Proactive-Coach: a larger sense of self

a memo to your subconscious


A former client was sending me feedback on a newsletter. She wrote: “I shall circulate at my office. Mostly, I shall CC it to my subconscious.” I like this phrase.

You may wonder why I’m interested in the subconscious. After all, most people would associate this word with analyzing the past in an effort to understand it. This would seem to have very little to do with the work of a coach, especially one who describes himself as “proactive”—oriented toward the future rather than the past.

Exploring the subconscious is very different from analyzing it. I’ll tell you more about this in a moment. But, first, I want to tell you why I pay attention to the subconscious.

There is something mysterious, a bit scary as well as exciting, about all this stuff going on below the surface… Just like what goes on under the surface of the Earth. The solid ground we walk on, the “bedrock” that is our metaphor of choice for what is most solid, rests on a layer of molten lava—something that is essentially liquid.

All this hot lava is brought to the surface, with devastating effects, when a volcano erupts. This is something we think of with a sense of dread. It is a perfect example of the awesome power of natural forces, of their ability to destroy everything we build. In comparison, even our proudest cities seem like a thin veneer ready to crack under pressure.

What goes on under the surface is powerful stuff. It makes sense to find a way to harness this power. Being in touch with your subconscious is to be connected to emotional and spiritual forces that go far beyond the power of your conscious mind.

Now, I want to explain to you how exploring your subconscious is different from analyzing it. Let me use a metaphor to make this point: the way a geologist and an artist deal with nature.

The geologist will dig and slice the earth, will pay attention to the kinds of rocks that structure the area, and to the past pressures that gave them their current shapes. The artist, on the other hand, will engage in a different dialogue with nature, one from which a work of art will be created.

When I talk about exploring the subconscious, I am talking about engaging in a creative dialogue with the awesome power of your subconscious. What is it like to do this? Fortunately, I have an example on my website: a video showing somebody exploring a dream of hers in a creative way (see link below).

In a typical session, we don't necessarily refer explicitly to the subconscious (the word is not mentioned in the video, either). What happens is that, while we talk about very concrete issues, I help you get in touch with some of what goes on below the surface. Not in a heavy-handed way. The focus of our session is not to proceed to a “geological” analysis of the layers of your subconscious. Our goal is closer to that of the artist: to capture what this situation is about in a direct and powerful way, to “get” it, to be able to see things differently.

In other words, this is not about finding a way to escape reality. It is about unleashing your creative power so that you can engage more effectively with the challenges you’re facing.

See "exploring dream" video.


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