Courage

/Courage

HOW TO DEAL WITH AN EMOTIONALLY SICK PARENT

I didn’t ask myself ‘Is she emotionally sick?’ I was eight years old and like many other kids, I just wanted to go play outside and make sure I had a clean pair of pants to wear to go to school the next day. Plus, what does ‘emotionally’ even mean to a kid?   I didn’t even ask if she was sick. I mean, she looked fine on the surface.  She could walk and talk, though she said and did things that even I found strange by moments. Like that time she put my hands on her tummy and told me she had a baby inside. She said she was the Virgin Mary and she was going to give birth to the child of Jesus Christ. As strange as she sounded and behaved at times, my mother was not running a fever or having a drippy nose.   When I

HOW TO FEEL YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

I couldn’t believe he had done it again. I was so angry that I didn’t even take the time to ask myself what could be wrong with him. Instead, I marched right over where he was, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and threw him unmercifully on the cold concrete of the back patio. This was the nth time that day that the kids’ puppy, Snowy, had pooped in the living room. I had enough!   I watched him as he pawed the glass door, crying to be let back in. I yelled at him to go pee and poop as if a four month old puppy could have complete control over its bodily functions. He looked at me with pleading eyes. I pretended not to care and told him in a stern voice to go do his business or stay outside, his choice.   Snowy was a

HOW TO DEVELOP A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEENAGER

“Do you wanna know why I am the way I am?” My fifteen year old daughter screamed at me one evening. Frozen on the spot, mouth open, I was unsure if I really wanted to hear her answer. Somewhere in my head, I believed she was ‘just’ another angry teenager who was about to unleash her wrath one more time.   Tears rolling down her face, she wiped them swiftly with the back of her hand. “I’m the way I am because of you! You’re such a hypocrite! You pretend you care, but you don’t! Want me to prove it to you again? What did I just say before what I just said?”   She had me again and she knew it. I went deeper inside my head to remember what she had just said prior to her rant, and my mind drew a blank. I looked at her, moving

THE FIVE KEYS TO IGNITING YOUR PASSION AND CLOSE MORE SALES

Passion is infectious across sales teams and to customers.  Result: more sales closed.   When Claude* came to see me, she believed that if she tried ‘hard’ enough and kept working till she dropped exhausted every night, then she ‘knew’ what passion was and was therefore ‘living’ it.   But when I asked her how this ‘passion’ of hers was showing up in her business results, she shyly confessed she was struggling at bringing new customers in. She even said she had been living from pay cheque to pay cheque lately. This told me how Claude had done what so many of us do, falsely equate passion with sheer will.   Through my talking with her, I found out Claude was considering skipping ship; she was considering moving to a competitor of her current employer. When asked why, she said she felt like she wasn’t growing as a person and

HOW TO TELL BETWEEN SADNESS AND DEPRESSION

  I was sitting under a tree. It was early morning and the area was deserted at this time of day. It suited me just fine, this isolation, because I now felt safe enough to let tears run down my cheeks. I was feeling sad inside and this so-called sadness seemed to have swallowed my entire life. Touching a tree root with my left hand, I begged it to help me move forward, to give me energy, for I felt tired, wary, drained.   This tree where I hid from the world was located in a kids’ park of all places. To my left were swings with sky blue seats. In front of me were earth brown curvy slides. To my right was this kind of roped knitted dome where little ones exercised their climbing skills.   A little boy accompanied by an adult comes running into the park. He

THREE WAYS IGNORING YOUR CREATIVITY IS BLOCKING YOUR DREAM JOB

When Joy* came to see me, she was dressed in black from head to toe, not because she found that colour trendy, but because, as she said, she thought it camouflaged her body fat. Looking at the ground as she said these words, she retreated deeply into her seat. This behaviour of hers told me a lot about Joy, how her life seemed to lack the vibrant colours of creativity.    Through my talking with her, I found out she did not like her job and wanted a new position because she felt unseen and unheard by upper management. When she wrote her boss yet another memo about an ongoing problem in her division, she claimed her words landed on deaf ears. Ever been in that situation?   When I asked her if she had provided her boss with a viable solution to this ongoing problem, she quietly said no,

HOW TO STRAY FROM ANXIETY TO LIVE FROM A PLACE OF WELL-BEING

  When Dixie* came to see me, her hands trembled a little as she talked about her husband’s anxiety. She shared how he apparently often sat in their apartment’s living room feeling overwhelmed, his eyes sort of absent, all because he seemed not to know what to do next. Dixie continued by saying she was getting fed up with her husband’s perceived inability to ‘get a grip’ over his life and she was now coming to see me to find ways for him to deal with his anxiety. What I asked her next became a game changer for her. I asked,   What about your anxiety?   Dixie’s mouth opened in a big O. I could tell she was trying to grasp what I was asking her because she said, shaking her head, “No, it’s not about me, it’s about him!”   Once again, I turned her attention back to

HOW TO ELIMINATE A OO7 DOUBLE LIFE

When James* called upon me, he asked that we meet in an open restaurant downtown Vancouver. Asking him why there instead of my office, he laughed and said, ‘Because I need it this way.’    On the agreed upon date and time of rendez-vous, James sat down in front of me and immediately placed his hands under the table where I could Not see them. This gesture alone told me a lot about James, how easily he pretended to be emotionally open yet felt the want to hide once in front of me.   Through my talking with him, I found out James was one of nine children from a very large Catholic South American family. He grew up being an altar boy, going to Sunday school, and saying prayers. But something was Not working for him… In his teenage years, he realized he was gay and being gay is

HOW TO OVERCOME SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME

When Janie came to see me, she smiled an easy smile and quickly answered “I’m fine!” to the question ‘How are you?’ I watched her as she fidgeted onto her seat, obviously trying to find a comfortable position. She finally sat down after putting a nearby colourful cushion in front of her tummy. This gesture alone told me a lot about Janie, how she most likely was living her life hiding in the background while hanging on to shiny objects for dear life.   Through my talking with her, I found out she has spent years studying for a profession she says she is now hating. She said she felt tired and drained, her bosses apparently not caring about what happened to her or how she felt.     Have you ever been in a situation where you felt unseen and unheard?   After her work shift, Janie confessed she

HOW DO WE KNOW WE ARE TRULY SEEKING WHAT WE DESERVE

Have you ever walked by a supermarket check-out and seen packets of gardening flower seeds for sale? When I was a small child, I did, quite often, and I found the flower pictures on flower seeds packets wonderful to look at. I did not know the flowers’ names, the kind of soil they needed, or the kind of care they required. What fascinated me most was the sheer amount of flower varieties, all of them within the grasp of the gardener enthusiast!   My mother often found me contemplating these packets of flower seeds, standing in front of them with my mouth open and my eyes big. Gently touching the pictures on the packets with the tip of my small fingers, I wanted to know if their petals were velvet soft and their fragrance sweet. I even thought of taking a bite from the grown flowers to see if they tasted