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The Princess and the Pea: A New Interpretation

pea pod

I never liked the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea. The pea supposedly proved she was a princess because she couldn’t sleep from the discomfort of it under twenty mattresses. 

My mistake was focusing exclusively on the princess. What I missed was the pea itself, specifically, what the pea represents: change and growth.

“Peas climb using pea shoots called tendrils, which they wrap around just about anything they come into contact with.” 1

Picture a pea growing, its tendrils enveloping items in its surroundings – anything stable, really, that allows it to climb higher and welcome more sunlight.

Now imagine yourself as that pea.

If you want to grow, you need solid support in your environment too, something you can wrap around. Your reinforcement may come in the form of a person, a comfy chair, a spot in nature, or a philosophy or point of view.

Without support, though, you can’t produce more peas. Growth will slow down and eventually it will still, no matter how much water and sunlight you give it.

🫛 You need support to grow.

The Princess and the Pea uncovers a truth. Just as the princess remains unable to sleep due to the discomfort of the pea, so too do you need to feel discomfort in order to change. Otherwise, it’s easy to stay comfortable. Why change if you don’t feel compelled to alter your circumstances?

In fact, you need to feel uncomfortable. Think of discomfort as the princess’s gift to you. Your discomfort creates a need you want to fill which drives the (often new) behaviours necessary to experience comfort again. In that space between discomfort and comfort, that’s where you grow.

🫛 The tendrils of change and growth are intertwined.

When you want something you don’t have, you feel discomfort.

I used to think wanting more was a sign of selfishness or lack of gratitude. Not anymore. Now I recognize it for what it is – the pea creating pea shoots that will help me grow.

2024 began at a crossroads for me. You could call it my pea. My tendrils were all over the place, growing upward, yes, but haphazardly, grabbing onto whatever support, weak or otherwise, they could find.

So I made some snips. Now I have a main pea plant – coaching – and an offshoot – leadership development. That’s it.

My need was to focus and my behaviour was to simplify. Discomfort pushed me out of my “comfort zone” to effect change.

🫛Discomfort is inherent to process of changing.

Fresh peas abound at this time of year. I bought a few pints at the local market this morning so I could enjoy opening the pods along the seam and popping out the peas, eating them one by one and counting how many are in each pod.

As you open the seam of your pea pod called Growth, may you gleefully discover all your peas lined up for you. My wish for you is that you experience one pea’s worth of change, and then another, and then another.

Remind yourself that change happens from within first before it can be seen without. For example, finding new perspectives on a topic in which you previously felt stuck is one pea. The next pea may be choosing the right perspective to adopt now. The third may be brainstorming what you want to do and how you want to be in order to make it happen. And so on.

Change and growth. Two peas in a pod. Thank you, Princess.

Header Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.