Thursday, November 30, 2006

What DOES it mean?

When things go wrong what DOES it mean?
Reality is, it doesn't mean anything...unless it does. You won't know until you get there.

Andi Mac

Have truer words ever been spoken? When something goes wrong, we humans try to figure out what happened.

We ask, "Why?" or "Why me?" and we start making up stories. Some of them are even good stories. Some of them are just futile attempts to make ourselves feel better by attributing meaning to a situation. In those futile attempts, we often go so far afield we never find our way back to center.

As Andi Mac says, we really don't know the why of it until we get there.

I suggest an attitude of curiosity.

"Hmm. I wonder what this is about?"

"Wow. I hope this makes sense at some point."

"There could be a reason for this. Maybe I'll recognize it when I get there."

Then pay attention. Develop awareness. Develop the state of paying attention in the moment and learn to connect the dots. Learn to see the patterns and it will all begin to make sense. Even when it doesn't make'll have more perspective by paying attention.

Does all of this sound obtuse? Give it a try. See what happens. Then, come back and let me know your experience.

I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, please email your request to

Thursday, October 26, 2006

If you live to be a hundred...

If you live to be a hundred,
I want to live to be a hundred minus one day,
so I never have to live without you.

Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Love of My Life...

Okay...the four-footed one.

He's been gone two years now. If he had been able to hold on through the kidney disease, he would be 20 now.

He was my familiar. My friend. The love between us was deep and strong. Some say animals don't feel emotion. I disagree. I have no proof, but neither do they (the naysayers, I mean).

I loved taking pictures of him--especially pictures of him roosting or sleeping. Who knew that an "old man" cat could be so cute. Or was he just cute to me? Nah. He was cute.

He had a presence that was at least 6 foot 6, a spirit that could melt any hardness in my heart with one glance, and a purr in the range of the elephants' deep rumble. He rattled me loose. Even remembering him brings me to that same place of inner softness.

What softens your heart? I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session, send an email request to

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Love Story

This story was sent to me by a regular reader and I wanted to share it with you for "Love Thursday":

"You know I do hair up at the nursing home here on Wednesdays. There is a lady up there whose hair I have done for awhile. Anyway, I have to tell you about her and her husband. The funny thing is they are Mr. and Mrs. Wright and trust me they are right for each other.

"She is in the Alzheimer unit and she is very mobile walks all over the place constantly. She is lucky if she weighs 80 pounds soaking wet and maybe in her 20s was 5 feet tall on a good day. She is also a former hairstylist. She is someone who doesn't speak much. When she tries to talk it is just babble. She is kinda grouchy (but I love her to death). She is resistant to go with me (or anyone) to have her hair done (or anything for that matter). So I learned a long time ago to call her husband when I had to work with her.

"When she sees him walk in the room she is a totally different person. She is calm, smiles, knows him. Calls him honey. She will do anything he tells her with a smile on her face. The funny thing is she is all over him. He sits next to her in a chair while I am giving her a perm and she likes to face him and put her legs up on his lap (smiling the entire time). When she is turned in the chair she will contort herself to touch him. The way they look at each other is like something in a movie. It is like they are 16 yrs old and it is their first love. You have to remember they are in their 80s and have been married forever and have 3 grown kids.

"It is almost something you have to witness because it is hard to describe the interaction between the two of them. It is witnessing true love. In today's day and age I don't think we see that and if you have that you are extremely lucky. He is up there a couple times a day to see and he worries about her so much. It makes me wonder if my marriage is that strong (I'd like to think so). They have the kind of relationship that no matter what your age you are envious of! Even though there is nothing at all dirty about it, it is almost like no one should be able to witness the intimacy there, and see the love, trust, and connection but there is no way not to. When you leave them you are happier person. If everyone had this kind of relationship there would be no divorce in the world.

"You don't have to use this story. It is just something I thought I would share with you since you are like me and like these happy, emotional stories. I just thought a story like should be shared."

I agree.

Have a great Thursday, everyone. May your day be full of love.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda email your request to

Saturday, September 23, 2006

For the working woman--

Check this out!

