Written by Nat Young.
I have what you would call a ‘portfolio career’. I obviously run Aurora, teaching yoga and providing therapy but clients often don’t realise that I also have an employed job as a Project Manager. (If you work for a corporate and you’ve stumbled upon the Aurora site in search of help for work-based stress, I very much understand what you may be going through!)
Anyway, a couple of months ago I had some personal therapy as I was struggling to make sense of why I was handling stress the way I was. A lot of people don’t realise that therapists themselves can benefit from personal therapy. Indeed, while we are building up client hours in our first five years of practice, personal therapy hours are mandatory for therapists who want to register with UKCP. The purpose of personal therapy isn’t so that we’re ‘mentally sorted’ so we can see clients (that’s not possible as life changes and people can always benefit from therapy from time to time) but sometimes people (including therapists!) just need a qualified person with an outside perspective to help them work through life’s struggles. As well as working through our own personal process, personal therapy hours also benefit therapists by allowing them to experience the therapeutic process through the eyes of a client. I think this is invaluable insight and something that can only improve a therapist’s client work.
Anyway, aside from all of this, one of the key realisations I made during my recent personal therapy is that I’m naturally attracted to change in my work life. I’ve been running Aurora for four years but I’ve worked as a Project Manager for more years than I care to remember. Project Managers manage change in a controlled way, whether those changes are to do with people, technology, business processes or other physical artefacts such as buildings or infrastructure. I’ve always thought that comparing my job as a yoga teacher and therapist with my Project Manager job was a bit like comparing chalk and cheese. However, these roles really aren’t that dissimilar. Let me explain…
A therapist’s primary role is to be a ‘change agent’; helping others to manage their own personal change process so that they feel better and achieve their potential. A yoga teacher’s role is to help others to change themselves physically or to show students how to be at peace with the ebbs and flows of life. Can you see the similarities between these goals and my role as a Project Manager? Therapy and yoga are still involved with change, albeit in a wellbeing-related context.
For me, this realisation was incredibly powerful and although it took a lot of work on my part to explore my stress triggers and experiences of work, this realisation has been truly life-changing as my work life now makes more sense and I understand how I’ve ended up with this particular combination of roles in my work life. Even better, it’s not so ‘chalk and cheese’ after all.
As humans, we’re seekers of meaning and without meaning we can all feel a bit lost. If you would like some help to find meaning in your life, I could help you do just that. Whether you’re struggling with a work-based problem or something else, I could be the ‘change agent’ you need to get started. Get in touch here.