investing. I had a wild idea that I could help others do the same. In the back of my head though, I knew it was dumb luck.  But I set out to learn how to invest properly and that started with a job at a brokerage firm. The culture was very much about sales and little on education. I remember my first business conference in Los Angeles and how excited I  was to learn more and make friends in the industry. When I was given a necktie as a departing gift, my bubble burst and I knew I was in a deeply entrenched male network that was going to be a struggle to fit in. And struggle I did. I began to believe that I had to be the best and the brightest to get ahead and I got all the credentials I could.

I was better, but business wasn’t better. I looked around and saw that many of my colleagues were successful not because they were good at what they did, but they could “close”. They hammered, shamed, boasted, and cajoled their way into the client’s psyche to build relationships and gain their trust. Not knowing any better, I tried to do the same. But it just wasn’t natural to me to be that way and so my business grew very slowly. I was fine with that. I slept well at night. My client’s appreciated the value that I brought to them and their families.

As my business grew, my spiritual practice grew and I realized the power of connecting with the basic goodness in everything.  I use to approach my client relationships in the mindset  of I am the financial professional and you aren’t.  Let me help you. Suddenly, I got the insight that maybe all people are basically good and knowledgeable and can do the right thing for themselves. What if all they needed were some tools and resources and mentoring to empower themselves to make the right financial decisions over their lifetime?

I changed course. I took classes on Coaching and started to ask my clients more questions and deeper questions. I wanted to know how they could align their money with their family, life and values. I wanted to know what they could bring to the table to help themselves on this journey. I didn’t just do things for them but I showed them how they could do it for themselves. I gave of my self and my resources without any additional  increase in my fees.

The response was overwhelming. It slowly snowballed into a much larger business for me and a much more enjoyable business. I also felt connected to my clients on a much deeper level. We were all family and we both understood that in this groundless path of investing, we could do this together. We could rise to the occasion to save and invest for the future and keep our fears in check and be flexible when the economy changed. We respected and honored the basic goodness in each other.

That heartfelt connection between business and consumer seems lost in today’s conglomerates. To create a culture of empathy, we have to believe that each person has the ability to do good and to do what’s right. Within the context of business relationships, that means respecting where each person is and honoring what and what they are not willing to do (no matter whether that enhances the business relationship or not.)

By learning more about each other and increasing our compassion for each other, we can relieve much suffering that exists today.  We all are working with the groundlessness of our world and from that common thread there is no limit to the support and success we can bring to each other.


Sonoma Mountain Zen Center Talk 102100

January 7, 2011

Please click on the link below to hear the talk: Sonoma Mountain Zen Center Fern Gekko LaRocca Talk 102100

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Sonoma Mountain Zen Center Talk 072603

January 7, 2011

Please click on the link below to access the talk: Sonoma Mountain Zen Center Fern Gekko LaRocca 072603

Read the full article →

A Jewel Worthy of Reflection

October 1, 2010

A jewel worthy of reflection… “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see [...]

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Mrs. Emma Belle Grass Sr.

August 19, 2010

That’s how she writes her name on the envelope after her husband of 53 years passed away. Before that she was Mrs. Edward Grass Sr. That is how proper southern women like to be addressed in their day. I just know her as Aunt Belle. She really wasn’t my Aunt though. She was a good [...]

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Growing Personal Financial Wealth- Mindfully

April 21, 2010

Thanks to Elephant Journal for publishing my piece on Money and Mindfulness: Growing Personal Financial Wealth-Mindfully

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Healthy and Strong does not always mean “look good”

April 9, 2010

Look at me. I am 5’4’’ and weigh 120 pounds. I can do 9 pull ups and 90 lbs. bench press. I feel strong, healthy and more energetic than I have in a long time. Not bad for a woman of 57 years, if I say so myself. What you don’t notice from the photo [...]

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You think you know- but you don’t know

March 19, 2010

I have been cursed at, yelled at, stared at, hollered at, threatened, and almost assaulted. What did I do? I drive. I drive a car with a handicap placard. But that doesn’t stop people from assuming that I am not handicapped. It is a bit ironic since for the last thirty years I have practiced [...]

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Not too tight and not too loose

February 15, 2010

I have been busy writing my ebook- the 401K First Aid Kit:Stop Your Portfolio Bleeding and Get Back to Financial Health. I know- goofy name, but apparently when you are building a business online you need catchy titles. What started out as a “I want to help people understand their 401K” mission turned into a [...]

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