The W.H.O.L.E Coaching Model

Presuppositions to the W.H.O.L.E Model

  • We are holistic beings.
  •  We each have a divine purpose.
  • Everything is energy.
  • There is fate and destiny.
  • We have co-creation power in our lives.
  • Our perception of reality is unique and based on our belief system.

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The W.H.O.L.E Coaching model is a process of transformation and healing based on a holistic coaching perspective. The term holistic emphasizes the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. From a holistic perspective then, our lives reflect more than mere physicality. This all-encompassing perspective includes psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects as well. A Holistic Life Coach strives to grasp this broader view when assisting clients to work through life challenges.

Holistic theory understands there are many layers of meaning and causation beneath every life challenge. Thus, every challenge that appears has immense wisdom and learning. Within every physical symptom, worry, stress, disappointment and frustration there is a deeper cause; a system within a system. As a Holistic Life Coach, it is vital to help clients seek into those deeper layers to locate the underlying agents for imbalance in the system.  When we find and undo the cause at its origination, we have the ability to create lasting change.

From this perspective then, every symptom, every challenge, can become a doorway to transformation.  The way out is by going within.

W– Willingness to See it Differently


The willingness to see things differently opens the door to new perspectives. It establishes the confines of that potentially creative space, between stimulus and response, where new information can be entered into the system to generate change. Chaos is the Greek word for gap. Willingness puts us into this gap, this pregnant pause, between matter and energy. It is through the willingness to be curious, to be vulnerable, to tell our story, feel our feelings and to be exactly where we are, that we can begin to move through the stages of change and transition. Willingness cracks the door to self- reflection, with intention to begin to witness from a different perspective, illuminating the present moment. In essence, willingness is the first step, the “cosmic grease” that ignites the energy of transformation.

The Model:

YOU represent the present time at the point of change between the sum total of past history and future potential. It demonstrates that there are many facets of a holistic and whole self. As a coach, the willingness of a client determines the ability to coach them. In turn, it is the coach’s willingness to create an open and safe space, creating trust and rapport, that can ignite the coaching process.

Questions for reflection:

  • What makes you feel called to seek coaching at this time?
  • Are you willing to see this differently?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how willing are you to make a commitment to exploring this issue?
  • Do you sense any resistance or fear coming up in regards to working on this issue?

 H– Hold the Space to Have Feelings

Discomfort is an internal warning system with the main goal to get our attention. Like the smoke alarm of our system, it warns there is a blaze burning somewhere. Therefore, within every physical symptom, worry, stress, disappointment and frustration, there is wisdom pointing to a deeper cause; a system within a system.  Feelings can become a doorway to transformation because they can lead inward to cause.

The purpose of feelings is to give information. Feeling can gift both the wisdom of “what” needs healing and the energy  to do so. Using the fire alarm analogy, it would be of no value to us to simply turn off the alarm and hope the fire would go away. If we numb our feelings, we turn down the volume of our inner guidance and on our whole life.

Feelings are energy; thus, they require movement. Like the water element they represent, they can become stagnant and fetid without flow. Physically anchored feelings can create patterns of inflammation, pain, excess weight, even disease. Anchored feelings in our mind can create worry, anxiety, even panic. Anchored feelings in our spirit can disconnect us from intuitive, passion and purpose. So, feelings are meant to be felt, named and listened to.

The Model:

This step is represented by the parts of the self that anchors us from forward movement. It is about feeling the limitations in place and intentionally working through the first step to letting them go. This is where the energy is burned off by the honest sharing of the story and any feeling tied to it. It is the coach’s task to hold the space for empathy and honest reflection by acknowledging the client’s vulnerability and courage. Somatic connection to feeling can also be helpful at this point.

Questions for reflection:

  • Where do you feel or hold this in your body? Color? Texture?
  •    If this had roots, where would they go?
  • What wisdom might these feelings have for you?
  • How long has this feeling been with you?
  • Are you ready to let it go and clear that space?

