EPISODE FIVE - SELF-CARE FOR HEALING PRACTITIONERS IN THE TIME OF COVID
Updated: Apr 23
"My role as the coach is to walk with somebody on the journey of the changes they're interested in making and to not necessarily describe or prescribe how that's gonna happen or what they're gonna do to get there..."
- Megan Murk
MA, NBC-HWC, Founding Member of Wave, Co-Creator of the Coach Collaborative
Episode 5: Self-Care for Healing Practitioners in the Time of COVID
A Conversation with Megan Murk
Learn about capacity and how it plays a key role in self-care and gain a better understanding of some of the challenges that come with self-care. This episode offers an inside perspective about why self-care is important, especially for healing professionals in recent times. Learn about coaching from the perspective of healing and how effective coaching is relationship and process focused.
In this episode, Marcel speaks with Megan Murk, a health coach and leader in the field of health coaching- specializing in emotional well-being. Megan has also maintained a daily Yoga practice and studied Yoga philosophy with Marcel over the past 10 years. Listen in as Megan and Marcel discuss the importance of self-care for healing practitioners and share their own personal experiences with self-care.
If you are interested in yoga or yoga therapy mentoring with Marcel, visit his Yoga for Practitioners web site.
Here are some highlights from the conversation with Megan that help you understand self-care from a healing perspective:
Coaching is about navigating together. It is a collaborative relationship and process. The structure can be flexible but must be consistent to help keep the focus engaged.
When healing takes place, it effects not only the client, but also the practitioner. The practitioner acts as a guide for the client's journey.
How has COVID-19 affected practitioners and self-care? Practitioners and clients must have the capacity to be attentive to themselves.
Self-care can be challenging. Self-care can be seen as just another thing to have to do. But if we engage in things that are more self-sustaining, it can help be true self-care.
It can be seductive to want to just find a quick solution to the problem and cross it off the list, and COVID has made that more difficult. However, engaging with the problem rather than trying to get a fixed solution fast can be more beneficial in the long run.
Sometimes coaches can feel the need to be the model client. Coaches must remember that they too are humans working with other humans.
If you haven't yet listened to Episode 4 with Susan Carter, be sure to check it out! This is another episode about capacity and how it is used for healing.
Megan Murk, MA, NBC-HWC, is a Coach and Educator who is passionate about the intersection of Coaching and 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 Coach 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 Five - Transcript
*Please excuse any typos or imperfections. This transcript was created with AI software.*
Marcel: [00:00:00] hi, I'm Marcel opportun. Welcome to doing differently. A show about healing and transformation. Today I have with me pagan Merck, who is a longtime friend and colleague. And student and I have mentored her in certain capacities around yoga and Megan and I are both healing practitioners. And we're going to talk today about self care for healing practitioners, but this, what we talk about will also be really useful for just people in terms of thinking about self care in general.
But we're both healing practitioners. So we're going to talk about it from, from our context. And yeah. So we're going to have a conversation about that and, and you'll hopefully be left with some useful insights. Megan, welcome. Thank you for being on the show.
Megan: Thank you. Thank you so much. [00:01:00]
Marcel: Would you like to just say a little bit about what you have going on with your work? What you're up to and then we'll start our current.
Megan: Yes. Thank you. So I work professionally as a health and wellness coach specifically in the area of emotional wellbeing and I kind of. Because coach is a word with 10,000 meanings and it's hard to understand and describe what that means to work professionally as a coach, especially within this emerging niche.
But essentially I've been a coach for about 11 years now and I've spent the last seven. Looking to carb coaching into the mental and behavioral health space. And part of that has come from a lot of a great desire to create more access opportunities and looking at coaching as a valuable option that has the ability to increase access to care in a variety of ways.
So thinking about cost and stigma and geography, As three primary levers. And so part of what's [00:02:00] been really interesting in that time and kind of working for a few different companies and watching the field of coaching grow in parallel is to see all of the ways in which so much of what was so Like weird 10, 15 years ago is now so normal.
