Fallibility musings ….

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Let nothing human be considered sacred. Let nothing human be considered divine.   Marty Rubin

Yet another Senior Yoga teacher, revered as a Guru/Teacher of Teachers to many of his followers has been called out by an ex-student (and collaborator in his work) for misconduct.  This is becoming an all too frequent event in the Yoga world.  Posts on Facebook, Instagram and various Yoga blog sites attest to this teacher’s alleged use of psychological manipulations to gain intimacy with students over many years.  In reading this particular woman’s blog, the words gaslighting, manipulation, grooming etc., come to mind in his interactions with her (and others who have since come forward) over the years.

The power imbalance created when a teacher moves from being simply a conduit to pass on the spiritual, philosophical and physical attributes of Yoga – to being regarded as a type of divine mouthpiece can prove seductive to say the least.  Seductive not only to the teacher, but seductive also to the student looking for guidance and wisdom to navigate their lives.

People come to or discover Yoga for many, many reasons.

Many people come to Yoga because they have learned of the myriad physical and mental benefits a regular practice provides.  Many people come to yoga because they are suffering; mentally, emotionally, and physically.  They come because they are vulnerable and looking for answers.

And it is the vulnerable, the seekers of universal truth who are often the most likely to fall victim to the power plays of a teacher held in such high esteem that their ego overtakes all.

But Yoga is not about THEM the teacher, their ego, and certainly not their own self-gratification.  Yoga to me is like open source software (IT background comes to the fore) it is dynamic, living, breathing, growing. Its ongoing development (in the asana sense) should be managed and nurtured by dedicated, ethical practitioners and devotees who want Yoga’s benefits available to ALL, with no one individual having overarching control.  And this is where it gets messy.

Manouso Manos, Bikram Choudary, John Friend, Pattabhi Jois, Kaustaub Desikachar, to name just a few, have had serious allegations made against them.  They and others have claimed any ‘encounters’ with students have always been consensual.  The student may not have protested, nor felt able to at the time.   But with the passing of years, combined with the healing that may have occurred, or the growing strength and confidence of the person concerned – this behaviour finally becomes recognised for what it was.

I have read and listened to a lot of the teachings and musings of the latest teacher named, and felt my own concerns, especially given someone I met through my own teacher training is a devotee of this man.  They have followed him around the world, attended many trainings, and retreats with him.  They believe fervently in his teachings.  When I commented on FB about how sad it was that yet another teacher had been called out, and again later that their seeming justification or reasoning for some behaviours was implausible – found myself promptly unfriended on FB and all other social media platforms.

And trial by social media is a swift and harsh judgement.  It can destroy a career in a short space of time.  Without seemingly any reasonable way for the alleged perpetrator to defend themselves.  I do understand all of that.  But when dozens of people come forward, and put their names to the list of people feeling ‘wronged’ or ‘abused’ – and colleagues come forward saying they had their own concerns but felt they couldn’t say anything, and still others come forward saying ‘we had heard whispers for years’…. What action is there to take?

It has been suggested that we separate the teacher from the teachings – but I don’t see how that can be achieved.  If you are teaching another person ANYTHING, especially anything that has a spiritual, ethical, or devotional theme – then it is damn important that you then don’t exploit the people hanging on your every word.

Exploitation of the vulnerable has been going on for millenia in many communities; groups, religions, schools and workplaces.  It is only in more recent years that Yoga has hit the headlines, although the knowledge that some teachers were behaving unethically towards students has been known since Yoga began.  However, due to the high esteem and god-like devotion some of the earlier teachers (and some today) were held in, nothing was ever said out loud or at least able to be followed through on.  There was no over-arching governing body that these misdemeanours could be reported to that would act swiftly to deal with such matters.

The follow through – that is where a universal Code of Ethics and accountability is desperately needed, and some in the Senior Yoga Teaching Community ie: Donna Farhi and others like her are fighting valiantly for this to be taken seriously and for teachers to be held accountable.

