…And those who can’t, teach. So the saying goes. I’ve been ‘doing’ and ‘teaching’ for years, but to be honest I’ve always been a little troubled by this phrase. The more so in recent years when I’ve noticed myself doing more of the latter at the expense of the former. To be sure, this drift has been fuelled by demand, that is, requests from people wanting my teaching and training skills, and I have willingly complied… A bird in the hand and all that. It is much easier to say ‘Yes’ than ‘No’, particularly when ‘Yes’ equals ‘Income’.
I have always said that in the area I working teaching could only work if validated by current, practical experience. Whether talking about therapy, conflict resolution, team work, personal development or any of the variations I might be called to lecture on, my credibility relies on current experience, passion for my topic, and the ability to develop practical strategies that I can pass on to others. So although it has sometimes been difficult I have remained a practitioner and resisted the temptation to simply talk about what I do while not actually doing any of it any more.
Still, despite teaching and training demands that have at times made the balance difficult, I have remained a practitioner. But there have been times when I felt I was spreading myself too thin, or that I was too ‘busy’ to reflect or to develop in directions that I am passionate about. So I had long promised myself to seriously review the balance over the summer of 2011. I planned to take three months off to do this. I’m no gardener but I used the metaphor of weeding to describe my plan; if I took the time to clear the weeds I would then see what grew in their place.
Things rarely go exactly to plan and in fact I didn’t find myself sitting in my writing space (more on that another time) musing, nor did I find myself walking my dog as I planned to some of the interesting pubs in the lovely part of the world I live in. I didn’t complete my fourth book, planned and laid out ready for my ‘break’, and I didn’t (quite) finish the two building projects in my garden that I’d been planning to complete.
BUT… I did achieve my absolute goal of seeing where I am going next, and mapping out my route! Life is always a work in progress and so ambition is not an end point only a direction to take. I now have a plan that will take me towards some exciting new things, in fact it already is so watch this space for more announcements.