Did I do the right thing using the F word?

Last week I had a moment of very real panic about whether or not I’d put my professionalism at risk.

It started when I was composing the title for the latest Thinking Pilates Podcast. My first idea and gut instinct was to use profanity in the title. I typed it in. “No Fucking Around…”

Then I began to think about my podcast co-founder and frequent co-host. How would she feel about this? What are her sensibilities? She knows me enough to know it’s not about being vulgar. (I hoped.) 

I was actually starting to get a little sweaty at that point, playing out in my head the potential negative outcomes.

Then I thought about the teacher I’d interviewed for the podcast. Nah! He’d be fine. I’ve heard him use swear words while giving a workshop. This is his jam. (Or was it? It’s a bigger audience. Did that make a difference?)

I texted the teacher. “I’m playing with the podcast title and want to know what you think about this…”

Heart now racing, I stared at the phone.

Waiting. Waiting. Ping.

“I’m a profanity lover too, so I really love that title.”

Phew.

After deciding that my co-host wouldn’t mind, I blasted it to the world.

That night I woke up a total mess thinking “What the hell have I done?! I just put that podcast out to everyone I know on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter! Jesus. What are people going to think?!”

I lied there thinking, worrying, and fantasizing about what was sure to be everyone’s outrage and embarrassment. I pictured who would be turned off. I imagined what they would say, why they would find it distasteful and unprofessional to the most egregious degree.

Then it dawned on me: who am I? Who do I present myself as a teacher, mentor, author? How to I present myself to people when I first meet them, when I teach them?

Oh, right! I frequently use profanity. I actually love the F word. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and myself AND using swear words is sometimes a way I express that. I’m also honest and authentic and not afraid to be who I am. AND I’m chalk full of fucking integrity and professionalism. I’m kind, caring, thoughtful, insightful, empathetic, and articulate. I’m even appropriately mannered (sans profanity — mostly) around children.  

I have 6 tattoos, ride a motorcycle, have cared for dying grandparents, birthed 2 children, supported my colleagues, donated money, hiked a volcano, made money, blown money, traveled the world with my family, studied, worked, studied, worked, written a book, been a newspaper reporter, owned four businesses, been a professional dancer, coached a kids soccer team and so much more.  

And I like to — occasionally — use the F word.

Did I do damage to my professionalism? Not from my point of you, but maybe from yours. I’m curious. In fact, I’m dying to know. 

Will you and others judge my professionalism because I put the F word in my podcast title? Will it make you not want to learn from me, know me, work with me? 

Here’s what else I’m wondering?

  • What is professionalism (to you) and are there gray areas?
  • How would you define it?
  • Have you thought much about it for yourself and how it impacts your success as a teacher?
  • Does the way you dress, do your hair, and keep yourself clean matter? To what degree? Where’s the line? (Would you fire a teacher who had consistent and pungent body odor? — It’s okay to laugh, but I’ve actually been in this situation.)
  • Do you swear at home, but not when you’re teaching? Why?
  • Do you want people to perceive you in a certain way? (Of course you do, but what way: according to your level of knowledge, success in business, by the way you look, by your religion, your morals, your toughness?)

Right now I’m feeling super grateful that some of you are reading this. It’s a blessing to have a platform to stir up the discourse (you might call it something else) in our profession, to share knowledge and grow as people and yes, professionals.

I hope many of you will share your opinion.

Oh, and the link that that podcast I was talking about is here.

With warmest and most sincere regards for your opinions (and professionalism) — Chantill

 

27 replies
  1. Tiffany DeMartin
    Tiffany DeMartin says:

    (Full disclosure for anyone reading this who this I am an impartial voice: Chantill was one of my first mentors. I finished my modules at Pilates Collective, studied under Chantill, she and Kristen gave me my first teaching job and then I had the opportunity to work next to her in their studio. So I have been a fan of Chantill’s style for many years.)

    Chantill,

    I completely understand the anxiety and uncertainty you felt after publishing your “No More Fucking Around” podcast.
    We all are straddling many communities when we leave for work: young people, older people, religious people, liberal artists, conservative family members, stoic clients, eccentric clients – we bump up against so many different types of people in our day-to-day life. So how do you find a voice that is familiar and comfortable to each one while still maintaining your own integrity? Thich Nhat Hanh says to love someone is to listen to them fully and find out what makes them happy, what scares them, what they love and what they fear, and then meet them there. But how do you square that up if you are “passionate about sharing my knowledge and myself AND using swear words is sometimes a way I express that”?

