Don’t just think it, ink it

29 Oct 2019

I love learning, writing and believe in investing in my own professional development, so attending Jackee Holder’s Write Yourself well - Creative Therapeutic Writing in Coaching and Coaching Supervision CPD day put on by Barefoot Coaching was a no brainer.

At the end of the day I wrote “What a day. A sanctuary indeed. A powerful pause to switch in, not off. Development in service of myself and others. Essential not optional.”  With distance I have reflected on what I gained from the experience:

A master class in creating psychological safety

With a quote from Susan Scott, Jackee invited us to: “Be here and be prepared to be nowhere else”. People talk of learning outside of the comfort zone; my experience is that powerful learning also happens in the ‘safety zone’. Held in a learning space with permission to be experimental, emergent and have fun – failure is not an option because it doesn’t exist. To hold people in this space requires skill, generosity and resourcefulness.

A host of resources

The day was rich with content and directions to more.  From Kathleen Adams – Journal Ladder, to neuroscience and the affect of journaling on the brain, and beyond.

I offer you the simplest of practices from the day. Write by hand for five minutes, don’t edit, don’t censor, don’t think about spelling, just whatever comes to mind. And then, to take this practice from purely cathartic to therapeutic, review the writing reflecting on the following:

  • When I read this I notice
  • When I read this I feel
  • When I read this I am surprised that…

Try it and see what it does for you.

A collective and collaborative experience

This Alpha poem which we playfully co-created in a matter of minutes reflects something hard to articulate about the experience of learning in this way. I suspect that these words were true for all of us and that at the same time the taste and meaning of them is unique for each.  This co-created and individually unique experience has important echoes for the coaching relationship.

A personal sense of clarity and simplicity

I have a noisy mind – some of what it has to say is important, and some not so much, telling the difference between the two can be tricky. This day, and journaling since has reminded me of something I knew but had forgotten. The act of writing without filter has the beauty of filtering.  Like the sieve that a diamond miner uses – it lets the sand fall away and gems emerge. Out of my head and onto the page, everything is clearer – it moves from a muddled mess to something I can see with objectivity, focus, compassion and wisdom.

For more about Jackee Holder and access to resources click here and for more Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in service of yourself and your clients check out the latest supervision and CPD offerings from Barefoot Coaching. Stay up-to-date with all the latest news from Barefoot by signing up to our newsletter.

Blog written by Sorrel Roberts.