An update from Kāmahi recipient Jessie Cross

The Kamahi Trust

My last week of coaching marks nearly 12 months since my husband and I moved to Nelson, and over 6 months since I started my coaching scholarship with Rebecca. Looking back over this time of massive change, I’m filled with gratitude for the opportunity to dive deep into what makes me tick, and perhaps more importantly, the deeply ingrained beliefs and behaviours that hold me back. 

I came into this coaching process seeking a sense of clarity and direction. At the beginning of the process, I was struggling to find meaningful, full-time work after losing my job to COVID. I was grappling with a desire to have a positive impact through my work, but couldn’t see a clear path to achieve that. I was juggling multiple projects, trying to find my feet here in Nelson, and caught up in a sense of being always busy, but not really getting anywhere. 

Going through the coaching with Rebecca helped me to identify the elements of my ideal future, and the barriers that might come up to stop me getting there. Along the way I found myself frequently getting frustrated and discouraged by the fact that I didn’t feel like I was achieving my goals or working towards my desired future fast enough. This in itself was a huge learning curve for me – to understand that my default way of operating is to be constantly pushing myself for results, and being incredibly hard on myself when they don’t eventuate as quickly as I’d hoped.

I suspect that many people, and particularly young people who want to make a positive difference with their lives, feel the sense of urgency to get everything done right now.

Jessie Cross

One of the core aspects of the coaching was to come up with a phrase that describes who I am and how I am when I’m at my best. Having this as an anchor has helped me hugely with keeping perspective, and reminding myself to have patience and go easier on myself. 

I suspect that many people, and particularly young people who want to make a positive difference with their lives, feel the sense of urgency to get everything done right now. For me, this is exacerbated by the urgency and significance of the challenges that we, as a human community, are facing. It’s so easy to get caught up in the enormity of the problems around us that we lose sight of the possibilities. I have definitely found myself falling into this trap, on a fairly regular basis! 

With the tools I’ve learned through coaching, I’m now able to more quickly recognise when I’m falling into those old traps, and instead focus on possibilities and opportunities. It’s incredible how with that subtle shift in mindset, more opportunities begin to present themselves. 

So, where to from here for me? My goal is to have more positive social and environmental impact by doing less. That’s quite counter-intuitive for me, as someone whose usual mode of operation is to cram my days full. But I’m becoming increasingly aware that doing more and more to try and fix big problems (like climate change) can actually have the opposite effect, despite best intentions. 

I’ve realised that having a positive impact doesn’t have to look grand or big. One small project I’m working on at the moment is teaching a weekly yoga class at Pūtangitangi Greenmeadows centre in Stoke to provide an opportunity for people to move their bodies and calm their minds – hopefully within walking or biking distance of their home. I have a long-term vision for creating a wellness & connection space that focuses on the simple and healthy joys of movement, gardening, connecting and creating. But I’m in no rush. In the meantime, I’ll be continuing to focus on small deeds like growing food in our vege garden, working on craft projects, reducing our household waste and making healthy food. It’s these small things that add up to the big thing for me: living a life filled with joy, with a light footprint, that paves the way for future generations to be able to do the same. 

I’m incredibly grateful to Rebecca for setting up the Kāmahi Trust, and for her generosity in offering me this 6-month coaching scholarship. I’m excited to keep walking my path – now with a much brighter flashlight and a full toolbox to help me find my way!

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