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When James* called upon me, he asked that we meet in an open restaurant downtown Vancouver. Asking him why there instead of my office, he laughed and said, ‘Because I need it this way.’ 
On the agreed upon date and time of rendez-vous, James sat down in front of me and immediately placed his hands under the table where I could Not see them. This gesture alone told me a lot about James, how easily he pretended to be emotionally open yet felt the want to hide once in front of me.
Through my talking with him, I found out James was one of nine children from a very large Catholic South American family. He grew up being an altar boy, going to Sunday school, and saying prayers. But something was Not working for him… In his teenage years, he realized he was gay and being gay is apparently something deemed unacceptable in his family and culture.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt rejected for what you are?

James moved to Vancouver, found a job, and said he met the ‘love of his life’, whom he married a couple of years later. Though saying he is happily married, James had two Facebook accounts, one ‘straight’ and one gay, to ‘spare’ the family as he said. Looking down, he confessed few people (if any) where he came from knew he was even married.

Can you imagine what it feels like to hide things from the people you love? 

In tears, James said he needed to come out of the closet as a gay and this is why he was coming to see me. He felt he could Not do it alone, he said this was too much for him to face alone.

I asked…

In a perfect world, what would your life be like right now?

Jame’s face brightened. He shared how he would only have one Facebook account and one Instagram account. He laughed saying he would show pictures from the ‘crazy’ adventures he and his husband have been on, their food expeditions, their vacations together, even their honeymoon trip…
I asked James if he truly loved his husband. Without hesitation he answered choking up, “Are you kidding me? He is the best thing that has ever happened to me!”
I replied,

When we truly love someone, including ourselves, do we hide who we are?

James burst into tears. He did Not seem to care anymore whether the waiter or other patrons saw him crying; his shoulders were heaving up and down with heavy sobs. Then he took a deep breath, clenched his teeth, and said, “I deserve better! My husband deserves better! I am coming out!” I was impressed by this fiery determination.
That day, he went home with homework to do. Over the next seven days, he had to call every member of his family, his eight siblings and two parents, and tell each one of them he was gay. His framework looked something like ‘I am calling to share something important to me. I am gay. Being gay is a part of me, it is Not all of me. I love you.”

Have you ever had to stand up for what you believe in? How easy was it?

At our next coaching session, James sat down with his journal open. Where he had drawn ten little people with their name on top of each, three of them were still left unmarked by an ‘X’ signifying ‘the job is done’ and they knew he was gay.
I open directly,

What happened to you missing your goal?

James grabbed his journal with both hands. He mumbled how he was Not truly close to the only sibling left on the list as this person had once sexually assaulted him when he was a kid… He also said how many of his siblings were now sending him harassment messages telling him he was ‘wrong’, going to ‘hell, and ‘Don’t tell mom and dad! They’re too old and mom’s depression is too bad!’
Like so many, James was caught once more living a double life, living in the background of his own life while trying to get ‘approval’ from others, especially from members of his family.

Whose approval is most important to you to be happy?

I pointed to the top of the page where all his little people drawings were and I asked him to write down a story title expressing what his goal is. His pen almost pierced the paper as he wrote in capital letters at the top,


Let me ask you…

Why do we become untruthful?

Why do we pursue lies?

I believe the answer is, because we think it will be better.
Is it though? How was James’ constant lying about being gay going to advance his goal of coming out of the closet?
Clearly, denying our truth does Not work.
With this in mind…

How do things become better?


I believe, things become better when we focus on 

  • becoming truthful. ‘What is my truth?’

  • becoming intentional. ‘What can I do right now to uphold my truth?’

  • becoming accountable. ‘What can I do to hold myself accountable so I live my truth?

I could certainly relate to James. When I got married, I did not tell my then husband about the way I grew up, the level of violence. I thought he would ‘love’ me more if I buried what had happened to me as a child. Can you relate? My life changed for the better when I became truthful, intentional, and accountable.

Here are some rock solid tips to assist you who may suffer from ‘007 Double Life  Syndrome’:

Once you have identified what your truth is, whether it is to come of the closet as gay or lesbian, leave an unhappy marriage, change jobs, or …

  • Make a list of who needs to know. When we make the decision to come out with our truth, often, we tend to believe everyone ‘must’ know all at once. Spare yourself feeling overwhelmed, work in stages.

