Rubber Ducky Photo 1

Today’s the day. I’m coming clean.

One day I did a photo shoot with my rubber ducky. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. I took her (yep, it’s a her) to the upstairs bathroom and shot her with a lens that would give the photo lots of bokeh. You know. That blurry, dreamy background look. Overall, she did awesome. Perfect duck face! Open to different angles. Never asked if she looked fat. I was quite pleased with my efforts.

Rubber Ducky Photo 1

Photo of Rubber Ducky #2

I’d like to tell you that I’m just quirky and super creative! So original to take artsy photos of my rubber ducky. But that’s not the truth. I was taking pictures of a rubber duck because I wanted to remember something. I wanted to remember an event, a place, a feeling. I wanted to remember a moment in time. Most of all, I wanted to remember why I bought that rubber duck and who I want to be in the world.


It was November 5th, 2016. 8:21 a.m. In San Luis Obispo, California. Writing in my journal.

“Well, here I am. I’ve spent a lot of money but more importantly, I’ve set my expectations so high.” I wrote in my journal.

My Journal page

I had arrived the night before and was feeling extremely anxious. Honestly, I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to go home. Anywhere. Just get me out of what I had signed up for.

A few months earlier, I had enrolled in a life coach training program. It was a 9-month program. It was intense. I was two months in and still wasn’t sure how I had even stumbled upon the program or why I had enrolled. Two months in and I still didn’t really like it. Yet, not only was I continuing with the course, I took it one step further and traveled half way across the U.S. to attend the weekend retreat.

I was miserable. And feeling ridiculous for feeling miserable. You will understand when you see the photos of the setting.




Gorgeous, beautiful, perfect. AND the other participants were incredible. I met women (and a few men) that were like me. Candidates for the Island of Misfit Toys who had come together to learn about this new trendy thing called life coaching. (I get a little embarrassed every time I write the words ‘life coach’ or say them out loud. It just sounds so pretentious.)

As I listened, participated and opened myself up to the experience, I had to accept that whatever this life coaching thing is, I had been doing it as far back as I could remember.

In 7th grade, I tried to help Chris, a troubled classmate that was quiet and dark. I could almost see the bag of secrets that he carried with him to school everyday. In the college classroom, I listened to students that found their way to my office — struggling with their choices of classes, majors and parental expectations that were crushing the life out of them. In the theatre, I worked with young people with huge dreams accompanied with huge fears. I encouraged them and was honest with them — wanting them to fly with the courage I knew it would take to succeed in such a competitive creative endeavor.

As I let down my judgment of two innocent words, life coach, I realized that no matter what you call it, I love walking alongside people as they journey through this world and that’s what life coaching was beginning to feel like to me. And it felt like I was finally starting to figure out who I was supposed to be.

I left the retreat on a high. The night before my flight home, I stayed in a hotel close to the airport. I was intrigued to see a rubber duck for sale in the little basket of snacks in my room. I had never seen that before.

Rubber Duck in Hotel

I kept looking at it. How funny, I thought. I picked it up. Put it down. Picked it up. Put it down. And then I took a bath with it. She was going home with me.

Rubber Duck Bath


It’s been over a year since the retreat and 7 months since I finished the life coaching training program. I’ve continued to train in other ways, worked with other coaches on a weekly basis and still shunned the label life coach.

But today is different. I see my rubber ducky every day. She looks back at me from a bench in my shower. Her gaze never waivers and her question to me remains the same.

Duck in the shower

“When are you going to tell people that you are a life coach?” she asks.

“I don’t know. Why do I have to tell them? Clients are already finding me… why do I have to put myself out there?” I answer because I’m alone in the shower and no one is around to think I’m crazy talking to a rubber duck.

“When are you going to tell people that you are a life coach?” she asks.

No reply. I just stare back.

“When are you going to tell people that you are a life coach?” she asks.

“Today.” I sigh. “Today.”

So today is the day. Hello world. My name is Brenda and I am a Photographer, Movie Maker, Writer, Teacher and a Life Coach. My greatest fear about telling people I am a Life Coach is what others will think. I am afraid people (you) will think I have answers and that I have everything in life all figured out. I most definitely do not!

But, I am absolutely confident that You have the all the answers to your own questions, choices and life decisions. I believe you were born with a map, a path, a “knowing” that is there to guide you.

I don’t want to make promises that I can’t deliver on but I believe I can help you. I believe this because I have finally learned how to help myself. I can help you relocate that map, path, “knowing” if you’ve lost it or misplaced it as you have taken on the challenging task of being human in this sometimes crazy world. OR for some of you (I include myself in this group), I believe I can help you find that map, path, “knowing” that you didn’t even know existed within you.

I would love to walk with you for a time, learn together and help you see the beauty that lives within you. The beauty that others can so clearly see. The beauty that you can’t see because it’s impossible to see the color of your own eyes.

I want to help you See, Dream and then for the hard part, Believe it’s all real and possible.

If you are interested in becoming a client and letting me walk with you for a bit, here’s more info about my life coaching services.

One more thing before you go…

I named my duck Blossom after a song that I recorded several years ago. Jason, my writing partner, took the lead in writing this song and sings background vocals. I thought you might enjoy his hopeful lyrics and beautiful realization that within all of us is a secret blossom.

Blossom Song Lyrics

duck illustrated logo large

Interested in more of my stories? Go here to read my most popular blog post. Curious about the post that started it all? You can find it here. Want to read them all? Start at the top right here and work your way down.



  1. I love that song! I’m so glad you pushed through and allowed yourself to “open up” and become MY life coach!

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