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Nature as Coach

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Today I decided to go for a trail hike that my neighbor recommended. I wanted to feel nature (I live in a busy city) in new way. It was a beautiful park filled with walking trails, canyons, views for miles of the valley, sprawling backyards, multi-level landscapes and the bluest sky. As I walked this unsettling narrow dirt path, the mud, rocks, broken trees, and low hanging bushes were all part of the terrain. I kept walking up and down and started to get nervous, tightening up my stride, my fear began to rise along with my sweat and heart rate. I noticed my internal feelings and sensations immediately. I stopped, took a deep breath to pace myself, relax, and witness my internal dialog. I began to move again taking in each moment as the sun beat down on me, speeding up to the cooler shady spots. The trees were overarching on the path along with the sharp crumbling rocks which I had to navigate as to not twist my ankle or fall- fear of pain or embarrassment. At one point this trail curved so close to the edge I could look down and see the drop off was considerable and I imagined who would find me if I slipped.

Navigating those edges are similar

to the inner world of images and conversations within all of us. As clients have the courage to consider working with a certified coach, schedule the appointment, showing up for the session are all part of the journey. Showing up to talk about, look at, and explore the uncomfortable nature of our internal world. Sometimes people come and we start to talk about the problem, the challenge, the relative, the company, the boss, and we end up diving into things that likened to what I saw along the hiking path. I saw uneven ground (not knowing where we stand in a situation) bushes that had thorns (prickly personalities) spots of cool wind and hot air (emotions) and bugs buzzing around -annoyance in me. In the distance I could see desert squirrels running across the path for cover or hearing rustling of something either foraging for food or just trying to hide under the dried dead leaves.

How to navigate what’s going on in us as we move through the what may feel treacherous as we unpack our emotions, beliefs, and thoughts -some deeply held and some we don't know where they came from yet. How do we move forward when we're uncomfortable and don't know where the trail will take us? One gentle move no matter the size, like helping a child take their first steps is the way. As I carefully stepped looking at the dried-out trees and the bark with holes from perhaps a woodpecker, I thought about how brittle life can become when we don’t check in to see what we are holding on to or what holding on to us. -That's an opening for new awareness and perspectives. Nature shows us the way by the emerging seasons. And as the wind was whipping dust in my face, I thought about we (the coach) never knows where the conversation will take us with each word, pause and reflection when the c