Welp. I am officially a Master Certified Coach with the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. It took 8 months of work, 25 2-hr long classes (that kept me up past my 8PM bedtime!), 3 very gracious, patient volunteer coaching clients, one expert instructor, a couple of thousands of dollars, 4 books (one of which Huehue ate), 2 reams of paper, and lots of rejiggering of my mental construct.
And what’s the verdict, now that it’s all said it done?
The time, money, and effort was 1000 times worth it. This process has changed how I think, how I listen, and how I show up for friends, family, clients, and myself. Coaching is fascinating. It’s all about APPRECIATING the mystery of the human being, noticing what is GOOD and building upon that, and guiding people into a deeper conversation with themselves.
And it’s hard. It’s so hard. Both from the Coach’s perspective and from the Coachee’s perspective. I’ve been on both sides of the Zoom camera now, and I don’t know which side is more difficult.
From the Coach’s perspective, you must be 100% present, listen deeply, and quiet that inner Fixer. You must have a “heart as open as the sky” and be a “calm pool in which she may reflect.” (Motivational Interviewing, p. 24). You must discern the feelings and needs behind the words and non-verbal communication being used. You need to be Ok with silence. You need to be a discerning gardener, plucking out the gorgeous wildflowers of change talk that are sprinkled throughout a conversation.
From the Coachee’s perspective, you need to be willing to WORK. This may mean doing actual WORK towards your goals, but I think the harder work is letting go of the expectation that an Other (not you) has the right answer for YOU. You must be open to letting your brain noodle and falter around questions that don’t really 100% make sense. You have to be willing to be open to new interpretations about yourself and your capabilities and capacities. You have to be willing to let that old version of yourself go.
But you know what is true about the coach/client relationship?
More than a just a vehicle for losing weight, developing a meditation habit, or figuring out how to become more organized, coaching can be a transformational process that amazingly enough shares many basic tenets with ancient forms of shamanic healing practices (which are 80,000 years old)!
According to “The Heart of Listening – A Visionary Approach to Craniosacral Work,” here are the main tenets of Shamanism:
- “The basic premise of shamanism is that we have access to the solutions to our own problems, having within us everything needed for our own healing.”
- “It’s the shaman’s responsibility to reinterpret every single thing the clients says according to a deeper reality.”
- Shamans move from the “known but mundane to the alchemical and unknown. This reminds me of the “Simultaneity Principle” in Appreciative Coaching:
“Asking the right question can lead to an “Aha” experience for the client; it can cause a sudden shift in perspective, like a twist of the kaleidoscope, so that a new view appears, freeing the client from the tyranny of his past or his fear of the future.” (Appreciative Coaching, p. 65).
4. The Shaman renames the client by discerning the needs for balance, expression, and development, and the new name hinges on the initiate’s strengths and weaknesses. This marks a rebirth experience where the client leaves behind their former self to step into who they were meant to be.
5. A shaman deepens the client’s connectedness with his own source and universal sources.
Why this fascination with parallels between coaching and shamanism? I like the idea that there is some magic and mystery in the world, for starters. Also, if shamanism has survived for 80,000 years, it means it works. And that means coaching works. And it means there is hope for us to reach our potential and therefore to level up all of humanity, one person at a time. In a nutshell, I just think it’s super cool.
What’s the point of me telling you all this? Well, you might think it’s cool too. You might be jazzed to know there is still magic in the world. And you might be curious about tapping in to this current in the ether and seeing where you get swept away to! If so, holler at me. I am looking for 2 curious clients who want to do a free 6-week coaching gig with me. I’m still puzzling out how to take the Dr. Sears approach and make it my own, so our work together might be a little bumpy, but we’ll both learn a lot in the process, and more importantly we will have fun!! Or, if you are excited about coaching, but you want to work with an experienced coach, I can give you a referral. Please respond to this email if you would like to hear more.
And here are 2 questions that might shift the kaleidoscope for you today:
1. What are you doing each day that’s living your dream?
2. What’s a small step that could take you in the direction of doing more of what you want?
Thanks for taking the time to read these ramblings. I appreciate your attention, comments, and feedback. I’m always amazed and humbled when you reach out and say these letters hit you at just the right time; to me it’s proof that we are all connected, all going through similar things, and we can all help each other through this journey called life.
I hope you have a fabulous Sunday!
Space to be Human Lab
Craniosacral therapy provides a gentle, listening touch that can feel like a balm to a fried nervous system. When your nervous system feels safe and supported, your body can tap into its “inner physician” and use that wisdom to heal pain and discomfort. You can book a craniosacral session here (use code “CRANIO” for $20 through 8/31/23).
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