Can your entire life change from a single conversation?
Yes, it can, though I can’t guarantee when it will happen or what the change will be.
The nature of a transformational coaching conversation holds the secret of effortless change through INSIGHT (in-sight) or looking within, a new realization about the world.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust
A skeptical potential client recently asked me some questions about what I’m doing in coaching, what results they can expect from a 3-day Intensive experience, and why they should believe me.
The answer came to me in the middle of the night, and now I’ll share it with you…
Letter to a Potential Client
Dear Beautiful, Skeptical One,
First, I am so glad you asked me these questions. I love it when people “challenge” me.
If you were to pretend to agree or try to please me, there’s nothing real to build on.
So thank you for sharing your objections so transparently. It’s a gift for us both. For me, because I have to go within and look for myself to find the answers.
You ask, “What is your approach or methodology in coaching?”
Transformational coaching is a conversation about the Truth, not the personal truth for you or me, but what’s true for all humans, whether we know it or not.
It’s a conversation about who we really are beyond our mind, personality and thoughts, beyond our body. It’s an exploration of how our experience as humans is created.
It’s a conversation about what is. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we feel it or not.
The Truth revealed in a transformational coaching conversation is often so simple that at first it seems too simple to make a difference, and yet when we really see the truth of it, the whole world changes.
Truths such as:
And when we think, we feel the thought, and it creates sensations in our body.
It looks like our experience is coming from outside ourselves, caused by our external circumstances – he yelled at me and it made me angry; she smiled at me and I feel love – but our feelings don’t come from what’s happening outside of us, but from what’s happening within.
We feel thought, and then create our experience of reality with it.
This Truth is paradigm shifting. It’s revolutionary.
You know you’ve seen it when it flips your life upside down, and suddenly the world looks different. But despite being disruptive, it comes with a feeling of lightness and ease.
Which brings me to your second question, “How could my issues shift so quickly in a weekend?”
This is the nature of a transformational coaching conversation. Once you see the Truth – really see it – you can’t unsee it. It changes you forever.
This is the path of effortless change.
Most coaching offers incremental change through hard work. I see one thought, make it conscious, and then reframe it into a more useful belief.
The problem with the belief-change approach is that there is always a new thought to chase down, recognize, and change.
Another common tactic for creating change is to use willpower and habit. This works to some degree, but requires a great deal of effort, and the resulting change is incremental at best.
By contrast, the transformational coaching conversation looks to the spiritual facts of our existence. “We think, and this is what happens when we do.”
Now you can see the illusory nature of not just one thought, but all of them, and it changes your relationship with thoughts forever.
The thoughts in your head play a movie that you feel and project onto the world. But most of us don’t realize it’s a movie.
Imagine what would happen if a person who has no idea of what a “movie” is goes into a theater. We put on a scary movie and they see the villain on the screen threatening them with an ax.
They’d be terrified! And rightly so; it looks as if the movie is really happening. They’d run from the theater, heart pounding.
But what if we explain that this is a movie? It’s not real. What’s projected onto the screen is actors playing a role in a made-up story.
Then they’d understand there’s nothing to be afraid of. They may still feel fear when they get caught up in the story, but now they know it’s not really happening. They can enjoy even the scariest parts of the movie.
In a similar way, the transformational conversation illuminates the movie playing in your head, and when you have an insight, it becomes obvious. You don’t need to be reminded that it’s a movie or work hard to remember; you just know.
Insight makes effortless, instantaneous transformation possible.
It’s what happens when people quit an addiction cold turkey or end a relationship they’ve struggled to leave for years. They have an insight, they see something new, and it simply no longer makes sense for them to continue.
Now, I can’t predict what you’ll see about the Truth.
I don’t know when or how the insights will drop. But I do know that when we explore Truth, you’ll see more of it than you do now.
The third question you ask me, the most gorgeous of all, “Does Steph have this experience of space and safety for herself? Can she really guide me there?”
Ah. I have to look to answer this question, and my answer comes by way of a story or two.
I grew up feeling very unsafe, raised by a single mother who moved my brother and me with her from town to town, job to job, man to man. Every six months we were in a new school for most of my childhood.
My external world was constantly changing, and it felt like I had no emotional support from my mother. So I grew up with this view of the world, “I’m never safe. I have no home.”
