Transpersonal Coaching for Meeting the Contemporary Soul
By Rain Czupryna, MTP, Transpersonal Coach,
Psychologist, and Vision Quest Protector
As the coaching profession matures and the world quickens, in what ways are coaches now called to serve? Within the diversity and complexity of both our human family and of the times we are in, one answer to this enquiry is to engage with our clients at the level of their soul, with its ability to navigate itself into, and through, experiences that initiate the Self towards a further level of consciousness development and authentic expression. Observably, working at the level of soul is freeing for our clients, encouraging a life a full self-authoring beyond identification with the personality and all its trappings. Working at this level meets the human longing for depth of connection, as well as helps to psychologically equip one for navigating and embracing uncertainty, radical change, and profound life transitions.
Some contributions of coaching to date:
So far, our collective skill set has created waves of positive impact by generating profound results for our clients and drawing out their magnificence. We are astutely attuned to what people value, what they fear, and to see the potential they hold. We hold spaces for inner world exploration and raising awareness. As our laser-like questions and bell-ringing reflections alchemise into conscious conversations, we create a field of awareness that sets in motion a momentous activating power we see permeating into the ways our clients think, live, and work. In short, the art of coaching conversations and the coaching profession as a whole has been a timely contribution to the individual or organisation searching for solutions and growth.
Coaching has dynamically supported not just results and client agendas, but the truth within. Our interpersonal skills and expertise evoke honesty in our clients, drawing out the hidden truths that need to be uncovered, spoken, and, with courage, lived. How many times have we heard a CEO, General Manager, or spouse confess, “You are the only one I can really talk to and say it how it is.” Further, we have put into practice the best in evidence-based research as well as the latest theoretical trends in personal, professional, and spiritual growth, eg. Mindfulness, Neuroplasticity, Presence-based work, EQ, SQ, and the Law of Attraction to name a few.
The list of contributions coaches make – on both individual and wide-scale levels – goes on, from the power of honest connection, to mastering ourselves into more optimal states of being, to what coaching is most known for – results.
The deeper work for today:
Yet, even with this sophisticated offering, the reality of what we may be called to work with at any given time, may call us into mastery of different kind altogether, that of the transpersonal stance. Whilst it may still bear relevance to draw upon evidence-based techniques and our favourite coaching tools for, perhaps, stilling the mind, envisioning and co-creating the future, and generating solutions, this transpersonal form of mastery is essentially a soul-level engagement. There are times when our clients do not need to move along in a coaching agenda, but be witnessed in the depth of their complexity and times of dissolving the glue that holds their life orientation and identity together. When the life or self we once took comfort in is confronted,
destabilised, or no longer holds true, chances are the soul has arrived on the scene to usher us into a and into a world of deeper discovery, of truth, and of transformation. From a transpersonal perspective, coaching the human soul through an underworld passage can be a transformative event, a birthing place for a larger self to discover itself in the meeting of that crisis.
If it can be said that we are now working and operating within a global and personal context of rapid, unforseen change, of commonplace spiritual emergence, and of frequent crisis, then the dynamic space of coaching can be offered as one that reaches beyond the “I want” driven coaching agendas our role has previously assumed. Our role can expand and deepen into an embodiment of elder-like psycho-spiritual maturity, holding our clients’ range of experience in the context of a significant journey of the soul.
Activating a soulfully transpersonal orientation to our coaching work takes great skill and courage of our own. Alongside our professional coach-coachee engagement “role to role,” lays the artful, sensitive, and powerful dimension of non-separate being-ness, engaging openly “soul to soul.” This draws not from our coaching toolkits and techniques, but from our own substance and willingness to be both relationally vulnerable and surrendered unto our own path of moment-to- moment truth, even when we’d rather shy from it.
Embodying a transpersonal stance and perspective in our work with the human soul is increasingly relevant for 2014 and beyond: In one sense, to help address the wide-scale impact and affliction of “soul loss,” the disconnection from Self, humanity and Earth by re-membering our sacredness, our realness, our sensitivity. Additionally, serve to those who actively seek evolution through stages of consciousness, access transcendent states of consciousness, and live with vision through an undefended heart.