Sean at Sean's Horse Farm and Family Blog was looking for some coveralls for his wife. Any woman who has ever looked for good quality work clothes knows how hard it is to find clothes that fit well the feminine form. Well, Sean found them.

Go to Charm and Hammer to find safety gear for the hard working woman in your life. (Looks like something Rosie would wear, doesn't it?) Sean suggests, "If you have a blog, why not spread the word and support Charm and Hammer, a woman owned store in Apex, NC."

Great idea, Sean. Thanks for supporting woman owned businesses. Let's all do what we can to help them out and spread the word.

If you buy something, let me know how it works for you. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, email your request to

Friday, September 22, 2006

What do you stand for?

The village was threatened by a tribe of barbarians. The inhabitants were abandoning their houses and fleeing to a safer place. At the end of a year they had all left – except a group of Jesuits.

The army of barbarians entered the city without any resistance and held a great feast to commemorate the victory. In the middle of the dinner a priest appeared.

“You came in here and drove out peace. I beg you to leave at once.”

“Why haven’t you fled yet?” shouted the chief of the barbarians. “Don’t you see that I can run you through with my sword without blinking an eye?”

The priest answered calmly: “Don’t you see that I can be run through by a sword without blinking an eye?”

Surprised by such serenity before death, the chief of the barbarians and his tribe abandoned the place the next day.

Thanks again to Warrior of Light for this story.

Sometimes all it takes to disarm a bully is to call his bluff...and when you really mean what you say, the odds go up exponentially. You don't always have to be ready to die for what you believe in to get the point across. Speak your truth in love. Easier said than done? Yes. The more I practice this art, however, the easier it becomes.

I don't like confrontation. When I must confront, I work on being centered. I state my truth. I name the problem. Even if I am afraid, I hold love and compassion out in front. I stand in my strength...with gentleness. I know what I know.

The more I find my center, the less I need to be combative to make my point. No fear. Just truth. I want to be like the priest in this story. No fuss. No muss.

We can all do it. Tell me about yours. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session, email your request to

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Love Thursday - True Confessions

(All credit to the unknown photographer)

When I was of the age that young girls do such things, I practiced making out. The "object of my affection" was a stuffed penguin. Not taxidermied--stuffed. Like teddy bear stuffed.

Not many people know this about me. When we played Three Truths and a Lie, my osculations with the family Spheniscidae was one of my truths. Now my sister knows. It was her penguin. Hope she doesn't mind.

I prefer my practice partner to this kid's...but, to each her own.

Any truths you want to confess? I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, please email your request to

Three truths and a lie

[Note: This was originally posted on February 4, 2006. For some reason, it never showed up as a post. So here it is. I guess it is just one of those technological quirks that happens sometimes.]

We laughed. We laughed hard and long. None of us wanted to stop playing, but a couple of us had to get up at 4:00 a.m. to go to the airport, and the reality of a short night of sleep brought us to the end of the games.

Jasmin (see the post on October 26, 2005) invited me to her birthday dinner. Seven of us spent the evening celebrating the anniversary of her entering this world. We ate good food and shared each others' company, the way good friends do, and we played games.

Tracy heard of a game on the radio that he brought to the party. Three Truths and a Lie. You come up with four statements about yourself...three truths and one lie. Then you share all four statements with the group and let the others guess which of the four is the lie. Talk about a way to get to know your friends better! The stories behind the truths made Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures pale in comparison.

We shared facts from the ridiculous to the profane. Since it was a late night adult party, some of the topics were even R rated. And we had so many laughs, we played another round and another.

How long has it been since you have laughed long and hard? The euphoria that followed several hours of belly laughing with tears in my eyes stayed for days. Everything looked brighter.

What do you like to do to laugh? I'd love it if you would share your favorites here. Try this game and give me a report. Spread it around. It's good for our health.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

Discernment and compassion

The master and his disciple were talking at a street corner when an old woman came up to them: “Get away from my window!” shouted the old lady. “You are disturbing the customers.” The master apologized and crossed over to the other sidewalk.

They went on talking until an officer came up to them and said: “We need you to move away from this sidewalk. The count will be passing by here in a few moments.”

“Let him use the other side of the street,” answered the master, without moving.

