How to make the Important Changes
Steve Mitten's Photo Gallery
Here are some pictures of my life. To find out more about my background and training click here. All About Steve
Here's a little view into my life. This is a shot of my favorite place.....the lovely little beach where I spend my summers. I have read many a good book from this viewpoint, and spent endless hours playing on the beach. When the tide comes in the water warms up, and it's the best time for a swim.
Here is a picture of a long time water-skier, trying to keep up with his children, attempting wakeboarding for the first time. OUCH!
Here I am caught in a laugh... at a party with dear friends. ( Not quite sure what I am fumbling with.)
Here are the loves of my life on holiday in Maui. (From left to right, Jilly, me, Laurie, Chrissy and Jackie.) We all love the water, and the mid-winter sun feels so good.
One of the nice things about coaching is that it gives you a lot of flexibility with your time. So when summer comes along, I treasure the time spent playing with family and friends. Here are a few highlights.
I always wanted to go up in a glider. Here is a shot of me beside a self-propelled glider I took an incredible one-hour flight in. It was beautiful, exhilarating and awe inspiring, all at once.
The shots below were all taken from the plane and show the country around our summer cabin.
Again this summer our good friends Tim and Corrine invited Laurie, the kids and me to their lovely lake-side cottage in the Interior of B.C. This was another highlight of the summer as we got to visit with our good friends. And as always we get to play our hearts out on the water. Here Laurie watches Tim prepare his boat for the morning ski.
Ahh.....the first ski of the morning. Look at how calm the lake is behind me. (I really don't need the wet suit here. I guess it's makes it just a wee bit easier to jump into the water early in the morning.)
Here are my skiing buddies. We share some of the best times of the year together. (These times out on the lake with my good friends are very special moments to me.)
Here I am with Harley with the ocean at our backs. Harley looks a little perturbed. I think he just had a bath to cut down the odor a bit. (He spends hours a day in the water, and smells like a dead fish after a while.)
Below are some shots of our favorite summer activities. At the top, daughter number 2, Chrissy, drives the boat home after a evening picnic out among the local islands. Below that, Laurie and daughter number 3, Jilly, pose after a few hours of skiing, boarding and tubing. And finally, here is a shot of Ruby Lake, one of my favorite spots on earth.
On the occasion of our 25th wedding anniversary, by dear wife and I decided we were finally ready to leave our children in the capable hands of their grandmother, and take a vacation sans kids. As a wise man once said, "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last!
Laurie wanted to go to Italy, so after 4 months of planning we reduced the thousand possible destinations to four. Our preference was to stay out of the tourist-hardened bigger cities and experience the natural beauty and delightful character of some of the smaller destinations. Our means of transportation was a trusty rent-a-car (cute little turbo diesel Nissan Micra, which did us proud on the autostradas as well as the small country roads). It allowed us to wander far off the beaten track.
The weather was spectacular, as were the people we met and the all the pasta, pecorino cheese, focaccia, gelato, and vino de la casa.
Here are a few highlights.
Above is a self portrait of us on our hotel balcony in Elba. (I am sporting my euro-beard grown for the occasion.)
Below are scenes from Lago Como, Cinque Terre, Elba and the farmhouse www.terrapille.it we stayed in south of Pienza. (This was the favorite part of the trip. The endless Tuscan skies, fields full of of poppies and cypress, quaint hill-towns, and friendly folk won our hearts.)
Below is a garden shot of a lovely villa near Bellagio.
I'm already thinking about where to go next year, mmm.......
I really believe in the power of coaching to change people's lives.
And for coaching to have the most impact in the world, it needs to evolve and set high standards of professional excellence.
To accomplish that, coaching needs a strong, central, professional association to establish training, credentialing and ethical standards. With over 14,000 members around the globe, the ICF is the largest non-profit, professional association of coaches.
I have volunteered a great deal of my time to the ICF to help establish a more professional and prosperous coaching profession.
These two shots come from the 2005 International Coach Federation annual conference in San Jose.
I am giving the President's report to the 1700 members who attended. (It was one of my last tasks before stepping down and returning to a far more peaceful life.)
COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
At the 2006 ICF conference in St. Louis I was awarded the the title "2007 Canadian Coach of The Year" by the good people of Coaches Canada. The purpose of this award is to raise the profile of professional coaching so that all coaches may benefit. (Coaches Canada is working with the ICF to help spread this award to other regions around the world.)
Along with a lovely etched glass trophy, came the coveted maple leaf tiara. Here I am accepting the award and giving my thanks.
This is a shot of Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Laurie and I enjoyed a visit here in February to watch the winter storms roll in. Beautiful place, and the sound of huge waves crashing to shore every 12 seconds,
I had the opportunity to spend 18 days in Tanzania.
This trip came out of one of those chance encounters you simply don't anticipate. I was at the Future of Coaching Summit in Vancouver last August and found myself at a round table discussion with long-time purpose and leadership coach Richard Leider. We were assigned the task of exploring the topic of spirituality in coaching. In the conversation that ensued, Richard shared some of his experiences in 25 years of travels to Africa. By the end of the conversation, I knew I had to go there.
