Susie My Teacher
Many days driving into work I spotted her, “Susie”, out of the corner of my eye, sitting on the balcony’s ledge of Roanoke’s new Taubman Art Museum, gazing toward the Mill Mountain Star. I would think what a great way to begin your day: breathing in fresh air, enjoying a moment of stillness and reflection, taking in the sounds of nature. I envied her.
And then I read in the paper that Susie was actually made of duct tape, adorned with some clothes and a wig, and I thought she was alive and well; evidently, so did others. The museum had received several calls, many from those worried she was going to jump. Jump? I didn’t see or think that; I saw a woman picking a smart way to begin her day.
Silly me. How had I missed that Susie was there no matter the time of day or the weather, not to mention that she didn’t move? I saw her only in the morning for seeing her at other times did not fit into my story, my assumptions and judgments about why she was there and what she was doing. Seeing her for me evoked calmness; peace; joy and happiness. For others, seeing her evoked fear, worry and concern.
So it is with many of life situations, “it is all relative” as the saying goes. Relative to our perspective; our age; our assumptions; our judgments; our mood; our state of well-being; and the myriad of other interlacing variables that are in every situation. It is why some see a challenge and others a problem; some note failure and others success; some feel darkness in the midst of sadness and others, contentment; some think “you’re right” and others, “you’re wrong”; some think “oh no” and others, “oh yes”. The possibilities for having different perspectives are endless, and relative to our every day lives.
In my coaching conversations with clients, I frequently hear, “well everyone thinks that or knows that”, and now I tell them about Susie as an illustration that there are different perspectives and different positions of relativity. Since Susie is a good teacher, they get the concept and we are able to move on to acceptance: it is so and so it is. Acceptance of differences and in that acceptance, the emergence of possibilities. Oh, if it were only so easy. Instead, we are conditioned to evoke our voice of judgment, insisting on a right and a wrong; a good and a bad; and so on, wondering how dumb that anyone could actually think that Susie was real. Tension develops, frustration emerges, conversations deteriorate and possibilities stay hidden.
My clients committed to moving forward find it possible to silence their voice of judgment, quickly understanding and realizing how it limits their potential. They set out to practice acceptance and suspend judgment time and time again so that eventually doing so becomes their way of thinking, part of their standard perception. Their re-training is enforced as they begin to realize extra ordinary results. Results available to each of us, if we are willing to let Susie teach us.
Commit to practicing acceptance: it is so and so it is. Notice how powerful it is, particularly when dealing with situations you have been resisting.
Silencing your voice of judgment begins with awareness that it exists. Practice, practice, practice suspending judgment.
About Extra Ordinary Living
Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.
As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.
Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.
With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.
Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website, www.4extraordinaryliving.com.
Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach
Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."
– William Blake
"Don't dwell on reality; it will only keep you from greatness."
– Rev. Randall R. McBride, Jr.
Sustainable Living Tip:
Seven Generation Thinking
Regardless of our differences, one fact unites us: we all live on planet earth. Planet earth is our home. Since 1970, April 22 has been designated Earth Day, a day set aside to educate, celebrate and advocate on behalf of our home, our planet.
I am endeavoring to make every day in my life earth day. Bringing to my top of mind awareness the American Indians guiding principle of seven-generation thinking, giving credence to what a decision’s impact will be on the next seven generations. I initially thought wow, that’s a long time. Then I did my own calculations and realized that in many families right now 5 generations are living, in mine 3 with great possibility for 4, and suddenly 7 didn’t seem so long. Seven generation thinking is about balancing the economic impact of a decision with the physical and spiritual impact. It is about taking care of our earthly home.
I encourage you to begin now incorporating seven generation thinking into your life. Participate in the Earth Day activities in your community where you will learn from others and thus begin to teach others. It is time to bring back into our daily lives the principle of honoring and respecting our earthly home.
Check out seventhgeneration.com & earthday.net.