How I learnt to be my own healer
Nine years ago, while staying in a Buddhist Monastery, I had an epiphany: I realised even in a crisis I could be resilient. By watching the breath - this flighty unstable thing caught within my chest - it dawned on me, somewhere in the past I'd forgotten how to breathe correctly. If I was to overcome life's adversities I'd have to learn how be my own healer. It wasn't easy but over the next few years I did exactly that.
I grew up in a volatile household feeling constantly invalidated by those around me, by the time adolescence arrived, I'd lost my sense of self. Learning to distrust my emotions, my emotions became out of control, and by over-controlling my behaviour, I became impulsive. It was a hard road out of hell, and while life appeared to get better when I went to university, it was while pursuing my Masters, that I developed a physical illness which changed my life forever. After several surgeries, I ended up right back where I started, with any resilience completely shattered.
Nevertheless, I recovered. I did so by learning the skills needed to be my own healer. There are no quick fixes: In fact the only way out of hell is through the acceptance of suffering. And so by learning skills in mindfulness, relationship building, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and story reconstruction, I found a way to create a life worth living. My journey lasted a decade, and while pursuing many pathways, from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy to Buddhist Philosophy, it began with the original moment of mindfulness watching the breath.
Fast forward to 2019, life couldn't be more different. In the intervening years, I recovered my resilience, and reconstructed my story. I've accepted limitations, and found a way to be happy here and now: All of this equals resilience. Across a lifetime, I've learnt these skills, and now I'm ready to teach you.
Why I want to help you.
I set up Resilience Coaching, because I have taught myself to be my own healer. A "wounded healer" as the legendary Carl Jung would say, because it's only those who are hurt, who can offer the best medicine. Having created a life worth living, I now want to help you do the same.
Everything is teaching us, and if my life has taught me anything, it's that resilience can be taught. It's a skill we acquire in childhood, and if nurtured, sustains us through many of life's trials and tribulations. However, if we are hit with a multiple crises, or worst still experienced childhood trauma, our coping skills are compromised. Whether it happens suddenly due to a one off shock, or insidiously from unremitting problems, the loss of resilience has ramifications beyond painful emotions and distress: Our identity is plunged into crisis, our relationships suffer, overwhelmed with distress we often become self-destructive.
At this point many people, may be given a mental health diagnosis: This is helpful in some cases but not others. Clinicians assume the label is the person, but the pathalogising of normal reactions to abnormal events, does a disservice to those who are in pain. It not only fails to address the underlying causes of that pain, but offers a prognosis as poor as the treatment.
Resilience coaching is a way for me to offer to others what I'd wished I had myself. However, I'm not a counsellor. I'm a skills-trainer. I don't just want to sit passively, as you tell me about your struggles, I want to help you. That is why I've devised the resilience coaching training programme: I believe resilience can be taught, and that you can be resilient right now.