A Coaching Power Tool created by Safaa Marafi
(Transformational Life Coach, EGYPT)
The path to aliveness is absolutely grounded in authenticity.
Owning who we really are, expressing our true voices and living our passions.
Neema is a 35 year old single woman in Egypt. She is middle class and well-educated, but she is, at her age, a stereotyped aness, which means she is above the normal age of marriage and therefore not desirable as a wife. She settled for a relationship with a man who did not mind her age, but who was very insecure and controlled by his mother. Neema was just living.
Through a successful coaching relationship with a life coach, Neema reframed her perspective. Through visualization she saw her future married life with her boyfriend filled with manipulation and control by his mother. She began to see that she wanted to be in a love relationship and marriage full of aliveness, not just go through the motions of being in an unhappy marriage because she was an aness.
Neema quickly responded to coaching by moving from state of just living to aliveness. She began to respond to positive thinking with positive action. Thinking positively helped Neema to detach herself from the external negative stereotyping and stigmatizing thoughts of others in the society about her age. Neema chose to be her authentic self. She defined what aliveness means to her versus just living in one sentence, “Being liberated from the negative surrounding environment.” This case study shows how empowering it is for clients to move from a state of just living to a state of aliveness.
What is aliveness?
Your life will be good and secure when aliveness will mean more to you than security;
love more than money; your freedom more than party line or public opinion.
Each person has a unique understanding of what aliveness means to him or her. Influenced by Erich Fromm (2008), aliveness can be described as a ‘being’ state of mood (Fromm, 2008). Aliveness is a concept which signals positive vibes, a joy of living, feeling more empowered, taking more action.
When in a state of aliveness a man or woman is fulfilled with positive energy, joyfulness, inner peace, achieving the locked desired goals, besides being present in every moment in each area of the person’s life. When the person becomes aware of his or her core inner fulfillments aside from the thoughts and the actions of the others in the society, like peer pressure, the person knows what makes him or her alive.
What is just living?
On the other hand, just living is a phrase that denotes less positive, and sometimes negative, vibes. It is in this context of merely ‘having’ a life which is often unfulfilled and a distance away from being in aliveness way of life (Fromm, 2008). A person who is just living may be doing, acting, or thinking as other collective members of society without giving deep thoughts to his or her actions and thoughts. In other words, a person who is just living does not step out of his or her comfort zone in order to explore their authentic self, values, goals, and strongest desires. This type of person is following the norm without giving themselves some time to stop and think of pushing out of that comfort zone.
Major Opposing Forces between Aliveness vs. Just Living
The distinguish factors that differentiate aliveness from just living is to detach oneself from the collective thoughts and actions of the norm. This is can be achieved by paying attention to a person’s ‘Unique Own authentic-self’. In addition, this can reached by defining a person’s ‘Own aliveness’. In turn, this brings much inner peace, joy, and fulfillment in a person’s life with clear, conscious, purpose and vision of one’s life. This is unlike the just living status of life as a person is adopting the norm way of life either by following the same way of thinking or acting or both, which contributes in losing the authentic-self and the own person’s meaning of aliveness in the everyday life.
We all have been in conversations that were very alive even when the subject was uncomfortable. In order for the clients to leave their comfort zones, there will be times when the coaching will be alive and darned uncomfortable.
(Whitworth et al, 2007)
Reframing a person’s perspective in coaching may open the path for a chain of aliveness results, such as improving the person’s satisfaction of his or her career path, finance, various qualities of relationships, spirituality, social life, hobbies, psychical environment, and mental and psychical health well-beings as shown in figure (1).