Then he turned to his disciple and told him: “Don’t forget: never be arrogant to the humble. And never be humble to the arrogant.”

[Thank you to Warrior of Light for this story.]
As we gain confidence and know our own power, we know who the bullies are and we can stand up to them--even if we are afraid. We also know how to stand in our humility and compassion for our fellow humans.
During the first half of my life, I would have acted exactly the opposite of the master in this story. When the shopkeeper complained, I might have moved, but I would have been huffy and puffy about it. "How dare she tell me to move! Who does she think I am?" But when the officer came up, I most likely would have moved without question. After all, the count is a very important man!
This is not something I am proud to admit; however, my response is not uncommon...especially among women. We do what we are told...especially when told by men.
At this stage of my life, with more experience, learning, strength, boundaries, and sense of self, I have more choice. I can decide when to move and when to stay put. My ability is keener to discern when I am truly being helpful to another human being versus when I am being pushed around to make someone feel powerful and important.
One of the things I love about my work is watching people come into themselves and find their power. When you are sure of yourself and your worth, you know when to stand up and when to sit down.
Put yourself in this story. What would you do? I'd love to hear your story.
Wanda Tucker, Coach
For a free 1/2 hour coaching session, email your request to

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Beginnings - Love Thursday

(My great nephew and my brother)

A clean slate. A new beginning. Full of expectation. Ready to go.
What would it take to start each day with that kind of freshness, hope, and possibility?
(How can you not love that face?)
For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, email your request to

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Be true to yourself

Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.

~Eleanor Roosevelt~

What a gal! I have always admired the common sense and wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt. She spoke her mind and stood up for what she thought was right.
Bottom line is, who can I be if I am not being the individual I was born to be? There is only one me in all of the universe. Each of us can say the same. Be all your glory.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

PS - Who says we are not ready for a woman president? Just look at Eleanor!

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, email your request to

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Love In Action

Perhaps love is the process of my leading you gently back to yourself.
~Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944), French Pilot, Author ~
For a free 1/2 hour coaching session email your request to

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


(photographer unknown--credit gladly given)
How is this for trust in the world?
Yes, it's Love Thursday and I love puppy tummies.
How can one not be called to the highest good and most protective stewardship when looking upon this trusting vulnerability? This level of trust in the world calls me to a higher good...and it melts my heart.
What are some of the things that call you to be your best self? I'd love to hear.
Wanda Tucker, Coach
PS - For yet another kind of love, check out I love this guy... below.
For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda send an email request to

I love this guy...

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

~Albert Einstein~

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, send an email request to

Sunday, August 27, 2006

How to Dress for Success...

Never wear anything that panics the cat.
~ P.J. O'Rourke ~
This quote makes me laugh. I am not sure what this has to do with coaching. I guess we could talk about dressing for success. I mean, really--if it panics the cat, you might not want to wear it to work or to an interview.
Well, most of us wouldn't, but I am sure that in some circumstances that ensemble would be just right.
I hope you at least get a smile out of this. And, heck, if you can think of a circumstance where wearing an outfit that panics the cat would be just right...please--tell me about it.
Wanda Tucker, Coach
For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, please email

Thursday, August 24, 2006

sar_girl to the rescue!

I received this email from sar_girl recently and she gave me her permission to share it with you:

In our search and rescue squad there is a guy who instructs rappelling and cave rescue and that sort of thing. I have always wanted to try it but I am
TERRIFIED of heights.

rappelling cliff sar girls friend

[Take a look at this cliff!]

Anyway...I got home late Friday, and Saturday morning we had this rappelling training class. I watched Barry [husband] go down and some of

[Barry on belay.]

my friends. I climbed to the top of a 130 foot straight drop off cliff. I was scared--bad scared. Anyway, I let Jim hook me up on the harness. I have known Jim for several years and really trust him or I would have never done it.

I didn't know if I could do it. I started to get teary and cry a little bit. Jim is awesome in talking you through everything. This guy is an RN, EMT, Rescue Trainer. I swear there is nothing this guy doesn't do in the emergency and rescue field. He made me feel really comfortable. The rope fed thing I had was kinda slick and I couldn't stop the rope when I stepped over the edge so Jim pulled me back up and gave me his favorite feeder, the one he uses for cave rescues. That worked great.

sar girl rappelling

[sar_girl's rappel.]

