Having grown up playing sports with coaches, I have always valued the role of the coach: the person who can see your potential, sees you have more to give, and then demands it of you.  This is another place for me where physical metaphor reflects the emotional, mental, and intellectual experience.  Do you have people in your life that call you to be your best self?  People who:

  • By asking bold questions, invite you into awareness of your emotional state
  • See the moments where your energy is flagging and give you encouragement that refuels
  • Are voracious readers and thinkers and remind you the world is a richer place when we can draw threads in from the great minds and spirits around us
  • Recognize when you are being “small” when you have the capacity to be “big”
  • By being fully realized, remind you there is so much more

Such coaches in life are gifts, and I learn daily from them how to be a better teacher, mentor, friend, human.  The other key piece with coaching is the continual aspiration for more – it is about the striving, even while celebrating achievements along the way.  Where can I learn, grow, challenge, expand further?  It is also not a mono-directional march toward betterment.  Why coaches are so invaluable is we forget, get distracted, lose our way.  As with any practice, they ask us to show up each day and check-in with where the edge is today.  These guides along the path help remind us when we get lost who we are and what we are capable of.    I give a deep bow to the coaches and guides in my life.  Pay attention to where yours are, and cultivate them: I am reminded of Wayne Booth’s book, The Company We Keep, where the self is literally formed by who (or what) we spend our time with.  Pay attention to company that invites you to your best self.  The world and people around you need you.

Conversational Credit: Kemp Battle, Glenna Chang, Rachel DeBusk, Kathleen Farrell, Claire Fraczek, John Hetherington, Tori Karpenko, Sue Trinidad, and Jamie and Matt at CorePowerYoga, who always invite me to show up with more than I thought I had. 

Tony Back
11/06/2013 10:44am

I love how you highlight the ways in which we create each other--the act of invoking someone else's best self is really a kind of love, isn't it? Thank you for this reminder!

Kelly Edwards
11/06/2013 11:11am

The act of invoking someone else's best self is most definitely a loving act. Thanks Tony, for being part of the continual growth and creative self shaping.

11/06/2013 1:06pm

I agree that coaching keeps you in touch with the higher/deeper part of yourself. And on a practical side, in both giving and receiving coaching, the elements I have come to value are clarity, focusing and accountability. (which align nicely to knowing where I want to go, what to do to get there, and doing it! Thanks Kelly.


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