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Episode 9

Coaching from the Ground of Being

Carole Griggs
November 24, 2017
68 minutes

What does the “ground of being” actually mean, what does it have to do with internal polarities, and how exactly do meditation and mindset facilitate powerful coaching?

In this lively conversation with Dr Carole Griggs we explore tangible ways in which coaching from the ground of being can help us have radically open hearts, deeply integrated systems and agenda-free mindsets to help our clients create unlimited transformation.

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The “ground of being”

What are the prerequisites for creating a transformational space between you and your client? The overt ones (tools, methodologies etc.) are an important foundation, but the subtle skill of presence is harder to teach, being an intangible inner experience.

You may have heard the term the “ground of being” if you have a proclivity to hanging out in spiritual development circles – otherwise it might be completely unknown to you. It refers to the concept that God is not a being but the ground from which all beings emerge. As such, God precedes being and is manifested in the structure of beings.

Meditators refer to it as the state of watchful awareness that they can access through deep stillness, but it’s not necessary to be a lifelong meditator in order to access this state. It’s characterised by a sense of peace, an opening, a lack of attachment to thoughts. Coaching from this space creates a spaciousness in the connection that allows for powerful insights, and a level of open-heartedness that creates an unconditional safety, meaning that topics normally too dangerous to broach can come up.

The main differences between traditional coaching and coaching from the ground of being are these three postures:

  • How the coach identifies themselves
  • How the coach views the client
  • How the coach views the world

A more fluid self-concept allows for more spaciousness and a more open heart, which leads to more transformative possibilities due to the safety created in the connection. In contrast, a more fixed personality with rigid belief structures will be coaching through filters and have an agenda. 

Holding polarity

Familiarity with the ground of being state also massively increases our ability to be with intense and uncomfortable emotions. The more we can do this for ourselves, the better we can support our clients with it.

One of the main things we do as transformational coaches is to help our clients integrate all their apparent paradoxes into a healthy whole in which the system is not blocked or biased – being able to hold the paradox: “I’m a failure and I’m not a failure” for example. Other common polarities that require healing are, “Something’s wrong with me” and “Something’s missing in me”.

Anything you’re avoiding looking at in yourself will lead you to avoid looking at it with a client – your capacity to hold polarity will determine how much you can help your clients explore what they’re cutting off and cutting out.

Conscious coaching mindset

Most of us are giving from a place of lack, from a place of thinking we need to “fix” our clients. This perpetuates their belief that there is something wrong with them. From the awakened ground of being you can sit with your client in a state of wholeness and know there’s nothing wrong with them.

As coaches we need to be open and have no agenda; we need to let go of needing them to feel ok, to like us, to give us money, to make us feel like we’re a great coach, to reach their goals, to have a transformational experience. Practicing coming from the ground of being will vastly increase the field you can offer your clients – a field in which everything is ok, nothing is surprising, and they are already perfectly whole.

Another very salient point is how we can help our clients to open their hearts. This avoids having a purely cognitive exchange. If your heart is fully open there is a palpable “in-loveness” – a vast love that emanates from you and lets your client know that there is nothing they can do that will make them less lovable; and that’s where the healing begins.

Resources mentioned:

About Carole

Carole Griggs
Carole Griggs

Carole Griggs, Ph.D. is an executive coach, leadership development consultant, international speaker, university professor, author/writer, and developer of transformative technology tools focused on human potential and consciousness evolution. She is currently coaching leaders at Apple, Google and other international and Silicon Valley tech companies. Carole is co-founder of iConscious and a professor and course developer for John F. Kennedy’s Masters program in Consciousness and Transformative Studies department, and is the author of Space to See Reality: A New Model for Professional Coaches, and coauthor of Conscious: Accelerating Human Potential.


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