Today, as everyday, I am pausing to give thanks. What are you thankful for? Hopefully you are practicing it daily rather than annually! I am thankful for community (you!) and the opportunity to live out my vision of unlocking potential so all can live in prosperity and peace, as a Leadership, Team and Mentor Coach, Coaching Supervisor. This can include breaking through barriers such as bias.  What practices support your pausing and giving thanks? I journal mine morning and night time, putting a frame around my day, as well as striving to pause and give thanks throughout the day.

I am thankful for living in a nation that does not have a (physical) war raging within its borders. And thinking of the coaches, leaders and teams I coach in Ethiopia, which is currently experiencing armed conflict internally. Below please find a reflection from 2008, when I was moved by a speaker and author who had lived through war and founded an organization to help women recover from the horrors of war, including rape, separation from their families, witnessing family members being killed. Who is inspiring you: speakers, authors? I’d love to hear from you. I collect books I want to read in a contact file, and eventually do read some of them! In the past year or so I have especially been inspired by biographies of Barbara Bush, Michelle Obama, Samantha Powers, and hearing Madeleine Albright speak. 

Zainab Salbi, author of Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny and The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival & Hope, as well as founder and president of Women for Women International, truly moved me in her keynote speech at an International Coach Federation annual conference.

I was fortunate at the conference to acknowledge her for being a model of a woman who has survived abuse and tyranny herself and helps other women war survivors tell their stories and rebuild their lives. The power she exemplifies is strength and courage and seeking the greater good and peace, rather than anger and revenge, and power over others. Note the title of her second book focuses not on the horrors but on survival and hope.

From the Women for Women website:

Thanks for Women Investing in Women

Already feeling called to be a part of promoting peace, connection, and unity beyond my role on the ICF board of directors as it becomes a more global organization; and my Renewing Your Spirit work, she inspired me to do more. I have started work on Living from Shared Power and Peace, which I hope will be an intercultural endeavor. Dreaming big, I can envision a summit on this topic with Sir Richard Branson’s Elders, his global dream team of conflict mediators that includes Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela. (update: I did reach out and offer the Elders a retreat! So far, they have not taken me up on it. I continue to explore who to partner with, how to have the greatest impact for the greater good. I would so love to be with Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu before they die. I did fulfil another calling: writing Breaking Free from Bias, to reduce conflict, contributing to peace and unlocking all potential)

Are you truly inspired, but do not know how to move forward with your vision? Have a vision you put aside because it seemed too out of reach or not the right time yet? Is it time now? Or looking for that new vision to carry you through this next portion of your wild and wonderful life? And/or already feeling overwhelmed, and it is not even December, holiday and year end time yet, making it harder to focus on vision? How can I best support you?

I am thankful for you, dear community, for the peace and freedom I am privileged to experience, and for the opportunity to live out my vision of unlocking potential so all can live in prosperity and peace through Leadership, Team, and Mentor Coaching as well as Coaching Supervision, as well as writing and speaking. And yes, sharing power is one of my values and approaches. I also realize some cultures are more hierarchical rather than partnership, power sharing.

What are you thankful for, and how is giving thanks inspiring you to move forward with your vision?

To our success-we are in this together!

Marilyn O’Hearne, MSW, MCC, LLC; CQ Master Certified Coach, International Coach Federation  www.marilynoh.com  913-327-0611

Unlocking potential, prosperity and peace for leaders, coaches and their organizations through Leadership & Team Coaching, Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision

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Partially first published 2008

Image: Lip at Unsplash