A Coaching Model By John Lawyer, Spiritual Life Coach, UNITED STATES
The SOUL Coaching Model
Life is too important to be taken seriously. Oscar Wilde
The SOUL Spiritual Life Coaching Model is a comprehensive and holistic approach to personal growth and self-discovery. Designed to help individuals navigate their spiritual journey, while also being grounded and present in the ‘real world’ as needed. This model focuses on four key components: Spirituality, Oneness, Understanding, and Love (SOUL).
This coaching model aims to foster deep personal understanding, enhance spiritual connections, and promote a sense of unity and compassion in a world that may seem complicated and divided at times. The following sections will provide a detailed explanation of the SOUL method, useful questions, possible exercises, and how it can be implemented in a spiritual life coaching practice.
The SOUL Model: Spirituality, Oneness, Understanding, and Love (SOUL)
The first component of the SOUL model is Spirituality, which involves facilitating clients to explore and deepen their spiritual thinking, beliefs, practices, and connections. Work with Clients to be empowered within themselves to develop a way of looking at the universe that makes the most sense to them. Look at the Journey of life and see if the Client may be willing to consider our time exploring what is and what isn’t and everything in between is all part of the richness. It isn’t just the answer, but the path of finding that answer. This section is simply a start as fully defining spirituality is impossible as it is unique to each person.
- What does spirituality mean to you?
- How would you describe your spiritual beliefs and practices?
- How does spirituality influence your daily life and decisions?
- What areas of spirituality do you want to explore?
- How does your spiritual view align with your values and life goals (and logically what are your values and life goals)?
- Who Am I? [This is a self-reflective question you ask yourself or ask someone to ask themself based on ‘The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi’. This is a short read, but a deeply meaningful work. It also has an excellent foreword by Jung.]
- Mindfulness Meditation. Invite the Client to start small and possibly increase length as they can over time.
- Journaling is a powerful tool to use in coaching. This can be free-form journaling or a Client may choose to create prompts for themselves. Another option is for the coach to put together a schedule of powerful prompts to use on a daily/weekly schedule.
Oneness, the second component of the SOUL model, focuses on the interconnectedness of all things and the idea that we are all connected to one another, to the things around us, and to the universe as a whole.
Regardless of one’s belief—whether it’s the cosmic perspective that we’re all composed of stardust, the Hindu philosophy of divine interconnectedness through Brahman, the unifying principle of the Dao, the scientific understanding of shared quantum energy, the inherent interconnectedness of nature espoused by Wicca and many Native American cultures, Christ consciousness or mystical Kabbalah/ Sufiism from the Abrahamic traditions, or any other perspective that falls within or beyond these—there is a shared theme of universal connection. Our task is to explore this intricate web of interconnectedness and to understand its profound implications for our sense of Self.
It is worth making a note there may be some who do not subscribe to any pantheistic or larger connection and that is ok too. Everything doesn’t have to be for everyone. This should be seamless for a spiritual coach to work around.
- How do you interpret the concept of oneness in your life?
- Can you describe a moment when you strongly felt a sense of connection with others or the universe?
- How does your understanding of oneness influence your interaction with others?
- What practices or actions help you cultivate a sense of oneness in your life?
- How does the idea of oneness align with your spiritual view?
- Work with the Client to plan a reflective or even meditative walk through nature and ask if they might reflect on and record their thoughts and experiences afterward.
- The walk might be on a nature trail or through a forest or by a lake or other body of water.
- Consider adding a portion of this exercise where you invite the Client to see themselves as being Nature instead of simply seeing themselves as only in nature (an important distinction).
- Being open to the universe.
- Invite the Client to explore how being open to the universe might broaden their view of spirituality.
- This could include themes of being intentional and aware of what the thoughts we have and actions we take bring into our reality and how changing these thoughts and actions may bring more of what we seek. For example, if we think negatively and act with negative action, we just simply bring more of this type of thing into our world. This exercise has so many applications.
The third component of the SOUL model is Understanding, which involves helping clients better understand themselves, their thoughts, and their emotions. This is a broad subject and really gets into the core of base, fundamental life coaching. Understanding these aspects of a Client’s life will lead them to greater success fulfillment.
This section also includes the (potentially) critical component of being grounded in our day-to-day lives as we embark on our spiritual journey. If we are grounded this way, the Client has a far better chance of success in exploring and/or expanding their spirituality. It’s about finding a balance between the esoteric and the ‘real world’. And in being grounded we might look at sleep, exercise, nutrition, finances, job vocation, relationships, routines-habits, spaces (home, work, car), and others.
Part of living a grounded life might include living for today. In the present moment. A place where we’ve moved past the past and we’ve determined we won’t worry about the future we can’t control.
- Can you describe your understanding of yourself at this moment in your life?
- How do your thoughts and emotions influence your daily actions and decisions?
- How do you maintain a balance between your spiritual journey and your day-to-day life?
- How do your daily routines and habits support your spiritual growth?
- How does your current lifestyle (sleep, exercise, nutrition, finances, relationships, etc.) impact your spiritual journey?
- In what areas of your life do you feel the most grounded? Where do you need more grounding?
- How do you approach uncertainties about the future? How does this impact your present moment?
- How does your job/vocation align with your spiritual beliefs and practices?
- How do the spaces you inhabit (home, work, car, etc.) reflect and impact your spirituality?
- Living in the Moment. An exercise inspired by ‘Be Here Now’ by Ram Dass, ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer, or even all the way back to the Meditations of the emperor himself (Marcus Aurelius). Using these powerful works as a reference, we can craft an exercise tailored to the individual Client to help them work through living in the present moment.
