EPISODE EIGHT- "YOU ARE THE TECHNOLOGY"
"The goal is not to get it right, the goal is to be less affected when you get it wrong."
- Marcel Allbritton, Ph. D
Host of Doing Differently & Founder of Core Resonance Works
Episode 8: "You Are The Technology" - How a Guided and Supported Practice Makes You a Better Healing Practitioner
A Conversation With Megan Murk
Working with someone to support your development and having a guided practice can help you regulate your human system, have more capacity, and be a more effective healing practitioner. Do you have a daily guided practice for yourself? Learn about how a daily practice can help you both personally and professionally.
In this episode, Marcel welcomes back health and wellness coach Megan Murk to talk about the importance of having a guided personal practice and how working with someone to support your personal and professional development can benefit you as a healing practitioner. Having a daily practice helps refine your system and allows you to see more clearly when working with clients. As a healing practitioner, you are the technology; your body and mind are all tools to help you help your clients succeed. Having a daily practice helps ensure your own stability with that process. Tune in to hear Megan and Marcel talk about how their daily practices have helped them, and get some tips about how you can start one for yourself.
Here are some highlights from the conversation with Megan to help you understand what a guided practice can do:
Megan mentions the analogy of a buoy floating in water- the water may be choppy or calm, but the buoy has the anchor to help it stay grounded
The personal practice is the anchor for the buoy- in other words- this practice helps you stay grounded during situations with your clients
Having a guided practice can help practitioners know themselves better and minimize when their own identifications are interfering with their ability to see and support their clients
Being overly identified with something can make it harder to see clearly
Quality of presence for the practitioner is important when working with clients- having a guided practice can help you stay grounded and present in the moment with clients
Some of the benefits of having a guided practice include:
Not getting as "charged" or "activated" in social and professional situations
Being able to be both alert and at ease with clients
Being able to see what is happening with clients more clearly
A guided practice helps you "have your experiences" in of "your experiences having you"
If you haven't yet listened to Episode 7, with Janice Cathey, please be sure to check it out! This episode discusses how Janice created a healing-based business and introduces our first sponsor Core Resonance Works.
Megan Murk, MA, NBC-HWC, is a Coach & Educator who is passionate about the intersection of Coaching & Emotional Well-being. Megan has a Masters Degree in Integrative Health Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She entered the world of health and well-being after sustaining a life-changing knee injury in 2010. Through that experience, her world was opened to an inclusive, mind-body understanding of life, living and an individual's ability to inform their own trajectory. During this time she was introduced to yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda and from studying those approaches, she changed her perspective from health being about discipline and 'mind over matter' to a concept of well-being as something that can be defined and cultivated over time.
Megan is a certified Health and Wellness Coaches and serves as a mentor for the National Board for the Credentialing of Health & Wellness Coaches (NBHWC). She is a Founding Member of Wave, and a co-creator of the Coach Collaborative.
What is Wave?
Wave is an emotional health platform that gives you the tools to navigate life’s challenges. Dr. Sarah Adler, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford, created Wave to make evidence-based emotional health care available to everyone. Especially those traditionally left out (e.g. BIPOC and LGBTO+ communities).
What is Coach Collaborative?
The Coach Collaborative was born out of a conversation around a fire pit between three Coaches, both colleagues and friends who recognized the need to bring Coaches together to connect, learn, and expand as individuals and as a community to support ourselves, each other, and the advancement of the Coaching field.
Doing Differently - Episode 8 - Transcript
Please excuse any typos. This transcript was generated using an AI program.
Marcel: So Megan, it's great to have you here again on the podcast. And I'm with Megan Murk, who is a leader in the field of integrative health. She's also a health coach who focuses on emotional wellbeing. And Megan and I have worked together for many years in the study and practice of yoga. And one of the reasons Megan is on the show again, is because with this podcast, as with healing, a lot of it is about experiences and relationships. And Megan and I have been working as I said, practicing and studying, healing together for, for many, many years. So I'm having Meghan as a guest again, and hopefully at some point she may be willing to join even yet, again, to talk about some of our common experiences and experience with healing. So welcome Megan.
Megan: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Marcel: Do you want to also just say a bit more about what you're working on and what you're doing?