So...I had to take the scariest step and that was to walk off the edge of a cliff backwards. Baby steps, let out some steps, more rope, sit in the harness, legs out straight, walk down the cliff. I tell you what, it was a lot of work but as soon as I was over the edge the fear was gone. It was a great feeling. I conquered a major fear not once but twice. Yes, I climbed to the top and did it again. I think I will do it again some day, too.

sar girl and friends rappelling

[She liked it so much, she did it again. That's sar_girl in the middle.]

Now I wouldn't hesitate to rappel down to assist a rescuer retrieving a victim. Heck, I think I will do it just for fun some day again. To me what makes it so scary is there is no second chance. If something goes wrong and you fall, that is all she wrote. There are no do overs.

Having someone (a coach, trainer, leader) hold the vision of what is possible lifts us to heights (or rappels us down!) we didn't think possible. sar_girl had it in her all the time. Jim knew that and helped her find it.

Is there something you have always wanted to do but couldn't quite bring yourself to? I bet it is possible. Want to give it a shot?

Tell me about it. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

For a free 1/2 hour coaching session with Wanda, send an email to

PS - These pictures were taken by sar_girl and friends. Thanks for letting me use them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Love Thursday 08.24.06

(Here's the whole fam damily swimming at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.)
Check out Chookooloonks for more love and see the lovely Karen on her second wedding the same man!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Can You Believe This?!

I try to keep it uplifting around here. And most of the time I try not to show my paranoia about the State of the Union. Usually, I avoid politics.

This is too important. If I bring this issue to one person's awareness, it will have been worth it. Please read this article.

Thanks to Tim Youmans for the link.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Love Thursday

Karen at Chookooloonks and a friend declared today Love Thursday. Post a picture of something that shows love.

I'm in.

Murphy and Yoda [taken by Rebecca...they're her animals, too]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pet (1955 - 2006): Who Says We're Smarter?

(One of the beautiful pachyderms at the Oregon Zoo. Sorry...I don't know which one.)
In the recent edition of Zoo Tracks (Fall 2006, Volume 28, No. 3), I read a tribute to Pet, the matriarch to the herd. Keepers and doctors were unable to resolve or manage her pain from age related ailments including arthritis, and the only option to stop her pain was euthanasia.
The article, which didn't have a by-line, tells a wonderful story about Pet that I feel compelled to pass on. It is just too good not to.
"In the late 1960s, explained Keele [former keeper who worked with directly with Pet, now the Zoo's deputy director], Pet and the other Zoo elephants were involved in a study to test their visual acuity. Using a slide projector and a custom-built box with a screen and large white buttons on either side, the researchers presented a series of slides to the elephants. The idea was, when the researcher presented a white slide, the elephant was supposed to push the right button, and when the researcher presented a barred slide, the elephant was supposed to push the left button. Each correct response earned the elephant a sugar cube delivered down a tube by the researcher.
"The slides were presented at random so the elephants could not discern a pattern. Once an elephant got 20 correct responses, the trial concluded and the elephant no longer received sugar cubes. Some elephants figured out the routine quickly, while others struggled. In time, all of the elephants mastered the test. Several years later, the researchers were curious as to whether the elephants remembered. They retested the same elephants. Not surprisingly, three of the four elephants remembered and almost immediately got 20 correct responses. But Pet labored over the trials. She would get 12 correct then make an error, 14 correct then make another error, 12 correct the next day, 17 the next, 18 the next, then back to 13. There really wasn't any pattern to her success or failure, according to Keele.
"'One of the researchers told me how smart the other three elephants were,' Keele recalls. 'But poor Pet, he said - she just didn't have everything in order upstairs. I told him to look at it from Pet's point of view. She'd learned how to do this several years before: Once she hit 20 correct responses, the sugar cubes stopped coming. I told him that I doubted that she would ever get 20 correct again - after all, look how many more sugar cubes she'd scored than her "smart" classmates!'"
(The same elephant pictured above.)
We are lucky to be able to share the planet with such magnificent creatures. Pet, thanks for being such a wonderful presence and teaching us a thing or two besides.
The moral of the story?
Never mess with a woman's access to sugar!
Wanda Tucker, Coach

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Have You Paid Your Dues?

