When I began coaching a decade ago, all the experts wanted me to identify a specific niche and get super clear about my ideal client. I had no such clarity, and recognizing that it was causing me stress and confusion to identify what I couldn't yet see, I let it go. I opened a general coaching umbrella for people with all kinds of presenting issues and dreams and proceeded to support various kinds of human beings in various quests—with the commonality being that my work with them was based on my experiments in trusting life, positing a friendly Universe, being willing to accept anything past or present happening to me as for my healing & evolution (never to squash or thwart me however I felt it at the time. My own transformation took off from deep, ongoing inquiry using The Work of Byron Katie, through which I learned not to see thoughts as a narration of reality, but as subjective and filtered through my personal lenses (and plenty of cultural ones but adapted by me whether consciously or unconsciously). I stopped categorically believing my thoughts, insisting on my rightness, arguing for anything that I recognized as feeling bad. And I started feeling good and have continued various growth in experiments since I went to the School for The Work in 2006.
why do my brilliant clients need a coach?
There are many different reasons (and, again, I relish the diversity of situations that bring us together at just the right time):
There's something they feel DONE with but need some guidance & support fully letting go & stepping out of it, then planting their feet where or toward the place where they're heading.
There's something they haven't gotten to that still calls to them.
They want to refine their practices & processes to get more subtle, to go deeper, to live at a new level of consciousness.
They feel stuck in some way or some realm of life, though sometimes readiness for the next wave leading to the next stage presents as many realms of life seeming to be crashing or shifting all at once in sometimes overwhelming ways.
They may be aware of an old wound or unprocessed story that's getting in their way of wholeness & freedom now.
They want to get to a purer form of presence, love, letting go, living in alignment.
They're aware of personality tendencies that still hold them back or keep them in perpetual self-disapproval (always a hindrance to being fully aligned & at ease, and therefore of ongoing expansion & living up to potential).
They need help with APPLYING and living what they know, and coaching is an effective way for us to meet together what life brings and learn to meet self and situations from presence, connected to guidance, willing to meet anything life brings, meeting every other as the face of God, allowing & moving through any feeling, living in deeply self-honoring ways, reaching for the right tool now and now and now.
They may need support to be happier, have more fun, be guiltless in the pursuit of bliss, let themselves have & live what they most want.
Abraham says that the best place to live from is "satisfied with what is and eager for more." Sometimes people come to me to clear dissatisfaction and learn to work with it to fuel their most beautiful becoming. Sometimes they need help connecting to their wanting, to that more to be eager for.
Some shared traits of the brilliant clients I've had ...
... with whom I've gotten to do brilliant work. I define brilliant work as both vibrantly satisfying to both of us when we're in session together, then feeding into an overall process in which I support them as witness & ally to show up, watch, and step forth as all the parts of their lives weave together in new ways. I walk with them into new territory that's rich & satisfying for them and a pleasure & honor for me to watch and have a part in. During & after our work together, they can point to specific internal & external changes in their lives, way of being, level of feeling at home and aligned, at peace with themselves & their lives, engaged in meaningful, beautiful ways, living in love.
first and foremost: They're ready
They're willing to look at themselves fearlessly and let go of making their change contingent on what others in their lives do or don't do.
They don't want to be victims anymore in any way.
They want to be done with the past, living in present time.
They want to get to what they haven't gotten to yet.
They want to know and respond to their own guidance system.
They've been seekers for some time
This means they have some self-awareness in place. They've often done therapy, retreats, some judicious reading or listening toward understanding themselves, others, and connection to Source or to Love more deeply. They've taken part in personal growth programs small and large (12-step programs, Byron Katie's School for The Work, retreats repeated over time with teachers they love or felt drawn to for a season, such as Adyashanti or Michael Beckwith). They've longed, learned, explored. They've healed some big stuff, met themselves again and again, and hung in there believing that more is possible. They've already experienced radical change and believe in transformation. They either haven't put a ceiling on their capacity to grow, heal, become, or they're ready for more allowing.
They already have practices and processes they use or have used at various times
Sometimes they've forgotten about something that served them or tried something they weren't ready for and haven't yet looked again. Sometimes they're active with these things and need to tweak the mindsets in how they use them or switch them up more so that all of my 3 pet tool categories are addressed:
they're so wide open
... to hear stuff, try stuff, look again, be still with anything, experiment, feel, open to new vistas, tell the truth, let go, allow, ferret out any victim mentality, practice self-abandonment no more, and truly step into their power (even, on any of these, if they currently have no clue how).
They have some commonalities in place already with my approach and some of the teachers & tools i draw from
Note that I don't seem to draw people unwilling to feel pain or discomfort. When we truly allow all the ways life can feel, we naturally find where we belong 1) to be most fulfilled and satisfied and 2) to offer the world/others the best of what we have to give. And we naturally then feel good much more of the time. I believe we are meant to feel good; we are not meant to avoid pain.
I don't draw people whose wanting comes as an insistence they get to have whatever they want, but I often work with people who fear selfishness & haven't fully gotten to or behind the understanding that when you're thriving, aligned with what most calls to you, it will not only bring more joy to you, but also inevitably be better for the good of all concerned.