Rediscovering the FireOctober 4, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Speaking Engagements, Work | Leave a comment
Tags: disability, disability and love, disability and marriage, disability and relationships, disability self advocacy, Megan Cutter, Speaking Engagements, vision, Work
This past weekend, we’ve been at Coach Training Institute (CTI) Fundamentals, a workshop to learn, play with and practice personal and business coaching. We found out about CTI through our own personal coach, Phil Okrend with Stepping Stones Coaching, and through the course of the year, Barton found that coaching and mentoring is a part of what he does naturally, and wanted to explore expanding upon his skills and tools, integrating coaching more fully into his work.
When we first called to register and asked questions about if it would be all right if I came as Barton’s assistant, we actually could feel the fear through the phone lines. It was clear no one had asked the question before. And the administrator was clearly questioning. Could someone with a disability be a life coach? From this individual’s doubt, we then actually began to question if it was the right place and the right path. We were encouraged to sign up for the first class, but to wait to see if it was the right fit before registering for further workshops. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that we persevered through that process- this training was clearly where Barton needed to be.
Throughout the weekend, I saw the excitement and inspiration return to Barton’s eyes. He was on fire. He had found this space that encouraged and inspired him, pushed him further into new areas, redefining and introduced him to new skills, and a foundation and framework to work within. As one of the instructors said, he had come home.
The first day, I translated quite a bit, especially when Barton spoke within the large group or one-on-one practice sessions because it was difficult to hear with background noise. Slowly over the course of the weekend, I backed off more and more, and there was a more direct connection. By Sunday, I was able to fully let go, stepping out for the majority of the day.
What was so interesting was that I was working on my own stuff throughout the weekend. For example, I am on Barton’s line of thought so much, I tend to finish his sentences, which can be cute until I overstep my bounds and not let Barton finish talking (I can do this quite a bit). During one of the practice sessions, I could feel the energy rise to my throat and get stuck there, because I wanted to speak for Barton. I began to breathe, allowing the energy to come back down, and allow myself to be guided by Barton telling me when I needed to translate and when I needed to back off. And Sunday morning when I was working on a project in the hotel room, I also had to let go of the thoughts running through my head- will people understand Barton? Do I need to be there? Of course, he’s fine- he’s Barton! I don’t need to be there. There was so much freedom in fully letting go, and I know this was true for Barton as well.
What a privilege it was to be a part of this weekend, and I’m excited to see where things will go, what will be ignited from this process.