The key tenets of my coaching style are twofold: spirituality and strategy. I blend effective Life Coaching tools acquired in my NYU classes, and insights from numerous books and coaching models I have studied.
We cannot attain inner peace, or reach the goals we set for ourselves unless we reflect on the question that all spiritual masters and teachers have asked over the centuries: “Who are you?”, “What is your purpose in life?” I believe that spirituality or the quest for who we are, and our role in the world is a very important question that we cannot afford to ignore. Our values, our vision, what makes us feel whole and complete, what fulfills us, what is our purpose in life, what makes us happy are all important questions that our focus on spirituality will help us address.
In my coaching approach, I help clients examine their spirituality, and come up with a strategy that will help them feel whole and complete.
The spirituality aspect of my coaching model originates from my yoga and meditation practice and teaching, while the strategy aspect derives from my 25 years as an attorney practicing in the areas of employment law and immigration law.
Spirituality relates to matters of sanity and of psychological health which pertains to liberation or salvation. Spiritual practices permits a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live, and include prayer, meditation and contemplation, to develop an individual’s inner life; spiritual experience lead to connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a clearer understanding of Self.
It is through self inquiry, self discovery, and the “who are you?” key question that all spiritual masters have asked over centuries that I developed “spiritual tools” to help clients uncover the obstacles or stumbling blocks that prevent them from being successful and happy as they choose to define these terms. The intention is to weed out all the non-loving feelings with confidence, to obtain positive results and move forward in the direction they choose. I was inspired by Joseph Murphy’s book: The power of your subconscious Mind- Unlock Your Master Key to Success. In this book, Murphy outlines nine main ideas for eliminating worry. His main ideas that are briefly summarized on page 17 of his book are as follows:
- The treasure house is within you. Look within for the answer to your heart desire.
- The great secret possessed by the great men of all ages was their ability to contact and release the powers of their subconscious mind.
- Your subconscious has the answer to all problems
- Your subconscious mind is the builder of your body and can heal you
- Every thought is a cause, and every condition is an effect.
- You are like a captain navigating a ship. He must give orders, and likewise, you must give the right orders (thoughts and images)
- Never use the terms, “I can’t afford it” or “I can’t do this.” Your subconscious mind takes you at your word and sees to it that you do not have the money or ability to do what you want to do.
- The law of life is the law of belief. According to your belief, it is done unto you.
- Change your thoughts and change your destiny.
Murphy’s ideas have influenced the way I initiate and conduct my coaching conversation to help my clients examine various areas of their lives.
Another great book that helped me formulate my coaching style is A return to Love- Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson, a book about the practice of love as a daily answer to the problems we encounter in life. This book inspired me to use love as tool for growth and transformation. The passage bellow resonated most with me:
“When we surrender to God, we surrender to something bigger than ourselves- to a universe that knows what it’s doing. When we stop trying t control events, they fall into a natural order, an order that works. We’re at rest while a power much greater than our own takes over, and it does a much better job than we could have done. We learn to trust that the power that holds galaxies together can handle the circumstances of our relatively little lives.” Surrender means, by definition, giving up attachment to results. When we surrender to God, we let go of our attachment to how things happen on the outside and we become more concerned with what happens on the inside.” (Williamson, p. 56)
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as interpreted by Mukunda Stiles is another piece of literature that I use a lot as a yoga and meditation teacher. The sutras or “a path to transcendence” are a means towards self – realization. From these sutras I acquired priceless insights that contributed to developing my coaching Model. More specifically, the sutras helped me understand how we “swing between comfort and suffering”. “Patanjali’s yoga aims at uncovering the source of the mind by humbly seeking what it is and inquiring, who I am? It is the process of making your mind and your Self the object of contemplation.” (Mukunda, P. Xiii)
It‘s from the teachings, and the insights I gained from these spiritual luminaries, and thousands others that I develop the FUGT Coaching Model: Forgiveness, Unconditional Love, Gratitude & Trust, to facilitate a powerful coaching conversation where insightful questions are asked, using my skills as a veteran trial lawyer.