Right? So we're seeing a lot of change for people around their understanding of health and wellbeing, investing in themselves, investing from a preventative standpoint and a longevity standpoint. And so a lot of my work now is working individually with clients and partnering with them in. Creating desired and meaningful and aligned changes for themselves to live a more healthy and well life.
And however, that is defined to them or by them. And then simultaneously looking to work to create this space for coaching within mental and behavioral health. So working within companies to design interventions and to manage teams. And recently that's also taken on an air of training coaches as well.
I've always kind of done more ongoing training, [00:03:00] worksite training, continuing education training, but now we're actually taking on a really fun project of training people in an like base level, really powerful learning experience for folks that are potentially new to coaching or also folks who want to go deeper with it.
So we're actually halfway through a nine week beta cohort of this training program. That's looking to lay a really strong foundation for a coach. Principles and skills and conceptual thinking and having a concentration in emotional wellbeing so that there could be more coaches out there who can partner with people in effective and powerful ways to help enact these different changes in their life.
Marcel: Awesome. That was very clear. You know, I think we should probably say a little bit about more about our work together, so that will inform. People listening to the conversation. So Megan and I met sometime ago when I taught at the California [00:04:00] Institute of integral studies and it was a a master's program in integrative, integrative health.
Yeah. And I taught a course about mind body practices and In, in doing that, I ended up getting connected with a few students there. And since then Megan and I have been, I've been, we've been working together around yoga and she has maintained a yoga practice, but she's also studied the philosophy of yoga and practiced it herself.
And I've been guiding her in that practice for, for many, many years. And. That's really going to inform a lot of what we talk about as well. And the other thing I wanted to just have a quick conversation about, like you said, coaching, there's so many different interpretations and meanings, and to me what's so fascinating about coaching is that it's becoming more and more popular in, in healthcare.
And [00:05:00] from a, from a perspective of, of anxious modality. Or healing based modalities. This is a really good thing because coaching is so relationship based. And so it's bringing a more, relationship-based focus to these more conventional offerings in a conventional healthcare allopathic medicine. So I think there's a lot of opportunity there.
And to me, the coaching, when we talk about coaching, we're really talking about when I think of it, it's it's about someone helping someone else in their own process. It may be focused on lifestyle or some other behaviors or even some kind of health conditions, but you're really working with that person in a relational capacity and supporting them and guiding them.
So like what's [00:06:00] your general kind of high-level description of coaching.
Megan: I have tried to refine this so much over the years. I think that for some, the way that I really think about it are kind of three parallel angles. So. Three things can be parallel, but essentially it's a relationship just like you were saying. It's a collaborative partnership where in my role, as the coach is to walk with somebody on the journey of the changes they're interested in making and to not necessarily describe or prescribe exactly how that's going to happen or exactly what to do to get there, but to navigate, to get.
And to see which paths maybe seem more open, seemed more feasible. You know, life happens. Roadblocks happen, really wanting to kind of just be with somebody in that process. So it's definitely a collaborative relationship and it is also a pre. And in that process, again, we have structure that's flexible but also consistent in a way that helps us to keep the, the engagement focused on where [00:07:00] we want to be and what that more preferred future would look like for somebody.
And we, again, want to be flexible in that understanding. So it's not to say that today I could name exactly what I would want my future to be like in a year from now. And that's the only option. Right. We know that in the process of working and trying and engaging and doing new things, we learn more about ourselves.
Life happens, things change. And so we want to hold that preferred future as a. Somewhat of a destination, but a flexible destination in which we can refine it. And continuously refined it throughout the course of the coaching.
sessions and conversations so that it ends up being really, really aligned and really authentic.
And also again, from the client's perspective, what they want versus what is told to them that they should want, or they should have, or they need or anything like that. So, It really is the relationship and the process and partnership as kind of the in-between of those other [00:08:00] two pieces that keeps the engagement going.