Training in ethics is becoming part of many YTT programs, but there is such a long way to go.  Dealing with the vulnerable or vulnerabilities that can arise in Yoga classes? – trauma based Yoga trainings run or created with the assistance of psychologists and counsellors are becoming increasingly popular.  Nidra and iRest credited teachers know that these techniques are extremely valuable in helping individuals become aware, face their challenges and with help create stronger more independent selves.

Yoga and its teachings were created millenia ago –and as teachers we are delivering that which we haven’t truly created.  So again, as teachers we are the conduit, we are human, fallible and responsible for you the student’s welfare.  Don’t put on a pedestal those that should be standing beside you and encouraging you to follow your own path.

“Fallibility in a leader is very trying.  Isn’t it?  They spill so much of other people’s blood” James Clavell

Yoga Sutras : Book Two # 33

 

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Vitarka badhane pratipaksa bhavanam*

“when disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of.  This is pratipaksa bhavana” *

It’s been quite a while since I wrote anything in this blog – and with good reason.  I went straight from my 200hr Teacher Training into the online training with TeenYoga based in the UK.  This entailed a further 100hrs of training – all online; via webinars, tutorials and lots of reading, writing, planning and thinking.  My brain is full. Good full, but it’s full.

The TeenYoga training (created by Charlotta Martinus http://www.teenyoga.com) is fantastic, and I have been so blessed to have found teachers and mentors this year who through just being who they are, inspire, motivate and ensure you have an ongoing desire to learn.

Now it’s time to plan and enter the fray.  I need to find ways to get this teaching out there; grow myself as a teacher, and hopefully inspire students to want to grow their own practice – keeping me as part of that growth.  Bit of an ask.

And this week I felt a bit down about it all.  Most of my friends and family have been incredibly supportive of this journey I’m on, but some less so.  Conversations have been around – “Yoga not really being as good as other modalities of ‘exercise’.  Maybe I now even believe I’m too clever.  (“If they knew how the cogs churned and whirred they’d realise that is definitely NOT the case).  And – this is the doozy – “I’m not really that qualified though am I, and anyone can teach it can’t they?”

So regardless of how many people support you and remind you that you’ve had a full on, heavy learning, great year – that lone voice who tries to put you down always hits home.

This year I have worked incredibly hard at something I love and truly believe is worthwhile.  I have done it because I want to share this with other people, so they get, and feel, the benefits I have.  I have done this with a desire to inspire others to start their own journey with Yoga, and discover all the benefits a mindful practice can give them.  This for my adult students, and hopefully as time moves on, more and more adolescents.  That is all.

We live in a world where so many people are truly burdened with their own insecurities, anxieties and self- doubt.  However for a few it seems when they see someone else trying to move beyond their own anxieties and fears, take control of their lives and livelihoods and move forward, well, they probably need a knock back don’t they?  No, actually, they don’t.   We all need to start cheering people on who take initiatives, who try something new, put themselves in vulnerable positions, and who want to keep learning and growing.  And just maybe those people can act as an inspiration, motivation or banner that shows there is a path that leads beyond insecurity and self doubt to greater self-enrichment.

I had a phone call with one of my teachers this week as well (post other conversations) and I came away with a list of things to do, focus on, get moving towards, a little jolt to the system – that put the negativity to rest.

So, I guess the takeaway from this blog is – What (or who) Inspires You?

This year for me it’s simple – my teachers.

Namaste x

*The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda

 

 

The End of the Beginning

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It’s done.  We’ve all had our first full week away from training, first weekend home and are looking towards having a second weekend without training as the end game.

It feels weird.  That last weekend of training was quite emotional for a lot of us (myself included) – it’s been a real journey and man we were blessed with the group we had.  The core of us were quite diverse; age wise, career wise, Yoga knowledge wise, character wise – the whole shebang.  But we were accepting of all and truly did back each other to do well.

