Are You Willing to Stick Your Neck Out?

Behold the turtle/tortoise. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. James Bryant Conant, American chemist

Happy Gopher Tortoise Day. You might not recognize this auspicious day if you don’t live in the southeastern sector of the United States. Here on Marco Island, Florida, gopher tortoises are abundant.

The gopher tortoise is seen as a keystone species because it digs burrows that provide shelter for at least 360 other animal species. They are threatened by predation and habitat destruction. The turtle (somewhat different from the tortoise) is a sacred figure for the Native American. It represents Mother Earth and is a symbol for good health and long life because he/she can live up to 150 years. The hard shell of the turtle represents perseverance and protection.

Affirmation: I have the perseverance and long life of a turtle and I’m willing to stick my neck out for the sake of progress.

Coaching questions: What qualities do you share with the tortoise or turtle? How do they serve you? 

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Oscar, a gopher tortoise, is my quiet and faithful neighbor.

It’s All About Ability

The human spirit is one of ability, perseverance, and courage that no disability can steal away. 

Yesterday was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A day to promote understanding and to support the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities. I like the positive terms, differently-able or mobility challenged. 

My best friend is wheel-chair bound and is one of the most joyful, fulfilled people I know. She is eighty-three, lives alone in the country, is involved in her church and community, and has a long-list of family and friends who love being around her. Her mobility is challenged but her life is all about ability—-sociability, lovability, faith ability. She is my inspiration.

Affirmation: I am not defined by what I can’t do.

Coaching questions: How do you perceive those who are mentally or physically challenged? What can you do to promote understanding and support for people who are differently-able? 

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