If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern. — William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Coaching is about achieving goals. Spiritual understanding helps us recognize there is nowhere to go because we have wellbeing and peace within. Soul-Centered coaching recognizes the spiritual context and supports clients with experiencing an upward shift in consciousness so they can enjoy greater levels of wellbeing and peace. The by-product of this growth is that clients see possibilities that were invisible to them before, and achieving goals becomes effortless.
The benefits of an upward shift in understanding is easily seen in relationship coaching. Relationships provide us with a natural catalyst to help us let go of limiting beliefs and support us with opening our eyes more fully to the loving that is the essence of who we are.
When there are challenges in a relationship, it is easy to blame the other person. It feels natural to point the finger and say, “It is your fault! You have the problem!” Clients often come to me feeling stuck when their partner isn’t willing to participate in relationship coaching. Fortunately, however, this isn’t a problem. No matter who I am working with, if my client is upset, the feeling of upset is coming from inside of them.
We can only ever feel our own thinking. This is a key understanding that decreases suffering in life. When we recognize our feelings can only ever reflect our own thinking, we can no longer be victims to other people or to outside circumstances. We only ever feel our thoughts, not the other person. Because our emotional reaction to our thinking happens so quickly, it is hard to catch it in action. That is why theosopher, Sydney Banks, referred to thought as the missing link. It looks and feels like we experiencing people and outside circumstances directly, when, in fact, we experience our own thoughts.
This was illustrated to me just the other day toward the end of a beautiful hike. I was telling my husband how I liked the look of a video I had seen on Facebook. I said I preferred the look of that video over one my husband had done. I thought I was being neutral and sharing a preference, but he felt criticized. He heard that I didn’t think he was capable of creating a similar visual aesthetic and snapped at me. I immediately felt hurt. I felt misunderstood. It felt unfair that he was angry with me when I didn’t think I had done anything wrong. I wasn’t criticizing him. I was simply telling him what I liked.
My husband snaps at me. I feel upset. My upset is his fault, right?
No, the truth is, whatever he says or does is neutral until I decide it isn’t. I make it good or bad. Just as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” I am the one who decides. My feelings result from the interpretations and judgments I make.
At the time, my thoughts were spinning in my head. It looked to me like my hurt was my husband’s fault, but I knew I was feeling my thinking. Even though I couldn’t see it, I knew, from my emotional state, I was gripped by thoughts like: “I am misunderstood. I am not loved. I am not lovable if someone is mad at me. It is my fault if someone is mad at me. I am bad. I am wrong. I am not good enough.”
I was feeling the impact of believing these thoughts. I wasn’t able to see they were temporary, inaccurate interpretations. That was my emotional reality in that moment, and my husband was having his version of a similar experience. He, too, was temporarily destabilized by his own insecure thoughts, and I am sure it looked to him like I was the culprit responsible for him feeling that way.
This is a classic example of how we all live in our own thought created reality. His version of reality was very different from mine in that moment. We were each living in our separate worlds of pain that were the result of our distorted thinking. Our doors of perception were in need of a good scrub.
Fortunately, in this instance, we were both able to recognize what was going on. As soon as our reactivity toward each other surfaced, we took a break from talking. We focused on getting home from the hike. I was waylaid by a neighbor. This took my mind off my upset and loosened the grip of my irrational thoughts. The natural stabilizing intelligence of my true nature emerged to the forefront, and the same thing occurred for my husband.
As we each came back to our natural state of loving, we were able to hear each other’s experience with compassion and respect. This helped us to clarify the misunderstanding and move forward. This may sound like a lot of work, but it was pretty effortless, and probably only lasted fifteen minutes from start to finish.
Based on past experience, this was fifteen minutes well spent. Earlier in our marriage, an innocuous comment could have sparked a full blown argument that would have lasted for hours with every misspoken word and hurtful action recalled and brought back into play. This would have been followed by days of coldness and distance — the perfect breeding ground for resentment. All because we didn’t understand at the time that no one and no thing is responsible for how we feel. We create our experience through bringing our own thoughts to life. When our consciousness animates our limiting beliefs and judgments, we experience emotional pain and suffering.
Our perceived challenges are growth opportunities we can use to help us see through the illusion of our thinking. Our shift in perception helps us experience our infinite potential more fully. We then naturally express our true nature in the world. Soul-Centered coaching recognizes the innate state of peace and loving that resides inside of each one of us, and provides an educational context that helps us to understand how we get in the way of experiencing our true nature.
When we see this, it is easier for us to get out of our own way and to relax into our natural state. From this state of consciousness, we see beyond our limiting beliefs to the truth of who we are. Our upsets shrink to inconsequential misunderstandings that help us connect with our wisdom and add depth and beauty to the tapestry of our lives.
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist, a leadership consultant, and an executive coach. She helps individuals, couples, and professionals connect more fully with their true nature so they can experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can find out more about Rohini’s work on her website, rohiniross.com.