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.
~Sophia Loren, (1934 - ) Italian Actress~
Some of us are a little more paid up than others. One thing for certain--if this is the measure, then my life is full indeed.
I had a client years ago who was very hard on herself. (Come to think of it, I still have a number of clients who are hard on themselves. I think it is the American way or something.) I explained to her that with very rare exceptions, people don't set out to fail. They don't start working on something thinking, "If I mess this up my day will have been a success." Most of the time, all day long, most people want to do good things, complete their work, finish their projects, and have something to show for their efforts. Most people really want to do a good job. So when it doesn't work out that way, giving oneself a verbal berating isn't called for.
Does it help or make you feel worse about yourself? I always felt worse and fell into a pocket of shame so deep that I didn't think I would be able to get myself out of it.
What I suggested to this woman was saying to herself, "Oops. I made a mistake," and cut herself the slack to have a do-over. She laughed. She tried it.
She finished her work with me and I didn't see her for months. Then something came up and she called to make another appointment. We talked about the progress she had made in her life since we last talked. One of the first things she mentioned was the change in her self-talk. She said, "Now when I screw something up, instead of swearing and getting angry, I say, 'Oops. I made a mistake,' and I try again." As she told me this, she laughed.
Simply changing one response--her internal reaction to a mistake--made a huge difference.
Do you have one line of internal dialog you can change? Is there something you wish someone would say to you instead of what you say to yourself? You can do it. Make the shift...and when you do, please tell me about it. I'd love to hear.
Wanda Tucker, Coach

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tact or Fiction?

Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.

~ Howard W. Newton ~

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Eskabo Da'an - Week Four

Master Michael paired me up with Abby, a very sweet, young woman half my age. (She wrote the article on page 67 of the Filipino Martial Arts Digest.) She was very patient--a marvelous instructor. She showed me basic "Ones." A "One" is a strike to the opponents upper left head, neck, shoulder area. Since this art is about countering the attack, we practiced numerous ways to defend that first basic strike. We also worked on the twelve angles and basic foot work. For an hour, following the warm ups, Abby ran me through drill after drill, repetition after repetition of these techniques.

In this system, the Seniors teach the Juniors, and the Juniors teach the Newbies. (I am not sure whether Abby would be considered a Senior or a Junior.) I like the way it works. Having been a teacher for years, I know that a good way to reinforce one's own learning is to teach someone else. It is also a model of service and a way to build camaraderie. Even though the only thing I know about most of the people there is their first names, I walk away from class feeling connected to them all.

So, Abby and I practiced ad infinitum. I sweated. I got it sometimes. I had brain farts sometimes. And we just kept going. Her encouragement got in.

I'd miss a couple moves and stop. "I can do this," I'd say.

"You are doing it," says Abby.

And I was! Sometimes clumsy. Sometimes like I actually had the flow. "I'm doing it, " I'd say--not out loud, but in my head. "Yes. I'm doing it."

I don't think I bruised her. She already had a bruise on her arm from Monday night's class. Fortunately, I didn't get whacked tonight. Thank you, Abby for having control in your strike. It isn't a matter of if I'll get hit. It is a matter of when. I am glad it wasn't tonight.

I am still the newest kid in class--twice the age (at least) of everyone except Master Michael and one other guy. And I'm getting it!

Woohoo! I can do this.

Beginner's success. Please, share a success of yours with me. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

PS - In the article, the second picture is Master Michael (facing the camera) and Grand Master Rob. In the third picture, you can see Grand Master Rob's face. And in the first picture, that might be Abby on the left in the green shirt.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Beginner's mind...and humility

A couple weeks ago I told you that I started taking a martial arts class, and that I am in love. That's still true, but I have to tell you, it is humbling to be the new kid in class.

I went to my third class last Wednesday. Master Michael is wonderful and patient and kind. The other students are generous and understanding and willing to be helpful. I worked with Mark and Chuck. Both of them gave me great help.

