It’s the final weekend of Supercoach Academy 2016, and as I prepare to say goodbye for now to the graduating class, I feel a mix of emotions. Sadness, at the thought of not getting to see these beautiful people for a while; hope at the thought of the good that they’re doing and will continue to do in the world. Perhaps the most overwhelming feelings are gratitude and awe.
I’m grateful that I get to do this work, waking people up to their creative potential and supporting them in bringing their genius to life. I’m grateful for what this work’s done for me, turning a “high-functioning depressive” into a genuinely happy, creatively expressed human being. And I’m in awe that for all the crap life brings from time to time (and there has been crap, and it has been, well, crappy), it keeps getting better.
When I was reflecting on what I’d like to say to them before they graduate, I realize that there are three phrases that for me sum up the essence of what we’ve been learning about life, ourselves, and doing this work in the world…
- Live it
In the early’90’s, I began teaching personal development seminars in the UK. I felt incredibly alive during those seminars – my senses were heightened and I seemed to know exactly what to do and say. I would fill up with love, and I felt a sense of peace and serenity that not only made life worth living, it made for a life well-lived.
So I did what any person who believed their sense of well-being came from outside them would do – I taught more and more seminars. When I had my first real insight into the inside-out nature of experience, I realized that well-being is innate – part of the factory pre-set for human beings. We’re born happy. Babies don’t need therapy. So I started to do less seminars, but I had a hell of a lot more to say.
There is a deeper part of us that remains untouched by anything and everything that has happened to us throughout our lives. It is our innate health – our deeper mind – the spark within. The more we go inside to the space within, the more beautifully our lives unfold. Our senses become heightened and we live with a greater sense of ease, grace, and flow. We fill up with love, and our presence exudes a sense of peace and serenity that wakes the people around us up to the peace, serenity and wisdom inside them. We align our mind with the deeper mind, and miracles happen.
So the first thing I want to say to the graduating class of Supercoach Academy 2016 is don’t just talk about this stuff – live it.
- Own it
One of the first sentences I wrote in my very first book was “You are the expert on you.” I pointed out that no matter how well-made someone else’s shoes are, they probably won’t fit well on your feet, and that no matter how good a piece of advice seems or how wise a piece of wisdom, the only person who can know what really fits for you is you.
Which is why it’s somewhat embarrassing that my first impulse whenever I feel lost or stuck is to look anywhere but to my own wisdom to find my way out, past, or through. I phone, text, or email one of the many wise teachers or coaches I’m fortunate to have in my contacts list. I browse through one of the hundreds of “life and how to live it” books on my bookshelves, or I go back through my own journals to find out what the me who used to be really smart back when I wrote them would advise the me who actually has the problem on what to do about it.
But every single time I manage to shut myself up, get out of the way, and listen, my own in the moment wisdom flows through. Every. Single. Time. It’s 100% reliable, even if what comes through is 98% unpredictable. So while the wisdom of others can certainly act as a catalyst for your own insight, it’s your wisdom and insight that will teach you how to live your life and light up the path as you go.
In my experience, that wisdom appears more often like a lantern than a lightning bolt. While many of us have had moments where we felt like we could see the whole path unfolding in front of us, most of the time we can only really see the next step. But the next step is the only one you ever need to take – and you’re the only one who can ever really take it.
So the second thing I want to say to the class of 2016 is to “own it”. Own your wisdom. Own your capacity for insight. Own your path.
- Mean it
As a teacher of teachers and coach to coaches, I recognize that it’s easy to talk a good game. Even skeptics are inclined to believe when their eyes are clouded by doubt, pain, and fear or blinded by dollar signs, hope, and greed. So you absolutely can get away with it, at least some of the time.
You can say stuff that you’ve heard or read that you really like and want to be true, and sometimes it even seems to help people. You can take advantage of their need and at times desperation to get out of the mire of an overactive imagination and an underactive to-do list. It’s actually surprisingly easy to please a client.
But here’s the thing…
I get concerned from time to time that I might turn into a charlatan – that words flow so easily for me that I might stop using them as a way of pointing to truth and instead use them to feather my own nest. But the problem with “fake it ‘til you make it” is you’ll always feel like a fraud. And there’s no more solid feeling I know in life than to say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s not always enough to change the world, but more often than not, it’s enough to change a life. And changing lives for the better is our stock in trade.
So the third thing I want to say to the graduating class of Supercoach Academy 2016 is “don’t get away with it – mean it.”
I used to think of myself as “a preacher in search of a gospel”. I knew I was really good at getting people to listen, but I struggled to find things worth saying. When I came across the principles, I thought I’d found my gospel, but I’ve come to see that this understanding is the source of all gospels – the truth beyond the words we use to describe it. I feel like my own journey has only just begun, and I’m delighted for the company of those of you who’ve decided to join me on this path.
I may add a few words here when I share this with them – things specific to the Academy and the experiences they’ve had as a group over the past nine months. But since you’re probably reading this at home, or over coffee, or on your phone on the way to work, I’ll finish with a simple benediction:
May you find the beauty you have hidden inside you,
and may the spark within you ignite and light up the world.
With all my love,