By Coach J' , #RideTheWave Alum
Standing ankle-deep in the sea on the pebble beach of Praia Da Garajau in Madeira, I looked as far as my eyes could see. Where the sky appears to blur into the sea, and the clouds created random stepping stones, had me reflecting on my journey to become a qualified coach and mentor - what I should be doing versus what I am doing. Basically, I wanted to have a bit of a pity party. But instead, I had an a-ha moment, and for the first time in years, I felt connected to my vision and dreams. I saw my fears and acknowledged that I am the only person putting limitations on my both my coaching practice and personal life. Beyond how far the eye can see is unlimited possibilities for anyone who dares to look in the distance. Such an overwhelming moment, that renewed my faith in me and unblurred my vision - not only could I see my dreams come true, but I felt its energy in my body.
That moment was quickly broken as a wave came and almost swept me off my feet. But I stood firm, and it felt so good to stand strong against the stone-cold wave that had come up to the shore of the beach and covered my legs - an unpredictable force of nature. As I watched the water recede, I became curious about the formation of a wave and wondered what I could learn from the motion and formation of waves.
Every wave starts from energy passing through water which, comes from the wind and causes the water to move to form a wave. Waves travel and raise to various heights based on the wind and many other variables. Waves are a complex result of an amazing assortment of meteorological and geological variables that are part of an ocean that is never still always moving, very much like us humans.
No two waves are the same, and they travel at different speeds and heights. And because the sea is a never-ending bed of water that is never still, waves will always be formed, and the sea will never be still or free from waves. And, waves support each other – look at the sea – no wave travels alone – that is mind-blowing and magical to me.
The sea holds so much, and each wave that comes from it holds so much too - calm, peace, history, life, depth and the ability to just be. Waves are not perfectly formed, and they never stop moving, neither do they resist or fight against their ability to move freely and seemingly in the same direction.
The waves reminded me of my coaching family - aka Surfers – birthed from the Ride the Wave Coaching Programme, an incredible group of individuals I met just a year ago. I saw their faces in the waves and felt the energy of my elite coaching community. I'm thankful to Lucy and Sonya for having the vision and creating Ride the Wave Coaching Programme. I do believe the coaching profession will be changed because of their vision and desire to challenge the status quo. To change it from a single person profession to a community of coaches, who work in various spaces - commercial, social impact, physical training to name but a few and they do it with laughter a bit of karaoke and a lot of deep reflection.
I'm also thankful for connecting with my fellow coaches. Their collective strength and abilities continue to encourage me and having been coached by them, I know, their clients are in very safe hands and will be fortunate to work with this new wave of coaches.
Becoming a Ride the Wave alumni has been both a learning and reflective journey, which felt overwhelming at times and made me feel inadequate in a room of exceptional individuals. I've pushed and challenged myself to knock down the wall of self-doubt and remind myself of the type of coach I will be/am.
More than just providing a listening space for someone to talk - or not talk, my coaching practice will be an invitation to put your feet in the sea. To engage and connect with your own inner strength and listen to its wisdom as you ride the multiple life waves no matter the depth, height or intensity. It is beautiful to see and hear the transformational process of clients. And, it's humbling to work and watch them reconnect with their greatness but also see their faces light up when they remember how resilient they are. It's what I've learnt about myself during the programme and what I want those who choose to work with me to learn about themselves.
When life gives us waves – we just have to find new ways to stand firm and sometimes we have to relearn how to ride the wave if we get knocked down. Also, we can achieve and dream without limitations as far as we allow our eyes to see.