Wholeness within Gentle Teaching

The past year that I have spent learning about Gentle Teaching, watching transformation occur, and seeing genuine relationships evolve has been my favorite experience as a nurse.  The best part of the philosophy, and the most tangible to me, are the four pillars; safe, loved/valued, loving and engaged. These pillars easily tie into my clinical training in wholistic health, the view of body and mind as one dynamic process. If we break down each pillar separately, we are able to better see where we are balanced and where we need improvement.

Safe:
How is your emotional wellness? Are you being nurtured? Do you feel emotionally safe? Do you have insight/intuition? Are you financially stable?

Loved/Valued:
How is your mental wellness? Do you have opportunities to learn new skills? Do you have opportunities to share your wisdom with others? How is the environment around you?

Loving:
How is your spiritual wellness? Do you have vision/inspiration/enlightenment? Do you have companionship? Are you connected socially? Do you have a connection to the earth?

Engaged:
How is your physical wellness? Do you have a sense of community? Do you participate in activities meaningful to you? How’s your energy? How’s your presence? Do you have meaningful employment?

These questions within the four pillars allow us to take a step back and look at the big picture of overall health, awareness of our body, mind, heart, spirit, and the connectedness between them. To be in good wholistic health is to maintain balance in various areas of our lives while continuing to learn and grow as a person. This is why it is important that we re-visit the pillars often to re-evaluate where we are on our wellness journey.

Gentle Teaching is a malleable tool that can be useful in all sorts of applications. Sometimes all you need is a little perspective.

– Haley Ralko, Director of Mental Health Services

Being WITH one another is one of the main lessons I have grown to appreciate since being introduced to Gentle Teaching.

Often when I have the chance to catch up with somebody I have not seen for a while, the question always seems to pop up: “So, where are you working these days?”. This is a funny question for me to answer because when you truly find something that you are passionate about and enjoy doing on a daily basis, it’s no longer considered work – this is how Gentle Teaching has transformed me as a person. After graduating high school, I soon found myself at a job that did not offer any growth for myself as an individual. A cooking job that provided forty hours a week, but had me asking myself if this is really how I want to spend the next however many years of my life, at a job where I simply show up for a nine to five shift, then go home. I can imagine that I was among millions of people who couldn’t wait to be done work to get home and relax, dreading the thought of having to go back the next day. I needed a change, especially knowing that I had much more inside of me than that. COR was an option that I had considered applying for, but was ambiguous about at first. It’s the type of organization that was very unfamiliar to me solely because I was one of many who had the common attitude that people with a disability may be seen as troublesome and based my perception on the idea of their “behaviour”. I took a blind leap into Gentle Teaching and soon realized that a critical part of this culture of gentleness is shedding these beliefs and valuing people for who they are. Now, two years later, I have found myself buried so deep in the lives of the individuals I serve that the thought of not seeing them throughout the week is unnerving.

With COR, I now find myself getting lost in the moment with these individuals that I can honestly call my friends, forgetting about time all-together. From being part of a fast paced, aggressive work environment in the past, to now being a part of a community that practices Gentle Teaching in every aspect in life is truly a blessing. Gentle Teaching has helped me focus on building a sense of companionship and community with those that I serve and that there is no nine to five shift when it comes to being involved in others lives. The relationships you create and maintain with others directly revolves around the time you invest with them, being WITH one another is one of the main lessons I have grown to appreciate since being introduced to Gentle Teaching. This philosophy is truly something special, something you can’t just turn on or off when it fits. I believe it’s the unconditional compassion for others in which we all have inside of us.

 

Sawyer, COR Support