In preparation for this trip, I had the chance to talk with a number of friends who had traveled in this area. I was told to expect to be moved by Africa. The vast, timeless landscapes. The eternal dance of predators and prey. The sense of connection to the land our early ancestors sprung from. They said Africa is special.
Having had the opportunity to travel to many remote and beautiful places on earth, I wasn't sure if my friends were exaggerating a little.
They weren't. I now know why this place moves people. I returned home with trunk loads of special memories. Here are some highpoints:
- Exploring the remote and restricted Tanzanian tribal lands and spending time with the Hadza and Dorobo people, some of the last true hunter gathers on earth.
- Gathering tubers with the Hadza women, who dig, laugh, chat with their babies on their back.
- Hunting with the Hadza men - a big stretch for this animal lover. I couldn't help but marvel at the connection between these people and their environment.
- Experiencing the dances and songs of our Hadza, Masaii and Dorobo guides.
- Seeing the millions of wildebeest, impala, gazelle, elephant, giraffe, hyena, lion, etc. which all play their role in the massive Serengeti migration.
- Camping under the spectacular Southern Sky while hearing the whoops of hyena and the rumbling growls of lion.
- Fireside chats with a great group of fellow travelers, all on different paths, and yet all called to be on this trip at this time.
- Snorkeling in the azure blue of the Indian Ocean, exploring miles of coral reef rich in exotic and colorful fish.
- Reflecting on this stage of my life, and considering what I want the next stage to be about.
In one sense Africa is just another place, with its own seemingly overwhelming challenges. But it is also a land that uniquely represents that which is wild and untouched in all of us. Exploring these rich, timeless regions was a great gift.
Here are just a few shots. Of course everyone seems to want to know if you see any wildlife. You can't miss it. In the game parks like Tarangire and Ngorongoro crater, the animals are protected and used to having humans close by. This allows you to get extraordinarily close at times. How close? This momma lion was dozing right next to the road. We got within 6 feet of her. (Yes we were in our landrover.) Outside of the game parks, the animals generally keep a respectful distance during the day time. However at night, its a different story.
A curious Wildebeest.
These are the Hadza women who graciously allowed us to accompany them on their gathering rounds. Young and old head out into the woods looking for a particular vine that is known to grow nutritious tubers (swollen roots). When a vine bush is located, the woman pound on the ground with their sticks to get a feel for where the roots might be. Then they sit down and dig, with simply a pointed stick and their hands, until they have unearthed the tuber. 2 hours of digging uproots enough tubers to feed the village. As gathering is far more predicable source of food then hunting, these woman form the backbone of the food supply.
The future of Africa.
Here is one of our guides sitting in a ancient hunting cave with David Peterson who runs Dorobo Safaris. David works very hard to support and empower the local tribes to protect their lands and their vanishing way of life. David and Richard Leider have created The Dorobo Fund for Tanzania, a non-profit that funds hugely beneficial conservation, education and orphan initiatives. The Dorobo fund does great work with the indigenous tribes in Tanzania, and our group of travelers was happy to support this work.
On one memorable morning we went hunting with one of our Hadza guides (the little guy on the left). He simply had the shirt on his back, rough leather sandals, a crude knife and a home-made bow with a few arrows. Thousands of years of living as an integral part of this ecosystem, equip the Hadza to read the land and all the animals that live there like a book. The hunter's ability to anticipate the behavior of their prey was remarkable. They hunt only what they need to feed their small tribe/family and are truly at one with their environment. In general, the Hadza men and women only have to work for 2 hours a day to support themselves, and they only own what they can carry on their back.
Here is our little group, at the end of a day, setting up camp at a large rock outcrop on the Serengeti. A family of baboons inhabited this area, and we were very aware we were just visitors in their world..
Here are a few shots of the different landscapes in Tanzania.
This shot above is in Tarangire park.
This shot, above, is of the open Serengeti. As it was a great year for rain, the 1.5 million strong wildebeest migration was enjoying bountiful grazing. For as far as the eye could see, everywhere you would look, the landscape was peppered with wildebeests and all the other animals that follow the life-giving rains.
More of the Serengeti.
This region in the shot above is called the Soitorgoss area of the Serengeti. It was one of the most remarkably beautiful areas I have ever seen.
Here I am trying out the self-timer on my camera, posing in front of a giant Baobab tree, with Tarangire park behind me. Families of elephant and giraffe would stroll by, beyond us.
Here is our team of merry adventurers.
We ended our journey with 4 days on the Tanzanian coast, which was beautiful, undeveloped and as hot and humid as it gets. Thank heaven for the cooling trade winds. The reefs and the fish here were amazing. In one morning of snorkeling, I saw three lionfish.
Some places touch your soul. Africa is one of those places I hope to return.
(Photo credits for the above shot, that of the Hadza men, the team photo, and that of Soitorgoss, go to fellow traveler and camera magician Glenn Gordon. Thank you Glenn. All the others were taken with my Lumix DMC-FZ7.)
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