'Complicité’ is a kind of pocket in which you can both find yourselves in. Where you can get in touch with the great river of life, and the abundant possibilities that open up. And neither of you are really in charge, leading, coaching, but you're both just leaning into the unknown, and the possible.' - Dave
This is a collaborative case study based on six coaching sessions. I am coaching Dave, who is thinking through a personal project around running. Below you will find short video and written reflections from both of us on coaching collaboratively, being activists for our planet and awake to our bodies.
You will find a transcript of our responses here.
Video footage and photography by David Heinemann.
What is your relationship to your body and the planet?
I know we talked about fluidity, and gender and being transgender. And what it means when your body talks to you. I’m learning to listen. I’m curious what my body’s rhythms can teach me about what my schedule looks like. I think my gender comes from somewhere else. It’s boundless. It’s not bound in this body. And so, my relationship to my body and fluidity comes from somewhere deeper. A physical transition is one way to experience fluidity, and there are so many other ways. The point for me is to continue to listen. I see this listening when I take care of my cats, and when I water the garden after a long sunny day. What is the care I can give to the little patch of land I live on?
What is your activism? What is the relationship between outer and inner work?
I was born to do inner work. It’s just my thing. Dreamwork, tarot, long-term therapy, coaching, exposure therapy, clowning. I continue to find new tools and ways to explore who I am and discover how I am in relation to the world. I’ve been reading about genetic memory. It makes me think about grandma and grandpa and the people who came before them. And what I know about them is that they lived on the land, worked the land, just by themselves, their village and the wide horizon. Inner work gets me in relationship with what came before me, and helps me show up healthily to what the world is right now. The more I know myself, the more I can know you.
What is a partnership to you?
Gosh. It’s honesty. Constant showing up. Not being afraid to see what needs to be changed about me. Understanding how I am impacting you. Understanding how you impact me. Putting words to what I feel, and what I need. Sharing these. It’s saying this is who I am, and this who you are, and this is what we’re learning about who we are together. How do we need to be with each other, so that we can spontaneously be ourselves? How do I need to change? And how do you need to change? It’s constantly asking the question who are we together and what are we together for?
What is enough?
I think the way we framed this question was around what are the boundaries to a relational approach to coaching, where the coach shows up as a regular person, vs a neutral presence. I think we decide what is enough together, in constant negotiation and communication. What is enough today will be different to what is enough tomorrow. We found out together. We probed and tested and asked more of each other, we asked for adjustments and we talked about our needs. We talked about what we were there to do and I think that defined the boundaries to our work and what we shared.
What did you learn?
To bring myself to work not only as a coach but as a person. To be ok with the fact that sometimes I want to have the answers and share them with you. And that sometimes I want to have my learning validated. I learnt to more often risk being vulnerable, playful and genuine. To risk being imperfect. I learnt that sharing my knowledge and perspective can be valuable. I learnt to share what I’ve learnt, what I’m learning and contribute the experience I have gained.