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.