HAPI Guide Summer 2017 - Page 28

PURPOSE Coaching is a spiritual practice. It is an empowering way of being in service to self and others. It is both a skill set and a way of living that challenges you to expand yourself beyond who you believe yourself to be, to living more fully who you are at your essence. This realization came home to me during the holi- day season of 1992. I was invited to a party where the only person I knew was the hostess. Upon my arrival, she pointed out another party guest who was a Ph.D. in Career Counseling, and she warned me that this woman held a war against coaching and coaches. My intention was to avoid her. I kept my distance from that woman through- out the evening. All of a sudden, I was caught off guard when, there she was, standin g in front of me with her cocktail glass held at eye level be- tween us. Reading my name tag, she confronted me: “Hello, Fran. What do you do for a living?” Without a moment’s thought, I blurted, “I be me all day long, and I get paid abundantly for that!” She threw her head back, squinted her eyes, shook her head, turned, and walked away. As I drove home that night, I thought, “It’s so true! Who I am now is what I do, and what I do now is who I am!” At some point, early in my coaching career, I shift- ed my orientation from doing coaching with cli- ents to being a coach as a way of life and living. I don’t mean that I started coaching family, friends, and everyone I met. I mean, I started living the principles of the coaching paradigm as though I 28 | HAPI Guide had tapped into a reservoir of wisdom that was latent within me. The most challenging part of becoming a mas- terful coach, though, was letting go of my attach- ment to being the expert. Years later, as a student of coaching, I learned to honor the coaching par- adigm by holding my clients as the expert of their lives and work, and myself as the expert in the coaching process—forming a partnership with two experts. I began noticing the “high” I would feel on seeing my clients build on their strengths, take greater risks and leaps of faith, and make heroic changes in their lives. That’s when I realized that being the expert had been feeding my ego. Now, I am feeding my soul, as I hold my clients as the experts of their lives. I am being the facilitator of calling forth their natural wisdom. And that’s, well, beyond delicious. It is extraordinarily nour- ishing, rewarding and fulfilling. Order your copy of Calling Forth Greatness, Seven Coaching Wisdoms for Transforming Your Life (Kindle or paperback) go to Amazon.com