Truth And Paradox : The Dance Of Nature Connected Coaching
All great truths are big enough, wide enough, and deep enough to hold great paradox. And Nature Connected Coaching is such a paradox.
“We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”— Hermann Hesse
For the past year I have been going through an intensive program of study, learning to be a Nature Connected Coach. But way more than that, I’ve been in a deeply personal, incredibly real, and sometimes almost ferocious study in my life learning about who I thought I was but no longer am, learning to step into my Self and become what I actually already am. Sounds simple, maybe even romantic, but it has been big and wild and even jarring at times.
Like the snake or the butterfly, it has thrown everything I believed up into the air—everything I thought I knew, everything I thought I was—only to reorganize itself into a new shape. It has revealed the raw truth underneath. It has revealed to me that still, after all this molting, there is one thing for sure—all great truths are never really so simple and straightforward. All great truths are big enough, wide enough, and deep enough to hold great paradox.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” — Carl Rogers
And Nature Connected Coaching is such a paradox. A holding of two directly opposing states, equally energized and important. It’s a dynamic dance between masculine and feminine. Earthly and Spirit. And when these opposing forces are held together, something truly magnificent begins to alchemize.
By the very nature of coaching, you set goals. You think about what it is you want to have, to do—or most importantly, to be—and you begin to plan out how to get there. Or maybe you investigate what is holding you back from getting there. Either way, you set out thinking about the “there” that you want. It’s linear, strategic, pragmatic. It screams of our human brain. Our ways of thinking that if we try hard enough we can control what we want and don’t want. Our left brained culture and society that says if you focus your attention on the goal and do what it takes to get there, you’ll be successful. It’s masculine. Driven.
But coaching through connection with nature is something else as well. It’s not just you and your focused left brain trying hard and staying motivated towards your goal. The goal is there. Setting the intention is important. Being clear and naming what you want, this is critical. And then, it’s equally critical to let it go. Let it drop into the earth and allow yourself to be open to your next step, to guidance, to the way of the land and Spirit. Feeling your way. Trusting your gut. It’s right brained. It’s heart. Creative. Staying open and present. Engaging all your senses and allowing yourself to be moved. Allowing something to move through you and out into the world. It’s feminine. Receiving.
Such a paradox.
This paradox—the holding in each hand of these opposites—continues to intrigue me, and even sometimes elude me like a great riddle. How do we hold both at the same time?
It’s an intimate and beautiful dance. A game. An art piece we are weaving together with the ones on the other side we cannot see. We go back and forth, setting our human intentions and then allowing the walk towards our vision to reveal our next step. I go, then you. It’s a relationship. It’s something much bigger than ourselves, and through this dance together we are creating something more incredible than we can even imagine from where we stand creating our goals.
Some of the most important truths in life are contradictory on the surface. They seem like impossibilities, yet experience proves them to be true over and over again. It isn’t until you look a bit deeper, beneath the surface contradictions, that the real grains of wisdom emerge. Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” This, just like another paradox—the more you fail, the more likely you are to succeed—are eternal truths we know in our hearts. But these are musings for another time…
May your palms be wide and your hands supple, that you might be able to hold the winds of paradox as they dance revealing to you the fullness of your truth.
Feb 14, 2019