O– Observation Creates Accountability

Once some of the energy of feelings has discharged, there can be a shift to observation. Observation gives the benefit of defusing the situation or feelings in such a way that perception is gained. It is a space of fluid curiosity and pause that is neither grasping nor pushing away. From this witness perspective there can be an empowering shift in understanding that life is not what is happening to us, but what is happening for us, and there is the potential for wisdom in every situation. Additionally, the fact that the self is watching the self reveals a truth that we are more than we may think. The gift of observation is to expand perception to include the bigger picture; not just what we know but what we don’t yet know. It is from this wider view that patterns of co-creation, both conscious and subconscious, can be discovered and observed and new possibilities emerge.

Accountability (the ability to be accountable) takes this one step further by placing the emphasis of change at our own feet. Patterns of co-creation can be highlighted and new choices made. Accountability is a sacred tool because it puts the power back into the one who wields it. Making our discord sacred means we can begin to soften into a place of mindfulness where we are open to learn what our circumstances, symptoms and feelings are trying to tell us. We may not consciously choose every life event, but we have the freedom to choose how we perceive and respond to it. Accountability is the seed to change because it affirms the right to consciously choose the direction and then act accordingly.

The Model:

By taking a step back with conscious observation we can begin to see deeper into the process of change by noting what patterns of limiting beliefs (anchors) and behavior  emerge. Inquiry with awareness is about paying attention, asking hard questions and seeking deeper meaning. It is about listening to the voice of intuition and claiming empowerment by owning the grace choice. In this step it is the coach’s responsibility to listen without judgment or expectation, ask powerful questions and allow the client to go deeper into their process.

Questions for reflection:

  • What is happening right now?
  • What else might you need to take more ownership of?
  • How might this be happening “for you” rather than “to you”?
  • Are there any gifts or blessings this holds for you?
  • Why do you suppose this happened at this time?
  • Where are you losing power?

 

L– Love is Letting go by Leaning In  

With observation and accountability we awaken to the sacredness of life.

To love means to include, to unite and to connect. Love means meeting circumstances and sensations without expectations that it be different, but with clarity and presence. When we lean into our feelings and situation, we open the space to learn, grow and transform with graceful acceptance. Force or resistance creates counterforce and has the tendency to strengthen more of what we do not want. What we hide or tuck away in shadow does not disappear but shows up in our lives as circumstances. So lovingly leaning into our challenge integrates a quality of energy that does not demand perfection, but asks that we be whole. We are light and shadow, spirit and flesh, simple and complex. So leaning into Love is an act of unification not separation. In our bodies, the energy of Love is integrating and healing.

To lovingly embrace change we must let go on some levels. Change means moving from a place of familiarity to uncharted territory. Letting go is about making space for something new. Old patterns, behaviors, thoughts, beliefs and strategies are released so a new rush of energy can flow in and integrate.  Letting go is the creative tension between who we think we are and our essential nature.

Letting go often requires forgiveness. In ancient Aramaic the word forgiveness meant “to cancel” or “undo”. Forgiveness is not about changing what happened but about changing our mind, our stories and beliefs about what happened. Forgiveness is the tool to the process of letting go because it has the ability to undo all the resentments that bind us, and we can open to new unlimited potential where new rules apply.

Model:

With loving intent we can lean into letting go by willingly acknowledging the anchors keeping us stuck in the past and taking the steps of forgiveness to undo them. Forgiveness is a holistic experience because it begins to change beliefs at a core level. The coach can offer acknowledgement, support and honest feedback to help the client reach this step.

Questions for reflection:

  • What would it be like if you could accept life exactly as it is?
  • Are you willing to create a space for forgiveness right now?
  • What is one way you could be gentler, kinder to yourself? 
  • What does your wisest self have to say about this?
  • What might open up to you if you could let this go?

 E– Energize and Empower to Move Forward in a NEW Way

By being willing, by feeling, by observing, by loving and by letting go; we release energy stuck in our bodies and our past into present time. Carolyn Myss, medical intuitive, mystic and healer, reports we need at least 60% of our energy in present time to heal anything.  With more energy in the present, and with freedom from habitual beliefs, we can move forward with conscious choice, vitality, purpose, empowerment and clarity.  We are empowered with new beliefs and new intentions. We are W.H.O.L.E.

Model

In this step we consciously and willingly invite new energy into the present. Somatically breathe into the feelings rushing in to the space and practice gratitude and acknowledgment to integrate the transformation.

Questions for reflection:

  • Is there any learning from the situation you can take forward?
  • What is the very best next step?
  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • How can you recognize sabotaging behaviors?