Even as an adult who was married to the same man and living on the same street for twenty-two years, I never felt HOME. I always had one foot out the door, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
Even though I learned coping skills to calm myself over the years and found the agency of choice, I still never really felt at home. Always in the background was this feeling that I am not safe, I have no home.
Fast forward to early last year when I moved into a new place with my partner. I was out on the screened in porch doing my morning yoga, looking out onto the lush jungle of our backyard and the water beyond, and realized I was home for the first time in my life.
The funny thing was, I knew that this feeling of home had nothing to do with where I lived or the partner I was with; I was at home within me.
Something had settled. I had found safety and peace inside of myself, after years of coping and creating structures in an attempt to feel safe. I knew I was finally home.
I don’t live in this feeling of safety 24/7. I still have insecure thoughts that feel very real sometimes. I still experience fear.
But I know where Home lives.
I know where my experience comes from, and whenever I’m feeling unsafe, I know exactly where to look for my safety, and when my mind is quiet, it’s always there.
And space. Do I know the Space Within?
Everyone does, but they usually confuse it with something outside themselves.
“I feel at peace when I’m in nature.”
“I feel love when I hold my child.”
“I feel flow when I’m dancing.”
What they don’t know is that this space is always here for us, and the only thing keeping us from feeling it is the noise in our minds.
When we’re caught up in thought, it carries us away like an avalanche. We have to scramble and fight and use willpower to keep thoughts at bay.
We work so hard to manage the thinking in our little minds just so that we can feel okay, and end up pushing people away to have a sense of space.
Back to my story about this…
I grew up with what’s known as an avoidant attachment style. In times of stress, I would pull away and try not to feel dependent on others. I thought I needed lots of space and alone time, and indeed, that seemed to help, because it gave me some distance from my troubling thoughts about other people.
What I didn’t know is that the second I drop out of my thoughts, I’m in the Space Within. My experience of space is created inside of me.
So how is it for me now?
I still have a busy mind, but it’s so much quieter than it used to be. I rarely have the experience of feeling a “need” to get away.
Sure, sometimes I feel the desire for space, but I know that as soon as I get present, infinite space is available. The whole world slows down and I’m right here where I have everything I need.
I feel so blessed to drop into this space every single day, many times, and I get to feel the love, peace and safety of living there.
When I get caught up in crappy thinking – which is only every hour! – it doesn’t have such a hold on me anymore. As soon as I notice, I can stop and instantly find the space again. I don’t always do it, but I know that I can, and this changes everything.
That’s the power of seeing the Truth. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
So yes, I have tasted and touched the safety and space that’s always available. I can guide you in finding it for yourself, but my job is easy because it already lives inside you.
As long as you’re willing to look in the direction of Truth, you’ll see it for yourself. There’s nothing I have that you don’t, and no knowledge that I have to teach. You already have it.
So even if I do a crappy job of pointing, as long as I know the direction for us to explore – which I do – you’ll see something new about the Truth. Guaranteed. I don’t know what it will be, but I know that you will, and I get to look and see with you.
I love how it’s expressed in this quote by George Bernard Shaw:
“I’m not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you.”
When we journey toward the Truth, the rewards are great, and they keep coming.
This is the greatest gift I could possibly give to someone. It’s where life-changing impact lives, and I am becoming increasingly clear that it’s where I want to spend my time and energy in coaching.
The truth is that I simply didn’t know this so clearly until even a few months ago, and my clarity has been deepening ever since. I’m seeing more and more of the Truth, and a shift in focus towards transformational coaching is the obvious choice.
So while it may look like taking the Supercoach Academy training or learning from my mentors in Coaching Mastery is creating this change, it’s actually an example of what happens in a transformative conversation about Truth.
You have an insight about Truth in which what you believed before no longer looks true, and your behaviors change naturally.
So when we have a transformational conversation in the context of your business, we’ll talk about your business, sure, but we’ll spend more time exploring the nature of what’s going on. You’ll begin to see the Truth about it, and when we come back to the personal application in your business, things will look very different.
I woke up overnight with these words for you in my head. They wouldn’t let me rest, so I got up to write them down.
And now I deliver them, with love, to you. I hope they help on your journey.
Yours in love and play,