Training students to be Heart-led Celebrants is, in some ways, a bit like the variety to be found in the life of a working celebrant. Just as every ceremony is different and unique, so too are my students. While I am aware of all the material we need to cover during their time with me, the direction and depth of the course will depend entirely on what the student brings to the training.
The landscape, or, in some cases, seascape, depending on how many tears are shed, that we travel together will be as rich, diverse and varied as a person’s life history. The stories that are shared become part of the training time, and can determine the ground we walk upon.
What I do know is that with almost every student, tears have been shed. Most of us have grief stories to tell. Indeed, I would say that almost all students who have come to me for heart-led celebrancy training have done so because of one of their grief stories giving them a change of direction in life. They have a deep need for something more in their life, and to put out something meaningful into this world. And sometimes, I have students come primarily for wedding training but soon find themselves embracing funeral work wholeheartedly.
Although I receive a booking form from my students where I try to glean some information about them and their life before they come, I really have no idea until they walk through my door just who I’ll be sitting with for two or five days. It’s as much of an exploratory journey and transformation for me as it is for them. Our days together are long, intense and indepth, and they explore the cornerstones of heart-led celebrancy: listening, building sacred connections, community, communications, creativity, craft/skill, creating, building, writing, performing and storytelling. (*and being self-employed/running one’s own business/marketing etc.)
What a student gets out of their training is as much about what they put into it (ability to tackle exercises given to them, willingness to listen, etc.) as is the sharing of my experiences.
As I come to the end of this year’s training, with just two students left to complete their training before Christmas, I can’t help but reflect on what an incredible and busy year it has been training people to be Heart-led Celebrants. Students have travelled from as far as Spain, Scotland, Hampshire, Devon, and closer to home, here in Cumbria. Each of them has something quite incredible to offer their local community, and it is with joy that I feel this network of truly heart-led, empathic celebrants growing. And for this, I truly give thanks. ~ Veronika