    I know who you are and value you, so I wasn’t offended. Perhaps it’s just a graphics problem. Perhaps “No More F*#@ing Around” was all you needed to make a nod to those in the audience who cringe a little at strong language (and I know lots of really interesting, intellectual people who don’t care for strong language). Graphically “bleeping” the word would say “This is who I am. Some of you will just reflexively read this as ‘Fucking’, but some of you might be more comfortable reading this as “F*#@ing’ and I hear that.”

    I wish I had time to answer the other questions more thoughtfully, but I’ll breeze through them as my compromise:
    – Professionalism is, among many things, how well I take care of my clients, my own practice, my continuing education, my studio. It is about creating a relationship with my clients where they feel safe (physically and emotionally), they learn and grow in their bodies and practice, they know I will always be on time and totally focused on their session, and they understand I ask the same considerations from them in the form of punctuality, payment and respect. (I’m sure tomorrow I’ll think of so many more items I’m leaving off today!
    – The way I dress and maintain my physical appearance is very important. Both teacher and client are in a very intimate situation in a pilates session. For me, I feel like my physical appearance (not my weight, or whether I wear makeup – just whether I am clean and, as my grandmother would say, “put together”) broadcasts a few messages. It says I put effort into preparing for our session. I encourage my clients to value their bodies by taking care of my own. And that I take my business seriously – I’m not cleaning the garage today. I’m teaching you.

    – I swear at home but am trying to do that less and less. When I hear my teenager swear, it doesn’t sound right. I want to hear her articulate her thoughts, not just say “He’s an asshole” or “Fuck that.” It’s engaging when a brilliant mind swears (you know there’s reams of vocabulary to back it up), but it’s just lazy when it’s the only word available. I’m not quite brilliant enough to get away with swearing, and my children haven’t matured enough to test that theory yet so they’re still under lockdown too. And I never swear when I’m teaching. It feels really wrong for me. I don’t feel professional. And, now that I think about it, I don’t like when I take a class and the teacher swears. Hmm, I have to explore that. I never thought about that before…

    – I want people to perceive me as the flawed human I am. It’s hard to project yourself out into the world in a way where people see you as multi-dimensional. It’s hard to believe in God, but be pro-choice, swear but insist on civil social discourse when needed, be clean cut and “put together’ but also have tattoos, crazy graying hair, Birkenstocks and smell like patchouli. To have someone judge you on a more nuanced level means they have to have the time to see all of that. True relationships take time. New clients won’t know me in two or three or even 20 pilates sessions (and I probably won’t know my client either). But if I swear or talk politics or venture out into sticky conversations before we’ve had a chance to get to know each other, chances are they’ll stop making the effort to know me. That’s human nature. So it’s better for me (not anybody else) to go slowly.

    Love you!

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Sweetness, thank you. Even though you said you were rushing I’m super grateful for your thoughts and insights. What stands out to me is your gentle nudging to be sensitive to the diverse audience that we all have. Not to just rush in and play your biggest card just because you can. I get it. And it makes me seriously consider changing the title of the podcast.

      What else stands out is the fact that yes, we are multi-dimensional, but it takes us a long time to put those pieces together for each other. So, how do you instead put your best authentic foot forward being mindful of those layers that not everyone is going to relate to or appreciate right away.

      I hear you and I get it.

      I’ve never doubted your sincerity or kindness or authenticity and I’ve never thought you were trying to prove who you were AND I’ve rarely heard you swear (and never in front of clients). Sometimes I think the use of profanity (in a lot of contexts actually) is really just compensation. Maybe that’s what you’re saying about having the “reams of vocabulary” underneath to back it up. It’s an interesting and I think valid point. I think I frequently think swearing is okay because I’m smart and articulate (most of the time). I don’t swear much when teaching, but now and then an emphatic “shit” or “damn it” comes out, rarely (but not never) the f word. Lots of times when the latter comes to the surface I think to myself “hmmm, was that the right choice/is this the right audience?” Maybe that’s something I should look at more deeply.

      What I do know is I like to push a little. I like to show my rebellious side. And I’m not sure if that means I’m trying to prove something or just that that’s who I am.

