(Essay written for Somatic School, July 2023)
photo credit: Zagreb Youth Theatre
As we were saying our goodbyes at the end of the last module, the metaphor of the Wizard of Oz popped up in my mind. No wonder, that was the last play I did before quitting theater, where I spent more than twenty years. Let me use this opportunity to thank my cohort again, repeating that goodbye, and using it here as a new beginning. Beginning of this Real-world Enquiry and all the other real-world enquiries I will make.
“I loved walking with all of you on this yellow brick road, and singing all the songs, and being scared of all the munchkins and witches from all the sides. It was fun, it was scary, it was everything. I learned, as Dorothy and her friends, that whatever we were looking for outside with our quest, in the end is inside of us already. And the next step we can learn and teach people as our clients how to tap their shoes, so they can make magic for themselves.”
“If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would all probably
live in the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all.”
Intellect is an amazing thing. Exploring and exchanging ideas, abstract and concrete.
Disassembling and reassembling concepts brick by brick…until one of them hits us right back in the head. Until the rest of them create a rampart around us.
Even as I am writing this I can sense the inclination to perfectly structure thoughts and sentences. Build a strong concept to express myself most accurately. Intellect in action; bricks starting to hide the view. So, let me do a bit of a detour. Let me slow down a bit and dive into myself as I write… and there it is. Strong. Clear. Mine. A purpose, a reason. And how come it is so easy to access it ? Well, one of the reasons for sure is my experience during this programme here in the school. Learning and practicing how to assist others to dive into themselves, the passionate diver in the end became me.
As a full beginner to coaching, when I enrolled in Somatic School, I was quite struggling with the concept “less is more”, thinking to myself – What is less than nothing? I had my head open and ready to be filled, replacing that straw with a new piece of coaching brain. But slowly, as we were going on with modules and practices, wonderful things started to happen. I noticed that this need to stuff myself with knowledge, skills, wisdom…slowly is being replaced with trust.Trust in an infamous process. Trust in people around and across me. Trust in myself. Trust in life.
Note to Self: Trust Life.
To be perfectly honest, the process still continues, there are still moments of doubt, questioning what coaching is and is not, who am I in all of that. But those are now moments which already contain new possibilities. And the biggest inspiration in all of it is to observe the unfolding ofmost colorful potential in people that I work with. How an inclusion of thewhole Self in agentle environment starts precious processes.
“I shall ask for brains instead of a heart” said the Scarecrow,
“for a fool would not know what to do with the heart if he had one.”
“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman,
” for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”
I guess, you are both right in a way. But the best thing is that we don’t have to choose. And it would be a shame if we did. It would be sad if we had to. Now I am thinking about the set of skills that we were taught so well during our modules.
Connecting the whole of ourselves in order to connect with another person, to create a Presence. Presence from which we can go and explore. Dive in and sense what else is there, which signal is Life sending us. Resource each other from and by each other, keeping that precious empathy fresh and blooming. Contact in a way that is inspiring and even provoking. Gently try to fully meet and see each other on all levels. Appreciate exploration, nourish and cherish it, so we can collect all those jewels of all the colors, souvenirs of all the shapes, and take them with us to our lives, for us and for others.
“ I see we are going to live a little while longer, and I am glad of it, for it
must be very uncomfortable not to be alive. Those creatures frightened me
so badly that my heart is beating yet.”
Very uncomfortable, indeed. But what I also realized is when we reconnect with ourselves, there is a new sense of strength and courage. It is a strength that doesn’t need to show off, it doesn’t need to fight anything, it is not there to defeat anybody. It is intrinsic, it is there to support lifethat is unfolding. And in its core, it holds courage. Courage as a result of benevolent strength. A new sense of being alive.
And now I come to think about one of the biggest epiphanies during this process, at least for me. Holding the space. “Just hold the space”. It is not “just”, but you know what I mean. What an honor to be there with and for someone, while they make the magic happen for themselves. Support someone to find resources for that magic, whatever they might be, whatever kicks your magic shoes. I am here to support it and hold a space for it.
“I don’t know where Kansas is,” replied Dorothy sorrowfully,
” but it is my home, and I’m sure it is somewhere.”
And it is indeed closer than we sometimes think. It is here, it is now. Here and Now Is Home.
And now that my head is in the end packed with these useful skills that are serving me, my heart filled with all that is resourcing me, and my whole being boosted with courage (says he modestly and bravely), I have a wish.
My wish is to help people find their own homes, if they will want me to. Holding, carrying, caring, so they can build a home that is protected and protective. Home they can come back to, and they can invite others into. Home that is at the same time in them and that they are in.