By Carol Harris-Fike, NCOC, PCC and author of "5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life" ©2009.

May 8th is the U.S. celebration of mothers everywhere. May 7th will be my mother's Memorial Service in celebration of her 90 years of life on this earth. In preparation for my part in this celebration, I thought of the gifts she gave me. There is one I desire to share with all of you. (If you are interested in more about Mother, I'd be glad to share all my thoughts. Email me

Julia Ann Wade Harris, 1920-2011

Julia Ann Wade Harris had a beautiful way of making her own truth about family members, about life. Mother could take any less than pleasant "fact" concerning a person she loved deeply and turn it around to make it "right" in her world. Sometimes it was confusing for me to experience what I viewed as my mother twisting the truth, and sometimes I would even groan and say: "Oh Mother, really!" When it isn't our way, some of us... uh, that would include me... have a practice of over analyzing our/my mother's way of being!!?? One such example of "Mother's Truth" was her way of explaining a family member choosing to live with a young woman for seven years before marrying her to have children. This was back in the 70's when arrangements such as this were a new thing and while it was fine with me, we all knew it wasn't part of Mother's value system. Whenever any mention was made of this "arrangement", she would offer that this couple lived in a metropolitan area and that the young woman needed protection and that is why they lived together. Can you just hear me saying, "Oh Mother, really?"

Mother continued this practice for at least all of the years I knew her. It probably began when she was a child... and with good reason... to make sense of some hard facts of her own life. What I know now, as I look back over the part of her life I shared, is that this served her and served her well. I do believe we create our own reality and that is where we live and that is how we view the world. I could never shift my mother's "facts" into the truth... because it wasn't true for her. Sometimes, it serves us to find a truth... but Mother has helped me realize that maybe it is only where it isn't serving that we should search for the real truth... whatever that is.

My job as a coach is to support people in "breaking transparencies". This means, observing one's life and seeing if something we believe as a "fact" is maybe not... and asking ourselves or others for more information so we can discover a deeper truth or learn to see more possibilities for how we view the world. This can be transforming and I love to support my clients by asking questions and providing practices that offer support in doing this.

What this gift from my mother has reminded me is that another basic tenet of coaching is that I am here to support where the client desires to go... not where I think he or she should go. One test of this is to ask the client and myself: Is this belief serving the client (or me) and those around him or her (me)? And then, ask: Does the client (or do I) want to explore other possibilities to better serve him/herself (me) and those around him or her (myself and those around me)? Only if the response is "yes" do we go there. Believing that we create our own reality means we have a choice and sometimes it is best to leave what has been created as it is. I know it served my Mother well. Thanks, Mother, for that great reminder... it is all about choice!

"[Truth] does not like statistics and is not particularly concerned about facts, but he loves a good story." J. Ruth Gendler, from "The Book of Qualities"

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Learn more about my book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life©2009,

Learn more about JICT Images: Journey with Intuition & Creativity to Transformation ©2010,

Author's Bio: 

Carol Harris-Fike, ACC, NCOC
CHF Coaching and Consulting, LLC

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Carol Harris-Fike is an ICF credentialed coach serving individuals and organizations across the United States. Harris-Fike completed ontological coaching courses with Newfield Network and earned her NCC and NCOC (Newfield Certified Ontological Coach) certifications from Newfield. Carol’s thirty years’ experience in public education as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent enriches her work. Her study and practices with energy, including Reiki, Tai Chi, and Chi Gong support her work. She has degrees from Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin. Areas of expertise include an understanding of the latest scientific research in the connections between the brain/body and how our view of the world affects how we think, feel, and move. She has designed a method for learning to shift the energy that flows within us to shift our moods, emotions, and language. She understands how this view affects the choices we make and the results we receive. Carol’s book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life was published in fall, 2009. JICT Images: Journey with Intuition & Creativity for Transformation, a set of 72 evocative photos with questions for contemplation plus a manual will be published, spring 2010. Carol and three ontological coaching colleagues created this project. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, Rich. Learn more about Carol on her website:

Learn more about my book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life©2009,

Learn more about JICT Images: Journey with Intuition & Creativity to Transformation ©2010,