As I write this, it is 7.30a.m. on a leisurely Saturday morning. I am outside, lounging around on our pool deck and enjoying a treat for my senses.
The warmth of the rising summer sun on my skin is in welcome contrast to the cool southerly breezes. I can detect a subtle salt essence in the otherwise fresh air from the ocean. I can’t see, but I can certainly hear, a variety of birds and insects, competing with the background noise of a slowly awakening neighbourhood. And all of this, while my eyes take in the spectacular beauty of the False Bay coastline.
I feel an extraordinary sense of peace and gratitude and a sudden compelling desire to write. As I contemplate how and what, my head is suddenly filled with images of the many people who have had a significant impact on my life’s journey and how thankful I am to them for the parts that they have played along the way.
I have recently been reading an amazing story of transformation of a lady who grew up in a very strict, God-fearing environment where she was taught that to disobey her husband was a terrible sin. The trouble was that her husband regularly beat her, abused her and cheated on her. She was faced with a terrible decision – to leave him, risk losing her children and be excommunicated by her church – or continue to ‘put up and shut up’.
She chose freedom and is now a respected and highly successful lady whose life purpose is to teach others the joy and meaning of personal empowerment.
The most remarkable thing about her story is that after a traumatic and lengthy divorce case was finally settled, leaving her with pretty much nothing of material value, but with a sense of inner peace, freedom and self confidence, she sat down and wrote a letter of thanks to her ex husband! She thanked him for playing such an important role in her life’s journey and for his role in helping her to gain personal freedom, self-confidence and growth.
Sometimes the ‘significant others’ in our lives are not the kind of people we would like to wish on others and we find it difficult to understand how we could have attracted them into our lives. But there is always a reason.
Happily, for most of us, our significant others are truly wonderful people that we look up to, admire and love.
I consider myself fortunate. The images of significant others that came to me while I lay on the pool deck, were all of people who I appreciate greatly, respect – and in many cases love (some have passed on).
I could write a book about all the wonderful people who have influenced me along my journey. But given this is supposed to be a weekly column, not a tome, I’ll spare you that now!
Instead let me tell you about just two special individuals in my life.
One is my wife. Jenni and I were never the classic ‘jigsaw piece’ lovers; soul mates who seem to be drawn together by some irresistible force. No. We were, at least initially, complete opposites in many respects. I was the practical, logical, analytical, cool-headed engineering student. She, the emotional, capricious, intuitive, dance student.
I’ve heard many couples talk of their relationships as being ‘plain sailing’. Using the nautical analogy, I would describe ours more like sailing the waters of False Bay during a good old south-easter; part scary, part exhilarating, certainly never boring!
But Jenni and I have both come to realize that we have played vital roles in each other’s life journeys. Without her, I would almost certainly still be clawing my way up the challenging, but somewhat spiritually bereft, corporate ladder, where the perceptions and opinions of others often counted for more than my own inner voice.
As I consider where I am now and how joyous my life is, I begin to realize just how much thanks is due to my most significant other for leading me in the right direction at the right time! (Funny thing – as I gaze out over False Bay it looks really calm today!)
Another significant other is my personal life coach and friend, Sharon Frith. Sharon and I have only known each other for about eighteen months, but she came into my life at a time when I was contemplating leaving a solid, if not entirely sparkling, corporate career, after 27 years of employment.
Sharon – who is far younger, more energetic (and considerably more beautiful) than me – must take the credit for helping me to realize and properly appreciate my own strengths, abilities and resources.
When I think back to our initial coaching sessions, the one thing that strikes me most is the unshakeable belief she always had in me – even when my self-belief was decidedly shaky! She helped me to set a goal that was to change my life in so many ways and, each time we talked, she made what I had dreamt about sound so compelling and so obviously achievable that I was simply too embarrassed to speak of any self doubt!
As our sessions wore on, I started to recognize a big change – not in my attitude, which was always positive – but in my self-belief and in my excitement (rather than trepidation) about the life change I was manifesting.
Sharon is a New Insights trained master coach. She absolutely loves to help other people and has been instrumental in helping assist many of our trainees in South Africa. I’d like you to benefit from what Sharon has to offer so I’m offering you the link to her online ‘blog’. Its quite new, but it’s full of wisdom and inspiration – and (for now, anyway) it’s free!
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With warm regards.
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