Life Coaching, Observations, Reflections, Things that make you go hmmmmm

Tag Archives: Emotional Presence

Hazed and Confused

Hazed and Confused

Sailing unawares on your way today
Moving with a purpose only you know
Maybe it’s finally something that’ll be real
At least enough so you can make believe

Glamour girl gets her skirt caught in a twirl
Hair flip with the hapless I’m helpless giggle
Set free by the kindness of one of your strangers
Off you go leaving a wake of stalking heads

Should’ve taken the umbrella because,
because it looks like pain
I can see and it looks like,
like you’re headed for hell
Not a place for you,
you’re not going to fare well
You can trust me because,
because everyone knows I’m insane

Surprised to hear voices calling cats
Treats herself that the slights just imagined
Tricks of conscience kick start the reality train
Night scares turn over in to stormy days

Loving so many who don’t love her
Doesn’t understand how to be alone
She can’t stand going home on her own
No other girls she can tell her fears

She’s only one way to hide from voices
Taking solace in some lucky one’s arms
You look down, she tells you she loves you
You get up telling her you can’t love her

Should’ve taken the umbrella because,
because here comes the pain
I can see and it looks like,
like you’re already in hell
Not a place for you,
you’re already not doing well
You can trust me because,
because like you, I’m insane

G.R. Hambley ©
February 26, 2018


It’s A New Year?!

It’s A New Year?!

I wake this morning and I am now in my 60th year on this little blue planet 3rd from the sun. Doesn’t feel much different than yesteryear but it is!

It’s so cold in this country the Calgary Zoo took the Penguins inside. Yet, I go out and forage coffee. Priorities my good reader, priorities. Writing can not be done without coffee. No it can’t, hush yourself!

Last year and in previous years, I would write in two things at the same time, narrative and poetry. This behaviour has continued in to this year I’m pleased to say.

Sneak peek of the poetry… it aint close to there yet!

Should’ve taken the umbrella because it looks like pain
I can see and it looks like you’re headed for hell
I see it’s not a place where you’re going to fare well
You can trust me because everyone knows I’m insane

It’s good to be me!

Here in Ontario, I’m expecting it to be frigid until June 7th. Gonna get real warm that day, and if you’re of the liberally minded RITE, I don’t see you liking it one damn bit.

I took a cab late last year and the driver was real sociable. For all you immigrants, just because I’m Canadian it doesn’t mean I like frickin’ winter! I like winter in the country where it’s pretty. I like winter in California where you go visit the snow! Been there, done that, short pants 70-degree weather.

Winter in the city is mostly ugly. The snow don’t stay as it was purely driven very long.

This narrative interlude is complete. Poetry is staring me in the face. Word!

G.R. Hambley 01/01/2018 ©

My Talisman of Life & Art

My Talisman of Life & Art

I was given what you’re looking at as a Birthday Gift a number of years ago. I’ve carried it ever since.

Someone I know somewhat closely was in a quandary. In a head-space that someone else laid on them.

That my friends is what we call an “Emotionally Controlling Act”. If you’ve read enough of my stuff, you know that behaviour does not fly with me!

I took my Talisman out of my pocket and did a few shots. I looked at it a few ways. Looked at it in the colour version you see and desaturated to Grey Scale or B&W if you like.

The Grey Scale is starker more statement than feeling. Go ahead and try it for yourself.

I sent the someone I’m somewhat close to the colour version. It’s warmer, more embracing. The warmth and embracing is what I believed was needed.

The Talisman

My gift was very well received and the one I’m somewhat close to will be exhibiting.

I’m glad.

G.R. Hambley ® December 07, 2017

Forever More, I am a Teacher of English.

Forever More, I am a Teacher of English.

At 9:31 am on Wednesday November 22, 2017 I clicked “Complete” on an exam. From that moment on and forever more, I am a Teacher of English.


I was a poet before I became a Coach and I remained a poet. In the journey to this point I had a moment where I knew, I’m a writer. The poet still burns brightly within me. Now I am “Officially” a Teacher and the heart of the poet continues to beat madly.

Poetry is my gift. I can just do it and do it well. Poetry is important in language. The educators stress the importance of bringing poetry to the classroom. I know the learners I get will leave with an understanding of the importance of poetry that other learners won’t get because they don’t have me.

I have a teaching philosophy and you can read it.

The Word. I love “The Word”.

I hope to infect others with love of “The Word”.

Gary Hambley, Teacher of English.

It’s The Final Countdown

It’s The Final Countdown

Here I am staring at the final assessment. There is a bit more to go but this is the gold ticket to the Wonka Factory. Wilder or Depp, take your pick.

