“For myself, I like a universe that includes much that is unknown and, at the same time, much that is knowable.” – Carl Sagan
I started coach training in May and it felt nothing less than like setting out on a grand expedition. I was beyond thrilled to explore the unknown. At the same time, I was pleasantly surprised to turn the ship inward and find parts of myself I’ve not yet discovered.
The first quarter of the journey got me thinking, who is a coach? Who are my people? Who am I? What do I want to create? What do I believe is true? What more is there beyond what I see? What thoughts limit me?
I was left with so many questions. I remember thinking, “Isn’t this what will make this expedition a true adventure – one worth setting out on?”
Now, almost returning back to the shore, I can confidently say that I was right.
The following are the adventures from my coach training journey with Nobantu, my trainer and my cohort members. In this short journal, I hope to capture my learnings and gratitude. If you’re a fellow traveller experiencing some of this now, I hope you find this a joyful read. If you’re a new learner going to set out on this journey very soon, explore what might lie ahead. Having said that, I would like to emphasize that no two seas are ever the same. The only way is to dive in and see what’s in it for yourself.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – Bilbo, Lord of the Rings
It wasn’t late when I began to think that the questions were leading to a lot of thinking – within the class, beyond class, in conversations and whenever possible. I felt a strong urge to find answers to questions in my mind and be okay with where I was with my understanding. It wasn’t easy. It felt like “the not knowing completely” was fuelling a drive to see more, learn more and know more. I didn’t know what to do. I remember my trainer often showing a quote by Viktor E. Frankl that felt like an apt message from the universe, at the right time – “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Nobantu said that -, “Coaching is about seeing more, hearing more, loving more, illuminating more, being more and doing less.”
“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.” – Alan Watts
It felt like things were aligning in some way. The next few weeks were a whole different experience of ‘just being and doing less.’
I learned about embodying a coaching mindset. At first, it was only words, but when we began to practice coaching, it had a completely different meaning. When you’re fully present – not thinking, not questioning, not judging- just being – you have the chance to experience something special. It is the raw energy of existence.
One that gives you what you may offer next, explore what’s needed and share a space that is empowering for both the client and the coach. And you know what makes it special? You don’t need words for this experience. Just ‘be’ in the silence and embrace what shows up.
This was a powerful experience that I had during coach training because it gave me an in-depth understanding of what the competencies that I was trying to remember, learn and apply during a conversation, stand for.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King
In every session, I had the chance to be in the company of people who I consider my community. Each learner is unique in their thinking, style of coaching, personality, reflection, understanding and what they were experiencing and creating for others. During our class, we had the chance to hear these perspectives. I felt thankful to our trainer who opened up the space for people to just share in the most authentic way. During our feedforward sessions, I saw how each learner shared their thoughts with the intention to help the other grow. Isn’t this what strong communities are made of? It encapsulated for me the meaning of “Ubuntu: I am because we are.”
“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.” – Bilbo, Lord of the Rings
As I come to the end of my Coaching Foundation, I can say that coach training experience helped me become the master of my own ship. While the journey was fueled by the wind, my facilitator and members of my cohort allowed the sail to set forward and keep going. Along the way, came the waves – some tiny, some humongous. Any guesses what they were? They were my inner demons, my fears, my worries and my limiting thoughts which surfaced and sometimes looked bigger than they actually were in my mind.
But, these only stirred the direction a bit, until the sails were strengthened again with the compassion, warmth, belief and courage the space offered me.
Deepak Chopra said, “The Universe contains three things that cannot be destroyed: being, awareness and love.” I am grateful to Coacharya for giving me the chance to explore all three and just be where I am with my understanding until more shows up along the way. No matter where you’re on your coaching journey, remember the adventure is never over. It’s always only the start. Bon voyage!