This question landed in my inbox last month…
Am I healed enough to become a coach?
If you’re considering moving forward as a coach, practitioner, or leader – yet wondering if you’ve got it ‘together’ enough – today’s podcast episode is for you.
In it we’re exploring:
- What does “healed enough” actually mean & alternative Qs to ask instead
- Hierarchies of power in the healing industry & the two types of power dynamics
- How trauma/major trauma influences your ability to be a coach/practitioner
- Why coaches should never give advice or ‘have all the answers’
- The role of power & enlightenment in being a coach
Doors are open now for the Feminine Embodiment Coaching Certification program. In 2021 we’ve added a further 6months of live group call support to the program so it’s twice as lush. To find out more head to www.feminineembodimentcoaching.com to download the curriculum & apply to chat with one of the teaching team
Prefer to read? Here is the full podcast transcript.
I received an email, an interesting email the other day. It contained a question, and the question was this. “Am I healed enough to become a coach?” I was intrigued and concerned about this question. And on today’s podcast episode, I’m sharing with you five facets of my answer and my response to such a pondering. So if you’ve ever asked this question, am I healed enough, whole enough, embodied enough to move forward as a coach, or practitioner, creative, or leader. Then this episode is for you.
Am I healed enough to become a coach? It’s actually a really lovely and sincere question, and one that I feel is born out of a lot of integrity, but it is also a potentially problematic question. And in today’s podcast episode, I want to share with you a few ponderings around my response to this particular client or potential client. Now, as you know, I’m a feminine embodiment coach, and I think this is really important to clarify upfront because you may be interested in this way of coaching, or you may be interested in a very different pursuit. Maybe another type of coaching, like mindset coaching, or accountability coaching. And these types of coachings require a very different orientation and set of expectations. Equally, you might be interested in being a practitioner or creative of another vein, something that takes a stand and represents a different and still valuable, but a different flavor.
For me, I’m a feminine embodiment coach. And as this type of coach, I really take a stand for vulnerability, for sensitivity, for sensuality, and for power. And so, when I’m posed with a question, am I healed enough to become a coach? What I really see somebody asking is in a way of working that centers is vulnerability, and that is all about power. Am I enough to actually do that work? And it’s a question often born out of a lot of integrity, but it can still be a problematic question. And so, I think the first of my five points is this. What is this concept of healed enough that some of us hold? This magic line in the sand where we will be qualified enough, professional enough, capable enough, healed enough, whole enough, in order to move forward.
I don’t see somebody who is imperfect. Somebody who is still reclaiming their power, somebody who is still figuring it out. I don’t see that person as unwhole. I don’t see them as a project that needs to be fixed. I don’t see them as somebody, less than me or anybody else. A lot of models of working work with the assumption of power over another person. So that is the practitioner, the coach, the leader is the one who knows it all, who has all the answers, who holds all the power. And they’re the one who is, in a way, lording that power over the other, the client, the person who doesn’t have the answers, who doesn’t have the solution, who hasn’t figured it out. And this hierarchy, this power over dynamic has absolutely zero place in the genuine transformation, empowerment, healing, and growth industries.
I used to employ and see this power over dynamic employed all the time in my role as a hospital pharmacist because we can think about it in this very… well, it’s not really a traditional modern medicine has really only evolved in the past few hundred years. But there is, generally speaking, a hierarchy of power when you go into see your doctor or your medical practitioner very often. They’re the ones who have the power who give the instructions and who tell the patient what to do. And yet, when we translate this hierarchy of power over into the transformational space, it has absolutely no place. And it is a highly inappropriate power structure to be using, I think, actually anywhere but specifically in the transformational realm. As a coach, it is not my job to be perfect, to be the one with all the answers, to be whole, to be fixed, to have power over another person. It is my role to hold a space and to move in partnership so that my client might realize the fullness of their own power and see me model that, hold that, and invoke that with them.
This is power with. Where both of us together go on a journey of more power for my client and more power in our community, in our coming togetherness. And so when we consider, am I healed enough to be a coach? I don’t actually think there is some magic point in the sand that we can call ourselves healed, although I will speak about some nuance of that in the next point of my five categories. I think instead of asking, am I healed enough? What is instead useful for us to consider is that I will always be on a journey of growth. I will always be imperfect in many ways. And yet, even in that imperfection, I’m whole. I am divine. I contain within me the same magic and beauty and worth that every human being on this planet is intrinsically born with. And I think that’s a very useful frame to hold and to remember.
