Whenever I start a new client with Awakening Coaching, it begins with four questions.
The first is, "What are your objectives of entering into this coaching relationship?" This means, "What do you want? What's important to you?"
The second question is, "What gets in the way? What are the the habits, beliefs and situations in your life that you're aware interfere with what you're most longing for?"
The third question is, "What can we count on you for? What are your strengths? What are the habits that you've already developed in your life, where you and everyone else can hold you accountable?" For some, it may be that they've cultivated the habit of transparency, of telling the truth. For someone else, it might be the daily practice of meditation or Chi Kung.
And the last question has to do with outcomes. "At the end of this eight week coaching series, how would you like to be different? What would you like to be different? How would you like things to look, in an objective, measurable way?
Through working with clients in this way and similar ways for more than 25 years, I've come to recognize the difference between "extrinsic" values and "intrinsic" values. Simply put, an extrinsic value is something that you've been taught to want. It's the means towards getting something else.
The most obvious example of this is money. Putting an extra hundred thousand dollars in your bank account is not intrinsically fulfilling. It actually makes no difference to the quality of your life at all. It's a means to get other things, like a vacation, or a different car, or being of greater service to more people.
There are so many things like this that we think we want, that we've been taught to want, but when we look more deeply into them we discover that they didn't arrive out of our innocent, original, unconditioned heart.
Another desire I've come to be cautious about in coaching as an "extrinsic" value is the desire of enlightenment, or some kind of spiritual goal. This may seem surprising, because many times we think of this as the ultimate intrinsic value. A small child never talks about enlightenment, nor do any of us when we speak freely, openly, from our innocence. It's another conditioned value that we've been taught to want by spiritual teachers and traditions.
So what are "intrinsic" values, then? What are the things which coaching clients say they want, and which actually bring them home to themselves, to real fulfillment? When we strip away what we've been taught to believe and desire, what remains is natural. There's no one simple answer to the question, of course. Words like "love" and "peace" and "connection" point in the right direction.
If we had find one simple sentence which most effectively taps into the motherlode, it would be, "To give the gift I was born to give." This means to give the love that's waiting to be given in my heart, to sing the song I was born to sing. Working with people all these years, I've come to discover a relaxed certainty that everyone has a gift to give. It may not be what they like doing, it may or may not be what makes them money, and it may not gain them worldly recognition. But whenever a human being taps into the gift they were born to give, they discover destiny. Life becomes a dance. They discover a wellspring of energy, commitment and passion that could never be manufactured through force. They discover a spontaneous dance of support from life.
I've come to learn a lot about what allows someone to give their true gift. I hosted a free teleseminar on September 16, in which I shared with listeners the secrets that I've learned. If you'd like to listen to the replay, register below, and you will be directed to the play/replay page.
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