And now it’s done.  We are cast loose to continue in whichever way we choose.  Some of us are already planning how to get teaching – I’m enrolled in a Teen Yoga/Mindfulness course which will take me through to the end of the year.  Some are uncertain if they will teach at all at this stage but know that this course has opened the door to more learning and appreciation of what Yoga offers.

The training really does inspire and I believe that’s what it’s about.  Yes, we need to ensure we have anatomy, physiology and asana knowledge (which we got).   Yes, we need to cover the philosophy, history and teachings of Yoga (which we did).  But when the training covers all the necessary and leaves you feeling that you want/need to learn more, to keep going, keep learning – that I think is the definition of good teaching.

Now to refine my own offerings as a teacher, find venues, students and ways of passing on the message – Yoga is great for your body, mind and soul.  It will enhance your life, help you find peace, help you live in the moment and provide tools to do so.  The science is out on this as well. Enough studies have been done now to conclude that even short meditations have a cumulatively significant impact on your mental and physical health.  Lowering your heart rate, suppressing the flight response and generally easing anxiety.  The article link here (one of many available) https://yogainternational.com/article/view/scientific-research-yoga-aging-and-the-brain articulates well the studies that show Yoga techniques increase the neuroplasticity of our brains, help improve mental and behavioural flexibility, keep our bodies active and aware.

My interest in teaching extends beyond the Teen/Young Adult teaching that I am hoping to kick start in the next few months.  Moving into Yoga Nidra, iRest, Restorative, whole body dynamics, Yoga for your body.  That is where I hope to take and expand my knowledge and teaching.  And I know I’ve signed on with a teaching school and group of teachers and practitioners who live and breath this daily.  It is all good and it is all slowly but surely coming to fruition.

Namaste

https://yogateachertraining.nz/

https://contemporaryyoga.nz/

https://sacredmoves.com/

https://www.karlabrodie.co.nz/

The End of the Beginning

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It’s done.  We’ve all had our first full week away from training, first weekend home and are looking towards having a second weekend without training as the end game.

It feels weird.  That last weekend of training was quite emotional for a lot of us (myself included) – it’s been a real journey and man we were blessed with the group we had.  The core of us were quite diverse; age wise, career wise, Yoga knowledge wise, character wise – the whole shebang.  But we were accepting of all and truly did back each other to do well.

And now it’s done.  We are cast loose to continue in whichever way we choose.  Some of us are already planning how to get teaching – I’m enrolled in a Teen Yoga/Mindfulness course which will take me through to the end of the year.  Some are uncertain if they will teach at all at this stage but know that this course has opened the door to more learning and appreciation of what Yoga offers.

The training really does inspire and I believe that’s what it’s about.  Yes, we need to ensure we have anatomy, physiology and asana knowledge (which we got).   Yes, we need to cover the philosophy, history and teachings of Yoga (which we did).  But when the training covers all the necessary and leaves you feeling that you want/need to learn more, to keep going, keep learning – that I think is the definition of good teaching.

Now to refine my own offerings as a teacher, find venues, students and ways of passing on the message – Yoga is great for your body, mind and soul.  It will enhance your life, help you find peace, help you live in the moment and provide tools to do so.  The science is out on this as well. Enough studies have been done now to conclude that even short meditations have a cumulatively significant impact on your mental and physical health.  Lowering your heart rate, suppressing the flight response and generally easing anxiety.  The article link here (one of many available) https://yogainternational.com/article/view/scientific-research-yoga-aging-and-the-brain articulates well the studies that show Yoga techniques increase the neuroplasticity of our brains, help improve mental and behavioural flexibility, keep our bodies active and aware.

My interest in teaching extends beyond the Teen/Young Adult teaching that I am hoping to kick start in the next few months.  Moving into Yoga Nidra, iRest, Restorative, whole body dynamics, Yoga for your body.  That is where I hope to take and expand my knowledge and teaching.  And I know I’ve signed on with a teaching school and group of teachers and practitioners who live and breath this daily.  It is all good and it is all slowly but surely coming to fruition.