      I’m grateful for you and for how outing ourselves, and being willing to enter the conversation keeps us all honestly exploring who we are and how we show up.

      Thank you, dear one!

      Reply
  2. Len Palombi
    Len Palombi says:

    No Fucking Around

    Hi Chantill, you raise some interesting questions. We hear/see this word so often in films, books, conversation, etc. I think it has lost some of its shock value. It is often used to convey frustration, e.g., “What the fuck?”, “Quit fucking around!”, anger, e.g., “Fuck you!” or abuse, e.g., “I got fucked!”.

    It made me wonder about the definition and origin of the word. I looked it up on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuck and dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fuck?s=t , very interesting. The primary definition is to “have sexual intercourse”. Its origins go back centuries. In general it is a derogatory term and has been censored throughout history.

    Despite the voluminous information online, I did not find anything about why the word is used or why it is considered profane or vulgar. My own experience is that for whatever reason it feels good to say it. There’s a bit of satisfaction in being able to forcefully express ones emotions in a way that many consider taboo. I can only speculate that since the word has sexual connotations that western culture has censored it.

    So what does this have to do with professionalism? According to dictionary.com, a professional is “a person who is expert at his or her work”, a professional as opposed to an amateur. Professionalism then is displaying the characteristics of a professional. For me being a professional means that I have acquired knowledge and skills that allow me to perform at an expert level.

    Whether or not someone is perceived as a professional depends a lot one’s culture, education, background and expectations. I think the stereotypical professional is thought to be educated, an expert in their field, well groomed, articulate and sensitive to their audience. Although, that’s not to say that if someone it a sought after expert, that poor grooming or insensitive language or behaviors will be overlooked.

    As a Pilates instructor, I strive to be a trusted partner on my clients’ path to health and wellness. I think that “trust” is the key. To me, this means understanding my clients’ expectations and doing my best to meet them.

    I tend to be a reserved person and rarely give a public display of anger or frustration. I can’t recall a time when teaching where I felt compelled to do this even though I may have had those feelings internally. I can though understand that there could be times when it might be appropriate.

    Great discussion. I’ll be anxious to read what others have to say.

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Thank you, Len. I’m not surprised at all that you were able to bring such class and articulate expression to our discourse!

      Reading your comment I’m struck by the fact that the f word does elicit a strong response in us, doesn’t it? For the user or the listener it does SOMETHING that either gets our hackles up or makes our heart beat faster because it’s a charged word.

      What I’m loving most of all about the discussion so far is that it’s so much more than the f word, but that it’s really getting us to look at how we want to be professionals and how we can exude professionalism in a way that feels real and balanced.

      Love what you pointed out about trust as the foundation for your teaching. It made me think (given our conversational context) about whether or not using the f word or any type of profanity builds trust or limits trust between student and teacher. I’m also drawn back to Tiffany’s comment about how we are multifaceted and how it might be wise — I’m extrapolating for myself now — to consider the “when” or our multi-dimensional character reveal. But no only when, but how, and in some cases to whom.

      You’ve all got me thinking about this from many different perspectives than when I started milling it around in a panic at 4 am one Wednesday night.

      Thank YOU for your willingness to share your thoughts and put yourself out there.

      I’m so grateful to know you.

      Reply
  3. Betsy Walker
    Betsy Walker says:

    I am so greatful to have such a transparent and authentic mentor! I think it is impossible to go through life with out swearing. I swear when I am mad or upset and am not always proud of it especially when I direct it to my teenage son! Having had a very proper “ladylike” training from my grandmother, I am naturally careful how I communicate with people/clients who are older than I am. I guess, the older I get the less of those people I will encounter. I know vulgarity has in the past turned me off of television and YouTube videos because it is over used-and makes me want to puke. However, a well placed F word in an article to make a valid point would not turn me off. I look forward to listening to your podcast!

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Sweet Betsy,

      Thank you as always for YOUR transparency, and for being willing to share your thoughts with me and those following Skillful Teaching.

      You’ve made me consider all the times the f word and other abusive profanity has made me cringe — as it often does (even though I do like some explicit rap music : | ). I know someone who uses the f word (literally) 2-3 times in every sentence — not really my thing and it does make it hard to listen to him, to really hear what he’s saying even though I value his opinion.