At the end of the class, I felt discouraged. I don't really know why. I am getting it. My form is improving, albeit slowly. I guess what I experienced was a prison of my own making. I was hard on myself.

But what do I expect? It was only the third class, for crying out loud.

You see, I am not used to being the new kid. I am used to being the one that others come to for help. I am used to being the one who knows what is going on. I am used to being the teacher and coach.

I gotta tell much as part of me doesn't like being the newbie and not having it all together, this is a very important part of the learning curve for me. Being humble without shame is so important. Just because I can't do it all yet (humble in my limitations) doesn't mean there is something wrong with me (shame).

Being and doing are happening simultaneously and continuously to each of us. When our performance (doing) has not yet reached mastery, that is no reflection on our personal worth (being). At times, we need to improve our actions (as in developing beginner's form at martial arts into something more precise, or even in becoming kinder in interactions with others), yet we still deserve to receive positive strokes for who we are--our essence.

When is the last time you were a beginner? Have you had a recent experience of humility? Were you tempted to fall into shame? Whether you fell into the pit, climbed the mountain, or walked the razor's edge between humility and shame, tell me about it. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

PS - All the pictures are mine taken by me.

PPS - The little girl in the kennel got in there by herself, sat and played for a long time, and got out by herself. No one put her there against her will. As for her crying, I don't remember now why she did, but it passed as quickly as it came on. I think she was tired.

Monday, July 31, 2006

How Long Will It Matter?

Often we allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. We lose many irreplaceable hours brooding over grievances that, in a year's time, will be forgotten by us and by everybody. No, let us devote our life to worthwhile actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and enduring undertakings."

Andre Maurois [1885-1967, Writer]

How many times have you been upset in the past week? In the past month? In the past year?

I can remember a couple times this week. I can remember several times in the last month. In the last year? I probably don't have enough fingers and toes to count them all on. How many of them do I remember? Fewer than a handful from the last year. In fact, only the most recent ones.

I am often surprised when I tell my friends a story about myself that I can't remember what it was that I was upset about...just that I was upset. What does that tell you? What does that tell me?

This time next year, I will probably only remember a handful of upsets that occurred with in the last week from that date. Amazing isn't it? It all seems so important at the time. How quickly it all passes.

Instead, who do you love and care about now that you will still love and care about a year from now?

What are the projects and matters of import that you devote your time and energy today that will still matter in a year? How many lives will you help by contributing to those efforts over the next year?

What are you building? Where are you investing your life energy and your best efforts?

Lots of questions...lots of right answers. What is true for you? Where is your focus? Do you focus on the yes or the no?

Tell me what you are creating in your life. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

Friday, July 28, 2006

Emotional Intelligence

The sign of intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.
Marya Mannes (1904-1990) American Journalist

We now know there is more than one type of intelligence. A decade ago Daniel Goleman, PhD agreed with Ms. Mannes when he wrote the book Emotional Intelligence. In 1994 Goleman stated in a report on emotional literacy in the U.S.:

" navigating our lives, it is our fears and envies, our rages and depressions, our worries and anxieties that steer us day to day. Even the most academically brilliant among us are vulnerable to being undone by unruly emotions."
How often do we lead with our emotions?

"If I feel it, it must be true."

"If my reaction is what I feel, it doesn't matter what the other person meant."

"I am licensed to act purely on my feelings. Damn reason! I feel, therefore I am."

Have you ever had one of those moments and lived to regret it? I have. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I have been on both ends of the emotional double barreled shotgun. I can't recommend either.

The true measure of intelligence is balance. It is important to pay attention to what we feel as part of the necessary information for decision making, yet completely throwing away reason in favor of our emotional reaction leaves us vulnerable to making serious mistakes.

On the other hand, I read a story about a physician who had a head injury which impaired the part of his brain related to emotion. His capacity to know what to do medically was intact. His ability to perform the specific skills needed to do his job was intact. Because he no longer had access to his emotions, however, he was unable to make appropriate decisions for patient care. He was not able to consider the whole person in determining appropriate treatment. The head injury seriously impaired his judgment, even though his capacity to recall his training was untouched.

