written Sept 15 2008

There are many aspects to coaching and my journey to becoming a credited coach is turning out to be both exciting and exhilarating. I am experiencing life from both sides of the fence (as a coach as well as a coachwe (being coached ) which means I truly understand the process.A bit of background perhaps ? Coaching is the culmination of a journey that started back in 2000, when (after leaving a 6 year relationship that really did not work then entering an intense relationship that ended suddenly with the infamous words, I love you but do not want to spend the rest of my life with you), I found myself staring at 30 and what felt like a lifetime of having achieved nothing but misery.

I knew something had to change, so I started to read and read …and read. Somehow (almost painfully slowly) I started to feel a shift… things were indeed changing. This shift was most noticeable in my diving where I finally made 221 meters and the elusive woman’s world record. But, the success I managed to obtain there never seemed to spill over into the rest of my life. Indeed, that success had come at a high cost. I had to sacrifice both friendships and family to get it. I was still reading and hoping to find an answer somewhere in the pages that documented the wisdom of those who had gone before me and I was still finding wisdom elusive. Well, not really wisdom, but rather the ‘know how’ to know how to implement the wisdom I was obtaining.

This is the problem with books… you are not ‘doing’, you are observing. Which is where coaching comes in, because here the focus is on doing!For the longest time I had felt stuck. I had all this knowledge in my head, but had not found a way to unleash it and make it a reality. Learning how to coach (or should I say becoming a coach) feels like an appropriate ending to 8 years of learning. Not that the learning will ever end, so perhaps it is more a new beginning. I now have the privilege of watching the people I coach do the same thing I did (learn who they are and who they can be, learn how great they can be) which is a privilege as well as an experience because with consciousness coaching it all seems to go much faster and without so much of the ‘lost pain’ I seem to have gone through.

Two things have really jumped out at me. The first is how non-intrusive and easy coaching is and the second how important clarity is if you are serious about actually changing and creating a new reality.For most of us the starting point of any plan to action is to tediously work our way through our ‘issues’.

We tend to take a very western approach of using therapy type behavior to fix ourselves so that we can become better and so receive more good stuff. This tendency toward therapy as the only answer is perhaps why so many of us feel stuck. Most of us live in ‘normality’ (we are not psychopaths or technically insane) and with that definition of normality comes emotional baggage that in my case, just did not seem to be serious enough to warrant therapy (my parents got divorced… hardly earth shattering and unusual). But in my life things were just not working! Nor did I feel inclined to wander back into my childhood and discover what went wrong. That seemed far too painful and way too much like work.This resistance to facing baggage is not an unusual thing.

Most of us spend our lives avoiding being uncomfortable. The truly remarkable thing though is that with consciousness coaching I didn’t first have to go back in order to go forward. It was not about reliving my past. Yes, the past does come up, but rather as an, ‘Oh, so that is where that resistance is coming from’, kind of moment. Instead the focus in coaching is on becoming conscious and aware of what is my present and then choosing to live in that present!

As a coachee, this new awareness highlights the invisible stories we all tell ourselves (and that then unconsciously create our realities). This awareness also reveals how unconscious you really are and (as your vision returns) provides you with tools to change your reality. You move from reaction (unconscious engagement with the world) to creation, where you get to consciously choose your reality. And the process is remarkably elegant and way easier than I certainly imagined it would be.

Which brings me to my second ‘aha’ moment – the importance of clarity.

Finding Clarity is the first step! Simply put, you have to know what it is you want to create before you can work out how to create it. Now you would have thought that after 8 years of personal growth I would be clear about who I am and where I was going ? Not! I had no clue! Why was I waking up every morning ? What was it I really wanted to do with my life ? What was my vision ? What did I want out of work ? I just seemed to be going through the motions, living the same life as all the people around me. And I was miserable doing it.I am not talking about a huge, hairy and audacious vision for the future here. Yes, that might be what you are going for, but mostly what we want is closer to home… something more immediate. We want to do better at work, we want to feel understood when we communicate, we want to buy our own home or do better in a favourite sport. Whether it is big or small, the first step is always clarity… knowing what it is you want and once you have that, my job as a coach is to take it that step further – to help you get clarity as to how you can do that. My job is to create a space that is safe enough for you to explore your needs and desires and to create a space in which you feel comfortable enough to answer your own questions and desires. My job as a coach is to help you engage with what is stopping you and how you feel you can support yourself and move forward. I am not there to help (which is a common mistake people have when it comes to coaching).

As a coach, I can not tell you what to do. I have not lived your life so I do not know what answers are yours. Indeed, I can never know you as well as you know yourself. You are unique and so your answers will be unique. And the truly amazing thing is that I do not need to know your answers. All I have to do is ask the right questions and slowly (sometimes reluctantly) every client starts to give themselves the answers. It is as if there is an awareness deep inside all of us that is all powerful and all loving. A part that we have always had but never been taught how to connect with. Coaching connects you with this part of yourself. Coaching allows it a voice so that it becomes a daily player in your life and with that connection comes the power to create your dreams (the good one’s naturally).

Clarity comes at many levels. There is the clarity of what it is we really want for ourselves in the next weeks, months and years. There is the clarity on how we are going to achieve that. Then there is clarity on a daily level, which is probably one of the most powerful forms of clarity. After all, the past is gone and the future is but a dream. To get to it (the future) we have to live through today, so it stands to reason that how we live today will create our tomorrow.Introducing a daily practice of clarity into your life creates an opportunity to create some remarkable results. It creates the ability to create a today that is different to yesterday. It is also not hard to do (indeed, it does not even require a coach). All you need is 5 minutes in the morning to define your day and consciously create it.What do I mean ? These days I wake up every morning and create my day in my mind! Today I am going to add value at work.

Today I commit to connecting the people I meet to their own power and love! Today I am going to be patient and tolerant. Today I am going to have fun! And here is the surprising thing, the part of me that I used to think of as myself ( my identity), is still there trying to call the shots and sabotage me. It is still trying to create the same today as yesterday. But when I take the time to consciously choose my day I give power to another part of me… the part I like to think of as my soul. With these daily commitments and intentions my soul gets the power to create my day and I am rarely disappointed in the results.Clarity and action, these are the gifts of coaching. This is why I can not wake up in the morning and meet a new client, because I get to be a part of their transformation. I get to watch them become all powerful.