Monday, September 18, 2006

Walking In Your Own Shadow

“There is a time when passing through a light, that you walk in your own shadow “ – Keri Hulmee.

This past week was exactly that for me. I was in Chicago doing an Advanced Shadow Coach™ Training session with a group of amazing coaches looking to see what else is out there in the realm of our profession. Some already knew me and about my work and walked in eager to jump in to whatever was tossed at them. Others walked in with open minds, not really knowing what it is I do and the rest, well it took a while for them to come around to my model of coaching as it challenged their paradigms in every way shape and form. Whenever I teach I have to take a good long look at everything I do and how I do it so I can articulate it to the class. In hearing their feedback and answering their questions, I did indeed walk in my own shadow as I’m a Shadow Coach ™ : )

Those dynamics are present in all my trainings and I love watching as the awareness sinks in. They not only learn how to go deeper and wider in the dynamics of working with clients but their self-awareness or walking in their own shadows increases as well.

The trip started off with a smile as I pre-cleared US customs. The customs officer wanted to know the nature of the work I’d be doing in the US and when I told him I was going to do an Advanced Shadow Coach™ Training, he looked at me and said “You DO realize I don’t have a clue about what you just said”. To which I replied “Even coaches don’t know, which is why I’m traveling so much to teach it!”

He wished me the best of luck and I went on my merry way.

But that’s what happens in every realm of life, isn’t it? Every day someone says something to me of which I have no clue and I can’t wait to hear more. That’s one of the best parts of Shadow Coaching. Our work is interdevelopmental. There isn’t a day where we don’t grow in leaps and bounds and as my knowledge increases, so does my ability to coach that client and all the ones that follow.

Are your relationships interdevelopmental? Are you both stimulated by your interactions and if not, are you engaged? Are you interested in what evolves? And are you open to and aware of the possibilities as they unfold? Especially for coaches, if you are so intent on having control of the process, the conversations and sessions, then you aren’t open to the client’s life as it unfolds. You are more intent in guiding the process and then it isn’t about the client. It’s about you. Shadow Coaching™ eliminates all that, as you coach in real time, not on an interpretation of that moment fed back to you later.

If we were more mindful of life as it unfolded and let go of the control of what we think we want before it happens, life would go in a totally different direction. We would learn more, grow more, meet people we hadn’t intended to meet and evolve on a totally different plane.

Have you caught yourself guiding a process that didn’t seem to work? Do you often feel as if you’re trying to force a square peg in a round hole in a given circumstance? Then perhaps it was meant to go in a different direction. Maybe it’s time you walked in your own shadow to pay attention to your own life as it unfolds. What a concept!

Donna Karlin

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