A long time ago in a lifetime far away, I had it all figured out. Ultimately, I wanted to teach. A split second on a highway and life going on, the plan changed. The wanting to teach was dormant for a time but it never went away.

I’m already a Teacher. Those who have talked to me already know it. Very soon, the world is going to know I’m a teacher.

I’ve done a lot of work in the last 3 months. There have been a couple serious impediments that required serious attention. That attention was given by both sides. I’ll write more when it’s all said and done with the elective courses.

I’ve even designed a new card for myself. The card has my phone number and email on it so I’m not posting it.

The exam has a 2 hour time limit. I’m tempted to pop it right now and get it done. And I remind myself that is not the way to take on a final.

Me and “The University of Toronto Faculty of Education”. Well aren’t we the pair. Who saw that happening?

No man is an island. This is for you “Good Friend”. Me and Mr. Donne are smilin’ atcha.

‘No man is an iland,
intire of it selfe;
every man is a peece of the Continent,
a part of the maine;
if a clod bee washed away by the Sea,
Europe is the lesse,
as well as if a Promontorie were,
as well as if a Mannor of thy friends
or of thine owne were;
any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee

How many of y’all knew that bell is attached to that island?

Other friends have contributed their verse to this journey of mine and I thank them.

Part of my telling of this journey is in the hope of being inspirational. More so for the older than the younger.

I’m 60 on my next birthday and parts of the world can be seen with English.

My last statement was not an, “If I can do it you can do it” statement because I don’t do that shit.

Life doesn’t end until it ends. If you are happy armchair quarterbacking, then you keep on quarterbacking from your armchair.

One of the conclusions I came to is this and it has correlation with Life Coaching, you need life on you. You shouldn’t be allowed in a classroom to teach until you’re 45. In this province it is 16 to drive and 19 is the legal drinking age. No reason you can’t set an age restriction for teaching.

I have studying to do and I am living proof you can teach an old dog new tricks, if that old dog is willing to learn.

G.R. Hambley ©
November 18, 2017

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Oh My Head, Again or Watch your English!

Damn Elves!
Here on the 2nd day of November in the year of our lord 2017, the frickin’ coffee elves are playing Ho Ho tunes. We are not amused! Had this happened yesterday on all saint’s day, I might of risked a couple of my 6 wings and beatified a couple elves.

I told one of the elves, with this music, in 7 – 10 days there are going to be dead elves. The Elf thought I was kidding when I asked if there were any spare holes lying around.

Canada and this is how it is supposed to work, We have the Grey Cup game and parade the last weekend of November and the next weekend is Santa Claus parades all over the Great White North.

I was referring to the corporate elf and not the good service elves who take such good care of us for the spare holes.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
I haven’t said much about the TEFL course I’m taking of late. It’s moving along with a few glitches. I was in the course doing work when an unannounced site overhaul was implemented. Yes I let them know of my displeasure.

The powers that be there hit my, “You pissed me off” switch. I’ll tie this in to the “just because I don’t do this anymore it doesn’t mean I got stupid” category. In January of 2000 I interviewed to be the web director for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again. When I walked in to the man’s office he had the piece I did on his desk. He’d checked me out. He told me, “Artistically and creatively you’re the best”.

Anyone care to question as to whether or not I know my shit?

The typography is much better. The previous was soft pastels on a white page. In the course they talk about meeting the needs of the learners. I wonder if the PC people seeing to those needs ever considered when the site was being built, a little thing that afflicts some people called “colour blindness”.

I see extremely well. Might explain why among other things, I’m a damn good photographer and observational writer. So, if the design is bothering me…

Lemme ask y’all a question I already know the answer to because I know how to run a web site. Should your clients be notified prior to a major alteration to the site and when that change is going to take place?

It also brings me to you never know what someone has when you encounter them. This bunch hit the “PC enough to frost you flakes” mentality. They thought I should be more understanding because they did tell you in the site as it was taking place.

I showed them I know how to take electronic notes and the course is repetitive on making sure your students have that skill.

Here’s another question for y’all, do you think I’d have even been on the site if I’d known changes were going to take place? And who does a major change in the middle of the day?

Mostly it’s good. Don’t get me wrong, mostly it is good and I’m enjoying the learning path immensely.

Blade Runner 2049
I went and saw the film yesterday. My film maker buddy and I talked about the film a little bit and we both commented on the 2-hour 44-minute running time.

