Dina Steiner, Founder and Director of Spirit at Work ATX
When I tell people that I am a spiritual coach, I get a lot of confused looks. I understand that. Sure, most people understand what pastors, pastoral counselors, and chaplains do. And some people understand the idea of a business or life coach. But the idea of a spiritual coach is new to many people. So that’s when I begin to unpack what I understand, as the Director and Founder of Spirit at Work, the role of a spiritual coach to be.
By spiritual, I mean that our coaches believe that human beings are all part of something greater than ourselves, that is not explained in purely physical terms. We believe that there is something outside of self that can inspire us, empower us and provide a little awe in our everyday lives. Many people refer to this as God, or Higher Power, or Ultimate Oneness. Others don’t really have a definition for it, but find that sense of inspiration in nature, or music, or community, or a particular philosophy. We believe that everyone can, and needs to, tap into this spiritual source. All humans are created as mind, body and spirit, and in order to be healthy, all three areas need to be supported and enriched. We follow the lead of our clients in describing a particular spirituality, and never impose our particular spiritual belief upon anyone.
By coach, I mean someone who helps bring out and encourage your own abilities and strengths. A track coach doesn’t do the workout for you, but stands at the side of the track shouting suggestions and encouragement, keeps track of times and training regimens, and pushes you to dig deep. They point out things that you’re doing well and areas that need more development. Tom Landry, the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys supposedly said, “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”
A spiritual coach is similar. We work with people who want to live up to their highest potential. Through a combination of probing questions, deep listening and helpful exercises, a coach can help you explore your greatest strengths and most troublesome areas of development. We ask questions that lead to new discoveries about yourself – your dreams, passions, fears and stumbling blocks. At every step of the way, a spiritual coach will encourage you to tap into your particular source of spiritual nourishment.
As with all trained coaches, a spiritual coach can work with individuals and teams to explore the issues that are most important to them. Not all issues will be exclusively spiritual, but we never forget that all people are spiritual, and the solutions to most problems, whether personal or business related, are a combination of mind, body and spirit. No progress can be made on any issue if mind, body and spirit are not in alignment. You can train all you want, but unless you are mentally prepared and spiritually centered, your ultimate goals may be always out of reach.
A spiritual coach is particularly helpful in exploring the “big questions” of life. Who am I? What is my purpose? What are my particular gifts and how do I use them? What are my values and ethics? How can I tap into a spiritual source for strength and nourishment? How do I hold onto a sense of integrity in a world that is morally ambiguous? Spiritual coaches can be especially beneficial in times of transition – whether into a new role, a new career, a life change, or illness.
All of our coaches at Spirit at Work abide by the ethical standards of the International Federation of Coaching, including the strictest confidentiality. Most importantly, a coach is there for you, focused only on your success and growth. With a spiritual coach, you can discover your own connection to a great source of strength, encouragement and inspiration to help you achieve your highest potential in all areas of life.