Megan: Yeah. So I- I am a trained health and wellness coach and I work specifically in the area of emotional wellbeing. And I've done that for the last seven years or so with a few different companies who are all trying to crack common barriers of access for mental health when it comes to geography, stigma, and cost. And the current company that I'm at, which is called Wave is looking to create a new type of solution specifically for Gen Z, that has a lot of great kind of ecosystem orientation to it. So a lot of different components, a lot of different opportunities to engage because we believe that emotional wellbeing in this case is experienced daily. And we want to help people to be able to have a variety of ways to support that.
We also have a coach training program, which helps us to achieve our umbrella mission of increasing access to emotional wellbeing for all people. And so I work on both sides, both with kind of the design of the coaching experience within the ecosystem and the design of the coach training program as well.
Marcel: Thank you. So, you know, what you just shared is really related to our conversation today, because what I wanted to talk about was as a practitioner, a healing practitioner the importance of having a guided personal practice and working with someone where you have a practice that's helping to regulate your system, helping to give you a little bit more capacity.
But also helping you to show up in a, in a healing based way in your work and your life. I often refer to this as coming from principles of healing. Obviously a lot of what we're talking about today is based in yoga that's the body of knowledge that we've been working from and with that's guided a lot of these practices, but a lot of what we're talking about also is the process of healing and understanding healing and how and why it works and how to support others in that process.
So what I thought we would do today is basically talk about this big question, which is: How does having a guided personal practice help us as healing practitioners in the work we do both personally and professionally? And answer that big question from a couple of different perspectives, or facets and yeah. So why don't we, we just start by each sharing a little bit from our own individual perspectives about how a practice helps us and supports us. But you're also feel free to start in any way you'd like to given what I just shared.
Megan: Yeah. I think, I think that it's the word that I always kind of talk about, especially with when thinking about clients too, is thinking about it as kind of like anchors, right?
Like what are kind of anchors that help us to stay grounded and calm and to be able to be responsive versus reactive throughout, you know, the variety of activities that happen in a day. And an image that always kind of comes up is sort of like a buoy sort of floating in the water and the water could be really calm and the water could also be really choppy and the buoy is still there.
Right. It's maybe bobbing and weaving a little bit more if it's choppier water, but it does have that anchor down to help it stay relatively grounded and in place. And when it comes to personal practices like this, I definitely think that the reason we do them is or I should say the reason I do it is for that anchor. Right is to know that in the course of the day, right, the winds can kick up the water gets choppy tides come in and out. There's like, you know, it can take that metaphor, a whole variety of, of degrees, of degrees of depth. But I do think that ultimately the practices kind of help to form the anchors, which helped to keep us able to kind of orient and operate as best as we can in a variety of conditions.
Marcel: I liked that metaphor because it's almost speaking to a kind of a kind of grounding or a way of gaging your own stability or your own- what I think of the metaphor I use a lot is about how we obviously have our own patterning and conditioning and our own experiences. And when we work with clients, a big part of what we're trying to do is make sure that we have some discernment that lets us differentiate between our stuff and what we're helping them with. And you know, to me this is, I'm going to describe it a little bit different. You gave this beautifully concrete example. I'm going to give a real abstract one. So we think of it as, as identification, like the degree to which we're overly identified with something is the degree to which we're not seeing it as clearly.
And so for me my practice helps me see more clearly the client that is in front of me and see more clearly the dynamics of the way I'm seeing them. So it helps me have almost a kind of independence from being too identified with them. You know, one of the this, this master teacher in my lineage, I was T. K. V. Desikachar. I was fortunate enough to watch him like work with some clients. And one of the things he often did was when, when he's interacting with the client and they would say things, he would, he, his response would be, oh, I see. So his response was more of I'm hearing you, but it was not like going into their story. So. So, I guess that's part of what I might say is my practice helps me maintain a perspective that lets me see what's happening for me and also what's happening for the client.
Megan: I think that, that as like a secondary kind of way of, of looking at it makes a lot of sense. And I think what it makes me think of is that there's a variety of types of practices for a variety of functions sometimes. So when we were talking about like a sort of practice, I was thinking of that anchor and buoy analogy in kind of a base level way, but then, like you're saying, for people who work directly with clients, there might be more specific types of things or more depth oriented to a, to a practice that really helps to like, operate on that personal and professional level.
