Jan. 3, 2023

Pete Simmonds spends two decades reclaiming his childhood creativity

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My guest, Pete Simmonds, was an incredibly creative child that had the creativity squashed out of him by a school councilor.  He spend many years doing what others wanted him to do, but ultimately found that to be detrimental to his spirit.  For the last twenty years, Pete has leaned into rediscovering and reclaiming that part of his being.  Now, creativity plays a primary role in every area of his life, from family, to relationships, to business.  If you struggle to connect with the creative nature of your being, this episode is for you.

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Coach Maddox  0:03  
Hello, Pete Simmonds, and welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast. I am very excited to have you here. And I've been really looking forward to this.

Pete Simmonds  0:12  
Hi Maddox. I'm looking forward to it, too.

Coach Maddox  0:15  
Yeah, based on our conversations, I have no doubt it's going to be a great one. So why don't you tell the listeners how we know each other?

Pete Simmonds  0:25  
Okay, I was gonna start with I was I was sitting quietly in a corner and my eyes led across the room when we met with energy. First more than anything else. I was, I am the program director of the gay coaches. Alliance, which means I run a conference and support actually, there's a few of us that run a conference in upstate New York. And you and I met at that conference that was providing professional education and connection, I think, more than anything, right. So I remember, I remember mallex is probably you will probably one of the first people I hugged as we came into the room. So I just remember meeting you at that conference that we were leaving, and your energy was profound. And the I don't know, this is a warmth to you. But that's how we met. It was at the conference. And we were, we were helping and supporting gay men in their professional lives and personal lives as coaches. Yes. And I just remember going through a lot of wonderful experiences with you.

Coach Maddox  1:31  
It was it I remember at one point, standing with their arms around each other, and I can clearly remember tears streaming down my face, I spoke to you and told you, you know how how great it was to be in your presence, and to just experience that beautiful experience with you. I the thing that stands out, of course, is the mini workshop that you held, and how impactful that was. It was just it was amazing. And and certainly a highlight of the weekend and all of the many workshops that I attended. And there were a bunch.

Pete Simmonds  2:15  
Yeah, I'm actually so I'm a very creative person. And so we I value a lot the use of imagery and music, and I know that it brings out a different side to us. So I embed it in the workshops, and it's never let me down.

Coach Maddox  2:29  
Well, and then there's just that sexy British accent.

Pete Simmonds  2:36  
This British accent, it gets me in trouble all of the time. And boy, do I use it. I bet you I can elevate it, and I can dumb it down. But yeah, I always find the British accent as quite as amusing because actually, I've known from time to time that you can say things that could be moderately offensive to people and still sound polite. So as a coach, it's a power tool. What I do executive coaching. Got it? Thanks for having me.

Coach Maddox  3:08  
Yes, absolutely. Thank you for being here. Well, I would love to know how you define or what it means to you to be an authentic gay man.

Pete Simmonds  3:19  
Oh, so we start with a light question. Yes. How does it be an authentic gay man? What does it mean?

For me, it's about I mean, a lot of the work that I do is around helping people understand their reason for being you know, what is my element? Why was I put on this planet and we can identify it specifically to be gay, but I think gay to me means more than just sexuality. It's, it's being able to feel comfortable, and feel safe, and bring all of myself into a room without judgment. So, you know, we walk around wearing particular masks from time to time and authenticity, for me is definitely what it means to me is being able to walk around without those masks, and actually sometimes taking risks. In spaces, you know, I was a YMCA summer camp director in Southern New Hampshire. And I remember thinking to myself, how gay do I want to be? I was like, What a stupid question to ask yourself, just be yourself. And and it was a challenging because I there were some individuals on the board of a YMCA that had never had an openly gay summer camp director in Southern New Hampshire before and it presented some challenges. And so I said to myself, with authenticity, let me lead with kindness. Let me keep my head down and get on with my work and whatever judgment It's opinions good, bad loving, resisting come my way. You do up? You do you. It's not easy, easy to say. Not easy to do. But I think being authentically gay and being authentically gay man to me is about me doing me and me is actually more than just gay right? For me, I've, yes, I resonate with being a gay man. But oh, it's so much broader than that. We may get into that a little bit more later, but so much bigger than just sexuality.

Coach Maddox  5:32  
Do you think there that there's an element of allowing ourselves to truly be seen involved in that?

Pete Simmonds  5:41  
Good question.

Coach Maddox  5:42  
I mean, in order to, for some gay man, you know,

Pete Simmonds  5:46  
to be seen, I mean, I think every human would be lying. If they didn't say they wanted to be seen. They wanted to be heard. They wanted to connection and affiliation. I don't know whether I prescribe it specifically to being gay. And I would say that repressed demographics, groups of people, perhaps need and want to force a louder voice, which has them perhaps be seen more. So I don't know whether it's, I still think it's a very human first thing, right to belong

Coach Maddox  6:22  
to be so Oh, absolutely. I agree.

Pete Simmonds  6:26  
But yeah, there's, there's absolutely an element of that. I think, for me, it was less about being seen, it was more about setting tone. I am a director of a residential summer camp, which holds all boys if I am openly gay. And I live and lead as me, Pete, and a part of who I am is gay. What tone does that set for the young men and the generations that are coming through the ranks of this summer camp? What tone would it set it perhaps I wasn't openly gay, for example, inviting my partner to particular events where they would see that actually, I'm in a relationship without needing to name it. Right. And so I think, for me, it's about it was about setting a tone for a future generation to feel safe.

Coach Maddox  7:18  
I love that Pete. So it was certainly not performative in any way. And it was less about talking about it and more about just demonstrating in the subtlety of the way life unfolds on a daily basis.

Pete Simmonds  7:32  
Well, yeah, and I think I, you know, I don't want to sound like a generalist, or you sort of when I say this, but it's more of the day that I don't, the day that no one talks about me being gay is the day that it's accepted fully. You know, it's like, it's, it's a thing in the room, like, oh, I have, you know, I'm left handed. And you're left handed to no one goes around. And the first thing you say is, oh, by the way, I'm left handed. You know, and so we put more weight, I think sometimes on sexuality, on race on certain things that we are, and we give them voice. And I think that voice is so important, because it moves us forward. And the day that I feel fully accepted in a room as the day that I it's a non issue. It's a non comment. Do you find

Coach Maddox  8:24  
that you have glimpses of that? Do you have occasional experiences? I know I do occasional experiences where there is a room and I don't have to make that announcement. And yet everybody knows. And it's not a thing that's comes up or is talked about. It's just, yeah, matter of fact, and accepted. So it is unfolding right before our very eyes. It may not be happening across the board in every situation. But I'm definitely having experiences.

