What is Integral Development Coaching ?

img_2989At the heart of this work is the understanding that we are whole beings.  There’s nothing missing essentially.  We may lack skill, we may lack competence in certain areas of our lives (e.g. relational, emotional, in the body etc) but skills can be learned and we can shift our way of being in the world as we learn and grow – it takes practice and self awareness – and with these two elements included much can happen.

Each of us has blind spots – and many times we’re blind to our brilliance as well as the ways we keep patterns going in our lives.

Have you ever noticed that others find it much easier to see the good and the wonder in you than you do ? That’s because we’re blind to our own brilliance, we’re not great at being self appreciating.  And we miss how wonderful we are as we practice beating ourselves up, finding problems with our lives, issues with others etc.

Have you ever noticed that when people say things to you that you do not like to hear (e.g. when my husband says I haven’t loaded the dishwasher in the most efficient way), you get defensive and collapse, fight or flee ? That’s because when those close to us touch into our blind spots and we’re not aware of them it really hurts. It hurts precisely because they’re in the dark, they’re in the spot that’s blind to us.

Most often we’re practicing sealing the cycle – we become really good at criticising, finding problems and we forget that our being, our ‘Lizzieness’ or our ‘Tomness’ or our ‘Jackness’ [insert your name if you’d like!!] is right here all the time, shining forth into the world – those around us can see it, but it’s harder for us to see ourselves.

We’re also sealing the cycle with our defensiveness – we hit back, we distort, we deny all as a means of protecting ourselves from something that’s mostly not here. Our partners are not out to get us when they forget to clear up.  Our children are not out to ruin our lives when they empty the drawers onto the floor.  But we’re defending as if they are.  As if our life depends on it.

This kind of growth relationship (the coaching relationship) is where we get to walk each other home.  Our ‘seeing’ of each other, our encountering each other’s goodness is the basis on which our work is built.  As we are seen, it becomes easier to encounter our blind spots – we feel our wholeness more, become less defended and more open to what the world (people) is saying to us.  And from there our relationships can grow, the possibility in our lives widens and our bodies are freed from the sole activity of self-protection.

We get to understand, sense and feel that the world is a safe place and our relationships are there to show us our healing (however badly wrapped the gifts look) rather than have us defend, collapse and complain.

In our coaching, a unique field of relatedness gets attended to, cultivated and invested in – and it paves the way for our blind spots to be addressed.  The safety of the coaching container provides the fertile ground for shifting our behaviours and our practices. It means we can find a way to cognitively understand any mistakes in perception we’re making about life, people, the world, our work, our families and relationship. And then crucially – we get to act in a way that aligns with our new understanding of what the world is. And patterns disintegrate, our path is made differently, the world feels different, our horizon moves.  And the world is born anew – again and again as we continue on the path that’s forged by entering into this work.

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