True consent is not simply about one person saying yes. Consent is the agreement between two or more people about what will or won’t happen.
And – just as importantly – the understanding of who it is for
Based near the Scottish Highlands, I offer workshops throughout the UK, and one-to-one coaching in Edinburgh, Findhorn, and London.
Scroll down to read more about the basics of the Wheel Of Consent below, or explore the menu above for more in depth information about coaching, events and resources.
Imagine this scenario:
Someone comes towards you, arms outstretched, saying “do you want a hug?”
Ask yourself: who is this hug for? Have they decided for you that you need a hug? Or is it that they actually want a hug themselves?
We all encounter situations like this every day, and often we feel pressured into an exchange we don’t really want. The Wheel Of Consent can help you change this.
How do you navigate?
In any interaction – from the boardroom to the bedroom – it’s possible to experience giving and receiving in four very different ways. The Wheel Of Consent helps take these apart and get clear about what you really want from the exchange.
Does ‘Taking’ feel like it's become a bit of a dirty word?
Taking often brings to mind invasive or aggressive behaviour. Getting something by whatever means necessary – which usually also means without consent.
Just think of that person who steals a hug from you without checking first whether you’re up for it.
But if you get agreement from the other person first, Taking can be a very healthy thing - identifying, and looking after your own needs, and nourishing yourself by listening to and responding to your desires.
How often do you go along with something you don’t want?
We live in a world that forces us to endure lots of things without our full consent – hugs, adverts, behaviour from those around us which doesn’t take into account our own needs.
Most of us have got so used to putting up and shutting up that we no longer know what our limits really are – which doesn’t feel safe.
But when you know that you have a genuine choice about what you allow then Allowing becomes a gift you can give freely: access to you, on your own terms.
Ever done something in order to get something in return?
Although we tend to think of Serving as ‘doing’ something ‘for’ someone else, if you’ve ever answered yes to the above you’ll know we often do things for ourselves as much as for others!
And if the other person doesn’t want what you’re offering then you may feel rejected by them, or they may feel obligated.
So when we can learn to identify what we truly want for ourselves first, it then becomes possible to choose to set it aside for the benefit of another person – and genuinely start Serving.
Do you know what you want? (what you really, really want)
If you were offered whatever you wanted right now would you be able to identify the most amazing thing you could ask for? Or would you find it easier to settle for something ‘safe’, something simply ‘OK’?
It often feels awkward to accept a gift without any need to give something return. It can feel like we’re being selfish.
Yet learning to receive a truly no-strings gift can be immensely healing, and is probably one of the best ways to achieve a feeling of self-worth and self-acceptance.