Marcel: Yeah. I like, I resonated with the way you unpack that. The phrase I use is that in, in more traditional systems of healing, we are the technology. Like if you, if you look at different ends of the continuum, like you, you walk into an ICU and there's machines everywhere, the technology, a lot of it is external and. With, with traditional healing. A lot of the, the technology is in the practitioner and it's in the practitioners ability to, to shape and influence their, their, their technology, their, their earth suit, their ability to sense and see, and do these things that is what is contributing to a lot of the effectiveness. So it's kind of like, it's, it's a compliment to what you're saying about how it's a responsibility, but it's also that is how we're effective. So, how do you, how do you unpack this, this sort of perspective about we are the technology?
Megan: I think of it. I mean, I I'm in a unique position of Having to began begun working with you. While I was also learning and training to be a coach at the same time. And one of the things that's very true about coaching, especially from a scope of practice and ethics perspective is that we are, our function is to be a neutral third party, essentially, right, or not a neutral third party to be a neutral party to in terms of our opinion, our perspective, our beliefs, when we work with individual people or in groups, our role is to facilitate and to help be a knowledgeable guide, a counterpart, a companion for somebody on a change journey.
But it's, it's really not about us. It's a client centered approach. It's their agenda, it's their wishes, right? It's very, very client driven and client focused that way. When I kind of think of this as like we are the technology. The interesting thing for me, for myself is to start to notice, when do I start to slip out of that? Right? When does it, when does it become easier maybe to, to provide information or to want to help somebody get over a hurdle to, you know, to something that they're trying to do in a way that I aren't, I'm not as fully in my role to facilitate the experience and maybe feeling tempted or pulled, or like, it would just be easier if I nudge them in a certain direction or if I help in a certain way.
And so from kind of an awareness perspective, noticing that is really key and really important because that's data that tells you something about kind of where you're at and maybe how, what they're talking about is like challenging or triggering for you in any sort of way. But that's where I think of it in that sense is kind of noticing within the role. Like when do you, when, when might somebody start to feel a pull to come out of the role, right. Or to come out of their their function or their, their service within a conversation, or w when working with a client, and also to note that that can happen again, like in this specific conversation that is usually though a culmination of a variety of different things that are influencing you that day, or that week, et cetera, et cetera. So it comes from a lot of awareness to really notice, like when might there, when might you feel those poles, or when might it seem tempting to do it vert, and then how do you respond to that? And also, how do you help yourself to not get to a place where like, those polls are happening as frequently? Does that make sense?
Marcel: It does, but, but you know, maybe we can unpack it a bit further and you can clarify, but to me there's an elephant in the room here. When we talk about this and the elephant in the room is that we are there, we are in front of the client. It is us. And the other part of that elephant is, or maybe the other elephant is that sometimes in a therapeutic and a healing context, the most powerful thing you can do is be your own authentic personnel.
Megan: No. I, I agree with that. I see this as slightly different. So I'm happy to help with clarifying where, where the experience we have in sitting in front of somebody, whether it be in person or virtual or on the phone or anything like that. The way that feels for us is, is data it's information, right? It tells us something about kind of what's going on. It kind of gives you again, more of that sourced information, if you will, around those dynamics you were mentioning earlier. And there's a way to be authentic with that in a in the capacity of the role you're in. And there's a way to shortcut your role or shortcut the function of your role based on how that's making you feel.
And so I think that that's where I would, I would distinguish those as different where the. You know, how you notice the information, how do you use that information? How that feeds into an experience so that it is really timely and authentic for you and for the client you're working with is really important. But I think from an awareness perspective, what you don't want to have happen is how you're feeling like detract from your ability to function in your role. I understand. Yeah. And if it is like a really bad day and it's just like, I can't do that today, then, you know, the ethical thing is to reschedule. That's not to try to push through.
Marcel: Yeah. So a way of kind of like interpreting this is that having a daily practice actually helps you in the negate navigation of, of that role and having discernment of around it and being able to kind of be aware in yourself when, as a practitioner that is compromised.
