Some of the extraordinary breakthroughs that process oriented coaches achieve are the direct result of their capacity to work with both conscious and unconscious content. Our coaches learn to access unconscious content in the form of dreams, body symptoms and synchronistic events.
As 2017 draws to a close one of our Australian students, Lisa Klug, wrote to us about the outer and inner journeys she embarked on as a GCI student and now graduate.
A few months ago I had a strikingly clear dream. I was driving a Kombi van through thick rainforest. My van was bright orange with a white roof. Part of a Kombi van convoy, I drove at full speed, hitting potholes and bumps with gay abandon, sometimes airborne, laughing uproariously.
While mystified by the meaning of the dream the wild freedom of that ride and the colour orange stayed with me. I painted my toenails fluorescent orange. Each time I saw them, I felt something exciting was happening.
Following the Feeling of Signals
The meaning of unconscious signals is often unclear, yet the feeling they contain can be followed, with curiosity until their meaning or direction begins to reveal itself.
My daughter, Chloe, dreamt of going to the desert to see the stars. Meanwhile my younger daughter Ruby objected that she couldn’t think of anything worse than being stuck in the car with us. Suddenly the Kombi van came to my mind. I hired a 6-berth motorhome and we began to plot our 4670km journey.
Unconscious Content has Meaning
Unconscious content is often experienced as ‘happening to us’. The Kombi ‘came to mind’. This use of language indicates those things that are closer to or further away from our conscious identity or everyday lives. Compare Lisa’s description of the elusive orange Kombi with the way she speaks about her working responsibilities. As process oriented coaches we ask ourselves which of these experiences, seems more familiar and which holds more energy for the individual.
Life then got busy. as I prepared a manuscript for publication. On the last day of my coaching course at Byron, I was astonished as I walked past a little model of my orange and white Kombi in a gift shop – I immediately bought it. Curiously, the Kombi was capricious and decided not to come home with me. I had left it behind! Perplexed by its appearance and disappearance, I knew I must hold on to my coaching dreams, despite competing goals at work…. The model Kombi arrived a few days before our departure, meek as a mouse, and ready to take the journey with us.
The Nullarbor desert crossing delighted us with its astonishing beauty. I meditated on my coaching goals and dreams for hours while watching the unfolding road stretch out before me, framed by desert ecosystems, dramatic and beautiful.
Listen to New Possibilities
As coaches and their clients learn to listen to their intuitions, new possibilities emerge, that don’t fit with what we might think of as our ordinary selves.
After hearing my dream, Rho had leant me an orange Sari, which I stowed safely in the motorhome. As we approached the remote western part of the Nullarbor Desert. I had a very strong feeling that just up the road I‘d find a place where I could unfurl the sari.That place revealed itself to be Mt Jimberlana – an orange rocky outcrop in the Great Western Woodlands, and the only piece of land with any height we had seen for days. Despite the searing 40 degree heat, we clambered over the unusual rock formation to the peak. Clutching the orange sari in my hand, I ascended, a ferocious north wind buffeting the summit. I raced to the top knowing this was the place to release all my creative energy, dreams, power and passion.
Later I learnt that this peak is part of a long stretch of granite rock that pushed up through the earth to form a vast ridge that runs for many, many kilometers through the desert. It is reputed to be one of the oldest geological sites in the world. I believe I felt the power of a vast and ancient landscape.
Engaging the Forces Within
It is not just Lisa’s experience, but her narrative that is rich in imagery. Skilled in tracking her own experience, she engaged the forces within her, her meekness and her sense of wonder, along with those of the geological forces that formed her environment. … the searing wind, thrusting rocky outcrops to reclaim more of who she is and the crucial powers within.
The orange giftshop Kombi finally hit the sand, on possibly the most beautiful beach in the world, Cape Le Grande National Park in Western Australia.The place left me reeling with its wild beauty, largely untouched and untrammeled by man, free and uncontrolled. Here I felt my own authentic truth, and felt the courage to take responsibility for that truth, to let go and act on it.
Becoming Who We Truly Are
The journey to become a coach is about much more than acquiring skills. It’s about transforming ourselves. In becoming who we truly are, we can meet clients in their deepest truth. Lisa brought her whole coaching cohort with her, via their weekly online classes. She was indeed part of a Kombi van convoy, replete with wildly uproarious laughter and adventure.
Since returning from this trip, the symbolism of my dream, and how it amplifies into real life adventures has brought meaning to my dreams of becoming a powerful coach. I deeply resonated with the world physically and psychically. I continue to access my “Orange Kombi” attitude in my decisions, approach to life and plans for the future. I feel profoundly happy when I access this truth, freedom and wildness. I am home, I am me.
I realize that while I did not initially understand the Kombi van dream, I intuitively knew its value to understanding myself, and when I followed the signals; the dream became a naturally unfolding process that was directed from within, and without. Everything happened exactly when it should, with its own order.
You Don’t Know Where it will Take You
In Lisa’s own words: With Process oriented coaching you never know where it will take you, but it is certain to be a deeply meaningful unfolding of what is required right now.