      I have another friend (one of the smartest people I know) who not infrequently cusses in front of his children. Well, let’s be honest, it’s a pretty regular thing, but he “uses” profanity in a way that feels like he’s simply crafting his language to reflect his opinion and fervor, of which he has no lack. He also prides himself on being a totally real person with his children. He’s a history teacher and he’s never lied to them about the brutality of the world’s history; he’s exposed them to documentaries and books that some would say were inappropriate. As a history teacher, previous journalist and a passionate human, this all seems perfect, just as he’s supposed to be. I appreciate his relationship with his kids and see how it’s just REAL (without being harmful).

      I guess one of the things that makes this discussion so worthwhile for me is that it just keeps opening me up to seeing the big picture for myself and bit-by-bit I’m getting a better sense of where I stand in it all.

      Thanks again, Betsy!

      As I said

      Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Hahaha…you seriously made me giggle out loud in the (don’t tell anyone) Starbucks just now, Elisha.

      Thanks! I think your Fuckin Super too!

      Reply
  4. Holly
    Holly says:

    It is so REAL and felt authentic to me. At first I was like, Wow she is bold and then I started to admire you more because it is so real. You don’t strike me as the type to overuse or abuse this word but in this context, making a point. I felt appropriate, if that makes sense. You go girl!

    As far as professionalism, I hear leaders like Tony Robbins use the F word ALL the time. I personally don’t swear much but when I am really making a point or emphasis, I use it. I still love Tony and I love the light you are too!

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      You made me cry, Holly. Thank you for that.

      I’ve never really spent a lot of time getting to know Tony Robbins, but somehow feel incredibly validated (ha, isn’t that what we’re always looking for — oh well) knowing that he uses the F word 🙂

      xoxox

      Reply
  5. Julie Lanocha
    Julie Lanocha says:

    This is such an interesting topic and one I think deserves a LOT of thought. We are now in the post-“grabthembythepussy” era. I find myself asking “how am I elevating (or not) public discourse? “I’m not afraid of the “f” word, Chantill knows this! There are times in my life when my sentences are peppered with it, and times when I wouldn’t dream of using it. So like most things, I think context is everything. I have backed off using it except in emergencies (as if the word FUCK was jn a little glass box like the fire alarm). I cringe when I hear youngish people using the word in public, in an elevator, at the mall, at the baseball game sitting behind me when I’m with my young children (ok that was a while ago, but still). If I’m with friends and I’m trying to add emphasis, then fuck it, I say it. But it loses it’s purpose if I use it to much. If it’s fuck this fuck that, then I have to ask myself, what am I trying to say? Why am I using this word? It loses its punch if I use it constantly. And I have to truly ask myself, how am I contributing to the elevation (or coarsening) of public discourse in my own language? Sometimes it’s the only word that seems to fit, but, for me, those times are becoming increasingly rare. Thanks for being brave enough to bring this topic up. It’s definitely worth exploring, perhaps not even just about the F word, but how we use words in general, and why.

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      “how we use words in general, and why” — I love this last sentence for so many reasons, Julie. First, thank you for your contributions. As one of the most thoughtful people I know your opinion means a lot to me. And I agree about context. That seems to be coming up a lot and I’ll be one of the first ones to say it matters — A LOT!

      What you’re talking about in terms of elevating or coarsening the exchange of ideas also resonates with me. As writers, you and I both know that what we say has tremendous impact and words mean something. They really, really have power. I think all of this will make me take greater pause next time I find myself about to choose the F word. In fact, it’s funny because my husband and I had a date night last night (I even put on heels) and I noticed how I was deliberately choosing not to use profanity in many cases during our conversation. It kind of felt good, this shift in attention.

      And it makes me feel confident in my choice to use the F word in the podcast title, because it was purposeful, meaningful, and really, really expressed the power that I intended. So, this time around it feels like the right choice. And I could change it any second to F*&%ing. Who knows.

      Thanks again! xoxox

      Reply
  6. Trinity
    Trinity says:

    As teachers of movement, the great majority of us put a lot of thought, time and effort into what we are saying and how we are saying it. What message are we trying to convey? What are the absolute best words we can use to achieve the desired result? How will this be received by my students and/or colleagues?
    Personally, I find that less is more. Sometimes, using a well placed sentence enhancer is the most effective way to get your point across.
    Will some people find offense? Absolutely. Will other people find a little grit a charming addition to fierce authenticity and professionalism? You bet!
    Like Parker Palmer talks about in his book, The Courage to Teach, this is the “undivided life.”

