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Rules of Engagement

How Can I Tell If My Big Spirit Needs Coaching?

A Conversation with Marguerite

Rules of Engagement

I want to be a presence in your life and a catalyst for positive change. To that end, I can customize my services to meet your individual needs. But to give you an idea, my typical coaching agreement goes like this:

The Typical Coaching Agreement

  • Three 30-to-45-minute telephone sessions a month.
  • E-mail support, as needed.
  • Short phone check-ins, as needed.
  • A 3-month minimum
  • A 30-day, money-back guarantee.

The Three-Month Rationale

People grow in different ways and at different speeds. A natural cycle of highs and lows often occurs during the first three months of coaching, as you would expect with any major change. It’s actually an important part of the process. As you become aware of, and transition through, the real sources of whatever is holding you back from living a full life, you’ll tend to stutter before you step, and when you’re stuttering you’re liable to want to quit for no good reason.

So, to give the coaching relationship a reasonable chance to work, I ask my clients to commit to at least three months. This is not, however, a requirement.

How Can I Tell If My Big Spirit Needs Coaching?

  • You hide your light, because you feel guilty about owning your personal power.
  • You allow yourself to be limited by other peoples’ limitations and find yourself participating in your own demise.
  • You feel bad that your light sometimes withers other people, so you dim it down. This self-abnegation short-circuits the realization of your dreams and the fulfillment of your destiny, which in turn diminishes your impact on the world.
  • You fear the potential responsibility, overwhelm, and danger associated with living as a big spirit.
  • You don’t fully express yourself—you erase yourself before others can do it—to avoid being attacked by people who are freaked out by big spirits.
  • You go unconscious and live a life based not on your own, but on somebody else’s, agenda and values.
  • You live in a world of “shoulds” rather than in the world of “I AM.”
  • You are emotionally, spiritually, and psychically drained by having to constantly suppress who you really are and go out of your way not to make a difference.
  • Sometimes, to numb the heartache of not being yourself, you turn to alcohol, other drugs, overwork, overscheduling, and other adrenalin-driven behavior (busy, busy, busy, wash, wipe, mow, shop, repair), or get caught up in stories and “drama.”
  • You are made edgy and uncomfortable from the friction of rubbing up against something other than your own skin, and the internal pressure of unrelenting existential crisis.
  • Beneath the surface of your ostensibly “successful” life, you feel restless and glum, no matter how much you accomplish, how much others admire you, or how much you buy—without knowing why.
  • This last one’s the biggie: You’re afraid that if you live through your big spirit, if you live your truth and shine that big light, you’ll leave other people behind. (And, yes, you probably will. You will also inspire some of them to come with you.)

And you cut through all this how?

When the big spirit in me talks to the big spirit in you, anything can happen.

A Conversation with Marguerite

What, exactly, do you do?

I help people connect to their big spirits, and I help big spirits connect to their greatness—to who they really are and why they’re here—and thereby change the world, one spirit at a time.

You’re kidding.

No, I’m serious.

What’s a big spirit?

A big spirit’s the part of you and me that’s directly wired to the source of life, at the level of creation, and therefore always knows exactly what’s up.

Um, help me out a little here.

I believe that all human beings, by our very nature, are creative, and I mean creative in the most profound sense of the word. If you happen to take your cue from the Bible: It says that each of us was created in His image, in the image of the Creator Itself, who made of us miniature gods—creators—of our own worlds. That's what human beings are, that's what we do: We create.

I’m listening. Tell me more.

So, okay. By our very nature, what we do is create—and I mean create all the time, with every thought, every word, every action. And what we’re creating all the time is the landscape of our lives: our relationships, our work, our environment, our play. The fact that most of us are largely unconscious of it—sleepwalking, if you will, through the creation—only means that what we manifest will more often than not reflect random, rather than focused, thought, feeling, and action, and delude us into believing that we are victims of circumstance rather than makers of circumstance.

How can I know where I fall in that spectrum?

If you want to assess the degree to which you're unconsciously creating your life, then look around at that landscape and take stock of what you've made there.

How can I tell if I’m living in my big spirit or not?

Just ask. Whenever a circumstance arises that calls for a decision, ask yourself, What would my big spirit do?™, and see if that’s what you would’ve done if you hadn’t asked.

So this is life. Sometimes my eyes are opened, sometimes they’re closed. What difference could a coach make?

That depends on how serious you are about living the life you really want to live. The incredibly cool thing is that you have all the tools. All the knowledge, all the power, is already within you, waiting to be acknowledged and directed! A coach helps you to liberate what comes naturally. I guarantee that the transformations that arise from being intentional in your creating, rather than unconscious in your creating, can be profound.

But how, exactly?

I hate to talk about coaching—most coaches do—because the only way to really get it is to be coached. (For a complimentary trial session, e-mail Marguerite here.) It’s different for everybody, and part of the fun is making it up together as we go along. But, in general, coaching is an action-oriented collaboration, in which I am at your service in co-creating a life vision, and a strategy for manifesting that vision, that is unique to you.

Can you be more specific?

You may want to explore your life's purpose or "right placement" in a career. Align your choices in the outer world with your inner values. Finish unfinished business with close associates and family members. Figure out what "the next step" is. Or just have more fun. You may have a dream to start an international organization to advocate for human rights, as does one of my clients, or find a way to break into radio, as does another, or publish a nonfiction novel, as does a third, or switch careers, as does a fourth. The coaching process is designed to clear away from your life, bit by bit, all the stuff you’ve been tolerating that depletes your energy and disables your big spirit—and then to create the life you really want to live and that only you can live.