Pete Simmonds  8:56  
Is it is it bad to say to be beautifully, authentically gay is to be beautifully forgettable, which no drag queen would ever subscribe to

Coach Maddox  9:04  
ever describe? Exactly right? I love your humor. Oh my gosh,

Pete Simmonds  9:10  
this for me, it's a very stoic, calming, sort of, you know, you have love that's read and fire and then you have love that's flowy and like water, and I think I embody more of the water side of being than the fire side. I'm not going to be big dramatic, I'm not going to be in your face, I'm going to be silently, quietly seeping into every sick little crack and nourishing it from the ground, but with a bit of a quiet power. So I will just be me. I'm not going to be fire not gonna be but I'm just going to sit patiently and allow all of the interactions and the loving exchanges that I have with people, make them reconsider what it is to be in the presence of a gay man.

Coach Maddox  9:52  
I think I must be somewhere in the middle like had a little bit of a fire.

Unknown Speaker  9:57  
I like to be lying if I said it didn't like A little bit of it. I like to push the

Coach Maddox  10:02  
envelope just a little bit every once

Pete Simmonds  10:03  
in a while. All is okay. Right?

Coach Maddox  10:07  
Yes, exactly, exactly. Well, I love that. So so let's let's move forward and talk about the real story that we're here for. And that is what has been your biggest challenge in this lifetime, something that you've gotten through or are continuing to get through the big kahuna?

Pete Simmonds  10:29  
Yeah. Honestly, it's it's a really interesting question, right? Because sort of one of the easiest ways I could go to or is there a particular event? You know, is there a Was there a particular moment? And yes, there is one that comes to mind. But its impact in comparison to you know, sort of what I just explained about water, we kind of going into little places and nourishing cracks over time. I think actually, one of my biggest challenges has been a lifetime, has been sort of the 20 last years of living into creativity, and letting my creativity I've done it, you know, and letting my creativity just unfold. And not be afraid of it. I think I've spent many years I think my biggest challenge has been living Yes, living into my creativity. The event that I was, the event that I could talk about was, you know, some really monumental sort of I had a job at one point in the United States that I had been invested in for 10 years. And the US government given that out, obviously, I'm not a national, I'm a naturalized citizen now, but boy, did it take 16 years. But I remember getting a letter on my desk from the US government saying you have two weeks to leave the country and I lost my job in one fell swoop, and basically had to pick my life up from scratch. And so that was a really big challenge that taught me resilience. So the reason I'm sharing both of these, it's a toss up between what's had more impact in my life, that particular event, or just leaning and living into my creativity, both of them are pretty powerful. Is there anyone you'd be curious to explore more?

Coach Maddox  12:20  
You know, I have to wonder if, I mean, I think there's certainly a group of people that could relate to the you lost your job. And but I think that I'm feeling really drawn to the whole creativity topic. And I think that what's drawing me as you're speaking about this, and I've had many conversations, not on podcasts, but with just people in my life, friends, family members about creativity, sometimes. Clients, I think creativity is really misunderstood. I think that I agree, have this idea of what creativity is. And I'm not sure that's even remotely what it is. I had a friend steal a friend, that for all of the years I've known her, which is well over 20 She's always said, I'm not creative. I'm not creative. I'm not creative. And I'm like, that's not true. And I don't know if I ever convinced her I looked at her. And, you know, I think that there's so much of life that is, well, there's all of life is is creative, and we just don't choose to see it that way. Why is it that people think that you have to put paint on a canvas or sculpt clay with your hands to create it?

Pete Simmonds  13:44  
Right? Yeah, I just, you know, for me, it goes a little deeper in the sense that I believe, wholehearted Lee, that we are born creative, that we do a very good job of beating it out of children. Right. And so the summer, the summer camp director in me, knows what it's like to have children be beautifully creative and see them grow up into the teenage years and come back and be like, Well, where did that child go? Not in a bad or good way, but just be like, Hmm, and there's been some influences or some changes where the biological with a society where the parental, that happen. And my journey is truth to power on the fact that I can sit here and say the creativity was absolutely squashed out of me. And it has taken me the last at least 1020 plus years, but more specifically, with such intent focus the last six years, specifically to live back into it again, and I've had to separate myself from certain things to do so.

Coach Maddox  14:50  
Can we unpack some of that? Yes, we can. Can you? I think that I and I think that the listeners would really getting value out of knowing exactly how the creativity got squashed out of you how, why, when? Where, who?

Pete Simmonds  15:09  
Yeah. So when. So I think it starts with I think it starts with being maybe the youngest of eight children. And I can't imagine what it is like, bless my mother and my father, I can't imagine what it is like to have eight children and try and pay attention to the needs and wants of each and every one of them. And so you kind of when I was young, it was more about it was, it was, I was unlocking my creativity, because I was beautifully on my own a lot. So I remember playing as a kid and building things and always wanting to cook and always wanting to be an art school, but looking around and being like, no one at school seems to be doing this as much as I want to do it. And so my upbringing, through my parents and my loving parents are over, they were always very focused on Do what makes you happy, do what makes you happy. And that that was very, very solid and very true. The challenge, I think, for me was, I do did not prescribe, and I'm sure, I would imagine 50 to 60% of your listeners will resonate with this, if not more, school did not support my creativity. It focused on science, maths, English, technology, standardized testing. And whenever I wanted to dance whenever I wanted to go to gym, or whenever I wanted to do art, or humanities or things that were even remotely creative, and I remember how excited I was to see art on my school calendar, to a point where my heart was exploding outside of my chest. And yet, it was such a small part of my education. And so I had a very difficult time in school. I remember having to go through some teachers saying to me, when I did a test, when I did this, like work experience test, it came out that I was to be sort of a graphic designer and an artist, and the school counselor sat me down and said, well, so we're gonna have a look at this and really think seriously about what type of career you should have. And it's probably not going to be art, and it's probably not going to be graphic design. But here are the other things. And she pointed to the fact that geography came out as a very high mark for me. And so sort of steered me in the direction of if you are going to do a levels, you should probably consider Science and Environmental Sciences, which turns out is where he went to university. And that was a mistake. But there was this there was this notion of being a creative was wrong. At least that's my that was my interpretation as a child. And what I remember was thinking to myself, well, if, if I can't be creative, then I can't, really being might be myself. I don't remember really thinking that, but it's how it felt it was a feeling. And I, when I look back, and I've done my reflections on it, it's like it was my first assault of being in the closet and being gay. It's like, well, if I, you know, I always say a greatest assault on my capacity to live authentically as who I am, was not on whether I was worried that people accept me as, as a gay man, it was the fact that my creativity wasn't accepted, and therefore I didn't think other parts of B would as well. And have that creativity been flourished, accepted and nurtured or I'd been in an environment in school, where that might have been rewarded in some way. There may be a very different person sitting here. But also, all of it honestly, Malik's all of it as a gift because by God, did it create a sense of empathy, compassion and resilience in me, right? I can, I can look at this story and say, Oh, Bah, humbug. You know how difficult those times were, and wouldn't change them for the world. I'm a strong advocate. And I encourage your listeners and you want to visit any one of your listeners to, to delve deeply into the research of the late Sir Ken Robinson. He is an English academic and scholar who was a strong advocate for creativity in education. And he tells a little story, he says, As a little girl in an art class. So if you know Ken Robinson, you'll know this story, but I'll share it anyway. Because I think it's beautiful. There's a little girl in an art class and she's sitting down. She's drawing on a piece of paper, and the teacher leans over and says, What are you drawing? And the girl looks up at the teacher says I'm drawing God. And the teacher says, Well, you can't draw God. Nobody knows what God looks like. And the little girl looks up and the teacher says they will in a minute.

