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?


“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


‘Out of the blue’ I get a text from a past client. I have not heard from her in a long, long time, so am quite surprised when I see her name pop up on my phone. The smile on my face, however, quickly fades as I get into what she is saying…   “I do not have the money to see you, but I will find it.”   “I can’t go on like this anymore! I am so unhappy!”   “Can you imagine? I have pulled away from my partner and I love him!”   “I must tell you now I have put on a lot of weight.”   “I am sorry I did not contact you sooner, I was too ashamed.”   ….     Do you see now why I said ‘out of the blue’ in brackets? Because there was zero fluke or coincidence in her contacting me.   Like


As soon as I enter the room, I spot him right away. He is not hard to miss, really, for he looks like a beautiful social butterfly, passing a joke to a man with a hand on their shoulder, shaking another man’s hand on their way out. What I find deeply intriguing is how his behaviour seems to change when facing women…   I watch him approach a female full frontal. To me, she appears like a nice girl, you know, the type that rather turns beet red instead of speaking up? Smiling a smile I believe does not quite reach his eyes, without even asking her, he pulls her hard into his arms. She laughs nervously and says… nothing!   I ask my girlfriend, “Who is he?”   She laughs, “It’s….  He’s actually harmless, Anne, he does this to all women.”   I look at her, shocked. “You mean,


What if I were to tell you that taking responsibility has nothing to do with shaming or guilt tripping, what would you answer to that? If you are like the old me, you might answer something like: “That’s horse shit!” “Of course taking responsibility comes with shame and guilt! How else do you expect anyone to become responsible if they do not feel wrath?”   But is it true?      Just so we are on the same page here, I believe   TAKING RESPONSIBILITY means to ACKNOWLEDGE the CHOICES we have MADE and ACCEPTING THE RESULTS we currently have.     The CHOICES we have made, being: -> The words we spoke -> The actions we took -> The words we refused to speak -> The actions we refused to take     The RESULTS we currently have, being: -> what we currently perceive as good, bad, or ugly in


“I broke up with him, I moved out, I’m done!” says my new coaching client. Her voice sounds like a mixture of anger, hurt, and frustration.   “Are you sure you are done?”  She has been married for quite a few years now.   She avoids answering clearly. “I moved out, what else you want to hear?!”   “Moving out does not necessarily mean we are ‘done’ with a relationship. Do you still love him?”   Her tone rises. “No, I don’t! I stopped loving him long ago!”   I ask, “What made you stay then?”   “I did not have the money to leave and I thought.. perhaps… he would change.”   “What made you keep hoping for hope that he will change though you say you are done already?”   She stops for a moment, maybe realizing her anger might be blinding her?    The moment for possible


I used to think co-dependence was a good thing, that is fostered a sense of loyalty and belonging, as if co-dependence could fix all my insecurities, all my failed hopes, all my hopeless dreams. It has taken me decades to realize that,   Co-dependence is like an extension cord   controlling the lights on our Christmas tree.   How so, you may ask?    Every Christmas, I retrieve my Christmas tree along with a couple of boxes containing my favourite decorations. Do you do this too?   I take my tree and straighten it. I pin it in its stool, hoping it remains solid without wobbling.   I open up its branches one by one like a big fan. I want my tree to show a full rounded skirt without gapping holes. What can I say? I like my decorations to be balanced, just like in real life.   I


IMAGINE…You just got the key to a brand new home. No one has ever lived in it before! There does not seem to be any visible scratches on the soft painted walls or the darker hardwood floors. Smiling to yourself, you say, “I’m in!”   Five years go by. By now, you start noticing hard-to-pick-up spice crumbs in hard-to-reach cupboard corners, but you let it be. The high electric bill (lots of drafts it seems) is not what you had anticipated either. You start complaining about the cost of living there, but you keep staying. As you often say,‘This is what I know, this is my home.’   Ten more years go by. You are now sitting on the couch and take a quickly depressing look around. The grass outside needs to be mowed, but you cannot seem to be bothered, not yet. Why? Because you deeply believe it is


Just imagine… you’re sitting alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean… the sun is drawing freckles on your face. You’re in a small boat and everywhere you look, you tell yourself, “Good! Things are good!”    You ignore the wind that has been picking up for quite some time, and as you grip tighter the rocking edges of your boat, you keep telling yourself, “Good! Things are good!”    You are now feeling tremors coming from underneath you… high waves are angrily crashing one onto another….   Sitting in your rocking boat, what do you do?    Do you keep saying, “Good! Things are good!”    Or do you start screaming, “HELP! I need help! NOW!!!”   Like most people, I believe you, like me, would ask for help and stop pretending all is good.   Some might even argue,   ‘Who the hell pretends all is good when


The next thing I know, I hear Lucky’s barking and snapping snarls in the driveway. I hear with him the soft whimpering of the little black and white Shih Tzu I am babysitting. Shit!!! I run outside.  In the driveway is the next door neighbour’s German Shepard. He and Lucky are going at each other’s throat. The little Shih Tzu is laying on her side, her chest labouring to breathe. Patches of blood are staining the snow.   I start screaming, running over to separate them. Hearing me, the Shepard’s owner comes running down from his house. Bigger than me, he yanks his dog off Lucky. Sharp words are exchanged; I believe the word ‘police’ was mentioned. Both of us are furious! Both of us likely want to be right.   How does blind anger impart responsibility properly?   The little Shih Tzu has a couple of scratches. Lucky has

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