  • Come up with an on point message telling your truth. Keep it short. Keep it sweet. Keep it to the point. Understand there is plenty of time later to go into the ‘Why did this happen?’ if you ever chose to.

  • Have an accountability system/person in place. Though many of us say we ‘know’ what we need to do in order to be happy, many of us end up losing our nerve when the stakes are deemed high.Therefore, having someone on your team who is Not emotionally attached to your situation allows for actions with a greater sense of clarity.

Now imagine somebody has just read these tips…

What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?

Before James came to see me, he had all the best intentions in the world, BUT he lacked a solid accountability system. This is why as soon as he went into ‘What will they think of me?’ he lost his nerve of telling his truth to his family.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who holds her clients highly accountable so they get to live their truth openly, and like James, get to come out at the top of their story page.
For coaching inquiries, reach out to me at
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,

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Have you ever received a message from one of your LinkedIn contacts? In that moment, where were you physically? Were you at the office sitting at your desk? Were you standing at home with your toddler in your arms? Perhaps your spouse or teenager walked into the room as you were checking your messages? Keep these scenarios in mind as you read on…
One of my LinkedIn contacts, S. D., sent me a message in which he shared how his mother had recently died. He said he was feeling lost’ and needed ‘empathy’. Since we all go through turbulent moments sometimes, I messaged him with words I trust are compassionate. I received the following response from him, “this is what I meant by empathy in message. sorry im not happy doing this or when I’m not doing this. please have empathy. thanks”. 
To assist you in getting what S.D. was saying by ‘this is what I meant by empathy’, know that he sent me a full profile close-up picture of an erect penis. The picture was taken at such a close range that pubic hair and veins were easily discernible or perhaps it was just my big Mac screen tricking my eyes?

Do you consider racy pictures a rare occurrence on LinkedIn?

For many of my business contacts, including myself, this is actually a common reality. In the course of business, many of us get solicited by what I call ‘The Invisible Crowd’, the men and women who believe they need to show racy pictures in order to get our attention.
S.D. seems quite young, early 20s, about the same age as my adult son. You might wonder,

Could young adults be the only ones sharing racy pictures on LinkedIn?

The answer is NO.

Let me introduce to you D.L. who is in his late 30s apparently. In his message to me, he said that he found me ‘hot’  and wanted to ‘f*ck  me’. Perhaps wanting to make sure I really got what he was saying, I got one penis picture (sparing you this one again) and a series of chest / muscles pictures (like the one included with this article). The difference between him and S.D. is that S.D. messaged me directly on LinkedIn and D.L. took my business cell phone from my LinkedIn profile to text me his ‘information’.

Is LinkedIn becoming the new Tinder?

Meet D. S., a businessman I presume to be in his 40s based on the fully clothed picture of himself that accompanied his email. Here is what he had to say after checking my profile on LinkedIn and grabbing my business email from the LinkedIn network:

  “… I must confess you are pretty…”

“… I understand the medium is a business networking medium and not a dating or social networking website and i don’t intend to use it for one .”

“…hope to learn more about you too that is if you are single…”

Still not convinced about the lack of ethical behaviour some LinkedIN users are displaying? Let’s ask A.W. to see what he has to say. A.W. claims he is in his 50s and, like D.S., checked my LinkedIn profile then grabbed my business email from there:

“I read your profile on linked-in and you caught my eye…”

“This is all new for me, it is the  first time i would ever go against protocol of doing business only on the Linked-in website.”

“You should check me out and let me know what you think.”

Some people are shocked when I share with them the level of unethical behaviour I am at times encountering on LinkedIn from men and women of all ages. Like me, they have also seen instances where people have spoken up against racy pictures or trolling emails, saying that, “LinkedIn is Not the new Tinder.”
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach. Though I am skilled at addressing potential unethical behaviours in the workplace, many business professionals are not as they have shared with me in private sessions.

Now, to the people behaving like predators on LinkedIn, here is what I have to say:


Saying that you do not know you are behaving unethically, 

when the evidence clearly says you do know,

 is a terrible defence. 

If you want to lie to yourself, feel free to do so. Just don’t lie to me.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Commission of Canada, in any given year:

  • 1/5 in Canada experiences a mental health problem or illness, with a cost of over $50 BILLION to the economy.

  • Only 1/3 who experience a mental health problem or illness report that they have sought and received services and treatment.

  • In the workplace, mental health problems and illnesses typically account for approximately 30% of short- and long-term disability.