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Amen, sista!

      Here’s to living an undivided life more and more of the time.

      P.S. That book is worth reading! In fact, it’s kind of a must if you’re serious about making teaching a life long vocation. His other book, which speaks directly to the undivided life is called (aptly) “A Hidden Wholeness: The journey toward an undivided life.

      Reply
  7. Dan
    Dan says:

    There is no way using the F word is appropriate in our profession or any profession. It is offensive, crass and 100% unprofessional. With some many words in the English language to choose from, there is no excuse for stooping down to the gutter and use such a word in any way, shape or form. Thanks for asking for opinions.

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Dan!

      Thank you for being the one dissenting voice on this blog. Others have shared their disapproval, but only via direct email to me. I really appreciate that you were willing to say how you feel in “public”.

      And I can’t say I’m 100% in disagreement with you. I’m not actually sure, which is why I’ve posed the question.

      As a lover of words and language, I can see your point of view that there is just no excuse for using something like the F word to express myself when there are so, so, so many other great words I could’ve used. And as a lover of words and language I love how much power there is in a single word to elicit such a strong and fundamental response from us.

      Although I may have turned off many of the dedicated and amazing teachers to me as a person and as a teacher I guess I chose to use the F word because I felt like it was the best reflection of what I wanted to say in the moment, and, in fact, an extremely relevant word given who the interview was with. I’m not sure if I would do it differently. Maybe. I like to consider myself as an open minded person, one who’s not afraid to make mistakes or change her mind.

      So, thanks again!

      P.S. What I think is kind of funny is that many people would never had known it just from the podcast until I outed myself…so maybe I shot myself in the foot?? Feels worth it.

      Reply
  8. Debbie Dornaus
    Debbie Dornaus says:

    Chantill,
    Okay here goes- laying my heart wide open. This is my framework for communication: I am not perfect in it. 😀
    After I saw your podcast title Chantill,
    I was grieved. I had even considered writing you, but then I thought it best to speak with you personally about it the next time we talked. But here I am Chantill- corresponding with you about it- at your request. Thank you for caring enough to pull it out of me. ❤️
    I don’t use vulgarity in my teaching. I don’t find it life-giving. Yes it does have a shock value as you say, and you can use it to drive home a point. But I have cringed Chantill when you used it. I always have. I never said anything. And I loved you just the same. But I would cringe.
    I do love and believe in God, and I strive to uplift others with my speech.
    Vulgarity.
    I just don’t like it.
    I used to cuss when I was a youth. Occasionally, I will use a foul word, but not much.
    My husband and I have owned our business for 33 years and in our business dealings, our language has always been honest, genuine, professional, kind and with knowledge. Never would we ever consider offering a package or product using vulgarity.
    It just doesn’t represent our services. What do we want to be known for?
    How are we branding ourself?
    Do we stand for excellence in what we do?
    So Chantill, you made choices, packaged and labeled your product- (your podcast) with vulgarity.
    That was your choice.
    It is what you chose to represent you. Some people will like it.
    Some people won’t.
    Some people will listen and some people won’t.
    In doing this, you could be redefining or narrowing your target market, which may be good or may be bad for your business. You must decide.
    On another note, I really enjoyed the workshop and loved James Crader as a teacher. It was so very inspiring!
    However, when I saw the title of your new podcast, with him, I chose….. after reading the title of the podcast, that it wasn’t valuable enough for my time to listen to. I also noticed that I thought a bit differently of James- your guest. I just did. Because the title represented him too.
    Honestly, I also lost some heart about the mentoring group. 😞 I thought, ‘Maybe this is just not for me.’ So that is where I left it, until you emailed and asked for our input. So, being thoughtful, authentic and brutally honest – as you have taught me to be: here it is. ❤️
    Our words have the power to bring life – each word a gift! That is what I choose.

    With deep gratitude,
    Debbie

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Debbie, my dear and respected friend and colleague, I’ve never loved you more than right now. You have always demonstrated both personally and professional a level of commitment to who you are that has made a lasting impact on me. Thank you for that. And thank you, too, for not letting this go unearthed. The saddest thing to me would be if a word was the splinter in our working relationship or friendship that lead it to dissolve. I’ve always been very aware of your beliefs and have tried (sometimes unsuccessfully) to edit myself when in your presence.