When the film ended I went, “What, over already?”. I liked the film and didn’t notice the running time at all. There was a scene setting that made me think Chernobyl. Somewhat fitting when I checked email and discovered fallout. I’m a big boy, I can handle it.

Learning Path
I’ve been looking at all kinds of teacher’s helpers and apps as part of my own diligence. Found some really neat stuff in my web travails.

I have been to teacher dedicated sites and joined a couple.

Some great resources that are free or of low cost.

GRH Path IMG_20171031_114347

“Good Friend” just checked in with a response to something I said. My “Restraint” is being admired. And oddly a song comes on the FM that “Good Friend” made it clear there would not even be the risk of an ear worm taken. Also, oddly or not, and that means you “Good Friend”, that response of yours had to do with school

The response was just a tad more vociferous than what I related.

TEFL Handbook by the “TEFL Handbook Team”. Strange I do indeed find it that they spell “Tire” with a “Y”. No not at the end. I’ve browsed through this thing and with what they say is coming you got a powerful tool at low cost.

This one is fun, “Preposition” by The Brazillions. It’s multipurpose too.

The “Hangman” game aint bad either.

Listening skills are big on this path. I don’t just listen with my ears. I listen with my eyes as well and have done such for a very long time.

Canadian Politics
I haven’t been following to closely the last few weeks. Everybody in the damn country knows the level of incompetency at the Federal Level and take comfort in the fact there are less than 2 years remaining for Trudeau 2.Doh.

Here in Ontario the blustering of the Wicked Witch Wynne goes on. You’d think a witch of this magnitude would understand a few plums can’t do the job you need the flying monkeys for! Less than a year until the electorate dumps the water over her pointless head.

I needed a small rant today. Sometimes you have to rant and it’s more than okay. Blow the shit out and shower it away.

Back to the studying right after I check and see if a light has gone on.

© Gary Hambley – all rights reserved
Certified Professional Coach
Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (pending, but not for long)

Warning Signs – Lyric

Warning Signs


Once upon a time, there was a time
Wasn’t much in way of reasoning
Ignored all your flashing eyes warning signs

From here to there and back to there from here
Can’t quite keep straight what I’m supposed to do
Don’t quite know where I’m supposed to go
This lovin’ baby of mine, got me so I just don’t know

When she’s here she’s gone somewhere else
The calls keep dropping, she can’t say why
Got so many questions you’re going to have to hear
Any one answer could break this lovin’ heart

Once upon a time, there was a time
Wasn’t much in way of reasoning
Ignored all your flashing eyes warning signs

More and more feeling I’ve made myself blind
I don’t know what’s got you getting in so late
Would you let me know if you’d found a new flame
Wondering how much more of your lovin’ I can take

Desires died, just like pissing out the fire at night
Almost believe it’s how you wanted this to go
This disinterest is our death so we gotta part
No grave yard sighs, thanks for the lovin’ and goodbye

(chorus end)
Once upon a time, there was a time
Wasn’t much in way of reasoning
Should of paid attention to your signs of the times

G.R. Hambley ©
October 24, 2017

Chronological List

The Final Act

The Final Act

A long time ago I planned to teach. Knew the what and where I wanted to do the teaching. The plan made sense with logical order and progression. A couple seconds on a highway, and the plan had to change.

The desire to teach never went away. I coached a bit of hockey. Got my “Life Coach” formal accreditation in July 2010. Coaching is teaching.

On August 17, 2010 I pulled the trigger on something I’ve given serious consideration to doing for about a year. I build triggers in to people with their help, that is why I chose to say trigger. I’ve built them in to myself as well. Like everyone else, those triggers don’t always engage.

A long time coming and the times they are a changin’!

I am now 10 days in to a TEFL course. TEFL is, “Teach English as a Foreign Language”.

There are a number of courses to choose from out there in the cyber world. The one I chose is in conjunction with OISE (Ontario Institute of Studies in Education) and University of Toronto. Lots of choices, caveat emptor, you get what you pay for.

Now that I appear to be through the “Retraining Camp” with all those parts of speech, reading and writing reconstituted in my brain, it is on to where I can show off my skill set. It’s education; you’re expected to show and tell your skill set off.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written for a higher education audience. I’m finding it challenging and stimulating. In the showing off, gotta show them you know the stuff while not sacrificing your personal writing style. That presumes that you can and do write, creatively.

I’m enjoying the formal learning. Enjoying this learning like never before. Probably has something to do with my love of the word.

This arrived in my mail and gave me reason to take a 5 minute laughing break. I’m a tad wired in to this stuff and that laughter arrived at exactly the right time.

aliens phonicsI don’t care that people were looking at me funny and not funny ha ha. Not like people haven’t looked at me funny before when I’m laughing in public.