  • Mental health problems and illnesses are rated one of the top three drivers of both short- and long-term disability claims by more than 80% of Canadian employers.

  • As early as 2010, mental health conditions were responsible for 47% of all approved disability claims in the federal civil service, almost double the percentage of twenty years earlier.

  • Mental health problems and illnesses also account for more than $6 billion in lost productivity.

This is just Canada… Now imagine what the numbers must be like in the USA with their population 10X bigger than Canada’s…
Just for fun, let’s do a quick math… Let’s take a Canadian company of 1,000 employees…

  • 200 (1/5) employees are currently experiencing a mental health problem or illness.

  • Since only 33% are seeking treatment (33% x 200 = 66), this means 134 (200-66) are playing ostrich. What does playing ostrich mean? Playing ostrich means answering ‘I’m fine!’ when one’s world is actually collapsing on the inside.

Now, for these 134 employees refusing to acknowledge they might need more emotional intelligence tools and techniques… maybe you even know someone in this situation right now…

What is the cost to your company for short- and long-term disability pay-out? 


What is the cost to your company in lost productivity?


What is the cost to your company in potential harassment lawsuits?

Before answering, bear in mind I received these pictures during business hours and these four persons were most likely sitting at their office desk, maybe even across you…

But perhaps… worst of all…


What is the cost to you for having been exposed to predator behaviours?





What is the cost to your spouse or your child who happened to be in the same room as you when you checked your LinkedIn messages and got greeted by an erect penis, physical chest, or close-up vagina?
Let me get something straight…

It’s not because you may not see it in your own LinkedIn inbox 

that racy pictures/emails/texts do not exist 

within your business network or company. 


Playing ostrich to predator behaviour

not only condones this behaviour (agreement by looking the other way), 

it has the potential of becoming extremely costly to you and your company.

Since people suffering from mental illness cost the Canadian economy $50 BILLION IN ANY GIVEN YEAR, what are these 134 employees truly costing a 1,000 employees company?
Assuming that total claims by overall employees equal $500,000 (I am being extremely generous by stating a low number as an example) and 47% are mental related claims, we are looking at a ballpark number of $235,000 (47% x $500,000)
Without a doubt, $235,000 is a lot of money that could have been contributed generously to any financial bottom line or even your year-end bonus.
By hiring me as your Emotional Intelligence Coach, spending $50,000- $75,000 to ensure your employees understand, live, and uphold strong emotional boundaries is a relatively small fee to pay compared to $235,000 with a raining chance of even more costly harassment lawsuits. From where I am sitting, it looks like a financial savings of 80%+.

Is LinkedIn becoming the new Tinder?

Are you truly prepared to find out?

My name is Anne Beaulieu. I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach and Authentic Speaker who can be reached at Let’s make Emotional Intelligence a growing asset within your company instead of you incurring a predator-type liability.
P.S. If you wish to receive the names of these four persons behaving like predators to ensure they are never part of your business network, kindly let me know. I do have pictures and emails to support what I have shared in this article.

Accountability Anxiety Assertiveness Authenticity Awareness Blind Spots Commitment Compassion Conscience Courage Curiosity Decency Depression Dreams Emotional Intelligence Empathy Enabling Equality Faith Forgiveness freedom Frustration Gratefulness Guilt Happiness Hope Ignorance Inner Child Inner Peace Insanity Instinct Intellect Intent Intentions Intuition Joy Leadership Life Purpose Love Magic Mindfullness Parenting Self Patience Peace procrastination Racism Reality Relationship Sadness Sanity Satisfaction Self-Confidence Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Space Success Tolerance Trust WalkingInside


Round and round
We go again
On the merry-go-round of life.
Ups and downs,
We think that’s life
Until we get off our mount.
Round and round
We go again
On the merry-go-round of life.
Laughter and tears
We think we’re here
Until we go deep within.
In and in
We go again
On the merry-go-round of life,
Darkness and light
Fuse into one
Until we go round and round.
With love & compassion,
What makes any of us go round and round in circles?
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I am somewhere deep in the countryside. It is Sunday afternoon, sunny, and beside me is sitting my 16 year old listening to her music on her headphones.
I love driving on this back road, it is full of twists and turns, a road less travelled, or so it seems.
On each side of the road is a large dug trench as a ditch. Each lane is super narrow, nowhere to stop the car, really, unless I want every car coming behind me to stop as well.
Every once in a while, we meet an old fashioned mail box, with its flap either up or down, signalling perhaps someone’s driveway nearby?
But none of it matters because, right now, I need to pee. I really really really need to pee.
Yes, I did pee back at the restaurant and I need to go again.
As minutes pass by, the need to pee becomes stronger and stronger. I tell myself, “I’ll wait until the coast is clear…”

How many of you have ever withheld your pee 

until there was no one else around?

