Opening doors to Freedom and shining your Light on the World

Are you searching for more meaning in your life?  Would you like to live from a place of purpose and meaning?  Are you looking for work that touches your soul, heart and spirit?  Do you have a sense of what that might look like?  Or are you baffled by these questions?  Are you keen to discover YOUR answers and open the doors to your full potential?

I believe that to feel complete and whole is what drives us.  To come to terms with the pains and wounds and shadows of our lives and find healing for them.  You may not say in those words, but there is a search for freedom- from pain, doubt, fear, anxiety and insecurity.  And your wounds are the routes to that freedom.

Each person’s journey is unique and brings with it, unique challenges.  This discovery leaves us with questions about why we are here, what is fulfilling and meaningful to us and how we can bring this meaning to fruition for the improvement of our lives and the lives of those around us.  And perhaps even the world at large.  It doesn’t have to include your paid work, but I think that you would enjoy greater fulfilment in that work if it was aligned in some way to what has meaning and purpose for you.

Closing doors, turning off the lights

Annette Simmons explains it in Quantum Skills for Coaches like this.  I paraphrase: you are like a house with many rooms.  Each room represents a part of you: joy, love, curiosity, humour, playfulness, worthiness, confidence, truth, belief, trust, speaking up, integrity and so on.  Every room had its door open and the Light on, at some point in your life.  You were free to explore every inch of that house and you did.  You visited regularly and life was a joyous adventure.  Therefore, your Light shone on the world the way young people’s Light shines spontaneously, unapologetically and fiercely.  However, some rooms you ended up closing the door to and plunging it into darkness.  And so, your Light on the world became dimmed and your power and passion were diminished.

We get shamed, humiliated, hurt, disappointed, abused, violated, made bad or made wrong and we shut off to ourselves.  It could be a harsh word, or a cruel action, a leaving, an absence, a lack of communication and many other things.  It could be many small things over time, or it could be a single defining moment.

However it happens, we reach a point where we believe we have done something wrong and we hide that side of ourselves away in darkness.  You might have been told off when you expressed unabashed joy at something, so really letting your joy show becomes unacceptable- so much so that you may not even allow yourself to feel joy or find joy in others unacceptable or wrong.  Or perhaps adults in your youth did not keep their promises and so you find it hard to trust others?  Maybe a parent did not show you love and so you think you are unlovable?  Perhaps you had to step into the role of carer for parents, siblings, grandparents or yourself too soon and now you always prioritise others’ care rather than your own.

Follow your Bliss

Life then becomes a journey of rediscovering those rooms, opening the doors and turning the Lights back on.  You do this by “following your bliss” as the great Joseph Campbell said.  And the interesting thing about following your bliss is that you love it because it is longed for.  Perhaps it has been missing or you did not have enough of it in the past.  This longing leads you to one of your rooms, perhaps to many.

One example of this is from my own childhood.  Talking openly was not something that happened in our household and so I have a longing for transparency, openness and truth.  I see this in many people who had similar experiences to me.  As a result, I believe, I have developed a fascination with philosophy (literally meaning “love of wisdom or truth”) and developed keen listening skills to help myself and others come to their own truth and wisdom through life coaching and facilitation.

Opening doors

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

Campbell’s full quote is “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”.  This has been true for me as I have found healing through discovering the truth about my past and present which allow me to build a future of my own choice.  I have clients who have known abuse in childhood and infidelity in marriage leading to disabling limitations.  And yet, explore that pain and wounding and on the other side has been the path to self-love and the joy of living the life they feel they truly deserve- fulfilling, love-filled, meaningful and on purpose.

The path to your bliss usually comes in unexpected ways.  It is not what your “head” would normally identify as the proper path.  Typically, it leads you towards all kinds of opportunities that seem out of the ordinary.  In my life, I had a career in science mapped out.  However, my intuition or “gut” took me toward martial arts and within a decade I had ditched the neuroscience career and was teaching people Karate, Aikido and Iaido and how to apply those principles to have greater success in business, relationships and life in general.  That opened doors to life coaching and workshop facilitation as well as volunteering for Samaritans.  As Campbell said, “we must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

The doors to freedom

Those things that you seek to recover that make you feel whole, are often those things that you fear.  To survive without them, you make them wrong or bad or fearful.  Yet you feel like something is missing and so you go in search of them.  You become caught in this interplay between moving towards what you seek and away from what you fear.

It takes great courage to face these challenges.  The last quote from Campbell, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” points to this truth.  If you want your life to flourish, you cannot settle for survival.  You find a way to allow yourself to thrive.

This has always been the narrative of the Hero’s Journey- think Star Wars or Harry Potter.  The Hero’s Journey is not only a modern theme- it is as old as humanity.  You’ll see it in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita in Hinduism and The Tale of Gilgamesh from Babylon.  You are the hero of your life- the only one who can set you free from the fear that currently holds you back from living that fulfilling life.  The same life that finds its meaning in facing these fears.  In facing your fears, the clarity of your purpose begins to coalesce.  Your Light shines brighter and brighter as you face more fears and rediscover the house that is you, illuminating your way and allowing you to share your gifts with the world.

