Since launching my consulting business, I have spent more thinking about what I have to offer. I gravitated to the peacock feather for a variety of reasons that were both visual and symbolic. Many have asked why? confused about the connection to what I do as a program management consultant. My answer was often a jumbled mess that would leave me unsure about the reason why too. So on reflection, I have boiled it down to the following six reasons why the peacock feather is my totem for my consulting business.
Pride: As proud as a peacock, or so the old adage goes. In 2000, I graduated with my Master of Social Work degree. I rewarded my achievement with the impulsive purchase of a beautiful stain glass window of a peacock I found in a local antique shop. I have moved it into six different homes, and ironically, I have found just the right window to display it in it full glory in each of them. Every time I walk by it, it makes me smile and fills me with a sense of joy and honour.
I am proud of the work I do for others. My hope is my clients will always take pride in my work for them.
Knowledge: The eye at the centre of each feather symbolize the all-knowing eye. And, you see, I am somewhat known as a maven – a person who is compelled to gather little bits of useful and not so useful knowledge with an equally strong compulsion to share my bits of wisdom with others. I think this is an inherent characteristic of all researchers.
As a life-long learner, I continue to seek out what I know and don’t know about the world around me to make it better. I strive to capitalize on this attribute for my clients.
Compassion: Peacock feathers are known as an emblem of compassion, kindness, nurturing and patience. I come from a long line of caregivers. Throughout my life, I have watched my mother moved from one caregiving relationship to another. She cared for both her ailing and aging parents for over 20 years. She cared for her foster son, Joey, until he died in 1993. She continues to share her kindness and compassion with a host of neighbours who are in need.
My mother’s caring capacity has inspired me to do and care more, to make a difference. My aim is to ensure that caregivers are recognized as care partners and that they are well supported in their caregiving relationships. That’s my promise!
Resiliency: The splendid but awkward plumage would suggest peacocks could not survive in the wild. Yet, they can eat poisonous plants and snakes to no ill effect. Peacocks also shed their tail feathers each year making them a symbol of rebirth and renewal. (See, I am a maven!)
Starting this business has been at a crossroads for me professionally. The experience has been exciting, scary and motivating. I have recaptured my sense of strength, wonder and creativity. I wake up each morning and realize I like who I am and what I am doing. Change is good! Change is better!
Dedication: Peacocks are known to be loyal companions and mate for life. I have a strong sense of my purpose that has been influenced by my life experience and work. Grounded in knowledge, thoughtful reflection and my own moral compass, I am dedicated to walking with my clients to reveal the true meaning of their experiences and to make a difference. This is both a blessing and a responsibility I take seriously!
Whimsy: What is more whimsical than a colourful, wispy and exquisite bouquet of peacock feathers? I like to have fun, laugh, sing (Glee musical star, I am not!), dance, play and explore new avenues! I like to bring my sense of humour into my work. Let’s laugh and play together!
Proud, knowledgeable, compassionate, resilient, dedicated, yet, whimsical! That’s what makes me beautiful! What makes you beautiful?