I sit on one butt cheek then the other. I move my body forward then backward. I am now doing some kind of square dancing while holding the steering wheel super tight.

How many of you have ever done the pee-pee dance?

My bladder is hurting to the point it reminds me of the days when I sat ‘still’ during one of my bosses’ presentations to the rest of the board. Arghhhhh!

How many of you deny your basic needs, 

afraid to bring attention to yourself?

Something clicks in me, ‘Am I doing this kind of shit again?’ I ask myself.
Immediately, we get to some kind of crossroad. I can see a small patch of dirt and rocks on the other side. I stop the car right there, pull up the handbrake, turn to my daughter and say, “I need to pee. Now!”
I open the glove compartment and take out toilet paper I keep tucked there for a ‘rainy’ day. She simply says, “okay” as if what I am now doing is the most natural thing in the world.
She does not point out the seemingly abandoned farm where we were.
She does not mention the open hay field on our right.
She does not even tease me about the very likely possibility incoming cars might catch me with my pants down.
She just said ‘okay’ and smiled.
As I walk over to a tree, I think about my daughter’s response, how lovely and understanding it is. I take a look around.
The weather is beautiful, sunny and cold, the air crisp, and right here and there, I feel free, freer than I have ever been, me, this grown up woman, peeing in an open farm field, butt naked under the winter sun.
I laugh as I pull up my pants. I walk back to the car.
As I start driving again, I look around, a fresh perspective in my eyes and heart. I am not driving in pain anymore, I am driving light, present, hearing laughter in my heart.
The contrast is so sharp for me that I decided to write this blog.
Let me ask you,

In your life, 

are you driving in pain or 

are you moving forward with joy?

If, like the old me, you are feeling more pain than joy, then perhaps you need to revisit how well you are addressing your basic needs.

Here are some tips on how to address our basic needs:


  • Ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” Listen quietly to the answer and take immediate action to give it to your self. If you need to go pee, stand up, and politely excuse yourself. We all have a bladder and it can only contain so much before it explodes….


  • Affirm, “I matter, my needs matter.” Feel this affirmation as many times a day as possible and use it, especially if you feel the negative pull of putting other people’s perceived needs and wants ahead of yours.


  • Accept your humanity. We are not robots, we are not machines. It is okay to stop working and sit down for a nourishing meal. It is okay to take a 15 minutes break from gardening or mowing the lawn. It is okay to go pee in an open farm field on sunny winter day.

I trust you have found value in this article. My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach. I am also an Expert Pee Ninja who assists her clients from having a too-full bladder piss all over their life. I can be reached at
With compassion & deep respect,

Accountability Anger Anxiety Assertiveness Authenticity Awareness Blind Spots Compassion Confidence Decency Emotional Boundaries Emotional Intelligence Enabling freedom Frustration Ignorance Inner Peace Instinct Intellect Intent Intentions Leadership Love Mindfullness Parenting Self Reality Relationship Satisfaction Self-Confidence Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Settling Social Awareness Stress WalkingInside


As soon as I enter the room, I spot him right away. He is not hard to miss, really, for he looks like a beautiful social butterfly, passing a joke to a man with a hand on their shoulder, shaking another man’s hand on their way out. What I find deeply intriguing is how his behaviour seems to change when facing women…
I watch him approach a female full frontal. To me, she appears like a nice girl, you know, the type that rather turns beet red instead of speaking up? Smiling a smile I believe does not quite reach his eyes, without even asking her, he pulls her hard into his arms. She laughs nervously and says… nothing!
I ask my girlfriend, “Who is he?”
She laughs, “It’s….  He’s actually harmless, Anne, he does this to all women.”
I look at her, shocked. “You mean, he is allowed to behave like this because this is what he does?”
She shrugs, “What’s you gonna do? I just ignore it.”

How many of us allow a potentially offensive behaviour 

to continue, just because ‘that’s what we do’?