Megan: Or it could compromise, or it could compromise, it could have a, there could be a temptation to take a shortcut rather than to really honor the process.
Marcel: Yeah. I don't, I don't know whether it's the best way, like to talk about like the value of a personal practice as you know, personally and professionally as a practitioner, a healing practitioner is to compare and contrast it to like, not having one or comparing, you know the approach of conventional allopathic medicine with anxious systems of healing. But what I do find it's, that's kind of interesting is that when I see clients, the most important thing for me is what's in front of me even more. Then the, the theory I'm working with or how what's guiding my assessment of the data. And, you know, to me, that's where I see the most benefit of having a personal practice that's guided if your system is better regulated and more refined, you actually are able to see more and feel more incense more. And so like, for example, I know in there's this whole notion of trial and error, where as opposed to what the research says, you just, you try it out and see if it works in the context of yoga therapy, trial and error is the primary approach because you're working with the data that's right in front of you.
So Yeah. What's your, what's your reflection on the importance of, of that being that what's happening in front of you and what you're perceiving as being the most important? I guess you could say data point, not sure, but yeah,
Megan: I think I think that it is a huge data point and I think speaking from my experience, the it feels very, and you know, this may be very personal, but it feels very fluid to track that with information. Right. So you're kind of listening to what people saying you're tracking like maybe it's like readiness to change. You're tracking like internal beliefs or you're tracking like, you know ways in which they're thinking, maybe biased ways in which their emotional state or their physical state is influencing their ability to be present or to like, you know, to operate in a certain way. So it's almost like this this data is all coming towards you and you're synthesizing it and you're tracking it. Or for me, it's like tracking it to a variety of different types of things or mapping it to a variety of different types of theories or inputs, or, and again, also mapping it to the historical conversation you've had with this person.
Like, what have you learned about them? How is that, you know, how does that fit into what you're talking about in general? And so I think that the I think that it definitely is that the data that's in front of you is very important and central and influencing. And personally I think that the degree to which As a practitioner, your system is balanced and you're in this, you know, really more grounded place, better able to see it makes you more effective because it helps you to draw those connections better than not. And I think that sometimes right, we can imagine that somebody is like and I've seen this with like some, some people that I've trained or some people that I've, I've helped from a coaching capacity is there they're listening to somebody talk. And the only thing they're remembering is the end of the like, blurb, right?
The person's kind of going on and on and on for, you know, maybe a couple of minutes about what's happening. And the only thing that the coach in this case is tracking is the last part. They said they miss something huge in the beginning. Right. Of, of what something was that holds a lot of meat to come back to, if you will, and really kind of think about what is that telling you that earlier part of the conversation.
So in some ways I think of this as almost like. This is maybe a weird thing to think about, but from like a digestive capacity, what is it like to sit across from somebody to take all that in, to digest it? And then again, to think about like, what does that mean for the work that you're doing with them? What does that influence is the next step? Does that kind of change the vision a little bit? Is this a huge personal insight you really want to capitalize on? And a lot of the time, again, when clients can kind of get into a little bit of their, like, you know, opening monologue of everything that's happened since the last time you've spoken to them, they can miss some of their own opportunities to like, be proud of themselves, or to notice that something that did change and what they've described, and to notice that that did have a good impact.
And so I think as the, again, in a coaching capacity as a provider, that's, that's, my job is to synthesize and digest all of this and to help connect it to the arc of the conversation that we've had. And I know for myself that the. The degree to which I feel able to do that is highly influenced by my own practice and highly influenced by you know, like my physical environment at the same time, you know, I have like a, a tennis ball that I'm holding while we're talking, because touching something really helps me to like focus in on what I'm listening to.
Sometimes it's a chapstick tube. Sometimes it's like you know, a stack of pennies, like whatever it is, but it's kind of setting up my system and my physical space to really be able to do that processing and digesting to serve them as best as I can.
Marcel: Yeah. So going back to the whole idea of like the primary data being what's in front of you, I like the way you described it. And I agree with that in that we're actually fitting our training and our knowledge and our Our, our, our experience, we're tracking it and fitting it to what we're seeing, but the distinction is what's primary. And that is what we are seeing and perceiving and sensing in our client. And as you, you talked about also how, which is such a very good point.
