The most powerful coaching I have ever participated in has come as a result of letting go completely and allowing love to carry me.
Water is flowing against my chest, bubbling up under my chin and around my neck, making sound as it empties over my shoulders. Beneath the surface, it pulls at me under my outstretched arms. It comes around my sides, between my legs, over my feet and through my toes. My hands grip the long, slender branch of an outstretched tree. The wet bark burns the skin of my palms. Despite the rushing of the water and the seductiveness of being carried, I am committed to staying right here. Holding tight, I am tempted by thoughts of releasing into the current, of the rushing becoming a calm as we join each other, of the still world around me suddenly in motion and of the yawning anxiety of uncertainty sparking into aliveness. Unable to stomach the risk though, I come back to the rushing and the branch and I tighten my grip.
This is how I live most of the hours of my life. Just beyond my awareness there is a current of love rushing around me, pulling at me and begging me to come with it.
It is something I’m only aware of when I am present enough to notice I’m gripping the tree branch. When I slow down enough to notice the cool water running around me, sometimes I am actually able to let go. Sometimes I’m able to muster the courage to let love take me, to let it speak through me in words, to let it bring me into deeper presence, to let it move my arms to an embrace or even to simply let it soften my eyes and to birth a smile.
Other times though, when I notice the rushing water, I’m scared shitless. Scared to just love. Scared where it will take me. Scared what will happen if I allow love to come through me as fully as it begs me to.
Sometimes I go in spurts. I slip from branch to branch, letting love carry me a bit at a time. Tasting it. Feeling it. But not really going with it. Not completely.
Love is the Unfolding
In case my metaphorical musings do not give you a clear sense of what I mean by ‘love’, then please allow me to explain. When I use the word ‘love’, I mean the current of life’s creative unfolding. Whether this creative unfolding is predetermined or the result of man’s will is not my concern. Here, by ‘love’, I mean simply to point to the current of this unfolding.
In my musings above, I mean also to say that love can be felt in every moment and that doing so requires us simply to slow down and to open to it.
The times when I let go completely and am carried in love’s total embrace are the most liberating and fulfilling.
In addition, the results of being carried by love are always the most breathtaking, impactful and life-changing. This is why I consider LOVE to be the most powerful principle in coaching.
The Purpose of Life is to Pro-Create
Post my Catholic up-bringing, deep in the throes of an atheistic, rational worldview throughout my late teens and early twenties, I was certain that the only point of life was to biologically procreate. Everything else, I considered to be extraneous entertainment for the animal we call ‘man’.
Now in my late thirties, I have ventured far from atheism and into a world that is deeply spiritual and purposeful. Today, however, I do once again consider the purpose of life to be procreation. This time though, there is a subtle, yet important difference.
When I was younger I was referring to the literal meaning of ‘procreation’ – that is the biological procreation of animals. Today I consider such reference as myopic and empty. When I say now that the purpose of all life is to procreate, I mean: Life is creation.
Life is creation, not just biologically, but in all ways and completely. Physically, geologically, chemically, biologically, energetically, memetically, spiritually and so on. Furthermore, I see that all creation happens as a result of a coming together of things into new things.
Creation Happens Through Sex
All things are born of procreation. In the same way that a woman and a man make a child, the sound ringing from a struck cymbal is the procreation of a wooden stick meeting a metal disc. In the same way that two dogs make a litter of puppies, your evening’s entertainment is the procreative ménage à trois between your television, the electric company and the money you used to pay your utility bill. Most every-thing in our modern world is the result of a kind of memetic procreation; a mixing of ideas that gave birth to a near infinite diversity of physical forms.
In the same way that there is a sexual magnetism which draws animals to intercourse and ensures a transfer of genetic material, there is a more subtle, but equally real force which moves ideas through the world and ensures a transfer of memetic material. In this sense, every conversation is intercourse. Every book read is intercourse. Every song listened to, theatre attended or film watched is intercourse. Every glance given is a sexual offering. Every smile received is penetration.
Creation not only happens through ideological and biological sex, it happens also though physical, geological, thermological and chemical sex too. Eating is an intercourse between food and our body, the offspring of which are heat, fat, muscle and excrement. When I drive a shovel into the earth and move dirt, I and the shovel immediately become the proud parents of fraternal twins whom we might name ‘hole’ and ‘pile’.
If the purpose of life is to pro-create, then sex is the act of living. If sex is the act of living, then as a coach, I see it as my job to make deep and passionate love with my clients.
Making Love With Coaching Clients
If coaching is about supporting our clients in creating, then great coaching is great love making.
By no means do I claim to be an expert at love-making in any of its forms. As I started off this article reporting, most of the time I am petrified of the idea of letting love take me. (Which is the oddest thing considering how fantastic it is.)
What I do know is that the greatest love making experiences I have ever had in my life have come as the result of completely letting go of the branch and allowing love’s current to move me wherever it wished. The greatest sex I’ve ever had is when I’ve let go completely. When with my hands, I have moved and made things – not for reason, but for that subtle flavor of love we call ‘inspiration’ – they have always been the most beautiful and special things. When I have acted in business and philanthropy – not because it was sure to bring success, but because I turned up the volume of my spirit so high that I couldn’t help but dance – the results have always been most spectacular.
When I am sitting across from a client, peering deeply into their eyes, as they spill their heart to me…
When they say something that begs to touch me and I let it all the way in…
When their liberation is my own liberation…
When I allow myself, even for a moment, to fall deeply in love with them…
…there is always a small fire that ignites inside me.
From this fire emerges ideas and questions that, through reason, I could not have made myself consider. Also from this fire comes a kind of courage that has me share my love, typically in the form of story, statement or question, despite any fear that might otherwise cause hesitancy.
I consider myself to be a creator. Not an omniscient, theological creator, but a part of the inherently creative whole of All.
As a creator, my purpose is quite simply to create.
As a coach, my pro-fession, then, is ‘pro-creation’.
My most powerful work, as far as I see it, is to merge with my clients to fall deeply in love with every moment, to allow the current to take me and to watch as something beautiful is born of our being together.
*[Attached photo is of my finest creation at twenty weeks in utero.]
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