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Weeknotes #26: Looking Back on 2023
You are reading ‘Like person, like coach’: explorations at the intersection of personal narrative and coaching practice:
This year I became less interested in changing the world. It started to feel like it didn’t need changing, but loving. And at times, it felt impossible to change it. So maybe that was part of it, too. Sometimes it feels impossible to love it, too. I feel I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of what it might mean to love actively.
I started the year keen on not setting personal goals but setting an inner compass to openness and surrender, with a few loose areas of focus to give a sense of direction.
This loosened grip on goals did me well this year. I arrive at the end of 2023 with a sense of calm and ease, no longer needing to prove that I made it - because isn’t a year of living a life the best we can, so much more than enough?
From the very beginning this newsletter was talking to that space in between who we are in our personal lives and how that shapes how we work and what we create. And this space continues to be relevant and curious to me, especially when it comes to coaching. For me, 2023 has been a deep lesson in what real, lasting change really takes in effort — it’s Sysyphean. The systems of oppressions I said I was fighting against live well and thrive inside of me — what a sight.
And yet, at the very same time, this year I started to be less interested in changing myself, and became more curious about loving myself. The most lovable parts of someone we love dearly are often the bits that also unnerve us, and that we complain to others about. So maybe those bits I’ve been trying to banish in myself, are the bits that I need to feel into, and love. Rarely do we change when we are judged or told how we need to be different. Most often we change when our suffering is held and seen.
So this year’s review isn’t a list of achievements but a hand on the chest and a deep breath. A deep inhale to invite presence and connection to what is happening in Gaza. I feel a trap we get into is to think ‘my pain is nothing compared to what is happening there’ and yet, I feel that in numbing ourselves to our own challenges, we numb oursleves to others’ pain. And isn’t that what we need, more people who can feel?
I leave you with a poem I wrote recently as I was crying — I tried to capture that feeling of resisting to feel pain:
You don’t know where it hurts
but the tears that make your body
make foreign shapes Do.
you think the well has no bottom,
it feels both far and close
It sneaks upon you
drags your feet across,
tells you things you thought you’d seen
There is no more time.
Do you know where it hurts?
kiss your forehead,
caress your spine.
This week I’m very curious about:
📚 Writings for Liberation Psychology, Igancio Martín- Baró
📚 Towards Psychologies of Liberation, Mary Watkins, Helene Shulman
♥️ Hope: the group project, hosted by Letícia Usanovich. Early bird: 15th Nov! 🚀
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