There's not just what is happening at the time. There's our kind of understanding of our client and their, their dynamics, their intricacies, their, their their way of showing up. And you notice, I didn't use like intellectual terms to describe it in a, as a symptom, because this is an important distinction at first. There's just the observation. But then we draw conclusions. And I think what I found to be very interesting is you mentioned this earlier in our conversation about looking in a holistic way, looking at the whole system, as opposed to the reduced parts. But in my training, there was a a time where we were told to observe. And what was very interesting is that almost all of us very quickly we're concluding and yet thought we were still observing, you know, like you talked about the synthesis. And so I guess the idea is to have where this makes sense for me is the, having a personal practice, a guided personal practice. It helps us see more clearly. It helps us see in a more nuanced way, not just the client in front of us, but our own self. In terms of what is happening. And as a result of that, when we go then to the synthesis and the, the, the taking what we're observing, and then having it be informed by our training, our education, our experience, et cetera, it is more effective because the lead came from our understanding of ourselves and our are seeing the dynamics of ourselves and seeing our client.
Megan: Well, because I also think that, you know, sometimes the helpful way to understand and understand something is to think of the inverse. And I think we've all been in situations with some sort of provider where they're totally. There, right? Like they're, they're agitated, they're tired. They're unfocused, they're rushed, they're hurried, right? Like you know, a classic thing in coaching and a lot of other, you know, like even with therapy and other approaches is people just really want to feel seen and heard. Right. And so the degree to which we help to refine our state to help that, to happen in this facilitated way, depending on our profession, depending on the conversation is huge. And I think what's fascinating is we all know what it's like when that doesn't happen. And so it's interesting to think about what are the conditions that support it happening. And I think that for myself, right that's what's interesting is again, that looks a specific way with clients. Generally, that looks a specific way with each client individually, right. Based on how they track, if I'm seeing and hearing them accurately, but then also happens in every single interaction in day-to-day life. Right? So whether that's with, you know non-clients but other coworkers or colleagues that I have, if that's with my right, my partner, my friends, my family, et cetera, et cetera, like that's always happening. And so I think what's, what's fascinating is to think about how and this is kind of what I was meaning a little bit about like also the specific practice ahead of client sessions is because I think that for me, knowing that it's happening all the time, the way I prep to show up in one way is intentional in that sense.
And the way that I prep to show up in a different capacity or relationship structure is also intentional, but that's, it's a little bit different based on kind of what's called of me and that are called for me in that situation. But I think ultimately the base practice, right, the general, like the, the foundational practice is, is that anchor for myself in general. And then there's these more specific like nuances or applications.
Marcel: Yeah, I think like to your point about, we know that the strongest impact of, of, of, of therapy is like most of the effect comes from the being seen and heard, like being witnessed. And the state of our system has a lot to do with how much of that is happening when we're practitioners. And I mean, I don't know the percentage, but it's pretty high about, regardless of the modality, a lot of the effectiveness of any kind of therapeutic session is simply the, the presence, the listening, the relationship, the connection, and the other thing, when we have a practice, it's not just about our ability to see clearly and not be agitated, but it's also about our quality of presence. There's this phrase of holding space that often is kind of vague and ambiguous. And in fact, a lot of these English doesn't have a lot of terms for some of these kinds of things about like quality of presence and holding space and, and like I guess almost these dynamics of very deep listening. So yeah, I appreciated the way you, you brought those two together. What's your sense of how having a guided practice. Pronounced that wrong. What's your sense of how having a guided practice has helped you as a professional in integrative health? Not just with seeing clients, but in your work?
