Raw and Real from the Wild Field Episode 5: To Reveal or Not to Reveal?
That is the question! At least, it’s the question that was asked of me this week: Should I be revealing so much personal experience in my Raw and Real blog? Is it okay for someone in my position – a self-development professional – to display vulnerability? My answer: You betcha!
That’s what I believe anyway. I recognise that it’s not everyone’s approach to coaching and teaching, however, it is totally and absolutely mine. Sharing myself with you like this feels like the ‘signature dish’ of my delightful vocation. I’m just not the aloof, out of reach, theorist type. I’m interested in the applied stuff – the real stuff that makes a difference, that moves us to the core, the stuff that I know from the inside out. As far as I can make out, sharing my own trials and tribulations and the wisdom that I learn from them, helps and inspires you far more than mere academic ideas.
Just the other day, a coaching client said to me “I find it so helpful to know that you struggle too. It gives me hope. If it seemed you were all sorted and I wasn’t, I’d just feel like I was a lost cause. Knowing that you go through it too – and come out the other end – shows me that I can do it too.” And I’m delighted to say that I’ve had such a surge of appreciative and supportive comments and clicks onto my website that I just know that my ‘brave, honest accounts’ are hitting the mark.
I’ve always looked up to others in my field who tell their revealing true stories. Their vulnerability and authenticity inspires me. I can relate to them, to the challenges they face, to how they feel. I can follow in their footsteps as they traverse the wilderness, climb up and down mountains and run for joy through meadows. Their story is not just a dry, dusty road map. The colour and texture of their account becomes a 3D virtual reality experience that I can breathe and pant and sigh within. More importantly, in the process I become equipped to go on in my own life’s journey.
One of my inspirations is Oriah Mountain Dreamer who wrote The Invitation. This little poem, published in 1995, rocked the world with its piercing depth and quickly developed into a best-selling book. You can read the poem and find out about Oriah’s amazing work at www.oriah.org , however the poem begins…
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it…
Reading the book had a profound effect on me back in 2001. I’d just moved to Devon from London and it gave me some crucial inspiration that led to meeting my (now) husband, Pat. I wrote about this incredible experience in an article called Meeting My Match. (Here’s the link: http://wp.me/ps0N4-9U ) Recently, Oriah herself thanked me for sharing this article on her Facebook page. I was thrilled to be personally acknowledged by such an awesome role model!
Ironically, I’ve actually been holding myself back from splurging all to you this week. It’s been very quiet and settled here in the wild field, and I’ve been absolutely loving the retreat-like lifestyle. For the last 10 days or so, I’ve been working on a personal spiritual development programme. However, this programme requires me to “haud ma wheesht”, which is old Scots (“hold my quiet”) for keeping my mouth shut! Now, I have to admit that this is a bit challenging for my personality. When I’m excited about something, I find it hard to contain. But contain it I must as it is vital for the process to work properly.
It’s a case of practising what I preach. As I often advise clients, there are times when we must keep things to ourselves in order to thoroughly internalise a change and contain the energy of our endeavours. Should we share our stories too soon, we risk dissipating our focus, or worse still, invite the shaking heads and wagging fingers of the nay sayers. There’s nothing worse than a negative Nelly to undermine our tender new attempts at positive change.
Anyway, to satisfy the part of me that wants to document my inspiration and teach it to others, I’ve been quietly journaling and filming my progress with this exciting new programme. (I’m also already getting juicy ideas for presenting fabulous future workshops with this material, but I know I need to be patient!) One day, all will be revealed in the ‘Raw and Real’, but not until the time is right!
So, to reveal or not to reveal? Well, with the exception noted above, I say reveal. It is my experience that I am being spiritually guided to be personally revealing in the way I write and speak in order to fulfil my vocation. And I’m not the only one. I am so enjoying meeting and collaborating with a growing network of like-minded authentic colleagues worldwide. One of the kings of authenticity, in my opinion, is the lovely Nick Williams, author of Discover of the Work You Were Born to Do, collaborator in The International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers www.iaccw.com and founder of www.inspired-entrepreneur.com
So, I will leave you with some inspiration – a couple of short videos of Nick and I talking about the role of authenticity in our coaching work.
This entry was posted on August 21, 2010 by Maggie Kay. It was filed under inner guidance, inspirational coaching, metaphysics, Nick Williams, Raw and Real, spiritual intelligence and was tagged with Discover the Work You Were Born to Do, entrepreneur, Inner experience, inspiration, inspired entrepreneurs, instinct, intuition, metaphysics, Nick Williams, personal guidance, spiritual guidance, spiritual intelligence, spirituality, spirituality in business.