Tag: love

Words of Wisdom

Good day, team.

This last challenge for 2013 is about finding grace and wisdom in the most unlikely places.

On a trip to California this week to visit a client, I found myself in a taxi at 4:45 in the morning en route to the airport. My taxi driver arrived right on time and greeted me with a broad smile as he took my bag and placed it in the trunk of the car.

Soon after leaving my home, we began to talk. Hearing his accent, I asked him where he was from. “Ethiopia,” he replied with a deep bass resonance in his voice. “Ahhh,” I replied. “I had a client once who is American but grew up there as the daughter of missionaries. She spoke very highly of your country and enjoyed her years there growing up.” And so our conversation continued about Ethiopia, his experience growing up there, the differences between his birthplace and America, etc.

We began to talk about the things that were most important to us as we were growing up. He spoke about always working at school and living in his small village with his family. He didn’t have much time for play as a kid and really didn’t have much time to enjoy the better parts of his culture. Ironically, now that he lives in the U.S., he makes an effort to meet with other Ethiopians to enjoy what bits of their native culture they can recreate here.

He talked about the differences between America and Ethiopia. As he put it, “Here, we all have food, a roof over our heads, a TV, a car, etc. It’s convenient. There, we had each other, and although it was primitive, there was much more connection between people. I took it for granted growing up. But not here. Here, I have to make time for the emotional connections I make with others.” I commented that I understood what he meant. I told him I had taken a year off to live in Italy when I was in my 30s, and that after being there a year, I observed that the Italians had created a daily routine that included about four to six events that allowed them to connect emotionally with each other ― early morning espresso at the coffee bar, midmorning cappuccino break, long lunches, drinks before dinner in the local square and dinner. We agreed that some cultures have foregone quality emotional interactions for efficiency.

As we pulled up to the curb at the airport, my driver turned to me with his bright eyes and big smile. “You know,” he said, “all people have that special something in them, that thing that’s so hard to describe but is always there. I call it love, and of all the things we have in this world, it’s the most precious. To have a good life, we have to share it.”

I smiled back at my Ethiopian messenger. He reminded me of something I read in the Bible as a child: “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Luke 12:40.

This week, listen to the messages of grace, love and wisdom that come to you, often from the least likely places. Maybe it’s your child whose words remind you of what’s most important in your life. Perhaps it’s the produce guy at the grocery store who comments about vegetables in a way that reminds you how connected we are to the earth. Or maybe it’s a team member whose humorous remark in a moment, reveals something true about you.
These words of wisdom can come from anyone. Whatever the message, see them as gifts that come to you along the way.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us, “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

Have a great holiday!


NOTE: The next coach’s challenge will be published Jan. 12, 2014.

© Copyright 2013 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

11/25/12 “A Gift”

Good day, team.

I hope all my subscribers enjoyed a long holiday weekend. We work hard, and it is rare that we allow ourselves the luxury of true rest and relaxation. The holidays give us time to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the past year and to ponder the coming new year and the opportunities it may bring.

Your challenge this week is to carve out some time for yourself in the next four weeks for reflection and gratitude. Think about the gifts that life has bestowed upon you in this past year and be thankful for the abundance that surrounds you. Consider the challenges that you’ve encountered and how you’ve learned from them, how you’ve grown in dealing with them and consider how you’ve changed. Revel in the love that others have bestowed upon you. And give yourself a gift for having lived another year that expanded your mind and opened your heart.

My gift to myself this holiday is a poem from the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, Mary Oliver. I encourage you to find a gift that speaks to your heart, as Oliver’s poem does to mine.

Of Love

I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway people beautiful to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love, it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some — now carry my revelation with you —
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of the makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world — its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself — I imagine
this is how it began.

~ Mary Oliver

Have a good week!


© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

7/25/11 “Love”

Good day, team.

For weeks now, the subject of love keeps popping up in my consciousness like a daffodil in spring. Bright and surprisingly strong, this tender blossom with its happy yellow trumpet has been asking me to pay attention. So, this week’s challenge is about love and how important it is in our lives — with family and friends, in our most private moments and even at work.

In preparation for our wedding celebration seven years ago, my husband and I looked for poems, books and songs that spoke about the subject of love. Nothing came close to what John O’Donohue wrote about love in his book, “Anam Cara.” In Gaelic, the words “anam cara” mean “soul friend.” Nothing seemed more appropriate than those words to describe the relationship David and I found ourselves in. Falling in love at 48 is considerably different than when you’re 28. At this stage in my life, to call my betrothed my best friend and most trusted companion meant more than anything I could have imagined.

I had the great honor of meeting John O’Donohue while traveling through Ireland with poet David Whyte and a group of aspiring writers. David and John had been friends for a number of years, and John took us on a walking tour of the Connamara region of Ireland where he had lived for many years in a small home. He was a tall man with windblown hair, incredibly kind blue eyes and a high-pitched laugh that never quite matched his countenance. His contrasting wildness and sweetness always refreshed me. His vocabulary was rich from many years of studying the classics, theology and philosophy. But all the knowledge he shared with us was delivered in an unmistakable Irish brogue and with a terrific sense of humor. Nights at the pub with John were the highlights of the trip, and I’ve never forgotten the glint in his eyes as he spoke.

I don’t know the whole story, but having been a Catholic priest, John left the church and became better known as Irish poet, philosopher and Catholic scholar. I believe in his life experiences, he began to find the Catholic Church to be too restrictive and dogmatic. His movement toward ancient Celtic beliefs was a better representation of his heart and soul.

