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What’s in a Name?

Pink Rose

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From smelling roses to self-actualization

Shakespeare’s Juliet tells Romeo:

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.

She argues what matters is not his name, what he’s called, but what (or who) he is. A rose retains the same fragrance and elegant shape whether we call it “rose” or something else, like “sand.” How does this apply in our own lives?

What I’m called

Our society values names at all levels. We spend ages picking a name when expecting a baby. We classify the endless flora and fauna around us by genus and specific epithet. We name cities and countries and, through that naming, concrete images of associations come to mind when we think of those places. Carl Jung identified and named archetypes that represent universal patterns and pictures that compose our collective unconscious.

Lotus Flower

What am I

Sometimes we use names to define us, as a kind of shorthand, to say this is who we are. And yet, we are so much more than just a name. If my name changes to Frida, I am still the same person behind the name. If we consider names as the gateway to understanding who we are, we open ourselves to exploration. As Frida, I am artistic, feminist, Mexican, and I love monkeys. What name would you choose if you could change it right now? What does that name represent to you?

Monkey looking in mirror

Who am I

Let’s expand this discussion from names to what (or who) I am. Who I am is what life’s journey is all about. Names can highlight and obfuscate this discovery. “I am” is usually followed by a list of adjectives and nouns describing qualities and attributes we possess. It is the sum of our values. I am curious, open-minded, and kind.

Eckhart Tolle takes it to the next level. He suggests removing the list altogether and focusing on “I am” only. I tried it out on a long walk along the Georgian Trail. To the rhythm of my footsteps, I simply said, “I am” again and again. In other words, “I am” is enough. “I am” is a complete sentence. When I’m in the state of “I am” I feel fully present. I do not need to ascribe my qualities and attributes.

Sand

Featured photos from top to bottom from Unsplash: Tiffany Nguyen, Jay Castor, Andre Mouton, Daniel Straub

We feel alive when we are present. Exploring names and who-I-am are ways to access the present moment. In that state of being, we release resistance and enter a state of grace. We become open to possibility and that’s how we realize our potential. Try it. May this week give you opportunities to smell that rose.

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.

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

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.

LE

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

LM

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.

CP

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.

AG

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.

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.

OS