Coach Maddox  19:49  
Love that

Pete Simmonds  19:51  
story. Like that's the creativity or you have as children and somehow an adult leaning over. This small girl was saying you can't do that. And she was saying, fuck you, I can. And fuck he was quite strong, right? She was she wasn't necessarily saying Fuck you, I think I've had to say fuck you, I can a lot in my life. I've had to say, you know, and actually, it's to a point where people when people do say, You can't do this, like becoming an American citizen, I come back to that story where I nearly got, you know, I got my marching orders almost from the US with a letter to say, you know, you can't be part of this country, you've got two weeks to leave the country you're you've lost your job, you don't you haven't been approved for this visa. While I sit in this chair 16 years later, having started my own business, and I'm naturalized as a citizen. So massive firework up my ass when somebody says you can't do stuff.

Coach Maddox  20:49  
I love that. You I want to backtrack for a second because you said something that really struck me, you know, you you, the creativity got beat out of you. And yet you look back and see how that contributed to the Pete, that you are sitting here having this conversation with me today. And I've experienced that in my own life. And I think it's worth calling out that we can spend a lot of our lives doing the woe is me, poor pitiful me thing about the traumas and the things that we experienced as children. Or we can pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, and move forward. I know that there was a time in my life maybe sometime around three years ago, where there was this moment, when I could look back on my most painful experiences, which was being bullied unmercifully, all through school, from kindergarten through college, unmercifully bullied, it was years and years and years of, of just painful experiences one right after the other. And yet, it came full circle. And I could feel complete gratitude for that experience, I would, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. And I wouldn't ever want to relive it. But I can look back with complete gratitude, because I would not be the Matic sitting here in this chair right now. having this conversation with you, right? Why tore all of those terribly painful experiences, and by and having to overcome all of that pain? And trauma?

Pete Simmonds  22:41  
Yeah. Well, and it's, it's, it's that pivotal moment that you, you revel in adulthood that I don't think many of us get to. And some people still aren't there. When you recognize that you can either choose to sit in resentment, or sit in gratitude, or sit in pain, or sitting joy. And ultimately, it is no one else's choice but your own.

Coach Maddox  23:08  
And I love that you just call it a choice, because it is a choice.

Pete Simmonds  23:12  
It's a choice to feel. You know, one of the most profound videos I ever watched us on this lady said, Stop blaming your parents for everything that happened to you. You know why? Because anyone who has ever had a child understands that each child you have is so fundamentally different. You can stand in front of three children and say, let's go and get ice cream, one might cry, one might laugh, one might run away, same experience three totally different interpretations. We do interpret. And I'm not saying trauma doesn't change us it does we but it's our we do interpret those experiences. And each child will interpret the raising of their child of their experience as a child differently. And then you get to a certain time, hopefully, as an adult, where you can say, okay, my interpretation, and I have a twin, so it's actually really helpful, because I'm like, her interpretation of our childhood is so far removed from my interpretation of the childhood that made me realize that my interpretation of it was a choice as well. So I could choose to be like, my parents neglected me, they ignored me. They never gave me the time of day, Woe is me. Or I could say Holy shit. My parents had eight kids, how masterful were they to even go through existence because I know how expensive we are and how much we draw on them. And I can have a sense of gratitude and empathy for my parents for for just bringing me into this world and providing a space for me to even exist and be choice falling grateful around that but it is a choice. It is a choice and I choose now, to be creative. The challenge was, I was choosing to be creative when I was a child and because of a power dynamic between me and adults call them responsible or responsible. Their choices became my choices. And I didn't know how to decipher the two. So I went with what the adults wanted me to do. And then thank God, I got to a point where I was like, I didn't want to do anything adults want me to do this isn't fun at all. So I did what I wanted to do, and it felt a lot better. And I remember having these conversations with people as I was, you know, starting to dress a little differently. To bring more color into my, into my clothing palette. It was like, Oh, you seem different. Like, yeah, I am like, okay. No, that was it. I was like, great. It's my choice to wear a bright shirt instead of a gray shirt in England.

Coach Maddox  25:53  
Okay, that's absolute. Absolutely. I love it. You know, and what came to me a moment ago, when you were talking about choosing to see the trauma one way choosing the pain or choosing the joy, the the trauma or the gratitude. Even that process, right, there was a creative process.

Pete Simmonds  26:20  
It was, and I don't know when it happened. And this is the thing, you know, when you say, Well, what is your biggest challenge? Well, it's not, you know, it's not like, there was any one big event. But it was like, I was moving all of these little pebbles of creativity, and stacking them on top of each other one by one. And finally, I turned around, and there was a beautiful mountain of pebbles. And I was like, Oh, look at that creation. And you know, life isn't about I don't believe like we we sometimes come to coaching, we sometimes come to these podcasts, even, we sometimes come to books and all of these external resources and meditation. And we think, oh, I want to find myself like, I feel like I've lost myself, I want to find myself. I've never really subscribed to finding yourself, you are yourself. You found yourself here, put your hand on your heart. It's right here. Hello, I'm here, I'm found. Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about taking what you have. Understanding what's in your heart and creating it. We don't need to find we don't need to look elsewhere and outside. All we need to do is put a hand on our heart, or head or wherever you want to put your hands and just say I'm here. I'm grounded. What do I want to do with this? What do I want to create? Who am I?

