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The fearless eye, the bold face


Our inner dialogues are always in full flow, aren’t they? And sometimes we’re less than kind to ourselves. I was reflecting on countering catastrophising this morning when I came across a catastrophe.

My daughter needed to print some schoolwork & we’d run out of ink… so off I drove. Turning a corner, I saw an animal lying in the road ahead. It was a cat, which had just been hit and killed. I pulled over, gently picked up the cat and laid it down on the grass in the churchyard nearby. I didn’t feel at all foolish talking to the cat, calm words of reassurance that were really for me. I knocked on the nearest house and they knew the cat well, he lived next door and they’d break the news to their neighbours. They spoke fondly of him.

As I went on my way, the radio was playing Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s version of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and I had a little cry. The song was reminding me of how we can find light in the darkest of moments… and then I caught myself getting cross with myself for not having tissues in the car: ‘What sort of mother doesn’t keep tissues in the car – and a coach at that?!’ cried my inner critic. ‘One that stopped what she was doing to head off and get printer ink at a moment’s notice and was kind to a cat’ I reminded my critic.

Until I Googled how to spell Kamakawiwo’ole, I didn’t know ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ was originally by Yip Harburg and Harold Allen, whose families were Jewish and had emigrated from Europe to the USA. The song is about uncertainty, feeling trapped and unable to fly – and was written in 1939. Today it resonates still, offering us all hope that there is a better place where our dreams can come true.

I also discovered ‘Kamakawiwo-ole’ means ‘the fearless eye, the bold face’. It feels time to be fearless and bold. Part of me feels small and guilty about worrying about my own issues. And then I remember, we’re facing huge change and uncertainty and we each have a choice to make in what we do to shape our future. For me, it’s offering my support as a coach for people who want to make a difference – for themselves and others. What is it for you?