beautiful garden gate at end of lawn

One night I was on a run with my pooch, Dozer. We were winding our way up the hills of Oakland and I decided to take a turn up a street that I hadn’t been on before. I was pushing myself physically so I could push my way mentally through all my Inner Mean Girl' Big Fat Lies. The lies that tell me I’m not enough. The ones that say I am failing. The ones that complain of overwhelm and lack. (Yes, my dear ones, I coach what I am hungry for!)  As we turned around to make our way back down the hill, I glanced at a house, only to see this gate:

Compassion & Gratitude. Wow. There it was like a beacon, reminding me of all things good in the world. Reminding me to be compassionate—not only with others, but with myself. Giving me a wake-up call of how much I have to be grateful for.

I was floored.

I decided to immediately take out my phone and snap a picture to remember the moment by.

So there I am standing in this random driveway with my dog, sweating and red-faced, taking pictures of this gate when a car winds its way around the corner. Sure enough it is the owner of the house coming home from work. I feel embarrassed for a moment, thinking she must think I’m casing the joint or something. I give a smile and a wave and begin to make my way down the hill. The owner pulls into her garage.

And something stopped me (my Inner Wisdom?), telling me to turn around and express my appreciation for the gate. I slowly approach and say as her car door opens, “Excuse me? Hi! I just wanted to say thank you so much for your gate. It is beautiful.”

“You’re welcome,” the owner of the house replied, as she made her way out of her garage and met me in her driveway. “I got it on eBay after my divorce a while ago. My ex and I used to have a big sign that said ‘No Solicitors’ and I realized that sign belonged to him. And I needed a new way to greet the world. Compassion and Gratitude. That’s me.”

I got goose bumps as she spoke. We talked for a while. I told her I was a coach; she replied that she does leadership training. We laughed at the serendipity. And of course exchanged emails.

True Story.

So I ask you, my dear friends, clients, and fellow adventurers:

What is on your gate?

How are you greeting the world?

Please let me know by posting a comment below. 

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About The Author

Amy Ahlers's picture

Amy Ahlers, the Wake-Up Call Coach and bestselling author, is on a mission to stop women from being so darn hard on themselves. Since 2000, she has been an International Certified Success Coach, the CEO of Wake-Up Call Coaching, and co-founder of Inner Mean Girl Reform School with Christine Arylo, Visionary Ignition Switch with Lissa Rankin, and Find Your Calling with Lissa Rankin and Martha Beck. Her newest passion is supporting moms to embrace the whole truth of motherhood, messiness, and magic with the Mama Truth Circle.

Amy has been a featured expert on lots of TV & radio shows, and for media outlets like ABC, FOX, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. She loves lighting up the stage at events where she wakes people up to the voice of their Inner Wisdom and helps them cultivate the courage to act on it. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, inspiring women to find the everyday sacred.

Her first book, Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar (New World Library, 2011), shot up to #1 in several categories on Amazon, including Self-Help, Happiness, and Self-Esteem. Her next book,  Reform Your Inner Mean Girl: 7 Steps to Stop Bullying Yourself and Start Loving Yourself, she co-wrote with Christine Arylo and is due out in April of 2015 from Beyond Words.

A 2010 recipient of the Women Who Dare Award from Girls Inc., she holds a BA from the University of California, earned the CPCC designation from The Coaches Training Institute, and is a Master Coach Equivalent. Amy is known best for her unconditional love, relentless enthusiasm, and kick ass truth telling. You can often find Amy in the San Francisco Bay Area holding hands with her husband, Rob, as they run after their firecracker daughters, Annabella and Evie Rose.

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