Tarya suffers from multiple sclerosis, Aspergers syndrome, anemia and lupus. Two of her children, aged 16 and 6, are autistic. After losing her job, and facing repeated physical abuse from a boyfriend, she spent $700 – almost all her savings — on airline tickets for her family to stay with relatives in Boston. She ended up in a small, gloomy motel on the wrong side of town – in spite of everything she says that this is a ‘wonderful place to live’. Audio slide-show available. This story is part of our ‘Human at Work’ (©AngusMcLeod2011) series.
Reuters’ photographer, Brian Snyder took the pictures and his slide-show, narrated by Tarya can be seen here. As coaches, we know that our life-experiences are massively coloured by our perceptions. Unlike many people, we also know that we ALL have choices about whether to choose ugly, negative, self-damaging perceptions, or ones that uplift. And part of our skill is in facilitating people to re-frame (or choose) better and more useful perceptions. When people take those choices, then they keep their energy, their self-respect and can use them positively to change their lives, again for the better. Other people, like Tarya, learn this the hard way and without help. Her natural ability is little different to that of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela, or Brian Keenan (An Evil Cradling – captive and brutalized in the Lebanon for almost 4 and a half years). All provide lessons to the rest of us how to use our minds to be grateful, positive, responsible and more fruitful in our lives. Coaches make this difference every single day.