Curiosity, presence, listening, powerful questioning and unconditional positive regard are five qualities that help a coach to bring awareness for the client and in self-coaching.
In a co-creative process, a new narrative takes shape that is insightful and most often liberating in many ways. Such is the beauty of the coaching process that keeps inspiring me over and over again. The conversation, the dance where two people experience synchronicities with each other and experience a new way of being. At times, this dance is not with another person. When one is practicing self-coaching, it is with the system, the universe. One witnesses a new connection forming within and touching the space that knows and brings all answers, sometimes more than the answers. This powerful process of self-coaching brought to me insights so beautiful and inspiring that I couldn’t resist but share it.
Again, the catalyst in my inner journey has been my son, the eight-year-old who is on a journey of his own. My boy is growing in body, mind, emotion, and impulse. For a few days, I am observing him experience an aspect of his psychosexual development (as mentioned by Sigmund Freud). He is experiencing energy accumulation (tension) in his genital area. He playfully releases this tension by dry humping. He doesn’t know what he is doing. But he knows for sure that this spontaneous and intuitive action of his body makes him feel pleasure. And the whole activity is fun for him, full of innocence and joy.
While I am being aware of what is happening, and am observing it lovingly with acceptance; I am also practicing self-coaching. I ask myself:
What is happening in me because of what I am observing?
At one level, I am being understanding and am intellectually processing the situation having read about human psychology and the phases of development. I am able to let it pass politely, respectfully knowing that these phases are not just about the sexual growth of a child, but also impact their overall expression, creativity, and confidence.
And, at a deeper level, I am gaining awareness of the plethora of thoughts, feelings, and memories coming to me. All of these are not pleasant. I certainly do not remember my growth phase. But there is something else that I remember.
I was very young- perhaps six or seven- when I was molested by somebody. I did not know what happened back then, but I clearly remember how I felt. I felt ashamed, confused, not good. I never told this to anybody. I just took it all upon myself. I wanted to hide, get lost and not be seen at all. At another level altogether, this incident created in me an aversion from being seen.
This was a strange space to be in because, from very early childhood, I was quite a performer. I enjoyed being the center of attention. This incident made me feel like I had fallen from grace. I did not enjoy the attention anymore. Today, looking back I can articulate my feelings and even connect the dots of what happened in my life.
Back then, I was just a child filled with confusion, anger, and distrust. This made me grow into quite a rebel. I have always loved to be on stage, to perform. But this confusion in me manifested in me leaving the stage entirely in my twenties. Several years later, whenever I set foot on stage, my legs shake and my voice quivers. I choose to stay in the background, behind the curtain. I stay there hurting and unfulfilled. I find myself keeping away from the one place I felt like I own. I lost myself.
All of this past is coming up in me because of the deep imprints that have stayed inside me for all these years. If I could let it out years ago. I am letting it go now. This hurt stayed with me for so long. It changed me in ways I did not realize earlier. It took me away from my core, but I still appreciate the fact that it helped shape me into a kind, compassionate person who has the ability to empathize with other’s pain. It gave me experiences and lessons that are valuable. But now, I allow it to go. It has served its purpose.
This leads me to my second question:
How is being aware of my inner landscape helping me understand and witness the possibilities in the inner landscape of others (in this case, my eight-year-old son)?
My being in the contemplative mode is helping me to not react to the situation. Instead, it is making me understand how my son is feeling in that moment. What is going on in his being? He is just being a little child at play. And that’s the reality in his mind. Just play, joyful play! He isn’t thinking in the moment and it passes in some time leaving no impression, no confusion, no interference, no judgments, and no stuck residual energy. His inner landscape is clean and clear. Just pure consciousness. There is no past or future attached to his experience, no energetic imprints are caused. It is like a free-flowing river.
And my choice to be present with him in as much love and purity as he is is deepening our bond and level of trust that he might not think about but he will know, always. I cannot control or predict what his experience with the world outside will be. How will it impact him? But I can definitely ensure that my son knows he has a safe space where he can turn to whenever he is hurt, scared, or doubtful. As parents, we cannot always protect our children from hurt and pain. But we can always be present and offer a healing word, a healing touch right when it is required.
How am I choosing to respond?
I chose to be in my loving and joyful presence with my son, tickling and giggling with him. As a parent, you may not be equipped with the best solutions and answers to every situation. So, when I do not know what to say or do, my choice is to be silently present with love and acceptance. If I can not give my children something useful, I will not take away their natural being by adding my confusions, inhibitions, or interference to their system.
How does my response in the present show up in his present and future?
I know for sure how it showed up in his ‘present’. He stayed with high energy, happy and joyful even after his tension and energy got settled. If our present is a good indicator or predictor of our future, I can only imagine that the expression of sexuality for my boy would stay innocent, natural, joyful and curious. That is what I hope for at least.
What insights are present for me in the given event?
I not only found not just insights into human sexuality but also answers to some of the questions that have been in my mind for several years.
I have always found porn very unnatural, distasteful and unnecessary. Now, this is my personal opinion. The statement isn’t me passing judgment on other people. Porn is not the only culprit. There are films, songs and even advertisements that are made to sexually manipulate and titillate people than really add some value to them. But there has always been one argument that these educate people. Which gave birth to another question as to how did the first-ever born man and woman know how to procreate?
Well, I found my answer in an 8-year-old. There is an inherent intelligence in the human body. To stay connected to the intelligence of your body is enough education to teach somebody on making several choices in life. For example, what should you eat and what you should avoid? Which people are friendly and who should you stay away from? How to cure your body of aches, pains, stress and strain? How to move the body? How to procreate? So, while we educate ourselves in the ways we have come to know and accept education, it is far more important to keep in touch with the inherent intelligence our body possesses. This will help cut so much of unnecessary distraction from our lives.
I am more aware of how one person’s word, thought, touch or action in a moment has the ability to create a deep impact on someone’s life. It is not limited to just one person. Like a ripple created in water, it travels farther and farther creating waves. So, if we could stay aware in each moment with ourselves and with people around us, we can choose to create a system that elevates everybody, that is healing and nurturing.
After all, I am equally aware that there is no point or reason to be paranoid. Even if the ball has been dropped at some point. Even if hurt has been caused. It is ok. It is alright because whenever we choose to become aware and start to take aware actions, the change starts to happen right from that point. So, live at ease and stay aware. If I am doing a course correction in my life after all these years, I am equally in love with what the hurt and pain I went through has made me. It taught me to love unconditionally, first me and then everybody else. It brought me to the space of unconditional positive regard for me and for all.