I’m Erica Lewis and I am lucky enough to live near Totnes, Devon in the beautiful south west of England.
I have spent my career in the non for profit sector, in both paid and voluntary roles, creating and delivering services and campaigning for a better world. I have worked in housing and homelessness, overseas development, mental health and with refugees. I now help with community led affordable housing, a peace charity, the Transition Town movement and I support Embercombe, a local environmental leadership centre, coaching some of their volunteers and alumni.
I am enjoying my life very much but for years I worked very hard for ridiculous long hours, burning out twice. Although on the surface I looked like I was doing well enough, I felt I could never be good enough, or do enough in the face of both my own inadequacy and the seeming enormity of the issues I was trying to tackle. I often felt incredibly frustrated, stuck and exhausted. I also now see that I was doing a lot of what I did just to be seen as a ‘good girl’ to disguise what a pile of rubbish I felt underneath.
Then I came across a totally new approach to understanding how I was creating my experience in the first place. It was when I was a guinea pig for a coaching demonstration by one of the leading teachers of this understanding that I had the huge insight – I don’t need fixing. I’m fine, I’m whole, with access to all the clarity, wisdom and well being I need – and also with the ability to persuade myself otherwise by taking the content of my negative thoughts and feelings seriously!
At first I thought that seeing I was OK might lead to me becoming a couch potato with no more motivation or momentum. But then I realised that frustration, guilt or anger never were the best motivators for action. Of course, it is human to feel those feelings in the face of what’s happening in the world, but I have now understood that the most effective response comes from a place of quiet realisation, of true connectness. And when we also get in touch with what our gifts are and what it is we most truly care about we find we take profoundly effective action with clarity and wellbeing .
I have trained as a coach and facilitator in this understanding known as Three Principles and I have also completed a Journey programme at Embercombe supporting me to integrate the ‘twin trails’ of deepening my inner understanding with taking effective action for a better world.
So if you care about making a contribution, but are stuck, frustrated or beating yourself up for not getting on with it, I’m looking forward to us working together to help you get clear and inspired to take the next step.
Here is a 15 minute talk called ‘Inspiring Action for a better world’ that I gave at a conference in November 2017 To find out more about me you can listen to a webinar Coaching Connect ran with me and my colleague Jane Cockerell on ‘Positive Global Impact’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj0iXSBmgPA and an interview with Liz Scott https://soundcloud.com/lizscott/erica-2
I would turn up at a coaching session with Erica very distressed about something. I would come away each time with insights and increased understanding, calm and at peace. After a few sessions there was a sort of magic that happens within – a knowing that everything is going to be alright.
Thank you, Erica, your sessions have enriched my life, given me greater perspective and uncovered my resilience.
Working with Erica has been really easy - she seems to naturally create a safe space within which it is possible to have conversations about absolutely anything. I have had many and various 'aha!' moments - often about things I didn't even know were on my mind. When we've talked about something that's been troubling me I (somehow) always seem to be able to work out what I need to do next - without really understanding how I've got there or feeling like it's taken any effort - it just all falls into place.
For me working with Erica has (mostly) involved having a really nice time over a cup of something pleasant with somebody who listens in a way that leaves me feeling truly heard.
Because Erica was understanding and genuinely interested in me I trusted her which meant I found it easy to explore what was going on for me and to get a new perspective. I now know that feelings pass, I just notice them and do not need to fight them.
I worry less and no longer need to plan to the nth degree but hold things more lightly. Whilst working with Erica I managed to take the momentous leap of leaving my job! This was totally the right thing to do and I was supported by Erica as I did so. I am very grateful for her help as I move into new avenues of work and an improved work/life balance. Thank you Erica.