A Coaching Model Created by Helena Torres
(Life Coach, PORTUGAL)
HappyMandala, 6Ws Coaching Model
Since I was a child, I fought against anxiety and depression. To overcome that, I had to work hard on understanding my own mind. It took me 19 years, but I learned how to tackle my perspectives to experience more positive emotions.
My goal then changed: I wanted to become successful. At 32years old, I had built departments, lived in a different country, led multicultural teams, managed millions of euros. As a people and sales manager for more than a decade, I developed, even more, the ability to read true motivations, desires, passions, drivers…
Though I was awarded and successful, I was always anxious and restless. I had also gone through a divorce, and I wished more than anything to become peaceful, to manage my own emotions better. I started meditating daily and practicing minimalism. I became a Reiki Master and a Tarot reader. I was listening to spiritual masters for breakfast. I began to experience true peace for the first time in my life. Still, something was missing.
First, to be functional, then successful. After that, just peaceful. Eventually, I realized I was meant to and deserved to be AMAZINGLY happy! We all are!
My coaching model is asadhana, a tool for developing the skill of happiness! It was fine-tuned with my clients who fight with stress and anxiety and aim for a life where happiness and meaning are the measures of success. A life where we feel whole, and nothing else is missing.
The mandala is a reminder that this is a tool to keep developing happiness in a never-ending inner journey and to remain true to yourself.
An “alignment check” is done at every step, ensuring the progress keeps echoing your true essence – the “Who?” and the Big“Why?”.
The process begins with a 20-minute discovery meeting to align and agree on the goal. The number of sessions will vary depending on your goals, obstacles, and progress. Usually, it is recommended 12 sessions of 60 minutes each. After the 6th session, there is a 20-minute meeting to review the progress and adjust if needed. The coaching ends with a 20-minute wrap-up discussion to consolidate and celebrate the progress.
Holistic: Who and Why?
In essence, being happy means being aligned with your true nature and purpose. Who you are impacting all areas of your life. Whatever the struggle is, it is nothing but a mirror of something not aligned. Therefore, the model is not limited to a topic, such as relationships or leadership.
If you wish “to be” happy, the first step is “to be”.Not to become anyone else, not to act like you are any different. Just “to be”. Simple, but not easy. Thus, the first question is: “Who are you?”.
Feelings are a great hint. What you feel, wherein your body and when you experience it. If you are experiencing enjoyment feelings such as joy, peace, gratitude, excitement, passion, you are likely doing something that is aligned with you.
What fills you with passion and what you can´t tolerate reflects your values, the principles by which you pave your life and that guide you in tough decisions. They answer questions like:
- What do you want?
- How is this important to you?
- What makes you happy?
- What does it mean for you to be successful?
Your values are a guide to how to walk. But where to go is a question of purpose, The big “Why?”.It is about deciding what to do with all that you are: your strengths, your qualities, your uniqueness.
- What is your role in this world?
- What impact do you wish to have?
- What is your life purpose?
- What would you like to have accomplished by the end of your life?
What is blocking you? Like everything in the Universe, we don´t move unless there is a significant force impacting us –The Law of Inertia. Two main forces make us move: fear and desire. By fear, we act to avoid something. By desire, we act towards achieving something.
Become your “Mind Watcher”. Listen with a detachment to your true motivations, self-talk, the stories you play in your mind. Become aware of the inner truth you are living in your mind and how close it is, or not, to reality.
You are invited to face your fears and to question your underlying limiting beliefs about yourself and the world. Beliefs you take as universal truths but might not be so. More often than not, the biggest obstacles lie in these crystalized beliefs that might not be useful to you anymore. Becoming aware of both internal, as well as external obstacles, is part of this step.
- What is keeping you in this situation?
- What is blocking you from being yourself and doing what you want to do?
- What are the obstacles to creating the reality you want for yourself?
Possibilities: What if?
What if something else is possible? Take your new awareness and engineer your mind towards a perspective that is more factual, more actual, and more useful to you. As a consequence, new options will open up for you. Where once you saw only obstacles, you now have choices. These choices might allow you to have new dreams, aspirations, a new vision for yourself.
- What other perspectives are possible?
- What is coming up for you with this new awareness?
- What are you learning about yourself?
- What do you want to do with this new awareness and possibilities?
Plan: What now?
Now it is time to set up a plan with concrete actions, measures, support structures, and accountability.
- What is the next step?
- What resources do you need?
- How will you measure success?
- What support and support structures might you need?
- What can you do to remain accountable and focused on this plan?
Yes!: So What?
So what if you fail? If you don´t believe something is possible, you either don´t set yourself into doing it, or you fail. Show up in your life for yourself. Say a big “Yes, I can!”. So what if you are still not there? You are still a step closer! Remember, it is a mandala because that is life: a continuum process. How many times did you fall before you could walk? Yet, before you fell, how many times you actually gave one or two steps? Celebrate the little victories by saying a big “Yes, I am doing it!”.Persist!
We often chase success in the future. Success cannot be in the end; it has to be on the way. Fall in love with the process and the goals will disappear. You will find yourself exactly where you are supposed to be and happily enjoying the ride that it is to live.
Once at the final destination, celebrate your journey, your progress. Say: “Yes, I did it!”.After all this process, only two questions remain in the coaching relationship:
- How will you celebrate?
- What next?
The word “sadhana” in Sanskrit means a device or a tool.
Dr. Richard J. Davidson also claims that happiness (Orwell-being) is a skill. You can check his work here: https://www.richardjdavidson.com/
Mandala image source
Mandala istheSanskritword for circle. Mandalas are a symbol of the universe, of the idea that life is never-ending, everything is connected, and of wholeness. The mandala also represents the spiritual journey within the individual viewer. So, the first level is understanding the unity in the cosmos, and secondly, each individual must find their own place within it.