And it's a profound. Profound experience to get to go on these journeys with individual people. And you know, I've been doing this for 11 years. No two clients are the same. No two sessions are the same, even with one con with one person. But to get to bear, witness to the discovery and the insight and the empowerment and the self-efficacy and the resilience is, is, I mean, it's giving me goosebumps right now.
It's it's wonderful.
Marcel: Yeah, you and I have had these conversations about how, when healing is taking place it's affecting everything. It's, it's part of everything that's happening for the, for the client, but also for the practitioner. So the topic we were going to talk about today. Was really timely given COVID in the last year and a half and how it's changed all of our lives and especially with, with health [00:09:00] practitioners in and healing practitioners.
And that's been hard because there's been a great. Level of demand for these on these practitioners to, to support others. When also they have impact been impacted the same way. I like to describe it as like, it's like a gauge with you have red, yellow, and green, and ideally we want to be in the upper part of the yellow or the somewhere in the green.
And, you know, COVID kind of took all of us and moved our levels back down a notch. So. It's particularly a timely topic to talk about practitioners and self care. And there's a couple of different angles. We could talk about this from, and you know, you could bring up a few and I'll bring up a few and we'll also see maybe where they're intersect.
So I often use the term capacity a lot when talking about self [00:10:00] care. And what I mean by that is it's, it's somebody's capacity to actually be able to be attentive to what's going on for them at the same time that they're doing things. You know, when we, when we have a lower level of capacity, we, we are more just focused on the execution of what we're doing.
There's not much. There's not much there for us to also at the same time, be checking in and connected to and relating to what's happening for us as we're engaging. So, so how would you like to start this out? I mean, what, what question comes to you when you think about healing practice practitioners?
What question comes to you when you think about healing practitioners and engaging in self.
Megan: I personally and again, this could be a little bit controversial, but I think that the term itself is, is challenging. And I think it's because it puts this [00:11:00] onus on And it's true in some ways where, like we are the ones that can care for ourselves. And we are the ones who can look to do that. But the way that people kind of use that term in and out all the time now is, oh, self care, self care, self care.
It makes it more action oriented versus. Like you're talking about capacity oriented. So it's like, okay, I'm, I'm really tired. I'm going to I'm going to meditate for five minutes. I'm going to pull out this app and do this meditation, or I'm going to drink more water. I'm going to try to go on a walk.
So we try to solve oftentimes a bandwidth problem with more stuff, which can be more stressful and more Potentially induce more guilt and shame. And at the same time, when you spend your day like holding space for other people and doing emotional labor and really looking to engage in, in coaching too, it's like we're meant to be a neutral party, right.
So we're not meant to, we're there to be your partner, your collaborative peer. It's not [00:12:00] our agenda, it's yours. So this idea of like holding a container and holding space a lot of the time, that sounds nebulous, but it's also incredibly taxing. Right. And if you're doing that with clients back to back to back to back, and each person is different and they're in different spots and in COVID, right.
Like everything was, was shifting and changing. Oftentimes, and I see this with clients too. Like they kind of roll their eyes at the term self care because it's like another thing to do. But at the same time, if we really think about the ways in which nourishment and Feeding into yourself for capacity, for sustainability, for grounded-ness.
I think that that oftentimes can make it feel slightly different in terms of like, what might it mean to engage in those things that can help be self-sustaining as opposed to like, need more self-care type of a thing.
Marcel: Yeah. You know, I was just doing some work at the ocher center for integrative health and Vanderbilt. And one of the a nurse practitioner there was making the [00:13:00] same comment that the self care, the phrasing around that it kind of it doesn't really align energetic. With what the concept is about, because it almost says as if it places more to do on us.
And also most importantly, like we know as healing practitioners, that what you learn as you heal more is how to allow other people to do things for you and not have to do everything for yourself. And actually you began to become more open and connected and you began to actually be able to access more ways in which you can nourish yourself.
And lately I've been doing work, looking at burnout in healthcare and how to help. [00:14:00] Organizations in healthcare deal, deal with burnout. And I was having a conversation with this director of healthcare organization. And she was saying, you know, we were asking, okay, where do we start from? Because if you start from burnout, that's actually already like making people feel overwhelmed.
