What Do You Stand For In This World?

“Are you a Social Worker, a coach or a Yoga Teacher?” This is a question that I have been asked over and over. I respond with something like “I’m all of those things”. To which a perplexed person looks at me with an unspoken “huh?”. To me, they are all the same as much as they are different. I feel like responding with something like “I also love cooking, tripping over myself, I eat probably way more peanut butter than what is recommended consumption for one person in a day and I can almost be expected to be ten minutes late anywhere I go.... so I’m not sure what you are asking?”.

What the person is asking, or trying to decipher, is what category they should plop me in to. Should I be in the cardigan wearing “helper” box or the lycra wearing “asana enacting” box? But What if I like wearing cardigans with my Lycra? The person may also be trying to decipher who I work with. I like working with humans. I am human. I have learned things about those areas of work which have come to shape my world outlook. Just like some people have found an infinity with trees, animals or computers .... mine has been in exploring what makes us human from seemingly different lenses.

And the commonalities I have found between each of these areas: 
They are about connection
They are about humanity
They all involve creation and expansion, human potential and opportunity
They are about empowerment 
They are about living more fully
They are about self ownership
They are about being present
They are all about listening
They are all about relationships 
They are all about wellbeing
They are all about standing in integrity and authenticity 
They are all about healing and growth
They are all about sitting with real world stuff that can be tricky to navigate and finding a way through
They’re all about building awareness and resilience 
They’re all about building a stronger society
They are all about caring for something beyond ourselves

So.... in essence, if you would like to define me, ask me not for my title, but what I stand for in this world. Perhaps that’s a question we could be asking one another more often

By Michelle Andrea Gardiner, January 2019