This is where I get to tell you a little bit about me, what makes me tick and what brought me here.
I could give you a long list of all the things that contribute to making up Nic the coach e.g. my professional qualifications and experience, all which are valid and important, but I think I’ll begin with what I consider to be my most important qualification:
I am totally, utterly and insanely in LOVE with humanity and this exhilarating and gut wrenching ride around space on this beautiful planet home of ours.
Looking back on my life from where and as whom I am now I can clearly see the progression of the many wonderful opportunities, teachers, experiences and initiations that my life has been gifted with, and which have served to propel me along on my own personal evolutionary trajectory to arrive here as the man I am today. Many of these experiences have been beautiful, expansive and miraculous. And many of them have broken me, ripped me open, bared my Soul and tossed my parts asunder, forcing me to abandon my grip on the person I thought I was, to surrender to the process of being unmade.
It has been these experiences that, whilst they hurt like hell at the time, have been my biggest blessings, the ones I am most grateful for, and the ones that have made me bloody good at what I do.
There is nothing like a brush with death to be shown the infinite value of every moment of life. There is no better instruction into the complex beauty of the human interior than a visit beyond the edge of sanity. And there is no place more exquisitely painful as the deepest valley of heartbreak from where to discover the depths and breadths of loves intoxicating landscape.
So while my professional education and experience along with my dedication to my own personal development has indeed helped provide a framework from which to understand and respond to life’s unfolding, it has been the colourful pallet of life’s experiences that have provided me with a deep love, appreciation and understanding of the whole spectrum of this magnificent human condition; from birth to death, light to dark, transcendent to imminent, masculine to feminine, body to soul, and all the crazy, devastating and delicious bits in between and beyond.
I am consistently dedicated to discovering how, with my unique package of gifts, I can be the best man, best dad, best coach, best lover and best global citizen I can be, and then committing to living that in all aspects of my life. I don’t always get it right. I don’t have all the answers. I will always be a work in progress. But the commitment I make to that work is fierce, unwavering and ongoing.
Here are a few more details of the journey thus far for those that are interested.
After a fairly ordinary working class childhood in northern England, at 16 I left school and set off in search of adventure and “manhood” and joined the Royal Navy. After 5 years as a Mechanical Engineer and a Diver, I left the Navy, moved to Australia, got married, co-created a couple of kids, and continued a fairly uninspiring but necessary engineering career. Oh and the search for that illusive thing called “manhood” continued.
At 22 I experienced what was to be my first great initiation into life.
On a regular drunken night out with my brother and a friend, acting like a fool, I was forcibly removed from a night club whilst being punched and kicked. A few hours later I was in hospital after collapsing with massive internal injuries being told I might die. Thankfully my injuries weren’t as severe as initially thought and after a week in hospital I was discharged with a nice big scar from sternum to pubic bone but without a spleen.
While my physical body miraculously adjusted to its spleenlessness, what started to become apparent was some dramatic internal changes that had occurred. I did not see and relate to the world in the same way I was used to; My self-confidence was shattered, I could not handle any hint of conflict or violence even on TV, I was unable to cope with the slightest stress, and I couldn’t sleep. My previously solid self-identity had crumbled in a heap. I was confused, angry and really scared.
Eventually, despite my efforts to hide from reality and pretend everything was ok, I experienced a mild but classic psychotic break. I then had no choice but to accept that I needed help. I took myself to my GP who sent me off with a box of pills, a repeat prescription and a referral to a psychiatrist who then diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and severe depression. The support I received from the medical profession of the time was, in my opinion, poor and ineffective, and other than the drug therapy I wasn’t offered any other options. The drugs helped provide a base line from where I could at least function, but I knew it wasn’t the full answer.
I decided I needed to take matters into my own hands and learn about myself and my experience, to equip myself with some knowledge, skills and strategies to not only cope with life but to do life really well. To take charge and do what I could to both heal and gain meaning from my experience, to turn my breakdown into a break through.
I immersed myself into an in-depth study of the multifaceted human condition. This included western science, psychology and philosophy as well as the ancient wisdom traditions and healing practices of the east. This lead me to make some drastic and very positive changes in my life and my career.
I went on to study and gain industry recognised qualifications in Energy medicine, meditation teaching, Transpersonal Counselling, Life Coaching, Tantra and Youth Work, plus far too many small courses, workshops and programs for me to mention.
Possibly the most prominent and powerful realisation that I gained from my own experience with mental and emotional dis-ease was the fact that I, as a man, grew up grossly ill-equipped to adequately navigate the varying terrain of my internal emotional landscape. What was also clearly evident was how this deficiency in basic life skills, not only my own but in all men, has an enormously negative impact on, not only we men, but on the whole of society; our partners, our children, our fellow men, the greater community and the earth herself.
From this moment my purpose was clear; to dedicate myself to the evolution of manhood. To play my part in empowering, enabling and embodying men and boys with the skills, resources and self-awareness to thrive in their relationships to themselves, their loved ones and their world. To help them be the best men, best lovers, best partners, best dads, best mates, best leaders, the best living examples of a healthy manhood and to then stand alongside women to co-create a peaceful, harmonious and sustainable world. This work has now evolved and expanded to include working with relationships and with women.
My path has blessed me with some fabulous opportunities to work in broad and diverse ways and with a wide range of people, both in the community sector and in private practice such as:
- Counselling and facilitating Anger Management programs for male perpetrators of family violence as part of parole and court order conditions.
- Residential youth care with young boys and victims of trauma and with high and complex needs.
- Development and facilitation of a bullying resilience program delivered to thousands of students in schools across NSW.
- Development and facilitation of Boys to Men Rite of passage camps
- Facilitation of integrated life skills retreat for ex-service men in conjunction with Soldier On Veterans support services.
- Facilitation of numerous men’s and mixed group programs and workshops
- I am a faculty member of the internationally acclaimed Beautiful You Coaching Academy
- I am also an experienced speaker and writer and am available for media engagements.
Two foundation stones of my philosophy for life, and which also drive my work, are authenticity and transparency. I believe in showing up as all that I am, with all aspects of myself available for the world to see and experience, and I encourage the same in my clients. Of course this is always an ongoing and evolving process as my self-awareness ever deepens and broadens to new and exciting levels and dimensions.
I hope my story and the journey it has taken me on provides you with some insight to who I am, what motivates me to do this amazing work and how I can help you. With this in mind, I am always happy to share and answer any appropriate questions you may have about my personal journey, if it is useful for your own.