So the next time you find yourself ready to go off half-cocked, take a breather. Bring your mind on board and think through the options. Find the balance. Maybe your decision won't change. Maybe you will still have the same response...or not.

Rarely is my first response (the one that is most emotional) the one I choose to go with. When I think it through, all the while considering my emotion, I usually feel more intelligent and probably come across moreso, too.

Let me know how it works. I'd love to hear if applying reason makes a difference for you.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

As within, so without....

Your success and happiness lie in you... Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

Helen Keller 1880-1968

(Curious on the mountain. Photo by Gerald Olson.)

What makes you happy? Where can you find that spark of joy inside and, once you do, fan the flames that keep it burning?

I have always reacted negatively to the New Age-y statement, "You create your own reality," because the way people used it, they were implying that it meant we create our external experiences. Period.

"Oh, a piano fell out of the sky and landed on your head? You created that reality."

"You were pulling weeds in your front yard when a gang initiation was taking place and you were shot in a driveby? You created that reality."

To that kind of thinking, I say, "Hogwash!" Life isn't that simple and that kind of statement too easily turns into "Blame the victim."

What is true, though, is that how we respond to our external situations creates our reality. If I am always struggling against the circumstances of my life, my life will be tired and miserable. But if I can find some peace within and meet my life with joy--or at least acceptance--the reality of my life will be easier.

How do you perceive what just happened? Can you look at it and grin or are you railing against the heavens? If you can find the joy inside--the one that is there no matter what is happening on the outside--you will find that all of life is pretty good.

Tell me about a time when you know that the way you perceived the situation made it better for you. I'd love to hear.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

Sunday, July 23, 2006

It works!

Hallelujah! I finally got the Hewlett Packard All-in-One printer to work through the Linksys wireless router here at home. We must be nearing the end of this bodacious, butt-kicking Mercury retrograde. Thank God.

Now all I have to do is get it to work through the Airlink 101 at the office. Easy--right?

Please say yes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What more is there to say?

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make a life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a person humanized or dehumanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

I would love to hear your thoughts and reactions--your questions and wonderings. At the moment, I am sitting with this thought. Later, I may have more to say.
In the meantime, bend my ear...
Wanda Tucker, Coach
PS - Thanks to sar_girl for sending this quote to me.
And thanks to whoever took the picture.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Eskabo Da'an

What ought one to say then as each hardship comes? I was practicing for this, I was training for this.
Epictetus (55-135 AD) Greek Philosopher
For about 20 years now (...or more) I have been thinking about and wanting to learn a martial art. Last night I went to my first class...and I think I am in love.
I just kept thinking about it and never doing anything about it. Know what I mean? Do you ever do that?
Last weekend I went to a workshop--on a different topic. We met at the dojo of one of the attendees who just happens to be Master Michael Morrell, a student of Grand Master Robert Castro, originator of Eskabo Da'an. Coincidence? I think not.
I think the Universe kicked me into movement. I am grateful. Michael is a great guy and I enjoyed being with him and talking with him. He exudes the kind of centeredness I wanted in a teacher. No big ego. Nothing to prove. That's what I wanted. I wasn't attached to what form to study. In fact, I couldn't even decide on one, so I asked Michael about classes. He invited me to come and see. I did. I participated. I had fun. I am going back.
I did a little research on Eskabo Da'an today. It is a Filipino Stick Fighting form that starts with a counter. My first move is always to block someone else's attack. Yes. That is what I want.
Lesson number one:
Get out of the way.
Get out of the way.
Get out of the way.
And it isn't just about fighting a human opponent. It is about any hardship, as Epictetus would say.
Where are you needing to get out of the way?
Where are you needing to get out of your own way?
Let me know...the lines are open.
Wanda Tucker, Coach

Friday, July 14, 2006

Blackbird II...Update

I counted. See the picture of Blackbird II below? That's pretty much how it looked when I planted it. Now there are 17...seventeen leaves on it!

Happy. Very happy. Me and it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blackbird...the second

Winter turned into Spring turned into summer. The garden bloomed. Not a trace of Blackbird appeared through the soil under my office window. Extra mulch and waxed cardboard came too late to save the 'bird from the ice, snow, and frozen ground. I am sad.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night....

