Archive for the ‘coaching’ Category


Why do we need a Vision?

GAB got me thinking about the idea of a national vision and how we don’t seem to have one, or at least not one that has captured my fancy.

What is a Vision? Here is one answer from Susan Ward at, adapted for politics:

“What you are doing when creating a vision statement is articulating your dreams and hopes for your country. It reminds you of what you are trying to build.

While a vision statement doesn’t tell you how you’re going to get there, it does set the direction for your planning. That’s why it’s important when crafting a vision statement to let your imagination go and dare to dream – and why it’s important that a vision statement captures your passion.”

I have a personal Vision Statement and it has created the space for me to go back to school with the aim of heading off to Law School. One year ago, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and if I had not sat down and thought very hard, brainstormed very creatively and dreamed a little I would still be slogging away, my life much the same, sinking slowly ever deeper in debt and knowing that something was amiss but not knowing what it was.

My Vision has wrought massive change in my life, I am moving in a month, I’ve gone back to school, and I’ve had to re-evaluate my volunteer commitments.

The point is that creating and believing in a Vision creates massive change but it acts as a support and guiding light to inspire you forward. The change becomes empowering instead of frightening.

I too wonder when we will see a politician of great vision in this country. One who can give the rest of us something better to aim for than ‘resource whore’.

The Green Party has Vision 2020:

The Green Party holds a positive Vision of Canada, now and into the future.

We will strive to support a society where the pressure to make a living does not crowd out having a life; where having more does not supplant being more.

In our Green Vision, Canadians enjoy a higher quality of life, experiencing health and wellness, education and meaningful work, prosperity and economic success supported by ecological health.

In our vision of Canada, ability or disability, economic, racial, or cultural backgrounds do not preclude individuals from contributing to and benefiting from a prosperous Canada.

Canadian communities – urban and rural – thrive in our Green Vision, including communities dependent on fisheries, forestry and agriculture.

Canada plays a positive role in the world, working cooperatively with governments, North and South, to ensure equity, global security and peace.”

While I buy into the Green Part Vision, it seems a little long to me. I’d like to see a one-sentence Vision Statement, something short and snappy. Personally, I vote for Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness. :-)

Posted by Vanessa on November 30th, 2007

Filed under Bhutan, coaching, Green, Higher Self, politics, Vision | Comments Off

I will help you speak

It is a well-known tidbit of info that many people are more afraid of public speaking than of death or it’s a close second to fear of death. I know that everytime I get up to speak in front of an audience my throat starts to close and my voice decides to stop working. That was a big part of the reason I took singing lessons – to force myself to perform in front of a crowd. It didn’t really work but I was glad to face my fear. Maybe that’s why the following Bible passage really got to me.

‘Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” ‘

You’ve gotta love Moses. I mean really, can you imagine saying no to God. If God appeared in front of you, performed all sorts of cool tricks: a burning bush, a staff that became a snake, and a hand that went from healthy to diseased and back again. Really, if all these things happened and the entity that was making them happen asked you to do something AND said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be right beside you, helping you and caring for you,” would you still have the guts to say no? I wouldn’t. I would love that sort of reassurance.

Moses had balls, I’ll give him that. Weird though, because he was trying to get out of his God-sponsored mission because he was afraid of earthly consequences. Both gutsy and a coward.

It brings up an interesting question: Which do I fear most, heavenly consequences or earthly ones? Am I more concerned about my soul or my body?

How about you?

Exodus 4:10-14

Posted by Vanessa on September 4th, 2007

Filed under coaching, ego, Higher Self, sacred writings | 1 Comment »

Jethro the Life Coach

‘ “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.” ‘

Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law and obviously a wise and compassionate man. He came out to the desert to return Moses’ wife and children to him. While there he celebrated Moses’ successes and observed his current actions. He noticed, as only an outside observer can, that Moses was working himself to death. His burden was too great. As only a great coach can, Jethro showed Moses another way and encouraged him to act on this new knowledge. He lit a new path for Moses to follow and helped Moses become more effective in his chosen work. After Jethro had rendered that invaluable service, Moses sent him on his way.

Jethro had done a fantastic job as a coach.

When I was taking care of my mother, I knew that I was burning out but I did not see another way to manage things. I believed that I had to do everything myself, that no one else could help me or do the job as well as I could.

‘ “That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” ‘

Eventually I learned to let go, even just a little bit, and allow others to help. One of those who helped was Jane, she hardly knew my mom but took her grocery shopping every week – a task that I loathed.

When we delegate to those we trust, we are better able to focus on the most effective use of our time and resources.

I owe great thanks to Jane and to all those who helped me care for my mom – I wouldn’t have made it without you.

Exodus 18:13-27

Posted by Vanessa on August 30th, 2007

Filed under cancer, coaching, Higher Self, Mom, sacred writings | 1 Comment »

God is in the details?

Okay, I confess, I don’t see the point of this major part of Exodus. Not only does God get *really* specific about how the Tent of Meeting is to be built when explaining it to Moses but then the entire thing is repeated while the Israelites are actually building it. It is sooo boring. Cubits this and that, overlaid with gold, built from acacia wood. How does this help?

Remember I’m new at this so feel free to shed some light on what the point is. I can only think of two possibilities.

1. One of my favourite movies is the Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez. Near the beginning of the movie she quips “Most grooms are NID.” When asked what that means she replies with a smile, “Not Into Details.”

This part of Exodus makes it abundantly clear to me that God is totally into details. There is nothing unimportant when it comes to building a sacred space. Even the undergarments of the priests are explained. I like this, it fits in nicely with one of my new favourite sayings, “God is in the details.” When we pay attention to the small things, every little step of the way, it makes the success of the whole project much more likely. The trick, I guess, is to keep the big vision while nailing each little detail. Taking little baby steps towards that huge end goal.

