“I've rarely experienced a 'training' program that so effectively combines rigorous methodology with generous heart. I now have a living compendium of precise, relevant practices.”
“Working with Joanne and Laura has been transformational at many levels of my life. Through their Integral Coaching® training, I have come to understand what “being human” means.”
“Integral Coaching Canada provides what we believe is the most complete and comprehensive coaching program available. ”
A New School Year - The Dance Between Loss and Silver Linings
These ever changing and uncertain times are calling for something new. From you. From me. From all of us as we collectively navigate new and uncharted territory and as we step into what is calling to us now. Changes. Adjustments. Some small. Some large.
There is much to grieve in these times, and the losses we experience are unique to each of us: the loss of a job or income, the loss of regular human touch and interaction, the loss of a loved one, or perhaps the loss of the small freedoms we previously took for granted. At the same time, there is also much to look forward to at this time of year in Canada as the fall season approaches and the array of vibrant colours are getting ready for their wild display, followed shortly thereafter by the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet. This new season also coincides with the beginning of a new school year here in Canada, for children, for young adults, and also for us here at ICC. An unprecedented beginning of the ‘school year’ for all of us, and one that is calling for something distinctly different from each of us.
I spent the last few weeks of August at a beautiful little cottage in Lakeville Corners, New Brunswick, where we were self-isolating with our son, Luke, as he got ready to start his first year of university. A bittersweet time as I tried to squeeze out every last moment with Luke before dropping him off in Fredericton, not knowing when we’ll next see him as he’ll now be living in the ‘Atlantic Bubble’ with no dates on the horizon for when that region will open up again to the rest of Canada. I grieve the loss of time with my son and his presence and energy in our home. There is so much uncertainty in these times we are now living in. Yet, I’ve experienced over and over again the proverbial silver lining that shines through. Two weeks of isolation together with our son, just us with Luke, playing cards, horseshoe, badminton, fishing, swimming, hiking, s’mores on the fire pit, and more. This would never have happened here in Ottawa. Luke would have been off enjoying every last minute with his friends and I’m grateful for those precious few weeks; it was my silver lining.
Here at ICC we are also entering unprecedented times as we kick off our new school year where we are offering all of our courses fully online. A big decision and one that we felt called to make in support of continuing to make our training available to all who feel called to it right now. All but one of our Fall courses are filled with wait lists, and the last European Module is filling quickly. People from far corners of the world are registering for classes they no longer have to travel to or get travel VISAs for. Another silver lining.
I am continuing to process Laura’s recent news where we’ve learned that the targeted chemo drug therapy that she’d been taking from May - July had no effect. The tumours in her lungs and liver continued to grow. Her oncologist called her an ‘enigma’ as the results don’t make sense, given the type of cancer she has. Heartbreaking news. I’m grieving the loss of a generous amount of ‘more time with Laura’ that I’d desperately hoped this drug would provide. And yet, there is still hope.
She is now trying a different chemo drug and hoping that Plan B will have an impact. She will find out in the next couple of months once she has another set of CT Scans. Concurrently, she is also in the process of seeing if there is something unique to her genetic code that is preventing the drugs to treat estrogen positive cancer. We are all hoping for the best and Laura is feeling well these weeks. But for now, as Joanne so aptly put it, we continue to wait in the great land of unknowns and enigmas.
Please continue to send your love, care, prayers to Laura and Joanne who have both been in this incredibly difficult time with such grace and fortitude. They have been constantly adapting and integrating the latest ‘what is’ in ways that also embrace what is beautiful, raw and real in their lives moment to moment, day to day. I am in awe.
I have also been profoundly proud of and impressed by the work of the ICC team and our teachers as we get all of our courses ready for delivery in our fully online format. Each member of the team brings incredible creativity while staying deeply rooted in the tenets of our training and what makes ICC’s training uniquely powerful, rich, challenging, supportive, intimate, and moving. Susan Loree and Steve Beckett are an incredibly powerful teaching team and are now co-teaching MCM. Over the last few years, Susan has been taking over the role Laura has had in managing the design changes, and the team of teachers (Steve Beckett, Chris Alder and Jenni Tipper) have been working closely with Susan to create these innovative changes. Similarly, the small and mighty ICC team of Linda, Diana and Taylor have been working throughout the summer to make sure all the technology and course materials are ready to go. What a team effort! The gift of this significant project at this time is seeing that we all deeply embody all that Laura and Joanne have been cultivating in us for so many years. We’ve got this!
Seven years ago, Laura and Joanne formally retired from teaching full-time and they wondered, “Will people still come to take these courses we poured our full selves into?” Yes, they have. And continue to do so. Four years ago, Laura and Joanne stepped aside from managing ICC and they wondered, “Will the company continue to innovate and grow into new chapters with integrity?” Yes, we have. And continue to do so.
As we go forward, the ICC team is steadily focused on our path of evolution, bringing ICC to its next chapter and next chapter and next chapter, as it has repeatedly done for 17 years. I have to tell you that I continue to be honoured every day to get to lead this team and to be a part of an incredible group of human beings. And, I am grateful beyond words for the ongoing strategic guidance Joanne and Laura continue to provide.
So, as you go forward in these unprecedented times, as you navigate the unknowns in your life and grieve the losses unique to you in your world, may you too find new ways to lean into what’s now calling to you. May you also find your silver linings and may they infuse you with joy.
Welcome to the new school year.