Michelangelo said that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue; one need only remove the excess material to reveal the work of art within… It strikes me that this is what coaching is– “Removing the excess material,” often in the form of doubts, perceived limitations or insecurities ready to be transformed into fuel for unlimited capacity.
The image here is Michelangelo’s First Painting, based off of Martin Schongauer’s Saint Anthony Tormented by Demons. Yes, we all have them and many people refer to them as the ego. I like to think we can tame our demons, make them friends… It’s not about slaying anything, or annihilation. It’s about listening to what they have to say, and giving them love and compassion while making it perfectly clear they’re not welcome to run the show any longer. It’s all about freedom for expansion and growth. It’s about turning our demons into allies, and loving them in all their perceived imperfections. It’s a beautiful thing, transformation.
Our demons are not our excess material in need of removal. It’s our stories about them, how they’re wrong or bad or shameful, that need to go. Within the shadow, the unseen corners of our psyche, our greatest joys can also be found.