Consciousness Work: Beyond Life Coaching
Let me share with you the differences between life coaching and the consciousness work that I do…
Most definitions of life coaching I have come across, or explained by most life coaches I have met, speaks to life coaching as “helping to define and accomplish personal and professional life goals”. These are noble pursuits and I appreciate and applaud that there are both those who seek, and those who provide, such services. At the same time, there is a fundamental difference between life coaching and consciousness work. Life coaching primarily supports the desires of the ego… “I want to lose weight and get in shape; I want to earn a promotion at work; I want to find my ideal partner”. The person seeking direction mostly knows what they want and the life coach believes that he or she can provide the direction needed to achieve those goals.
Consciousness Work supports the process of expanding self-awareness by understanding and redeeming the unconscious patterns, processes and material which inform our lives. The key adjective here is “unconscious” which means not in our conscious mind; the thoughts, ideas, beliefs and feelings that we are not aware of. This work, which includes mindfulness therapy, dreamwork, and shadow work, is at its most fertile when we engage and examine our pain and suffering, our forbidden thoughts and feelings, our accidents and crises, our physical diseases and our behavioral challenges. As the founder of Analytical Psychology, Carl Jung, MD purportedly stated… “the problem with the unconscious is that… it is unconscious” meaning we don’t know what we don’t know. Moreover, what we don’t know is mostly unknowable from the state of consciousness we maintain on a day-to-day basis. It is most commonly and sometimes only through dreams, eruptions of shadow behavior and experiences with crises such as accidents or illnesses that we enter the gateway to engage our individual unconscious. This sets the stage to learn fundamental truths about who and what we are that transcend the self-image we create and defend. This work is not well-suited for those immersed in the stages of life where productivity, accomplishment, and achievement are primary. Consciousness Work is a deeper calling wherein we seek to understand, give meaning to and redeem Life’s personal challenges such as collapse, crises, loss, and disease.
Consciousness Work can lead to full and complete acceptance of what is; to what we call the “suchness” of things. Nothing needs to change. Nothing needs to be different. As our consciousness and awareness expands we see, we feel, we experience the incredible gifts and wisdom of Life just as it is. From this place, Presence, there is no anxiety, no depression, no need for the ego to grab for power to maintain control. Most of us are called to the journey of Consciousness Work in some form in order to experience this state of consciousness.
Given that the unconscious includes that which we are unaware most of us don’t know what we need to authentically heal ourselves. As Henry Ford said about the automobile, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. So we seek guidance from those who have blazed a trail ahead of us of bringing the unconscious to consciousness, those who have done the necessary work, those who can initiate and induct our own personal experience of authentic healing from the inside out.
Consciousness Work and Life Coaching – Conscious Life Coaching
The work that I offer to clients includes what may be called Conscious Life Coaching. It is less about achievement and accomplishment and much more about embracing ourselves as we are; of understanding and finding meaning in all of the experiences of our lives; of redeeming the most difficult and painful patterns and processes. This work informs all aspects of our lives…personal, family and work relationships, workplace and career, money and resource, health and happiness.