Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spiritual Coaching I

As a spiritual life coach, I belong to a few groups on LinkedIn and the recent discussions have been around spiritual coaching and core competencies.  I am excited by the fact that we are openly and courageously bringing the word “spiritual” into serious coaching conversations and deeper yet, trying to define the core competencies that would be related to it.

Today, I’d like to write about “coaching presence” or the first coaching competency as defined by the ICF (International Coach Federation): sees many ways to work with the client, and chooses in the moment what is most effective.

When I work with my clients who happen to be professional women in the corporate world, the word spiritual is not something that I loosely throw around.  I am careful with my words, extremely careful, and so, I usually don’t use words that my clients are either not familiar with or might be uncomfortable around.  I believe, that if I have to define it, it is probably not worth using.  I rarely use the word spiritual and yet, I consider most of the work I do to be spiritual.  It is spiritual because it is not about the words, the mind, or the emotions that are the result of an over worked mind. 

I always assess where the client is at the moment, not yesterday, last session, or where I hope they are based on what they said last time.  The coach has to be present and in the now for coaching to work.  In order to facilitate the coaching presence, the coach has to be present in the now moment.  This is a spiritual concept, because in order to truly be in the now, you have to let go of what happened, your judgments, your hopes, your analyses, the notes you took from last time, your ego, what you want to accomplish, your need to feel important … 

You have to let go of it all, in order to be present.  You have to be an empty vessel for the client to feel confident with you to empty her vessel.  During the client’s emptying is when learning happens.  In those sacred moments all that is there, is an empty space. 

That is coaching presence as I practice and understand it to be, and this is a spiritual exchange or connection.  Stripped from our egos, minds, thoughts, judgments, analyses, other people’s words, fears, beliefs, we are free to recognize what we already know.

So, yes, the core competency of coaching presence is indeed addressed during an effective spiritual life coaching session.

Questions to Ponder:
1)    How present are you on average? 
2)    Can you relate your “presence” to your level of satisfaction with life?

If you are interested in spiritual life coaching, please contact me for a complimentary 30 minute session.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It was one of those mornings.  I needed to get to my e-mails and was having an internet connectivity problem.   After sitting through the robotic instructions of my internet provider’s automated service, I was told to turn my computer off, reset the modem and disconnect the wireless router.  Then I was told to wait for at least 20 seconds before re-connecting and turning everything back on.  The pleasant, yet robotic voice then graciously said goodbye and asked me to call back if I still had problems with my internet connection.
Since I had done all the things she had suggested before I called in, but not all of it together and I had not waited for at least 20 seconds, I decided to wait longer than that with everything shut down and disconnected.

I then decided to disconnect myself.  I went outside and sat on my patio steps and took a few deep breaths.  It felt really good, not having anything to do.  I even stopped thinking and was able to shut off the rambling voices and disjointed thoughts and images in my head.  I started focusing on my breathing, listening to the birds and felt the breeze against my skin.  It felt wonderful.  I was beginning to feel rejuvenated.

I realized how busy I had been for the past two months.  Summer gets that way.   The days are broken up: I have a tight coaching schedule, and a book that is being edited and needs to be published, there never seems to be enough time to just sit and breathe.  I know for me and probably everyone else out there, conscious breathing while doing nothing is not what we allow ourselves to do on a regular basis.

I am not talking about meditating, or sleeping.  We all walk away from our computers and when we sleep at night, the computer is shut down and sleeps too.  Yet, it still needs to be disconnected.  We too need to be disconnected from time to time.  I knew the benefits of disconnecting for me, but I didn’t realize how just like the computer, if I don’t disconnect regularly, I might stop functioning.  I stayed with that thought and gave myself full permission to sit outside just a bit longer. 

Questions to Ponder:
1)    What does it mean to you to be disconnected and do you do it voluntarily?
2)    What are the benefits of disconnecting to you?

If you would like to work on disconnecting and learning how to be more effective when connected, you may want to work with a spiritual life coachSpiritual life coaching can teach you tools and skills that you can consistently use as needed.  If you would like to work with me, but are not sure, contact me for a complimentary 30 minute consultation.