Bringing a higher love to coaching and any other relationship for me means letting it all go. All those wonderful mechanics we put in place to make us feel safe have to go. "Letting go" means taking off the armor and putting down the shield -- in whatever form it takes --that we use to defend ourselves should love be used against us or withdrawn from us at some future date. Letting go means putting aside those mental structures, such as judgment and comparison, which act as filters when we decide how to present ourselves to the world. It means not checking to see if we are safe enough to be ourselves or don one of our many personas. When we filter our interactions with the world in this manner, we remain cut off from ourselves, our source, our heart. The problem with letting go is that we have nothing to hang onto when we do so. It can feel like going into free fall without a parachute.
Our parachutes are the relationships we invest in, which include the relationship with ourselves. True investment, on the other hand, means we stack up the chips of love against all else, and we bet it all on love. Sure, it's risky, but playing it safe doesn't really make us feel safe anyway. So what are we really risking? When we orient ourselves from Love, what we are risking doesn't feel so scary because the focus is on who we are being in each moment -- no conditions, no pretenses, no strings attached. When we orient ourselves from fear, then each moment is a calculated, high-risk venture because so much of what we are betting on with fear has to do with our perception of "the other." And so we hedge our bets; we lock and load our filters.
In the space of unconditional love, a coach's hearing is fine tuned to hear beyond the words of the client to hearing the energy of them - a much richer space to be in. We are no longer listening for the love we need or the attack we expect. Our listening moves from the ego's power-hungry center to the heart's welcoming center. In love, there are no boundaries regarding what we would risk saying, asking or telling in the interest of our clients' well being. From the space of Love, I will risk sounding unprofessional, like a judging machine or even vulnerable. You name it; I'd risk it. In my experience, mistakes made out of love have had far more success then any hard wired, logical sequence of inquiries my mind could create. Love is illogical to the mind and thus follows a more fluid, intuitive, divine pattern. It gets into places the mind hasn't even imagined let alone conceptualized. Sometimes I'm even afraid of what Love asks me to say to my client. I often refer to this type of interaction as "Coaching with Pampers."
I had been coaching one client for over a year and we were getting nowhere very slowly. While coaching him, I found myself multitasking: making grocery lists, counting lint and wanting to read my e-mail when Love pulled on my earlobe and whispered, "Tell him the truth." My face froze at the nudging and my heart rate increased. How could I tell him what I truly thought? It was too rude, crude and he'd hate me for sure. And Love responded cheekily, "Good thing this isn't about you then." So I took a deep breath, envisioned pampers where my underwear should be and said, "You know I love you, and I've got to tell you that you are a man without a spine; and a man without a spine will never move forward." I continued, "I don't think this is how you meant to be living your life, and I know inside of you lives a man of great courage. Can I coach him now?" Then I shut up, and the line went silent. After a month of being really angry with me he called and said, "I have been really mad at you and really grateful. You were the only one to tell me what I've known about myself for years. I'm ready to grow a spine and live my dreams. Will you help me?" I'm not sure how long we cried together. The moment transcended time. I guess that's the power of Love.