How to use a coach

There’s many ways to use a coach, and whatever’s right for you is right for you. But this is how I am and have been using my coaches.

Right now, I have a coach named Bruce that I talk to once a week, at the same time each week. That may seem like a lot, but so far, in just 9 sessions, I have:

  • Gotten rid of the feeling of being not okay
  • Learned how not to feel sorry for myself
  • Gotten completely comfortable meditating
  • Spontaneously broken into laughter out of the sheer joy of being a few times
  • Learned to trust my intuition and ignore the voices that quip about what others might think
  • Learned to notice where, physically, the various voices in me come from, eg. right ear, top left back part of my brain, my heart, etc.
  • Learned when and how to say no when other people ask things from me
  • Learned to accept reality and drop the shoulds, the ought tos, and the judgment
  • Resolved some specific issues in my relationship with my wife, my daughter, and my mother.

Not bad, if you ask me.

I see the weekly sessions as an anchor that prevents me from drifting too far away. When I’m on my own, it’s easy to get caught up in habitual thinking, in reacting to whatever happens to me, to just let the days pass without really being present. Having a weekly call with my coach ensures that I won’t.

The whole day up to the call, which is always in the evening because Bruce lives in California, I have it in the back of my mind that I’m going to talk to him tonight. I pause every once in a while to reflect on what’s happened during the week, when I was present, and when I was not so present. I think about what’s preventing me from being present right now.

Some sessions I’ll bring up something specific, but other sessions I’ll just call and have nothing in particular to talk about. Both have their charm. Sometimes the issues I might bring up would just be minor distractions. Sometimes not brining them up would cause them to be a distraction. But it’s always easy to fill the time.

After the call I feel relieved, peaceful, present, joyful, and generous. And usually there’ll be something to practice during the week, most often something to do in the morning as part of a meditation, and I’ll take that with me all through the week.

It’s an odd and subtle process, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like much happened, but when I look back at what has changed for me over those 9 sessions, it’s pretty amazing.

I’ve used other coaches, at other times. One was through my employer, and was a weekly call, but when I left the job, it ended. And another was on a need-basis, where I’d call to make an appointment whenever something specific came up. Both worked fine and caused some major shifts in my life.

But this is how I’m doing it at the moment, and I wanted to share it with you, since I know that how to best use your coach is something that’s on a lot of people’s minds.