Existential Thinker Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed in the late 19th century that “God is dead”, to point to the fact that the Church and religion had lost significant power and influence as a result of the enlightenment age. The rise of science and reason offered alternative ways to explain the world, and this had a profound effect on human experience.
When I was working for the School of Life pre-pandemic, I remember Alain de Botton point out in one of the class materials that our relationship with meaning and purpose took a turn during this time. While watching a recent WiseCrack episode it dawned on me that during that time many people had also lost their way to get things off their chest, and it paved the way for helping-by-talking practices such as therapy.
I’m probably preaching to the choir when I emphasise just how important it is to have an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. Add in non-judgement, empathy and positive regard, and you’ve got yourself a powerful cocktail of psychological wellbeing.
Most friends, parents, managers and, yes, also many therapists and coaches, don’t just hold space to air what’s on your mind. With usually best intentions they try to actively help, when sometimes (often?) we just need to be listened to, and emphasised with, without judgement, just being with us.
Now sometimes we need an intervention, we want to accelerate, we want someone’s input, we want guidance, someone else’s perspective, a helping hand. A God can’t give that to us, a person-centred therapist won’t, many coaches can’t help but to do that.
And I’m not knocking it. It might just be exactly what we want and need right now. But I think it depends on where we’re at.
What I am certain of is that a regular space to air our “stuff” and let it all out is just incredibly helpful. Think of it as basic maintenance of your mind, decluttering, pulling out the weeds in your garden while they’re still small, or going to the toilet to avoid constipation.
Letting it out regularly helps us stay healthy and well. And there are many ways we can do that.
Therapy isn’t just for people with issues. It’s a space to air what’s on our mind.
Journaling is many people’s choice of doing just that. Your journal won’t judge you.
Art, poetry, dance, any form of expression is a form of that too.
And yes, you guessed it, coaching can be such a space too – if your coach is the kind of coach who understands that this may be what you need today, and lets it happen instead of intervening.
I’m gonna leave it here, and invite you to reflect on the spaces that you have in your life where you can release your shit (pun intended).
Next event: IFS Coaching Master Class
I’m excited to announce a live IFS Coaching Lab with a true master of his craft on June 6th 2023! The IFS approach is truly inspiring and very powerful, and next month we’ll see Guthrie work for 45min, followed by reflections and Q&A, plus experimental breakouts.
Watch this teaser interview with Guthrie if you want to get a sense for what’s to come.