A little more about me
I personally have an experience of what my life was growing up. My sense was I was always seeking for answers to explain why I was either doing something or not doing something that I really wanted to do. I would grab anything I could off the library shelf and listened to all my well intention friends. Why am I the way I am? Who am I, really?
I felt different. Not connected. I felt bitter at the world, life was not fair and no one really cared. I had thoughts of running away and even committing suicide just to get away from the circumstances and drama my life.
Then in 1982, a friend of my mothers was telling her about this new kind of workshop, that she really couldn’t explain very well but had this life changing experience that really impacted the results she was getting. My Mom and I were invited to attend this introduction session to learn more.
After it was over, my mother boldly tells me that “I should take it.” I said something like, “what about you?” Thinking that it would be fun and supportive to do it together. Nope, apparently, I needed it more than her.
The workshop turned to be what was necessary to really change the direction my life was going. I was finally experiencing life the way I expected. The program was developed by Werner Erhard and called est (Erhard Standard Training) and it shifted my paradigm from being a victim to my circumstances to being the context for my life. The model went from “I am” to “I have” and it made the world of difference in everything, from work, play and most importantly relationships.
That was my big introduction to what was called back then the Human Potential Movement. For the next several years, I continued to take many of the courses offered, not only from that est Foundation but from other institutes. I also continued my self-study by reading numerous books and papers. To describe it as an insatiable appetite and an incurable curiosity for learning would be an understatement!
Sharing what I had learned had mixed reviews and at one point family and friends had thought I had gone off in the deep end, to the point I started to question the reality of the whole situation. Having “IT” had become a barrier, at least that is what I thought.
Although many of the workshops and programs were considered very controversial at the time, it did provide me a framework for acting in a “personal responsible, accountable, choice and unlimited possibility” way. I also realized that I had a natural calm, kind and understanding demeanor that provided the resilience I needed, that help me survived some of the most challenging conditions and situations I encountered then and in the future when I took on the role as a paramedic.
The foundation that was laid then for me was what Sydney Banks called “The 3 Principals” only at the time I was not aware of this nor his work, even though we both lived on Salt Spring Island at the time.
As I understood it for me was that there was an “everything-nothing” to life. Something which can’t be described beyond our physical self and world. That this intelligence enabled everything that I was experiencing happen and was in control. It was beyond creation.
Secondly, I became acutely aware that I was something beyond my thoughts and circumstances. That life was not happening to me, but some how through me. That alone literally blew my mind and destroyed all my past excuses for the way things were.
Thirdly, there was a lightness to life. What was happening in front of me seemed like one big movie playing out with me playing a role, which if I choose to, I could change and interact with it in a different way. My thoughts, judgement and meanings to things were just that and nothing more and therefore had no power over my actions. I did things because I wanted not because I had to because of some internal void that needed to be filled.
In 1985, I became a paramedic, working for the BC Ambulance Service and volunteer Firefighter for our community. For the next 30 years, I was in a service that not only made a difference in people’s lives, it also empowered me as an individual.
Although I had other careers, like banking, where the focus on service is regarded as key. Serving under the chaotic conditions that were presented in the Emergency Services Field, taxed you physically, and mentally.
It was and still is a great career, and unfortunately, it seems that no one leaves it unscarred and I have witnessed the results of those scars. Depression, anxiety, feelings of despair, PTSD leading to additions, failed relationship to even suicide from many of my colleagues. I can not say that I escaped this all, however any of the symptoms that would appear did not linger long when I remembered my early training.
You can’t undo what you have already witnessed!
Which is very true, however the thinking that goes with it you can. Good calls or bad calls were just that. I had very little control, if any to what I was about to go into and taking the last call into the next or even anticipating the next was fruitless and an energy waster.
All you need to do is
Respond to what shows up and do your best!
In my remaining years with the service, I made sure I showed up and did whatever was necessary. I rose up the ranks and eventually went into the Educational department where I was exposed to the opportunity to coach and teach others to be better in their roles, as paramedics and as leaders.
I would like to say that I retired on my terms and I can’t. Again, stuff happens, good, bad, who knows but I found my self one day being escorted out of the building without much fan fare and told my services were no longer required.
The Emergency Services is THE hardest career to walk away from.
Yup, in my 30th year, one week before receiving my Governor General’s Award of Excellence for EMS, and my long service award. Yes, stuff happens. Was it good, bad…maybe?
A month later, I was diagnosed with cancer, then my Mom became very ill and I took on the role of caregiver for my mother until she passed just a short year later. They say everything happens for a reason. There is no way I would have been able to look after myself and my mother if I was tied to a J.O.B.
That is what happened. You don’t have control of what happens to you, you only have control on your actions at the time. Your thoughts are just that thoughts. I knew that the stinkin’ thinking were fleeting thoughts and when the clutter of those thoughts left (and they do), new inspiration and ideas come in.
I would rather have a life where I was pulled towards a created future, than one that was pushed and influenced from the past towards a predictable future.
Coaching and sharing how I developed the resilience to overcome what many struggled with is my main focus. As crazy as this might sound, my grade two teacher told me I had a gift. She told me this after I did some presentation to the class, that I can’t remember, but I remember standing up there terrified and I got a big response from my classmates.
“Do you know what just happened? You have a gift.”
All I knew I was sweating. She took the time to tell me that she saw something in me that I didn’t. It took me many years later to understand what she meant and I am so grateful for her doing so.
“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”John F. Kennedy, (1917-1963) 35th President of the United States
I am not perfect, I am human.
Do I get it right all the time?
Do I let my thinking get the best of me from time to time?
Will I screw up again?
Probably, so what!
I am here for anyone that needs an ear and a hand to get themselves off the ground. I am here to share an understanding of how we experience life and the true nature of thought.
My gift? It’s storytelling. I love to share stories, speak metaphorically, and have a highly perceptive and intuitive nature.
I love to awaken minds to the understanding of these 3 simple principals that have served me so well for nearly 40 years. To share the fact that we all have a natural state of well-being and that we are “not broken” and need to be fixed like some piece of furniture.
If you are in the Emergency Services or for that matter anyone that is going through what I call the “Crazy Eight” what seems to be a never ending cycle of sadness/depression to frustration/anger, let’s talk!
What grounds me are my relationships. The relationships that I have with my wife/soul mate for 40+ years, who together we raised four wonderful daughters, who have fantastic mates, who have blessed us with eight (soon to be nine) grandchildren, with friends and with the many people that I have met on my journey.
I look forward to having a conversation with you and get to know you better.
With much love,
Other stuff of interest
Coaching since 2015
Certified Coach – Coaching Out of the Box
Certified Change Management Practitioner – Prosci Inc.
Coaching for Performance – Dalhousie University
Trained in Jungian Typology and a Client Practitioner with Insights
30 years in Emergency Health Services (Paramedic), 10 years in Leadership Roles
11 years in rural Fire Services, Firefighter, Lieutenant, Training Captain
Toastmasters International, ACS/ALB, Past District 21, Div A, Area 5 Director
Other Courses and Workshops: Crucial Conversations; Clear Leadership; The Forum; Core and Experience Leadership LINX; The Communications Workshop; The Breakthrough System – Robbins-Mandes; Coaching Techniques that Drive Change, Skillsoft Ireland; Indigenous Cultural Competency; Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), 3 Principals of Human Experience
Recipient of: Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal; BCAS Leadership and Teamwork Award; Community Service Award; Governor General of Canada Commendation for Bravery
Volunteer Work: Leadership Mentor with the Paramedic Chief’s of Canada; The Movember Organization; Heart and Stroke