Coach Maddox  27:45  
I think you're right. It's not outside of us. It's inside of us. Now, there certainly been times when I have felt like who I really was was obscured by something going on in my life and that I had to rediscover

Pete Simmonds  28:03  
it. And I'm still discovering me. I'm still I'm still discovering and learning me. And I think me I think I think we're also always changing and evolving to some degree. So, you know, it's not the self discovery journey, the happiness journey, you know, it's not like linear. Like you don't wake up one day and you've done everything you can you've checked all of those boxes, and now you're happy and you're living creative.

Coach Maddox  28:27  
Oh, yeah. No, it's not linear. It's

Pete Simmonds  28:29  
like, right, it's you wake up every Yeah, you I have to wake up every morning and say, I choose to live and lean into my creativity.

Coach Maddox  28:38  
I went through a period here a few years ago, where I I just got so serious in life that I lost. Track of the part of me that's very playful. Very careful, it secured by the seriousness of some things in life. And one day I woke up and thought, I used to be fun and playful. What happened to that part of me, you know, yeah, and I had to literally rediscover it was still in there. Yeah, not it's not out there. It's in and I had to lean in and rediscover that and it hadn't gone anywhere. I just had. I had just ignored it. I just,

Pete Simmonds  29:24  
yeah, you know, and I, I am I'm one of the fortunate few, and yes, it was it. It was certainly a choice in my career. But I am so abundantly grateful for my years in youth development, where I am grateful for every single little child aged eight to 16 boy or girl that ever crossed my path. Because if there was one thing me pizza humans needed to lean into my creativity, it was to be witnessed to their creativity without any parents in the way and a lot of adult They don't have that. Once they leave school, once they go and get a real job, you see, right? Yeah, quotes, right? A lot of adults don't have the benefit of, of being witness to children unless they have their own children. And then that's a whole, that's a very exhausting dynamic in itself. But if there is one thing that that I believe is a true testament to my capacity to live into myself, to continue my curiosity, to never presume to know better to learn from people, and know that you can learn just as much from children, if not more, as you can, from anything else, it's my time with children. And so you don't have to have children to have time with children. I don't have children. I will have children one day, but I don't have them. I haven't had them. And I'm now 40. But it is it is the presence of that unfiltered, untapped, kids are fine, just as they are, it's way to fuck them up.

Coach Maddox  31:04  
Cash salutely, hands down.

Pete Simmonds  31:06  
And we just need to learn how to get on the ground and join their world and play in their world, not expect them to play in hours. And the moment you sit down with a child and say, so what do we want to do, and let them lead and you will be dumbfounded as to the joy that that what it brings you back to, and it brings you home. So I'm just sort of close that with a little loop here. I'm just, I'm immensely grateful to have had my my heart sort of opened up by being being being so heavily invested in youth development and summer camp. And all of the children that have come across my path that have allowed me to see myself in them, and through their creativity and their absolute curiosity. They're also little chips at times, but that's why we won't go that's exactly but that playful.

Coach Maddox  32:01  
P Do you think that is the largest contributing factor to rediscovering that creativity within was that exposure to the children's

Pete Simmonds  32:10  
secret question?

Coach Maddox  32:13  
And if not, what what would you say was the largest contributing factor to you fully re embracing rediscovering the creative little boy Pete.

Pete Simmonds  32:44  
The largest contributing factor has been when I have been able to find them place myself in environments where I can trust that when I show up as I am, it will be celebrated. And I speak to summer camps specifically here. So yes, I was a summer camp director. And that's not by any little mistake. When I was at school, and I struggled in school, and I couldn't figure out sort of any of my creative energy. My parents made the smartest decision they ever made, which was to say yes to an opportunity for a scholarship for me to come out to the United States to a residential summer camp for four weeks in northern Minnesota. And they may have also just been saying yes, because they wanted to get rid of the children that have vacation and that's okay. Because parents need a break.

Coach Maddox  33:57  
When there's six, you get eggroll How much do you what do

Pete Simmonds  34:02  
you get with and so me and my twin sister was shipped off to this all American Summer Camp and, and obviously, you know, me being a little British kid and American summer camp. I was like, like, the hot ticket of attention. So that was very strange to me, was very weird. Like, everyone wanted to be my friend and I was like, this is overwhelming. This is too much. Are you crazy? excon anime face, right? It was it was very overwhelming. And I started to I you know, I was allowed to choose the activities that I did. So of course, I was art, pottery, drama. I was choosing my activities and by choosing activities, and then going to those activities and the people running those activities were as passionate and inviting as engaged. As I was about these activities. I was like, Holy shit, these are my people. Like there are people out here who are as passionate excited about the activities that I've wanted to do at school and people keep saying no, you need to do science and maths and so on. This kind of unlocking, of acceptance of of an art or mastering or or being with like minded people in something that they're like, Yeah, you know, we can do this and we can cut this paper and we can throw around this and we can jump around. And you know, I'm very much a believer that there are certain children and I was one of them that in order to think creatively, I have to move and want to be moving, you can see, you know, even sitting here with young, quite animated, like, I think better when I'm moving. And when I'm just like, or I'm playing or I'm pulling things apart. And, and and so that experience has some account for four weeks change my life in the most fundamental way. Because I found myself in an environment where adults not cares for me as a child was saying yes, to what I was excited about and could see my excitement and would help catalyze the excitement. And quite honestly, they were quietly leaning over the table and going, it's okay. You're okay to be who you are. Right? They didn't say that. But as a child. That's how I felt. And knowing that was a massive catalyst for my journey to come back to the United States to work in a summer camp to become a summer camp director to become a coach. And, you know, yes, I work the majority of my career with kids. Actually, it's not much different than executive coaching. Every single adult out there has this little child inside that I'm pretty much coaching every single day. I am not my, my, the the appearance, the shell of what's sitting in front of me may look vastly different. But when I think of what I was doing, working as a summer camp director with inquiry and getting curious, you can't tell kids what to do, you have to ask them questions, and you have to have them build at least you don't have to, I mean, but I chose to sort of get more curious and inquire with kids and join them in the world rather than expect them to join me in mind. It's not far different from executive coaching. And with anyone we sit chair to chair with.

Coach Maddox  37:12  
That makes perfect sense to me.

Pete Simmonds  37:14  
You said and I saw you a moment ago, you gesture towards yourself. Ken Would you mind sharing what that was? You sort of just when I was talking about the child,

Coach Maddox  37:24  
I'm very very aware of connected in touch with the little boy that lives inside of me. You know, his his my nickname for him is little man. And I have for the better part of probably three and a half of nearly four decades done mirror work where I you know, get in the mirror and talk to little man looking into my own eyes.