- Mindfulness in Daily Tasks. Mindfulness meditation gets a lot of attention, but we should then equally talk about applying that same principle to the daily tasks we undertake. Using mindfulness while we eat and making it a more meaningful experience is one example. We can encourage the Client to use mindfulness while doing simple daily tasks. And then continue to expand on the practice.
- Movement and Physical Exercise. We are all constantly in motion. The universe is in motion. Change is a universal constant. If we get up and embrace this motion, we become healthier and more connected with the universe. This can be through nature walks, yoga, Tai Chi, sports, strength training, or really anything else. If we are moving, we are living.
- Promoting and encouraging the idea of a ritual of self-care. The Client comes to embrace taking care of themselves.
The final component of the SOUL model is Love, which encourages clients to cultivate love and compassion for themselves and others. We aren’t any good to anyone else if we aren’t good to ourselves. The concept of putting your oxygen mask on first before putting anyone else’s on is a perfect example here. If we love ourselves first, we lift up not just ourselves, but the world around us as well. Many Clients may struggle not just with love, but the idea of loving themselves first. Love is the word used here, but it’s just as appropriately said as loving-kindness.
- How do you define loving-kindness in your life?
- How do you practice self-love and self-compassion on a daily basis?
- Can you describe a time when you prioritized loving yourself first?
- What practices help cultivate love and compassion for yourself and others?
- How does loving yourself influence your spiritual journey?
- What challenges do you face when it comes to loving yourself?
- Ask the client to generate some Affirmations that can help them hold a loving outlook for the day. If they can’t come up with any or have a block, help get them started if they would be open to that.
- Ask the Client to engage in a discussion about attachments they have to things that hold them in a negative space. Explore how these attachments serve the Client and what they can do to move beyond these bonds. The same thing can also be accomplished for judgments. How does moving away from these attachments and judgments create a more loving-kindness space?
- Look at the forgiveness of self and others and how it leads to a more loving environment within and around the Client.
Throughout this journey, the SOUL model emphasizes the importance of open-mindedness and respect for all beliefs and practices. The aim is not to replace or challenge a Client’s current spiritual beliefs but to enhance their spiritual journey by providing them with a range of tools and techniques they can use to further explore and deepen their spirituality. It encourages Clients to maintain their own beliefs while also being open to learning and understanding different spiritual paths and practices.
The SOUL model is more than just a method; it is a compassionate and comprehensive approach to spiritual coaching. It is designed to provide clients with a safe and supportive space to explore their spirituality, look into the universal oneness, understand themselves better, and cultivate love and compassion for themselves and others.
By emphasizing the interconnectedness of all things, it helps Clients see that they are not alone in their spiritual journey. It helps them understand that their thoughts, emotions, and actions have a significant impact not just on their own lives, but on the world around them. This sense of oneness can inspire Clients to make positive changes in their lives, foster a sense of unity and compassion, and contribute to a more loving and peaceful world.
The SOUL Model is a robust and flexible tool that can be adapted to meet the unique needs and spiritual beliefs of each Client. It combines spiritual practices and self-exploration techniques to provide a comprehensive approach to spiritual development. Whether a Client is just beginning their spiritual journey or is looking to deepen their existing spiritual practices, the SOUL model provides the guidance and support they need to explore their spirituality in a meaningful and personal way.
Practical Application and Testing (over a few sessions with a single Client):
The Client expressed they found the SOUL Spiritual Life Coaching Model transformative. They felt supported and guided in exploring their spirituality and gaining a deeper understanding of themselves. The Client particularly appreciated the interconnected nature of the model, finding that progress in one area often led to insights and growth in another. They reported feeling more connected to their spiritual journey, more aware of their emotions and thought patterns, and more compassionate toward themselves and others.
What Worked Well:
The holistic nature of the SOUL model was effective. It allowed the Client to explore their spirituality from different angles and to understand how different aspects of their spiritual beliefs and practices intersected and interacted. The various questions and exercises provided the Client with practical tools to explore their spirituality and foster personal growth.
What Didn’t Work So Well:
While the Client appreciated the comprehensive nature of the SOUL model, they found the number of different techniques and practices to be somewhat overwhelming at times. They reported feeling unsure about how to integrate all the different practices into their daily routine. This is understandable and I might have gone a bit overboard in the beta testing. This was a good learning experience for me as a coach.
What Could Be Improved for Next Time:
Based on this feedback, one area to improve might be the pacing of the coaching sessions. To prevent Clients from feeling overwhelmed, the coach could introduce new techniques and practices at a slower pace, allowing Clients more time to integrate each new practice into their daily routine before moving on to the next one.
Learn How to Create Your Own Coaching Model
Your Coaching Model reflects your values,
philosophies, and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve. Read more about creating your coaching model
The Varieties of Religious Experience; William James. (n.d.). Goodreads.
The philosophy of physics; Max Planck. (n.d.). Goodreads.
Miracles; Suart Wilde. (n.d.). Goodreads.
Talks on the Gita; Vinoba. (n.d.). Goodreads.
The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius. (n.d.). Goodreads.
The Tao of Pooh; Benjamin Hoff. (n.d.). Goodreads.
Braiding Sweetgrass; Robin Wall Kimmerer. (n.d.). Goodreads.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself; Michael Singer. (n.d.). Goodreads.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment; Eckhart Tolle. (n.d.). Goodreads.
Be Here Now; Ram Dass. (n.d.). Goodreads.
Who Am I?: The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharsh. . .. (n.d.). Goodreads.