The second point that I wanted to make is around stability and resonance. So when somebody comes to me with a question like, am I healed enough to be a coach without knowing any of their history or their backstory? Already, I’m getting my own kind of internal response to the question. Well, is there a background of major trauma or a significant form of trauma that this person has experienced? Because when we have experienced a gross or prolonged trauma, that might be of many different types, including racialized trauma, domestic trauma, and abuse, sexual trauma, and abuse. Really any experience that was too much or too soon for our nervous systems to cope with.
If there has been a situation or a history of major trauma, it is reasonable that we might ask the question, “Well, am I healed enough to be a coach?” But again, I feel like there’s more nuance that we can extrapolate here because I have worked with many coaches. I have trained with many of our past graduates, and I’ve coached with many women who have major trauma in their lives. And they are profoundly resilient women who through that experience have actually discovered huge quantities of their own power. So, instead of asking, “Am I healed enough to be a coach if I have a history of major trauma?” Think instead we can consider that actually what we need is not healing. It’s actually the ability to regulate and to be stable within ourselves. There is in this style of coaching, or in whatever style of coaching you decide to do. But particularly in the realm of feminine embodiment coaching, we take a stand for vulnerability.
And that means that we are entering into the body. And the body is the warehouse of a lot of our past traumas and tensions. It’s where we store all of that unexpressed, previously unwelcomed, or unintegrated data, information, energy, and emotion that we might not have been able to deal with in an acute moment of stress or trauma, or threat. And so when we’re diving into the body to notice what she feels, we are in a lot of ways diving into our own internal warehouses of stored tension. And in order for us to do that dive within ourselves and to facilitate that dive for our clients, we need a foundation of stability. We need to know how to access the resources of safety within our body and how to regulate ourselves back to a place of feeling safe, feeling calm, feeling stable, and not being hugely volatile.
There are a lot of different types of therapies and work that really focus on creating intense peak experiences. In my experience, these are less sustainable ways of working because they don’t often provide us the ability to create the sense of stability. And that’s really important for people who have experienced a trauma or a major trauma in their past. Feminine embodiment coaching is a modality. It’s a trauma-informed way of working. Meaning, there’s a lot of different cues and ways that we structure our coaching sessions to make sure that we’re not going to necessarily activate or retraumatize our clients. But if we have experienced something that we consider traumatic, then it is reasonable to ask, “Well, am I healed enough to actually be a coach?” And instead, I would invite you to know that if you are somebody who has a foundation of stability and who can feel resourced within yourself, even when you’re diving into some deeper vulnerability, then that may be a more constructive way to ask that question.
The third thing that I want to share is an extension of the power hierarchies that we’ve spoken around before. This idea of power over another person versus power with another person. So the job of a coach of a practitioner of somebody who is using the embodied arts is not to give advice. It is to hold space and to hold an invitation. An invitation for the client to discover what their truth is. And this is very, very different to advice-giving. If I’m giving you advice, I’m telling you, this is what I think that you should do in that situation. And that, to me, maybe it’s just my personal flavor. That’s not a dynamic that I love. There are certainly times where I want and desire advice from people that I respect from consultants or friends or others with gifts. But on a whole, I would much prefer to find my own answers.
And so if I’m a practitioner, or if I’m considering being a practitioner, a coach, a creative, a leader, I hold the frame that I don’t actually need to have all the advice. I don’t need to have lived every single situation. I don’t need to know every possibility. And I don’t even need to know what is right for that particular client. Instead, I personally love to hold the frame that it is not my place to have an agenda as coach. It is not my place to tell somebody what to do as coach. Instead, it is my job to use really powerful questions that invite a client deeper into their own body so that they might find the answer for themselves.
The fourth thing that I wanted to share am I healed enough to be a coach? Is that you are a powerful woman, whether you realize it or not, whether you’re on the journey towards that power or not, whether you feel like you embody that power nine times out of 10 or one time out of 10. The fact of the matter is your power is there. It is with you. You do not need to be perfectly whole or healed in order to access that power. And in fact, the parts of you that you wonder or that you question might still need more healing are simply more sources of your power, more stones, if you will, that remain to be unturned. It is so important as a practitioner and as a coach that we really hold the frame of holding ourselves in power, believing in ourselves, being sincere and true within ourselves.
