In this post I’m going in-depth about the practice, and the reality, of coaching.
I had already three certifications, three apprenticeships, and four years of coaching experience before joining the Ars Amorata. But men’s work—particularly around intimacy and connection, I found—threw up far more on-the-ground challenges than I was prepared for.
The other day I posted the following ‘tweet’ in our group:
And then, from Matt:
Ain’t that the truth:
I never developed as much ‘masculine vastness’ as I did by leading my own events.
Why is that?
Because, with my attention on a hundred little things—the comfort of the women, the state of my clients, the ever-fluctuating needs of the room, the time on the clock, my gut feeling and intuition, the process, the responsibility of it all—and the fine human virtues needed to coach well in the first place, group events were hardcore bootcamps for sensitivity and awareness.
I could always feel my presence expand throughout the many days of a retreat. Mind on the task, I never worried how this would impact things on the outside world. But one time, after wrapping day nine of a Bucharest intensive, a woman threw herself upon me in an elevator, and dragged me into her apartment.
This is purportedly a serious message, so I’ll indulge the story no further. Such is the power of presence.
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Coaching’s Cutting Edge
Back in the internet dark-ages, emerging dating gurus would charge $2.5–$10k for a 3-day workshop, based around information. They’d demonstrate their theory like a sportscoach on a whiteboard, showing abstract models and manoeuvres in red pen. At night, if you were lucky, you would head out on the town.
Luckily, the internet democratised such info, and moved us all up the value chain.
There is a new cutting edge to powerful, transformative coaching. And it is what our clients demand. This is what the leading edge of coaching looks like in 2023:
Therapy, traditional direction-setting and skills work, and spiritual practice, woven together in an elegant dance. The modern coaching conversation itself looks simple, yet feels baptismal and deep. It’s not weighed down by clunky processes and techniques, but holds a number of paradigms under the surface.
More and more, coaching practice becomes a process of healing—with the odd moment of just-in-time teaching thrown in. One curious thing is that all those old questions of smart-goals and values and massive action and future projection are simply falling away.
Why the shift? Well, we’re waking up to the ways that so many of our life goals are informed by compensation and lack and trauma anyway, and that if you help a man heal and awaken, he’ll not only update the things he says he wants—and the texture and maturity of his wants—but he’ll more easily find the resources he needs… to simply take himself there.
In short: Tony Robbins is way, way out. No more screaming resistant clients into change!
What’s in? A deeper mastery of the ‘now’.
Today’s integral coaching skillset looks, in many ways, similar to the tools of creating deep intimacy with women. Which is why you have to be careful that your dates don’t look like therapy sessions.
Or that your relationships turn into residential workshops—personal warning.
Remember that beneath the all-seeing, empathic surface, you are an animal with your own drivers, desires, and needs. You are not a mono-speed creature that’s only of-service to the feminine breed. That’s your professional role. For a long time, I leant on my coaching-school skills to show a little dating currency. A nice façade: but not an accurate and fearless expression of what I truly want.
Maybe you’ve recognised yourself here.
But here’s where the toolkit for next-generation coaching does merge with the capacities we need for a transcendental relationship:
You need to be able to:
— Drop into depth, peak states, and train with your partner, real-time, in their body-mind, how to access sublime states of presence with you, which reveal their deepest virtues, and have you wonder together at life’s mysteries…
— While NOT IGNORING the hairy-body, psychological and emotional aspect of being human, with all its fears and cravings, and blocks it throws up in the way.
After all, it is mostly through feelings, breakdowns and challenge that we return to presence. And you and your clients will have to learn to deal exquisitely with blockages and emotions when not graced by those moments of presence, which, for many of us, is most of the time.
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Confused? And It Wasn’t Even This Simple When I Joined AA in 2012…
Back then, many coaches held a piece of the puzzle. But few could see a full developmental path.
The majority of coaches had their clients buy into hustle culture, self-flagellation, silly social freedom exercises… which in a majority of cases burned clients out. There was no consciousness of emotional or trauma work back then. Embodiment was just about body-language. We hadn’t yet found the keys to the nervous system, which determines your ability in everything.
I had to learn some amazing lessons over this past decade:
-> I saw the extreme void that a missing or absent father actually leaves on his son, and JUST HOW MANY missing competencies that bequeathes.
-> I got the real danger that today’s culture war represents for our sense of lineage and traditional knowledge. Despite what I’ve said about emotions and presence above, the cultural fetishisation of these themes—plus the whole deconstruction attempt at things like gender and identity—often strips us of our NARRATIVE, MYTH, and sense of SOUL DESTINY.
-> That once you get the essence of feminine nature, women’s behaviour—and wants—make complete sense. Working tactfully with feminine energy demands a much subtler form of masculine skill than what we’ve always seen as ‘good performance’.
-> If you learn to look carefully, all that psycho-jargon and spiritual stuff you read about in books is RIGHT THERE, MANIFESTING IN THE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU, CONSTANTLY. One only needs to learn to see it—and to be bold—to take part in the cosmic level of play, as it happens. (Any sense of mastery, in relationships or in coaching, depends on your ability to do this.)
