Human Being or Human Doing? Insights from a Transformation Coach
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
I believe in the power of transformation coaching as a healing modality. In fact, as of this writing, it’s the best tool I’ve found so far for understanding my emotions and my desires, as well as understanding – and more importantly, the letting go - of the resistance that sometimes keeps me from moving towards what I want.
So strong is this belief that I have chosen transformation coaching as my profession and like many who believe in their craft, I regularly practice being coached.
We are all ever-expanding, evolving beings, and I’m comfortable sharing that I have a steady stream of “things about which I want to be coached”.
Top on my list last week, when my peer coach asked me what I wanted to be coached on, was the topic of “Being vs Doing”.
I began our coaching session sharing what had been going on for me; which was that I had recently rejoined the ranks of “the doing” after having devoted the previous 8 + months to “being”.
My fairly strict adherence to this “being” period, as I described to my coach, was highlighted by an absence of actively trying to figure out what I should do to redefine and relaunch my coaching practice.
I had put my practice on hold the previous Spring as a confluence of major life events unfolded:
My new practice had just turned one, and though I had enjoyed some success creating and running workshops with a colleague, my desire for private clients hadn’t been realized.
At about the same time, my husband and I began cleaning out our house - the house where we had lived for the last 21 years and raised our children.
The truth was that I was disappointed and frustrated with the status of my business, and the realities of selling one house, buying another, and moving from the suburbs to the country 110 miles away was enough of an excuse that I actually went with it.
“Yeah. I’m back burnering my practice right now. We have so much to do, and plus I’ll be in a new area – it will be better to get settled and get to know my new neighborhood and then I’ll get it going again”.
I continued sharing that, of course I hadn’t literally been doing nothing – I had been taking exercising classes, volunteering, meditating, journaling, taking care of household chores and my pups, etc.. – I had just been consciously choosing not to do or think of anything that caused discomfort around my coaching, which meant not trying to resolve what felt like a problem.
That is until about 3 weeks earlier when I had begun to appreciate that “being” was no longer serving me.
The ease I had been feeling as I allowed myself a time-out had been replaced by frustration, and so I had decided it was time to figure some stuff out.
Just several days after that decision, I redefined my target market and then designed, wrote and printed a glossy two-sided postcard to promote my newly focused coaching practice to my new neighborhood. I shared all of this with my coach, adding that I was pretty surprised how easily I had accomplished this - within about one week in fact.
“Michele, how would you feel if we spoke to the “being” part of you”, my coach asked.
( “Parts work” is a key strategy I employ in coaching my clients as Transformation Coaching stands on the shoulders of proven traditional therapies).
After responding that I felt fine with this, she asked, “What does the “being” part of you want to be called?”.
“True Self”, I answered.
“True Self, where do you reside in Michele’s body?”
Once acknowledged, True Self became expansive.
There was a visceral sensation of my head growing, accompanied by feelings of lightness and magnitude – a sort of “opening out”, as if the physical constraints imposed by my skull were no longer, and the bigness of who I am, previously held back, could expand uninhibited.
These sensations were immediate and surprising, and I became aware that the “being” part of me had clearly been waiting to be invited.
“True Self, where are you when Michele is ‘doing’?”.
“Right here (I pointed to my head). I back up when Michele is doing, knowing that she’s ‘got it’. I want to give her her space.
At first, when B had asked me where in my body my True Self resided, I scanned my heart, my gut, my throat and solar plexus, but nothing came.
I never would have guessed True Self to be residing in my head space, the domain of thinking and planning and worrying. But there it was. As my parts shared how they felt and how they’ve served Michele (all of our parts serve us; even the ones that make us uncomfortable), what I initially perceived as a choice –
evolved into an understanding that I could be both at once.
I’m so relieved. During my eight-month hiatus from “doing”, I was in a near constant state of telling my thoughts to shush.
“I have to feel my way, not think my way”, I repeated over and over in my mind.
Truth is, I missed “doing”. I’m a doer; it’s my comfort zone. Yet even with all of my coach training and experience, I ignored what felt right, because I chose to believe in the flawed premise that I couldn’t do and be at the same time.
I thought about this some more and then amused myself with a string of do, be, do, be, do’s wondering if Frank Sinatra had experienced a similar insight.
NOTE: Check back soon for a post on Resistance: definition: that which keeps us stuck, that which keeps us from the relationships, outcomes, feelings, we say we want.