This is a 3-part blog series that shares how Soul-based Coaching breaks the dominant paradigm and opens up a world of opportunity for healing and change that we desperately need in our world.
I mean that quite literally.
In this first part, I take us into the old paradigm, the one that we are all living and breathing after 500+ years, and includes personal practices to start your personal inquiry.
Part 2 shares what this paradigm shift means for the coaching industry, and coaching as a profession, touching on what is SO exciting once we have started to see what we are up against.
And in part 3, I share the regenerative underpinnings of Soul-based Coaching, and how they change the rules of the game, the role of the coach, AND what can happen for clients.
Divorcing the dominant paradigm
You probably agree that our world needs change – right?
But what exactly is it that needs changing? What is at the root of the majority of the injustice that we see, that means systems and structures that were built in the last 120 years need to collapse?
It is a paradigm that has been around for at least the last 500 years. It shaped the world as we know it: politically, economically, and individually on a global scale.
The paradigm that has been shaped by patriarchal capitalism, colonialism and institutionalised racism:
‘We take what we want, because we can’ – regardless of the collective whole and the consequences for all future generations & our planet.
And that paradigm doesn’t just live in our societies. It lives inside every one of us, regardless of where you live, the colour of your skin or what you do in the world.
First, let’s look at how this started.
European royalty and wealthy merchants funded a bunch of white guys, to go explore and expand their wealth. Eventually white nations ruled, oppressed and exploited a whopping 84% of the world. And they committed many crimes against what are now considered human rights, including enslavement. These ancestors didn’t just rob, they also destroyed the indigenous systems of power and community structures. Thereby destroying the foundations of what makes a society work.
A majority of the world’s current injustices find their roots here. It is no surprise the richest countries in the world are former colonisers. A law in economics tells us that the rich get richer – because when you have money, you can make it work for you, especially when you robbed the rest of the world of their natural resources.
But also, the idea that ‘white is better’ (because white has more power) has infiltrated our systems.
The bad news is that even though white people are mostly not aware of it, it is still in the air we all breathe, and has been internalised to a large degree.
Even in my professional domain, coaching.
What most of us do, every day, is the opposite of regenerative. We extract what we want, because we can.
We do not allow ourselves to regenerate – we are only worthy when we are productive (hello capitalism) and rest is considered a revolution.
We do not allow our Earth to regenerate.
We are not really interested in healing what was broken through colonialism. Most countries are not really interested in supporting social justice. It’s a leftist agenda, and only surges in the news when there has been another police brutality in the States and we remember that #BLM. And we do not dare to touch the topic of reparations in our own minds, let alone in public dialogue.
And on a personal level, mostly subconsciously, we firmly place our own views onto the world of what is right or wrong, or how things should work, regardless of what others might think, without an ability to connect meaningfully across divides.
So.. this is the paradigm that we need to break out of.
And that is HARD because for 500+ years, we have been conditioned by that paradigm, and we hardly know what is outside of it.
Here are some *little* examples that can help you start the enquiry into how this shows up in everyday life
Do you find it easy to rest?
For so many of us, rest is only ‘allowed’ when we have deserved it, after working hard – a capitalist view. First be productive, that determines your worth.
When do you buy new clothes?
When the new season hits? When you have ‘nothing to wear’? As retail therapy? I certainly have done all of these things at times.
At the same time, Earth Overshoot Day was on July 29th last year. The day when ‘humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year’. Meaning that collectively, we are living in massive overdraft.
(I buy less now, and when I do, I go for vintage and high quality ‘loved-before’. A little tweak that helps me stay accountable for our kids’ future.)
We don’t have to look far to find many more examples of how we consume more than we need.
One aspect that is usually harder to look at:
If you are white: are you willing to look at how institutionalised racism is part of your everyday life experience?
Institutionalised racism today is a direct result of the greed of colonising nations. As people with privilege, we don’t ‘have to’ look at this. And ‘life is hard enough as it is’ – with Covid and war and everything else that life throws at us. We can comfortably ignore that life is a lot harder still for people who don’t share our privilege.
But.. How are we complicit, every day? These are our questions to ask. No-one else can do that work and help build more just systems.
So how does all this relate to coaching and the coaching industry?