ETERNAL ECHOES exploring our hunger to belong
Author : JOHN O DONOHUE. ISBN 978-0-553-81241-1
As coaching is concerned with all aspects of a person`s life I feel this book would be a suitable read for any trainee or qualified coach interested increasing their knowledge base of Celtic thought and spirituality .The author, John O’Donohue died in January of 2008. For my own part, his passing is a big loss. However, he has left a legacy of wonderful writings for those of us interested in deeper aspects of our lives: the meaning of life and our experiences and spirituality.
O`Donohue writes that “because you are human you are privileged and burdened with the task of knowing. Our desire to know is the deepest longing of the soul: it is a call to intimacy and belonging “. One of the greatest tasks in coaching is to empower the client to get to know themselves. To know who they really are in all aspect of their lives. The core. When we go through the wheel of life with clients it is very possible that what is presented as goals to be achieved can change once clients have the opportunity to go under the surface. And, when they get to identify who they are and what their values are there may be resistance to making changes.
O` Donohue covers this resistance to change also. He says that “When you discover this inner well of longing, it can frighten you and send you into flight from yourself”. From a coaching perspective this is a useful book to remind us that clients can resist changes in many ways. It may be their own internal saboteurs or influences from others around them who want things to stay the same. One of our roles in coaching is to educate our clients. We can educate them to expect that they may resist even their deepest desires. O` Donohue writes about this beautifully: “When you open your heart to discovery, you will be called to step outside the comfort barriers within which you have fortified your life. You will be called to risk old views and thoughts and to step off the circles of routine and image. This will often bring turbulence”.
To me there is much of this book that can be applicable to coaching. From an Emotional Intelligence perspective he covers Interpersonal and Interpersonal relationships in writing about our relationship to ourselves and those around us. When we can relate in a true and honest way he believes that we can be at ease. (General Mood). “When your way of belonging in the world is truthful to your nature and your dreams, your heart finds contentment and your heart finds stillness”. Wow ! How enticing is that! Well, it works for me. And, I believe that coaches and the general public (our clients) may find this to be a very inspiring and thought/change provoking book.
As coaches we have a responsibility to do inside out work ourselves. To be true to ourselves. To continue to self develop and become more self aware. It is an evolving process. If, as coaches we can be the best we can we can exude that with our clients. We can bring our clients as far as we have brought ourselves. We have a choice about becoming authentic human beings, and when we act on it our clients will reap the benefits of it also. “The presence of a person who has stillness and contentment of heart engenders trust”. Our clients can trust us when we also trust ourselves.
The challenge for me in writing this review is that John O’Donohue writes so beautifully, and I just want to quote and quote his wonderful expressions. The reality is that I am not he, and I am doing the best I can right here right now! His book covers areas such as our childhoods, arts (sculpture/music), neighbours /community, family and family home, colours, and spirituality. It is a great read, and does what he set out to do. That is: “A poetic and speculative exploration between longing and belonging”. The text is, in my view, very inspiring for coaches in training, practising coaches and for the public.
One final quote!
“You long to be happy, to live a meaningful and honest life, to find love and to be able to open your heart to someone; you long to discover who you are …. and become free and compassionate”….
Can we as coaches facilitate this for ourselves and our clients?!
PSG Executive and Life Coaching Diploma Student
BSc(Hons)Counselling,MBACP(Accred), Accredited Dip Executive & Life Coach, RGN, OHND
- Stress Management Adviser
- Accredited Executive & Life Coach
- Trainer & Workshop Facilitator
- Specialist Practitioner in Occupational Health
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