Coaching Moments

"Coaching Moments" takes a
thoughtful, and sometimes lighthearted, look at how coaching
can be interwoven into our daily lives. 

by Janice Hunter IAC-CC

Saving More Than Money 

Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you what you are.  ~ Anthelme

I shop on
Mondays. Every Monday, same supermarket, same basic aim.
Feed the family healthily, save as much money as possible
and build a coaching business. And a blog. Only it never
used to be like that.

Was a time
when I just filled the trolley. Then came the personal
development books. Half an hour's reading or writing in the
supermarket café became a date with myself every Monday.
Sometimes it was an exercise in celebrating simple
abundance, at other times just extreme self care, time away
from homemaking while turning a chore into a pleasure.

Because of
the books, I started to enjoy the actual shopping. My
'choice muscles' got a workout as I filled the trolley. Is
this bottle of wine getting me closer to my goal or further
away from it? In went washing powder that smelled of jasmine
and made me look forward to the laundry. Filo pastry
inspired me to recreate the hours I spent chatting with my
Greek godmother while we made massive spinach pies after a
morning squeezing and prodding produce in the noisy street
market. Bargain books screamed synchronicity as they reached
out to me from the shelves. I even bought a lipstick once
because I loved the name Charisma as much as the colour.
(Well, some of us stay-at-home mums need all the help we can
get… )

Later, when I
was focusing on getting ready to send in tapes for Step 2 of
the IAC exam, my shopping evolved.

I started
seeing the perfection in all kinds of empty shelf
disappointments and trolley collisions. I found myself
communicating cleanly if I had an issue at the customer
service desk and it got easier to respond appropriately when
I could see that checkout staff were overwhelmed. As I
worked my way around the supermarket, I found myself
enjoying the humanity of it all, indulging my curiosity and
wondering what the story was in every trolley.

Now that I'm
certified, I'm working on ways to pass on my experience and
share the joy I've had in every phase of my journey. Ideas
flit in and out of my mind like small birds; if I don't
capture their fleeting presence in a note or a sketch, they
take off, no doubt to bring flashes of colour, pleasure and
inspiration to someone more receptive.

When I'm not
at my kitchen table, I seem to get strangely inspired in the
self-service supermarket café, scribbling away as I slowly
sip my way through a pot of mediocre, lukewarm tea. It's
like being in an anonymous motorway service station, a
Formica filled truck stop far away from the attractions and
distractions of my own home. I find it easy to sit and
reflect on how far I’ve travelled and to plan where I'd like
to go next.

When I write,
it helps me to become mindful and aware, to be still and
silent enough to see everything, every detail, every
sensation as meaningful. My life becomes one big haiku. When
I put down my pen and get ready to focus on the shopping, I
usually start my week feeling lucky to have a family to shop
for, the money to feed them and the time and means to cook
healthy meals.

But today I'm
dreading the shopping. Spring usually lightens my heart with
the fragrance of hyacinths and the sight of jugs of tulips
and golden daffodils but not this year.

supermarket has stacks and pyramids of boxed, foil wrapped,
huge, chocolate Easter eggs and golden bunnies atop every
aisle as well as in an entire dedicated aisle. In our house,
we dye hardboiled eggs red and decorate the house with bowls
of them. The Greeks believe they symbolise renewal and the
blood of Christ.
For me, many chocolate Easter eggs symbolise something
entirely different.
This year is the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of The
Slave Trade Act. It effectively ended Britain's role in the
transatlantic shipping of human beings, although no
retribution was ever made to those who suffered. Sadly,
statistics show that human trafficking is now the fastest
growing crime problem in the world, second only to drugs. In
West Africa, especially in the Cote d'Ivoire, young boys are
trafficked into slavery to work in cocoa production. Many
major well known manufacturers buy their cocoa from there,
citing consumer demand as their reason for persisting. Fair
Trade companies and producers of organic chocolate don’t. My
children will be receiving fewer chocolate eggs this year
and they won't be their favourite, cheaper brands.

I'm concerned
with what my shopping will cost me at the final

Hunter is a writer, teacher and IAC certified coach who
currently specialises in homelife coaching – helping people
create authentic, spirit filled lives and homes they love –
and in supporting coaches on their certification journeys.
She lives in Scotland with her husband and two children.


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