I could talk about this for hours.
Suffice to say, you come in for a little coaching around women… and it leads to the deepest reaches of the human experience; the total vulnerability of the heart.
Next-generation coaching is not about a little career guidance or accountability practice… or getting a few results! Real coaching goes into the nature of what it means to be a man, and a woman, existing today. Longing to create something of meaning in this world…
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So How do You Coach?
— If you are a coach, or you’re in training to become one, how do you coach?
— Is it formulaic, clean, ‘nice’… much like the training-room you were taught in?
— Or are you rugged, challenging, an edge?
— Do you model a form of wildness you would like your clients to imbibe from you?
— And yet… do you always keep the thread of your subtlest, most transformative virtues: kindness, acceptance, humour, compassion?
— Do you fall into issuing tough-love practices that simply bounce right off your clients’ defences? Or do you avoid the tricky forays into blockage, shadow, semi-conscious emotion… preferring to remain at the level of information instead?
— Do you collude with your client’s dream of self-improvement, forgetting that the deepest power is to love your client exactly as he is?
— And so do you throw the kitchen sink at your client? Unsure of how to make a clear intervention, you drown him in advice and homework until something hopefully sticks?
— Do you know what it means to relate to another as presence, from presence? Can you see, and listen, at the depth of soul?
— And to what extent are you a listening-coach, building careful conversations with a few you seek to impact… or are you a messenger, a fire-bringer, able to propel your clients into a new paradigm?
— In a marketplace full of coaches, then, and in a world revolutionised by AI, do you have a recognisable flavour?
In my eyes, any artful coach of the next generation will…
- Work free-form, off-script, responding entirely to where your client is in the moment… with structures of spirit, psyche and life-force in the back of your mind.
- Not get entangled by the client’s unending story, but shine light onto their defense mechanisms, patiently feel (together) the emotion underneath, and arrive together into a state of virtue, presence, or—in certain moments, where all cognition switches off—the depth of non-duality.
- Work along horizons… not just tracking your client’s career or growth with women, but help through the very flourishing of their soul; through those awkward transitions into adulthood, midlife, wisdom… for which no ‘quick fixes’, and a ton of ‘existential knots’ line the way.
But that’s my vision. It’s always more important to ask, what is your vision for what next-generation coaching looks like?
I will leave you with something, though:
Ask not how to be better at coaching…
… but call forth a glimpse of your fully-matured destiny
as a once-in-the-human-race guide.
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A Unique Opportunity for an Apprenticeship
If you are an existing coach, or coach in training, and you want to venture far beyond the pale of conventional coaching school…
… and embody a transformative presence beyond all question of technique…
… then come and deepen your art and craft along with me, during Legacy.
This is a rare and unique opportunity to work with me, and have me have a sculpting hand in your coaching career, and your professional future.
Over the course of a full year, I will take you through a psychological and spiritual journey, aimed to make you a deeper instrument.
I’ll take you through this next-gen coaching approach… working with feeling, sharpening presence, unfolding your experience of depth.
Practicing further lucidity in the now, while also plugging you into the deep lineage past, and your imaginative vision for the far future. Deepening your access to flow and presence is just the starting point: this is about restoring beauty, and creating something great.
I know there are many burgeoning coaches in this group. And while Legacy is about leadership, and the nature of you-as-instrument as a whole, I am happy, throughout this year, to share my coaching supervision. Which means:
-> My eyes, heart and mind on your coaching skill, your personal depth/unfolding, and your challenges with clients and business-building, over the course of a year,
-> Making sure you feel confident not only in teaching skills, but you feel relaxed and wise when working with psychology, emotions and energy, and the depth of sublimity, or presence (which is where your clients find all their resources anyway),
-> Inventing new approaches to coaching—creating adventures, worlds—that make your offer stand out from the rest… (while drawing from your most satisfying, unique personal gifts),
-> Tackling any remaining ‘fraud feelings’ you might inwardly suffer with. I’ll help you do this in two key ways: first, through an ongoing devotion to your vocation; and second, you’ll take a punt—as in the example above—where you’ll expand your ‘masculine vastness’ by creating experiences where you offer your gift.
Plus, throughout our live group calls, you will receive plenty of hot seat coaching of your own.
Legacy will cover this. If you want to complete the Ars Amorata adventure, and drink from our deepest well, come join.
Applications for the new round are open. We begin the first week of June.
(Early bird closes on Tuesday 18th, at midnight PST. So if you want to secure a place, request and return your application now.)
I have also to mention in closing, to those sitting close to the edge, that such a training will not be so available next year, and certainly not close to this price.
I hope to see you there.
P.S. To join Legacy, simply request an application.
And I’ll send the form over to you within a few hours.
I’m also happy to jump on a 20-minute consultation with you, to field any questions you have, and to confirm if this indeed falls at the right time in your life.
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