Namaste

https://yogateachertraining.nz/

https://contemporaryyoga.nz/

https://sacredmoves.com/

https://www.karlabrodie.co.nz/

Now What?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Another weekend with our amazing training group has been and gone, and for me it was a more challenging one.  Teachers and content fabulous as usual, but for me some stuff arose, and I guess that’s what makes us who we are.  Stuff comes up, we look at it, react, and deal with it as best we know how and move on.  Or if not move on completely, try not to sit with it for too long, and then keep moving.  Because when it comes to it – we face things the way we know how – and I know very few people who do anything with bad, or deliberate intent to hurt or injure either themselves or anyone else.  And, once you begin stepping onto the mat, your body not only thanks you for the physical, it welcomes the experiential and the awakening mind.  You change; slightly, dramatically, lovingly, but you do change.  That is why I feel better stepping off the mat after a practice (whatever form that may have taken), than when I stepped on.

Intention begets action begets joy in the doing.

I truly believe we are all fine but that we may, over the course of our lives, pick up a bit, or a lot of luggage along the way.  At times I’ve felt like I’m carrying a suite of Louis Vuitton and lots of it; some of it pretty, some of it ugly, but most of it unnecessary for me to travel with.  And I’ve spent decades offloading it, unpacking it, repacking it, tossing some to the side, carrying some in my bones and just leaving some by the side of the road.  It’s exhausting – as my son would say “too much admin Mum” … yep, too much admin.  So what’s the answer?

I don’t have one – other than to say – we’re ok, we’re human, we try, we fail, we look for answers to questions, we learn, we practice, we love, we live, we continue.  It’s a hell of a journey… and thankfully the majority of us continue to see a tomorrow coming that has so much potential to bring joy, love and purpose.

Balance, I’ve been thinking about this also, and what that would look like in both Yoga, and in our general daily lives.  In Yoga there are poses that require a degree of balance to sustain them, Tree Pose for example.  But trees are never completely stationary or balanced, they don’t stand solidly unmoving, stoically standing sentry over the forest.  They arise from strong roots, build a sturdy trunk, but move in the wind; they bend, wave their branches, react to their environment.  But still they stand, a strong, living, breathing, dynamic, moving thing of beauty.  Just like us.

https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/how-to-find-deeper-access-to-joy-start-with-a-peaceful-mind

Namaste

How Flexible is Flexible?

 

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Recently I worked out that I’ve been ‘doing’ Yoga for around 30 odd years.  When you state that number I’m pretty sure a lot of people think – wow, she must be able to bend like a pretzel.  Well it doesn’t really work like that.  I’ve also been an avid book reader for over 50 years and I haven’t read all the books in the world, nor learnt everything there is to learn about anything. So, it’s all about perspective and relevance really.

There’s a woman on our YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) who can bend like a pretzel – just fold beautifully into postures and do it with seeming ease and comfort.  She’s also around my age.  I cannot always fold with ease and comfort.  Some days I can barely crease let alone fold.  Other days it all comes with apparent ease.  Funny old things our bodies.  They intuitively know where they’re at, at any given time and let us know.  They whisper to us before they scream and we all need to become aware of the whispers and adjust, stop, or slow down.  Our bodies KNOW.

Our bodies are all so different as well, which is the greatest thing to remember.  They all contain about the same number of bones etc., and the structure and framework is seemingly the same – however, it’s not.  We all have slight differences and those differences can be the one thing that means we can’t fold our chest to our knees, we can’t raise our legs behind our head (though why you’d even want to I’m not really sure) and we can’t lower our heels completely to the floor in Downward Dog.

