I’ve noticed a common mindset in a lot of my breathwork facilitator trainings: students often put a barrier between their work as facilitators and who they are. There’s a tendency to create a persona or vision of what a facilitator should be. But in reality, there’s ZERO separation between “facilitator” and “who I am.”
You are what you teach.
Think about it—we’re all human with our own strengths and beautiful flaws. Anyone you know who tries to create this sparkling persona of a perfect “guru” usually ends up getting exposed for being their flawed, human self (I can think of some popular yoga teachers, spiritual teachers and a breathworker who have been involved in scandal!).
Instead of trying to show others a persona of an enlightened facilitator who has it all together, just be authentic. When you let yourself shine through your facilitation—embracing everything that makes you unique and human, including your setbacks—you’ll actually make more of an impact, both on your students and on your personal journey.
Let’s explore this.
Feeling Like an Imposter
When I first started facilitating breathwork sessions, I was terrified. I thought I had to be an expert. Otherwise, how could I call myself a true facilitator? I second-guessed myself constantly and the internal pressure I placed on myself to be perfect caused insecurity and stress. Ultimately, that affected my breathwork sessions and how I was showing up for others.
It took me time and a lot of mistakes to realize something valuable: no one is an expert. And you don’t have to know everything to provide value and support. To best serve yourself and others, you need to continually work on yourself. Even if you’ve done a thousand hours of any training, that’s no excuse to stop personal growth. There’s never a destination, only a clearer vision of your life and who you are (or who you’re becoming).
Remember: life evolves and so do you (for more on that, check out my blog about life passions/purpose).
When you start to feel like an imposter, remember that all you need to be is your best self in each moment. You don’t need to reach some ultimate guru-state to facilitate breathwork. It’s about reflecting, listening to what the energy (and your body) is trying to tell you, and releasing what no longer serves—be it conditioning, survival strategies, beliefs, or whatever.
Facilitation is a lifelong journey with many different paths.
Over time, I’ve become a much more confident facilitator. As opposed to trying to be the one who knows everything, my facilitation now comes from a place of being vulnerable and authentic. Instead of trying to be perfect, I am now simply being me and I include a lot of vulnerable shares in my breathwork ceremonies or when it’s appropriate in my coaching sessions. One of my favorite phrases that I use with clients is: “We teach what we need to learn.”
Of course, it’s not all about me (or you as the facilitator), but sharing your own struggles will help others feel seen and know that their own issues are understood.
Being Vulnerable Helps Others on Their Journeys
All of us are constantly in a state of learning about ourselves. And by revealing our struggles, we actually help others see parts of themselves that need healing.
Years ago, at the start of my yoga classes, I began to briefly share something I was struggling with. Then I asked for a show of hands from those who could relate. Whether I talked about feeling uncertain, confused, stuck, or something else, each class was filled with hands in the air. It was amazing how many people shared a similar experience to what I was going through at the time.
This revelation helped me evolve my Breath Is Prayer ceremonies. Each ceremony opens with a vulnerable share from me and seeing who relates. Again, pretty much the whole Zoom room raises their hands. So much of what we go through is universal. But most of us don’t speak up because of our conditioning.
I kept demonstrating vulnerability for others in my yoga classes and breathwork ceremonies. Again and again, people approached me afterward and said, “Thank you! By opening up like that in the beginning, I was able to go deeper and be more vulnerable in my own experience.”
Allowing ourselves to flow and evolve is essential to feeling more alive. More authentic. And we do that in part by letting ourselves be vulnerable. Being a facilitator is about having the courage to remain authentic and embody that in front of others.
And the more you share your truth, the more you’ll attract the right students. Everyone is different and will be drawn to different facilitators. When you’re honest, you’ll attract people who you can help the most and who will in turn offer a lot to you.
It’s clear that I’m passionate about this subject! And it’s a big subject to go over, more than I can possibly fit into this one blog post.
For the sake of brevity, here are a few closing thoughts I’ll leave you with:
If you feel the pull to be a facilitator, then maybe you’re ready to start facilitating! If it’s breathwork, then obviously, you need to attend a breathwork ceremony and know the foundations of how to guide one (which I teach in my Breath Is Prayer facilitator trainings),
Avoid getting stuck in an endless learning loop. So many beginner facilitators think they need some huge list of certificates to prove themselves. I was one of those.
Here’s the truth: you don’t need to prove anything! Just be who you are.
Even if you only know the foundations, you know more than someone else and can guide them. Passion for one’s growth is important for being a great facilitator, but you don’t need to spend years in training to start.
Never forget: there are boundaries when facilitating.
I learned this lesson the hard way, so I’m passing it on to you so you’ll be mindful of the personas you embody. Here’s what I did:
When I first began deepening my practice into being a coach and facilitator, I tried to coach my boyfriend at the time. It was the kiss of death for our relationship! There’s nothing sexy about taking on a parental role in a relationship and treating the other person like they need to learn from you. By trying to coach him, I stepped into a mommy role and our connection quickly disintegrated.
A pitfall a lot of new facilitators fall into is wanting to practice their skills all the time. But facilitating is done in a container—it’s a safe space where everyone present has agreed to the experience. People in your everyday life are not in that container unless it’s consciously spoken and agreed to. Otherwise they need to connect and spend time with you in different ways.
To be really clear, when you’re facilitating, you’re acting as a facilitator; when you’re in your personal life, don’t facilitate your friends or loved ones (even if they ask, be cautious since it can shift dynamics, like I mentioned above). Facilitation isn’t separate from who you are, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss other people’s boundaries.
Don’t offer unsolicited advice and respect what others need because they may not need what you’re trying to share or be open to it in that moment.
Breathwork Facilitator Training
In summary, being a facilitator means connecting deeply with yourself in the moment and offering who you are with vulnerability. Facilitating isn’t separate. You are your business. You are your breathwork ceremonies. You are whatever you are teaching in the moment.
Integrating “facilitator” into your identity can take time as you gradually embody the role more authentically. You’re going to make mistakes. But a solid foundation will help you tremendously on your journey.
My breathwork facilitator training is a supportive space where you’ll learn everything I’ve discovered about breathwork and facilitation from 20+ years of breathwork facilitation. We’ll go over everything from ceremony basics to advanced tools and practices. And you can practice your skills so you feel more at ease and confident before conducting your own ceremonies.
Are you feeling the energetic pull to work with me? Let’s talk!
Schedule a free 15-minute discovery session so we can discuss where you are in your journey and my upcoming training dates.