Silly me, but I still sometimes slip into thinking of the word “soul” as somehow defined by those in the church or by some vague but tacit connection to death. Soul does have connection with them but I’m talking more personally, visceraly. If I am psychologically-minded, attuned to the many many ways we may “self-help” ourselves, I may think of books like James Hillman’s “The Soul’s Code” or Thomas Moore’s “Care of the Soul.” Both are valuable and rich resources to read and study.
For all the richness and usefulness of astute authors and clerics’ work that I’ve searched through for years, they still have a difficult time defining “soul” in a way I can use daily, as a part of how I see myself or make choices. I know it has to do with my uniqueness and my commonality with all humans on the planet, now 7 -Yikes! – billion of us.
But where’s my soul at the moment? What’s it want for lunch? Is it at work or play? Is it happy? How’s its social life? What’s it been learning lately? Does it have any messages for me? Is it healthy, weak or strong? Who’ll been taking care of it if I go out of town? Does it like road trips like I do? What’s its goal for today? Not altogether facetiously, these questions about soul’s welfare are meant to point to one special phenomenon of how we humans find answers.
OK, fine. But how do we make use of Soul, or it of us? Where is its pragmatic side? Westerners are juiced by systems and ways of control, production and management. So how do they apply to the “me” as soul? On these terms of mine, this is the question underlying the million and one self-help books out there, each offering one way or another to work with you, or elements of you the Soul. Just think of it this way, “Soul” is always a person.
I like not to define soul but to work with it. I coach as sacred work because I am curious about each person as unique and invaluable. We each have our unique story and life path up to the present day. “Your life story ends with each day, to that point. It begins anew tomorrow.” Tomorrow is for you to envision, see yourself in the mirror (not while driving) and choose to act according to what you believe. It is beliefs that create your experience. They are the outfits or costumes you wear and that you can see in the mirror. (Ask me about the “Belief Closet”)
COACHING AS SACRED WORK IS a form of Reflection, only with a trained partner. It can be the most important and most enjoyable thing you can do, to further empower yourself, and fulfill your unique character and calling (as Hillman calls it), daily. I coach through my skill set, my 300+ hours of training, a chest of tools, intuition and my Trusted Source to link with your story, where you’ve been, your individual journey, your Inner Voice, your link with the mysterious External powers outside yourself that inform and guide you both through the conscious and the unconscious.
The interesting thing is this process of using the mirror pragmatically in life purpose coaching. For in the mirror can be brought visible anything you want, any daily habit, big project or lifelong relationship, career strategy or belief, whether it is besetting or enabling you. “The soul knows,” someone said. Soul in the art of Reflection is a playful, willing, creative companion. It sometimes just takes a helper to help you introduce yourself to as Soul, begin a conversation, and find ways to commit and cooperate with what the Soul in the mirror sees and says. Fun and helpful, for the special quality of soul is that its wisdom, knowing and wants are always in your best interests. Amazing! Transforming! You just have to know how to work with soul, for its mystery is: (whisper) its Autonomy. ‘You” have a mind of your own and You are very well connected to Creator, God, Redeemer, Wisdom, the Big One (IMO), your “Trusted Source.” You are inspring and intuitive in your own right. Soul/You wants your you to experience this!
In my opinion (IMO), good coaching is just one soul taking the hand of another in order to walk safely across the street (or any task we may choose.) and for a purpose. Ideally each street crossing is with purpose and for your larger purpose. Good coaching is one mirror connecting with another, with professional tools. The Light in me honors the Light in you. Soul to Soul.
CF Benz, CPC, MDiv.