The Coaching To Come Alive Manifesto
These twenty concepts fully embody the transformational work that you will come to understand, learn, and live through Coaching To Come Alive. points are the foundation of my work, heart and soul. I believe in them, I breathe them, I live them. I consider this a blueprint for the full capacity of the human spirit to thrive, excel and create. I believe these points are all ingredients for becoming a living, breathing muse. When they are practiced, our energy shifts into a vibrant frequency that others can sense and feel. They not only make YOU more joyful, they make those you come in contact with more joyful as well.
Transformation ignites the soul. It makes us glow. We’re built for it, designed to evolve.
Consider one point every day, noticing your reactions to it, observing what it means to you throughout your day, or read the entire manifesto from start to finish, absorbing what you can. Whether you embrace one point or all of them, practicing them will change your outlook and your life.
I believe that whatever you are experiencing, you are perfect, healthy, and whole.
There is a core place inside of you—call it the spirit, the soul, the higher consciousness—whatever your language for it, it’s there and it’s ready to ignite when we’re ready to invite it to do so. We all experience struggles, cracks, even complete brokenness at times, but it is through these experiences that we gain more strength and beauty. At the core, you are beautiful, perfect, healthy, and whole. Nothing that happens around you can affect this truth.
Your so-called flaws aren’t flaws at all but simply resources you haven’t yet learned to cultivate.
It is oftentimes those qualities in ourselves that we consciously try to exile or banish (because we’re ashamed of them, or embarrassed by them, or taught to believe they are wrong by somebody or some institution) that are our greatest gifts. There are no flaws in you, just untapped wisdom waiting to be recognized.
Are you absolutely, positively 100% ready to transcend stagnancy? I believe that every experience is useful for a time.
That means that there can absolutely be some resources for you in a short episode of stagnancy (short could be defined as days, weeks, or even several months). But when we find ourselves in a semi-permanent state of near constant stagnancy, we begin to shut down entirely. We numb out, we zombify. I believe we are meant to find our way out of this level of stagnancy. There is nothing more destructive.
I want you to appreciate that you are the master of your own life.
You are 100% accountable, responsible, and answerable for where you are now and where you intend to go from here. Chronic blame, chronic victimhood, they are simply mechanisms for staying frozen. Yes, there’s value in honoring our hurts by working through our injuries (psychological, spiritual, or physical) with a psychotherapist, analyst, or psychologist. In the arena of coaching it is assumed that you’re ready to move forward and learn the absolute power of taking full ownership of your actions, behaviors, and life. You are capable. You are willing. Every single one of us takes refuge in the comfort of the “I am a victim” box every now and then. Some of us live there permanently. I ask you to step outside of it and see where this can take you.
I believe you can fearlessly face your greatest obstacles in the form of your own limiting thoughts, language, beliefs, and actions.
You are so ready to unlock your self-made chains. Over time, we develop neural pathways which deliver to us the quick fix of our go-to emotions (jealousy, fear, rage, defensiveness…) depending upon the situation. Our emotions release neurotransmitters which are simply chemicals our brain becomes accustomed to experiencing. Like seeking a self-made “high” we can get stuck in patterns of creating the very scenarios which cause us pain in order to get a hit of our favorite neuro-chemicals. It doesn’t matter that these experiences are destructive and painful. As long as we can feel the familiarity of those emotions, our brain believes we’re on the right track. We can shift these patterns; create new ones which don’t cause destruction and pain. This is the journey of transformation and our brains are wired for it. It’s called neuroplasticity, which is simply that we now know that we CAN teach an old dog new tricks. It just takes a little love, patience and devotion.
I want you to at least consider what it could feel like to unconditionally love yourself.
This is a concept that makes many of us uncomfortable. I want to stretch you into feeling comfortable with the words “I like myself” working up to full-blown love, baby! Unless you can learn to unconditionally love yourself, which requires a conscious effort to stop with the inner process of self-directed belittling and insulting whenever something goes slightly wonky in life, you can never know the true joy of fully loving others. When we dislike ourselves on any level, we hold ourselves back. Others can sense that. The journey to love ourselves is not always easy. But I believe it’s critically important.
