I don't know about you, but one of the quickest ways I have found to shine a light on perspective is through learning another language. Because a common language is often what unites a culture's people together. Our language reveals what we mean by the choice of our words. But quite often, the words we choose were blindly taught to us as a small child. Unless we question the light meaning of our words, we might continue speaking a language that defines us instead of us defining it. Allow me to give you an example. What does "bringing to the light" mean to you? Recently, I was looking for a direct English translation of the Chinese word, 发明 (pronounced faming). The word 发明 is made up of two characters, 发 (fa) and 明 (ming). The symbol 发 means to create, build, construct,
"Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs." ~ Stephen Covey I remember this story about a nightingale who was the most beautiful and sought-after bird in the whole kingdom. Its voice was so melodious that fishermen and maids stopped whatever they were doing and listened intently to the nightingale’s song. One day, the kingdom's emperor hears about the nightingale, and he becomes incensed at knowing that a simple bird can usurp him with its amazing voice. Stung in his pride, he asks his first lord to go and fetch the bird so he can see for himself what is it about its voice that is so special. The first lord fearfully scourges the land wide to find the nightingale himself, for the Emperor threatens to have him trampled to death if he fails. At last, he finds the bird deep in the forest,
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,
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
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
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.
My Goodness, I just got off the phone with a girlfriend of mine. She wanted to talk to me about her crappy relationship with her life partner. With what sounded like great frustration on her end, she blurted out, “J’ai besoin de me défouler!” Mmmmm..... I had not heard the word “défouler” in a very long time.... So I asked myself, “What is the equivalent in English?” As nothing satisfactory came to mind, O well, I went searching the internet. I started with Google Translator. The first equivalent that came up for “défouler” is “undo”. Undo? Uhhh..., I don’t think so here. See, my girlfriend needed a place to safely talk about her feelings and emotions. I highly doubt she was looking for a place to “undo” herself. Or maybe she was?… For better luck perhaps, I put her whole sentence into Google Translator.
‘It’s your fault!’ I said to my 16 year old son who had just come home with a big fat zero on a school term paper he did not hand in on time. I had little compassion for the shocked look on his face. I pointed my index finger to his face. ‘How could you let this happen? Were you not thinking? What the hell did you expect?’ You guessed it, I was angry like a volcano bursting into lapping flames. The more I went on about what I believed was ‘wrong’ with him, the more I felt him becoming withdrawn. He was incessantly looking out of the kitchen window, not even bothering to answer any of my questions. As he often did, he chose to remain mute, waiting for the storm to boil over. Sounds familiar? How many times in your life have you put a
Run the shit show to the end. One evening last week, I was practicing my presentation in the middle of my living room. I was talking out loud, timing exercises, stuff like that. I was tired and getting cranky. I drank a sip of water and looked at the dog. Ahhh, I had forgotten he still needed his evening walk. I sighed and piled my pieces of paper neatly together. Mind knocked at the door of my heart. Just for the kick of it, it had brought along its ‘friend’, Crappy Mood. “I just wanna say it’s not gonna happen, you know, you can’t do it, you don’t know your stuff well enough, you’re not good enough, you know that, right?” Yeah, I know this voice, I have heard it plenty of times before. Frustrated, I asked myself, “Why now?” and regretted it immediately. From experience, I have come