...finding your true north.
Thanks to the tireless and determined efforts of one of my cousins our family's past has begun to take shape.
His research has added shade and light to our story. He has unearthed faded and “time-capsuled” photographs from the side streets of tiny villages and started to joint dots. One of the more surprising discoveries is that my side of the family had significant Irish roots.
So why do stories and roots matter to us?
English language dictionaries define storytelling = not only the “act of telling stories" but also the “art of writing and telling of stories". This affirms the idea that in the sharing of stories they become alive and beautiful at the same time.
French offers the word 'souche' = a more nuance way to describe what’s at the root. The botanical or biological strain at the base of a tree trunk as well as its roots. In horticulture and in the keeping of vines for wine, this is what remains even after hard pruning of the branches.
For generations people in my family left their villages and towns of birth to start anew. They did not settle, they moved. They did not stay, they shifted. From Melbourne in Derbyshire via Tralee in Ireland, then on a steerage boat to Cape Town and finally to Durban - and all this before 1920.
If you were to cut through the rings and centuries of these lives I'm certain you would find a truth as red as the stripes in seaside candy. We are a people who explore and stretch and reinvent. We are are those who prefer the untravelled path to the well-worn highway.
Learning this prompts a strong response in me because it reveals our family's true north.
It makes me feel ludicrously proud that this is my root-stock. My human strain is that of adventurers.
I wonder what yours is, what is so true for you that it cannot be denied ?
You know how it is - that feeling you sometimes get, an almost physical urge to strike out on your own in a different direction, to follow an untrodden path and do something new - but you can’t explain why. Or that inner knowing that the job that you once loved just doesn’t fit you any more - because it feels at odds with your beliefs and values.
Coaching creates the space for you to articulate and gives words to who you are - to your core beliefs, your values and your identity. It goes further still - it helps you align your values with what you do, how you choose and how you take the first steps. It gives you the space to discover your true north.
So here are some questions for you to ponder on:
Have you ever taken the time to reflect and tell your story - especially the parts where you got stuck?
What might it mean for you to explore your beliefs and values, your "root-stock"?
What part of who you are makes you ludicrously proud today?
How might following your true north change your life?