Do you appreciate the power of your own intentions? I truly hope you do.
Our intentions are so important. I believe that the energy that drives our every move is powered by our intentions. It’s a form of intuition. We don’t have to say a word and others around us can sense our intention; they respond to it in turn. We can coast through life without making a conscious connection with how important this is, not realizing that the Universe around us can also sense our intention. What do you want? This is the primary question when developing a relationship to our own intention. This is the foundation for manifesting our dreams and desires.
Are you ready to be guided beyond your repetitive and exhausting stories into new blank pages built for discovery and possibility?
There is a beautiful aspect of my platform of coaching (the Appreciative Inquiry model) called The Poetic Principle. The Poetic Principle states that we are constantly writing and re-writing the stories of our lives. This means that like reading a complex poem, there can be endless interpretations of the events which have taken place over the span of our lifetime. The Poetic Principle asks that we consider other interpretations of events in order to learn something new about an event and what it “did to us” rather than just replay the old story over and over again. We do this as an exercise to grow into a place of discovery and newness, rather than read the same old poem one more time.
We can use non-judgment as a tool to analyze circumstances for the sake of finding clarity.
I wrote an entire book on this subject called, The S.T.A.R. Philosophy, Fascinated Observer’s Guide. Being the Fascinated Observer means we learn to observe a situation without assigning interpretations to it based on our own projections. For example, a woman cuts us off in the grocery store line and we immediately assign our interpretation to it, “She’s rude! She’s oblivious! She doesn’t honor me!” All of which, of course, cause us anxiety and discomfort. In actuality, the woman is completely blind in her left eye and had no idea we were even there. It wasn’t personal, she just didn’t see us! How often do we allow our interpretations to run rampant all over our own well-being though they are frequently misguided?
When we embody the concept of “presence” vs. simple reactivity we gain control of our communication.
This is to learn the foundation of emotional intelligence. When a person says something to us that triggers us, oftentimes our physiology takes over, adrenaline surges, we feel pain and in attempt to deflect that pain we lash out. We lose our presence and unleash sarcasm meant to hurt or we take a more direct approach and hurl invectives. Whatever our strategy, now the conversation has escalated to violence (because throwing hurtful words with the intent to injure can be just as damaging as hurling a rock). Lashing out is simple reactivity. Maintaining our presence through conversations means dialogue can take place, which means communication can happen. Emotional intelligence can be learned.
Be open to embracing the full spectrum of emotion understanding the usefulness of every state of being from sadness to anger to joy to rapture.
We have to experience it all. We have to be comfortable with the entire spectrum. There is no such thing as “good” emotions and “bad” emotions. If we’re human we have all of them inside of us. The journey of getting real means we learn how to express them all.
We can absolutely choose our thoughts.
Can you acknowledge that you can choose your thoughts, understanding that your thoughts are the foundation for your emotions and your patterns of emotion throughout your life? The Buddhist scholars have been telling us for centuries that it’s not the circumstances that cause us pain, it’s our thoughts about the circumstances that cause us pain. No matter how you dissect it, this is absolutely true. There is a concept called pivoting which is the conscious act of turning our attention from what we do not want to what we do want, or from what we don’t like to what we do. Pivoting gives us renewed energy. It allows us to keep moving forward with what we’re intending to achieve. Even if it’s our purpose to be an activist in this world, fighting for something (a vision of how things can be better, for example) sustains us and provides far greater spiritual and physical stamina than fighting against something. It’s a simple tweaking of our thought perception.
The importance of learning the intricacies between ‘being’ and ‘doing’ and how they drive each other.
“Being” is how we show up in the world. “Doing” is what we accomplish. Doing means very little unless it’s done in a way that honors our Being. And adjusting our Being oftentimes drives our Doing. If you’re doing a lot, but constantly complaining about it (Being), imagine what more you could achieve by shifting your Being.
Are you ready to have a serious conversation with your defense/survival mechanisms?