Pete Simmonds  37:53  
Yeah, that's really powerful. Man. It's and I don't think I was grateful enough to have a coach when I was in my early 20s. And so one of the things side note I want to do with my, my coaching at some point is try to make it accessible to a younger audience, because I do think it's, it's, it gets ageist anyway, that's, that's a side tangent. But one of the most powerful visualizations a coach ever did with me was when they were hearing how I was talking to myself, they had me visualize and get a photograph of my little ball of over a little boy a little Pete Simmons, and said, Now say what you just said to yourself to that? I say, What do you mean? Like go on? You just set this about yourself to yourself. You were being hard on yourself. Look, that little boy in the eyes. You tell me whether you want to change what you want to say. And I was like dumbfounded because I didn't want to do it. Like you we wouldn't. Why would we would never say what we say to ourselves to at least I would again, I can't speak for everyone else. I would make a choice as a parent, not to perhaps speak to a six or seven year old the way I would occasionally speak to myself in the mirror or even just that you fucking idiot. Why did you do that? Why did you do that? You know better than that. Right? I wouldn't look at my child's self be your fucking idiot. No, I'd be like, Okay, what did we learn? Come on. Let's sit down. Let's let's let's sit down. How you doing? How do you feel? Yeah, we mess we messed up, right messed up. It's okay. messed up. It's okay. I mean, he never did that to any child. Right? And never did that in all of my years of youth development. You know? Yeah. And granted, there are times as parents as an uncle, and even as a summer camp director where you haven't nourished yourself. You haven't had much sleep, you are at your wit's end. And you snap and you say something, and you're like, I probably didn't handle that. I probably didn't handle that the right way. As an adult. It is my responsibility to go and sit down now and Say to that child, I recognize and I want you to know, I just spoke to you in a way that I'm not proud of. I think we I think we owe it to children to let them know when we're not proud of how we've communicated with them.

Coach Maddox  40:12  
I think we owe that any human anyone other than a job, right? It's like, I always say, are we going to make messes in life? It's a given the question is not are you going to make a mess? The answers, you're absolutely going to make a mess. The real question is, are you going to be a big enough person to clean up your mess?

Pete Simmonds  40:34  
Yep. Yep. Yep. Absolutely.

Coach Maddox  40:38  
Absolutely. And so something I've truly committed to is yes, I, there's no way I'm not going to make messes, I've committed to doing everything in my power to clean up my messes, to the best of my ability.

Pete Simmonds  40:50  
Yeah. And actually, that comes back to sort of, sort of full circle to what we would what I was just talking about, but not just cleaning up masses, but creating containers or environments or spaces, for safety, for masses to be reconciled, without judgment, or for it for people. And like I said, you know, my prophet, you asked me the question around, where do you think, you know, what was the biggest unlocker? I guess? Or this is how I heard the question, what was that moment or that experience you had that really unlocked your creativity? It really was being in a space or around another human with an energy that was just saying, it's okay to do what you're gonna do right now.

Coach Maddox  41:34  
Yeah, you know, I love your comment a moment ago about containers. I've been really exploring this, you know, not to be confused with compartmentalizing, I think they're two completely different things, I think that we tend to think we can compartmentalize life and keep things separate. And I don't think it really works that way, our life is our life. But I do think that we operate in a variety of different containers, in any given day, in any given moment of any day. You know, we're in containers. And oftentimes, I just had this breakthrough moment, listening to a podcast the other day where I realized, in that the subtlety of those containers, and how I may be in one container, and my, my partner is in a different container. And we're not connecting, because we're not in the same connected container. And how when I realized the whole container and created space to, to move to a different container, you know, to realize, you know, I'm in the oh, let's be lovey dovey container, and he's in the G, I just finished an eight hour shift of work container. And I'm expecting him to be all excited, and his arms around me, and he's just gotten off of a three hour call, you know, and just realizing that you just have to either verbally create the space and say, Hey, I get I get that you, you know, just came off of a call and you're in that container. And here's the container. I mean, yeah, I think it can be really even a verbal thing where you

Pete Simmonds  43:22  
may know,

Coach Maddox  43:24  
what can we can we like, move from the containers, we're in and move into the same container and get some kind of agreement. It was the new partner and I were listening to this podcast together. And we both just had these like aha moments, you know, you could see our we were looking at each other. And we were kind of going wow, that was kind of huge. Yeah, we've been kind of talking about the container and kind of looking at how we can utilize that concept to communicate more effectively together. So I love the way you called out the container.

Pete Simmonds  43:59  
Because I think I see you know, you have this beautiful visual, and I often see it just as, and some of us are more switched into this than others. And I don't know how we typically develop it but for me, it really is about reading the energy in the room as well as the verbals. Right. And it's like I have immense gratitude for being born a twin because I believe I was reading energy and nonverbals long before most we're sitting with this little, you know, this, this, this other human that when we would just did everything together. But I think it's it comes to sort of, really when you're in a container and someone else's in the container, you want to create space. Fundamentally, the best question is, you know, is there anything you need in this moment and being okay, if that person says I need space and time to move away, I need some time on my own. And being respectful of that. And or, you know, I think for, for children in particular. It's when they when they have when they have sort of when they're shutting down, and they're like, not ready for you to enter their space, we have to know when that is sacred, and when we don't enter their space. And, you know, I don't know whether this is sort of what you're alluding to around containers. But I see my meaning of container is also around a lot of the facilitation work that I do. You know, when you're when you're, when you're coaching, when you're in a workshop when you're leading a training, like the points of view training in ballet that the GCA conference, there are times when you're working with people and working with children are when people have worked with me when you have to be a leader. And sometimes you have to be a parent. And there are particular roles that you play that either people look up to you as a peer or an instructor, or they look to you for leadership. But I do sense with my creativity, I've started to understand that true mastery of our work in relationships, and in facilitation and in coaching is to be a container is to understand the energy of the person and the other individual in their room, to be able to make an intuitive assessment as to what that person might need and or his use of crab leaves that sort of ask for it verbalize it. But to be a container, to just allow a process and a journey and a person or an individual to go through what they're going through without you in the way it's not about you. So when someone is having a reaction to something you've said, or is coming back from work, and they're miserable, and you're all excited about this new promotion that you've got, you know, when they react to your energy, you know, understanding that it's not about you in your container, and how do you create a safe space for that person to just be how they need to be in the moment?