Transpersonal Coaching Demystified, and how to recognize the transpersonal operating through your own coaching style:
Transpersonal work in action invites creative, dynamic, courageous and transformational growth to come about. “Transpersonal” literally means ‘beyond the personal’. The transpersonal dimension acknowledges the person as a multifaceted being (mind, body, heart, soul, spirit) and the “trans” also refers to working across the multiple dimensions of human experience. Coaching, psychotherapy, and development work ‘beyond and across the person’ acknowledges that the individual does not stand isolated and alone, but is intricately inter-connected to the systems and rhythms of which they are a part eg. within, community, planetary, and universe. Further, “beyond the personal” refers to facets of the self beyond the level of, and identification with, the ego or persona, such as one’s spirit, soul, and body-mind. A transpersonal approach is presence-based, process-oriented, soul-centred, integrative, holistic, and sophisticated. Drawing from both evidence-based methodology as well as qualitative and intuitive ways of knowing, transpersonal work bridges East and West philosophy, left and right brain hemispheres, and is often regarded as the interface between spirituality and psychology. Transpersonal practitioners are likely to offer a high quality professional relationship and masterful listening at a deep level. The practitioner works with your organic, unfolding, and emerging process, not just the aims or result-oriented agenda. Techniques involved may reach beyond the cognitive/mental level into, for example, your higher awareness, body-mind wisdom, or creative capacity. When “shadow” or resistance arises, this is welcomed with curiosity, consciousness, and honouring of its expression. In this way, shadow forces can be actively worked with to harness its power. Instead of trying overcome or willpower through potential blocks the way forward can involve galvanizing potential and resolving or dissolving inner conflicts.
Being on the receiving end of a transpersonal approach can feel like being “plugged in” to intuition, and a meaningful and sacred connection to one’s own life and to the world. As issues, goals, and teachings are
explored, shifts in states of being, and in the nature of one’s own consciousness, is likely to occur. Being in the presence of one whom is operating from a transpersonal stance is often very freeing, and invites transcendence of ego and of it’s defensive strategies, and access to one’s own inner wisdom. The high level of real-person engagement in a transpersonal stance can in part meet the human longing for depth of connection.
Transpersonal work is NOT: new age, religious, magical thinking, or overly concerned with the paranormal.
Tips for activating the essence and power of a transpersonal stance in your work with others:
- Work less ‘role-to-role’ and more ‘soul-to-soul’: Beyond our professional engagement is a human- to-human meeting of two beings, coming together in a deeply trusting and intimate form of relating. The transpersonal professional stance is freeing, relating from an equal, non-separate, open, transparent, and being-to-being orientation. We do our best to ride the paradox of strong professional boundaries whilst offering soulful presence, vulnerable and responsive to the moment in a true, un- masked, spontaneous, non-manufactured way.
- Befriend your own and your clients’ shadow. Embrace the whole of the client, including their shadow aspects, without bias. Shadow has power to tap into, like a hidden ally within the self, and this ally may often attempt to express needs or the language of the soul. Celebrate with clients when they are courageous enough to be brutally honest about difficult parts of themselves and their lives.
- Work with the emergent process, what is alive and arising, not a formula. Work with what is presenting in the now moment of a person’s process beyond the content of client words. Forward movement may come about through circular discovery, through nuances of non-verbal communication, shifts in energy, and what you hear through your head, heart, & gut. As much as we challenge and move clients forward, a transpersonal stance also receives, holds, and follows the pulse of client process.
- Bear witness and know that process has its own timing. View the client as someone heroic whose life is part of a sacred, mysterious, purposeful unfolding, of which we can never know the full significance or power, holding a sense of respect for the unknown, bigger picture at play that does not ask of us to problem-solve on client’s behalf. There is less emphasis on designing questions that are intended to create a shift or result there and then, trusting that shifts do occur when there is room for spirit to enter and do the work.
