Alone on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall, UK, loaded pack on my back, I walked on through wind and rain coming horizontally at me from the sea. At one point, I turned, all alone as the path twisted and turned around the coastline, I held my arms wide and I shouted into the wind “Hello, world!! Let’s do this!!!”. For the first time in months, I heard my voice loud and clear and as unapologetic as the wind that howled in my face. It felt wonderful. It came from right inside me, it came from all of me.
In every situation, we show parts of ourselves and hide others; that’s a normal part of human interaction. It depends on who we’re talking to, what the activity is, how we’re feeling, and a multitude of other factors.
What so many of us also do, however, is hide or deny parts of our self on an ongoing basis. Especially as women, we know that we often modify our language, verbal and body language, we might make ourselves smaller, we can quieten a voice inside us because it doesn’t fit in the narrative of what we’re ‘supposed’ to be. Perhaps we’re afraid of being regarded as ‘bolshy’, ‘feisty’, ‘bossy’ or any one of the plethora of words used to describe women who step into their power.
Very often, we also deny parts of us even to ourselves.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the interplay between nature and stepping into our full selves, especially as women. And I’ve been thinking about the narratives that I hold around it.
I’ve noticed that as I’ve been starting to communicate my ideas through the lens of Rowan Tree Coaching, I’ve been focusing primarily on the ‘grounding’, calming elements of nature. Indeed, how truly wonderful it is to be still amongst the trees, to feel the peace that comes when we stare up at the stars. I feel so fortunate to engage with this so regularly, and it has most definitely been an integral part of me ‘settling’ inside myself.
Sometimes, however, the wind needs to howl and the waves need to crash. The trees need to lose their branches, and the thunder needs to roar.
Winter needs to bring introspection, just as spring brings us new growth and looking outwards. One couldn’t exist without the other.
Take anger: it can be a driving force – it can energise us to do great things, to bring about great change. It can push us to be part of the solution to an injustice we encounter. We are certainly living in a world right now that is calling more and more for anger to be channeled into positive action – and there are so many that are answering that call.
And there is so much in between – so much in between the light and the dark. In fact, there is whatever you want there to be.
One reason I return to nature time and again, is that it reminds me, sometimes gently and sometimes forcefully, of the full spectrum of what exists and the full spectrum of who we are and who we can be. Nature can give us permission, if we need it, to be any or all of these elements.
The more I embrace and recognize that I ‘contain multitudes’, the more I feel myself and the more I trust myself.
And this is the basis of my coaching – to support you in being unapologetically you.
I will work to celebrate and empower all of the parts of me; all elements of you; all elements of us.
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