Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Through the Eyes of a Child December 13, 2013

(As some of you may know, I am a regular, contributing expert on divorce for several online publications. The below post, is actually a copy of my most recent submission, so the “voice” of the article may sound a little different than what you are used to here. That said, I think it’s an important topic, particularly at this time of year, so I thought I would share it here, too.)

“Sorry I couldn’t give you that game console you asked for, if your dad paid his child support on time, maybe I would have been able to afford it.”
“It looks like it’s just you and me for the holidays this year, your mom is so wrapped up in her new family, she doesn’t have time for us.”
“Is your father going to do anything at all for the holidays, or does he just expect that I will do everything, just like I always did when we were married?”

When you read words like that, you may think, “I would never say such a thing in front of my children, even if I was thinking it” and if that’s the case and it never happens – then great! You are doing well, with something that is often very difficult to “master” in the wake of a divorce, particularly, if it was a contentious one. But for many it is hard to not let your feelings and frustrations bubble over, particularly at this time of year, when added responsibilities and financial pressures can make you feel squeezed beyond your normal tolerance level. It’s hard, it’s really hard and sometimes even with the best of intentions, we may vent in front of our kids often in an effort to explain away what we are a experiencing as some sort of inability to create the holiday memories for our children that we had wanted to. But clearly, allowing ourselves to let these sort of comments, slip out can be a lot worse for our kids than whatever it was we were trying to justify or explain away in the first place.

Have you ever really thought about what your child hears and feels when you say something like this? Chances are, it is not what you intended.

It doesn’t give them a better understanding of why there are less presents under the tree. It doesn’t prove to them that you are the parent who has their best interest in mind. And it doesn’t benefit anyone to have them “choose a side”. All it really does is – hurt.

This is their mother or their father that you are talking about. Children need to know that their parents love and care about them and undermining that, doesn’t really just undermine your ex, it undermines the very foundation of a child’s self-worth and self-confidence. It is true in some circumstances, the other parent may be disengaged, non-supportive or even abusive – but driving that home isn’t really the best message you could be giving your child; not at the holidays and frankly, not anytime.

If you need to vent, write in your journal, give out a scream when you are driving alone in your car, talk to your family, friends, therapist, coach or support group – but leave your kids out of it. The best gift you can give your kids this holiday is: yourself. Let them know, you are there, that you love them, are proud of them and a grateful to have them in your life. We can all go without “stuff”. One more video game left on the store shelf due to lack of funds, pales in comparison to the warmth and confidence of a child who knows they are valued and cared for. Do not let your disappointments become theirs. It’s not about the stuff, it never has been. Look through the eyes of your child, take a moment to see the world as they see it – and then give them what they really need. It doesn’t and will never come in a box.


One More Item for the List December 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:42 pm
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December Sunset(I don’t generally “cross my writing over”, but for the sake of economy – today’s blog is the text from my monthly newsletter. Freeing to birds with one click, if you will… For those who receive both – sorry for the overlap.)

Well, its December already, how the heck did that happen? Many of us find that this time of year brings a lot of “extras”, extra shopping, extra cooking, extra socializing, etc. And while most of you are likely not going to welcome the fact that I am about to suggest that you add one more thing to your already growing lists – I promise this is one you may want to do. 😉

As our calendar year draws to a close, this is a great time to do a little internal reflection on the year that is about to draw to close. As we get ready to bid farewell to 2013 and begin a new in 2014, why not spend a little time reflecting on what the past year has been like for you? Consider where you were as 2013 rolled in and what changes and developments have taken place for you.

  •  What were you most proud of?
  • What have you learned?
  • What were your struggles?
  • What were your achievements?
  • How have you grown?
  • What memories do you want to savor?
  • In what ways did you take care of yourself, the people and things that are important to you?

It won’t be long before we are beginning a new year, when often we begin again in earnest to commit ourselves to those things that are important to us both personally and professionally, so taking stock before moving forward makes sense now more than ever.
You don’t have to make a big deal out of it. If you choose to ponder the year and write down what comes to you then great. If you choose to just let yourself consider these questions as wait in line at the mall, then that’s fine too. Planning forward is great but missing the lessons you have learned along the way because you didn’t make time to acknowledge them is a gift lost.
Reviewing where you are and where you have been allows you space to envision where you want to be. It’s a part of the process and an important one, so go ahead add it onto the list, it doesn’t cost anything, there’s no clean-up, and no wrapping paper – but it is still a gift you can give yourself during this busy holiday season.


Which Super Hero are you? November 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 11:28 am
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I attend a weekly networking meeting (  with a group of other business people who meet in order to both grow their own businesses and to help to grow the businesses of the other group members whom they have come to know and trust. As part of the weekly meeting, each person stands and gives a 60 second “commercial” and though these are generally free form, today we were asked to work off of a theme – “Super Heroes”. Though I was always fascinated with the stories, abilities and powers of these comic icons, I can’t say I was ever a comic book aficionado so in order to choose my hero – I needed a little help from a friend – and the internet. So my question was – which female hero had “intuition” as part of her super powers? The answer was Jean Grey ( who it turns out – turns into “Phoenix”. And even before I read about the character – the name itself let me know that this was “the one”. Since my coaching business, Firebird Life Coaching ( derives its name from the mythology of the Phoenix  – I knew right away that it couldn’t have been a better fit.

So as I gave my “60 second” this morning – drawing the parallels between myself and my super hero alter ego, Phoenix I was struck by the elements of the story which resonated with myself and my work. According to Wikipedia, Jean Grey held  degrees in psychology and was a caring and nurturing figure. Her particular strong cards of telekinesis and telepathy allowed her to “read, influence and communicate with the minds of others”. “Check” I said to myself as I read along, those last bits would apply to me and my work. Occasionally, as the Phoenix, Jean would physically manifest as the firebird – and use her flames to “burn away what doesn’t work”. (Okay, I do stay in human form most of the time – but my work with my clients very often contains elements of awareness and release of old patterns of behavior which are no longer useful.) And then there was the death/resurrection piece, a strong symbol for creating yourself anew which often is one of the products of coaching. And finally, with the Phoenix being the manifestation of Jean’s true potential, I couldn’t help but think about how that resonates with my desire to help my clients do the same in their own lives.

And the funny thing is, not only did I relate to my new found alter-ego, as we went around the room, I found that I was surrounded by Super Heroes. Somewhere inside each us lies abilities, powers and gifts which we choose to manifest or not. Why not bring them to the fore? The world could use a few more Super Heroes today and wouldn’t it be nice to manifest your potential? Your don’t need the cape, the x-ray vision or the lightning bolts to be a hero, in fact many of the heroes people talked about today were the friends and loved ones in their lives who touched and helped them along the way. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and each of us has our secret power/s  – I challenge you to dazzle us with yours. Whether you find your comic-book counterpart or your own unique gift – it sure is a shame not to share it. Shazaam!