A Coaching Model Created by Sarah Creek
(Simplicity Life Coaching for Visionary Women, CANADA)
An Approach, A Model & A Power Tool
My approach, model and power tool were birthed from the picture above, a picture that came to me illustrating the coaching process and my approach to it. My deep belief is that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made! Inside each one of us is an awesomeness that has been placed there, waiting to come out! This awesomeness can be described as beauty, resourcefulness, creativity. Ultimately, this awesomeness is what makes each of us unique! When we make space to listen to what is inside, make choices from our beliefs, values and our “real” self, we make space to make a Pure Simple Change. We experience an inner transformation.
My deepest desire as a life coach is to support my clients be who they have been created to be, doing what they love doing and expressing their purpose in their life and home. Life Coaching is an intentional space for that, and I am passionate about it!
I have been involved in interior decorating work for over a decade. I bring this experience with me into coaching. I use the concept of a residence, a home, in this assignment to help us understand the concept of our “personal home”, our insides – heart/mind/soul.
The foundation of a home is its most important structure. It determines how the house holds up to the elements of time, weather, etc. In us, our foundation is made up of values and beliefs we hold dear. Our foundation will determine how our “house” withstands the elements of change that life brings. Sometimes, we need to fortify our foundation. We need to make changes to it. We use concepts like “open” and /or “closed” to do so in relation to our core beliefs and values.
Open & Closed Concepts
“Open & closed” are simple and essential concepts for both the fields of interior design and life coaching. Although they are opposite, they work hand in hand in both the interior design of residential homes, and the design of personal “homes”- heart, mind, soul/spirit of a client – through life coaching. In interior design, these concepts are often used to describe a space – an open concept living room; a closed kitchen. In life coaching, they can refer to a state of mind or being – having an open/closed mind, being open/closed to… and can also describe an action – opening/closing the door to…
Neither “open” nor “closed” concepts are perfect for all situations, all individuals, all “homes”. The right balance is required in order to obtain the desired outcome.
A Stumbling Block
A stumbling block occurs when these 2 concepts are perceived as one OR the other- “Open” OR “Closed “ by either the coach or the client.
- This limits the discovery of possibilities; we can see the “space” in only 1 way
- This way of thinking/behaving gets us stuck as we lacks the perspective that is brought in by the concept we omit
- This creates a conflict, an “all or nothing” perspective
For those concepts to be useful and provide the fullness of what they represent, they simply must be used together! That is simplicity in action!
Transition Spaces – a metaphor
In our “home” – heart/mind/soul- there are many “rooms” and many doors, just like in our residences. There are also transition spaces like hallways and porches. Transition spaces present us with options.
When we stand “in the hallway”, or on “the porch”, we are perfectly positioned to choose where we want to go, and how we want to proceed.
Take the porch, for example. Many homes have a space at the entrance of the home that is open and airy yet covered. This is my front porch, my favorite space of all. It’s the perfect “in between” space – not fully inside, not fully outside. On the porch, we are free – neither inside nor out. The porch provides the best of both worlds: cover and shelter, like the inside of the home; airiness and fresh air, like the outside.
It is both an open and a closed space. It is a space of opportunities, change, flow of ideas. It is boundary less. It’s like the coaching space we provide our clients.
An illustration – From “The Sound of Music”
Are you familiar with the movie “The Sound of Music”? At the beginning, Maria leaves the abbey to go to Captain Von Traaps’ residence to be a governess. As Maria walks down the path towards the abbey gate, she holds a guitar and a travel bag. She looks at the familiar abbey walls that have contained her for so long. She appears sad, disappointed, concerned, unsure. There’s a heaviness about her. Her pace is sluggish, her face worried and anxious, her soul downcast. She looks back at the abbey with sorrow, anguish, regret perhaps.
She turns to enter the dark hallway that leads her to the gate, out of the abbey. She pauses in the dark hallway to ponder that when a door closes, somewhere a window opens up. The hallway is her transition space. She thinks to herself that maybe there is an opportunity on the other side of the iron gate. She wonders what there could be for her. Click on the video below to watch the scene!
The movie scene was copied from You Tube, from the movie “The sound of music”, simply for illustration purposes.
Maria then gets to the abbey gate – it’s a strong, iron gate- that she carefully opens. As she opens the gate, the light hits her face and she continues singing. As she expresses curiosity, her face lightens up; she smiles as she considers the possibilities of what “could be”.
She closes the gate firmly behind her. As she moves forward, her words fluctuate from expressing sheer excitement and delight, to being scared, worried and afraid about the new opportunities. The music reflects her mood and emotions. It speeds up and the tones rise and drop as do her emotions. Maria is honest.
She expresses the desire to be free, to enjoy adventure. She also expresses her feelings of being scared, doubtful and having worries. She seeks the courage she lacks to show herself and others what she is capable of.
Maria has painted a beautiful picture of the open and/or closed concepts in life coaching. Opening the iron gate, she opened herself up for so many opportunities. By opening the gate and opening herself up, she ALSO had to close the gate to something she was leaving behind her -the abbey, its ways and practices, and her doubts and fears. Continue…