I ask her, “Has he ever done this to you?”
“Yeah, several times.”
“Where has he touched you?”
She shrugs, “O, you know, he hugs me, gives me kisses on my cheeks.”
“Does he even know you’re married?”
“Yeah, I think so. He’s married too, very pretty wife. She’s not here tonight.”
My eyes grow bigger.
“Anne, he’s harmless!”
I am unconvinced. In my past, I have seen my share of men taking physical and emotional advantage of unassertive women. How do I know? I used to be a doormat for guys like him.
Our social butterfly zeroes in on me and swiftly walks over. Quickly cocking his head into mine, he smacks his right hand possessively on my lower back, pulls me closer to him physically, and asks ‘smiling’, “Who are you and what do you do?”
I look at him with zero smile on my face or in my eyes. “I’m Anne, I’m an Emotional Intelligence Coach.”
“A whaaat?”
I take a deep breath. “I assist people understand why they do what they do, like what you are doing with your right hand. Remove it now.”
Maybe it is my tone and body language… but he physically takes a step back. He stutters, “I’m… I’m… educated… and I don’t even understand what you do!”
“You’re educated? ‘Educated’ means something else to me, but get this….” By the time I finish listing my academic and professional accreditations, he throws both his arms in the air, and says the most fascinating thing ever,  “How do I compete with this? You just emasculated me!”
On this, he walks away, seemingly unhappy.
Let’s stop for a moment and consider,

Why do some women get uncomfortable 

when a hand is placed upon their lower back?

To answer this question,

Did you know our LOWER BACK is often associated with 

the feeling of FREEDOM?


If our lower back is touched in a non-consensual way, 

survival mode often kicks in…


some of us will…

say nothing (freeze) or

walk away (flight) or

insult or push back physically (fight)

Not a great place place to be in any case, if you ask me.
Therefore, let’s understand,

What might be the hidden purpose of a hand 

placed on another’s lower back?

Is it a sign of friendly gesture?
Is it a loose attempt at flirting?
Is it a focused attempt at testing the waters to see if can go lower?
I don’t know about you, but this social butterfly did give me some clue as to his own motives when he said, “How can I compete with this? You just emasculated me!”

If a hand is placed onto a non-consensual lower back, 

how much of it is a claim for domination?

You be the judge.

Here are some coaching tips for women who are having issues with unwanted hands placed onto their lower back:


  • Acknowledge the awkwardness of the situation. Pay attention to the physical signs showing up in your body. Are you tensing up? Does your breathing become shallower? When we become anxious, often, we stop breathing deeply, which signals the brain we are in the presence of some kind of personal danger.

  • Breathe deeply. Ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” If it is for the other person to remove their hand from your lower back, breathe deeply and firmly affirm, “Remove your hand now.”

  • Take action. Some people might not take well to an assertive woman. For example, snide remarks might be made. My question to you is, “Who is more important to you, you or them?” If the answer is you, stand by your position. If you think others are more important, then why did you read this blog to the end?…

My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who believe we are all deserving of strong emotional boundaries. I can be reached at
With love & compassion,

Accountability Authenticity Awareness Blind Spots Compassion Conscience Courage Curiosity Decency Emotional Boundaries Emotional Intelligence Enabling Equality Forgiveness Happiness Ignorance Intent Intentions Leadership Love Mindfullness Parenting Self Reality Relationship Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Social Awareness WalkingInside


If there were 1,000 eyes constantly looking at you…


  • Would you yell at your children for not finishing their homework on time?

  • Would you give your spouse the cold shoulder for not taking out the trash?

  • Would you binge on potato chips or self-deprive through a 500 daily calories diet?

Many people, including me in the past, would answer no to one or more of these questions.
And yet,

Many of us might still behave out of integrity when

we think no one is watching… 


Why is that?

Me? I used to be obsessed with perfectionism. Things had to go my way, my way only.
This meant… homework had to finished at a specific time or else… trash had to be taken out every day or else….
The more and more things I believed were not going my way, the more and more I became agitated, anxious, angry. If unable to turn my negative emotions onto others (blame), I turned onto myself, either binging on potato chips or ‘eating’ 2 coffees that day….
Silly, isn’t it?
Through massive self-awareness efforts with my mentor, I have come to understand I was deeply out of integrity because my want for perfection was massively associated my want for external approval.
I was one of the greatest bullshitters on earth! Holy Shit!
Because I had bullshitted myself into believing my want for perfection was making me a person of integrity!
As if perfection and integrity automatically go together?
As if the want for perfection is ‘reason enough’ to never question one’s own integrity?
Like I used to blame, “Other people are always the problem, not me!”
O dear!
Sounds familiar?