Coach Maddox  46:53  
I think that is a container in and of itself. So all of my life. I have been told people tell me, I just feel so safe when I'm in your presence. Right? Right. And I'm realizing now in the way you're articulating this the way your languaging it is, I show up as a safe container. And I don't know that I would have worded that that way i although I knew that people feel that I know people feel safe around me and I have the ability to create safe space. But I can see that yes, it is indeed a container.

Pete Simmonds  47:35  
Well, and you're listening, and you're hearing a story. And you're allowing people to share, and you're sitting in complete non judgement. And you're immensely curious. And all of these things, create this container, and you're not looking to fix. And if I was to get emotional and cry, I mean, yes, we're on Zoom. But you don't need to hand me a tissue. I can sit here in my emotion, I will say there's learning in them tears, right? And I can sit here and with the learning of the emotion that's coming. What are those tears have to say? And how do we allow people who sit in emotion to build capacity in front of us in real time without us needing to fix without us needing to say, Hey, do you need a hug? Or do you know and it's okay to say do you need a hug? Some people do. But I think it's really important to recognize, especially with children, when they're going through I keep going back to children because that was my experience, I think more before coaching. But even adults, particularly, you know, when are they when are they getting emotional, and they and allowing individuals to be creative and capable and feel complete without you needing to step in and fix? You know, the the what is it the the flower was that quote I saw the other day, I'm a big fan of quotes. So I will quote you until I'm but when the flower is not flourishing, and when the flower is is not thriving, you don't try to fix the flower, you work to move the flower to an environment where it will flourish. And it's the same thing with containers that we create for people. Are we creating spaces where people can flourish? And can grow? Or are we telling them? Or are we actually not creating that at all for people. And that's why I say what was important for me is that an adult was joining me in my world, not me trying to join the adult in their world. The moment I was trying to join the adults in what the adults wanted for me, was the moment I lost sight of my creativity. That moment, I mean, the moment the adult said, Hey, this world that you're living in, I'm really excited about it. And I kind of liked this world too. I don't know what it means to you. But let's play. That was a container that was a safe space. That was a place where all of a sudden, I accepted a piece of me, that was always me, it was never going to go away. I'm just glad I found it before I was 40. And have now unleashed it over the last six years, I look at what's been happening. Exactly my least creativity, my business has never thrived more than it's thrive, the relationships that I'm in, have been absolutely outstanding, the financial freedom that I never thought would really truly happen in my life just continues to come in abundance. And I'd let go of a lot of like holding on to the steering wheel of life and trying to do it someone else's way. And I've just leaned back and said, I'm going to do this my way and see how it goes. And I've never been rewarded more fully in relationships, in finance, and feeling grounded with who I am. And also my reason for being I can quite clearly identify why I am on this planet, what I am here to do, and I'm loving it, and I'm loving it. And it's a it's a testament to the people who have held space who haven't listened, like yourself.

Coach Maddox  51:09  
Well, and you're dropping some real wisdom bombs right now. Down this last last several sentences, lasts, maybe a paragraph or two is worth, like, rewinding and listening to again, because you dropped some real wisdom, you talked about the letting go and, and doing it your way then rather than all the way, ways that other people were telling you the way you needed to do it. How you have how you're thriving and flourishing and abundance and the relationships. It's pretty powerful stuff. Yeah. And,

Pete Simmonds  51:51  
and it's what's fascinating to me, is that for the first time in my life, and there's been many years where I have, I'm not chasing it anymore. I was chasing it, I was always sort of chasing things and just expecting it all to be outside of me.

Coach Maddox  52:14  
Probably everything I know.

Pete Simmonds  52:16  
Yeah, I think we all do, and I think

Coach Maddox  52:19  
spurts right and looking for everything in the external world. And that's not where most of it lives. Right. And the old song looking for love in all the wrong places it does. It's

Pete Simmonds  52:31  
so cliche, but it's so true. But what's also interesting too, is that doesn't mean we say in this stay in this space, like I think like I am grounded today. And I can see this today. And then I think life kind of knocks you for six, and it doesn't take much for you to kind of go back to those old habits of like, Oh, you've been rejected again. And so now you go into this behavior. The beautiful thing is for every person, and I believe we all know, it is like when we get to that when we get to that place of where we feel that strongest sense of calm, I call them defining moments, when you have a defining moment when you are the calmest you could possibly be you know that you feel alive, you're doing something when you're in flow, you you feel differently about it. So it's, it's inspirational to you, and it's providing you passion, every single person listening to this podcast has had that moment, they know what it is, that then needs to become your anchor, right. And so when you get pushed off course, and I will, again, I'm sure, right get pushed off course, at least I can come back to what it feels like to even be in this moment right now where everything feels alright. Where everything feels grounded, where I'm living and leaning into my creativity, it's feeling like I'm getting rewarded for it. I'm immensely proud of what is being created and how my relationships are going. And I know what it feels like to be in this space, this will I be in it forever. I will try to and I will make choices on a daily basis to live into it with the with no expectation that it will sustain itself. And that's okay, too. Because guess what, I can have the green grass without the rain.

Coach Maddox  54:07  
Well, you know, it's an ebb and flow of life. It's like the ocean, you know, it comes in and comes out. And we can't I always call it the crest of the wave. There was a time where I read the rode on the crest of that wave, like as a surfer, whatever for what felt like, a couple of years. You know, and then and then finally the wave broke and I wasn't on the crest anymore. And it was a really hard adjustment. You know, I went into this place of going What the hell has just happened you know, and I had to I had to accept I had to embrace Yeah, I had to take the Arab I've been on the flow now I got to Arab and and I've spent a lot of 2022 feeling like I was And that ebb like I wasn't on the crest of the wave. And then here I am right here. And now in this very moment, as you're saying this realizing, I mean, I'm looking at everything going on in my life right now. And I'm like going, you've spent the vast majority of the year thinking you were, you know, in the Arab, and then all of a sudden, I'm just like, going, this has been the most fucking awesome year. Yeah, right about, you know, all that has come about all that I have experienced all that I've achieved the relationships that I have developed in, and nurtured. And now the the relationship the new, like, the relationship, and wow, you know, I was I was thinking, Yeah, but then all of a sudden, I'm Yeah, I don't know. It's, it's all come together in what seems like a pretty friggin miraculous way. Yeah,

Pete Simmonds  55:59  
well, there's whether whether you know it or not, I would imagine there is such power in being witness to the story of others the way that you have in running these podcasts, because when we're witness to someone else's story, or their challenge, or their trauma, inevitably, inevitably, there's a sense of resonance that teaches us both things about us that we did or didn't know. And it all happens in real time. And it just allows you to put your own puzzle pieces together. It's like, there's nothing worse than being in life, where you think you have all of the puzzle pieces, and you've got 50. And then someone comes along 20 years later and says, Oh, by the way, here's those other 50 pieces you're looking for. And you're like, oh, man, how was I ever supposed to finish the puzzle. And so we I don't think we ever have a full puzzle. I think we have to go out into this world, we have to travel, we have to hear people's stories, we have to sit with people, we have to be with children, we have to keep being open to the fact that we only have, you know, a certain amount of puzzle pieces in our lives to pull it together. We weren't supposed to do this on our own. And so being witness to people's stories, and holding space for those stories, and again, coming back to creativity and allowing people to be who they are. And learning and understanding that every single person out there has a completely unique gift. We none of us are the same normal we meant to be the human race would crash and burn if we were all the same. So it's it's beautiful.

