Are you a life coach? Or a person looking for life coaching? Either way, archetypes are an excellent model to work with to access the deep potential available within the coaching session and within you as an individual- both coach and client.
Archetypes are a map of human potential and growth. They signpost towards your greatness and show the possible pitfalls to your growth- the inner critics, shadow and fear-based thinking.
I work with archetypes through embodiment. So, rather than simply having an intellectual knowledge of archetypes, I continue to develop a practical and experiential understanding of them that make for powerful tools in my life, during coaching sessions and in the lives of my clients. Why not bring them alive in your body, use them in your coaching and share them with clients so they can bring them alive in everyday life?
I first began working with archetypes in martial arts. Embodying Warrior brought fierceness to my movement, while Lover allowed me to blend and relate more effectively with my training partner. Magician opened me to the spontaneous and creative movement of combat while Sovereign empowered me to stand in confidence and self-authority.
And then I began to take them off the mat and into life. I noticed how Warrior helped me stand strong in my boundaries when I said “no”. Lover supported me in my self-compassion and empathy with others. Sovereign helped me see responsibility as a gift and Magician led me to see life as a creation and joyous co-creation.
I love working with archetypes because they are intuitive. People can make them their own. There is lots of room to play with storytelling, imagining how they walk through life, move and hold themselves, interact and co-operate with each other to create blended effects. So, they are powerful as coaching tools.
By embodying archetypes, you can role model them as a coach to your client. And as a client, work on the felt-sense of each archetype and improve your personal and professional life.
Sovereign is all about self-responsibility. As a coach, choosing to show up with your client in your full power so that you role model authenticity to your client and inspire that in them. Coach as Sovereign inspires thriving and flourishing as you own your self-authorship by living according to your values and purpose. Exhibiting vulnerability, sharing that you are not perfect and open to owning your imperfection.
Role modelling gives the client permission to own their own Sovereignty. To explore their values and purpose and live through them. To learn how to court that embodied feeling of Sovereign and feel the weight of responsibility as a gift, not a burden.
When both coach and client take responsibility for the session, the depth of exploration, discovery and transformation is so rich, as you both lean into each other and generate insight, clarity and discernment.
One of the greatest tools of the coach is intuition. To open the mind, heart and body to The Field of infinite intelligence. To blurt the gut feelings and insights you have about your client and so share with them their greatness, vulnerability and wisdom.
Coach as Magician, you embody dancing in this moment with the client. While holding to the agenda of the session and the client’s greater Agenda for the coaching arc. In sharing your insights with the client, they become aware of their own inner wisdom. The intuitive knowledge that is there to guide them. The client, through your role modelling, learns to trust their own intuitive voice and inner guidance.
When Magician is alive in both coach and client, magic happens in the session. You spark off each other, creating synergy and partnership that is greater than the sum of the parts.
Relationship is central to coaching success. If you are seeking out coaching, test the water and have a chemistry session with at least three coaches. Find the one you really click with.
This chemistry is the foundation of your trust together. As a client, you want a coach you can trust. Who fully accepts you and is without judgement. In that process, you learn to accept yourself unconditionally. And at the same time, hold yourself to the highest standards around your values and purpose.
A primary purpose of coaching is about building a more connected relationship with yourself, which leads to more fulfilling relationships with others. Your coach should embody that too. What work has the coach done to be at peace with themselves? Unconditional self-love leads to unconditional love for others.
This space of trust in relationship leads to authentic openness within the sessions, allowing you both to delve deep for the client’s sake. Bringing all of who you both are to the sessions.
It takes courage to be a powerful and effective coach. To risk speaking truth, remain in integrity, challenge and avoid colluding with the client’s own self-limiting beliefs or your own. In Co-Active coaching we talk about having fierce courage. To risk being fired for the client’s sake as you support them towards their greatness.
And by embodying Warrior, courage leads to this dynamic space of challenge and vulnerability that empowers the client to own their own fierceness, commitment and purpose. As a client, where do you need courage in your life? Where do you need focus and intention to make your life happen?
When you both bring Warrior to the session, sparks fly as you fearlessly step into the mess of being human. You both risk vulnerability as you work together to create a strong relationship that gets astounding personal development results for the client. Empowering the client to create more fulfilling relationships, meaningful work and a life full of inspired action.
Over to You
How could you use the archetypes in your coaching? As coach, how could you use Warrior to bring fierce courage, or Sovereign to create safety and challenge? How could you bring more Magician into your coaching to be more creative, imaginative and intuitive, or Lover to deepen the empathy and unconditional love for yourself and your client?
And as client, how inspiring would it be to have these archetypes role modelled in your coaching? Learn to embody them yourself so that you can aspire to new horizons and move towards those goals and dreams?
If this topic has resonated with you and you’d like to know more, I will be speaking at The Embodiment Conference and introducing an embodied approach to archetypes that brings more awareness and fulfilment in all aspects of your life, including your coaching. You can register free for the conference here.
My talk is Embodying Archetypes for Personal Growth. There are hundreds of speakers from across the globe, sharing the wisdom of embodiment for the benefit of many areas of life including relationships and intimacy, business and leadership, martial and healing arts, ethics, ecology and of course, coaching. It would be great to see you there.
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