At times (many actually), I told myself I ‘had to’ behave out of integrity because…

  • I wanted my children to have the best education! Somehow, yelling and education went together in my head?

  • I wanted to have the best relationship with my spouse! Somehow, cold shoulder and love went together in my head?

  • I wanted to have the best relationship with me! Somehow, making myself emotionally / physically sick and worthiness went together in my head?

Once I became more accepting that I was deeply out of integrity, I asked myself,

What is integrity?

And I have found,

Integrity is doing what is rightful, 

even when there is zero personal reward.

Mmmm… looking back at my past behaviours…

  • What was the pay-off for yelling at my children? I got to control them.

  • What was the pay-off in giving my (now ex) spouse the cold shoulder? I got to prove myself  ‘right’, the ‘I am better than you’.

  • What was the pay-off for mistreating myself? I got to prove my father right, the ‘I am a piece of shit’.

I don’t know about you, but…

I see with my own two eyes now,

nothing great comes from being out of integrity with the self.

Do you agree?

In light of this,

How does one become more IN INTEGRITY with self?


  • We do what is rightful no matter what. If yelling at children in front of strangers is not something you dare do in fear of perhaps being confronted, then refrain from yelling at others or your self behind closed doors.

  • We accept 100% responsibility for our actions. If you chose a spouse who could not care less about the trash, either happily take out the trash yourself, stop bitching, or leave him/her if trash is a deal breaker for you.

  • We give true feeling information, we are honest with self and others. If ‘monsters’ from the past are not dealt with emotionally, how honest can anyone possibly be with themselves, never mind others? This one has been and continues to be a true eye opener for me…

  • We state our emotional boundaries clearly, what we need. As Socrates said, “Know thyself.”

  • We express our truth effectively without beating around the bush. When it comes to integrity, clarity is everything. It is my strong belief (born out of realization), there is nothing like vagueness to derail one’s integrity.

Think about it…

Integrity is doing what is rightful 

even when there is zero personal reward,

even when no one else seems to be watching.

I trust you have found value in this article. My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assists her clients in coming from a place of deep integrity within themselves. I can be reached at
With love & compassion,

Awareness Compassion Curiosity Decency Emotional Intelligence Empathy Equality Friendship Happiness Inner Peace Intent Intentions Leadership Love Magic Mindfullness Peace Reality Relationship Sensitivity Social Awareness WalkingInside


His eyes fascinate me, two white eggs with two brown pancakes in their middle. Every time he looks at me, I feel transported inside the world of an innocent child, perhaps confused by how many years seem to have flown by him. His face, a maze of zigzagging lines, looks like a race against time. The more I look at him, the more I want to know the heart behind the beggar I see on the street.
Unlike many other pedlars perhaps, he does not verbally ask directly for money to me. He usually leaves a hat or an empty cup in front of him and silently waits. For a while, I even thought he was mute…
On some days, I notice him holding a big fluffy brown rabbit in his lap. He seems to love his rabbit very much and the rabbit seem to reciprocate greatly by snuggling its nose deeply inside the old man’s open jacket, maybe to hear their uniting heart beat?
As the old man pets his rabbit in long rhythmic strokes, I notice there is no cage for the rabbit and no leash. Amazing, considering we all live downtown where sirens are blared, buses breaks loudly, and passerby talk on their cell phone.
Today, though, something happened to break ‘our’ routine. A great gift was given to me. As I was about to enter my favourite coffee shop, the old man suddenly appeared behind me and asked softly, “Can you buy me a cup of coffee?”
Startled, I jump. How did he get here? Holy Molly, he can talk! As I look inside his two white eggs with two brown pancakes in their middle, I feel my heart fill with the desire to know him.
I reach inside my coat pocket and retrieve a bunch of spare change. I am unsure if I have enough to buy an extra cup of coffee for him, so I impulsively say no, then wishing inside I had brought more money. Peaceful, he says okay and starts standing in line by my side, as if money was a non-issue.
I do not know what to think. I put my hand inside my coat pocket again and I find not only an extra $2, but also a free donut prize I had won the day before. I smile at the old man triumphant. “I have extra money! I can buy you that coffee after all!”
The old man smiles at me as if he had been expecting this result.
Waiting in line, I ask him how he is and he smiles at me asking. I ask him how his rabbit is and he answers his rabbit is fine and at home. I ask him if he lives in a centre and he answers yes. At one point, I mention his new haircut that I believe suits him tremendously and my, o my, he blushes like a young child, passing his bony hand through his balding greying hair.
The whole time we are talking, he first looks into my eyes before answering any question. He reminds me of The Fiddler on the Roof. Any moment, I imagine him erupting in a traditional dance with his arms wide outstretched open.
We get to the counter and I take a step aside. I ask him to order his coffee as he likes it. Then I give him the coupon for the free donut. His face lights up like a Christmas tree. After I pay for both of us, I realize I am left with spare change close to $2????
I do not get what is happening, but I take all the left-over change and give it to him saying, “For whatever you need…” The two white eggs with two brown pancakes in their middle smiles at me in acknowledgement.
I watch him choose to sit alone at a table. Wrapping his two hands around the warm coffee cup, he closes his eyes, a peaceful smile spreading on his face. I feel the same smile spreading on mine…
In our everyday interactions, we never fully know who we are impacting. My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach whom you can reach at 
With love & Compassion,

