Today, as I was racing around preparing an already too-late lunch, I happened upon the most God awful smell in our pantry. The allergens that haunt most people who live in Austin, Texas after awhile may be part of the reason that my nose had not awakened to this lovely aroma. Irregardless, I didn’t notice it until I reached up for the bag of potatoes on the highest shelf (of course!) that they were dripping wet. Never a good sign when it comes to potatoes in bags in your pantry. As my brain began to put two and two together (smell+wet bag+?), my hand had already grabbed the plastic top of the bag and was pulling it towards me which only enabled me to get a spectacularly huge whiff of the rotten potatoes and some of the potatoes drippings on my skin. Immediately, I washed my hands and disposed of the offending taters. But for the rest of the afternoon I kept catching glimpses of the rotten smell as I sat at my computer. I’d smell my arms and hands. No rotten potatoes. I’d smell my shorts, no rotten potatoes. I’d smell my shirt. Again same thing. Then I’d relax and go back to typing and like a poltergeist, the smell would reappear again. I’ve heard it said that some people believe that the smell of roses previews experiences of The Blessed Virgin Mary. I don’t know what rotten potatoes portend, but I don’t think I want to know. I wanted to learn whatever the lesson was for me via the potatoes, so hopefully this can be helpful for you too.
You know, when life hands you rotten potatoes, well, make what you can from them!!
Just before the discovery of the potatoes, I had re-visited what appears to be one of my big life lessons which is that accept who I am and what I have to offer as a person and a Coach. I’m one of these maverick kind of people who doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed in this wonderful age of branding. My work experience includes 13 years running an IT Consulting Company as well as stints in the publishing, academia and pathology worlds. My Coaching credentialing includes both CoachU and SUN ™ Coaching schools. I say all this because in addition to having all this great experience and schooling, and loving to work with people in various stages of career transition, I still sometimes get pigeon-holed as being a “Holistic Life Coach” (as if that is a bad thing!) and not always recognized as also being a terrific Career Coach with a wide breadth of experience and schooling to pull from. It especially irks me when people that I thought knew who I was and what I was about, so obviously don’t. Is this a branding issue? Perhaps. Or is this an opportunity for me to accept all of who I am and what I want at a deeper level. In other words, perhaps I’m a “Holistic Career and Life Coach”?
My fervent desire for people is that they figure out what to do in life that “lights them up” and then go do that thing, whatever it is. And not to let perceptions hold you back. Well, maybe this occurrence (again) today is a life “test question”. How much do I really believe what I say? If I am willing to access my entire bag of tricks, well, who will be the people that will most benefit from them? These are the people that I need to put my attentions towards, not the ones who don’t grok me.
What about you? What is your unique specialness? How do you perceive yourself and how do others perceive you? And who do you really-really care about understanding who you are and what you are about?
How does this all tie in with “rotten potatoes”? Because I was starting to grow a nice little resentment towards these people that had dared to refer to me as a “Holistic Life Coach” and I somehow believe that the Good Orderly Direction of life was giving me a hint through the use of rotten potatoes. I have much to be grateful for and many wonderful clients who find my style of Coaching very helpful for them because I can go down all kinds of roads that they may need to explore, depending on what they need.
I’ll grab the miracles from the lessons where I can! How about you?