How to embrace your inner tortoise - Meet The Slow Coach

‘The Slow Coach’ blog has been created after a period of reflection during lock down and designed for anyone leading busy lives but are craving balance, equanimity and calm. Slowing down our pace and embracing our inner wise tortoise.

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The impact of Coronavirus has given many of us the unexpected time out, which has in turn made us challenge the way we lead our lives, our work, our commuting time, family connections, where we focus our energy, the time we don’t have for the people we most love.

I feel the storm of change looming, a new way of living, learning, being and working. We have all experienced our own personal journey this year and discovered the resilience and creative thinking to get us through this time, but not without a cost. Is it time to make more permanent changes? Is it time to go at a slower pace, one that we are in control of and can set the speed limit? Never has there been a more global thought-provoking time, let us face it we are living through a huge historical event, one that will be taught in our schools and ruminated over for years to come.

Is this your big chance to change?

Has change been imposed on you and do not know what to do?

How can we embrace our inner tortoise and set off on the path to our true purpose in life?

Why the Slow Coach?

Lockdown did things to me, like many, it forced me to stop and re-evaluate. I was still working thanks to the powers of Zoom, running a community life coaching project part time. I was also experiencing waves of emotions, later named as ‘ The corona coaster’ so between keeping my clients safe, my family safe and me safe, there was little room for anything else. In times of adversity its interesting to see patterns and coping mechanisms. Mine was cooking related, as I suddenly stepped into a daily episode of ‘ready, steady, cook’ and made it my mission to create the tastiest meals, with the most random ingredients.

The other coping mechanism was taking advantage of the ‘daily exercise’ and enjoying an evening stroll with my Significant Other. I’d always loved walking as my exercise of choice, you see I can’t run to save my life, in fact the last time I did run, it was for a bus back in 1986, unsuccessfully I may add. Match the walking with the mini spring heatwave and there started to form a silver lining to the devastating effects of Covid-19. Walking was my sanity and safe place. By being outside I would see other faces, It was my people fix, as an extrovert I had started to really struggle with the isolation factor and in turn my energy plummeted. I had even started bird watching as I could not people watch (turns out I am still rather addicted, and we have now invested in lots of bird feeders and even a pair of binoculars).

This is when the Corona Bulb moment occurred. During those evenings of walking, talking and observing, I came to the realisation that the one thing I had been advocating in my coaching business, I had myself stopped doing. Guilty of over doing things, over working, over thinking and I was over it! Not getting my balance aligned with my family/work/home and friends, even the cat was feeling ignored. This led to the Corona Crunch moment that something would need to change and I set out to build new boundaries, listen to my friends and family as I reached out for their reflections and did the biggest 360 in years since starting my business, and took time out.

All was going well, until this one morning where my inner critic decided to attack me. I find my IC loves playing with me when I am tired or on the verge of something wonderful, it takes advantage of the tiredness and then goes to town on sabotaging my new direction and positive changes. The IC started the moment I started my walk, I noticed as runners, walkers and cyclists overtook me, (keeping their distance) that the IC voice started screaming

  • You are so slow
  • Everyone will overtake you
  • You have always been a slow coach and you always will
  • You will never beat anyone
  • You will never reach their level
  • You will never be as fast as them
  • You will always come last
  • Give up now

I carried on with my walk, torturing myself and an hour later stumbled home in floods of tears. In fact, I cried for several days, whist I unravelled what was going on for me and it got me wondering.

  • What is wrong with being slow?
  • What is wrong with being overtaken? Remember the parable about the tortoise and hare.
  • Why does being a slow coach have to be so negative, surely, I am just enjoying the moment?
  • Why do I want to beat anyone, walking is my pleasure?
  • What is wrong with my speed, my level, me?
  • They will never be as slow as me
  • If I am happy in my own lane at my own pace that is good enough for me
  • Do not give up now, start something new, now!

And just like that the IC was silenced by my biggest fan, my inner BFF

I am loving this new direction, SLOW coaching and having more time. It feels right, in fact this is what I have been searching for, just didn't see that it was under my nose all this time.

SLOW coaching does not mean no action, quite the opposite, it simply means

S Starting to

L Live

O Organically and

W Wholesomely

Why the tortoise?

I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I fell in love with my beloved Tortoise or my graceful Turtles, but it was when I was living and working in Greece in my early twenties (long time ago)

The tortoises roamed wild in the mountains and the turtles were frequently spotted along various bays along the Peloponnese, with a nesting place in the city of Kalamata. We once rescued a wild tortoise from in the middle of the road, whilst I was guiding an excursion with a coach full of tourists. We came screeching to a halt, I jumped out and removed the ‘Helona’ (Greek for tortoise), out of danger, and was congratulated by a riotous applauds from the coach. I was officially the ‘Helona rescuer’.  I love their independence, resilience and wisdom. I resonated with their need to hibernate during the cold months and their ability to go wherever they wanted, with their home on their back. They live for years and years and are the most unusual looking things I've ever seen.

That is my WHY

Why I love Helonas, so it seemed to be one of those moments of synchronicity to include my little friends into my slow coaching and embrace the inner tortoise.

There are more stories, and even a cartoon I created which I will share with you on another blog

The first Five steps to embracing the inner tortoise:

  1. What is the one thing that consumes your time?
  2. What is the one thing that consumes your energy?
  3. What is the one thing you yearn to change?
  4. What would life look and feel like after this change has been made?
  5. What would life look and feel like if this change does not happen

Life and Career Coaching is my passion and now I can be the slow coach I always wanted to be, just in a really rewarding way, that get results every time. 

Thank you for reading and would welcome any comments



Clare Percival

Life & Career Coach /Ambassador, Now it's all about me

I'm Clare, a life and career coach, NLP practitioner and champion of people. My aim is to help bring change, purpose and fulfillment into the lives of those who need it the most, by taking action. Learning to live life in colour and going at a pace that suits.