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How Ken’s Mentoring helped me to lead programs at Kripalu

How Ken’s Mentoring helped me to lead programs at Kripalu
By Laura Katleman-Prue

I used to think about food from the moment I woke up until I closed my eyes at night. I was convinced that my eating and weight issues would follow me to my grave. One day on a whim, I applied the self-inquiry principles that I’d been teaching in prison to my food problem and to my great surprise and delight, it completely healed! This experience inspired me to write my book, Skinny Thinking, and to attempt to teach workshops to help others end their weight struggles as well.

My plan of teaching workshops was much easier said than done. Although, I felt inspired to teach and was convinced that my message was valuable, my friend who was the program director at Shambala Mountain Center was kind but firm with her advice— “As quickly as you can, get yourself into Ken Nelson’s experiential workshop, Facilitating Transformational Workshops at Kripalu.” I needed training as a presenter before I was ready to become a Shambala presenter.

Ken’s training was four months away and I didn’t want to wait. So I was delighted when he agreed to coach me over the phone. Ken was supportive from the outset. I was excited at first and then panicked when I realized that I needed to keep my small group engaged for six whole hours! He reassured me about the value of my material and patiently took me through a solid system of organizing it to help create a powerful experiential workshop. One by one he led me through role-plays that provided the elegant solutions I was looking for.

When the day of my first workshop arrived I felt supremely confident. I just knew that I could handle whatever fate had in store for me. Why? Not only because of Ken’s thorough training, but his faith in me and the unshakable confidence he’d instilled.

Even I was surprised at how well the workshop went. Thankfully, Ken had offered me ground rules (agreements) to put in place at the start of the workshop. The guidelines prevented some sticky conflicts and each person experienced life altering shifts, praised the experience, and wrote glowing testimonials. Ken was not surprised. After my workshop, he and I debriefed, and he offered suggestions about how to better manage my time in my next workshop.

Then one day, an unassuming email appeared in my inbox informing me that I was cordially invited to offer my Skinny Thinking Workshop, December 10-12, 2010, at one of the largest, most respected yoga retreat centers in the country—yes, you guessed it—Kripalu! All I can say is “Thank you Ken, for your support, encouragement and masterful training and well for just being the inspirational, kind-hearted soul you are.”

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