- Listen deeply, from a state of receptivity, not-knowing, and beginner’s mind. Listen through your own intuition and with genuine curiosity. This means working beyond our scripts and over-reliance on methods, models, linear sequences of steps. Allow extended silence when you can see clients are inwardly processing, without interruption.
- Work with the field energy present, e.g., by paying attention to the overall tone, feel, or quality of the space. Be open to coinciding changes in the environment as possible symbolic expression of the client’s process or as forms of interaction with their process.
- Coach with non-duality. As occurring, name and hold the tension of any dilemmas at hand. Work beyond an “either-or” level of solution to a “both-and” paradigm as appropriate, where solutions arise from a third position and new level of consciousness.
- Release any attachment to the client’s success or your own worth riding on their success. Continually approach the client’s agenda without attachment, that is, without attachment to where the session needs to go, goal achievement, and any outcomes of the coaching work. Naturally, a transpersonal coach wants and works towards the best and highest outcomes/agenda for the client, yet the energy of attachment is tangibly absent in a transpersonal engagement. Rather than apply the subtle energies of force from behind or ahead of the client, remain supportively neutral.
Coach at the level of “Who” the client is becoming, not just “What” they want and “How” they are going about that. Work with clients’ body-mind awareness, states of awareness, and movement through stages of consciousness, beyond tangible outcomes.
Being it: Focus on the Coach as an agent of psycho-spiritual maturity:
Self as a living example – and experiment. Willingly commit to the path of living our truth, vision, evolution, and to giving up our own ego defences, whatever that takes us through. In so doing, we are an inspiration and guide to others. This deepens us. Clients will only share the stories they think we want to hear, and dive to the levels of depth within the containers we create for them. Willingly, continually, be committed to our own heroic walk, facing challenge and change with a willingness to be with what is.
Be a conduit of wisdom that wishes to operate through you. Take off the mask, any pressures of professional expectations, and sense of our own performance to do the work. Rather, how may we be of service to the work that is at hand, that we can simply be a vehicle for, in the right time and place?
Undertake your own rite of passage experience, such as a vision quest. Allow yourself the gift of an ancient, proven method for shifting from an ego-approach to life to one of the heart and deepened quality of awareness.
Deepen/cultivate your own spiritual growth practices, mindfulness, care of your soul, and integral/holistic wellbeing. Your wisdom and sense of the sacred and deepened connection with a larger existence provides solace and guidance to others.
For examples and assistance with integration of these concepts and tips into real-time application, please enquire to Rain on +61402130972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Training and mentoring programs are available. A free download copy of transpersonal coaching questions is available via the contact page at www.soulscapes.com.au.
About Donna “Rain” Czupryna,
Master of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP), BSc.,(UMass) PGDip Psych(Macquarie), DipTLC.
Rain is a Registered Psychologist, Transpersonal & Executive Coach, Coach Trainer/Mentor, Vision Quest Retreat Facilitator, and mother. With a focus on soul-level, consciousness evolution work, Rain offers unique Mentoring, Coaching, & Psychology Programs; Personal Immersion Programs; training and Shamanic facilitation. Through these vehicles, personal, professional, and spiritual development is evoked and integrated into daily visionary living. Her work is regarded as a catalyst for activating and making accessible a powerful realm of awareness and connectedness.
She has had a consistently successful private coaching practice for over a decade (7,000+hrs), many of her clients being coaches themselves. Rain co-founded and lectured in the transpersonal coach training programs at Nature Care College from 2002-2009, bringing the best out the personal and professional best in 100’s of trainees. Rain is the Founder of SoulScapes Foundation, www.soulscapes.com.au a private not-for-profit foundation dedicated to global transformation, healing, and soul care, through both 1:1 sessions and unique Soul Immersion Retreats based on rites of passage work and sacred earth ceremony. She co-founded the Institute of Transpersonal Coaching, catering to the development of experienced and new coaches. Rain’s presentation at the 2009 ICFA Conference in Adelaide helped to demonstrate an understanding of, and increase the profile of, Transpersonal Coaching in Australia.