Megan: Well, I think what's, what's so interesting is and this is something that I've learned a lot more about myself as I can you like, think about all the different inputs, right? That are kind of feeding into a con situation or an environment. And this is a lot of what ends up happening in coaching too, is we can all be so susceptible to be having a really narrow perspective and kind of have a lot of blinders on, around like, There's limited choice.
There's limited options. This is what everyone else is doing. I should be able to do it. And a lot of that comes from really early conditioning and potentially on like the adults in your life and what you saw them do and how they handle things. And I know. One of the things that was really powerful for me, especially at the [00:15:00] time that we met as I was coming in from a really strong, athletic perspective, mind over matter, suck it up, discipline, push through, figure it out.
And at the same time healing from like a profound injury, that really changed a lot of my Understanding of myself and my identity and what it means to be in this, this pivotal moment in that program, learning about mind, body approaches, learning about all these other things. And so sometimes life kind of forces us to this like opening moment.
And other times we can have somebody who we work with who helps to guide and kind of open that perspective a little bit more. But I think that so much of the time If we don't have somebody to help or to assist or to kind of hold that space for that opportunity to broaden a perspective, then it stays narrow.
And so much of the time, it doesn't seem like there's another option. And a lot of that is society and hustle culture. And like a lot of it is again, like the way in which everyone around us is doing [00:16:00] things. But at the same time, I think with this idea of capacity and nourishment, It puts more of the onus or the agency in the individual versus feeling like they have no ownness and agency because the conditions around them, aren't giving space for that.
Like how much are you spending and what are you getting back for? The different activities that you're doing. And. And people oftentimes don't see it that way. And if they think about it, what am I spending and what is the return on investment? Or like like I have money. Like I can do that. You know, like it's a very different, it's like a profound perspective shift to think about it in a way that includes more agency versus feeling like you're a puppet on a puppet string.
That's just like moving in all the different rooms.
Marcel: Yeah, I think that's really key to understanding the, the self care. We haven't decided if we're calling it something different, but in that the really important [00:17:00] point is the state of the system in terms of where the person's coming from, when they're relating to their self care and making decisions about it.
Because as you just expressed, when you get more. Anxious or agitated or, or your system gets more out of balance. You, you see less options. You you're the way you're functioning is actually more reactive. So in a way you start to even stop reading your own self, to see if you're getting what you need.
You're like the way I describe it often is the more stressed we get. The last, the more external we become focused and the less we are sort of checking in with where we are based on, you could say external demands.
Like, if you think about self care, you just make all these connections and [00:18:00] without the capacity, we're usually not making them. Connections. We're just looking at almost the direct causal stuff and the first level.
Megan: well also I think that the also I think that a lot of the times, again, with, with people's awareness, it can be. Seductive to try to solve the problem and make it go away and be forever gone. And then it's like, check that off the list. I'm good. But we know that life doesn't work that way. And certainly COVID has been a unique experience from for most people.
You know, never seen a situation like this before and most of you know, all of our lives, unless you happen to be alive, like over a hundred years ago. But at the same time, I think that the It's a very different thing to think about engaging in day-to-day life and letting it be okay. That it's stressful versus feeling like it has to be solved and perfect and clean to be able to enjoy it.
And so much of the time, the way that I see a [00:19:00] lot of clients also, they think about these goals is like they're binary, like check it off the list it's done. But especially with emotional wellbeing, it's like, you're, this is going to impact you. Every single day for the rest of your life, whether or not you engage with it or whether or not you work with it, it's going to have an impact.
And so it is kind of broadening again, the perspective to understanding these are different areas that influence how I feel on the day to day. Part of it is environmental. Part of it is your system, right? Part of it is the interaction between the two and the relationships you have. But also just from that systems perspective is letting there be movement.
In the day-to-day life, letting there be flow there and not trying to hold that off for the sake of being able to enjoy. And I think that that also is something where I've seen so many clients where they, the goal that they come in with is like to never be bothered by situations versus thinking about how do, how can you be responsive when you're bothered as opposed to reactive when you're bothered.
