I thought I wasn't free. Until the day I decided I was.
I’m writing this article for all of you creative souls who believe you need to study or take courses (or maybe even get a degree!) before you can paint or draw, write a book or create a play. For all of you who were told you weren’t creative and stopped trying. For all of you who have kept quiet at work and held back ideas and insights you’d love to share but don’t because you’ve judged them outside the confines of the acceptable. What I’m going to tell you now might make some of you a bit defensive. Especially those of you on the other end of the scenarios I’m describing – the mentors, bosses and experts who believe firmly in certain ways of doing things, rules that need to be followed, the importance of being realistic, and the past as the best guide to the way forward. I’m totally fine if you disagree. I’m putting this out there anyway because I believe that the best way for me to serve the world [...]
Photo – close-up of It is Rain that Grows Flowers by Bonnie Gordon Although most people remember childhood as being carefree, I never found that to be true for me. My desire to perform, and my anxiety about not performing, began at a tender age. My Dad had been deeply affected by his experiences as a young child living in Western Canada’s prairie dustbowls during the Great Depression. He believed it was his job to school me – pretty much right out of the womb – about the importance of getting good grades and securing a good job. Financial stability was all important. I was born with both a natural tendency to worry and a desire to please, and I absorbed Dad’s lessons like a sponge. For several decades, I actually believed that worry was fueling my success. I was wrong, of course. One of my favourite sayings from my formal life coach training is, “Worry is an emotion only pretending to be useful.” When I really started to watch my own [...]
As I sat down to write this article, I looked up for a moment to appreciate the tranquil view of Lake Ontario that I can see from my favourite writing spot. I stopped typing for a moment to watch a huge flock of black Cormorants glide single file just below the line that marks the intersection of water and sky. I continued to watch as the birds flew by in the hundreds. The Cormorants’ parade continued for over half an hour. I’m guessing that my house must be between these birds’ favourite feeding grounds and their overnight nesting area. As I observed the birds, the coach in me pondered why it is that I love birds/water/sky so much. The first answer that came to mind – and I usually find that the best answers are the ones that come to me immediately, before the active part of my brain tries to “figure it out” and pull me away from a deeper truth - was how peaceful, present and calm I usually feel when [...]