A cougar chasing you through the forest is a great call for survival mechanisms. A person’s tone in answering a question is not. In today’s modern society there is no great need for us to exercise our survival mechanisms regularly, let’s be honest. A key player in this discussion is a part of our limbic anatomy which is commonly referred to as the “Lizard Brain”. The Lizard Brain is an ancient and primitive part of the brain which has been evolving for something like 285 million years, depending on the source. It’s responsible for things like territoriality, ritual behaviors, and other “reptilian” behaviors. The problem is, our little lizard brain developed so long ago, the dangers to which it originally adapted are no longer relevant. It hasn’t gotten the memo that the Saber-toothed tigers went the way of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. So it will quite often cause us to perform primeval physical responses to non-critical events (such as how our boss just looked at us or something) that potentially cause harm to us or those around us. We can learn to quiet, calm, soothe, and protect our reptilian brain. When the limbic brain is completely running the show, driving our emotions, life can be an excruciating experience. It doesn’t have to be fight, flight, or freeze all the time. Unless a mountain lion is truly on your tail… then by all means, hand the controls to your capable lizard brain.
The importance of aligning your actions with your inner values at all times.
Becoming a person of integrity and authenticity means you walk your talk. When we say one thing and do another our inner alarms start sounding. Our whole Being becomes confused. Our poor psyche tries to make sense of it, starts an attempt to work it out, “Wait, you said… and now you’re doing…What?” This is the stuff of inner-conflict and nothing freezes us like having an internal self-directed battle. These battles can go on for years. But once we align, and start practicing a zero tolerance policy on inner hypocrisy, our entire life lines up more powerfully than we could imagine.
What it means to be self-correcting and self-generating.
Self-correcting means you know that the behaviors or thoughts you’re indulging in are taking you down a slippery slope of destruction and pain so you make the correction, even if it’s not an easy adjustment, and turn your patterns around to those that foster your well-being. Self-generating means you know which practices you need to pump yourself up– walking in the woods, yoga, prayer, golf– so you do them. You have a good idea what makes you feel stronger, so you generate the impetus to engage in these things for your own well-being. These are foundational to the coaching process. There are those who truly do not have the ability to self-correct or self-generate, in which case it is understood that counseling with a psychologist, analyst or psychotherapist is the best course of action.
Don’t be afraid of the word “intuition”.
Are you ready to build and develop yours? Intuition is not about calling 1-900-Psychic or gazing into a crystal ball (though I’m not making any judgments about either). Intuition is about learning to tune in to that stillness inside of you which holds the key to advanced communication (including the communication that takes place between species), extraordinary insight (including precognitive at times), ground-breaking innovation and creation, as well as that inner knowing that accompanies strong decision making. Intuition is imperative. Paying attention to it is paying attention to an entire hemisphere of our brain. It is required of us to express as “whole”.
We can be accountable and work hard for what we truly want.
The transformational journey is about lasting, permanent change. That’s what transformation is. Change in this context doesn’t mean we become something we weren’t before. It means we strip away all the garbage, all the debris, all the disguises we’ve been carting around for years, all of that stuff that we believe is not us and we mine for the gold in it. We do that by dialoguing with it, talking to it, asking it what it has to teach us. In so doing, it transforms. It becomes something authentic. This is inner alchemy. It’s hard work. I’m not going to lie. Transformational work is not for the faint of heart. But it’s the most powerfully rewarding journey you can possibly undertake, because it’s a journey back to you. It’s a journey of inexhaustible gifts. The human spirit never disappoints.
Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude.
Developing a practice of gratitude can completely change a person’s life. To review just a few benefits of gratitude, taken from various medical journals, those who consider themselves grateful, with a daily practice of listing a few things they’re thankful for experience a heightened immune system, greater feelings of connectedness, higher morale at work, increased happiness, improved social life and they enjoy better sleep. A practice of gratitude has been linked to lower blood pressure and a decreased chance of heart attack.
The power of Beginner’s Mind. Beginner’s Mind is a Buddhist term for keeping our minds open.
It’s about releasing our attachment to what we know, what we don’t know, and entering the realm of “what we don’t know we don’t know” which happens to be something like seventy percent of reality! It’s consciously entering the place of mystery in order to remain open to new ideas and new possibilities. We get so stuck in the idea that we’ve mastered certain areas of our life that we close the door to teaching ourselves something new. Opening that door is committing to Beginner’s Mind and it’s imperative on the transformational journey.