No two situations are the same, and a unique strategy is indispensable for every coaching conversation. My plan of action in my coaching model is designed to put my client in charge of the process, to ensure that the client is the conductor of the orchestra and that he navigates flawlessly from one instrument to another in order to produce a very powerful melody, a melody conceived and executed by him or her. The point here is to always remind them that they run the show of their lives. As there is always an element of uncertainty about the future, my coaching strategy is more about helping my clients to develop a set of options rather than a fixed plan.
As a litigator, strategizing a positive outcome in the cases my law firm handles is indispensable. Because I use an Action, Learning and Reflection approach to coaching, and use Self Discovery to empower and inspire clients to find solutions to recurring life challenges, the clients’ commitment and willingness to own the process and take responsibility for their growth is indispensable.
At the outset, a three month coaching engagement is required to ensure that we have sufficient time to help the client break through all the perceived limiting beliefs they have been operating under, and that make them feel stuck and unhappy.
In this regard, prior to addressing the goals the clients are working on, I skillfully blend my spirituality as a yogi, my knowledge and expertise as an attorney and my 30 years experience as a spouse and mother to help my clients live their lives from a place of abundance, love, and imperturbability.
As a result, Authentique Coaching clients move from a place of fear, uncertainty, frustration, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness to a place of love, prosperity, inner peace, and freedom.
Coaching is not therapy. My role as a coach is not to listen to what my coachee has to say and then feel sorry for him or her. A coach that helps you transform your life for the better does not serve as a therapist. A coach will help you discover how to solve your problems with your own eyes, your own feelings, your own actions. I have learned that in coaching, advice is useless. It is up to a coachee to give his or her coach permission to share his or her resources with her. It is not the coach’s job to intrude with her vision but rather to focus on the coachee’s agenda and lead him or her to their full potential.
Coaching is about facilitating positive changes in the other person. My coaching style is to help my coachee move forward, not serve as a crutch. I’m an “achieve results through love” coach. The good in everything comes down to love; when we say God, good, love, happiness, freedom, those are all the same words. Through the answers to my questions and what the coachee says or doesn’t say – and through the coachee granting me the permission to do so – I will show her that happiness is within her and she can bring it out, with love. Results come from first clearing the blocks to love, so results can come through being in a state of love.
But to bring that happiness out, there is some work to be done by the coachee. She must let go of her past; she has to release her past so that nothing bothers her. My intention is to bring my coachee to a place where she becomes hootless, where nothing and no one ever bothers her.
The coachee will find herself in a state of unconscious competence, so to speak. She’ll enjoy a sense of satisfaction at all times because, through coaching, she will find that despite outside obstacles, happiness is always present within. Much like the sun is always there but is sometimes obscured by clouds.
With my help, the coachee will see the light behind the clouds and realize that she always has had that radiance within her. With her permission, I can show her where to find it. It’s a wonderful place, where nothing can bother you. The sky may be falling all around you, but you will still feel confident and happy. From Eastern philosophical teachings I have learned that there is really no such thing as good or bad, and so will you.
It’s not my decision if a coachee should go there. All I do is ask questions and from your answers you will discover who you really are. I’ve never encountered a student of mine, or a coachee, who didn’t get benefit from the experience. They always get something out of our sessions because I have found my sun and its rays shine through to them.
*FORGIVENESS * UNCONDITIONAL LOVE* GRATITUDE *TRUST
Why these words? Why this order? Forgiveness, unconditional love, gratitude and trust constitute the four steps of my coaching model.
- FORGIVENESS: Examine your life, events, people, with the intention to heal old hurts and wounds. “Keep a forgiveness list” and work on forgiving yourself and everyone that is on your list. Let go and reach closure;
- UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Make a commitment to accept “what is”, take ownership of your feelings and the intention to accept and love yourself unconditionally, and accept and love all beings, unconditionally. Regularly write “love letters”;
- GRATITUDE: focus on things that work, “count your blessings”, say thank you, keep a daily gratitude journal”. Give praises and acknowledgment daily.
- TRUST: Have faith and believe in your strength, power, and ability to obtain any desired results