And that is like a, again, it's a very [00:20:00] different perspective shift. And it's a way in which coaching specifically, usually. Thought of as like motivational support, achieving goals, like, you know, like grow your business, run a marathon, lose the weight, like whatever. But especially with the way that we're looking to do this differently, it is much more of that acceptance of the dynamism of life and working within that, working within that structure, as opposed to trying to fight against that structure.
Marcel: You know, one of the ways I talk about this is people I work with in yoga therapy, I am doing a lot of work to try to change their, their mental model or their mindset and their mental model. Initially, for most people, especially people in the west is. You try to control things. So, and what the middle model I am trying to encourage shifting towards is that it's not a control model, [00:21:00] your life and everything you're doing and how everything's happening.
It's an influence model. So the idea is not to think about control, but rather think about the influence you can have because the control. As you're saying it, it kind of sets up almost. You didn't say this exactly, but it, it sets up, it's a stressful model because the foundational assumption of it is that you can control what's going on around you.
And the fact is that you can't, but you can have influence on it and you can also not even really control fully your own system. But you can influence it a great deal.
Megan: for sure. And I think that that's the, the other thing that I see with coaches or other health practitioners sometimes is they feel the need to be the model client, right? The model person for their clients of like I'm doing all these things. So. [00:22:00] It's totally doable for you, especially folks who have private practices or again, kind of they're independent providers.
And I've seen so often again, especially with coaches where like, sometimes people can feel insecure of like eating a cookie in front of another health coach and it's like, eat the cookie. Like, you know, I don't care. It's, it's not at all like a judgment thing that people, again, with that strictness, they're worried about the judgment around what does this make me a.
Coach, if I'm doing this, or if I'm, I'm a nutritionist and I'm going to do something, or if I'm an acupuncturist and I'm going to do something, or I'm a yoga teacher, I'm going to do something. So, so much of that control also comes from kind of what it feels like one should do to perform the role of their profession.
And B feel like they can be taken seriously. And by that versus really adopting the understanding and the acceptance of. The long-term work in this way, not just the short-term work. I mean, there is the balance between decisions in the now and like the, the future that you're [00:23:00] looking at. But if we so much of that control fallacy really comes in again at like performing your role versus like being a human who has this profession.
Who's working with other humans who like have all the things in there.
Marcel: Yeah, it's the, you know, the modeling it's so it's kind of interesting, right? It's like, obviously your most effective as a practitioner, if you're modeling the behavior, you're also suggesting or the approach you're also suggesting. And I I've learned in my own work, in my own transformation that the, the.
The biggest part of the development is not like being able to be on top of everything. It's actually the biggest part of the development is how you're able to respond those times when you're not on top of everything. And actually like what I've learned in my work with other [00:24:00] people in my own personal experiences is that the more developed you are the less.
You get overly critical of yourself or you don't overly react when you do things in a way that. It could be perceived as a mistake or you just last, you know, this is a foundational principle in yoga. You know, this, this pressure we put on ourselves to be right and do things effectively actually causes lot of activity in our own mind that really impacts our ability to be present.
And I mean, I think this is a way of connecting. What we're talking about with practitioners for self care of why that self care is so important, because like one of the ways I describe it, if you're a healing practitioner, you are the technology. So your state of [00:25:00] your system is, has a huge influence on your ability, not only to be present to your client, but to whole space, but even more importantly to see clearly what's going on for them.
Megan: for sure, for sure. And I think that that's where, again, it's, it's kind of that subtle versus technical in terms of training. Cause you can say the right thing, you know, do the next thing, perform the role, right? Like be in that mode, but it's. You're usually completely blocking off yourself to be in that performance mode versus to actually be there.
And I think in that, like again, that subtle spot and to read in and to notice and to shift your nervous system depending on where the client's coming from too, and in our training program right now, that's actually a lot of what we're talking about is feeling into each individual person. Right noticing what's there.
