Jill of All Trades; Master of None

Yesterday and the day prior I attended the first annual Holistic Mental Health Conference: Pathways to Empowerment, which was hosted by my future school, CCNM. I originally signed up because I figured it would get me excited for beginning studies in September, and I was geniunely interested in many of the workshops. However, I didn’t imagine how inspired I would leave!

We are at a state and time in our society where the field of Naturopathic medicine and holistic health is blooming and becoming more accepted. At this conference, the focus was on finding relief for mental health issues, which was very relatable to my undergrad majors, Health Studies and Psychology. I thought that a lot of the information would be comprised of things I’ve heard and learned before, but I was quite impressed that the information was delivered in such a digestible and practical manner.

I aim to speak about the workshops I specifically attended in a future post, but overall, my inspiration flame has been reignited, and self-reflection is taking place once again.

In this blog I never felt the need to address my educational background because I didn’t, and don’t want readers to get the vibe that I’m boosting myself, especially since there are so few articles to truly understand my electronic voice. Yet, I’ve always been open to seeing what direction(s) this blog directs itself, and naturally as of now, it’s a place for me to reflect upon my experiences. I also hope that it will become a place where people feel they can relate, and are comfortable providing their respectable input, as the Internet is a way for us to interact on a worldwide scale!

However, I digress. Along with emerging from the conference feeling empowered and excited about all the ways I will be able to enforce positive change in lacking areas, along with contribute to ongoing positive efforts, I also felt kind of useless. You see, beginning in 2009, I have begun to accumulate muliple fitness certifications as I’m certified in the following ways: fitness instructor, personal trainer, nutritional wellness specialist, zumba instructor, and yoga instructor.

For those who have an appreciation of linguistics, accumulated is not a good word to describe becoming more educated since it lacks the feeling of passion. Yet, before and immediately after achieving each certification, I was incredibly inspired to learn more about becoming great in my role, and about how to integrate all of the knowledge gained from other certifications to provide my clients and participants with a phenomenal experience.

Regarding my numerous certifications, yesterday and for a long time before, I felt like I wasted my money (and should have instead put it towards paying down my students loans). And I feel that way because I’m not tapping into my potential…I’m too scared that people will have incredibly high expectations of me, and that ill first impressions will never change, but instead will diffuse to others. In an effort to gain some more practical experience to help me grow and gain confidence in my abilities as a personal trainer, I’ve done a few personal training shadowing sessions at different gyms. Instead, I felt overwhelmed. But, after this conference, I started thinking in a different way.

In particular, I attended a session about Yoga and Trauma, facilitated by Farah Jindhani and Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa. In the past I read about the calming effects of yoga, and was so uplifted by what I read that I decided to complete the classroom portion of a level 1 training with Yogafit Canada this past May. Yet, from then and now, I haven’t looked through the book to teach myself the poses, nor have I attended a yoga class at my gym, or made any efforts to voluntarily teach 8 hours of yoga to complete my certification. I’ve had intentions to do all of the above, but I haven’t followed through because I’m de-motivated, scared that I’m going to do a horrible job, and am just starting to see myself as a lazy, excuse-making blob.

As I delve into my reflective process, I’m remembering that working hard to obtain a certification is only the beginning, then comes the real work of staying up-to-date on the everchanging information, and practicing what you preach to your clients – so that you are both an internal and external representation. Having these certifications is a priviledge and a source of future potential, but it doesn’t guarantee that I will genuinely be respected. For example, I’ve been teaching fitness classes since 2010, but I still get nervous that participants won’t enjoy my classes. In fact, my confidence shattered more upon hearing a changeroom conversation referring to me, stating that my class was too easy, and that the participant is more fit than I am, and would teach a better class without even being certified. But as the saying goes, let your haters be your motivators. So, in conjuction withmy internal motivation, I will do just that. I will be posting my goals and plan of action on this blog, to make it official, and hopefully be connected with others who can relate, either directly in indirectly.