Blackbird dead.

All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.

All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free.

So I rallied and went to the neighborhood nursery. "My Black Magic Colocasia didn't make it through the ice storm this winter."

"I feel sorry for ya," the owner said with a straight face and just a bit of an edge. "Ours didn't either. We lost our shirts!"

[Yes! It wasn't just me failing at farming. She couldn't save hers either! No...wait--I don't mean it that way. I truly am sorry that she lost plants and money. She had some beautiful specimens. It's just that--well, you know...I feel a bit better knowing that a professional had a similar struggle. You of those "v" words.]

"Do you have any more?"

Here it is.

Black Magic.

Colocasia esculenta.

Elephant ear.


Blackbird II is a much younger and smaller plant. It has a lot more leaves and I got it in the ground much earlier this year. Here's hoping the roots have a chance to grow deep and strong before extreme weather hits. This year, I'll be prepared to build a fortress sooner, too.

May your roots grow strong and deep this summer so you can weather any storms that come your way.

Best Wishes,
Wanda Tucker

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Choice...or compulsion?

“Freedom of choice is not, itself, the perfection of liberty. But it helps us take our first step toward freedom or slavery, spontaneity or compulsion. The free man is the one whose choices have given him the power to stand on his own feet and determine his own life according to the higher light and spirit that are in him. The slave, in the spiritual order, is the man whose choices have destroyed all spontaneity in him and have delivered him over, bound hand and foot, to his own compulsions, idiosyncrasies and illusions, so that he never does what he really wants to do, but only what he has to do.”
From The New Man by Thomas Merton

(I borrowed this quote and picture from one of my blogline feeds, Monastic Mumblings, a Friar's Journey. Thank you. It was very timely.)

How free are we? Without freedom of choice, we have no hope of liberty. Think about the choices you have made in the last week. Compulsive or spontaneous? What you wanted and truly chose to do...or what you had to do?

I'd love to hear your insights upon reflection.

Wanda Tucker, Coach

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Change of Mind

...and a change of heart. Now anyone can post to my blog. Bring it on, all you anonymous posters.

My friend and self-appointed writing teacher, Jennifer encourages me to allow anyone to post--"let there be anonymous posts (these are helpful)." Okay, I trust.

To all of you registered users who have showed up and posted...thanks.

Guess we'll see what happens next.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh freedom...

...oh freedom.
Oh freedom over me.
Before I'll be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord
And be free.
[African American Spiritual]

For some reason this song runs through my head today. Yes, it is the 4th of July. Yes, it is all about freedom...but why this song and not...

My country 'tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing...


I just got back from my evening walk. Firecrackers exploded. Whistling pyrotechnics abound. Yes, we celebrate freedom. Do we really stop to think about what the celebration represents?

Rockets red glare...
Bombs bursting in air...

...and gunshots. Lots of gunshots.

Maybe it's just the noise I don't like. Too hard on the nervous system.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate that our armed forces protect our freedom and have from the Revolutionary War until now. I know that sometimes the only thing to do is fight. I'd like to claim that I am a pacifist in the truest sense of the word, but I know that if someone attacked me, I would fight back. I did fight back.

I wish we could celebrate the freedom and liberty part without re-enacting the war.

In fact, I wish we could still have the freedom and liberty part.

I would like to... able to travel without having to take my shoes off at the airport and being randomly selected more often than is random chance for the personal search.

...check books out of the library without the government being able to track the materials I access.

...experience separation of church and state. (Wasn't that part of the reason the Revolutionary War was fought?) that our current leaders have the best interest of the people (read "people other than themselves") at heart.

I know these things seem petty. On one level they are, but on another they are symptoms of erosion. I grew up on the coast. Property owners there know that if erosion is not stopped in time, it undermines the integrity of the structure. If erosion takes over, there is no turning back.

Oh, yes. I do truly, deeply appreciate the freedom we have in the United States. Thank you to everyone who made it possible by dying and living through war, by serving through war and peace. Thank you.

I just wish...

May the Divine keep our troops safe and bring them home soon.

May we continue to be free here on our own soil.

From our lips to Heaven's ears.