Does that then mean we’re not doing Yoga?  No.  If your personal focus is purely on the physical aspects of Yoga (the postures/asanas) then a modified/adjusted pose is still most definitely Yoga.   The multitudinous benefits are all there because your body is still receiving the benefits of the physical, and whether you realise it or not, the total body/elemental benefits as well.  The ability to go into a pose that you feel should match something you saw on Instagram or the cover of Yoga Journal is totally meaningless, and quite unhelpful.

So, two days ago when I did my own practice, I felt great, my body moved in and out of asana with ease and I was comfortable.  My head was in a good place, I felt wonderful.  Today, my little autoimmune issue has kicked in, I’m feeling tired, achy, am having trouble with my hips and wondering what sort of practice I can do today.  So that whisper has gotten a bit louder and I’ll adjust, modify and be kinder to myself.  My body will thank me and we’ll move on.

Yoga is a whole body practice, and why I’ve called my business Elemental, it covers all the elements that make us who we are – cellular, muscular, mental etc.

A chiropractor in Sydney told me over 30 years ago – ‘use it or lose it’ – so there you go.  Listen to your body, use it and move it as it needs for the space it’s in today, and you won’t lose it.

Namaste

Half way : apprehension and fear

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Strange title.  But yes, once this coming weekend is done and dusted we’ll all be just over half way through our Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).  To say I’m loving the journey would be quite the understatement, to say I’m incredibly apprehensive about the ‘what next’ would not.

Each weekend we spend at our training is intense; full-on, restful, gratitude inducing and magical.  I leave each Sunday night for the 3-hour drive home just meditating (eyes open – I’m driving folks) and ruminating on the events of the past 2 days.  That drive is quite a good thing to do, I’m alone with my thoughts, heading home to my safe place, and able to just think quietly on what we’ve all just covered.  And we cover a lot.  It’s one thing to say “I love Yoga and I want to share it with the world” in a vaguely egoistic way, and completely another to gain the insight, intuitiveness, humility and knowledge to be able to do so.  Thankfully I chose a great YTT to begin the teaching journey with.  And I am becoming increasingly aware that this is just the start, the beginning of what has already been a decades long process for me.  Truly a life journey this thing.

Currently my biggest struggle has been with learning the anatomy and structure of the body and its movement patterns; why, how, and what bits do what to other bits to make this beautiful structure of ours move, heal and just Be.  Science is continuing to prove links with our enteric nervous system (our gut/intestines), the brain and the rest of our body.  Yoga has been banging on about this for centuries.  Apologies for sudden lack of humility there 😊.   And the latest buzz word – fascia – love that word.  My Pilates teacher (one of the best on the planet in my opinion) loves fascia, at the last YTT weekend we spent a solid couple of hours on recent discoveries re: fascia and its importance.  I attended an exercise conference this week and a part of that was on fascia and our need to move it, treat it and generally be mindful of it.  So once again Yoga – ahead of if not bang on the game, and that is just the physical side (asana) of Yoga as well.  By introducing the other limbs of Yoga into your life you can realistically move to a more rounded, fulfilled, joyful life.

So – am learning a lot and starting to teach some classes to friends and whanau (family) members who are willing to let me practice on them.  Apprehension and fear?  Yes that is there, but as I stumble through this I really, really hope I can eventually guide people to their own realisation that by doing this wee thing we call Yoga, even if it is initially just the physical side of it, you will feel infinitely better within yourself.  Enough to maybe get into your own home practice and find your own path to take.  Naturally with a little ongoing input and support from your soon to be (fingers crossed) certified Yoga teacher over here.

Namaste

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Try to be like the turtle – at ease in your own shell – Bill Copeland

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Currently I am a third of my way through Yoga Teacher Training.  Yup, I said it, have now come clean, and regardless of the outcome of all this – I have found my happy place.  Well, I think I have at least, because pessimists such as myself are terrified of feeling good, secure and certain about much at all.

It can be quite remarkable to have been searching for much of your adult life for something that truly felt good and the right thing for you to do, (and that you could turn into an income – however modest) to find you’ve actually been participating in it for over 30 years.