And maybe you, maybe you you choose to kind of level up to match somebody and maybe you choose to level down. And so it is kind of this concept we're trying to do of like manual cars and gear [00:26:00] shifting, and to kind of notice that sometimes you have to shift down or if in your personal life, if there's something big going on, like.
Thing to shift down to be able to sit in that place. And it's something that's incredibly important for the quality of the session for the person. And it doesn't mean you have to be perfect all the time, but it does take that awareness and attunement to think of, and that the ability and practice of like being able to downshift or to Upshift, if you're feeling really tired and this person's having a great day, right?
Like you kind of moderate accordingly.
Marcel: Yeah. I mean, there is a kind of a mirroring thing, so that it's more effective. The, the, the, the interaction, the session you know, you mentioned subtle, subtle and technical, and you and I have talked about this a bit, and I've often used these terms to distinguish different types of practitioners.
Whereas somebody that's technically trained, they've gone through. A training program of a modality and they've learned everything and they've done everything. But on the subtle [00:27:00] side, this goes back to what you were talking about earlier in our conversation where. As individuals we're often constrained in what we see, because it's so influenced by our own patterning and conditioning and how it's so helpful to work with another person that helps us to check our own.
Patterns our own conditioning, but it's, it's, it's also about how, where, where we're doing these kinds of practices that help us to do the things like what you just talked about with respects to attunement. Like they help us understand our own system more clearly so that we can be more effective in.
How we're supporting our patient or our client. And it's not just this idea of being more present or attentive [00:28:00] or listening. There's, there's a, there's a, there's a science to it. There's a practice to it. There's a way to develop your system. So. You have more of that capacity we were talking about initially, but also where you're using that capacity to actually be able to focus more and more on the individual client in front of you and be less and less influenced by your own sort of conditioning.
And a lot of that comes from like, not just the self-care, but practices to develop us as a subtle practice.
Megan: For sure. And sometimes that comes over time, right? With volume of repetition. Sometimes we're able to notice some of these things, but personally, I think that it's great to aim for the combination of technical and subtle, because I think that that's where
You know, we do have some folks again, in the training program where they're feeling it in terms of synthesizing and then doing.
And it's like, I often think of coaching. One of my [00:29:00] analogies I like to use for it is like mental gymnastics, right. Where you're taking in all these inputs. And you're, you're coming up with something to say next, but it's not that you're, you can't get ahead of what you're going to say, because you still have to be listening simultaneously.
Watching right. All of my sessions are virtual, so it's a lot of visual cues. Some of them are on the phone, so it's all vocal cues. And you're trying to again, come up with the next response to help the conversation continue and deepen. And it's something that is a balance between the. And I think that that's a really important thing to think about too, because it's the, the ability to sit for yourself and to notice again, like you're saying, what's being pulled from me potentially, what do I know about this person?
What are they saying? But what is underneath what they're saying? And then how do I use that information to help them continue on the path that they're on? And so I think that in, in general, it's wonderful when there can be a balance of the subtle and the technical. And at the same time, I think if we think about this from the state of the [00:30:00] provider or the state of the practitioner, it's really hard to provide that or to be able to provide that if we aid don't have the awareness of our system or B.
I don't have the emotional capacity to be vulnerable and not be performative, which is also incredibly hard and comes, you know, that that is definitely something that's usually not taught in technical training programs. And at the same time too, it's, it's kind of the. From a capacity perspective, how am I supporting my ability to do that?
Or how am I not? And am I going against myself? Am I going with myself? And to note that my self as a container and a vehicle for this conversation is a recent. Right. And it's not just that my goal is to fill this resource only for my professional work, but in that professional capacity, it is a resource.
And I have to think about how do I use this resource and serve this resource to be able to show up for clients
Marcel: Yeah. [00:31:00] Meaning you are the resource, your, your, like your earth suit. Yeah. And that's what kinda what I meant by like, you know, in a lot of allopathic medicine, the technology is all these machines are computers more appropriately said, and yet there's all these metrics and, and a lot of healing based and ancient based modalities and even relational based modalities.
