When the master becomes the student


There’s something I want to share and there’s a whole other part of me that is already saying ‘noooooo, don’t do it!’

Here we are saying to the world that we are willing to show up vulnerable and imperfectly perfect. Yet the moment there’s a chance to really do that every part of my being says “not this one”.

So, let me start by saying it and then it’s done

I don’t want to do the work.

When I say it like that, I’m already imagining several of you saying, ‘Nic, really? That wasn’t even worth a drum roll.’ For me it’s big. Let me explain why – there are a few strands so bear with me.

I’m currently going through a Masterclass with my back. (I don’t even want you to know that).

We’ve talked about Masterclasses before. Think of those times in your life where something happened that you didn’t plan and you definitely wouldn’t ever have chosen it because it’s intense. It’s actually custom made to bring up the stuff you have been avoiding. Deliberately so. Because let’s face it, for so many of us our back has to be against the wall with the wall on fire before we make a change.

You’ve had at least one Masterclass in your life. I’m guessing more.

I’ve had several. I know that when I see them as a simple act of a life LIVED and look for the gold or insight within them, my whole relationship with what’s happening changes.

That’s the exact purpose of a masterclass – to give you a profound shift in perspective and behavior so that you can make big changes and help others to do the same.

  • My mum passing unexpectedly was one.
  • My first marriage not lasting long enough to really open the presents was another.

I handled them. I tapped into inner wisdom. I knew I was being guided. Even when it got so bad I thought I could go under, I still knew deep down I wouldn’t.

So why does this feel so tough? They always do. And as usual, I don’t want this one to be mine.

This masterclass has gone on for weeks. Actually months. In fact when it first started I was mediating. I remember seeing the very first thought; “hey this isn’t my masterclass, bad backs are Danielle’s department”. Yep really.

I say I am the student, but I don’t want to be her. I want to be the master. Truthfully, I like being the teacher. The one who has already done the masterclass – who can show others the way and make it easier for them. Right now, my back is a whole new zone of not-knowingness.

I thought I was past this. (As if we ever are).

I had tapped into a belief that because I was a mediation teacher I could transcend pain. It didn’t even need to be a focus or a thing. Surely if I was present enough it wouldn’t even be there. Sometimes that’s absolutely true. Not always.

I’m showing up like a Warrioress, trying to fight it.

Despite the fact I could barely stand and hadn’t slept I said yes to a podcast interview recently. I thought, ‘I can push through this. It’s just 60minutes.’ The nausea was literally suffocating. Thankfully, Andy, my husband stepped in, “there ain’t no amount of Bobbi brown that’s going to cover that face up”. He was right, I pulled it.

Do you see the self-violence?

You should. You must. You can’t. You never. You’re always. When we talk into the Crazy Lady in our heads, it’s like an awful radio station.

My channels?

Guilt.fm. Shame.fm. Judgement.fm. High volume. Relentless. This masterclass seems to have got me directly hooked into a stadium sized speaker. It booms so loud that sometimes it hurts to touch my skin.

And then the quiet, deadly voice, “See, even you can’t get past this. You’re a Monk for goodness sake. Who do you think you are? A sham.” Ouch.

I’m a teacher of a different relationship with the mind – mind mastery. It changes lives. Forever. And right now, it feels like this voice and my inability to transcend this Masterclass is mocking everything I stand for.

We teach women to protect the asset – create fundamentals of self care.

We meet women who are so physically exhausted by life that even if we put in our defibrillators we barely get an alive reading. Imagine how tough it is to achieve your mission and step into your potential from THAT place? We show them another way. One where taking care of yourself is the ONLY way to make your mission happen.

So, imagine what it’s like literally crawling into events where people come to be inspired by strong, clear, congruent women…when you’re in agony and there’s no way to hide it. Especially when a big part of your message is and what if this was easy… oh the irony. Like a hot poker in my side.

Yet, what if it was easy?

My mind tells me it’s not. It hurts. I can’t even stand. If it was easy it would go away and I’d be over it by now.

Ah there it is. I should be over it right?


Because here’s the thing it’s not the pain. Even on 9/10 pain days.

It’s my thoughts about the pain that are creating the real pain. It’s my entire resistance to what is happening, that’s creating the angst.

I’m not talking about a pain in my little toe. It’s no accident that the pain is in my back. The bone structure that represents strength. The framework for my entire body. That without it has me be simply a bundle of bones. My back represents the mission control scaffolding centre. It’s telling me something and I’m doing everything I can to avoid the message. I want the silver bullet – just take it away.

Of course I do and that’s why it’s a masterclass.


I know I’m not alone in this. I speak to my clients about wanting “on demand” answers. We’re a culture of instant gratification. We don’t even have to get up and walk 5 yards to turn the channel over on the tv.

We’ve got so used to being passive in our own lives and yet wanting something to change. A different outcome. We’ve numbed out even from the decision or the transaction. We want a quick fix to feeling better.

I want a strong flexible back. One that represents inner strength, agility, power, connection, embodiment. That creates potential for all that I will become. I want to be old and strong for as long as I live on this planet.

