Why Should You Choose Integral Coaching?

Integral coaching is a coaching methodology that can fully honor all elements of you. Your strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and your strengths.

Why Should You Choose Integral Life Coaching?

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In our increasingly complex and interconnected world, individual values and beliefs are ever-evolving. At the same time, our culture grows ever more competitive, and it's necessary to adapt to a world in flux. One way to do this is with integral coaching.

Integral coaching is a coaching methodology that can fully honor and accept all parts of you— your strengths, your weaknesses, your past experiences, and your shadows, all of your experiences, and all of your untapped potentials. In other words, it is not the sort of “one-size-fits-all” approach so common to the coaching industry.

For instance, I might work with an entrepreneur who wants to be able to spend more time with her family -- while still running her business and effectively being a single mother at the same time. Integral Coaching would help that entrepreneur with tailored practices to develop new capabilities to support her in her new way of being in the world. ​

Another client might have the goal of developing greater self-awareness and personal integrity. This might include working on a relationship that ended badly or some other limiting behavior or emotional pattern that is holding him back from living the life of his/her dreams. Again, I would tailor the process to support the client in developing new ways of being in the world.​And so on. It is an approach that honors the uniqueness of each individual client, and that allows the client to move more quickly toward his goals and live a richer, more satisfying life. It is based on the idea that every person has within him or her the capacity to grow and develop into greater levels of wisdom, compassion, courage, creativity, and fulfillment. All it takes is for the client to be willing to fully embrace all of his or her parts -- to honor them -- and then to allow the coach to gently guide the process of change and development. ​The client and I work together as a team, rather than the coach trying to make the client “into” something that the client is not.

Why I Chose Integral Life Coaching.

Ken Wilber and Ben Saltzma, Integral Living Room, Boulder, Colorado, 2018

​Integral coaching was developed and based on Ken Wilber's Integral Theory. Integral Theory is a super-theory that attempts to explain how most methodologies fit together in a unified fashion. 

Wilber developed Integral Theory after decades of study and research. He is considered by many to be the leading integral thinker of our time. In fact, Wilber has been called “the Leonardo da Vinci of the 21st Century” and “the spiritual mentor of a whole generation of seekers.” For more information on Integral Theory, I highly recommend you read his book "A Brief History of Everything."

One of my most preferred aspects of Integral Coaching is that it utilizes specific lenses to "Look As" and to "Look At" clients to better understand how they relate to their coaching topic. Each lens has the ability to reveal limiting patterns within the clients' experience. 

For example, if a person has an “old story” about how things are supposed to be, then they will tend to unconsciously resist any attempt to change something in their life. The client will have a tendency to see themselves, their world, and their problems through their current way of being. 

My Mindfulness and Zen Practice.

Zen River Monastery, Uithuizen, Netherlands, 2016.

​​Another influence on my coaching has been mindfulness and Zen Buddhism. It is difficult to say when I began practicing Zen. I was first introduced to it in the late '90s but didn't begin practicing until the late '00s. In 2013 I was ordained as a Zen Priest, and have practiced in several Zen Centers and Monasteries ever since. My desire to bring meditation to others led me to teach mindfulness to the homeless population, which I did on a weekly basis for over 5 years in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Path Forward.

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There is a quote attributed to Eihei Dōgen (1200-1253), founder of Japanese Soto Zen, that I am rather fond of. The quote is:

 "Enlightenment is intimacy with all things." 

To be intimate with all things was striking to me and a bit frightening. What would that look like, be like or feel like? What would happen if someone could be intimate with their anxiety, judgment, or grief? Would it be possible to integrate greed, anger, and ignorance; or how about the mortifying sensation of shame or the delight of true joy?

Certainly, there are many things in each of our lives which we choose to ignore or deny. But that choice is not "being intimate with all things". When we choose to ignore or deny a part of ourselves, it creates a distance between one part of ourselves and the rest of us. That distance creates duality, and that duality moves us away from being "one with" or being intimate with all aspects of ourselves.

The quote by Dōgen reminds me that we can't shortcut the process of enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a goal or an endpoint. It is not something we achieve and then consider ourselves to be "done" and finished with. No. Enlightenment is a process. Something which gradually reveals itself over time, as we continue to "wake up", "grow up" and continue to pay attention, continue to open up to life, and continue to let go of the illusion that we are separate from everything around us. Enlightenment is not some exotic, mysterious thing. On the contrary, it is as ordinary as pointing to the palm of your hand.

That quote stuck with me over the years, so I shortened the quote and made the name of my coaching business, Intimacy with All Things.

Are you interested in coaching? And in becoming intimate with all aspects of yourself? Discovering aspects that have created any type of stuckness? Revealing aspects that are limiting your personal life, professional productivity, or creativity? If so, then simply schedule a video consult call with me today.