Border Coaching and Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens was a riverboat captain, and mark twain was a measurement of two fathoms of water depth; soundings were constantly taken to determine the point at which safe water becomes dangerous or dangerous water becomes safe, and this is where Mark Twain lived; on the edge between light and darkness, between humor and sorrow and always on the flow of the river. This is the border where life is lived, between worlds, the place of transition where when one is truly alive.


The idea of “Trouble at the Border” is written about by Maria Nemeth in “The Energy of Money.” She describes it as a metaphor for difficulties that arise when we are at a challenging place in bringing our vision to life. She writes that creativity is the gift of being human and that the challenge arises at the Border where “the fun and inspiration of the original idea encounters the energy requirement of physical reality.”


Life is lived at many different borders in the metaphorical sense. Whether it’s the bridge between our promises and the financial miracles we’d like to experience; or the fears we have about the relationships we long for, there is a border. A border might be a boundary preventing intimacy in a relationship that one is afraid to cross. A border might begin with a sudden diagnosis of cancer in a loved one. There might need to be a boundary drawn on one’s personal space relating to time or safety of emotion. Philip Moffit writes, “We’ve accepted physical and emotional boundaries as part of a person’s innate dignity and sanctity. This “human right” is considered more intrinsic than a constitutional right.”


Borders are areas of transition. The place where we truly come alive is on the edge of “predictable territory,” on the two fathom mark and out of our comfort zone.


The coach is a river guide who knows the rapids and how to guide you through them. A successful coach is thrilled with your victories, knows the river and has respect for it and you. He or she is authentic, intelligent, compassionate, non-judgmental and loyal; knows how to truly listen, has learned to be discerning, confidential, ethical, and most importantly, who … well, the old saying is that you can’t take anyone past a border you haven’t crossed yourself.


My determination is to live a life rich in giving and supporting others to go beyond their own borders.

Professional Coach, Writer & Speaker in Salem, Oregon.