Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Different Kind of Christmas Poem

On the day the 134th Canadian soldier lost his life in Afghanistan, I thought this would be worth reposting. I have no idea who initially wrote it but whoever it was, thank you. Canadian troups are out there too and we should remember.

"The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps Canadian, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Dieppe on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in that Korean Land', And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, Something red and, white, ... a Canadian flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a trench with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbour no fright, Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least, "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done, For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us." - Author unknown

"Thanks for reading it and perhaps for passing it on to others.

Best wishes to you all...

Monday, December 14, 2009

In a word...FANTASTIC

Seth Godin's new eBook brings you perspectives from some amazing people. Click here to read it now and ask yourself....what if I actually paid attention to what was on these pages?


Donna Karlin

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Story Worth Telling

The story worth telling is the one that strikes closest to the heart of the matter. When I first started teaching and broke my model of coaching into proficiencies, ways of being and logistics, the participants got a great deal out of the class but it wasn’t personal. It didn’t sink in as deeply as I wanted it to. And then I started using examples to illustrate the various bits and pieces of the proficiencies and uniqueness of the Shadow Coaching™ model. That still wasn’t enough.

So one day I decided to watch myself in action as I shadowed. I was with a client I’d been working with on and off for almost a year and I was able to look at the intricacies of what I did. That’s when it hit me that the best way I brought forward increased awareness was when I used a story….a story that was personal, not generic, that would illustrate not only where my client was at the present time but where he could go if he made certain choices. We created his story in real time.

That’s when I decided to use a story to pattern my training around. Not only did the story bring context to our work in class, but gave a commonality to how we could build the model in real time as I took the participants through the life of a specific corporate client.

Stories, narratives, have a way of reaching beyond models, concepts, and ways of being to what’s real. Everyone can wrap their heads around something real. Not everyone has as easy a time taking concepts and making heads or tails of them.

Coaching via narrative is becoming more and more the norm. Any mode of teaching, mentoring and training can sink in so much deeper when applied and put into context via a story. It’s also the best way for someone to see inside of who we are…telling the stories of our lives, our past, moments in time that will always stay with us for one reason or another.

How many of you have taken the time to share the stories of your past with those special people in your life? These stories create a three dimensional image of who you are… more than a photograph or resumé…it’s you in the context of life. You and that image have traveled very far together to become who you are right now. Write these stories down…share them….let others get a glimpse.

It’s one of the reasons why I blog. I’m more that the Shadow that runs through the halls of an organization coaching clients. It’s a way for those who know me, heard of me or have never met me at all to see a bit deeper into who I am and why I have become what I’ve become.

Welcome. I’m happy to share with you.

…and wish you the best!
Donna Karlin