Treasure Hunting ~
by Janice Hunter, IAC-CC
As a writer, you should have a sticky soul; the act of continually taking
things in should be as much a part of you as your hair color. ~ Elizabeth Berg
I'm a quote-hunter, an unashamed gatherer of quotes. Capturing the words that
resonate with me is like gathering wild berries, nuts and seeds, windfalls of
fruit – food for thought.
Some stand out from the page or computer screen like the flash of a robin in
a winter bush. Others are a rainbow of satin ribbons, waiting to be the right
words to wrap around a bouquet of thoughts or to become the bow that sets off
a simply wrapped sentiment. Then there’s the unexpected treasure, precious
gems that dazzle with their brilliance. I keep them somewhere safe so that I
can bring them out later, like a child fingering treasures wrapped in a handkerchief,
hoping to find a special friend to show them to, someone who will understand.
I never go out without a pen, a notebook and a book to read. When I read a
book with a ‘quotebook’ and a pen handy, it’s a signal I send
to myself and to the universe. It says “I’m open. I expect nothing,
but I’m prepared to be moved, enlightened or entertained. I’m a
student, ready and willing to learn from the lives and the wisdom of others.”
In my Filofax, stuck on the fridge, pinned to my pinboard and incorporated
into my art work, albums and blog, quotes serve as flashes of inspiration, mini
mission statements and signposts to keep me on track. Dead poets become heroes,
strangers become mentors.
I use a different instinct, a different skill when I capture a quote. In many
ways, it’s like the honing in and the active listening I do as a coach.
Finding the perfect quote that illustrates several sentiments or pulls together
a complex train of thought is similar to recognising an Aha! moment
in a coaching session. It’s synchronicity’s way of helping us focus
and pay attention.
Our first instincts are often the ones that bypass our censors and cruel inner
critics which is why many quotes become deeply personal and precious to us.
They’re like messages sent from our own souls. Every time you choose a
quote that resonates with you, don’t stop to ask why; just write it down
and keep it safe. Quotes are like photographs, snapshots of who you are, who
you were. They’re music that moves you, lyrics that leave you scarred.
They’re memories of a moment when you came upon someone else’s words
and felt connected, not only to another human being, but to the moment, the
thought and the feeling that overflowed from them and cried out to be heard.
The ‘Me too!!’ or ‘That’s it exactly!!’ moment.
It’s our unique life experience and how we channel, choose and arrange
the moments, the music and the words that makes us writers, creating collages
that turn our lives into works of art.
Learning to resonate with those moments strengthens the treasure-hunting in
our coaching sessions; those repeating words that draw our attention, those
powerful silences when our clients connect to an answer nestling patiently in
their souls, waiting to rise and take flight – they’re
I never know how my words will affect others but I do know that my best coaching
happens and my best pieces write themselves in the moments when I’m most
alive, aware and open. Some moments of clarity or emotion are so powerful they
brim up and overflow and make me feel that if I don’t channel them into
words, control them and create something from them that I will drown or that
something very precious, something vital will be washed away and lost. When
I sit down to recreate those moments, I feel like my whole life, everything
I know and everything I am is a prism being used to refract the light of a message
coming, quite simply, from somewhere else.
When I coach well, I feel the same connection.
Know then, that if anything I ever write affects, moves, touches or supports
you, it was meant for you, sent from somewhere that neither of us can
fully comprehend. I’m happy to be the messenger.
Hunter, IAC-CC is a writer and IAC-certified coach who lives in
Scotland with her husband and two children. She specialises
in homelife coaching (helping people create authentic,
spirit-filled homes and lives) and also enjoys supporting
other coaches through her writing and collaboration. Contact
compiled all of her Coaching Moments pieces from the last
two years into a free 46-page ebook, 'Coaching Moments: a
Collection of Articles about Coaching in Everyday Life'
which can be downloaded
here or from her