Gifts to the World

Find whatever means you can to bring your gifts to the world.  They are sorely needed and in living them, you will live the fulfilling life you dream for yourself.  There will be challenges.  There may even be dragons.  And there will be Princes and Princesses, Kings and Queens, adventures and miracles.  Life is not complete without the Light AND the dark, pain and joy, love and fear.  Learn ways to embrace the Light, find the joy and allow the love to flow.  Pain, fear and darkness are always present.  In your Light the darkness is banished, the fear becomes manageable and the pain you feel a product of the power of your love.  So, seek the Light and rediscover the house that is YOU.

Over to you

If you’d like to rediscover your Light and find your purpose to make life more fulfilling and meaningful for you, why not contact me and we can discuss how you can begin to make that a reality.

What is life coaching- and what can it do for you?

Have you ever wondered what life coaching is? Or perhaps what it isn’t? The word “coaching” is used so broadly it can be a little confusing what people mean when they say “I am a coach” or “I offer coaching”. One of the first questions prospective clients ask me is “What is coaching and what can it do for me?”

What is Life Coaching

From my understanding, the roots of coaching are firmly embedded in sports performance. Timothy Gallwey may well have written the first life coaching book with The Inner Game of Tennis.

He talks about using the body to learn new habits, embodying the feel of movement to create great, high-level performance. It’s a short step to embodying any new habit, including feeling confident, empowered, powerful and engaged in any number of daily life situations.

Any high performing athlete needs a coach to motivate, inspire, guide and improve physical and mental performance. So why not any person who wishes to perform at a higher level in any area of their life? Success is not assured, but the likelihood of improvements and achieving desired goals is highly increased.

Life Coaching for Everyone

The parallels with everyday life are massive. We all have goals. We all want to improve our performance, be it at work or in our private lives. Mind sets around showing up in relationships and creating the life you long for are essential for success. Life-limiting mind sets keep you stuck in old patterns. Finding mind sets that are aligned to your goals and values make success more likely.

Now, there are many ways to make this happen. There are books and courses and retreats, webinars and seminars, both on-line and off-line. There are executive coaches, therapists, financial coaches, counsellors, relationship coaches, consultants and life coaches.

When the word “coach” is made to mean the same as “consultant“, you might get an expert in a particular field. The client or coachee is expecting input from the coach/ consultant based on their experience in business say to advise and guide. Incredibly useful. I myself have used business coaches at certain points in my business development. This type of coaching or consulting is a step-by-step, incremental development as the client grows in knowledge and experience.

Co-active Life Coaching

The kind of life coaching I do, co-active life coaching, is transformational. Rather than step-by-step, incremental growth, the client experiences transformation. Evolving from caterpillar to butterfly.

For over 20 years I have taught martial arts. The Japanese word for that role is “sensei”. That roughly translates into English as teacher. Yet, as is so often with different languages, the work “sensei” means much more. It is one who cares for the physical, mental and emotional well-being of those that are supported by him. There is love, patience, compassion and a fierce longing for their true strength and power to reveal itself and manifest in ever area of their lives. It comes to each individual in its own time. Yet the sensei never stops longing for that truth and working with them to make that real in the world.

When I went into life coaching, I felt a natural affinity towards this type of coaching. It was a great fit. An extension of my “Sensei” role. And I could bring physical embodiment to my life coaching and greater emotional intelligence to my “Sensei” role. You can learn more here.

Life Coaching and Transformation

An example of this transformative process with one of my clients follows. Changes in perception and perspective in almost every call lead to massive shifts in action that gave new and exciting outcomes. The client’s life was literally transformed.

“I have been lucky enough to share a coaching journey with David that has been and still is a transformational experience……….What David brought to the game that was priceless, was an in depth exploration of these ideas and plans to put any changes into daily action. That’s where the real power of coaching is and with this depth has come great personal rewards….. I found that the positive benefits of exploring these concepts actually manifested themselves very powerfully after the sessions and are still going on now.

“David is an empathic and passionate coach who held my wishes as a client foremost in our relationship and gently but very firmly held me to my decisions and personal promises without distraction. It’s not new knowledge that to change old habits, reach new heights and achieve ones goals, powerful and sustained focus on them is required to empower them, but theres a vast difference between just knowing how to do it and actually doing it, David helps make it happen.”

Evoking Transformation

The caterpillar needs to dissolve away old ways of being and doing that support old goals. Instead, embrace new ways of being and doing that are aligned to new goals. The shift is not incremental. It is transformational. New perceptions and perspectives that drive deep, inner change.

That is what I want for any client that comes my way. If I know I cannot walk along side them to support that change I will suggest appropriate coaches I think can. Then the client can decide. And if I can, I will use all my love and compassion to evoke transformation in my client. An on-line dictionary defines evoke as “bring or recall (a feeling, memory, or image) to the conscious mind.” Coaching tools delve into exploration and awareness. As you become more aware, you have access to inner resources previously unavailable to you. Those inner resources ignite new levels of consciousness or being which result in different doing.

Over to You

On and in it goes, revealing more potential at every exploration. If you would like to make those transformational shifts, perhaps you are ready for co-active life coaching with me and bring new inspiration to your career, relationships, health, wellness and life as a whole.

Pass it on

If you know people who want to make transformational change, please forward them the link to this blog. Alternatively, if this has inspired something in you, please get in touch and we can have a conversation about how we might be able to walk the path together towards a more fulfilling life for you.