When I went to my yoga class last night the theme our teacher focused on was the importance of “being an individual” in our practice of yoga. There is no single and correct way to do yoga. “Each of you will find your yoga”, she said. The length of time to achieve a level of a particular pose, for example, will vary. She said it doesn’t matter if it takes ten years to find your pelvic floor that it will be your way, your yoga. I can’t help but feel a little anxious to think of my pelvic floor evading me for so long and you may be relieved (I know I am) to know I think I have that one safely tackled.
What struck me when I stopped smiling, was how relevant and important it is that we recognise and value our intrinsic and unique selves and our individual journey when it comes to how we work as coaches and coach supervisors. I think it is particularly important given we live in a world where comparison is a constant, not just in coaching and coaching supervision. What is the right way or the wrong way, good or bad, who is better and even best? Every time I hear the TV advert tenor singing “Go compare, go compare” about the price comparison website, I cringe. Cringe in the right place (and it is great for the pelvic floor!) but in all other senses it feels like it just reinforces the message that we must constantly be comparing. We look right and left to see what others are doing and not uncommonly may find ourselves lacking something, overlooking and appreciating where we are just now. Needless to say it stimulates plenty of invitations to pull out old scripts and get hooked into some games. I have nothing against getting a good deal, but sometimes the good deal was right here all the time.
There will always be a supervisor with more clients, one who has attended more conferences, read more books, sat on more working parties. That may be their way and that’s OK. There is always the client who is ‘big’ and lures us into handing up our power, even momentarily, when working with them. There is the supervisee who is already hugely skilled and highly successful, working in ways different from us that can trigger thinking ‘who am I to supervise them?’ That’s the thing, different than us, but not necessarily better. Of course it is important to keep on learning, being reflective, taking experiences and finding the gold within. I think CSA graduates are particularly good at that. I’m privileged to read the graduates’ CPD Logs every summer and they are rich and wonderful examples of learning in action. I feel proud and amazed by the depth and breadth of what people have been working away at all year long.
We are always in the act of becoming. But right here and right now is our coaching supervision and who we are. I think that is what my yoga teacher meant. Sometimes, maybe regularly, we too need to put everything aside for a bit and rest within ourselves and enjoy the view.
Karyn Prentice, Assistant Director CSA July 2012