And this, more than anything, creates one of the most important yet intangible aspects of successful coaching. And that is our resonance. So who we are being in our body is really important. And if we are still on a journey towards discovering more of that power, then that might be one of the concerns that inform this type of question. Am I hearing old enough? Put another way. Am I sitting, being in the seat of my own power strongly enough. Now for me, that is a constant lifelong journey and devotion. And in every day I’m arriving in my power and realizing how much further I have to go. I think that in a lot of different types of very beautiful and ancient spiritual philosophy, we see this concept of enlightenment presented as this point in time, whereby we become something more, we transcend. And I would for a very practical kind of regular householder kind of approach to this. For the everyday woman if you will kind of approach to this concept of enlightenment.
I think it, for me, it really helps to reframe this idea as not seeing enlightenment or sitting in the seat of my power as something that’s going to happen with all the fireworks at one point in the future time. Instead, I love to see that today I have arrived into more power. I’ve chosen to take whatever the next step is towards me being more full and complete and in love with myself. And I realized that tomorrow, I will have more steps to take because I keep living. I keep growing going. I keep meeting new frontiers within myself, and that is normal, and that is as it should be. And so I don’t need to wait until I am perfectly powerful and perfect within myself in order to arrive. Instead, by embracing the fact that I am powerful and I am imperfectly powerful. I hold a really relatable resonance that my clients can also see and can begin to access for themselves.
The final point. Point number five. Am I healed enough to be a coach? I feel that it’s so important to really, and this goes without a lot of hard work, this will kind of figure itself out for you. But if you’re considering becoming a practitioner, a coach, a leader of a space, it is really important to consider. What do you feel has created the greatest healing or transformation for you? What tools or practices have really worked? Have worked really well. And have been something that you’ve consistently practiced or wanted to dive deeper into over days or weeks or months. For me, the feminine embodied arts kind of chose me. And I keep using them for years and years, and years and years now. I have used these tools, and I see that they work. And so, I’m not perfectly whole. I’m not perfectly healed.
I’m so effed up in so many different ways. But I see that these tools successfully and reproducibly keep moving me forward. They chose me because kind of this is the way that I am made up. And this is the way that I seem to be able to work really well. And so I think a really important question to ask am I healed enough to be a coach? Maybe instead we want to consider what has contributed to my greatest healing because that is a sure sign that what’s brought you forward to this point is likely going to be what takes you forward to the next point and the next point and the next point, and every single point that is available in every single day that you are here on this beautiful, glimmering, shining, gorgeous earth. So, in summary, instead of asking, am I healed enough to be a coach?
Consider. I will always be imperfect. I don’t have to have all the answers. But if I am willing to sit in a seat of stability and to follow the styles of working that feel most sincere to me, that I am actually powerful enough. And the final thing that I would offer, let’s call this the bonus number six, is that instead of considering, am I healed enough to do this? Ask yourself this. How hungry am I to make this so when I get in contact with my hunger, my desire, my yearning for something, and I allow myself to follow the brilliance, the possibility, the excitement, the enthusiasm of that hunger. The brilliance of it often shine so brightly that it puts all my concerns in question marks and very valid fears and doubts into an important perspective. And I can see what really matters.
To me, I’m far less concerned with fixing myself than I am with actualizing myself and allowing my full voice, expression, love, and contribution to be made to the women that I work with, my family and my communities, and this world at large. And I feel, if more of us were orientated towards actualizing ourselves rather than healing ourselves, we would have a lot more fuel and ripples and action and beauty. And that is what I seek from you. So I hope something today has landed. If it has, you can feel free to drop me a DM or shoot me an email. I truly, love to hear.
And if you are interested in the feminine embodied arts, make sure you check out the feminine embodiment coaching certification over at feminineembodimentcoaching.com. The doors are open at the moment. We would love to have a chat with you and see if this way of working might be a fit for you. And if you’ve gotten to the end of this podcast, then I’m pretty sure that you’ve answered that question that you might’ve been holding. Am I healed enough? I think we both realized that the answer, beloved is, yes. And now, the only thing for you to do is to get into contact with your hunger, what you are here to actualize, and to let no man, woman, child, nonbinary person, or anybody stand in your way.