A Holistic Approach to Coaching
Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Elena Constantinidou (United Kingdom).
To some, Holistic Coaching would come across as woo woo. What does holistic mean anyway? Some would approach it with cynicism.
Is it wise to try and conceptualize coaching in all of its spectrum and glory? How can one understand how it feels if they don’t have the experience? How can one know the juiciness and taste of an apple if they never tasted it before?
Is there really a distinction between coaching in its different labels and focus?
In my simplistic understanding, coaching is simply coaching, regardless of how one calls it, how one approaches it, what tools the coach is using.
From the moment we are coaching the individual, even if it’s in a corporate or business context, it is essential to incorporate all the aspects of the Self, or plateaus of life.
And to emphasize that, there is the emergence of holistic coaching. Titles and labels are not really relevant, but they do give an indication of what the approach or emphasis of the coach is on, how wide or not the spectrum of inclusiveness is.
When I coach an individual, I coach the whole of the person in all of his or her aspects. Body, mind and spirit and we delve deep into all areas of life, personal, professional, social, emotional. And so even if there is an area regarding the professional environment which needs addressing when there are obstacles in surpassing issues and making leaps, for lasting transformation to occur, it is usually the case that limiting beliefs, programming and personal judgments are not serving the individual to fulfill his or her higher expression. It is of paramount importance for such limitations to be lifted and transcended otherwise the pattern will still run on the background kind of like a computer virus. We don’t want our clients to depend on the coaching relationship and in a way become addicted to it, but we rather want to provide them with the foundation, the tools to cultivate their self-responsibility, step into their power and connect with their inner compass to have the life they aspire to.
We grow up and we learn certain ways, we react in usual unconscious ways and by the time we are in our thirties, we wonder why things don’t fall into place? Why can we not create what we would like to have for ourselves. Why is it such a struggle to move through life?
As coaches, we are called to undertake a very serious, sacred role. We are there not to take responsibility for our coachees and hold their hands, but to provide the space for them to dig deep, get insights, ask them questions no one is willing to ask. To bring them to their edge, outside their comfort zone, as this, is where the magic happens.
And usually, there’s resistance. People get into a coaching relationship feeling excited that their lives have the potential to be transformed, that they can finally attain what they are envisioning. But once the juicy part starts to happen, they usually back off, they start finding excuses. This is an indication of their committed towards their transformation and how fear takes over.
To me, mindfulness comes into the equation very early on in the coaching relationship. Without present moment awareness from both parties, it is impossible to establish a deep, intimate connection between the coach and the client. Cultivating this present moment awareness is essential in unraveling unconscious patterns and limiting beliefs about various areas of their lives. Through being mindful it helps us stay as rooted as possible to any present moment. We become aware of a vast spectrum of possibility that surrounds us. Not taking a pause, not slowing down, cannot permit us to connect to our inner guidance, our intuitive center, align with our true essence nature, attain a brain and heart coherence. And when we are out of alignment, we end up stirring through life like puppets, not owning our choices, being pushed from circumstance to circumstance.
As an infinite being, there are only two elements. Awareness and choice. And to eliminate suffering we can only do it through knowingness which is awareness. And as our awareness expands, we have far more choice available to us. Self-knowledge is key. And to me, coaching has its roots in self enquiry.
We live in a belief driven universe and all we attract has a direct correlation to our thoughts.
How we interpret events is through the beliefs that have attracted them in the first place.
Einstein said that a problem can’t be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it
And this is where awareness kicks in. As we get the lesson from our experiences, we stop recreating them.
When we think we are trying hard to change our environment and we struggle to have any progress, it is because we either haven’t chosen to change it or we have not cleared the judgments blocking us.
Bringing the whole of ourselves as coaches into the relationship, we go beyond coaching training, techniques and tools. These keep us limited within boxes. Transcend techniques and tap into the field of infinite creativity, potential and limitless possibility. Draw from all our experiences, education and own practices like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, neuroscience. Imagine a dancer, having perfect technique, but no feeling into movement, no emotion, no expression, no connection. And then you have a dancer with not so good technique, but completely connected, fully immersed into being, into the experience. Who do you think would magnetize you more?
The more technique you have, the less you have to worry about it. The more technique there is, the less there is. Pablo Picaso
Opening and nurturing that sacred space for tremendous insights to occur, for creativity to blossom, to transcend limitations, cultivates a very intimate connection between coach and client and for the coach as well, listening beyond auditory faculties, merging with clients is what opens up the possibility of magic.
Coaches are leaders. We are called forth to lead the way and with that comes great responsibility primarily to ourselves.
As Rich Litvin says, you can’t take someone any deeper than what you have taken yourself. So it is important for us Coaches to do the deep Inner work for ourselves, never stop evolving, growing, expanding. Self-inquiry becomes an integral part of our growth, in getting to know ourselves for what we truly are. And as we come from deeper knowingness for ourselves, we embody our strength, we tap into our wisdom and we are able to utilize our intuitive guidance on demand.
I dare say that Holistic Coaching is Holistic because it’s not only about our clients and all the aspects of themselves. It’s also about us, our continuous inquiry, our own commitment to becoming the highest expression of ourselves so that we can better serve our clients and others.
About Elena Constantinidou
Managing Director of Holistic LIFE Alchemy. Elena works with people who are serious about their transformation. She supports and empowers Luminaries and High Caliber people through various means and tools, enabling themselves to tap into the field of infinite possibilities and let their true potential flourish and expand, restoring harmony and balance on all levels and bringing joy and happiness into their lives.
Her background in the Corporate world of management and Human Resources, and her education in Coaching, accompanied with the immersion in esoteric and spiritual teachings, practices and philosophies, complemented with Personal Development work, the study of Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Consciousness and Quantum Physics, have contributed in the emergence of a fusion style approach encompassing all aspects of our being (body, mind, spirit), a holistic approach to blissful living, personal growth and expansion.
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