I have known for a lot of years that helping people navigate their way through ‘stuff’ is something I have always wanted to do.  Psychology studies, Lifeline Counselling, volunteering, all these were leading towards … Yoga teaching?  Possibly a long bow to draw but one that for me now makes complete sense.  When I was undertaking my Lifeline training over 20 years ago – someone asked me “but why would you want to do that?”.  My answer was then and still is, “Because everyone deserves to have someone really listen to them”.  Simple.  This one thing had been missing from my life for a long, long time, and sometimes the path to health and wellness begins with someone just listening to you – not fixing – just listening.  And caring.  My mat and my practice gave me the confidence to know that I’m more resilient than I think I am … and I can do this thing called Yoga, even if I’m not as ‘good’ at it as some.  Thinking of the earlier covers of Yoga Journal here.

It was in my 20’s that I started going to Yoga classes.  They were part of my local high school’s night classes program.   Over the years I studied Italian language, Italian Cooking, Art, Creative Writing etc., etc.  And the one thing I continued when I moved to Oz?  Yoga.  Why?  Because for me it works.  I have always felt better physically and mentally when I step off the mat, then when I step on it – and the practice in between those two steps is medicine.  I also started looking into the why’s and wherefores of the whole Yoga experience – not just the asana’s which are a small part of Yoga – but the holistic, spiritual, experiential side of Yoga.  But I never, ever believed I could be in a position where I might be able to share some of that with other people.

And I am grateful.  So grateful to have the opportunity to learn with people who live and breathe Yoga.  I am very aware how little I know about it.  I am also very aware this is going to be a lifelong learning opportunity and one too that I will never truly master (hopefully I have a long life – I’m getting up there in the numbers now).  But if I become adept enough to share what I do learn, and more importantly through that encourage others to start their own journey into the wholeness of Yoga – then I’m good.

Namaste

When Intention goes out the window

At the end of 2018 I was embarking, so I thought, on a new direction.  I had been out of work (voluntarily) for a few months and was beginning a new phase of my life.  I had decided to retrain as a Life Coach (see first blog) and was embarking on this in a positive and enthusastic way.

I had reconnected with someone who had done the training and was working as a Life Coach herself, until life got in the way.  She now works full time – corporate training within an organisation – mindfulness and life coaching related courses.  When I say life got in the way I mean – making a living and being able to manage those responsibilities with what you feel is your right path.  Sometimes the two just don’t gel.  Or not immediately.  And so life gets in the way.

But it doesn’t need to completely.  What I’ve found is that, for me personally, I get distracted very easily.  I have ‘things’ that need to happen in the course of my day and as a result I don’t allocate my time effectively.    I’ve boldened that wee line because that is the issue – I just don’t allocate my time effectively.

We’ve all read books and articles, listened to podcasts, etc., etc.  Reminding us that there’s 24 hours in a day and what we do with those is our choice.  Well, choice is a bit bold because quite frankly I know women (& men) who have most of their time allocated to just getting through the day.   And any free time they have is taken up with even more external duties eg: spending time with our kids, walking/feeding the pets, trying to juggle the mental list we’ve created for the ‘downtime’ after work AND just getting s**t done.  And then when we finally collapse either on the sofa or in bed – we are mentally and physically spent.

So what happened to that extra hour or two to do what we wanted?  Exercise, meditate, study for our future career?  Well we allowed it to be eaten up by things that maybe just maybe we can delegate, or just stop worrying about.

Some people, bless their cotton socks, are able to do just that.  Delegate some of the things we overburden ourselves with, say NO to the kids constant demands for time and attention, and just shut ourselves away to nurture ourselves both mentally and physically.  So why do so many of us feel guilty doing that?  I think it’s because we are raised to feel that unless we are ‘doing for the rest’ all the time we are therefore selfish and self absorbed.  Granted there are a few of them around and I’m sure we can name some, however, it is proven in numerous academic studies that unless we nurture and care for ourselves, then we ain’t gonna truly be any good for anyone else.

