Last week I made the dreaded trip to Belgium in order to complete my training to become a trainer in Gel Nail Enhancements and become an authorised distributor in the Professionails brand of products.
I was under the impression that it was merely a formality but soon found out on arrival in Belgium by the president of the company that not all 20 of us, who had travelled from all over europe, would be leaving with a diploma entitleing us to teach and distribute their brand of products and services.
No pressure! pfft!
Although I have been working with these products for a good 5 and a half years, I found myself going back to basics with much of the training we recieved. I impressed myself a lot of the time with my knowledge of most of the product line and with the application processes. Its a lot like learning to drive a car really...in that... when u first learn to drive, you do everything exactly as u would need to for ur driving test, but then after years of driving, you find that it becomes so automatic that you dont even have to think about it anymore and you develop bad habits. This isnt a problem in the day to day process....but when you start teaching someone else to drive, you have to go back to the way you were taught originally in order to be effective as a teacher.
I found this last week an invaluable tool in becomming a skilled and educated trainer which will hopefully result in skilled and educated students. The secret to success in my eyes, is to share the knowledge and skills that I have with those willing to learn. My success will be measured by their success.
I was one of a select few who graduated with a diploma on their first visit to Belgium, many of them having returned for their 2nd or 3rd visit. I was the only uk representative of 3 who acheived this. So I am pretty darn chuffed.
But there is more to this story than me tooting my own trumpet... I went on a small journey of self discovery whilst there. This involved many aspects, the first being in the company of people who shared my passion for doing nails, for the products, and who could be considered to be the best in the business. The amazing energy that a group of likeminded people can create is nothing short of wonderous!
I also found a side of myself which apparently, I keep stashed away for special occassions such as these, a side I found to be rather appealing. I realised that I dont keep it stashed away, its a side that many people see on a daily basis, but that I choose not to acknowledge for some strange reason. Perhaps its a fear thing, that if I embrace this rather bubbly vivacious side of me that people would not accept who I am? I realised on this week away...that not only would they embrace this side of me, but they would infact migrate toward me and accept without condition that this...is who I am.
I was acutely aware that there were groups of us from many different countries and cultures and the natural pull would be birds of a feather... I thought about this and made a conscious choice to bridge the language and cultures barrier between each group. I refused to follow my natural instinct to follow the "pack" culture and stick to the uk group...instead I flitted from group to group like a little social butterfly. I found nothing but love and acceptance at every port.
The result, which may be even more meaningfull than the diploma I set off for, was connecting with a group of incredible, amazing souls who treated me no less than their equals. I do believe that in some instances, friendships were borne this last week in Belgium that may even last a lifetime.
Thanks in advance to Esther of Holland for these pics....(who also happened to be one of our mentors and a cracking nail artist!...not to mention...an awesome chick!)
The training... spot the red chick...aka...Moi!
(Note: red = CERTIFICATE OF ATTENDANCE.... YELLOW = DIPLOMA.)
me riiiight @ the back in the corner.
Although all the girls were amazing and I bonded with each one of a different and meaningful level...the following two....will always have an extra special place in my heart....Elke sat by my side throughout the training course... and we bonded not only as friends but as a team...we were like a well oiled machine! And Camilla, I dunno... something just....clicked! Awesome energy! Amazing chick!