Coaching the Essence

Published on: June 1, 2014

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The essence of our spiritual journey is letting go of self-created limitations and barriers to connect to the Christ within. But at times we may all stumble on that path as our human frailties mask Divine Wisdom. Rev Michael Beckwith says, “We are pushed by pain until we are pulled by vision.” And that observation also defines our role as spiritual coaches. We are not called to provide solutions, but to hold the truth of Divine Perfection, asking questions that create a space for others to connect to their inner knowing.

The greatest gift we can give is to trust people to find their own answers, refusing to become immersed in problems at the expense of wholeness. Coaching the essence means encouraging people to adopt a broader, more holistic view of circumstances to facilitate the release of an emotional reaction, projection or limitation. Innate wisdom drives the coaching conversation, focusing on the completeness of life in order to create forward movement. Coaching the essence is not just identifying individual issues, but concentrating on the bigger picture of our human experience. It is finding a balance between head desires and soul longings.

Tapping into inner guidance may also mean chipping away at beliefs that no longer serve. As described by Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla in their course The Quest, the word “persona” originated centuries ago when actors wore masks to indicate to the audience the roles they were playing. Each mask was called a persona. In today’s world our masks are not as visible to the eye, but people seeking coaching may not even be aware of the many roles they are playing in order to please their life audience. They have become so comfortable with these identities that they do not see how they are masking their true spiritual nature. Coaching the essence means stripping away deeply ingrained yet limiting or damaging thoughts in order to move to a higher view.

These conversations are not something that can be preplanned. It involves being in the moment with another, encouraging a deeper exploration of the heart of an issue while allowing Spirit to guide action. The coach also needs to be willing to set aside his or her own predetermined beliefs and assumptions regarding what would be meaningful or even possible for the people they are coaching. It requires vulnerability and humility. Our calling is simply to be present as a trusted partner on life’s journey, helping facilitate a deep connection to the voice within.

Kristi Petersen

Kristi Petersen is a certified professional and spiritual coach, speaker and workshop leader with a history of serving as a catalyst for positive change in her work with churches, businesses and individuals. A long-time Unity student, Kristi holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.


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