FROM THE BLOG…
Finding Your Unique Magic – You’ve Been Doing It Your Whole Life!
I’ve always pushed boundaries, walked a little outside the lines. It’s been my nature to be bold, brave and intrepid!
And It’s only now, looking back over my life, I see that I’ve always been this way. Standing out from the crowd, challenging the world around me and finding out how to be a Giant!
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been told stories of my life as a small child taking things on that were just a little bigger than I was. One of my earliest memories is being very young, perhaps my third Christmas. I was with my family at a pantomime. I remember it so clearly, being in the dark theatre looking down at the stage of fantastic characters. I don’t remember what the story was, but I do remember an actor calling all the children to come down onto the stage and sing a song.
There was no doubt in my mind I wanted to be on that stage. I leapt up and started squeezing along the rows of knees to the end of the aisle, so confident, I didn’t even check with my mother (who at this stage was trying to convince my elder brother to come with me – he, being a much quieter character, declined).
I remember standing on that stage – awestruck! All the other children towered over me. In front of us was a large screen with black words I couldn’t read and a ball that bounced on top of each word to guide us as we sang along. I have no idea what I sang, and I didn’t care! I was just so delighted to be doing something on my own, without permission, a decision I had made for myself. I felt like a Giant in training and I knew I liked this feeling.
This was possibly my first Intrepid journey.
As I grew up, my willful and independent nature would get me into all kinds of trouble and the education system would try to “educate” it out of me, with very little success!
The late 1970s and my introduction to punk saw another intrepid journey – this time to the hair salon to have my hair cut short and spiky – my father didn’t recognise me and my uncle disowned me as I traded in my skirts and dresses for collarless shirts, army greens, black eyeliner and safety pins.
At 16 I couldn’t wait to get out into the world! I left school to become “The best hairdresser in the world” as I told my boss at my first interview and I set about my training with curiosity and a drive that saw me cut almost two years off my training period to achieve “salon floor” status at 17.
The trend of intrepid journeys was to become my trademark!
At 19 I started my own business. At 22 I landed the job of Regional Training Manager for the hair and beauty company who held the franchise at Harrods in London.
At 23 I joined L’Oreal as a Technical Trainer for Southeast and Southwest London.
At 26 I joined Toni and Guy as their Technical Training Manager based at their London academy.
And… at 27 I jacked it all in, bought a one-way ticket to Bombay and another intrepid journey began.
For the next 4 and a half years, my boyfriend and I travelled across South East Asia! And those years taught me how to live life on the edge! An insatiable curiosity about the world I found myself in filled me with a spirit to keep moving forward.
I consumed books, hungry to learn about the countries I travelled to, their culture, politics, people, religion, history and spirituality. I visited temples, museums, ancient cities and people’s homes. I spoke broken languages to people on trains, sat with wide-eyed children on school buses, trekked the mountains and the deserts. I lived on deserted beaches with no roads and hiked through jungles to get supplies. I swam with turtles and got washed up on a remote island after a storm almost sank the boat I was on. Wet and shaken, we were welcomed by Indonesian villagers who had never seen white people before. I danced at dawn on the slopes of the Himalayas, touched the feet of Holy men and learned to meditate. I had close encounters with wild elephants, snakes and Komodo dragons.
And I soaked it all in with a thirst that was unquenchable – and a love for life and all its glorious possibilities. This particular journey then went on to become my life for another 13 years.
I married, had a beautiful son, set up a business and worked as a consultant for L’Oreal training their national technical team, salon owners and hairstylists at events and workshops all across India.
I designed and made stained glass windows and cut hair in the local flea market.
And then, quite suddenly I made another courageous decision and, leaving everything behind, the UK became home again.
My son’s education was my primary focus and I decided to put all my adventures, learning, experiences and the love for living life to the full, into a new career. This all culminated in studying NLP, Hypnosis, Coaching and starting my practice. I have built on these skills throughout my career.
Recently, I was asked a question by one of my coaching mentors. “How long have you been doing what you do?” And I realise I have been doing this my entire life! I have always been curious, interested, happy to take on challenges and willing to journey into the unknown.
I have always been intrepid.
And this is why the men I choose to work with have the success they do. Because, as their coach, I am not afraid to draw out their innermost dreams and visions, challenge them to take the actions that will pave the way for their intrepid journeys and to be a safe space to explore the things they share only with themselves.
Fiona Ross, February 2021
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