I can’t say I pray

I can’t say I pray

So I am having a bit of a dilemma. I have been working with failing students for years and implemented various successful intervention strategies. Yes, these were informed by my knowledge of pedagogy, developmental, and social psychology, and having worked with troubled children and young adults since I was 16.

So far so good.

Now a colleague asked me, if what I did is transferable and I self-assuredly said of course. My partner laughed at me saying that the skills I have are not transferable, I still remain they are but have been thinking a lot about what it actually is I do when meeting students for 1-2-1 sessions.

Now. I pray.

Before someone comes to see me I focus for a moment, empty my head, my emotions. I basically take a step back, away from ego, and ask for guidance, the ability to offer the best advice possible.

Praying is not a scientific method. Working in higher education I can’t say I pray.

So what else is it then?

Creating room to be entirely in the moment, with the other person. Having emptied my thoughts and my feelings there is space to observe, to take in, to listen, to watch for minute changes in body language. And based on these observations my knowledge in action kicks in and I advice based on this. Students often would respond: that’s exactly what my psychologist/counsellor said.

My answer: and are you doing it?

What stops you?

How can we work on strategies?

I am not a counsellor, or psychologist. I just coach and mentor.

And I pray.

Sugar Coated Toes

These are variations of the same theme. Reef bleach of the house reef—Bandos Island in Maldives—was heartbreaking and I tried to express my sadness but also the joy of seeing all the life that still is there. So here it goes: Sugar Coated Toes Outtakes.


Sugar Coated Toes 01: Despair of a dying reef

My toes are sugar coated
With ground corpse of reef
The bleach process has killed most of it
In a vast landscape of dead white chalk
Three anemones cling on to life
Each of which houses a tiny family of clown fish
No it’s not funny
My heart breaks

Sugar Coated Toes 02: We pay with our future

The freight ship with three enormous cranes on top
Covers three quarters of length of the tiny island
More stuff no-body really needs
More dead reef
We pay much more than dollars for our needs
We pay with our future

Sugar Coated Toes 03: Life prevails

My toes are sugar coated
Sand gets every where
Life gets every where
Purple anemones with orange tentacles
Move with the currents of the waves
Bobbing in and out as I float above
A family of clown fish


Sugar Coated Toes 04: Happiness

Sugar coated toes
Ready to splash
In a turquoise cocktail
Palm tree umbrellas
And puffer fish ice cubes