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Life Coaches and Marianne Williamson

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life CoachesSaturday, I attended an all-day seminar with Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author, speaker and spiritual teacher who popularized the profoundly mysterious Course in Miracles that thousands of spiritual seekers have studied.

The Midwestern New Age community was out in force for the event (Conversations overheard in the ladies room could have come straight out of Shit Life Coaches Say.)

Life coaches can be pretty New Age-y, especially when they are new. But what I like about Marianne is that she's the real deal. Instead of dressing in flowing tie-dye and spouting the latest spiritual-sounding gobbledygook (I'm totally downloading!) She's dressed in a simple pantsuit and not afraid to use some hard language.

Those who are truly evolved tend to be more  bracing than comforting. They aren't particularly warm and fuzzy. Marianne's a great example. She ended her 8-hour seminar with, 'God bless you. Now go kick some ass!'

High points of the event:

  • Marianne told us all of our problems are directly related to what we're not giving. An African American woman raised her hand and said her problem was having to live with racism and she didn't see how that was about what she hasn't given. Marianne could have told the woman that her problem was that she hadn't forgiven. Instead she commented that racism continues in America because there's never been a national atonement. So she asked all black Americans to stand up and a white American stood with each. Each white American asked for forgiveness and each African American gave it. That's a healing conversation if ever there was one. There were many tears. Some were mine.
  • She said it's easy to make fun of the consciousness movement, because since it avoids the negative, it lacks gravitas. We need to focus more on what's not working and take responsibility for it (again, every problem is about what you're not giving). Reminds me of what another bracing spiritual teacher, Andrew Cohen, says in his book, Evolutionary Enlightenment, that we need to notice everything and avoid nothing. Otherwise, we're choosing not to evolve. (So all you coaches who avoid the news, if you want to evolve, or not be made fun of, you need to stop avoiding what's going on.)
  • You know that famous quote from the Dalai Lama about how, 'The world will be saved by the Western woman.'? Marianne's reply, 'Do we really need a man to endorse that?'
  • She said if Western women cared as much about the world as they do their careers, 17,000 children wouldn't die of starvation everyday.
  • She told us that it's easier to teach political skills to conscious people than it is to teach consciousness to politicians. Therefore, it's our responsibility to get more politically involved (She'll be teaching a course on how to do that in November).
  • When someone stood up and asked her to run for President, she said she can better serve by helping other conscious people run and that's what she's working on.
  • Kick ass, indeed!

By the way, I lunched with veteran coaches, Joanne Waldman, Kristi Arndt, and  Lynne Klippel. None spoke a single New Age syllable.

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Topics: Coaches, Become a Master Coach, Andrew Cohen, Life Coaches, Kristi Arndt, spirituality

Supermind: What Masterful Coaches Co-Create

Posted by Julia Stewart

Listen to Spiritual Teacher, Andrew Cohen, and a student as they discuss the evolutionary phenomenon of "Supermind". This is exactly what happens in a great coaching session: both coach and client reach a higher state and "Greatness" becomes the norm. The fascinating thing about this conversation is that they aren't just talking about it. If you're trained to hear it, you will hear that they are "there".


Topics: Andrew Cohen, greatness, masterful coaches

Starved for Inspiration?

Posted by Julia Stewart

OK, I'm re-inspired to the max.

Just attended a one-day seminar with the EnlightenmentNext people in NYC with Andrew Cohen, their founder, and Dr. Don Beck, the world's expert on Spiral Dynamics. This, following a 5-day intensive certification program with Dr. Beck in Boston, at Andrew's center, there.

I've been checking these guys out for a while and every time I go deeper and come out even more excited about what they're doing.

What can I say?

The best of what Thomas was teaching was completely in line with them and yet, he was just scratching the surface.

Interestingly, Don and Andrew, aren't teaching the same thing. Don is a psychologist who travels the world helping companies, school systems and governments transform crises into what he calls win/win/win situations. The most spectacular of which is the evolution of South Africa from apartheid to integration. Ever wonder why that situation didn't devolve into a civil war? A lot of brilliance all around, to be sure, plus a secret weapon named Don Beck.

Andrew, on the other hand, is a spiritual teacher. What kind of spirituality? Well, his own brand. It's not Eastern and yet, it's not what I think of as Western, either. What's seems to be distinct about it, and I'm no expert here, is that it's not just about experiencing mystical states, which he sees as a form of escapism, not unlike drug use, but that the altered states experienced through meditation, etc., are just the beginning. It's the evolution of consciousness that's the important part.

How'd they get together? Well, mutual friend, Ken Wilber, introduced them a couple of years ago. Together these three form a kind of triumvirate of leading edge thinking. Each doing a brilliant job in a slightly different realm.

I keep wanting to tell them, Hey, coaches are working on the same stuff you guys are! Except, frankly, were not doing as great a job of it. Even Thomas was barely scratching the surface and most other coaches haven't begun to do that much. We're too busy trying to make money.

Beck says the reason his work is suddenly becoming popular, even after 50 years, beginning with exhaustive research by Dr. Clare Graves, is that more and more people are beginning to think in the "2nd Tier". Given that, it's safe to say, the profession of coaching couldn't have been born at any other time.

I'll be teaching some classes around this material in the near future.



Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2005

Topics: Coaching, Andrew Cohen, Thomas Leonard, Ken Wilber, Don Beck, Dr. Clare Graves

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