ON BECOMING A COACH – A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE THROUGH COMEDY AND PLAYFULNESS
A skit on Saturday Night Live about twenty years ago depicted a man and woman standing outside of a THERAPIST’S office. One actor asks the other if this is his office. He answers ‘Yes’ and she slaps him across the face. He acknowledged being THE RAPIST. In my mind a light turned on as I was shocked by this new perspective. Really?!! I had been calling myself the rapist. Clients have been calling me the rapist. I had been practicing as a psycho the rapist for five or more years at this point, asking people to trust me. What was I thinking? What does this title mean? Does it mean psycho is the rapist? Or, there is a rapist of the psyche? I ask these questions because the words we use have an energy, and the word, psycho the rapy seems violent, or it suggests that one person is doing something hurtful to another. Also, the word suggests a hierarchical relationship. After this late-night television watching, I wanted to call myself anything but the rapist. I didn’t know how to reconcile the implied aggression in this widely-used title. The delicate and personal practice in my office didn’t jibe with the notion of aggression and so I began to call myself a counselor, and now a coach or spiritual psychologist. Carl Rogers’ work and philosophy provided a stance which was equal, gentle and respectful. Rogers was ‘with’ his clients and not distant from them.Over the years, these initial notions percolated into a flavorful blend as I later developed by own philosophy: creating a model of facilitation and collaboration which rests ‘…upon a compassionate, nonhierarchical approach…(T)he doctor/patient dyad becomes the facilitator/client dyad, and the dialogue encompasses the giving and receiving: the learning, the teaching: the relational process of therapeutic change for the client as well as the facilitator’ (Marsanico, 2006). This implies the continuing emotional and spiritual development of the counselor. Furthermore, in my collaborative stance, the client is the ‘expert’ on self while the facilitator is the ‘expert’ on theories and strategies for psychological and spiritual change. The two individuals then brain storm and work toward the best possible resolutions which emerge organically in the process, and are felt to be appropriate by the client. In this compassionate environment, healing is possible because the client develops an intention, and an attitude of responsibility for the journey toward transformation of self and the development of a satisfying life. Healing refers to the removal of the cause of a symptom through a shift in attitude and a transmutation of the negative energy associated with particular physical symptoms. Playfulness is important! As adults, we often forget how to ‘play’ – and the work of DW Winnicott, the English pediatrician and psychoanalyst, reminds us of the beauty and function of playing which involves fantasy, creativity and the flow of spiritual energy. We bring the unconscious to the conscious mind with the specific goal of moving toward desired changes in our lives as we nurture the healing process. Additionally, in my writing and the workshops I am continuing to develop, there is attention given to a relationship with our heart which allows us to access the unconditional love of our Higher Self. Through childhood traumas and disappointments, we, protectively, felt the need to block access to our heart. Now, as adults, our challenge is to pursue the truth of who we are, and accept what we feel about ourselves. Self love develops. With our pursuit of the truth, through our intention to truly know ourselves, our unconscious will become apparent through dreams, daydreams, and memories. Here, we are able to face, consciously, the information we tucked away from ourselves as children. We become lighter, brighter and more free to restart development. We are able to realize our full potential. (Of course, our growth is an ongoing process – we are learning and changing all the time.) Through this process of acceptance we learn to love ourselves. This internal communicative process, together with every-day-acts of kindness, brings us to compassion. Once we develop self love and compassion, we send this to others in our collective consciousness by way of our every-day actions, and our energetic vibrations. A life compassionately lived is an inspiration to others. We become the true movers and shakers because as we heal ourselves, we heal others. Simply stated, we become the change we wish to see, and increase both the vibration and light on this planet. Quan Yin’s message is for us to take in and then share enlightenment energy. We can set an intention in our meditation to give ‘…enlightenment to all beings at all times in all experiences.’ This ignites power in our body as it sends that power out to all beings on earth. Sending (i.e., sharing it) out enlightenment energy dissolves our traumas (Lizak, 2012).