Noelle's Reflections on 2020
December 2019 feels like a lifetime ago. We were more carefree. We had travel plans. The world felt open and accessible. Time was expansive and fluid, and then things shifted.
The implications of the pandemic followed by a civil rights uprising fell like dominos. All of us have been impacted directly and indirectly by fear, sickness, loss, grief, panic, anger, violence, injustice, scarcity... and so much more that we have yet to truly grapple with.
We are still adrift in these tides of change. We don’t know just when we will land at a safe harbor; nor what life will look like when we get there.
But here’s what I do know for sure: One day, we will make it ashore. One day, we will be able to hug our loved ones. One day, we will be able to move about the world. One day, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and justice will be as systemic as injustice and disparity once were.
We cannot get there as individuals. We must move together in partnership.
This requires sacrifices, tough conversations, a collective re-setting of priorities, and compassion and understanding as we all struggle together to become the force that turns the tide. We can help each other to build a future that represents our collective longing.
In one of the classes that I teach at JRNI, we begin by reviewing some of the basic tenets of positive psychology and coaching:
- Humanism tells us that all of us have the gift of perception and we can use it to make meaning of the world around us.
- Humanism too, tells us that we are gifted with self-determination, to make out of the lumber of our lives whatever temple we choose.
- And positive psychology tells us that other people matter above all else. Connection to others provides pathways to deep and authentic meaning that sustains us through hard times.
The idea of “building of our lives a temple” to inhabit and share, through connection to others is frequently attributed to Roy Croft:
I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a temple, out of the works of my every day not a reproach but a song. I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.
As I reflect on the year, the world, what it means to be a coach, these words ring auspiciously like prayer bells calling me to settle my mind.
In the company of trusted others our lives become a temple.
We are made good and whole by the gift of presence. To me, especially now, there is nothing more sacred than investing in each other through community and the work of coaching.
The belief in the capacity of others to build their temples will sustain us through this chapter. It is also a herald of good things to come. We were not meant to be alone. We are better through and with each other.
Self-determination requires partnership and support. This is what coaches do.
Grit and self-efficacy are fundamental byproducts of a successful coaching relationship, and fundamental outcomes for all who dare to reach beyond the hand they were dealt. Folks turn to coaching because they want to solve a specific problem or reach a specific goal, but they walk away with a far more: self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-command and the hard-won realization that they have both the capacity to learn and the will to change.
Coaching teaches us that we can do hard things and do them well. Coaching teaches us that we are not fated to any existence that we refuse to inhabit. Coaching shows us that many small steps, half-steps and even two steps forward and one step back create movement towards the satisfaction of a life well lived and the legacy of our lifetimes.
This is how we show up at JRNI.
Whatever this year has brought to your doorstep, know that there are folks who believe in not only your absolute power to transform and rise, but in your gift to do the same for others.
From all of us at JRNI, we see you, we are cheering you on, there is light just over the horizon, you are loved.
Ready to Let Your Light Shine?
At JRNI, we champion principles of positive psychology in our Life Coach Training for one very simple reason: they work. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited programs feature authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a force for good in the world of coaching. If you’re ready to deploy your strengths and help others find their way in this brave new world, join us!