Disclaimer: I don’t have the answers. But I am on the journey and here is some of what I have learned…
I have spent a lifetime exploring Personal Development and Leadership. My previous jobs in the corporate world saw me in Coaching, Leadership and Management positions. It was my role to oversee the whole team, sometimes up to 20 people, and ensure that each team member was contributing; doing their work, meeting their KPIs. I was the one responsible for 20 different people, with an infinite number of ‘things’ going on, doing their jobs. WOAH! No pressure!
As many of you know, we humans are generally sensitive creatures who are simply unable to work well when there is other ‘stuff’ getting in the way. We have all had “mental health days” when we are unable to get out of bed. Or we need to sit in the sun and stop. We just cannot focus or be productive.
I had to undergo much coaching myself to be able to support my staff who were unable to work due to their ‘stuff’. I needed to learn and refine coaching and leadership skills to lead others to become self aware of their own stuff, to shift the blame off me (usually! especially if I was ‘hated’ for being the leader!) and to empower some willingness to take responsibility and make changes. I needed to learn the skills to do this WITH LOVE. Because humans respond to CONNECTION.
I also actively sought personal development just for myself, and became involved with a PD company from America, recommended to me by my coach at the time, that pushed me to really see myself in action and take complete responsibility. The training I did with them cost me thousands, took me to the US and I do not regret any of it! I loved it so much, got so much out of it, and made some wonderful friends, that I sponsored others who could not afford it to participate in the same training.
See, I love to improve myself! I am happy to invest in myself. I deserve it! And you do too.
When I left the corporate world and became a yoga teacher, I moved to the other side of the story, the side where I was now providing the respite for overwhelmed humans. As I progressed in my yoga journey, and as I became older, I realised that yoga for me was less about strenuous workouts with complicated asana (poses) and more about the inner work. I studied and began teaching restorative yoga. Restorative as in RESTORE, as in bring peace back to the parasympathetic nervous system which in our world is usually switched onto FIGHT OR FLIGHT. Many of us don’t know how to turn off that survival instinct and return to RELAX mode. And so then we turn to other things to calm us down: alcohol, drugs, exercise, escapism, avoidance, porn, whatever floats your personal boat and THAT is a whole other blog post.
My desire to learn and grown has also led me to exploring the world of my own business;
These days, I am back to coaching. This time I am working with an amazing business coach. I love coaching, I enjoy the process of being pushed outside of my comfort zone. I relish the clarity that an external perspective provides. I treasure the blockages that I release, the old stories, the old beliefs that are no longer relevant or serving me.
And so THIS is what I have learned, in how we be our best selves. We seek out that which serves us, over that which doesn’t. We sit with the worst of ourselves, make peace with all those traits of ourselves that we judge. We allow them to be, honour them, and know that they are the same shadow that will reveal the light. I am never going to be the person who, as I have been told to do: “shoves my trauma into a box and hides it in the back of the cupboard to never see light again”.
No, I will shine light on the most shameful, traumatic parts of myself. I will allow those parts of me to exist and I will integrate them into my being. I am all of this, and more. We get help from others when we don’t know where to go. We ALLOW others to help us, to love us, without judging us, we learn that we are lovable. Because this is the truth, we are inherently lovable, just by our very existence. Your faults and weaknesses, your mistakes, are the same as mine. We are all vulnerable. We all need to allow ourselves to be connected to others.
Please share your thoughts with me on this big big subject. I am aware I have only touched the surface here, but would love to continue the conversation.
With love and respect, Fi x