Accountability Awareness Blind Spots Decency Emotional Intelligence Happiness Leadership Love Mindfullness Parenting Self Reality Relationship Self-empowerment Self-Worth Sensitivity Social Awareness WalkingInside


As a child, many big words were thrown at me without mostly any real explanation from the adults saying them. Somehow, in my house, the mere fact of using a word meant we ‘automatically’ understood it and all the meanings it entails. Yes, we were probably playing the game Heroes of Words and Victims of Meanings. Can you relate?
When I finally started questioning everything, I mean everything, I became fascinated with how much I have been taking for granted all these years or, even worse perhaps, misunderstood partially or completely.
For example, let’s take the case of decency.

What is decency? 

Without online googling it or looking into a physical dictionary, what is decency to you?

What does decency entail?

When I was a small child and my mother said, “Can you please be decent?”, she was asking me to go put on some clean clothes because company was coming.
In this context,

Is decency looking good for others?

When I was angry and swore a ketchup storm just like my father, my mother often yelled at me, “Can’t you just be decent!”
In this context,

Is decency suppressing one’s emotions to appease others?

When I felt wronged in my marriage and wanted a ton of explanations, my sister suggested to me, “Just be decent and walk away quietly, ok?”
In this context,

Is decency walking away quietly from conflict?

When I asked an ex-partner to be decent and stop 100% calling me day in and day out after the break-up,
In this context,

Is decency asking someone to ignore or deny a person/situation completely?

I can go on and on with examples on how the word decency has been found thrashed around so easily, at least by/with me.
Let me ask you,

What is it about the word decency that 

so many of us are willing to dip it in all kinds of sauces 

to possibly trigger a desired behaviour from others?


When we use the word decency, 

who are we truly looking at? 

Others or Self?

When I started questioning everything, I mean everything, I realized I was using the word decency to mainly control others. In a way, I was the biggest hypocrite there was, because I now know that

In order to 

know and express what decency is,

we must first experience living it for and from our self.

Sooo, going back to my shared examples from the past that have helped form my conditioning….
»When my mother asked me to be decent (wear clean clothes in front of guests), maybe she wanted me to honour myself by being polite?
»When my mother told me to be decent (stop swearing a ketchup storm,) maybe she was asking me to honour myself by having good morals?
»When my sister asked me to be decent (stop demanding explanations to prove I was right), maybe she was suggesting I honour myself by living my own truth?
»When I asked an ex to be decent (stop contacting me), maybe I wanted to learn how to honour myself by being respectful?
Do you see now how,

Decency can possibly relate to honouring our self by 

being polite,

adhering to self-loving moral standards,

upholding our truth,

exuding self-respect,

When I look at decency from this angle, I cannot help but smile how

Decency seems to encourage feel good feelings about the self

so we can truly honour others.

Therefore, next time someone is asking you to be decent, perhaps ask them what feel good feelings are they trying to elicit within themselves. I have found out that, as I get decent with myself, it is becoming increasingly easy to honour others.
As James Allen once said,

“So within so without.”

With love & compassion,
Thread Reality is a blog series provided by Walking Inside Resources Inc. Its purpose is to explore a reality thread between seemingly ‘non-related’ life experiences.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach. For a complimentary 15 minutes consultation, I can be reached at