When I changed my practice to go from a solo healer to facilitating courses and classes, there were many new goodies for me to integrate into my style. The experience with coaching Joelene through The Sacred and Safe Leadership course highlights one of the sophisticated ways that my own gifts grew to embrace and support this practice.
One of the ways I am honoured to recognise that I truly am a teacher is creating an environment for complex and intrepid souls to discover themselves. I may have built the ship and given them a compass but for some Sacred and Safe Leaders, they carve out their own adventure.
Joelene was one of these students.
From bud to potpourri, a rose is beautiful in all its stages but Joelene’s story has her like a bloom in time-lapse photography, on repeat; an astonishing transformation.
When Joelene first came to class, she was like a Pass the Parcel from one of those childhood parties that are full of golden potential and joy. She was a treasure wrapped in many layers, containing presents mostly unknown, even to herself. One of the most moving and deeply satisfying experiences for me as a teacher and coach for her was watching those layers peel off, and with each wrapping shed, we found profound gifts waiting for Joelene.
These gifts waited for her to recognize, know, breathe in and receive. These were gifts of her deepest nature that had been neglected, hidden and stashed away all of her life, repackaged as symbolic and accessible talents.
The Joelene that facilitates today is in many ways unrecognizable to the Joelene that entered the Sacred and Safe Leadership program. She came with a lot of courage, she had not worked or studied with me before, but had this calling, and trust to follow that calling without knowing why.
Leaping into a program this way is a powerful act.
Our deepest nature hears that as a call to respond with equal measure.
And when the final round of music was played and Joelene was the one left holding the parcel, she unwrapped the final gift of naming, a coming of self, she is – ‘The Truth Seeker Through the Dreaming’.
Joelene can span many different worlds at once.
She is a highly sensitive being. She is a manager in a highly stressed regional healthcare system. She is a successful artist, a mother, and a partner. She has already lived many different lives and cultivated many skills and abilities in her everyday life. What Joelene needed most was to be liberated and unfold the non-mainstream elements of who she is, the sources of her power and to find ways to use them in her own facilitation style. This is exactly the kind of situation that I crafted The Sacred and Safe Leadership course to deal with and overcome.
In this program, I watched Joelene go from being someone who was nervous and unsure about herself as a facilitator, hidden and shy to becoming one of the most authentic and powerful, sacred space holders in the program. The space she holds is like being held by the earth itself – it is deep and it is wide, like being held by the sacred feminine, the infinite mother herself. In her space you relax, and you feel safe. She has begun to facilitate in one of my other programs and those students who work with her tell me they have never felt as safe as they have done in her space.
On this planet, there are multitudes that hunger to be held in this way by Joelene.
Joelene is not what you would expect.
On the outside is this accomplished mother and manager, and inside her, the stars whirl and power ignite. She is complex and deep. She is knowing and unrelenting in the quest to follow her soul even if her soul leads her off the everyday path and into the dark forest. She will go regardless, the call is immense and she has no choice.
Joelene came into the program with no ideas about what she wanted to do beyond her mainstream work. Her hidden gifts kept pulling at her. At the end of the program, she knew she wanted to do something with art and therapy, devoting her work to women and children who have suffered from domestic violence. She wanted to bring sacred space to those who have their lives shattered and destroyed in the violence.
It is light of the depth of this calling that is clear to me now why Joelene felt choiceless in leaping into the unknown container of the Sacred & Safe program.
Joelene benefited from this program by cultivating a powerful awareness of what Trauma is, what it looks like, what a trauma edge is and how dissociation works. She was able to map lingering trauma patterns in herself, appreciate and understand herself, and heal.
She learned she had the strength and power through process work skills to navigate through her own trauma edges and in a safe and loving way to set herself free. The power she gained moved her swiftly forward on her path.
Because she had to hold such deep, hurt and vulnerable parts of her own traumatized self so tenderly she is now able to bring the same level of care and delicate compassion to those places for others – unafraid to meet them, go there and be with you in the deepest darkness of your hurt. She is a true, brave, maker of soul light.
It is this courage to go into the dark and heal the dark when woven with her energetic skills, tracking, and light holding makes Joelene so unique – to hold in one hand the darkness you have experienced and bring to it the light of her own knowing, her own soul, and that which she is connected to beyond herself – and to meet those places in you with grace.
Joelene knew she needed courage, hope and trust to enter the Sacred & Safe Leadership program. She would face fierce fears and inner figures that had kept her small – she would need to work these edges, navigate them and find her inner boldness and true desire and authenticity to motivate her to cross them.
Joelene had spent half a lifetime hiding her real self, she has described herself as being, “terrified if she knew how much she was about to be seen” but was “also deeply yearning to finally be seen”. She was “about to enter a level of authenticity and safety in herself that she never knew was possible.”
She wrote, that she felt “Safe to be, and know who I am, learn to be the new me”. And I want to end with a quote from Jolene about the energy of the Sacred & Safe program itself because I heard it strike a gong inside the temple we share, ‘Sacred & Safe Leadership feels like swelling of healers who can go deep with those living the torment of trauma. An army gathering, strengthening, expanding and cultivating deep love to heal humanity.’
Sing it, Sister!
All of us have hidden gifts like this. Some are partly known. Some are kept for specific situations and relationships. Some are used for certain tasks. To allow them to blossom and serve us is key to a fulfilling and meaningful life.
If you would like to be seen in this way and nurtured so your unique gifts can flourish, I have created a program for that and you can join me there.
Unfurl more about Joelene’s journey here in this video below 👇🏼