Saturday, March 27, 2010

Solificatio: A Vision of the Possible

This entry continues the metaphor of alchemy for great coaching, an invitation to coach clients toward transformational change. A key aspect of going beyond apparent needs is realizing how they've been driven by unconscious patterns, pushing them toward goals that satisfy an ego-image, not their highest potential.
Solificatio, making things real, represents moving from the lower to the higher mind. Our deep intention to change is not limited by rational thought and conscious goal attainment, but rather our thoughts are “enlightened,” literally transformed into light, a vision of what is possible.
Solificatio symbolizes helping our clients envision what's possible beyond materialistic aspirations. My client Tom's path demonstrates moving beyond the image of "looking good":
All my life, until I started doing some real work on myself, it was "how things look" as opposed to how I really am. I was living a lie: "How do I fool people?" I wasn't conscious of it, but my image, how people saw me, was more important than anything. I was a football and baseball coach early in my career, and I got a really choice spot in a choice school. Being a sports coach might be altruistic in helping students achieve something, but the raw motivation was to be out there in front--to get noticed, to have people say, "Oh, just look at him! He's a great guy!"

It was exciting, challenging, frustrating. I loved being a leader, putting my ideas into practice. It was also an area where I could have self-doubt and pretend I didn't. One of the things that was very conflicting for me was the message I got as a child that I was supposed to be good enough and smart enough to become a doctor, a lawyer, or some other professional. Something in me longed to play music at a very early age but my parents discouraged me from studying a musical instrument because "they would spend money on lessons and I wouldn't be good enough and would quit."

I did later sing and perform, initially to move through some of those inhibitions, and then I created a whole work around it for others, teaching them to feel the fear and do it anyway... to move through and let the experience teach you something different from what's in your head. I still might look good to others, but I'm getting away from the image of looking good, and just doing what I love to do. At 61 I'm also moving into community work, volunteer efforts, and this feels good and right. When I was focused on how I looked to others I was pretty much of a loner, but more and more I really enjoy sharing and working with others.
(See also Calcinatio, Solutio, Nigredo, Separatio, Mortificatio, Sublimatio, Coagulatio)

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