Megan: Yeah, I mean, I, I think it's, like I said before, I'm beginning to do this when I was early in my training means I kind of don't know what it's like to not have it because it's, it's, it's evolved in a coat a co-evolutionary way over the last, like 12 years. And I what I continue to be grateful for with it is. For how it allows me to show up and operate in ways that kind of otherwise don't have an explanation kind of a thing. So like whether it is in a conversation with you know, people whose, whose training and skillset is wildly different than mine, like a programmer and engineer, right. Something that I can appreciate, but I really don't know the technique. I don't understand like the language. I don't know how to do it. Or kind of engaging in conversations with. I'm trying to maybe facilitate understanding or facilitate planning and process, you know, process orientation. It's interesting to kind of watch and feel myself in, in the room. So to speak again in these variety of, of needs or what's being called of me or what's, what's the capacity I'm aiming to show up in. And my ability to do that without getting like super, super charged, like sometimes it happens. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna say that it's, it doesn't happen, but there's just this much better ability to notice and check myself on these things and to, to maybe let that like, you know, adrenaline, surge come and sit through. And then to continue to be able to speak and to aim, to speak slowly and to aim, to really kind of listen deeply and to aim, to really serve the needs of the conversation more so than the needs of myself. And it's not to say again, that I'm trying to ignore, ignore those. I'm trying to be really real about them. From a capacity perspective. It's like this will be another fun visual, but it's like a two-way tunnel where there's like my internal stuff. That's coming out. There's other stuff that's coming in. And it's, again, it's holding the container to still try to do both. And I've mentioned, you know, for example sometimes coming to work meetings, like after our sessions where, you know, you and I talk about the goal is to be that mix of alert and at ease.
And I think that that's something that I feel like continued confidence in the ability to crack that level and to get there. And I, and, you know, in full respect to all the wonderful people that I've ever worked with in my life, like I can see where that's not happening for them. And I can see the impact of that not happening in a way that has an influence, right. On a meeting. It has an influence on a conversation. It has an influence on a relationship and And it's interesting because again, I think for, for some of these different people, there's not an understanding that it could be different, right? Like this is, this is the base level assumption.
Marcel: Yeah. Part of, part of why this is, is because all of this is experiential.
It's not informational. When we say a guided personal practice, the idea is that it's anchored in the experiences that you're having. And those experiences of practice are what are shaping your earth suit. So you, you know, the point is a lot of in fact, this is true very much for most of ancient systems of healing. The information can only be understood, experience Italy meaning it is the information, the understanding of it necessitates it being integrated with the experiences you're having. And, you know, you were describing how it helps you. And I use this phrase undo unduly influenced. So the whole idea is that we're better able to be in situations where we're not being unduly or overly influenced by the experience of what is happening at hand. And that's letting us actually see more clearly what's what's going on. You know, sometimes people ask me what I do with yoga therapy and, and my, my kind of simplest explanation is I help people have their experiences instead of their experiences having them. And part of this is explaining how like a personal practice helps you see more clearly the difference between those two things and like actually develop a better capacity for. For sensing and feeling when they're shifting, when you are having your experience and when your experiences having you.
Megan: Totally, I was going to say that that's what I was mentioning earlier, too, around like noticing that temptation to take shortcuts sometimes in that coaching role is when that experience is having you versus you're having that experience and with this and this type of situation, for example, with, you know, cross-functional conversations meetings, or, you know, networking conversations, et cetera, et cetera. It's really, really noticing for me. When and where those hot buttons are, like when they get pressed and to not try to shut them down completely or to not, you know, aim to say that like, cause I think a classic miss assumption of, you know, meditation and a lot of these ancient traditions is like, you never get bothered or you never get upset. And that that's the goal. When in reality, it's, it's much more fluid of, that's not the goal. The goal is, like you said, is to have your experiences and to recognize in some ways like how what's happening, isn't inherently maybe as threatening as it feels. Yeah. Right. And for, for whatever reason. But at the same time, I think to be able to to come from a place of operating while these things are happening, not because these things are happening.
And I think that that's like a very different level of understanding to aim, to come to as well.
Marcel: So one of the ways I kind of couch, what we're talking about is the goal is not to get it right. The goal is to be less affected when you get it wrong. Right. So the whole idea is to be E it's, like the point of it, the way I often describe it. And by the way, this is, I was just meeting with a client and she asked me, she goes, what's, what's the definition? How do you define healing? And I said, healing is about how you're relating to the experience you're having.
