CAKE (a poem)

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There was a movie called Flashdance
(stick with me).
The main character said,
“I’m not a dancer like that.”
She wasn’t trained, didn’t have degrees
on the wall (hung mostly to impress).
She could just…dance. No one knew how.
No one saw her sweating it out in her living room,
practicing behind closed doors,
away from human eyes.
She was also one of “those” dancers—
the ones that don’t call themselves strippers
since they’re still wearing a string of cloth;
she had bills to pay, and besides, it was the one place
she could shake without judgment.

Like her,
I am not a writer “like that.”
I just…write.
I don’t have a scroll of accolades
trailing behind me like a wedding gown.
I’m not hip to who is currently the “best” in the country,
nor do I have a clue about the New York Times Book Review,
perhaps because so much of what moves me
isn’t making it to the bestseller lists
(you’d need to buy your own copies for that)…
obscure mystics like Evelyn Underhill,
and whisperings from the past by Blake and Rilke,
Dickens and George MacDonald—
people who wrote in blood and parchment, ink and blotter.

So I took “stripper” jobs (there were bills to pay).
Or what felt like their equivalent to someone
who writes for the love of writing, the written word,
and the power it has to bring light—
like music, like film, when it’s done well.

And I wonder: if artists were paid for
sheer love of what they do—
for the doing of it with heart’s blood—
not for applause,
not for kudos and thumbs-up,
not for being deemed part of the new trend,
how many would be rich, and how many poor?

There are the rare ones who hit the jackpot
without selling their souls—
those who stay true to their core
regardless of others’ jealousies, despisings, and misunderstandings,
unmoved by the questioning expectations left and right,
(nevermind words like “marketable”),
the C. S. Lewises, the Woody Allens.
But many are pushed aside by the loudmouths,
the narcissists, those pretending to shine,
and threatened by those touched with fire.

Little do they realize
that the glow of the True cannot be snuffed out.
Darkness has a go, but cannot overcome them.
Theirs is the final conquest,
the limping triumph of those who have made mosaics
from the broken pieces of themselves and their lives.
It is not registered in anything but
the peace and tranquility
of authenticity.
If money comes in a rushing wind,
it is the frosting, not the cake.
The cake is a soul
at peace with itself.

 

© Monique Amado
written November, 2012

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monet cake

 

THE MYTH THAT LIFE COACHES HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER

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I’ve been trying to think for a while now how to write this article. I’ve had the title in mind for several weeks.

I’ve noticed something, a sort of unspoken myth, if you will, about life coaches: that a life coach is someone who is somehow above the rest of the population and has things all figured out. The reason I know this is because I myself have sometimes felt that way about mentor coaches and coaches who have been at this a lot longer than me. I somehow allowed an image to grow of people who don’t struggle, don’t know what it is to suffer, who somehow magically knew how to get their coaching practice off the ground and had no problems with putting themselves out there. Deep down, I know these ideas aren’t true, yet they surface on days when I’m feeling particularly challenged and feel like giving up.

Thanks to people like Kim Avery (one of the amazing people I had the privilege of being trained and coached by) and her willingness to be vulnerable, I am reminded how true it is that God’s strength is best shown in our weakness. Her willingness to not only share bits of her journey, but also to share how scared she was to share, is something that emboldens me and surely anyone who hears her.

Lest you think that I’ve come to coaching because I think I have it all together, let me relieve you of that idea right now: that’s not why I started coaching. I started simply because it was time. Because for years, a whisper in my heart grew so loud that it started shouting to me to get started. And getting started has changed me in many ways as I’ve gone through a deep, heart and life-exploring process that is just like the process I help clients go through.

What I came to the table with is a deep level of faith, a high level of empathy (which, I admit, has sometimes been my downfall in the past) and a whole lot of experiences that have allowed me to see into other people’s issues, pain, relationships, dreams, confusion, lives and hearts.

But I also came to the table without a clue what to do in terms of business, websites, and that word I still wrestle with—marketing. To say it has been a learning curve would be an extreme understatement. Add to this the extreme circumstances going on in the life of a close family member that affect me daily and well, let’s just say it’s a challenge. However, it’s never boring.

It’s interesting that the same things that are hard for me as an artist, are hard for me as a coach. But just because we aren’t naturally good at something, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it or that we can’t become good at it with practice (Kim Avery is, again, a great example of this).

I’ve had to get over the idea that telling people about what I do is annoying to them and remind myself (daily!) that I have something valuable to offer and if I don’t tell people, they’ll never know. That goes not just for coaching, but for my writing, music, acting and other creative abilities as well.

I didn’t come to the ability to hone in on what someone is saying and not saying by having it all together, believe me. I don’t think I came to it through training either, although the fine tuning of training has been invaluable. I think I came to it through my own self-awareness and some crazy gift of hearing what a person isn’t saying and being able to tune in to people on a spiritual level. When I was a child in elementary school, I was a confidante to other kids who needed someone not just to listen, but to understand their struggles.

I think what makes life coaches have something so incredibly valuable to offer is: we know how it feels.

How what feels?

How it feels to wonder if you’re even fit for the task of whatever you feel called to. How it feels to struggle with implementing healthy boundaries so your life will have more balance. How it feels to know where you want to go, but not know how to get there. How it feels to walk by faith and not by sight every single day. How it feels to have to push perfectionism aside if you want to get anything done. How it feels to feel down sometimes. How it feels to stop procrastinating and do the next right thing. How it feels to plant seeds and then wonder when they’ll ever bear fruit. How it feels to need support and encouragement. In short, we know how it feels to be human.

We can understand because we’ve been there and, on a lot of things, have come through to the other side. But mainly, because we listen at a deep level and are trained to ask powerful questions, we can help you work through your challenges in ways that work for you. Not because we have all the answers, but because we’ve seen how powerful coaching is in our own lives and the lives of our clients. We know how empowering it is when someone trusts that you actually have the answers within yourself and asks you questions to help you navigate your way to finding them.

Inspiring you to connect to how valuable you are, and to what you have to offer this world, is what I’m here to do both as a coach and as an artist. What I’m also called to do as a coach and as an artist (and a human!) is to keep it real.

If you want to learn more about what I do, you can visit my coaching website by clicking this link: Art of Life Coaching.

Till next time, wishing you peace and courage…

Monique

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5-MINUTE PODCAST ON COMPARISON (THE THIEF OF JOY)

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Today’s podcast is about one of life’s biggest joy stealers–comparison. Let me encourage you to value what you have and replace comparison with inspiration.

 

To schedule a free 30-minute exploratory coaching call with me, please click here and book yourself an appointment. I’d be happy to talk with you!

Have an inspired week!

Blessings,

Monique

WHAT IS AN ARTIST DATE? – WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY PODCAST – WEEK 4

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Hi friends,

Have you ever heard of an Artist Date? Have a listen and let me tell you about it.

https://soundcloud.com/artoflife-2/what-is-an-artist-date-wonderful-wednesday-episode-4

Thanks for listening.

Blessings on the remainder of your week!

Monique

** Image credit: http://blog.artviva.com/2014/04/29/the-best-bookshops-in-italy-come-in-cool-off-warm-up-read-on/