Presence is for life not just for coaching
I often talk about presence as the key factor that underpins the process and enables transformation in coaching relationships.
But what if it’s also the key thing that underpins and has the potential to transform our own life?
That’s what happened to me, in the years since I first wrote my book, Coaching Presence. As I explored deeper into the realms of presence, living in the now, the true essence of who I am underneath my thinking, my life changed from one riddled with angst, low self-esteem and not feeling good enough to a life filled with joy, grace and ease.
Presence isn’t something I ‘do’ in coaching
Presence isn’t something I ‘do’ in coaching. It’s who I am at my core. When I fall present in coaching, it’s because in my focus and attention on the client, all other thinking that is about or related to myself, falls away. While I think about what I’m doing in the process, what to say next, when what the client says triggers some of my own ‘stuff’ I am not present. When that falls away, I become present and at the same time I become in tune with my client, with what’s happening right here, right now, and with my own inner essence. Then when I offer an intervention, it comes from a deeper place within me, a place that is not in my head or my intellect and is often the key that triggers a profound insight, and therefore transformation, in my client.
That’s how life works too. When I focus my attention on only what’s happening right here right now, my thinking falls away and my inner wisdom gives me whatever I need in the moment, without the need for worry or concern.
Like today. I knew I was due to speak at a conference about coaching presence, and every so often I would think that I need to decide what I’m going to talk about. But nothing occurred to me. Now in the past, that would have stressed me out.
Blah blah blah!
In fact, in the past, I would have spent hours thinking about the presentation, planning it, writing a script, prepping some slides, worrying about whether it would be ok, whether it would be good enough, whether I would be good enough, whether anyone would like me, whether anyone would even turn up. Etc etc. Blah blah blah. You know how it goes.
But now I notice the thought “I need to decide what I want to talk about” and if a topic doesn’t follow that thought, another thought follows which says “I’ll know when I know.” And I would go about my day.
This morning, two hours before I was due to speak, a thought popped into my head “Coaching Presence is not just for coaching.”
“That’s it.” I said to myself out loud. The Autumn sun shone in through the window, and the red, yellow and gold of the leaves of the tree whispered in the wind. There was something about this thought that felt good. I could feel it in my heart and my head had nothing to say about it. I knew then that this was what I would talk about. “OK.” I said as I picked up my pen and notepad to draft this piece.
I find that putting pen to paper allows something to come through me that does not come from my head, and I knew from experience that whilst I would not use the content of this writing in my presentation, having formed these words on the page, something would come through me later that would help me in the moment.
Trust in presence
If nothing had showed up this morning, I know that I would have turned up for the session, and from presence something would have showed up. Yet it’s still a relief to me, when my wisdom lets me know in advance. It doesn’t always do that. And I’m ok with it.
Sometimes it shows up well in advance. Like for a talk I am doing on 9th December. The topic showed itself to me in August!!
What I trust is that in a moment of being present, and by that I mean, in a moment when I fall present, without planning to do so, or trying, the innate wisdom that lies deep within me, and within each and every one of us, becomes unclouded by the noise in my head and wisdom has a chance to shine through.
So why is presence for life and not just for coaching? You can answer that one for yourself. Let your wisdom be your guide about that. But don’t try to push it!!