Coach Maddox  57:27  
You know, when I started this podcast in January of this year, I didn't. There were so many things that have come about that I couldn't have foreseen. And one of the one of the things is, because I've had somewhere between 50 and 60 conversations now recorded conversations or podcasts, what

Pete Simmonds  57:48  
a gift. What a gift.

Coach Maddox  57:49  
And it has grown me in ways that I could have never foreseen

Pete Simmonds  57:54  
here, right. It has

Coach Maddox  57:57  
grown me in ways just from hearing the stories and experiencing the the range of emotions, that the tellers that the stories went through while we were having the conversations. It's changed me.

Pete Simmonds  58:15  
And it will. And that's the pebble in the ocean. Merely because anyone listening to this has also been witness to the stories that we're sharing.

Coach Maddox  58:27  
If the stories are changing the lives of the listeners as much as it's changing my life. Wow, wow. Yeah, yeah, I just and there was, I didn't see that coming, you know, I never do. I didn't realize it when I launched the podcast that it wouldn't be long before men would be reaching out to me from all over the world. Yeah, I didn't see that coming from all.

Pete Simmonds  58:57  
Cause Sarah, I'll share a funny, funny moment I had when I was. I was probably in my 20s. And I remember when I was a kid, I used to go to I used to go to these football games begrudgingly with my father because I've never really liked football, soccer for those of you who are in the United States. And, but one of the things I absolutely loved at the football game, was when the wave would start. And people would, you know, they'd throw their hands up in the air and you'd see it go through the crowd and then people throw their hands up in the air go whoom whatever. And I would just it was my favorite thing to do. Because again, it was me moving. It was throwing my hands up in the air your wound. You'd see all of these people in unison it was creation, right? It was creation, but here's the thing, right? So I was in my 20s and I was at where I was I was at Fantasia in Disney World in Florida. And I'm sitting there and this is like Orlando, it's like the most it's like that big laser show with a dragon if anyone has been to a Fantasia and so you've got a massive audience and I'm sitting next to a friend of mine. care. And I said, I want to start a wave. She goes, What do you mean? She goes start away? Have you never started one before? She's like, No, it's like, neither have I. So let's try it. So I stood up, my hands go up in the air, nothing. And she's like, don't you embarrassing me? And I was like, no, no, come on, do it with me. I did it one more time on my own, she did nothing. I was like, third time, one more time up in the air. And then one person like way over, way over the way went up. I did it the fifth time. And I kid you not. I went like this. And before I knew it, an entire wave of people came right back at me, what I hadn't realized was that even when I had done one, a few people, even across the stands, had seen it had mirrored it. And within the case of 40 seconds, there's massive wave existed around the crowd. And that is when I realized the capacity that I have, by just being one person to actually have an impact. And it was weird. It was a very weird moment. But it was so cool. And it was because I was playful. And I just let myself have fun. And I wanted to see what what happened. It was a complete test. Yeah, it was incredible.

Coach Maddox  1:01:24  
When you get off of this call, I want you to go to YouTube. And I want you to type in the search, how to start a movement. And there's it's about a two minute video, and it will rock your world. I have watched it over and over and over. So listeners YouTube search, how to start of movement. And it's about this guy that just

Pete Simmonds  1:01:53  
says the loan, not one. Yes. I've seen that one the loan and it says the most important thing to loan that is the first follower. Yes, yes, absolutely.

Coach Maddox  1:02:05  
I love that idea frequently and and watch it because a lot of my life I have been the lone nut, you were the lender. And deciding to do away yeah, yeah. Right. And you know, we, I just want to reflect back to you, Pete, as you were telling that story, your energy built and built and built, I could feel the energy, that just recounting that story of being 20 years old at Fantasia and creating, like a whole arena. People

Pete Simmonds  1:02:39  
have energy right away. And the way it came back, I was dumb. I was

Coach Maddox  1:02:45  
absolutely incredible story. But that's a metaphor for the impact that we can have in a life by merely being willing to be the lone nut.

Pete Simmonds  1:02:55  
Yeah. And here's our actually, and I'll say this for your listeners, because I also have a firm belief that like reflection or listening to podcasts, and if you don't commit to something, or don't put some into action, then what was the point? I want to challenge each and every one of your listeners who finds themselves in a large crowd environment, start a wave, see how it feels? And then take that learning to your business, your life? How powerful would that be? And how much fun

Coach Maddox  1:03:23  
I think be brave, be bold. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the wisdom bomb. Right there. That's today this episode's wisdom bomb right there. us though wave the way you experience a wave and take that back into some aspect of your life. Whether it be your business or your relationships, your friendships, your family. It's applicable in being the lone nut is applicable in any format arena.

Pete Simmonds  1:03:55  
Yeah. And God isn't it fun? There's, there's there's truth to the fact that sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Coach Maddox  1:04:05  
Yes. Absolutely. Wow. Pete This has been amazing. I have so enjoyed this conversation and all that you brought to the conversation, your laughter, your enthusiasm. Your energy is undeniable, and palpable, you know, it's just like, you know, it's just a you're a force of nature. You're a force of nature, and

Pete Simmonds  1:04:35  
I will choose water.

Coach Maddox  1:04:38  
There you go.

Pete Simmonds  1:04:40  
If I'm gonna be an element and a force of nature, I was choose water I can can be a tsunami from time to time, but for the most part, I'm a I'm a really nice sort of gentle, gentle way nourishing. I take water as my element. I like you, Matt. So it's been such a pleasure and you too, and honestly, such kudos and gratitude for the amount of energy and sort of not just space that you hold for people to tell their story. It's profound, it's important, we need to hear it. Everyone loves a good story. Everyone loves a good cry. And you, you allow a space for people to heal, to be witness to each other. And to really just share, I mean, I've been sharing from the heart this entire time, and I would not have been able to do So had you not kept, or we built a relationship that made me feel safe to do so. So thank you for allowing me to show up as I am.

