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Shining our Light

Person holding small lit candle

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Remember this old gospel song?

This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine

I remember when our kids attended nursery school and they would sing this song holding up a finger to represent a candle while they solemnly walked up the centre aisle of the church during closing ceremonies. It always brought tears to my eyes.

We’d hear titters and small gasps from the audience which scared the little ones because they didn’t want to be laughed at. They didn’t realise how dazzling they looked shining their light for all to see. I think that’s what caused the nervous laughter – the children didn’t question themselves. They knew who they were and that they each had talents. The result for us adults? Discomfort. Squeamishness. When they came to,

Bushel of Hay

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m going to let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.

well, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Shining a Light

When do we lose this innate understanding of who we are and the talents we contribute to the world around us? Certainly in adolescence and likely sooner. Too often we embrace darkness. Our world can be without hope sometimes at an individual and collective (hello pandemic!) level. We spiral into anxiety and its attendants: control, ego, helplessness. And it’s true that we are both dark and light. We must understand our darkness to know ourselves.

Equally and opposite, we must welcome our light. Each of us carries our own torch. Your light may beam, shimmer, glow, spark, glimmer or change like a kaleidoscope. Point is, you have your own light and it’s meant to shine. The light represents who you are and the unique gifts (talents) you are given.

Accepting our Gifts

Marianne Williamson writes in Tears to Triumph, “The universe is wired for God’s light the way a house is wired for electricity, and every mind is like a lamp. But a lamp must be plugged in for it to shed any light.” Her recommendation? “Plug into the light.” (p.3)

When things come easily to us, we don’t automatically accept them as gifts (or talents if you prefer). We think they’re not worth as much because they come easily. Instead of accepting and using these talents, we create another hoop to jump through to create self-imposed hardship. For example, I sucked at Math. Really. I was good at English and History. Instead of taking more courses in subjects I truly enjoyed and had some talent in, I devoted an inordinate amount of time trying to improve my math skills. I easily spent twice if not three times the amount of time on math versus “easy” subjects I liked.

As a middle-aged coach and former HR professional, I can now comfortably say, Play to your strengths. This is a variation of Marianne’s advice, Plug into the light. When we accept our gifts, we allow ourselves a reprieve from the endless hoops of life. When we accept our gifts, we can shine our light.

Header photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash, Multiple Candlesticks Photo by Niklas Ohlrogge on Unsplash, Bushel Photo by Photo by Victor Serban on Unsplash, Kaleidoscope Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash

Sharing our Talents

Our gifts are meant to be shared. As we build our community of kindness, sharing our gifts becomes the best way to create a healthy world. Nurturing our talents models kindness to ourselves and those around us. Do you have talents hidden under a bushel? What are they and how can you use them? Send me a line and let me know.

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MM

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.

MO

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.

LE

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!

VB

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.

MM

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.

MO

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LE

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

LM

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CP

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VB

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.

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