Or, as Jim Rohn put it: “You don’t build the house until it’s finished.”

2. My second thought is that humans tend to value things more when they have had to sacrifice money, time, and effort. God was trying to create a sacred space, a place that would hold the Glory of the Lord. The Israelites had already shown that they were fickle and perhaps not too bright so God came up with a plan to get them to pay attention. God requested they sacrifice their gold, silver, and bronze to build the Tent of Meeting. Also that their most skilled artisans dedicate themselves to the holy task and their most learned men to becoming priests. Finally, the Tent of Meeting is big. Humans like big-ness, we tend to think it is more important.

The Tabernacle, or Tent of Meeting, gave God a place to dwell amongst the Israelites but the detailed and laborious nature of its structure helped God to dwell *within* the Israelites, which is really the point.

So, I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, all those instructions weren’t that important for God, they weren’t some attempt to gain importance. Maybe they were just God’s way of getting the attention of the Israelites and communicating with them on a level they could understand. A really materialistic level, granted, but one they knew. It makes me wonder how much we’ve progressed in the last few thousand years.


My coach has me working on my Vision – which I’ll have to post once it’s finished. Then I’ll start working out the details, the hundreds of baby steps required to reach the final goal. Maybe I’ll throw in some acacia wood, just for good measure.

Exodus 25:10 – 28:43, 36:8 – 39:31

Posted by Vanessa on August 28th, 2007

Filed under coaching, ego, Higher Self, sacred writings | Comments Off

Strange Anniversary

Today is a weird day – it’s my anniversary, but not one that I want to celebrate. One year ago today my mother succumbed to a very nasty metastatic cancer after an almost-two-year struggle.

She was surrounded by family for her last hours and it was very peaceful. She went out under heavy morphine sedation, her brain destroyed by a lung cancer.

It was, for me, the most profound experience of my life. To be able to sit with her, hold her hand and ask to see what she saw. As she passed I closed my eyes and saw blinding whiteness. It was so gentle that it brought a huge smile to my face. After being her primary caregiver for two years I felt as if two elephants that I hadn’t even known were there dissolved from my shoulders. I felt tonnes lighter.

If you are currently a caregiver my heart goes out to you – I understand the burden you carry. Hopefully this blog will help to ease the burden. One year later I am still exploring life after caregiving. I can only promise that it does get better. I still cry at seemingly small things and I can’t yet talk about it without tearing up but it *is* better. The world has much more light in it now.

To my mother: You were a total pain in the butt and I love you so much. I miss you dearly and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you.


Posted by Vanessa on August 27th, 2007

Filed under cancer, caregiving, coaching, Mom, tears | Comments Off

I will be with you

{I thought that maybe this needed a little explanatory note. I’m reading the Bible – from start to finish. Along with all my other projects I am making time to read both the Old and New Testaments. To clarify, I have no religious affiliations. Christains would call me unsaved and a heathen. I’m okay with that. Here’s why: I love God. By whatever name, I love the Holy Ghost, Brahman, the animating force, Spirit, Gaia. I love the energy field that surrounds and loves us all.}

I want to save the world. I can’t think of anything better to do with my time. No, really. An unconscious messiah complex? Probably, but I’m okay with that. So I’ve begun an exploration of the world’s religious systems. To me it seems that nothing rips humanity apart like religion, so maybe that is also the way to bring us together.

Here is my thought for today:

‘But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you…” ‘

I totally understand how Moses was feeling. Completely unequal to the task. I mean, he’d already run away from Egypt under a death threat and now some bush was telling him to go back and free thousands of people from slavery. That’s pretty daunting. How could he possibly do it? What made him so special? What skills did he have?

And God said, “I will be with you.” That is so cool. It didn’t matter who Moses was or what skills he had, he only had to make himself available for God to work through him.

That’s who I intend to be – someone who is available to Spirit. Open to whatever calling I am given; because there is nothing more important to do. The coolest part about this is that it sidesteps ego. I am not the one working the plan, I am acting as a channel for Spirit to do the work that needs to be done. This is not about personal aggrandizement, it works at a level much higher than that. That rocks.

More than that: it means that we ALL have the potential to work for Spirit. We ALL have that ability and responsibility. As a coach and a coachee it is the most important question to answer: How is Spirit calling me to change the world?

How is Spirit calling you?

{BTW, for the sticklers, I am using the new international version of the Bible.}

Exodus 3:11-12

Posted by Vanessa on August 26th, 2007

Filed under coaching, ego, Higher Self, sacred writings | Comments Off

I hate my Coach

For those of you who don’t know (and why would you after all), I’ve been receiving coaching for the past year from a wonderful woman named Cynthia. We mutually decided that it would be best for me to switch coaches for the second year to move forward with publishing my book.

Cynthia recommended Niall. I’ve had two sessions with him in the last week and he has so severely irritated me that I just want to hunt him down and smack him. He’s lucky he lives on the other side of the continent.

That means he is doing his job really well. Dang!

He is exactly the kind of coach that I deserve and I am finally getting a taste of my own painfully honest medicine. Now I know what my clients mean when they tell me that I almost made them cry, give up and never talk to me again.

That is how I feel right now.

Luckily, there is a little voice inside of me telling me to listen to him, to persevere and to trust that this is for my highest good.

That little voice is not my ego – it is my Highest Self. It is surely my ego that is telling me to give up and stay the same.

The ego hates growth, and it hates change. Not only are those big clues that the ego is running the show but it is also the ego that hates. Since ‘I hate’ my coach right now, I know that it is, in fact, my ego running scared.

Run little ego Run. Send me a postcard.

Posted by Vanessa on August 23rd, 2007

Filed under coaching, ego, Higher Self | Comments Off