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What does a spiritual life coach do?

What does a spiritual life coach do?

A guide to transformative support

What does a spiritual life coach do? If you’ve never worked with a spiritual coach before, you might be uncertain about what to expect, maybe a little nervous. That’s very normal!

After all, coaching can lead us into some pretty deep, vulnerable places within us.

So, what can you expect? In this article, I’ll be walking you through what it’s like to work with a spiritual life coach, and how they can support you as you make positive changes in your life.

When your life doesn’t fit who you are on the inside

Many people seek out spiritual life coaching because they’re exhausted from living a life that doesn’t fit who they really are on the inside.

It’s incredibly common. Because there are so many loud voices and pressures buffeting us, telling us what they think we should be doing: 

  • Cultural pressures that tell you how you should act and think and be.
  • Marketers and social media influencers who want to mold your thoughts so you’ll be happy to buy whatever they’re selling.
  • Bosses and colleagues who are full of ideas about what you should be doing with your career.
  • Even family and friends who love you dearly and want the best for you, but see the world differently.

In all fairness, if you do what those external voices tell you to do, you might well become quite successful in the eyes of the world.

But at some point—maybe it’s happening right now—it all starts to feel empty. You’ve achieved what you set out to. And yet, there’s something missing, something vital.

Once you start to notice that empty feeling, it can be pretty scary. What are you supposed to do now?

But that empty feeling is also an invitation to look within. To discover who you actually are on the inside.

To get to know what your soul wants to be and become.

And on this journey, many people find that help and support are essential! 

That’s where spiritual life coaching comes in.

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A spiritual life coach holds space for you to hear the voice of your own soul

A good spiritual life coach can help you cut through the chatter of all those external voices, so you can finally start to hear the voice of your own soul.

It might sound a little strange that you should need help getting to know your own soul. Shouldn’t it be easy? It’s you, after all.

But for many of us, this kind of listening to ourselves isn’t easy at all. It’s not obvious how to do it. We have to learn how to listen, how to get to know our own selves.

That’s what being a human being is like.

As the Quaker writer and teacher Parker Palmer puts it in his book A Hidden Wholeness, the soul is shy, like a wild animal. Beautiful, resilient, and strong—yes. But unlikely to show itself unless it feels very safe.

Deer in winter woods (Photo: Kyla Rose Rockola)

And most of us spend so much of our time in spaces that don’t feel safe to our shy soul. Workplaces and schools, for example, where the pressure is on to fit in, get stuff done, and please the authorities in charge. Or even relationships with family, friends, and partners where you feel nervous about being fully accepted. (Here’s a piece I wrote about that dynamic.

You probably know a lot about how to navigate those spaces and relationships. You know how to function, and probably in some ways to thrive!

But do you ever feel like you’re constantly filtering and monitoring yourself so you don’t say or do anything that would cause offense?

Or have you ever had an insight into a situation that you know is right, but you don’t let yourself share it because you worry other people won’t understand, won’t like it, won’t like you?

Those are good ways to stay safe.

They’re also exhausting. Because they require you to tamp down so much of your vitality, your creativity, your essence—your soul. It takes so much energy to hide who you are. To hide the light of your soul. 

And at some point,

you just don’t want to live that way any more.

The soul wants to be seen and known.

It wants to show up and be fully present in this world.

To contribute its light, to be of service.

And to be witnessed in all its tender, resilient beauty.

That’s where a spiritual life coach can help.

When you work with a spiritual life coach, you’ll have someone on your side who can hold space for you to get to know your own soul, your own deepest self, more fully. To really listen to yourself and your own longings.

The role of a coach is simple: to align with you, to believe in you, to be curious about who you are and what you really long for—so you can practice believing in yourself and letting yourself go for what you really want.

So how does it work? What happens in a coaching session?

Each coach has their own unique style and energy. But there’s a basic structure to a coaching session that most spiritual life coaches will follow. Here’s how I do it:

We’ll begin with a brief check-in.

