Phillip Coupal

Counselling + Coaching + Bodywork

Awaken Studio Toronto


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  • How Does Your Garden Grow Reopening the Awaken Studio 2020

On being asked: “How does your garden grow?”

The Future of the Awaken Studio and the return to service in this uncertain time.

Growing the Garden

is like

Growing the Awaken Studio

To help with explaing reopening the Awaken Studio I am going to use an analogy of opening a garden in spring.

This garden analogy helps me to realize some of the risk and the tasks required for reopening the studio. This analogy also allows me to calculate a plan for bringing programming and client work back into what will be a new season. 

When I look at the Studio as a garden I can assist myself in looking at how I can foster and assist my clients, just as I foster and assist the plants in my garden to thrive. It is true that I do not wish any harm and I do want all my clients, existing, returning or new to thrive in the fertile territory that the Awaken Studio provides.

Looking at the Garden


Planning how it will thrive

This long and cold spring has delayed planting and establishing the garden.

This cold has required a new strategy for the establishment and plan for the entire garden. Also; there is a harmful, perhaps even deadly unseen menace threatening the garden this also requires not only new strategy, but a formulated and scientific approach to a risk analysis that could allow taking, seeds, seedlings, saplings and even established plants out into the garden.

The goal is to transform the garden without damaging, harming or stunting the growth in this new season. All focus must move to allowing the garden to thrive.


and Plotting

The Garden Plan

Having assessed for each plant that is resident in the garden, and I hope thrives in the garden. I always augment the garden with the plants that I have wintered, new plants that I introduce from green houses and plants that are started from seed.

Just as I take care with each plant in the spring as I bring the garden back to vibrancy, I must take care of the people who make up the Awaken Studio. Each of these plant represents of a client or a program that makes up the community of the Awaken Studio. Care must be taken with each program and each person to ensure the vibrancy of the community.

Cultivating and Nurturing

the Existing Garden

Clients have had a brief hiatus as we found ourselves in this new season. These clients have come back and are taking part in new telephone and video conferencing services. Just like established plants, these clients will need to be nurtured, cultivated and cared for.

The programs that clients are involved in, like the ground that the plants are rooted in, will need to tended, fertilized, the soil will need to be aerated and turned in order that the plants will thrive.

The programs such as Naked Yoga will need to be adjusted, augmented and finely honed taking into consideration the needs of these established clients and any new clients that might come into this program. Talk Counselling on the phone has been very successful and this program will need to be adjusted.and added to. Video Conferences need to be honed slightly to allow for the client to go a little deeper and advance a little further.

Getting Ready for Planting

New Seedlings

New and adjusted programming is being developed. This range of programming, new and/or, morphed in order to adapt to this “new reality”. These programs are like the seedlings waiting inside for the weather to warm so that they can be brought outside.

The ideas and concepts for these new offerings has been cultivating in my mind for the past several months. There will, of course, be some trial and error with these new programs. They will need to be tested and brought into the existing offerings. Just as, when I bring the seedlings out into the garden. Programs need to be assessed  just as I have to assess when and how to bring the new plants out into the garden.

Preparing the Ground

Before Transplant

For each new program I will need to do an analysis, using past experience and intuition to develop these new programs. There might be some surprises as these programs can be appealing to a whole new group of clients, as well as appealing to returning and existing clients.

In order to create a thriving environment for these new program additions

I will need to spruce up the presentation environments to ensure there is a thriving vibrant space in in real space as well as online.

As in the past, patience and care must be taken to ensure these new programs are nourished and cared for without pressure or force allowing them to flourish and grow. The Awaken Studio, the clients and community will flourish and perhaps even blossom with this nurture and care just as the garden thrives with exquisite care.

Checking the Nursery for Additions to the Garden

As we progress in the season there will be new elements for the garden.

There will of course be some brand new program additions brought into the mix at the Awaken Studio. These are like the new plants that are brought in from a greenhouse. These new additions will fill in a space, create balance and fill out the garden.

I believe these programs will be attractive as I bring in new personalities to present on behalf of the studio. This new and fresh vibrancy will naturally bring a fresh appeal that can allow for existing clients to be stimulated by new philosophies, approaches and technique.

Placing the NEW Additions

in the Garden

In all that is NEW there is the possibility of cutlivating new and returning clients. There is a risk here as there is a financial price to pay for this “newness”. Whatever these new programs are, they will have to take root quickly. I will have to find the space for them to thrive in the garden.

I know from past experience that I will need to be very collaborative and use exquisite focus and attention to allow for our relationship to flourish as we nourish and nurture the client base and the Awaken Studio offerings. Just as with the garden, where sometimes plants need a first season to establish and will bloom in the next season. Patience is a virtue.

Please BREATHE with Me. find peace and joy as we watch the garden grow.

Adding to the Garden

as it Begins to Thrive

Planting new seedlings and new bulbs to flush out the garden and make it more beautiful, through the remainder of the present season and into the next growing season and all the years ahead. As with the garden, new programs will come to fruition as we move ahead and find the spaces that need to be filled.

Only in the moment will I be able to see, assess and respond to the challenges there might be to fill gaps in programs and allow for the studio, again just like the garden, to remain glorious through the entire season. This will require responsiveness to my observation of how both the studio and the garden are doing, while the community and I allow for adaptation and flexibility with plans.

Enjoying the Garden and Planning for the

Next Growing Season

The very last element in this plan for the new and modified garden will be to check and adjust the condition of the soil, the air quality and the light. This check of the environment, can represent the check I take of the environment of the studio and the website. I will need to check and adjust the faces of the studio, style and methodology in relation to where the studio is right now. I will have to do this adjustment with some care for the existing population.

This care will ensure that the Awaken Studio community is healthy and has their needs met. I will have to constantly, assess, fertilize, cultivate and tend to all the needs of myself, the studio, clients teachers, presenters, and finally all other partners.

Trusting in Nature

Science and Grace

I will have to trust the soil, light

condition and placement of the existing garden plot, just as I trust the location and placement of the studio and the hosting site of the website.

As we move through the season and likely the next season, I will have to adjust and adapt in a natural way to the shortened growing season that we are in.

I will have to be frugal, putting in effort and energy, while hope and have faith that all the conditions will come to fruition to allow the garden to come back and thrive in this new season.

As always I hope you will understand and be patient as we work together to re-establish the garden that is the Awaken Studio. I am grateful for your assistance and dedication as we co-create this metamorphosis together. I look forward to enjoying the fruits of our combined efforts as we thrive and grow into a new and brilliant future.

I hope you will join in in this adventure as we make way for the NEW Awaken Studio full of peace, joy and pleasure.


All Bodywork Sessions and Groups at the Awaken Studio are limited to those 19 years old and over.
If you require further information or have questions please make sure to ask.
Although an intake session, introductory session or prior experience  is 
not required for any individual or group session it is recommended that you
check ahead, ask any questions that you might have and prepare yourself 
for any experience that might be unlike anything before.

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