The technology is. resource. Yeah. You know, I'm glad you brought that up about the balance between the technical and subtle, because, you know, I, I didn't, I didn't mean to express it in a way that was either or in that there's, the technical is great and it's wonderful. And technical, technically focused practitioners are, are able to be very effective, but if you're not subtly trained Then you're not suddenly trained.
Like if you haven't been taken through certain experiences and [00:32:00] practices, it's to learn more experientially about your system and how to work with it as a resource, as you're saying those things are experiential. And one of the particular challenges in, in the, in the healthcare arena. Is that that's expensive to train people those ways, like the, the amount of,
Megan: I'd say it's also expensive to see people that way.
Marcel: yeah. Yeah. I mean the amount of resources and effort like you and I have both put in to our own huddle. Is he is enormous. And, you know, ultimately the best practitioners are the ones that are trained in, you know, in a balance, as you said, but they're using the technical to support their The resource, meaning that the most important thing is what's in front of us, which is the person.
And that's even more important [00:33:00] than our modalities or our approaches and our theories. Right. In other words, the way I would say it is, there's what you've learned, like your craft, so to speak as a healing practitioner, and there is your ability to use your earth suit, your resource, to see as clearly as fully as somebody.
As possible all of the dynamics of what is happening with the person in front of you. And, and as we said earlier at simultaneously, be checking your own stuff and the influence it's having on that seeing. So this is.
Megan: it's super challenging. And I think that the, and certainly this isn't true of all healthcare practitioners. Cause some of them carry a lot of respect, like medical doctors and that type of a thing. But. I think one of the things that I noticed, especially with more of the coaching side is.
people often think that it's, it's not that hard, right?
It can't be that hard, or like it's not that big of a deal. Like they, they discount [00:34:00] the emotional labor or the unseen work. And a lot of the times we can be seen as machines and volume numbers and, and you know, how many visits and what are like seen by the metrics in a way that promotes burnout. For sure.
It almost like guarantees it and a lot of the time people are okay with that guarantee. But at the same time, it also, again, One of the things that is a catch 22, I feel is that for some people, again, self care is seen as all the expensive stuff, right? Getting body work done, going on vacation, like doing these things that cost a lot of money.
It's hard. If you're in a profession that isn't paying in a way that can, can make that be a, a regular piece. But also at the same time, the companies, again, pay really low wages tech, usually again, medical doctors, different arena, surgeons, different arenas. The catch 22, and I've seen this again from a lot of coach friends or other, other types of healing practitioners too, is vacation is wonderful, but vacation can't be the only answer [00:35:00] to self care.
And so in a lot of ways, I think that there's, there's this other idea from a resource perspective, investing perspective, cost perspective of what does it take to manage and that resource over time. And how do you, how do you work that into your understanding of your life? Especially if this is an incredibly values aligned, meaningful profession, you're choosing, right.
If it's a craft you really want to hold for a long time, then. We want to be mindful again, of potentially narrow perspectives that make it feel like there's no choice except this. Whereas again, it would be different to view that resource from the different ways in which it can be fed as opposed to the demands on it only
Marcel: Yeah, I think, you know, in our conversation the way, what you've said about coaching has made me want to ask you to have an another conversation with me on the show about coaching, because it's not just. [00:36:00] It is the representation of this relational component in the delivery of care and how important that is.
And it has a lot to do with this difference between curing and healing, as in put, as simply as possible, the curing is okay, how do we reduce the symptoms or are, make it go away? How we no longer sick, whereas the healing is much more about that. The relationship of the individual to what they're experiencing.
And the two are quite different and ideally the best kind of care is when both are being attended to. And so, you know, it would be great to have another conversation about the, the, the role of coaching strategically in the development of health. Because it seems at this point, it is one of the professions [00:37:00] that is very well positioned strategically to have an impact on the change that's happening, that, that people are wanting in the change around health and how we think about health and, and how we relate to it.