So little steps folks.  How about you revisit what makes you happy?  Do you even know what really makes you happy?  or if not happy – a bit contented?  Something that takes you out of yourself and into a plane of contentment and relaxation – even if there is madness around you – the ONE thing that can allow you to distance yourself from that.

Physical exercise?  We all need it and it’s proven that we now can get our physical exercise in smaller doses – it need not take an hour and a half.  We can exercise in blocks of 10 minutes a few times a day and that goes a long way to improving our health.

Sleep? One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is dedicate time to sleep.  We should as adults get an absolute minimum of 7 hours a night.  So, if you need to be up at 6am – then off to bedfordshire by 10 or 11pm … that allows for the downloading of busyness from our brains so we can start to relax.

Reading? Well if you need to read a few pages before bed – try and make it something light – not something horrifically violent or disturbing, and definitely not the report you need to finish before you head to work the next day.  Light, refreshing and easeful.  That will not leave you thinking about it long after you should be falling into a restful snooze.

Try a few things to make the bedroom, the relaxing room, and ease on in to a good nights sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

To Finish … Begin

“I don’t see how he can ever finish, if he doesn’t begin”                                                                     The Mock Turtles Story from Alice in Wonderland

Beginnings are always fraught – with questions, anxieties, doubts, and fear.  For me that’s how they’ve always been, but what if we approached beginnings from a slightly different angle?

Some years ago I trained as a Lifeline Counsellor, and years later again started studying Psychology at university (as a mature student).  This was all done with the idea I had that 1) everyone should have someone to talk to, and 2) what really makes us think and behave the way we do? 

Lifeline taught me to listen, and encourage others to open up.  Studying Psych taught me that there is a lot to learn about #2 and it would become a lifelong journey to find an answer.

A few months back I quit my job, with the support of my partner, and asked myself what next.  I mulled this over, but not for too long, and decided to retrain as a Life Coach.  So what qualified me to think I could even do that?  Well, over the years I have always been the ‘go to’ person when colleagues and friends have had questions, doubts, wanted to ‘chew the fat’ or ‘spitball’ any worries or concerns.  That either makes me a good listener, or the office gossip.  I’ll go with the former, as I also learnt that discretion is the better part of valour and the sanctity of the confessional (my office or cafe stop) is never broken.  Which, on that hamster wheel of life, means people kept returning to my office and new people came in regularly.

A lot of what I heard revolved around people not achieving their full potential, or not reaching the goals they thought they had set themselves.  Personal relationship issues came into it as well, but mostly these chats revolved around people feeling ‘stuck’ and unable to move forward.  When I say people weren’t achieving goals they ‘thought they had set themselves’ I come back again to that stuck feeling, that, I’M GOING TO DO THIS … and then it never quite happens.  That; I am going to get fitter, healthier, become a better me, slow down, speed up, GET STUFF DONE mantra we have but many of us can’t deliver on.

There starts the Life Coach training – another arrow to put in the quiver in order to truly be able to help guide someone on their own journey.  Not provide answers, not tell you what you’re doing to slow your progress or self sabotage, you probably know a lot of that already – but to be the one that enables you to move forward, confidently.

So how to deliver on your own mantra?  How to better define and agree what that mantra or goal even is?  That’s where I hope I or someone like me steps in.  A coach can help you to; define your goals, work out your strategy to suit your own needs, and hold the mirror up so you can fully realise your potential and ability to make change happen. 

This is a journey for me as well, as I find my way, set and achieve my goals, stumble, get up, start over and hopefully provide some inspiration for you along the way. 

Via ElementalU I want to look at the whole person; holistically, realistically, totally – all the elements that make you, you.  

I’ll be blogging regularly and will share links, readings, books, and inspirational people and organisations I come into contact with that will help you and me get our stuff done.

In the meantime check out http://www.sarahwilson.com … just do it … she’s inspiring and had her own share of ups and downs…