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In the immortal words of Indiana Jones, “Why did it have to be snakes?”

I made an unexpected discovery last weekend when I went for a walk – snakes. I went exploring a less-used path through some woods to save time on the way home. As I followed the path past a public swimming pool, I saw it. A giant garter snake. Black with yellow stripes. I admit it. I screamed at the top of my lungs. Sure enough, “rescuers,” a.k.a. pool attendants, asked me if I was okay. They likely thought I’d lost a limb.

Here’s what really happened.

  1. The snake wasn’t gigantic but it FELT giant to me.
  2. The reptile activated my reptilian brain that monitors fight, flight, or freeze responses … but I didn’t respond as predicted. More on that shortly.
  3. I recognize that snakes represent fear to me. I’m not surprised that fear emerges at this time of change in my life.


My fear of snakes is well understood by my family and friends. Typically, I get paralyzed, that is, I usually respond by freezing. When I freeze, I am literally stuck. I am neither here nor there. I’ve still made a choice, though. Being stuck means by default continuing along the same path. Same path equals the same outcome.

Fear as Saboteur

My snake saboteur (notice the sibilance?) appearing now is not a coincidence. I’m at a cross-roads in my life, building a new career and leaving safety – or safety as I used to define it – behind. Remaining paralyzed, afraid to take new paths, is my snake saboteur trying to keep me safe.

Remember that saboteurs perform a protective function and evolved from our childhoods. The snake saboteur bares its fangs to maintain the status quo. The saboteur wants to maintain safety at all costs. And the cost is steep.

While I won’t get hurt, I also won’t grow. And this is the crux of the matter.

Snakes as symbols are powerful; both healing and destroying. Think of the Rod of Asclepius associated with healing and medicine along with Medusa’s “hair” of venomous snakes that turned people to stone upon sight.

Ultimately, we must embrace both light and dark. To grow and embrace my power, I must accept my light and my dark. Sheesh, back to Jung. He popularized the idea of the shadow self, that is, the parts of you that you subconsciously reject.

Whatever was repressed in the above-ground domain of the ego was relegated to the shadow where it festered in obscurity, taking surprise stabs at the individual in his daily life … The shadow acts as a container for all the attributes that the conscious self disowns.

Do You Know Your Shadow Self?, 2022

Exit Strategy

A simple way out is deciding what feels better. I feel better being powerful as opposed to feeling safe.

Another option – change the dialogue as discussed in Judge Judy.

Back to the snake pit…

I responded to the snake by making myself bigger. Physically and emotionally. I stomped the rest of the way down the trail to make it clear to other snakes I was nearby. No fighting, fleeing, or freezing. It felt powerful. The next day, I walked the path again, this time with allies, to reinforce the learning.

Photo Sources: Header giphy , Rod of Asclepius, Medusa

How do you want to respond to fears in your life? Pre-pave the path with your exit strategy in mind so you don’t stay stuck in the snake pit with Indy.

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.