A Christmas Wish

In this very strangest of years, Christmas time has come feeling – well, feeling more Christmassy – than any other has felt for me in a very long time.

No decorations, no parties, no fancy dress (and let’s face it, maybe not even a shower). No mad dash shopping, no lights, no tree.

I don’t know about you, but we just didn’t have the energy or capacity for any of that this year.

We are spending the holiday in isolation, after bringing a kid home from university, wearing masks in our home and eating at separate stations for the time being. Hibernating.

These are indeed strange times, destabilizing and traumatizing, and enduring longer than we expected or hoped.

And yet, I find myself feeling more love, more contentment, more joy and more peace.

I think perhaps there is a gift here, the gift of slowing down, of placing focus on what’s really important – relationships, love, caring for each other. Rekindling dreams and passions.

ghosts of Christmas past

It’s a season for rekindling relationships, even if that’s happening on a screen instead of in person.

It’s a season for taking time to write cards and notes to put in the post; for preparing treats and meals to be dropped off curbside and contact-free; for spending time in real conversation with the people we care about the most, and with new friends and acquaintances. A season for appreciating each other.

It feels like an old-fashioned Christmas to me; it has nothing to do with the trappings, even if they are present, and everything to do with slowing down, spending time with each other, appreciating each other, holding each other closer than we have in a very long time.

It’s a season for doing all those things I couldn’t find time or capacity for in my previous beforetime life because, like most of us, I felt exhausted and depleted before the holidays ever rolled around,

All those those things are really what life is all about.

Connection. And Community.

It’s ironic that we’re managing to rediscover and create that without physical contact, with masks that cover our smiles and fog up our glasses.

If I could give you any gift this season, it would be the gift of feeling warm and safe and content, knowing that, despite all evidence to the contrary, all is well.

I wish you knew how delightful you are. Right here and now in this very moment. Just as you are.

I wish you the knowing of how incredibly resourced you already are.

I wish you the knowing that you have everything inside you to that you need to thrive.

I wish you the knowing that there is no one in the entire universe like you, that you are unique and amazing and wonderful.

I wish you the knowing that you don’t need to compete or struggle or hustle or climb over anyone to find that.

I wish you the knowing that there is room enough and abundance enough in this universe to support you.

I wish you the knowing that we hold the power to change the world together.

We have been challenged to face our fears as our health and safety and livelihoods have been threatened, to be creative and pivot while feeling the real trauma of the times that just makes me want to crawl back into bed a lot of days.

The times have caused us to recognize privilege and abundance of resources that are not accessible to everyone because of the systems that have shaped us for generations – colonialism, capitalism, racism, and the patriarchy.

We can find ourselves holding all of that reality, all the hope for transformative change, all the despair and all the love, all the fear and all the joy, all at once.

It’s a lot.

It doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow, or work to do in creating a better world. It doesn’t mean we can’t wish to gather in person and hold each other in long hugs again.

It means that we have all of it in ourselves to create.

What exactly does a life coach DO?*

A life coach creates safe space for you to explore, examine and excavate, experiment and create strategies that work for you

* This blog piece is a little out of the ordinary for me, but hey, this whole year has been out of the ordinary! And I have new things to announce that I’m excited about! I hope you’ll indulge me today. I plan to be back to more regular blogging on life, the universe and everything (including some coachy kinds of things too) shortly. xo Janine

What exactly does a life coach DO?

That’s a good question, and one I’ve been asked repeatedly as I’ve made public my desire to transition into certified coaching as a career.

As is often the case, in describing what a life coach begins with describing what a life coach DOESN’T do.

A life coach is not a therapist, counsellor, or consultant.

Therapists, counsellors and consultants are the experts in those relationships.

Therapists and counsellors diagnose and treat mental illness and severe trauma effects such as PTSD. When it appears that therapy or counselling might be the best option for you, a good coach will suggest an outside referral in your best interests. Therapists and counsellors often work alongside coaches in assisting people to find inner healing and ease.

Coaching is a co-creative process of equals that recognizes and honours you as the best expert at being you, even if at times that knowledge might be clouded, distorted or buried by the impacts of the systems, cultures and families we’re raised in, by traumatic events, and by the coping mechanisms we’ve developed to survive them.

When the beliefs and strategies you use to navigate life no longer serve you, you might begin to feel stuck, unhappy, depressed, helpless or hopeless about your place in the world and the ways of moving forward.

You might just be feeling a little off about something and want to set it right. Or you might want help with problem-solving or goal-setting.

A life coach assists you in uncovering the tools and strategies that work best for you.

A life coach works with you in the here and now, creating the safe, nurturing, confidential and non-judgmental space for exploring beliefs and values that might be standing in the way of accomplishing your goals and living your dreams.

Always in an atmosphere of sacred consent, permission, and safety.

A consultant is an expert who tells you what to do. A coach understands that you already have everything you need inside yourself to discover and decide what’s best for you.

A dear friend and mentor describes the coaching relationship using the metaphor (coaches love metaphor!) of mining underground for valuable treasure; the coach holds the lamp while you do the excavating.


A life coach is someone whose role is even more valuable in these uncertain times we find ourselves. I have experienced the great value of coaching before and during the pandemic, and knowing the benefit of service that coaches can provide is the reason I’ve become certified as a professional life coach.

While coaching is largely non-regulated, certification from an International Coach Federation (ICF) approved college ensures you service steeped in coaching ethics, standards, and core competencies, coupled with my deep compassion, empathy and wisdom of life experience.

With a few rare exceptions, the coaching relationship is entirely confidential, creating the safe space for you to explore, examine and excavate, experiment and create strategies that work for you. All sessions are currently delivered online using Zoom, so location is not a barrier. I am able to serve you wherever you are in the world, as long as you have a stable internet connection. If you’re reading this, you likely do!

It would be my deepest honour to work with you in coming home to yourself.

Contact me for more information or book a free 30 minute consultation call here.