Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Your life - your mission

Approaching the new year, I love to restate or reset my life's purpose and mission.

It's a bit of a process, so I'll start working on it today.

Empowering others and myself is always at the top of the list.

Anything I can do to support people in their quest to find their purpose, their passion, happiness or finding peace - I'm happy to lend a hand.

I *try* to confine my counseling side to my paying clients and coachees so I don't pass on those pearls of wisdom to people who don't ask for them - and in fact can live quite well without them! ;-)

Fortunately, when I accidentally start to slip, my compassionate friends know me well enough that when I open my mouth to offer an unnecessary recommendation, they pop up with, "Thanks, CP! Got it covered!" :-)

These friends are the same people who impose a 30-minute period of silence for me after we all see a movie together. They sit around and talk about the film, saying what they like about it, who's hot in it, etc. Then at the end of the 30 minutes, they turn to me and ask, "OK, CP, what did we miss .. what's wrong with it?" When I analyze everything - acting, lighting, editing, yanga yanga, yanga.

Entertaining others and myself is a close second. That includes writing, performing, singing, directing, using sock puppets - any skill required to create something for an audience - even if it's pets or a single individual.

I try to coach with humor. It's so much fun to watch coachees laugh when they learn! As I mentioned in another blog, one of my actors was interviewed by a top Academy Award-winning director. He asked her to tell him the most important thing I taught her -- she said, "To laugh at myself."

He was mighty impressed! Me, too! Fortunately he was also mighty impressed with her work!

As for me - I do not understand the concept of being "bored." It's not just a matter of entertaining myself, but of constantly learning, thinking, creating, meditating and now being physically active when I do these things - as well as using a pen, pencil or laptop to write. Whatever is closest.

My purpose is to create something that can be used in practical ways by others. I love to see and express something in a new light, in a new way, with a fresh approach. I try to do that in my blogs.

One of my missions is to make people feel appreciated, special and successful. It's amazing what individuals can do when they are shown how to do something in a way that is most effective - specifically by them, in their own style, in their own way.

That requires trust - both in their coach and faith in themselves - that they can make a number of mistakes - without fear, shame or ridicule - until they hit the bull's eye: the winning combination of words, actions, tones, subtexts, movements or notes.

I also love serving my pets and friends; taking care of them when they need it. I don't mind doing whatever it takes to be there for them. Having so many people there for me when I went through months of chemotherapy and radiation gave me a special appreciation for just being there for someone who needs unconditional companionship and hand holding.

I also believe that another purpose I have is to show people the power of faith - which as you know if you've read my blog awhile is something I believe every artist must have.

For example:

In the middle of my battle against breast cancer a couple years ago, my little 5-pound white Pomeranian Mistletoe was kidnapped. Dognapped. From right out in front of our home.

MistletoeAs the hours turned to days she went missing, then the days turned to weeks - friends, family and well-intended neighbors would purse their lips, concerned that I was deluding myself by keeping hope alive that I would ever see my little angel dog again.

They were even more worried that I was making myself much sicker by going out every day, regardless of how I was feeling, posting flyers, sending post cards, putting ads in papers and online, whatever I could do to find her.

All I knew is that I would never, never give up on finding her.

Finally neighbors and complete strangers who heard about my situation joined my friends - volunteering to help spread the word far and wide.

Until one day a 15-year old girl recognized Mistletoe's picture on a small poster with my phone number at Starbucks. She told her mom, who was with her, that she knew who had my pup.

Her mother called me, gave me the kidnapper's name and where she went to school - making me promise never to give her daughter's name because apparently the girl who took Mistletoe would "punish" her for snitching.

The kidnapper lives south of Seattle - at least 15 miles from where I live, and was walking by my house the morning she saw and took my little dog.

Thanks to a teacher I know who tracked down the kidnapper's number and address, I had Mistletoe back within 12 hours of that phone call.

That was 8 weeks to the day she went missing.

When I blanket e-mailed everyone that I found my wee pup; that she was home again - that she had not been well cared for but was oh, so thrilled to be sleeping in my arms again - I could not believe the number of people who were shocked - calling it a miracle!

They admitted they thought she would *never* be found - they actually thought she was toast and only humored me while I was on my Mission Impossible!

I never doubted I would bring her home - dead or alive. She needed to be home with her family.

I think a lot of people learned a lesson about faith that day.

Everyone except me.

But I definitely reveled in appreciation and gratitude, with a full heart, as I held my little girl again.


  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger Cooper said…

    That is an amazing story! I can't believe someone would do such a thing.


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