Take one more shot at it.

I’m here to help you figure out who you really are and how to get what you want based on who you really are. Then I hold you accountable to your visions and dreams and to the plans I help you devise to achieve them. I’m like a personal trainer for your life. You don’t depend on me so much as use me—as a resource and a presence in your life.

But what’s the real benefit?

We all have untapped resources, and when those resources are tapped, our work becomes more authentic, our lives take on a new meaning, and, in general, we feel a sense of ownership and freedom of choice. We enjoy our work and we enjoy our life, which is the whole point. If you don’t want that, then stay right there; don’t move.

So, give me an example. Who’s a big spirit?

It can be a captain of industry, but doesn’t have to be. A rock-and-roll star, an actress, a teacher, a writer, a business owner. A friend of mine who’s a plumber is a very big spirit. So’s the woman who got me into coaching, a marketing consultant and onetime life coach, who uplifts every person she comes in contact with. The electrician who coaches my son’s baseball team has one, as does an old friend, a landscape architect, who, the last time I checked, was bound for Cambodia to help build an orphanage. Big spirit is a state of mind and being that is characterized by innocence, open-heartedness, self-awareness, courage, and the capacity to act immediately on intuition.

Who are your ideal clients?

Anyone who realizes they’re capable of much more and wants some alert company while they molt and then reinvent themselves. They can be people who have achieved great success in their lives and now want meaning; they want to stand for something and leave a legacy. Leaders who have discovered that the climb to the top has left them isolated, unfulfilled, and out of balance, with nobody to talk to. Entrepreneurs who need a sounding board. Creatives who have lost connection to their creative force. Basically, big spirits of all stripes who have decided, the hell with it, I’m going for it.

Specifically, though.

As a newspaperwoman and freelance magazine writer, I coached the subjects of my articles; as an editor, I coached reporters; as a college teacher, I coached my students. My clients have come from most walks of life. Most recently, they have included a poet, a newspaper columnist, an Ivy League professor, a public relations executive, a coach, a nurse, and a waiter.

What am I going to get from you that I can’t already get from my spouse, a family member, or close friend?

There’s a lot, so I have to use bullets.

  • I promise to offer perspective, insight, inspiration, acceptance, compassion, patience, clarity, a trained ear, complete honesty at all times, and just enough tough love, when called for, to coax you out of your comfort zone and keep you focused on your path.
  • I will ask a lot of questions—sometimes seemingly dumb, sometimes seemingly deep—and really listen to you.
  • I will not judge you.
  • I will keep things light.
  • I will always point you toward self-awareness, fulfillment, and balance.
  • I will be your sounding board, helping you to clarify your goals and to devise a customized life process for achieving them, on your terms and on your timetable.

Meanwhile, the idea in the back of my mind, all the while that you’re distracted with the crush of daily life, is how do I bring out the best you? A you that you can’t even conceive of, as you sit here right now reading this. Imagine having someone in your life who knows that you were born great, who believes in you and expects you to be great, and who will do whatever it takes to get you there. If you’ve got someone like that in your life, then no, you don’t need me.

What makes you think you’re any good at this?

Let me have others tell you. See testimonials.

Why not a therapist or a consultant?

There are key differences between therapy, consulting, and coaching, all of which have merit depending on the practitioner, the client, and the circumstances.

  • Therapy: One difference is that the coach is always asking for, and expecting, action. Unlike in therapy, I will not delve very deeply into your pain and your past so much as help you devise strategies for moving purposefully into your future. Coaching differs from therapy in that coaching is not necessary in order for the client to function; coaching is for well people who want to excel and to live personally extraordinary lives.
  • Consulting: Most people spend their lives figuring out what they want and how to get it. As soon as they get what they think they want, they go right into figuring out what they think they want next. Consultants largely focus on the what and the how, which can be very useful in the business environment. As a personal strategy, though, the unrelenting what-how cycle can be debilitating and stressful.
  • Coaching: Coaching focuses mainly on who you are. Once a person’s focus shifts from what I want and how do I get it to who I am, clarity emerges and stress dissipates. Consulting is content-oriented. Therapy is past- and discussion-oriented. Coaching is action- and process-oriented; it’s about self-recognition and determining one’s purpose in life. Once you know who you really are, then what you want and how to get it tend to become self-evident. I help you to decide what’s really important to you, and then I provide the structure to keep you focused on creating the life you really want to live.

I already have a lot of people trying to influence my life. How are you any different?

Look, you’re the hero of your own life. The agenda is yours. I'm not here to tell you what you ought to be doing—I’m here to seat you in your own power. It’s kind of like this: You’re Princess Lea or Luke Skywalker, I’m Obi Wan Kenobe. You’re Lewis and Clarke, I’m Sacajawea. You already have everything you need; my job is to help you reveal it to yourself, and, in doing so, to arrive at a more effective personal process that will continue long after the coaching relationship ends. The answer really does lie within you. What you're paying me for is my access to your intuition.

I'm still not sure if coaching is for me. How can I find out?

You can contact me for a complimentary trial session. Call me at 215.884.7328, between 9am - 5pm Eastern time, or e-mail me here.