So why “The Final Act”? Well it’s partly this way, not going to be looking to add on any more disciplines. You’ll learn stuff as you move along that are relevant to you and it is all about you so please pay attention.

Some of the things you learn leave you no choice but to move on them.

I’ll never stop learning. I am the epitome of the educational goal, a lifetime learner.

TEFL and then teaching are, barring living forever, my final act. Don’t know how long the show is gonna be on the road. Maybe forever. Some people I know have spoken of ones they know who didn’t come back.

Me, I see it being until I can’t travel anymore. I’ve got a couple other ideas percolating that aren’t ready for public consumption.

Age is part of the reason I’m doing this. Talk about duality.

grey-cup-paradeThese two characters perfectly illustrate my feeling. I was going to use “Baby New Year” crawling after “Father Time”. Yes, these are both me some; couples of decades apart.

GRH WeatheringPersonal status is another reason. There is nothing to keep me here. Winter is getting more difficult to cope with. I have a skill set that with this formal add on presents me the opportunity to teach English pretty much anywhere in the world.

Part of the decision to do this is about practicing what I preach and making my little piece of the world better.

In a recent tale, I said I’m older and better than when I was a twenty something. Well 3 decades later, I better get seeing what I wanna see before older doesn’t allow it.

I don’t have a bucket list. In supposition, you could say teaching is in that bucket pail if you like.

Y’all think my learners are gonna have good time with English? Reminds me I’m going to have to let Microsoft know that “MS WORD” doesn’t recognize “Y’all” as the compound word we know it is. That’s okay, I’ll recognize it.

I’ve stated a number of times I’m a proponent of the global village. I’ve stated that one of the things that has got to go to achieve that village is multilingualism. To communicate there can be only one language.

I’ve never said until here what I think the language should be. I’m still not saying what the language should be. I’m just doing my part to help it be English.

Sure I am an irreverent but I’m not an inconsiderate. I also know what “Modicum of decorum” is and practice it, daily.

I’m a lot of things and should this last lap leave my legacy as being a teacher who could write and not a writer who can teach, I’m good.

If it all goes according to plan, It will also mean that for my final act, I did something real good, for myself, for others and the words I love.

G.R. Hambley ©
August 27, 2017

If Only – Lyric

If Only


Walking on home alone,
that old bell softly chimes
Passing right on by,
the tower bell strikes again
Falling farther behind
that niggling bell tolls once more

now it’s gone to three
world’s turning quietly
alone in the night
and it’s mostly alright
if only you were here…
if only you were here with me…

Feels like I’m missing
more than a few chimes of my own
Wondering why I even said
this place isn’t striking me as home
Really starting to understand
It’s me for whom that bell is tolling

Everything tangling me up
get so damned lost sometimes
Mind turning it end over round
keep expecting that lost key to show
Walking around thinking way too much
hoping this magic hasn’t got lost

now it’s half past three
world’s turning quietly
alone in the night
and it’s not alright
if only, if only you were here…
if only, if only…
if only you were here with me…

If only I could just walk over
leave this lost feeling behind
If only I could just touch your smile
let you see love isn’t lost
If only I could so tenderly say
only my mind was lost

now it’s long, long past three
world’s brightening quickly
alone in the light
and it’s gonna get right
it wasn’t freedom chiming
the lightning did strike
now it’s time to pay the toll

if only…
if only…
if only you’ll believe
believe when I say I’m sorry

G.R. Hambley ©
August 01, 2017

Foreign Liaisons

Foreign Liaisons

There are times when a chance encounter will forever stay memorable. Of course this is one of those times or I wouldn’t be telling me about it so I can tell you about it.

A woman and her two daughters took the table beside me late one Sunday afternoon. Mom unknowingly knocked my plug lose from the outlet when she sat down on the long bench we share in this cafe.

“Hee Sun” is the woman’s name and she is a creative. Hee Sun and her daughters are South Korean. I learned this in conversation with mom.

Thus begins a tale of enchanting encounter and wonder.

Apology was made for knocking out the plug. Assurances given that there was no need for sorry and no harm was done.

The lady stands and reseats herself after I’ve returned the plug to the outlet. Where the outlets are in this cafe, decorum demands you either put the plug in for someone or get out of the way. Not doing so could lead to an incident which in this case would have been an international incident and who needs those?!

It’s difficult to not see what is up on someone’s computer when you’re settling yourself in to place. Hey if it were something that private you wouldn’t be working on that something in a cafe.