So there's two things, there's the experience you're having. And there's how you're relating to. And healing is very much about how you're relating to that experience. And curing is much more about the experience itself and what's happening with it. So in, you know, in terms of maybe the effect that's happening in the way, the reason I make that distinction, like your analogy of the two, the two channel, you know, tunnel, it's interesting because that's like noticing the difference between, okay, here's how I'm observing what's going on and here is how it's impacting me. Right. So, and a lot of what a personal practice does over time is it helps you be able to be attentive to those dynamics at the same time. So, and basically this is a thread that. That has gone through our whole conversation in, in answering the question. Why is it so helpful as a healing practitioner to have a guided personal practice? And I think it's because it helps you basically have discernment and work with both what you're seeing and experiencing and how you're being affected by it.
Megan: And yeah, and that's where I think that, you know, even coming back to the word practice and seeing something as a practice rather than a routine, right. Seeing something as a practice rather than a, you know, habit habit stacking, you know, behavioral economics, like habit formation has been such like another, like hot topic in, in, you know, in research the last couple of years. And again, I think that there's some of these things that like routines or habits can almost create opportunities for mimicking. Of like mimicking the things that you're seeing, mimicking the things you think you should do mimicking like these different, you know, like the, you know all of the success habits of people who are, you know, achieved, XYZ, whatever the thing is. And I think what's What's false about that is, again, it puts up like a binary of achieving it or not rather than having a long-term dedicated commitment to yourself in X, Y, or Z way.
And I think that for a lot of people too, and this is again kind of a common missed assumption about coaching is it's only about these goals that are similar in that way. It's only in, you know, people thinking that like habits and routines don't solve everything, which is true. But again, I think that there's, they also can serve a function in a way that can be helpful. Right. But the larger overarching structure in that sense, or that tunnel is, is the practice and why you're doing the practice and what you're like, maybe in a more specific way, what you are practicing, not in what you're doing in the guided practice, but like, What are from that increasing of capacity perspective or that increasing of you know, letting you have your experiences versus your experience, having you, that would look slightly different to each person, right? In terms of what that means in their life. But again, I think that it's a very different thing to commit to a practice as an individual, and to make that long-term commitment to not being, not winning, right. Not achieving it, not being a hundred percent successful, but continuing to be dedicated to the learning and to the effort into the practice is something I think that's very, very valuable and it's not always something.
I think that people understand the very same thing in a classic way with yoga. It's like, I'm going to go do yoga. I'm going to go to a yoga class, but it's very much more traditional. I'm going to practice yoga. That's a very different. A different idea.
Marcel: I think this also maps to our earlier conversation about this primary data point of what's in front of you. And this, this notion that like, when we talk about methods and techniques, this is they can be super helpful, but you choose to do them or not. And the important question is from what level of discernment or you selecting these methods or techniques to use. And so one of the ways I talk about this is this outside in, inside out, when we have a, a personal practice that's guided what's happening over time is that we're learning and practicing how to come from the inside out rather than the outside yet.
And like, if we don't know ourselves very well and we don't understand ourselves very well. And our relationship with ourself is kind of compromised. Then we basically are working more from the outside in as opposed to the inside out. And by the way, I've seen this also kind of reflects people progressing in healing when their system is out of balance and they're stressed and anxious.
They're basically working from the direction of the outside inward and as they start to bring their system more into balance and regulate their system more effectively and understand better the dynamics of what they're dealing with, they start to move down that continuum more towards inside. So it's, it's that discernment. And I mean, again, there's a thread because we were just talking earlier about seeing what's in front of you and using the theory and the research and the science. And what's an important distinction that we were making was that those choices come from how developed your system is from, from you working with it.
And so it's like to your point about that you were just making about, we choose these methods and techniques, but it there's much more to it than that. It's like, from what perspective, or what point are we making those choices?
Megan: And I think it's also just interesting to notice the you know, the, the way in which for some people, like, I, I laugh sometimes because I feel like there's some clients who are like, quote unquote, allergic to goals, right. They're kind of allergic to some of these like structures that they feel are too confining or too limiting and. You know, that doesn't allow for enough flexibility. And one of the things that I think is interesting is those types of structures are tools. Like you're saying they're tools that can be used. They're not the only thing, but I think that sometimes again, there's an assumption around the function of binary activities to be able to achieve some sort of aim or purpose, rather than again, a commitment to showing up to a practice of growing in, in a specific way. And to note that again, it doesn't mean you're going to do it well every single time where it, it doesn't mean that you're not gonna have a day where your experience is totally had you. Right. You didn't have, it's not that you had them, but at the same time, it's, it's a a gradual kind of calibration around like the ratio of how often that's happening and not, and again, like when it really does happen, what does that help you to learn? And then how is that infused into the practice of.
