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Read About Our Journey

Changing Viewpoint May Change Your Life

Posted by Robin Coghlan on Oct 26, 2016 8:51:09 AM

Several weekends ago in London I assisted on a three day Balance course, one of the intermediate modules in the Co-Active coaching curriculum. Sitting at the back of the classroom ‘holding space’, one of the key roles as an assistant, was just as powerful and life affirming as when seated in the circle as a student.

Stepping into purpose

During the introductions at the beginning of the first day, participants were asked to share an element of their life purpose from their practice in the previous Fulfillment module. Moments like these are intensely personal, somewhat vulnerable, as you publicly share one of the deepest expressions of yourself. When it was my turn, I took an intentional moment to centre myself and connect with my sense of purpose before sharing. My impact clearly made an impression because an agreeable round of applause followed. I believe my impact was fueled by a noticeable integrity behind the words.

To a group of relatively new Co-Active students I can understand how this was an inspiring example of someone authentically expressing their life purpose. By the end of this energetic and provoking three day workshop, each and every one of the students had stepped more fully into their own sense of purpose by choosing some radical, life affirming commitments. What they may have admired in me on day one, I was honoured to witness in all of them by day three.

Students show up to learn professional coaching skills and, thanks to the experiential nature of CTI’s training method, also directly experience and benefit from the profound effects of this coach approach. I believe it is this evolving wholeness as a human being which truly empowers the student’s ability to be an effective coach for someone else.

The power of perspective

The Balance course is heaps of fun and highly energetic. In one of the numerous practice sessions I was paired up with a student who skillfully guided me through multiple viewpoints on my (real) coaching topic. I was genuinely stuck and feeling disempowered in a significant area of my life. As a plumber would install a pressure reducing valve to stem the flow of water through a pipe so it felt the same for my passion, as if some external factors were intently constraining my energy. I was clearly holding my topic from a viewpoint of limitation, a perspective which frustrated me immensely.

Together with my practicing coach we explored this space of restriction for a little while until, using the metaphor, she enquired as to where the water continues to flow, even if it was somewhat constrained. Words will not fully describe how this became a significant ‘aha’ moment for me. It moved me instantly from a place of ‘limitation’ to a place of flow. I could feel my sense of purpose pulsating through my body again as I placed my attention on what truly mattered - the bigger picture and the ultimate destination I am headed. I call this new way of looking at my situation ‘Slow is fast’, which reinvigorates me with a sense of patience and persistence.

Reading through what I have just written above makes me chuckle to myself, for it sounds ridiculously simple and in this moment of sheepishness I wonder how I let myself get so stuck. This is not the point of course, the point is that coaching works. Even though I know this stuff and am a Certified coach myself, having another coach (a practicing student in this case) dance me through this process was tremendously rewarding.


Three days of being real, vulnerable and expansive while being inspired by the vulnerability, commitment and authenticity of students, co-assistant and co-leaders… is like an injection of vitality right into my heart. I am immensely grateful to be part of this global community of conscious human beings.

Interested in assisting on a CTI course?

Anyone can volunteer to assist on a Co-Active coaching course, as long as they have already completed the course themselves.


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