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Having a tough day?

February 25, 2014

In the world of coaching, there is a belief that what you pay attention to grows. Since my own coaching journey began, (I have been coached as well as coach executives and managers) encounters and meetings such as the one I am about to describe happen frequently. Possibilities open and what is needed occurs bringing life and joy in unexpected ways.

Sunday I was riding my bike in the 90° heat and needed a break for water and cooling. So I parked my bicycle and walked into the Chicago Botanic Gardens Science Center where I met a woman named Jan. I was feeling low energy that day and the ride was a way to lift my mood. Jan, who works at the garden, told me a powerful story of her two youngest adopted children. Her son and daughter were placed in a secret orphanage in China for children who were thought to be unadoptable, one child because she had a cleft palate and her son deformed fingers and toes. Most of the caretakers were decent people who treated the children well but several were cruel and sadistic. Daily canings over time would break her son’s fingers at least 12 times. Her daughter was told that at age 12 she would be turned out of the orphanage to become a prostitute. She resisted, fought back and denied she would ever live such a life. So as punishment caretakers made her sleep on the hard floor each night. Because Jan had two older international adoptees she and others were featured on Oprah and because of this publicity Jan was made aware of the two children living in China. These two abused children are today safely in the United States and in the safety of Jan’s caring family.

After hearing this story of courage and compassion, my own troubles melted away and I found myself feeling powerfully grateful for the relationship I had with my parents and the relationship I have with my wife and daughter. In a moment, even though the story was heart wrenching Jan had lifted my spirits in a moving, powerful way. I had been given what I needed at the time I needed it. (The meeting was mutual for I was able to refer Jan to medical treatment that would have been difficult for her to find on her own.)

I encourage you to seek what you need for your own growth, health, and joy, be open to experiences and chance meetings that may make a difference. Look for it and I assure you, it will come!