I had some art and poetry I was working on up on my computer and Mom saw it when she sat back down. Hee Sun asked she me about what she saw.

Doesn’t happen often and I’ve done it myself, commented on something I’ve seen that’s art. Made a couple nice friendships that way but I don’t advise trying it unless you’re a creative. A little understanding and perspective folks. Understanding that there are personable people and that being personable is a good thing is a nice start.

I could have shut off any conversation right quick just be putting my ear buds in. Not like I haven’t done it before and won’t do it again. Sometimes when I got the buds in they’re just in so I don’t have to listen to anything and by anything I also mean anyone.

We start to talk and Hee Sun tells me she has written a children’s book and the illustrations are done by the daughter who is at home in South Korea.

GRH - Hee Book 02.Slice of sliceJPGThe two daughters (I do not know their names) were graduating McGill and Mom had come from South Korea for the girls commencement. They had a few days here in Toronto; then a couple days in Montreal for the exercise and back to Toronto for a few more days.

Choosing Toronto over Montreal to tour, good choice. Toronto is the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Landing here in “Community Mine”, lucky for me and lucky for Mom.

We can have the Toronto vs Montreal debate another time.

So me and she talked. We shared our thoughts about poetry and art. We talked a bit about her two graduating girls. We talked about how we’re all the same.

Sun Hee and me talked for about an hour as the girls amused themselves with their phones. The girls will be staying here and looking for jobs. We talked about that too.

Oh alas, oh woe is me. They’re grown up and they’re staying here and they’ll be so far away from their dear mother. If you’re thinking the lament of this South Korean Mother is the same as a Canadian mother or an American Mother or Jewish Mother, you’d be correct. You’d be correct because we’re all the same.

It wasn’t that extreme but Hee Sun was feeling the separation anxiety.

She read a couple of my poems and a narrative of mine. We went through them together as Hee Sun read aloud. She apologized for English once as she went to one of her daughters for help with better understanding the English through Korean.

Hee Sun showed me the cover of her book on her phone. She said she had one copy at the hotel and would send it to me. You see the book she sent me in the first image.

I mentioned her 3rd daughter did the illustrations for the book and they are terrific. Strangely or maybe not, the mom in the book looks similar to Hee Sun. Maybe it’s just because they have the same hair-do. Nah, it’s deeper than that.

GRH - Hee Book 01.SliceJPGI introduced the lady to John Donne and like so many, she knew Donne without knowing it’s John Donne. I told Hee Sun that I have a good friend who after reading Mr. Donne’s Ye Olde English, decided that any future spelling errors would be attributed to Ye Olde English. The lady smiled at that.

Hee Sun spent a semester at Harvard and did a trail visiting the places of poets renowned in England. She likes the Romance poets and now has another romance poet she likes, me.

I had this conversation a couple weeks ago (June 04, 2017) and I’ve run the encounter past some of those in this “Community Mine” that I’m friends with. The thing about those people in my community and I point it out to them as we talk, they’re the same as me and Sun Hee and another friend of mine who is a mom and lives in South Africa.

We are all the same. We all want the same things.
A decent place to live.
Enough to eat.
Some work.
Some leisure.

That’s it folks. All she wrote. Simple stuff. We all want the same because we are all the same.

“Good Friend” saw this piece pretty close to the completion point. It was asked by Good Friend, “What about love?”. I don’t know if we all want love and I’ll take that up elsewhere.

I didn’t set out on this enchanting encounter of mine to tug at heart strings. What we two were talking about, how could it not? It could only not tug the heart at least a little if we aren’t the same.

Hee Sun provided me with her address and she will be receiving a letter from me. There is so much wonderful in a real letter, a hand written letter. Tactile and tangible and on occasion, scented.

Our conversation was worldly and I loved every minute of it. I’m going to tell her so by hand.

I went and had a look at where Hee Sun lives in Korea, Gimpo and it is pronounced, “Kimpo”. If you’re aged enough and were a fan of MASH, you’ve heard that name before.

The first return in the search brought me a bit from a wiki, Gimpo, directly across the Han river is North Korea.

I can’t even fathom living that. Sure I understand the political just fine but I can’t even grasp living with that situation in my backyard.

I will ask Hee Sun in the letter I write her to try and tell me how she feels about living with that threat as she does and I hope she’ll reply. I will be relating and asking other things as well.

Hee Sun told me she plays the guitar and sings. I’m thinking if I ask nicely, perhaps she’ll tell me a musical story.

G.R. Hambley ©
June 19, 2017