A while ago I read this article about how yogi’s might seem all calm and self-possessed on the outside, but are humans underneath with all the fallibility humans have. And they also forget whether they switched the iron off whilst in class, and it made me smile with lots of resonance because it’s the same for coaches too.
Of course I’m not speaking for all coaches, only this coach, and perhaps other coaches might say they are different and they do practice everything they preach and have it all together all the time, but I would definitely question the veracity of that.
Coaches are human too.
Everything I teach in my programmes, all the rituals to help us to maintain our equilibrium, to quiet our inner critics, to build resilience against the knocks of life, those are things that I have to do too. And of course I am not perfect at doing them.
Yoga is called a practice because you never actually take an exam (unless training to be a teacher), but it’s considered something you do as a lifelong practice. The same with meditation. And self-development, self-improvement, whatever you want to call it that you come to a coach to support you with, striving to be the best version of ourselves, that’s a lifelong practice too.
As a coach I work with values and away-from and towards motivation all the time. I work with addressing and challenging limiting beliefs. I work with reframing thoughts. I work with the inner critic and identifying and removing the past triggers that cause a particular response; I work with opening up the moment to choose a response even when triggered.
Yet I still struggle to get myself up and onto my yoga mat in the mornings. I’m still triggered when someone yells at me suddenly. There are times when I feel myself closing off, when I feel I’m being silenced and ignored: my inner hurt little girl makes her presence, and her needs, known by retreating. My inner critic judges me often telling me I’m not doing enough, pushing enough, being enough. My Grandad used to say, you can’t do better than your best…
… but what if I’m not pushing myself hard enough for it to be my best?
There’s a saying in NLP (it’s one of the key guiding principles), you have all the resources you need inside of you. I do have all of the resources I need to be the best version of myself, and I use them with others all the time; but somehow I often forget to apply them to myself.
Have you ever been told by an authority figure to do as I say, not as I do? It’s an inauthentic expression because we should role model to others the behaviour we want to see in the world. I aspire to be a role model to others of living a full and whole ReConnected Life, living a life which is UnShamed, demonstrating that it is possible after rape to not only recover but also to become more than the person we were. I aspire to be a leader in pioneering a new way to recover after rape, one that takes into account the holistic whole-mindbody experience, and recreates the self. I aspire to inspire others to know they too can recover, and to know they have solidarity and support and are never alone.
I cannot do those things if I am not role modelling the change I want to see in the world; and yet sometimes, I don’t use those resources that I share with others for myself.
Since my MS diagnosis at the start of 2018, I have been forced to learn the lesson that I must use my resources for myself. It’s perhaps true that the diagnosis has made me a better coach; I understand better now the ongoing critical importance of developing mindset and embodied rituals that protect and build resilience. And I can surely empathise more with the hurdles that life brings that push us off-track, onto detours, and back to feeling like we’re slipping, losing our equilibrium.
I have learned that everything I teach cannot be taken for granted.
Living ReConnected requires a daily, lifelong practice – because to be able to ride the waves of life requires us as humans to have a daily, lifelong practice. It’s not just about how we recover from our traumas, it’s also about how we embrace living, thriving, and shed our surviving mentalities.
It is not a case of doing the things for a period, feeling better, and then saying fine, move on. Yes, we become ‘better’ from the trauma, that’s almost the easy part. The more difficult part is staying resilient so that we can cope with the rest of what life throws our way, because it will.
When clients first come to me, they often have an ‘away from’ motivation – naturally what they want is to find a way to integrate what happened in the past into their present so that it has no impact on their future. Yet when we as humans only operate from an ‘away from’ motivation, when we feel we’ve achieved that objective, we tend to stop with the daily habits, rituals, practices.
It’s like a yo-yo dieter who stops when they reach their target weight. Or a runner who will stop running when they’ve achieved their objective to run the marathon. But then if they want to run a marathon again they’ll have to start training again, and it will be harder than if they had stayed at the level of fitness they had.
We need to stay resilient all the time.
Life isn’t about sheltering from the storm, life is about learning to dance in the rain.
This is why I’ve designed the ReConnected Life programme to enable clients to achieve their away from goals early, and the second part is very much about towards motivation: building the life we want in the future.
If you too would like to move away from all the things holding you back, and then towards living the full and whole beautiful unique life that is your born right to enjoy, book a call with me. Let’s chat about how you can most definitely be the person you yearn to be.
With love, xx