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
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
Have you ever experienced a gushing water leak in your home? Where was it? Was it underneath the kitchen sink? Was it in the basement where water pipes tend to run hidden in the dark? What did it cost you to repair this leak? In 2001, I bought a showroom townhouse. It had many upgrades like granite countertops, wooden kitchen cabinets, and so on. I loved this house house very much, it looked great on the surface… until the day I had my first water leak. The day it happened, I did not know where the water valve was, so I ran panicking to my next door neighbour. He calmly came over, turned the water valve off, and told me to call a plumber. I had never had to call a plumber before and it made me feel deeply anxious and stressed out. Ever been in that situation?
Have you ever received a message from one of your LinkedIn contacts? In that moment, where were you physically? Were you at the office sitting at your desk? Were you standing at home with your toddler in your arms? Perhaps your spouse or teenager walked into the room as you were checking your messages? Keep these scenarios in mind as you read on… One of my LinkedIn contacts, S. D., sent me a message in which he shared how his mother had recently died. He said he was ‘feeling lost’ and needed ‘empathy’. Since we all go through turbulent moments sometimes, I messaged him with words I trust are compassionate. I received the following response from him, “this is what I meant by empathy in message. sorry im not happy doing this or when I'm not doing this. please have empathy. thanks”. To assist you in getting what
My tummy was full and I was feeling content. I had my sixteen year old daughter with me and we were sitting in a restaurant decorated like an old fifties’ diner. The food was great, the service impeccable, and I gladly asked for the bill. As I take my wallet out to pay, an elderly couple walks in. He is walking ahead of her, a spring in his step, a bright smile on his face. He points to the table next to me. It was a round table and he said to me, "I want this one! I love round tables, do you know why?" As I said no smiling, I saw his eyes twinkle in anticipation of a good joke. He answered, “Because I don’t like being cornered!” Looking at him being happy, obviously loving his joke, I burst out laughing with him. To me, he was like a
ROUND AND ROUND Round and round We go again On the merry-go-round of life. Ups and downs, We think that’s life Until we get off our mount. Round and round We go again On the merry-go-round of life. Laughter and tears We think we’re here Until we go deep within. In and in We go again On the merry-go-round of life, Darkness and light Fuse into one Until we go round and round. With love & compassion, Anne What makes any of us go round and round in circles? www.walkinginside.com www.fullmontyleadership.com
“It wasn’t my intention!” he said, both hands up in the air as if to show me his intentions had been non-sexual all the way and I apparently was the one misunderstanding. Does this scenario look familiar to you? Let me share with you this story… About ten years ago, I met a beautiful woman called Amanda*. Both our young daughters were taking swimming lessons together. As is often the case in these situations, our girls developed a friendship and started having sleep-overs at each other’s place. My daughter loved going over at their house. They had a big swimming pool surrounded by sofas, parasols, and two gigantic BBQ that seem to 'constantly' be cooking something, maybe because Amanda kept throwing popular pool parties with food and booze galore. Amanda’s husband was a savvy businessman. She often said she felt blessed being married to him. Looking
Are you like me? When you sit at the dinner table, do you ever wonder how your food will taste like? And if you fear it might taste blah for some reason, what do you do? If you are like me, then you most likely grab the condiments in front of you and shake them copiously onto your food, right? Growing up, I was the one responsible for setting the table at dinner. I went into the kitchen cupboard and retrieved eight plates, eight forks and knifes, and eight empty glasses. At the centre of the table, without fail, I placed butter, salt, pepper, sugar, and ketchup. Sitting down for the meal, one of the first things I did almost mechanically was to smash my hot potato with a fork, then added a ton of butter on it, followed by copious shakes of salt and pepper. I did
Have you ever wondered what makes us human? Me too... especially in light of what happened on Sunday morning… Last Sunday morning, I decided to stop by my favourite coffee shop before going on my walk. Looking at the burgeoning trees and blooming flowers around me, it is easy to imagine spring is here. As I enter the shop, I sense something amiss. Maybe because the first pair of eyes who greet me, those of the barista, they look distressed? She is squinting badly and a frown line is crossing her forehead horizontally. Perhaps the object of her concern is what is going on at a specific table? There, sobbing massively, with big heaving hiccups coming out of her, is one of the homeless women I often encounter on my daily walks. I have known her for about three years now. Though she always seems to remember
Aplomb is not a word we perhaps encounter every day, yet we all seem to want it in our life, because of what it might mostly represent: self-confidence, self-assurance, and self-composure. Since aplomb seems to be so sought after for one’s well-being, Where does aplomb come from? Centuries ago, masons and carpenters used a string to which was attached a piece of lead to erect structures that were perpendicularly straight. They used lead (which is termed ‘plomb’ in French) because lead is considered a metal that carries a lot of weight. Therefore, isn’t it what aplomb implies? To be able to carry one’s self with a lot of weight? Is this is so… What kind of weight does aplomb require? The easiest way for me to answer this question is to use Chinese Mandarin as vertical leverage.