Not just how it's delivered to us, but delivered to us. How we take care of ourselves.
Megan: For sure. I would love that. I think coaching is primed for a huge paradigm shift in, in healthcare and mental health and social justice in so many different arenas. And it's part of what makes me super, super excited to get to again, be in these partnership roles with people day in and day out because the ripple effect can be quite large.
So, so what are our, what are our takeaways here? You know, in what we've talked about, we've talked about capacity and how, you know, how important it is to look at [00:38:00] where your system is and how basically starting with putting a whole bunch of pressure on yourself. If you're not in a space to, to be open and.
See more of what's happening for you and even have the capacity to do or change in different ways. It's better to, to kind of like, I use this expression. If you wanna, if you wanna, if you want to change directions, you first have to slow down and stop. No, you can't. So we talked about how much the capacity has to do with how you're even solved the problem of self care and that it's not really a problem is the other thing we touched on.
And then you just made this comment that I thought was lovely about how, how are you thinking about self care with yourself as a practitioner in terms of like what's what's a sustainable long-term approach to it. Yeah. What are some of the other, I'm just [00:39:00] trying to recap some of the things we talked about.
Megan: I think another one is And invitation to open an understanding or a perspective around what, what, like functionally does that look like in your day to day life? Right. So kind of, again, maybe that's that sustainable arc or that sustainable longevity arc, but maybe it's also a really proximal today arc.
Like what might that look like today? And usually again, when I try to pose that question to clients, there's usually something. That can come to mind. Right? So if we don't, the balance that I think is also really crucial, especially for people who are in careers that they really care about is if we look too far into the future, that's super overwhelming to think about how do I sustain this for 20, 30, 40 years at the same time, if we don't think about the future, then we can end up getting in that puppeteer mode of being reactive to the.
To the demands of the day-to-day. So if there's a balance or a [00:40:00] toggle between the two of knowing, the, the reasons why sustainability is important to me, the reasons why longevity is important to me, then how does that translate into today or into this week or into this season or into this month?
Marcel: I think, yeah. I mean, that kind of dovetails too, with what we were sharing about this notion of control versus influence and these expectations we put on ourselves. And it makes me think too, of how there's this, like you mentioned, it's like, it's not that it's a problem to solve. I mean, one of the things that's a big elephant in the room really is that self care are especially for practitioners that want to be effective.
It takes a lot of time and resources and effort. It's not something that it's not like, am I making sure, you know I I'm getting my, my, my workout in it's like, What am I doing on a regular basis to ensure that my [00:41:00] system, my system is functioning effectively. And how am I checking to make sure that I'm able to read that accurately?
And you know, it's like a so I think there's something about orientation here. That's really big. Like I mentioned, with the conversation I had with this colleague about burnout, we backed up and said, wait, wait, before we talk about burning, Let's talk about why the burnout is there. Like what's the source.
So yeah, we've talked about this question about practitioners and self care from, from quite a few different angles. And this has been so much
Megan: Yeah. Thank you.
Marcel: I I, could talk with you for, for days while we both love this stuff and are so impassioned by it. But. But, yeah. So I really appreciate being able to have this conversation with
Megan: me too. Thank you.
so much. And I think that the I'm [00:42:00] excited by a potential for more, or kind of to continue along these lines. Cause I definitely agree. There's a lot more to explore and to share. And again, I think that the. The fortunate luck that I ended up in that I didn't necessarily do consciously at the time was to begin this level of my own practice and process like 12 years.
And again, in kind of the juncture where I was at in my personal life and that transition, and then the timing of that, and coming into this field, I think that that practice that I have and the studies that I've done in all the different facets in which you know, that is there is, has been really fortunate.
So I'm very grateful for that.
Marcel: Yeah. Yeah. You know, that may be also a really good conversation about this, this notion of putting that amount of effort and resources over time into your development, your functioning, in addition [00:43:00] to the, all the other domains in your life. How, you know, why do that and, and what it leads to. Yeah. So, well, thank you so much.
Megan: Thank you.