By Veronika Robinson, celebrant trainer and celebrant
Here at Celebrant Training UK (aka Heart-led Celebrants), we are guided by integrity, creativity and acceptance.
What does it mean when we talk about acceptance? For me, it is about non-discrimination and inclusivity. For example, I practise discrimination-free celebrancy.
This means that I will not discriminate (or associate with those who discriminate) against you on the grounds of religion or other beliefs, disability, mental health, learning style, body shape, health narrative, socio-economic status, race, culture, gender, gender reassignment, age, marital or parental status.
I honour the right of each human being to celebrate their life. You have my assurance that I will accord you the respect you deserve. This assurance is across the board in my work as a celebrant and celebrant trainer.
As a celebrant trainer, I teach about discrimination-free celebrancy and non-duality.
“Real magic happens in relationships
when there is an absence of judgement.”
– Wayne Dyer
Learning to see everyone’s magnificence comes with having a change of perception. This is something which can be fostered as part of our ongoing personal and professional development. As celebrants, we meet and work with people from all walks of life, all temperaments and personalities, and with different world views. Although we don’t have to agree with how someone chooses to live their life, we can be accepting of them as fellow human beings and by honouring that we each have our own path of learning.
An important part of my practice is speaking up when I see discrimination in play. Acceptance does not mean losing one’s voice or failing to be an advocate of fairness and justice. It may mean stepping back. For example, I once worked alongside a celebrant (in a volunteer capacity for a celebrant organisation) who discriminates on many levels: homophobic, racist, body shaming, misogynistic to name a few. Once I realised that my attempts to enlighten this person were wasted (and, disappointingly, those on the committee turned a blind eye), I chose to part ways. My own integrity towards accepting others meant that I could not to be associated, personally or professionally, with someone who openly discriminated.
It is important both to ourselves and the people around us that we learn to unravel our biases. What do our judgements about others show us about ourselves? There’s a huge difference between recommending a different celebrant to a potential client because you don’t think you’re the ‘right fit’ (that is, the best celebrant for them/their style of ceremony) and turning someone away because they don’t fit how you think someone should live.
My mother used to say “When you point your finger at others, your other three fingers are pointing back at you.”
My intention is to serve others with love, kindness, awareness, empathy and joy.
Veronika Robinson and Paul Robinson are a husband-and-wife team whose boutique celebrant training (Heart-led Celebrants/Celebrant Training UK) attracts people from around the world in person and by Zoom. Heart-led Celebrants has earned a reputation for excellence in celebrant training, and those who are certified exemplify the highest standards in the industry.
Veronika is the author of many books including the popular Celebrant Collection: Write That Eulogy; The Successful Celebrant; Funeral Celebrant Ceremony Planner; Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Planner. (Available through Starflower Press or online retailers)
Award-winning voice artist, Paul Robinson, has had a whole career centred around his voice and other people’s. He’s highly experienced as a celebrant, trained actor, drama coach, voice-over artist, singer, broadcaster, compère, and ventriloquist. Paul is an excellent communicator and teacher, and has a sixth sense about how to relate to individuals, groups and audiences.