What is Holistic Wellness and Life Coaching?
There are lots of different coaching styles out there. What makes Holistic Coaching different?
Generally, life coaching helps a person achieve their goals - sometimes by removing obstacles, sometimes developing new capacities, sometimes building up skills already present... often all three at once.
Wellness coaching broadens the definition of success from one or two specific goals to achieving health. Wellness embraces more than the absence of disease or sickness, to mean a full and vibrant life - a life that brings the person deep joy and satisfaction.
Holistic (or Integrative) wellness works from the model that we are whole persons, and that what we do (or don't do) in one part of our lives affects other parts of our lives. This is grounded in science and in centuries of practice. (Most of us know this princniple well in terms of stress, which can cause unrelated issues such as headache, exhaustion, nausea, and digestion problems.) In helping to look at the whole person, there are virtually numberless dimensions we could look at. In my practice, I use a four-fold model to represent the dimensions of an individual: body, mind, heart and spirit.
Our "physical body" includes not just our limbs and organs, but also our physical surroundings like a workplace, an environment, ergonomics, stress and invigorating factors.
Our "mental body" is our thought-life, our ideas and beliefs. There are also a lot of assumptions and habits here.
Our "emotional body" is our feelings, our fight-or-flight response, our emotional needs. Also here are our relationships with close friends and family, those relationships that form and shape us, and help us know who we are.
When I say "spiritual," I'm not being specifically religious. (I am a Christian and an ordained minister in my faith community, but I don't expect you to be anything in particular.) Spirituality in this sense is a sense of connection to something greater - however you understand that, be it God, Collective Unconscious, Tao, energy... whatever. You don't have to be a particular religion, or even "religious" at all. Just open. I also include in conversations about spirituality a sense of sacred community - who feeds you and what community do you contribute meaningfully to?
A holistic, integrative approach assumes that a problem we have in one area is connected to other important dimensions of our lives. Trying to "fix" something without addressing a root cause (which might be in another "body system") will only push the problem to manifest somewhere else - like a whack-a-mole game, another symptom popping up as soon as we smack this one down.
Finally, holistic coaching works from a simultaneous inside-out and outside-in approach. "Inside-out" coaching aims to resolve core issues, release negative emotions and limiting beliefs that lead to undesired results, patterns or behavior. "Outside-in" coaching helps change behaviors on the physical and tangible side, to revise strategies to move toward one's desired results. A holistic, integrative coach works collaboratively with other wellness practitioners (medical doctors, psychologists, physical trainers, nutritionists, naturopaths, etc.) in your life to help you effect the change you want to see.
A Holistic Wellness and Life Coach helps people gain freedom from the past, overcome habits and patterns that block their fulfillment in an area of life and take actions necesary to live the life they desire. A Holistic Coach coaches towards balance (or "harmony" or "wholeness") in all four body systems: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
As a holistic coach, I believe you are the expert on you. I have tools and resources to help, but you are the driver of the process of becoming who you want to be. This is a "do with" process, not "do to" or "do for." Wellness is an exciting journey. I would love to walk with you a ways.