      And I am who I am, which in addition to using profanity on occasion in my teaching includes these things: grateful for your trust; buoyed by your strength; inspired by your unflinching sense of self. I’m also dedicated to my craft and to knowing myself as deeply as I can. This is my purpose, my path. Sometimes we step in the mud. Sometimes it’s deliberate and sometimes on accident. Life is muddy sometimes and I’m not perfect. I’m not sure if using the F word was a good idea or not, right or wrong, but I do feel regretful that it offended YOU, whom I hold so dear. I also hope that you can see through the word to listen to the beautiful conversation that James and I had. My belief is, you’d be missing out if you didn’t. AND I would never hold it against you if you didn’t.

      We’re blessed to have you as a part of our community and have been for these past 5 years. You’ve always been an asset and uplifted the exchange with well-articulated questions and thoughtful examination of not only the work itself, but the interactions between student and teacher.

      We all have ways that we ask questions of the world, interact with our environment, people and situations. I very much hope that our ways continue to weave together. And I love you no matter what.

      Thank you for being brave.

      Reply
      • Debbie Dornaus
        Debbie Dornaus says:

        My sweetest dearest mentor- whom I love with all my heart! ❤️
        Chantill Lopez-
        Teacher, explorer, who challenges authority,
        A bit of a rebel, highly opinionated,
        Extreme- pushing the limits of movement and thought. For this I have great admiration and respect! I wouldn’t be the amazing Pilates teacher that I am without your input.
        ❤️
        Deb

        Reply
  9. Bonnie Lafave
    Bonnie Lafave says:

    Chantill,

    I will be honest and admit when I first saw the podcast title I was like…”what the F&*k?! Did I just read that correctly?” I wasn’t sure how the “F” word was going to play in a Pilates Podcast! So it intrigued me to find out what you were using the “F” word for!!

    I use the “F” word a lot in my personal life (because sometimes it feels SO good to say it), but I was brought up in a house that never used bad language. If I heard my mom or dad say a “bad word” it was damn or shit and I knew that they were really upset about something! I think because of living such a sheltered life now I want to say the “F” word all the time! Ha!

    I do not use the “F” word with my students because I don’t feel it is professional. I tend to use “flipping” in it’s place…for instance…”that was flipping awesome”!

    Get me around my friends though and the “F” bomb drops all the time!

    Chantill you are such a professional, smart and kind person, and I love that you push the limit and it inspires me!

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Thanks for being honest about your first response, Bonnie. One of the things I’m most grateful for in all of this is how people have stepped up to say what’s true for them whether they were in support of it or not.

      xoxoxo

      Reply
  10. Nuria Bahabad
    Nuria Bahabad says:

    Hi Chantill,

    I think cursing is in a way like music and other forms of art, it is meant to express things that you cannot express in “appropriate words”, how else could you express the sentence “No fucking around”? Any other form of saying that would sound lame.

    Words are powerful, but they are just words. Actions matter more.

    With that said, Joe said that the result of practicing his method is a healthy body and a calm, peaceful mind. He said that Contrology promotes peace. And `I believe in that. I know that. Practicing `Pilates gives me peace of mind, it helps me be kinder to the people around me, buy less chocolate and use less profanity. But it also makes me happier, more vibrant, more lively, more passionate. And it seems like you came up with that title probably because of your passionate approach.

    How did you feel while you were writting these words? Did you feel calm? Passionate?

    For me, professionalism is thorough knowledge, curiosity, integrity, understanding of the method’s aims and essence, self practice, transparency, humbleness and patience. It is embracing your clients’ and your reality.

    It is getting your client closer to health in the most suitable, economic and efficient way. It is being aware of how your breath is affected by life, by teaching, and how your breath can affect them. It is about having an open mind, an open hand, an open ear and an open heart.

    I guess that when you were writting those words your heart was open.

    Best,

    Nuria

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      So, so sweet, Nuria. Wow. Thank you for your thoughtful and downright poetic response. As someone who loves a fair bit of elicit rap music I think you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes it does feel like there’s just no other word to express the energy you want to put into something.

