One of the most important and unique aspects of the IAC Learning Agreements is how they are designed to support you. The goal is for the process to be an organic extension of your growth and learning, using the insights gleaned in your professional and personal life. The power of the Learning Agreement is its intended seamless integration as a way to live the Masteries. If it feels like a hindrance, if there appears to be no purpose, then it’s not doing its job. The point isn’t for the process to be burdensome.
I recently rediscovered this in a powerful way. Last month, my husband was unexpectedly hospitalized, 250 miles from our home, for over 3 weeks. In an instant, John Lennon’s quote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”, came to clearer focus than I’d experienced in quite some time.
Each step of the unexpected journey highlighted elements of the Masteries that allowed me to observe, respond, and be fully present to all that was happening. What probably helped more than anything was the gentleness I was able to bring to myself. The times I reacted, the times I worried, the times I demonstrated more “ineffective” than “effective” behaviors, the Masteries guided me to be in empathy with myself (M2), acknowledge my own humanity and limitations (M1), reminded me I had the option to respond from awareness, rather than falling to conditioned responses (M4).
The Learning Agreement I submitted earlier this year has lost some purpose, some meaning. I’ll be amending it to include the unexpected growth and insights I’ve gained recently. There is an opportunity for important reflection that can only strengthen my understanding of the Masteries.
And that is the point.
Do you have a question that you’d like to ask the certifiers? Submit your questions here: http://certifiedcoachblog.typepad.com/blog/ask-the-certifiers.html.
Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.