A few months ago I embarked on The Pro Elephant Rider journey.
In a 7-step-program I learned how to use the Emotional Culture Deck in various settings like at schools, and within families. I can now proudly call myself a Certified EDC Consultant.
In this blogpost I want to share the 5 most significant lessons I learned on this Pro Rider journey.
#1 Self-belief and confidence
The most significant outcome of being on The Pro elephant rider journey has been the change in my self-belief. My confidence has grown not only as a coach and an ECD facilitator, but in all areas of my life. I feel like I am thriving.
I still get those uncomfortable feelings and thoughts like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I don’t know what I am doing’ and ‘what if I fail’.... But I now have better tools to work with my emotions, I just pull out my Emotional Culture Deck which helps take away the overwhelm.
As my confidence and self-belief have grown, I have learned to let go of the idea of the perfect workshop and trying to control the outcome. I have even fallen for the thrill and buzz I get from running a successful workshop!
#2 The importance of having a creative outlet
During the Pro Elephant Rider program, I rediscovered my need and love for having a creative outlet.
The last few years, especially with covid, I have been in survival mode, both in my business and personally. It’s all just been about keeping my head above the water. But during this program I have thrived on the creative challenges of learning how to use The ECD cards and canvas, and the freedom to hack the deck!
I have risen to the challenge and created the Family canvas I hope to use in my charity, The Brain Garden Trust, and I love testing the new canvas with a different family.
#3 Values Vs. Emotions
I have always been interested in my emotions, and for a long time, I was taught to suppress them and praised for being strong, brave and not showing I was anxious or scared.
When I got into coaching, and later ACT therapy, we were taught about the importance of knowing your values, and helping your clients to know theirs so they could live their best lives. For me, the question always was what comes first, emotions or values?
I now believe that emotions, even if we aren’t aware of precisely what emotions we are feeling and why we are feeling them, are the drivers behind our reactions to any give event.
Our Values, I believe, lay on top of our emotions and help us choose what path to take; they help us map out and work towards our goals.
#4 Being vulnerable
One of the critical skills in being an Elephant pro rider is learning to be vulnerable, even when it feels uncomfortable. When I am vulnerable and share my own stories and my learnings, my participants will be more emotionally open with themselves and the others in the workshop, and there is a richness and shared connection.
#5 Trusting in the process of the ECD
Learning to let go and trusting in the Canvas and the ECD cards was hard at first, as I wanted people to think I knew what I was doing, and for the workshop to be perfect. But learning to let go of an expected outcome and trusting in the ECD proved to have far better results for both myself as a facilitator, and the participants.
Personally it has been one of the most rewarding courses and journeys I have been on. I have learnt so much about myself, what drives me and what holds me back from thriving. It has ignited a new passion in helping children and their families gain emotional literacy skills and my hope is that if we can teach children at an early age how to understand and regulate their emotions, they will grown into more resilience and adaptable adults and will have richer and more fulfilling lives.