When we offered Cultivating Freedom earlier this year, we interviewed Shelly Cooper. Shelly is one of our expert coaches and course designers, with decades of experience creating innovative courses. Last week we shared the first part of her story about how and why this unique course came into being, and what participants stand to gain from it. The second part of her remarks are shared below.
WHY CULTIVATING FREEDOM?
We think as adults that things from our past are not impacting us, and it's partially true. You don’t have a fully conscious idea about how they are still impacting you. Only in retrospect can we see that we made up a rule, a false belief about them. Cultivating Freedom helps explore questions like: What rule did we make? How is it dictating the responses that we have to people or events in our life? How does it shape our ability to love, our ability to forgive, our ability to stay in tough conversations? Because the moment we're in another situation that reminds us of our history, immediately we're going to respond with the emotion that was there with the teacher, and it's going to be dictating and influencing our response.
So how do we authentically show up and stay in the present? Well, that's pretty interesting. It's not like we can stay present 100% of the time. It is like driving a car. You have to keep correcting to stay on course. You have to develop awareness for when you're not present, when you’re in a historical pattern. Cultivating Freedom is not about just unpacking your bag and digging through all this stuff that was painful. The main focus is to learn tools that help to practice awareness, so you can start noticing opportunities to make different choices. We have conversations throughout the course designed to empower your ability to work with those tools to help you stay awake and have access to choice.
I designed Cultivating Freedom from a recognition that we need to help people get to that place faster. The speed with which technology, society, and the world is evolving has disrupted human beings, but human development doesn't progress at the same rate as everything else. So we needed a faster way to move beyond the historical patterns and stories. There's a lot of material out there that talks about your brain being malleable throughout your entire life. We need to learn how to change our brain and develop new habits to survive and thrive in a changing world. This was the initial idea the course what emerged out of. There are lots of people doing good work in the human development space, attempting to address the need for change in our habits and consciousness. But I truly believe human development hasn't moved at speed required. 10 or 20 years of therapy is a big investment. I'm not saying that therapy isn't good, just that we need to be able to move faster,to give people some immediate relief so they can keep moving.
Cultivating Freedom starts with a conversation about the practical tools we're going to be using. This course also includes a one-on-one session, so that you step in on day one with a map you can use. It's a map built from any incident, any irritation, just like you mentioned the one with your teacher. When we map it, it gives us eyes on it and instantly brings it out of the background and into a place where we can work on it. Then after that, the rest is practice. We give you a few other tools as well, focusing on awareness, presence, and other content to help you understand why you’re doing what you're doing. So there's some education included in the course as well that just opening and empowering you as you begin to practice. Just to strengthen your ability to practice and everybody learns differently. So there's many ways to practice and you'll discover your way to practice to be able to help yourself.
Cultivating Freedom starts again on September 8. If you're interested in participating, learn more here. If you'd like to learn more about the course, use the form below and a coach will reach out to you for a conversation.