Today, I thought it would be appropriate to spend some time providing a little bit of transparency. I've written frequently about various concepts and ideas underlying coaching, but have done little to actually introduce myself. However, when I set out to do so, I realized that I'd neglected to introduce one of the most fundamental concepts to ontological coaching. Without having done that, introducing myself would be a bit of a miss. So, instead, today we are looking at essence. Take any toddler in the world and spend five minutes with them. You will likely notice how fearless they generally are. They don't have arbitrary limits that they've decided mean they cannot achieve something. They aren't focused on anything in particular, other than simply being.
Imagine if we were able to lift off all of your layers of protection. All of the layers of defense that your ego has acquired and developed over the years. Each time something negative happened and it impacted on how you saw yourself, you created a new layer of defense or thickened the skin of an existing one. Those that have been reading for a while will recognize that what I'm describing is your Survival Mechanism.
Getting at our essence requires looking past all of those layers to see who we truly are. What are the qualities that you cannot help but radiate into the world? Who are you being, when there's no barriers or impediments to you simply showing up? The answer to these questions is your essence.
Essence is an elusive concept, because we have become so enrolled in our own survival mechanism. We hold that we really are simply unable to be comfortable with meeting new people, or that we are simply doomed forever to hate someone when they inadvertently slight us by not complimenting our new haircut.
Our survival mechanism has been with us for so long that we are no longer able to differentiate between the boundaries of what is automatic for us, and our truest self. We cannot see our essence, distinguished from our survival mechanism. We need other people to do this for us.
Think of the last time you were working on or playing with something and noticed time disappeared. You stopped being aware of the passage of time, and were simply engrossed in what you were doing. Now, ask yourself, how were you being as you were doing that activity?
This quick exercise provides a glimpse into what your essence is. Your essence is essentially a group of ways of being. These are the qualities you naturally bring into every room, even when you're nervous, shy, scared or worried. Those qualities, that way of being, shows up no matter what you do.
By taking steps to align ourselves with our essence, and bring more of those ways of being into our lives, we shift the way we experience the present. We shift our paradigm from doing and having first (and only after that, to being), to a paradigm of being first; right here and now, and then having and doing from that place of being.
"But Adam, what if someone comes to you with an unrealistic request about what they want to achieve? Even if it does generate being for them, isn't that a fool's errand?"
This is, oddly enough, a common question. The first response I have is to check in and ask who is to decide whether or not something is realistic for that person? As a coach, I do indeed check with a client about why they are choosing to pursue a certain goal, and whether or not they have checked out if it is realistic. But far more important than all of that is what they are taking on that goal in service of. If that pursuit is one that will bring them more of their essence, can you really argue that it is a waste of their time?
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what we have amassed, how many degrees we held, or how much property we own. What truly determines the quality of our lives is how we are being as we pass through them. Be your essence.
If you're curious to find out what your essence might be, get in touch with me here and let's set up a complimentary session.
[Tweet "What truly determines the quality of our lives is how we are being as we pass through them."]