      Thank you too for talking about the happiness, vibrance, and passion that Pilates (and movement) bring to bare on our lives. It got me to thinking that when I chose that title I was HAPPY, in fact I was feeling pretty damn ecstatic. I had just spent more than an hour exploring the ins and outs of teaching with a brilliant colleague and what we unearthed was not only powerful, but sweet, AND I was going to get to share it. In the moment, yes, I think I was wide open, which is why it felt safe to use the word in the title. I didn’t do it for anyone else. I did it because my gut said so.

      I’m also not ashamed to explore the fact that for an intense moment I realized there was more to consider in this choice. That’s why I wrote this post. That’s why I reached out. Because I was curious about my own hesitation and sometimes seeking perspective in others is what helps us see ourselves more clearly.

      I do like the F word, there’s no denying it. I love how emphatic it is, how it’s a ton of bricks, how there’s no mistaking the umph it puts into a thought. I love it’s clarity. I love that it’s one, thunderous, blunt-edged syllable that you can’t ignore. And I also feel like I have a new, softer way of attending to how I use it in the role that I’m in. It’s still very curious all of it, but I’m excited to see where it will take me.

      Thank you, Nuria, for keeping us clear-eyed and focused on “open mind, an open hand, an open ear, and an open heart.” As with all the comments we’ve seen come through in the past few days I’m grateful for the perspective you’ve given me.

      Be well,
      c

      Reply
  11. Larry Allen
    Larry Allen says:

    Were you unprofessional? What profession? Truck driver? Cleric? Sunday School teacher? No on one, maybe on the other and definitely not on the third. What is the profession of Pilates Teaching to you? What is it to your students? Is your teaching pretty much the same as a Marine drill instructor? If so, get fucking down! If not…

    Only you can answer this. My thought is that if you agonized over it for so long, if you have to ask colleagues about it, if you need validation from strangers (some of us); then you already know that you are not acting the professional you are and are hoping that if you find approval you can be the professional you want to be.

    I talk like a fucking sailor, and in my profession (now retired) I would have been fired for doing so. I suppose that if you get more interest because your podcast titles are more raw then you have your answer. Personally, I think a good cusser never stops to ponder whether or not her words are proper, but whether or not she’s getting the ideas across she WANTS to get across.

    Reply
    • Chantill
      Chantill says:

      Hello there sailor 🙂 Thanks for your exuberant comments. You’ve made me super curious about a couple of things, which I’ve been pondering since I first read your comments yesterday.

      #1. Do I need validation from strangers? Was this what the post was all about?
      When I read that I seriously thought hmmm, validation? No, doesn’t feel like that. But I also know that we don’t always want to think we need validation when in truth all of us seek it from time to time. So, I wondered about that for a while and here’s what I came to:

      It’s true, I did question my first instinct. I had the quiet movie version of a 4 am wake up panic (real and disturbing nonetheless) when I started to realize that oh shit I’m not just talking to a small private audience. I have a new and ever changing role in this community and is the F word how I want to represent myself? How does it even represent me?

      This was about 12 hours after the title was blasted out to the “world.”

      The thing is I’m a retired journalist and questioning is still in my DNA. I want to understand my own motivations. I want to get to the bottom of the unexpected questioning. And I sat with it for almost a week and a half before I decided that I might get some answers from asking others. And I knew for sure that the F word was going to fuel a fairly interesting discussion and bring all kinds of people of the woodwork. 🙂

      So, call it validation if you will, but it still doesn’t feel like that to me. My intention was never to decide what to do based on others’ opinions or to seek affirmation. My motivation is and was — as far as I can honestly know my own motivation — to understand my own reaction better and perhaps gain some insight into my community.

      #2 Am I a “good cusser”? Loved considering this one 🙂 Do I ever think about whether or not my words are “proper”? Never proper, but pretty much always whether or not they’re appropriate, powerful, convey the energy and essence of an idea. Not usually in such a calculated sounding kind of way, but bottom line: I’m a writer. I’ve written thousands of newspaper, magazine, e-zine, newsletter and blog articles among other things. I’m a wordy, a wordist, a wordsmith, a language explorer. That’s just who I am and it’s my natural tendency to wonder about words.

      So, probably you’d say I fucking suck at cussing 🙂 and that’d be okay with me…

      Thanks for your comments, Larry. Appreciate your bluntness and perspective.

      xo

      Reply

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