Here’s what John wrote about love in chapter one of “Anam Cara”:

“When the human mind began to consider the greatest mystery of life, the mystery of love, light was also always used as a metaphor for its power and presence. When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with yourself. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.

“It is strangely ironic that the world loves power and possessions. You can be very successful in this world, be admired by everyone and have endless possessions. You can have a lovely family, success in your work and have everything the world can give, but behind it all, you can be completely lost and miserable. If you have everything the world has to offer you but you do not have love, then you are the poorest of the poorest of the poor. Every human heart hungers for love. If you do not have the warmth of love in your heart, there is no possibility of real celebration and enjoyment. No matter how hard, competent, self-assured or respected you are, no matter what you think of yourself or what others think of you, the one thing you deeply long for is love. No matter where we are, who we are, what we are or what kind of journey we are on, we all need love.

“If you only awaken your will and intellect, then your work can become your identity. This is summed up in the rather humorous epitaph on a gravestone somewhere in London:

‘Here lies Jeremy Brown, born a man and died a grocer.’ Often people’s identity, that wild inner complexity of soul and color of spirit, becomes shrunken in their work identity.

“In the world of negative work, where you are controlled, where power prevails and you are a mere functionary, everything is determined by an ethic of competition. In the world of creative work, where your gift is engaged, there is no competition. The soul transfigures the need for competition. In contrast, the world of quantity is always haunted by competition: If I have less, you have more. But in the world of the soul: The more you have, the more everyone has. The rhythm of soul is the surprise of endless enrichment.”

I recall the exact moment when I realized how important it is for me to do work that is a better reflection of who I have become in my internal world. I wanted my doing to be a result of my being. The love I experienced in my heart needed a way to offer itself to the world in some way that it could be received. I often thought how lovely it would be if I could be myself at work and express my true nature, giftedness and imagination. I no longer could live with a separation between what I was doing in my career and the person I had become.

I often see clients who have outgrown their career, their job or their particular environment. It becomes more and more painful to try to fit a foot that’s become too big into an old shoe. It’s both inspiring and painful to realize that the love you feel within needs a bigger world in which to manifest. But the importance of allowing love and intimacy to express themselves through trustworthy and kind acts at work is essential. In John’s words, “Where you belong should always be worthy of your dignity.”

Your challenge this week is to see if your current job, your career, your vocation is a place where you can express the love and generosity of your heart. We so often associate these words with romantic love that we rarely see how love actually manifests in a work environment. The next time you see a team member extend a kindness to another, notice the quality of love at work. Try manifesting this love yourself. Perhaps it’s as simple as giving a colleague your undivided attention by listening or noticing when someone at work needs a helping hand and lending it. How about having a difficult conversation with a co-worker and being courageous enough to tell them the truth — but in such a way that they can receive it? Or how about remaining silent in a meeting, even though you know the right answer, so that your team member as the opportunity to shine?

One of my favorite Buddhist stories ends with a saying from the old master,

“If you do the work that you do from a loving heart, then you will always be able to make something beautiful.”

This week, focus on how your loving heart shows up at work, at home and in your quiet moments. Revel in the beauty and light this brings to you and others.

Have a good week!


© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

3/14/11 “Remembering What’s Important”

Good day, Team.

This week, I can’t help but reflect upon the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Sometimes I wonder if the size of a tragedy proportionately influences our humanity. Do disasters like this have to keep happening to wake us up and remind us of what’s important? How it is that I’ve almost forgotten about the oil spill that happened just last year? or the earthquake in Haiti? What is it in our thinking that so quickly forgets? And how is it that in our day-to-day lives, we fuss and fight and strike out at one another when instead we could be appreciating all of the good things in our lives?

This week’s challenge is about remembering what’s important. Last week I found myself embroiled in an internal struggle that was all too familiar: worrying about what others think of me. I know there’s no way I can control what others think of me. Goodness knows I can barely control my own thoughts, let alone someone else’s. In reality what others think and say about me is a projection of what they think about themselves — so worrying about it is not very productive. However, I’m also aware that this affliction is quite common, and that it’s the rare person who doesn’t spend time worrying about what others think of them.

As I was struggling last week, with my monkey mind jumping from limb to limb pondering this topic, screeching at me and demanding my attention, I heard about the earthquake and everything stopped. In that moment, I was completely still inside. That stillness produced a sacred moment for me. I felt the suffering of thousands of Japanese people whose lives were changed forever, and I thought of what’s important to me: the people I love and the quality of the life I’m leading. These thoughts catapulted me into a state of gratitude and prayer. This kind of earth-shattering news causes me to pause and feel for others who are experiencing loss and devastation. It also fills me with gratitude for what I have and the safety of my own surroundings.

Each day this week, spend some time remembering what’s most important to you. Try not to let your thoughts of blame, resentment, worry and dissatisfaction take over. Try not to complain or speak against yourself or others. Allow yourself to appreciate the world and people around you, and don’t forget to let them know it. Give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives and take a few moments to reflect on our good fortune. And when all else fails, remember that love is universal and always here.

In that vein, I offer a variation of I Corinthians, 13: 4-13 from the Bible. These words remind me of what’s truly important:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I talked as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Have a good week!
Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

8/16/10 “Wisdom”

Good day, team,

This week’s challenge comes from a graduation card that I saw in a store today. It’s such good advice, I thought I’d share it.

Wisdom for a Good Life:

As you
go out
to remake
the world,
I offer
the following
bits of wisdom—
keep learning,
stay awake
to amazement,
be kind
than right.
And remember,
while you
might not
with this now,
being loved
than being

—Lisa Rice Wheeler

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2010 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights reserved.