Marcel: You've mentioned this a few times in our few times, you've mentioned this a few times in our conversation today about this notion of commitment to a practice. And it makes me think of how, like, when I think of healing, it's very much about being engaged in a process. And the effectiveness of healing happens from staying engaged in that process. And a lot of times it is the relationship and the container in which that's holding our interaction, that like we're helping the person to stay supported so they can stay engaged in that process. And so it's like, your practice is kind of something you're doing to change your system, but also it's something that it's a process you're engaging in of like what you just mentioned too about.
It's not just the practice you're doing. It's the practice like, you know, there's the whole idea of this practice on the mat and this practice off the mat. And to me having a personal practice, the singular most effective thing about it is that that personal practice you do regularly actually helps you engage in the larger practice of the things we've been talking about. Like being able to discern the experience you're having and how you're being affected by it, and being able to see the client clearly, and then going to the science and the theory and helping that to come in and.
But going back to the ideas we've been talking about too, it's like, we are the technology, which is something huge that I think that like really explains a lot of this. So it's not just that your practice helps you be more centered, grounded, and aware and present it's actually that it lets you be more effective as a practitioner in terms of what you're able to, to, to do and see.
Yeah. So what are your, what are your closing thoughts on, on you know, it's funny, I was just remembering your comment about how it's true. You started in this process when you were really young. I didn't start till I was in the middle of my life, even though I've been doing it for for like 20 years or something. But you started really young. And so it's like, it's almost like you kind of don't know what it's like to not be conditioned in that way, I guess.
Megan: Yeah. I mean, I think in the the grand connection of having a massive injury that was life-changing especially identity questioning, right. All of these different things. And coming into the master's program in integrative health at the same time, at the age of 23, when I had also like, just begun working on my own stuff, you know, with with a traditional therapist and then also with you about, you know, six months or a year into that you know, I've, I've grown up in this sense from, you know, the age of like 23 on you know, that's 13 years later, now, 23 on to really. And understand and get to know myself in a profoundly different way. And in a way that's not always, wasn't always the easiest, especially being that young compared to peers and you know, what other people were doing but in a way that I'm profoundly grateful for now. And so I think that the, you know, a very personal kind of takeaway is that I wouldn't be here if it weren't for a commitment to myself and my growth over the last 13 years.
And again, specifically with the yoga therapy to that practice serving every day for the last 12. And I think that with a larger takeaway for maybe other people listening to this is really thinking about how, you know, if we take a longevity standpoint on our professions, on our roles, on our career, in our training these types of practices are not only going to help us to be more effective. In the moment they're going to help us to sustain long time long-term and to continue to enrich our abilities based on you know, based on the commitment to the process and the practice and how that serves in the long range. So I would say that there's kind of maybe two takeaways. There is a very personal one and then also a larger one.
Marcel: Yeah. I often think of all of this in terms of experiences. Like ultimately it's all about quality of experiences that you're having and personal practice gives you the discernment and the capacity to have more and more influence over the experiences that you ended up having. And, you know, it's kind of, self-reinforcing you end up being able to perceive in ways and behave in ways. Influence more and more strongly the experiences you have, and that then begins to shape you as well. So it's like, it really is kind of a long game. It's it's a, it's a, it's something that matures over time. I mean, like really like any kind of practice, Megan, this has been delightful. I love talking about this stuff all the time, but I love most deeply when I can talk about it with someone that I've done it with and worked with and have a relationship with and have shared a lot of this work with, so yeah.
Megan: No, thank you. It's, it's really fun to kind of pause and to think back on that arc in hindsight, and to, and I also am very, very, very appreciative of the opportunities that we've had to work together and where I've been able to to benefit from your immense like skill and wisdom and knowledge as well.
Marcel: Wow. Guiding, it's just guiding you doing the work.
Megan: Indeed. Thank you so much.