We often hear that one of the greatest benefits of Spring’s work is cross-learning and creating a community of like-minded change makers from across the globe.
Many course attendees choose to continue developing their capacities through on-on-one coaching. Now Spring’s newest coaching offering - Pod Coaching - allows for development and growth alongside other social and climate justice leaders.
What can Pod Coaching do? We spoke to Nikita Patodia, a social justice leader from Mumbai who works to amplify the voices of Indian women through art and media. She recently joined 4 others in an on-line Pod coaching series of 6 sessions.
Here are the 5 things Nikita told us about how Pod Coaching supported her to transform her perspectives and capacities.
1. Being Your Imperfect Self
How was the experience of a coaching environment with 4 other people?
I was never the kind of person that was comfortable talking about myself, even to the point where I feel like if I’m thinking about myself too much, I don’t like it, because it feels like that’s selfish. I probably have these ideas from some dirty page of the patriarchal textbook, but I’ve always felt that.
I shared this Pod space with five brilliant people. Like them, and despite that we all do different work in different countries, the coaching program gave me the space to embrace my imperfect self, to bring my personal and professional life together, and to hear how that works for others. Just being part of the group allowed me to show up more fully, where I could express safely, because it was a very guided and well-facilitated space. It was the perfect space to bring my doubts and questions.
2. Hearing from People Who ‘Get It’
What’s different about an activist’s perspective?
The idealized version of the activist doesn’t exist. We all have doubts. In fact, we have more doubts than other professionals as we are constantly questioning everything. When we spoke about certain pain points during our sessions, they seemed to resonate with everyone.
It was valuable having activists from other places sharing their issues. We connected. Learning from each other is very important. This is the way we work.
3. Honoring Purpose-Driven Work
What was the most valuable insight about your life and work?
I never knew where to take the intersection of my personal and professional worlds. I don’t take personal feelings to work, because I prefer to maintain a certain boundary with my colleagues. But this is also how capitalism trains us. To be "perfect workers".
My work is so personal to me, so my personal is professional. I now believe it is okay to let them intersect when they do. I’d never thought of myself and my work and my passion in that way before. I’d thought of all those things, but separately and independently, never together. was valuable having activists from other places sharing their issues. We connected. Learning from each other is very important. This is the way we work.
Because of the clarity I have gained I feel much more relaxed. I’ve been bringing my more integrated self to conversations with my partner, at work and in workshops. I feel I have been able to resolve this conflict, one I’d been struggling with for a long time.
4. Discovering What Can Change
What has shifted in your life with the support of this group?
The conversations and practices helped me be in the moment, and get clarity about what matters to me the most. It helped to ground myself.
5. Going Forward Fiercely
What will you do differently now?
I won’t hold myself back as I used to do. In the past I hated talking about myself. Compartmentalizing my professional self was very isolating. I have changed that. The way I write has changed too. I don’t hold back. And I feel more whole.