Week 1 of my ‘Fit for Life’ Bush Healing program with the local Aboriginal Community.
Well finally got under way with my new project here in Canberra, and what an amazing first day it was.
Once we got settled in and had breakfast (yes, we have breaky every morning), we sat down for our first ‘yarning circle’
Given the fact it was minus 5 outside we remained inside, in the comfort of the house.
For those that don’t know what a yarning circle is:
Yarning circles can be used in formal and less formal situations.
Lore(law) making, meeting new people, conducting regular social gatherings and for family or staff meetings.
The purpose of a Yarning circle is for all people to be able to speak and to be heard in a safe and respectful environment on equal footing with all speakers and listeners.
What was soon to unfold I was not expecting at day 1.
Why you ask??
With the nature of the program, I have no background information about the men I was meeting. I knew they would be coming from a variety of backgrounds, some in trouble with the law, some dealing with past/present demons that we will be working through, but I was going in blind.
I walked in with no idea what to expect or what was going to happen at our first session.
Over the last few weeks as I had been preparing for day 1, I had just been sitting quietly by myself and talking to my partner at various times about what would be the best outcome of the program, and how should I structure day 1, knowing we were just going to do the yarning circle.
With my last 20 odd years as a trainer and coach, to thousands of people from all walks of life, my best results have always come with me just being honest and truthful myself whenever I talk to my clients, so I made the decision to be no different.
I knew I would be the one talking first, so once we got through the introductions I spoke the 100% truth about my background, my own addictions in my life and issues (yes, I have a FEW).
Every single one of the men sat there and did not say a word, but I could tell that they were all listening with intent.
I believe they were keen to know who the ‘outsider’ was that was coming in and what could he possibly do to help them?
I spoke about my past, present and future (my own goals/dreams), and once I was done speaking I felt about 5kg lighter (they heard some stuff about me that not too many people in the universe know). I am not sure why but once I started speaking I felt very calm and relaxed and felt like I was in a safe environment. Given the backgrounds of some of them (once I found out about them), you would be forgiven for bottling up some info and holding back!
As I spoke I could see the facial expressions and the way they sat change over time. I could tell they were becoming comfortable with me (a very good thing). They knew they were safe around me, and that I had also lived a life that has had its own high’s and very low’s.
We moved around the room, as each person spoke, with not one other person speaking or interrupting, it was an amazing hour or so. I cannot go into detail, but every single one of the gents had opened up to me and spoke truthfully about their own personal lives, and pasts for which I am truly grateful.
Given my background, part of the program is to put some physical activity into the program, so I decided to see the reaction I got once we all started talking about fitness/sport, etc.
A few of the boys had some Rugby League gear on, so I thought there was a possibility that they may have played sport at a younger age or were at the very least interested in sport/fitness.
Pleased to say that I was 100% right, all the boys have come from a footy background, and all were more than happy to talk sport, so we started to talk about setting a few targets/goals that we could work toward together for the duration of the program, that will lead to more positive outcomes (more about that in another post) for everyone.
Within the next 20 mins, I had some feedback from all the boys with what they would really like to achieve from the program which was fantastic!
I even got them all up to a little 15 min stretch & a few postural evaluations of various exercises as well – WINNING
Then it wa time to team up with Oz Harvest and get to work on some cooking skills for the crew.
Really looking forward to the months ahead and working with the guy’s.
One of the boys even gave us a motto the we all resonated with that we will use for the program:
“One day at a time, one step at a time”, we just need to keep moving forward
I will be back with more next week.
‘Fit for Life’ Coach/Mentor
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