I’ll ask you, how have you been since we met last? What are you proud of having accomplished since last time, or what obstacles have come up? And what have you learned?

(By the way, many coaches will encourage you to reflect on these questions in advance and complete a written prep form, to help you make the most of each session.)

Person smiling and looking at laptop screen (Photo: Yan Krukau)

Next, we’ll turn to your agenda for the session.

Each time we meet, you get to decide what you want to explore or work on. I might ask a few questions to help you focus in on what you’d most like to accomplish during the session. But you’re the one who gets to decide where we’re headed.

For example, imagine I’m working with you because you’ve been feeling burned out at work. Today, you decide you want to explore what would help you feel more energized and happy while you’re working.

As we begin exploring your topic, I’ll encourage you to notice what ideas come to mind, however odd or unlikely they might seem.

If it seems helpful, I might invite you into a guided meditation to help you connect with your intuition. Or, if you want, we might even do a shamanic journey to seek insight on your situation.

And mostly, I’ll ask questions. In this case, I might begin by asking you, when do you feel most energized at work right now?

You think about it and realize, you actually love working on big creative projects that take a lot of thought. And you have one on your plate right now. Only, you can’t seem to make any progress on it lately.

Then, you realize that the way you’ve set up your calendar is getting in the way. You want to be available and helpful to the people you work with, so you say yes to lots of meetings that end up being spread out randomly throughout the day, even when you don’t really have to. As a result, you hardly ever have more than an hour in between meetings. And that’s not enough time to really focus in on that big creative project.

Now, I might invite you to take a moment and ask yourself: What does your soul really need in this situation? What would feel really good to you? For example, if you could set up your calendar exactly the way you wanted, what would be happening?

Thinking on this, you realize that you’d really love to have a few dedicated slots of focus time each week, where you could turn off all your notifications for a couple of hours and really dig into that project. Allowing yourself to imagine what that would be like, you realize it would feel amazing!  

But almost immediately, you feel some anxiety welling up. What if the people you work with get upset, or frustrated, or openly angry with you because you’re not always as available as you used to be?

Here, I might invite you to take a few breaths, close your eyes, and really check in with yourself about what’s happening. What do you know about this anxiety? What message does it have for you? How could you show it some care and love as you contemplate doing a scary new thing?

Maybe you discover that your anxiety has valuable wisdom for you. Maybe you really do need to be careful of how other people will react, and craft your plans accordingly.

Or maybe you discover that your anxiety just needs to be heard and honored. It wants you to be happy too—it’s just a little scared.

Whatever comes up, we’ll explore it together so that you can gain insight into what you most want and need. And I’ll invite you to think of creative options for getting there.

Then, toward the end of our session, I’ll invite you to reflect on two key questions:

What have you learned about yourself and your situation so far?

And given that, how will you move forward?

For now, you might decide to think some more about how you’d like to rework your calendar and whose support you would need. Sometimes, just mulling something over is the perfect next step.

Or maybe you’ll decide to talk with your boss, or a trusted colleague, about your desire to set aside more big-project focus time each week.

Or, if you’re ready, you might choose to go for it and block off 3 whole chunks of time each week, starting immediately.

You’re the one who gets to decide what you’re ready to try.

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When you’ve come up with just the right path forward, you’ll know it by the lightness and ease and “rightness” you feel in your body and spirit. A felt “aha,” a sense of “yes, this is it!” Though you might feel nervous about setting your new plan in motion, it’s the kind of nervousness that comes from a real and practical hope that things really can be better for you.

And as your coach, I’ll be rooting for you the whole way!

In conclusion…

I hope this has given you a taste of how spiritual life coaching can help you tap into your own intuition, wisdom, and courage, so you can move closer to a life that truly brings you joy.

I’m wishing you all the best. And if you have any questions, please reach out to me and let’s connect!

Questions?

Ask me anything.

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