Updated: Jul 6
When I began Breathwork Facilitator Training in April of 2021, my typical mode of operation was "get things done quickly so I could move forward knowing that I have learned what I need to know so I can feel "legit"!" (aka, allow myself to feel confident in my practice). However, I have realized that no certification will ever give me the authority to have confidence. Rather, that confidence is buried within me and is evoked by the more I practice, embody and re-member.
Lately I have been on a path of slowing down. This path has shown me the ways I was internalizing, and embodying, capitalistic behavior. That behavior feeds off of low-confidence - you must work harder, nay - multitask! - to prove your worth. The behavior that tells us we need to do, be, get, make, promote, achieve, and earn - to be "successful." Layering to-dos with one another, and then topping it off with wanting to meet (or surpass) other's expectations of us (or expectations of ourselves). I was living the life that was taught to me by society: work hard and success will come. The idea that success is defined by money earned and status gained. But I am getting run over by "success." I am exhausted.
So in efforts to slow down, an online breathwork group I facilitated the other day had the theme of "A Winter's Walk" - a gently and mystical journey through the sacral into the magical self. A space, and place, to slow down and find the inner relaxation we could all use.
I slowed down my talk -- not cracking jokes in attempt to razzle dazzle the participants. I slowed down my music - not trying to cultivate emotional releases from others as a vain attempt to see my "worth" as a practitioner (aka - when I facilitate a session and one has a big release, I think "wow, I helped make that happen, I must be good at this!" <sigh>). I slowed down my guidance - not directing too much and allowing others to take the reins of their own experience.
I slowed down my listening. I didn't jump into giving advice, or making jokes in my discomfort of receiving praise or gratitude at the end. I listened. Sure, I was wringing my hands under the table nervously and was sweating like crazy.... but I didn't interject with humor.... I listened.... and whats more, I received.
I was able to truly receive the feedback of others. What I did not expect was how it would make my body feel. Instead of myself getting feedback of "you are hilarious" and it making my shoulders a bit wider - I heard "you are genuine" and my heart filled up. My heart expanded in size and it was so full of love that it felt like a flowing river going in and out and all around my chest.
But it was more than receiving praise... I was the fact that others allowed me to be a part of their experience - that I was invited into their world to facilitate their breath. They trusted me. That is a huge gift, and honor, that I hold with the utmost respect and gratitude.
What this did, was fill me with confidence. Sure, I worked hard on learning - on growing with the knowledge that I accrued in classes, books, and workshops. But I also didn't try to impress - I didn't do the song and dance routine to "prove that I am likable." Instead, I slowed down - stood and spoke with embodied wisdom. I was seen, and received by others in my authenticity. I received honest feedback from those who breathed with me - and I listened with an open heart first, open mind second. I feel confident.
So yes, confidence can come from our knowing of content.... but true felt confidence - that feeling of knowing ourselves, grounded in our bodies, comfortable with our truth, trusting divine timing/processes, and welcoming others in - all of this comes not from certifications but from experience. Being willing to slow down, strip our masks and armor, and be seen for who we truly are - real, raw and authentic - acting and speaking from the embodied wisdom. Because when I finally became comfortable with that and owned it.... I became confident.