In my morning pages, I was writing about marketing for The Inner Resources Workshop. I was feeling fed up, not knowing whether the seeds I was planting were taking root or rotting. I inadvertently began a self-coaching session using Clean Language Questions.
Me: I don’t know where we’re going.
Coach Me: Where do you want to go?
Me: To a rainbow.
Coach Me: What kind of rainbow?
Me: It has different colours and different pots of gold at each end and when you go to one and collect it, you can travel along the rainbow and go to the other end and collect and go back again and there’s more gold, always more.
Coach Me: And what kind of gold is that?
Me: Rich learning. Everybody learns. We all collect gold when we travel along the rainbow.
Coach Me: And is there anything else about the different colours?
Me: I think my drawing [photo above] might be representing the rainbow and the collecting gold. It’s a held space, a safe space to explore in and the gold is weird because everyone’s version is different and there are some emotions and what seem like negative emotions in there too. The colours are the exercises. We’ve put so much work into them and we’re testing them. We’ve tested the bridge on ourselves and I really want to see if it works for others but no-one has booked and it’s still a month away but I really want people to come and try it.
Coach Me: And what kind of come and try it?
Me: Commit to exploring themselves. Maybe words like “transformative” are not helpful. Maybe something lighter, like the first round of feedback we got.
Coach Me: What about the red box?
Me: That’s the ground rules that we set together. They create the safe space for the rainbow to emerge.
Coach Me: And what happens before the ground rules create a safe space?
Me: We welcome people. We prepare; we put hours and hours into preparing.
Coach Me: And what kind of preparing?
Me: Running through the workshop, preparing handouts, running order, materials for exercises, where we’ll put stuff, what we’ll do if there aren’t enough people for a particular exercise, what we’ll do if we run out of time at various points, how we’ll handle strong emotions, what kind of snacks would be beneficial, all sorts of things. We test the exercises after we tweak them.
Coach Me: And is there anything else about preparing?
Me: Yes, it’s like a bubble of comfort. We’ve done our best to prepare for what we know; the rest, the unknown, will unfold and we’ll respond as best we can in the moment and that’s where the magic happens.
Coach Me: What kind of magic?
Me: The kind of magic where people join in and learn things, like the drawing exercises – you get to be like a child, draw with your non-preferential hand and be curious about what you’ve drawn and suddenly you see a part of yourself that you weren’t aware of before or you realise that bit you thought was un-resourceful is full of resources and the Clean Language Questions help you unlock them. I’m really excited about the new ‘bridge’ exercise because of that. People will leave with a deeper sense of who they are and that’s priceless.
I’ve reproduced the words above exactly as written in my morning pages, despite feeling a little vulnerable about exposure. The Clean Language Questions helped me get into the detail of my rainbow metaphor for the workshop, which gave me a deeper sense of the workshop, allowing me to switch out of “marketing-panic” mode and feel inspired to use my writing as a blog post. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to join the workshop? You’ll learn how to use Clean Language Questions as well as deepening your self-knowledge.