It started out as a random conversation.
I was in a retail shop when one of the staff approached me to see if I needed some help. We started chatting.
She told me she had just become the store manager and was new to the role. She was young and enthusiastic. I could tell she had tremendous potential right away. She reminded me of so many young people I have had the great pleasure to work with and watch them grow into who they were destined to become.
I congratulated her and encouraged her as a women leader to really ‘go for it.’ Her mouth gaped open. She was taken back – surprised by the story and the words that just flew endlessly out of my mouth yet inspired by them at the same time.
Smiling and radiant, she asked what I did. I explained I coach people and that yesterday, I was creating a new series of workshops titled ‘The En-Powered Woman.’ I told her that my passion is to help our next generation of women succeed in their life and work. People just like you.
She asked some more questions and then told me emphatically that she really needed a coach right now.
What came next came out of the blue.
She shared a very personal heart-breaking story with me. The initial headlines weren’t so bad, but it went deep very spontaneously.
My heart went out to her. I felt the tears well up in my eyes discovering that she had no family here to lean on. Like any mother, I thought of my daughter and hoped that if she was ever in a situation like this, someone would reach out to help her. She was being very brave, yet she was also young to face into these things on her own.
Time stood still. I was grateful to be there for her, to be able to listen and counsel her. I just wanted her to feel good again and go on to enjoy life. She deserved better.
I knew it was no accident that I was there in that moment – she told me that she had asked the Universe for help and I had turned up!
I gave her a big hug. Amazingly, just moments ago, we were complete strangers and within minutes our connection had transformed.
We’ve all have moments like this. It’s what makes us human.
It reminded me of the Japanese philosophy known as kintsugi. It is the ancient art of repairing what has been broken. Where we in the western world would discard the broken ceramic, masters of kintsugi carefully repair it using a gold lacquer. Of course, the gold is highly visible, so the pottery becomes transformed into a new piece of art with new beauty emerging from the re-configured shattered pieces.
It is not considered broken. It was never considered broken as at its essence, it remains intact. But it has been transformed by the experience. Richer for the experience.
In its imperfection, it is perfection.
The gold is like the wisdom gained. A new masterpiece is created.
The ceramic is just like us – it’s strong, fragile and beautiful. We too are strong, fragile and beautiful. Life happens. Things change. Hearts break. The light enters through the crack and we heal, we transform ourselves to be richer and wiser from the experience. Hearts open. Compassion flows.
We discover resilience.
Rumi once said, ‘the wound is the place where the light enters you.’
Kintsugi teaches us that we too can be fragile and vulnerable. We can break. Yet we can heal and allow the gold, the nugget, the wisdom of the experience to transform us into more beautiful human beings.
The crack which lets the light in –makes us stronger, greater, more compassionate and more beautiful people.
When I left the shop, I told her I would pop back in 2 days times to see how she is getting on. I reflected on the beauty of the moment – being in the right place at the right time and able to help. She helped me too as she validated the vision that I hold of the workshops I am creating as something that is needed and will help more women feel more empowered.
Kintsugi – both of us were enriched by the experience. May you be too.
Jo Hutchinson MBA
Engaging Leaders@Work ǀ Building One Team
Great Spirit NZ Ltd
PS – If you’d love to join me with the first ‘En-Powered Woman’ workshop on the 3rd of July, email me for more information.
Our Vision – A world where all people prosper.
Our Purpose “To ignite the spark, so that you may fulfil your greater purpose”
Lead confidently, live courageously and communicate from the heart.
©2018 Joanne Hutchinson