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,
When Carol* came to see me, she took her seat and placed it so she was facing away from me. She crossed her arms on her chest and put one knee up with her right foot resting on the edge of her seat. These simple gestures told me a lot about Carol, how she was finding it difficult to embrace communication without feeling like a victim. Through my talking with her, I found out she was part of what I call a ‘reconstituted’ family. What this means is, she was now married to someone who had been married before and had had children with their former wife. As a result, Carol was now the parent Not only to her biological children (who were living with her and her husband), but also to her step-children (who were primarily living with their biological mother). Have you ever been in a
Like a lawyer trying to settle once and for all an argument between two opponents, Joyle*, sighing, slid across the table a piece of paper on which she had written in colourful letters, ‘Perfection vs Creativity’. This gesture alone told me how frustrated she was with her untapped creativity. Can you relate? Through my talking with her, I found out she had been taught from am early age how to specifically draw a certain way, trees, houses, people’s faces, … For example, no matter who I asked her to draw (herself, friend, mother, father...), the shape of their face was similar, round, their eyes, like circumflex accents, their mouth, a small horizontal line. Have you ever been in a situation where you were stuck in your head? Joyle shared with me how she had felt her creativity coming to her at some point, like an unopened
It was our last coaching session in our eight sessions contract and I asked Carmen* if she wanted to renew. Carmen, who had been a client of mine on and off for a while, smiled and said, “No, I’m good now! As long as I keep doing what I’m doing … I mean… I do have a lifetime to work on myself… I’m fine.” Carmen is a professional in her early thirties. To perhaps convince herself of her words, she made a ‘mmm’ sound with tight lips while nodding her head furiously up and down. I wished her well and let her go. About three weeks later, I received a frantic message from her. She was requesting a coaching session as soon as possible. The day we met, I asked Carmen, “How are you?”, and with a ‘brave’ smile, she answered, “I’m fine!” My face must
RETROREFLECTOR PIECE … reflecting light back to its source… How important it it to you to have someone believing in you? I can remember sitting at my desk on a Thursday morning and opening an email I had just received from someone who deeply believes in me and the work that I do as an Emotional Intelligence Coach & Authentic Speaker. About to take a sip from my warm cup of coffee, I stop mid-air, forgetting the coffee, getting excited as I read the following words: “Hi Anne, press release came out, was published in about 300 places. Here is the Miami herald.” What is it worth to you to be professionally recognized by your peers? “Emotional Intelligence Coach Anne Beaulieu Speaks at CASW Social Work Conference” is the title I read from the Miami Herald’s financial section. As for the conference I was attending as a
Once upon a time, when asked “What makes someone attractive?” 10/10 my answer was, “They’re beautiful!” I answered vaguely because I did not know how to emotionally go deeper into what beauty might truly be. It has taken me years of digging inside myself (ongoing process) to get a feel for what makes someone attractive, aka beautiful. In the past, pretty much 9/10, my knee-jerk reflex was to equate attractiveness with physical beauty. The more my eyes kept going back to a person, checking the shape of their face, physical height, body shape, …, the more I deemed them attractive. Back then, my idea of finding someone attractive was mainly equated to finding them appealing to look at. Is someone attractive only a person who is physically appealing to our eyes? I guess I was an extremely shallow person back then because my answer to this question
I remember as a child reading a story about a nightingale. It is said the nightingale was the most beautiful and sought-after bird in the kingdom. Its voice was so melodious that fishermen and maids stopped whatever they were doing and listened intently to the nightingale’s song. The Emperor heard about the bird in his kingdom and became incensed at knowing a simple bird might usurp him in splendour and beauty. Stung in his pride, he asked his First Lord to go and fetch the bird so he could see for himself what was it about it that was so special. The First Lord, a said vain fellow, scourged the land wide to find the nightingale himself, for the Emperor had threatened to have him trampled if he failed. His fate turned when he met a simple chambermaid who told him exactly where to find the bird with
I am out of breath, I find myself gasping for air. Each stroke is becoming more difficult. I tell myself, ‘…just to the end of the pool…just to the end of the pool…’ As I touch the wall, I am feeling so grateful to have finished this lap. Standing in the water, I grab my bottle of water and start drinking from it, hoping I can somehow catch my breath at the same time. I can sense a man is watching me. He is standing in the water in the middle speed lane, next to me. For a second, I wonder what he might think of me being so out of breath and drinking from my water bottle like a hungry baby to a milky breast. But then I choose to focus on my water bottle. I am here to swim for me. “Hi,” he says.