Ok, it is true. I do have a bit of a fascination with lighthouses.
My parents are rather intrepid (although I'm not entirely sure they see it that way) and I'm very fortunate to have experienced a rather unusual childhood. When I was small they built a steel yacht "Ralph Rover" in a farmers barn. There are pictures of me sat in a rocking chair whilst they welded the hull around me. When I was 4 and my sister with 2, they sailed from the UK across the Atlantic, cruised the Caribbean and part of the coast of the USA and returned across the Atlantic. Each Atlantic crossing took 28 days and the entire voyage lasted a year.
I have a few scattered memories: occasional parties on the foredeck; flying fish in the anchor well; a huge storm when my 5th birthday had to be postponed; a giant stalk of bananas in the saloon and the week of delicious banana sandwiches; eating cheese and pickle sandwiches when we made landfall in Ireland. Apparently when I started school the teachers thought I was a bit thick because I couldn't read any of the usual early reader books. I was much better with words like yacht and dolphin!
Back in the UK we spent most holidays sailing, so I've seen a few lighthouses. As kids we were subjected to the shipping forecast each day in silence, forbidden to say anything in case some crucial weather information was missed. "Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea...." boomed the radio. (Fastnet is pictured above - a lighthouse, on a rock). Sailing with my parents as a teenager was a mix of torture and pleasure.
The legacy of this is a connection to the sea and lighthouses connect me directly to my past. Collectively they provide a historical window through stories about the lighthouse keepers (and sometimes their families) who manned these remote outposts in relative solitude prior to automation of the lights. This harks back to a different time when life was slower and more hazardous.
Lighthouses are impressive, sturdy structures, built to withstand centuries of battering from the worst storms and sea conditions imaginable. They remain, a testament to fortitude, both of the buildings themselves and the people who served others in fair weather and foul.
Despite our advances in navigation and radar they remain, stoically warning mariners of rocky peril along the treacherous coastline.
Lighthouses provide a wonderful metaphor for my philosophy of coaching.
My values are the foundations and the tower of my lighthouse. These values are grounded in my past, help me to stand firm in the storm and show me the way into the future. When my actions are in alignment with my values I am at my most fulfilled.
My strengths are the powerful light and mirrors. They shine through even in the worst weather.
The beam as it projects on the sea, the shore and the rocks shines a light from different angles. When I see things from new or different perspectives I can turn ideas around in my head, and change them from negatives to a more positive way of seeing things.
Live your values. Harness your strengths. Reframe negatives into positives.
Find your lighthouse.
Sancha Robinson. Coach. For Doctors.
The first Smeaton Tower, an incredible engineering feat and a blue print for lighthouse construction.
Find out more about other UK lighthouses, including some of the ones on this website.
Find out more about Australian lighthouses, including some of the ones on this website.
Copyright © 2021 Sancha Robinson. Coach. For Doctors. ABN 17483205439 - All Rights Reserved.
Images of lighthouses from Shutterstock. Graphics by Alice at Imprint, Newcastle.
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