Yet I’m still not listening. Even though I’ve pretended to. I’ve tinkered round the edges. I’ve done the odd half hearted stretches. Inconsistently. In front of The Good Wife. And expected it to get better. It’s got worse and I’ve cried in sheer frustration.

This week I sat down and proper cried with Danielle. I didn’t mean to. I said, ‘don’t’ look at me, I’m fine’. Of course,  the moment I said that we both knew I was busted. She sat and held the space and looked at me like I did with her 3 years ago when her back literally took her to surgery. The tears fell. Plop, plop, plop.

D; Tell me your insight?

N; Erm. I don’t know.

D; Space.

D; Space.

D; Space. (Hebbie jeebie eyes).

And that’s when the wisdom started to reveal itself.

  • I want to hide when I feel less than perfect.
  • I especially want to hide when I feel vulnerable.
  • I feel embarrassed and ashamed.
  • It’s still easy for me to go to victim when challenges come my way. Life is happening TO ME, instantly leaving me feeling powerless.
  • I feel so tired. Like beyond tired. Despite the fact that I sleep 8-10 hours a night. That scares me. What if I just end up sleeping all the time and don’t have the impact I want to have in the world?
  • I pull on the warrioress and tell myself rest is not the answer, override every message in my body and push through.
  • And when my body sighs and dials up the pain, I press delete and go again.
  • I have always worked as long as I wanted to. I love my work. Growth and service are core values. My history is I have used work to numb out and avoid. Either way working long days has always been an easy default setting me. Now I only stop because I have a husband and I want to give him time too. I don’t know how not to work.
  • I’ve made commitments, I haven’t got time to honour a message from my back asking for rest.
  • Despite being a meditation teacher and wholly understanding and knowing the power of now, slowing down and doing nothing is still a practice. Often I’m pretending to do nothing whilst doing something.
  • I know that everything is unfolding perfectly for me. But I still sometimes think Gods plan might need more than a little tweaking…
  • I love control. When I remember it’s an illusion and I genuinely can’t control anything not least my health I get frustrated, angry, upset, often simultaneously.
  • I take my body for granted. I act like a head waking round on its own. In fact I often totally forget I have a body.
  • I don’t want to change. I want my back to change.

And there it is. If I refuse to make changes, nothing changes.

Danielle was still waiting; ‘What’s your back saying to you?’

Notice me. Nourish me. You are vital. You are the asset. Ignore me and the framework is weak. Don’t take me for granted. Let go of the tension, the baggage, the busy-ness. Slow down. Put it down.



And my little voice whispers to Danielle; ‘But I don’t want to do the work’.

I look back at my life and see an old pattern;

It’s easier to go for a colonic then learn about nutrition.

It’s easier to go for a massage than learn how to self care.

It’s easier to ignore and work around than SURRENDER.

D ; ‘That’s the work, honey. You know it. Surrender.’


I thought I knew how to do that.

And of course when you think you know there’s always another opportunity to REALLY know.

Because I know that surrender isn’t a passive thing.

It’s the active process of accepting EVERYTHING that is and then EXPLORING.

How can I be in love with what is, right here and now?

How can I adapt to the changes that are happening?

What am I pretending not to know?

What can I learn?

And then breathing. Breathing. Breathing.

I know that there is no place to get to or end point.

There is simply life unfolding with a direct invitation moment to moment. Perfectly.

My only role?

To see the magic, the opportunities, the new ways before they silently pass by again.

I give it all of my attention.

I am a student of surrender. For now. For always.

With a back teaching me new things. More lessons in surrender.

Yours humbly.

Nic x

Ps I LOVE you DM.

8 thoughts on “When the master becomes the student”

    1. Yes yes yes indeed!

      I am seeing so clearly now that EVERYTHING is about self mastery.

      Anything and everything that happens to us is an opportunity to learn.

      And to have fun exploring.

      And now this whole journey will my back is a whole different ball game. Imagine that. ?

    1. Thank you lady.

      Wisdom, true wisdom only comes through experience right?

      There’s a big difference between getting something on either a knowledge or head level and truly getting it on a knowing, being changed by the experience of it level.

      Seems I like to create big to be absolutely sure ?

      Nic xx

  1. Oh Nic! My first thought is how can I take your pain away and my next is huge gratitude for sharing your vulnerability. Your courage gives us all courage!!! ❤️ Take good care of yourself, you are precious xxx

    1. Aw bless you. And actually no. The pain has really served me. Now that might sound utterly bonkers and its true. In the Book of Joy (what a great title eh!) by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama they talk about how everyone will experience pain, suffering however is a choice. And I nodded wisely when I first read it several years ago – now I REALLY get it. Would we choose it? Of course not and yet when we sit with it there’s huge insights already flowing through. And without the masterclass truly those insights would probably never have been accessed….because so often we dont allow ourselves to go there right?

      And you are absolutely right – I am precious, in fact I AM VITAL. I have a big mission in this world and I can no longer pretend that my body will be strong enough (mentally and physically) unless I treat myself as THE ASSET.

      Fundamentals are just that and ALL that ; fundamental. ?

  2. Wow, how powerful are your words even when they’re crafted from the student perspective rather than teacher ? I love it ?

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