“It’s like you’re a sissy little faggot one minute and dominating me powerfully the next”
Not every coach would receive this feedback with such a big grin, but I did
I’m often projecting a caricature of myself – and it’s very, very intentional
I admire Kathy Burke as an actress because she’s been so unvain about playing unflattering and even grotesque characters. Most girls want to play pretty girls. But I see all action as acting – it’s an art; it’s an expression. Trying to ‘be yourself’ is the shallowest form; a misunderstanding of both ‘being’ and ‘yourself’. (And trying to become your version of a better self? That’s hell!)
Every thing is an expression of the same formless energy. We can describe that energy as love or light or truth. We can call it god. It doesn’t matter how we conceptualise ‘it’, and I love knowing that everything after ‘I Am’ is an illusion.
Coaching, and particularly spiritual coaching, can be a very vain profession. Some coaches imagine themselves to be sitting in the light, connected to love and pointing to truth. I see how absurd that is now, but I’ve been there. I’ve lived it.
I didn’t try to change but I realised a while back that I was willing to value my clients more than my thinking. I’m willing to go out of my mind for them, even though ‘out of your mind’ is a colloquialism for being crazy.
If it is kinder for me to act unkind, I can do that. If I know someone will shift their foundations more deeply by bouncing off me and proving me wrong, it only makes sense for me to be wrong. Why wouldn’t I be? I’m free enough to be flexible. And that may make me seem eccentric or even dangerous, but it also makes me very good at what I do.
Sometimes there’s nothing to do but really listen, receive and love. Sometimes it’s kinder to take a crowbar to the little monster who’s running my client’s life. Sometimes we look beyond thoughts; sometimes we intentionally re-engineer thoughts. It all depends where the person is looking from in this moment. It depends where their conditioned mind has been. It depends on so many things.
I can embody the sissy little faggot that so many men are afraid of being, and I can also embody the powerful leader they aspire to be. I can act sweet or sour, practical or airy-fairy. And I can show you the way to do and undo realities. Words can’t point the way, but we are always learning from each other. Attention follows attention. My dog taught me that.
As I shapeshift, my clients learn the processes that make it possible. They become more flexible too. And that means they inevitably let go of old thinking about what they are and what they’re not; what’s good or bad, right or wrong.
Reciting your scripted understanding of life encourages the people listening to you to recite stories too, and it strengthens their identification with that way of being. Dogma begets dogma. Reciting is also the shallowest kind of thinking – low-level brain activity reflected in weak somatic feelings. People who live this way are usually unhappy, unfulfilled and poor, even though they can quote many reasons why life is wonderful, supportive and abundant. These people throw themselves at coaches and teachers (really marketing experts) who provide them with new slogans to quote. They are spiritual junkies. But the slogans don’t make their lives richer, even if the people providing them become very rich.
Each of us has walked a different path. We had different parents, teachers, friends and neighbours. We each went to different schools and maybe different churches. We read different books and watched different films. So of course it makes sense conceptually that you are already you and you don’t need to learn how to be you. But each of us also learnt to forget and repress many, many aspects of the whole – to only look from one perspective; to only see one perspective. That’s why there is nothing new to learn but plenty to unlearn. There is nothing to do but plenty to undo. The more I undo myself, the more I can show you how. The words are unimportant. Attention follows attention.[fbls]
NEW The 3Ps from a mystic’s perspective – an online talk / group exploration
NEW Freedom beyond words – a special weekend event with me, Bill Cumming and Katie Abbott
“I felt so accepted and safe when talking with Chris; I have never experienced an acceptance like that before. It was actually a great experience just to be present with him. At the end I experienced real peace and saw other people and the world in a different light.”Ben Liebich
“I’d loved the idea of performing stand-up comedy for over twenty years, but there always seemed to be things that held me back. After a few conversations with Chris, I changed the way I look at life and I’ve done several stand-up gigs since then and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. Other parts of my life are brighter too – I enjoy more confidence, relationships are more fun and I am stepping up for more of the things I want to do in life. It is like I have finally arrived at my own party!”Vince Knight