Louise Humphries participated in the 2012 Australian Public Service Women in ICT Coaching Circles program. She wrote this poem in her last coaching session (inspired by Carl Sandburg’s Wilderness), after reflecting on her learnings throughout the program. The poem is a great example of the personal and professional growth that Orijen’s WITEM Coaching Circles program can help to facilitate.

There is a meerkat in me, alert, responsive, willing to care, watching for changes, waiting to warn. I keep this, so I can protect and unite.

There is a child in me, laughter and joy at the ready, tears and tantrums, an energy for learning, an enthusiasm for tomorrow. I keep this, so it’s okay to laugh, and cry, to explore, to learn.

There is an extrovert in me, talking and thinking in one great tumble, quick to respond, thinking it through together in teams. I keep this, so I can share the shine.

There is an introvert in me, thoughtful and calm, considering in the quiet, ready to guide with a measured reply. I keep this, so I can stop, and reflect.

There is a teacher in me, a guide and mentor, a calm voice lighting the way, ideas are planted, perspectives gathered, the gentle nudge to think new thoughts. I keep this too, so I can grow.

There is an adult in me… a worker… a protector …a contributor…a provider… full of responsibilities, commitments, deadlines…using competencies, skills and knowledge to influence, to achieve. I keep this, so I can own my “star achievements”!

There is a dreamer in me… a creator and builder. I imagine, I plan, and I deliver. I’m free to think big, to analyse, to form allies and strategies, to pursue the goal. I keep this, so I can build a better place, a better solution, a legacy.

There is a confidant in me, a listener to secrets, a safe haven to share stories, work out the options and practice the pitch, play a role, refine the brand… and to keep a book of brags! I keep this, so I can breathe in the strength.

There is a woman in me… a warrior, a lover, a wife, a mother… full of life, of community, of caring. I keep this, so I constantly love.

There is a sadness in me at the circle closing, the full turn of the clock… the ending of this round table, the ending of the structure.But there is excitement in me, for each ending creates a new beginning, full of new skills, new confidence, new friends, where I can be brave to step into the unknown, enthrall that audience, deliver that elevator pitch, all calm and smooth. Professional.

Oh, I have a lifetime in me, years to experience and experiment, negotiate and manage, to celebrate the wins and learn from losses; years of joy and laughter, years of hope and love, the beautiful jewels of life.

I keep this, so I can lead the world.