Last month I spent an incredible four days learning how to integrate the principles of #BlueHealthCoaching into my women's wellbeing workshops...
At the stunning Bedruthan Hotel on Cornwall's wild north coast, Going Coastal founder Lizzi Larbalestier hosted three of us on the second ever Blue Health Coaching Course.
Both lived experience and dedicated research have shown the ways in which being near, in or on the water can be positive for our mental and physical wellbeing.
I've inherently known this for a long time, always turning to the sea for solace, inspiration and escape. This year, I've wanted to learn more about how I can integrate elements of blue health into my wellbeing workshops. This might be through nature writing, walking and talking at the coast, or immersing ourselves in water in a multitude of ways.
Another important learning curve for me was how to be better at giving back. The interconnected water systems on our planet do so much for us, and I want to be a better advocate for preserving and protecting them. Being professionally focused on people and wellbeing, I've never felt brave enough to speak out about ocean advocacy before - I've always felt under-qualified. I'm not a conservation expert or marine biologist, so I was hesitant to 'stick my oar in' when I don't know as much as other people do.
The work I've done this year has reminded me that we need just artists and creatives to get behind environmental causes just as much as we need scientists to educate us about them. The role of the arts is to encourage people to care.
People protect what they love. People love what they know.
Some people's 'knowing' and 'loving' is from scientific engagement, and some people's is from emotional interaction and lived experience. Of course many people have both, and many sadly have neither.
My training as a Blue Health Coach has re-inspired me to cultivate a more balanced interaction with the blue spaces I know and love. I want to help the oceans as much as they help me.
Going forward with the Strength in Feathers programme of events for 2021, my plan is to include many more events which connect and engage us with our blue spaces here in Falmouth and Penryn. Some of these will be helping ourselves, and some of these will be helping our coastal environments. I expect many will be helping both.