Angels, maybe?

Have you heard the feather fall?
Have you sensed the light at all?

Have you thought where steps will land?
Have you guessed where you will plant?

Plant your roots deep in the ground?
Listen to the hollow sound!
Clapping wings now turn around.

Have you thought of moving on?
Have you known the light of sun?

Have you embraced the love of lion?
Have you braced your soul with iron?

Iron forged in red hot fire?
Watched love fall through wrought desire?
Fiery swords drawn in pure ire?

Have you learned the gentle art?
Have you listened to your heart?

Have you purged heart, mind, and soul?
Hate will always take its toll.

So it took me a year and a half to find the right name for this blog. I have experimented with a couple of more or less cheesy versions. Only now I realised that all I needed was a prayer. The name ‘With Heart, Mind, and Soul’ stems from the beginning of a prayer, I use when asking for guidance:

So I stand before thee with pure heart, pure mind, and pure soul.

This is my starting point for everything. I ask myself, for any action taken: what is my intent?

Of course I trip up, more often than I want to. But my way of finding back, of standing tall, my source of strength, is purity in intent. We all can only act based on our knowledge of a situation at a certain point in time, so there is always more that we don’t know than we do know—particularly when we are working with people. Can I really know my neighbour? But what we can always know, is our intent behind our action. And if this intent comes from a place of love we can heal, and help healing. So this is what I try with various degrees of success.

Therefore, the point to go back to; the unflinching core of being is: I shall stand before thee, with pure heart, mind, and soul.

 

So I am having a bit of a dilemma. I have been working with failing students for years and implemented various successful intervention strategies. Yes, these were informed by my knowledge of pedagogy, developmental, and social psychology, and having worked with troubled children and young adults since I was 16.

So far so good.

Now a colleague asked me, if what I did is transferable and I self-assuredly said of course. My partner laughed at me saying that the skills I have are not transferable, I still remain they are but have been thinking a lot about what it actually is I do when meeting students for 1-2-1 sessions.

Now. I pray.

Before someone comes to see me I focus for a moment, empty my head, my emotions. I basically take a step back, away from ego, and ask for guidance, the ability to offer the best advice possible.

Praying is not a scientific method. Working in higher education I can’t say I pray.

So what else is it then?

Creating room to be entirely in the moment, with the other person. Having emptied my thoughts and my feelings there is space to observe, to take in, to listen, to watch for minute changes in body language. And based on these observations my knowledge in action kicks in and I advice based on this. Students often would respond: that’s exactly what my psychologist/counsellor said.

My answer: and are you doing it?

What stops you?

How can we work on strategies?

I am not a counsellor, or psychologist. I just coach and mentor.

And I pray.

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