Coach Maddox  1:05:36  
And thank you, I am receiving that. Thank you very much. Yeah, I felt a most profound connection to you that the minute we met in person at that conference, we'd been in a couple of zoom calls together. But once we got in person at the conference, there was just this connection and, and so grateful. So grateful. Well, how about how about some

Pete Simmonds  1:06:02  
awesome quickfire questions? Yeah, sure. Here we go. Are you ready? Are you ready? To be ready as I'll ever be, I was gonna ask you how American Do I sound these days? 716 years, I've got my British accent. But we'll see.

Coach Maddox  1:06:17  
There's some twangs I there's some. I think you're still heavily drenched. And the good thing.

Pete Simmonds  1:06:24  
The good thing is I'm really good at accents. So I can fake my British accent if I need

Coach Maddox  1:06:27  
to. If you have to. There you go. All right, first question. All right. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the LGBTQ male community? What would that be?

Pete Simmonds  1:06:57  
Do I mean I'm gonna I have to? Do I have to say I want to say nothing. Why does it need to change? No, I'm just gonna go and nothing. I don't want to change anything about any of our community. We are here we are. Done. Next question.

Coach Maddox  1:07:12  
There you go. Next question. I love that, that that's you given me something to actually think about? Thank you. If you could go back in time and say anything to the younger Pete? What age would you choose to go back to? And what would you tell him?

Pete Simmonds  1:07:36  
Great question. I would go back to wealth. And I would say you do you? simp. sweet and simple, sweet and simple. And ending wealth. He

Coach Maddox  1:07:57  
would have gotten that Whitney? Holy? Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. 12, we

Pete Simmonds  1:08:02  
would have gotten that. I love it.

Coach Maddox  1:08:05  
And final question. And this is going to maybe make you laugh a little bit based on the conversation we had yesterday. What is your superpower?

Pete Simmonds  1:08:20  
Helping people love and live into acceptance of who they are, and how they're supposed to live

Coach Maddox  1:08:28  
it with a full heart. Beautiful, and and I completely see that beyond a shout

Pete Simmonds  1:08:37  
out. Yeah, it's so clear to me. And it, there's so many facets to that. And so it sounds, you know, it sounds very sort of broaden and high level. But, you know, I've really gone on this quite extensive journey of what it is to not just have self acceptance. And I do believe that we go through something to be able to support others people through it. And my acceptance has been of not just me being gay, but it started with accepting my creativity. And it has empowered me to allow people to understand that each and every one of them has a core gift that is so fundamentally different from everyone else on this planet. And they have the capacity to name it. They just have to swim in silence, to be able to hear it for a while and not be distracted by all the white noise. So one of the things that I do believe is my gift is to create those spaces and those environments of pause and silence so we can actually hear ourselves you

Coach Maddox  1:09:41  
you language that so beautifully Pete Well you just for the listeners cycle you said that again. I don't even know if I can but I will try you know I think the the yeah It came from the heart and then it goes, Okay, so we got to say, Okay, you just got up, hit. Rewind. I'll try.

Pete Simmonds  1:10:10  
I mean, you know, as I said, I know my core gift is to create spaces for people to hear themselves and see themselves as they are. But to do so you have to sit and pause and in silence and in quiet spaces. And one of the things I provide is that in most of my workshops and coaching, yeah, no,

Coach Maddox  1:10:29  
that's, that's, that's beautiful, beautifully said. And I see how you do that. I absolutely think about. Yeah, yeah,

Pete Simmonds  1:10:38  
I think you know, what's funny, because when you asked me to repeat that, I was like, Oh, shit, I don't know if I can. That's one of my superpowers. And I'll come back to it vulnerability. And speaking from the heart, I really do not have like a playbook that I run through my head. I think you asked me a question. And I feel into the question, and I share it with all my feeling. And it takes no effort really to do that from my heart anymore. But you asked me to repeat this stuff. You know, the worst things are when I have to write a script, or read a script or facilitate something that feels scripted. Never could never do that. It really does. Yeah, it really does come from the heart. And I hear that and see that you too. And it's a different voice when it comes from the heart. Yes, yes. Very different voice

Coach Maddox  1:11:29  
and a script, anything for the podcast, I do a weekly, Facebook Live, and I don't script any of that I have an idea when I punch the the record button. But yeah, it's like, the heart behind

Pete Simmonds  1:11:44  
this. Like, it's like I have to take deep breaths. Before I respond. I had to create this environment around me that unfortunately, I know whether your listeners can see but I have all of my fuzzy pillows and some comforts and a blanket draped over my legs and creating this space, where my body somatically and my energy just feels comfortable in order to relax and give itself some peace and pause. And then I can check them out.

Coach Maddox  1:12:07  
And I can see your creativity and just your background. I could just see the way you pulled your house together. You know, there's a little glimpse of the kitchen there and you're in, I guess a family room. And, you know, there's there's art and there's textures and colors, and it's very tasteful and very, very curated. I can tell, which is a form of creativity.

Pete Simmonds  1:12:33  
It's intentional, all intentional creativity crucial.

Coach Maddox  1:12:38  
Well, this has been absolutely amazing. Amazing. Thank you, Monique. Thank you for hearing me out. And the one thing that I want to leave you with is that in my eyes Pete You are absolutely an authentic gay man.

Pete Simmonds  1:12:55  
Yay. Oh, we all we try to be Thank you. Yes, you too. You too.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Peter SimmondsProfile Photo

Peter Simmonds

Professional Coach

Peter’s career has focused on helping people and teams understand their purpose, identify their strengths and gaps, and navigate increased effectiveness. Over the past decade, Peter has worked with individuals and teams in challenging and high-paced work environments where resources were often limited, and expectations were high. In his coaching, Peter brings quick thinking, humor, creativity, compassion, and accountability to help coaching partners understand their cultural context, increase collaboration, think more strategically, more effectively navigate challenges, and balance the needs of their work and personal lives.

On a personal level, his intuitive support helps coach partners ground thoughts and feelings in who they are and what they want with clarity and authenticity. He amassed a wealth of experience in designing and delivering heart-centered life and leadership programs and training focused on autonomy, self-acceptance, self-actualization,, cultural humility, human behavior, and relationship management.